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I just built an SBGH that works great. I am in the DC suburbs, where I am getting every thing broadcast from DC, about 20 miles away. I was expecting the signal strengths to further improve after attaching a reflector, but they are either unchanged, or have deteriorated. What could I be doing wrong here?

I followed the design suggested in the sticky above. I am using AWG 8 solid copper for conducting as well as reflecting elements, and wood for the structure. The conducting element and the reflecting elements are mounted on two separate planks that are not attached yet. So, the 100 mm separation is only approximate.

How sensitive is the reception to the dimensions? For example, if the conductor and the reflector are not perfectly planar, does it make a big difference?

A related question: does the reflector make the antenna more directional?
 

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A related question: does the reflector make the antenna more directional?
Yes.

At 20 miles from the strong DC transmitters, you could be overloading and thats why adding a reflector could make the reception much worse.
 

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broadcast from DC, about 20 miles away.
You may be closer than you think to the transmitters, most of which are located in the NW section of DC in the Tenleytown section area. Post your TVFool image.
 

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You may be closer than you think to the transmitters, most of which are located in the NW section of DC in the Tenleytown section area.
At the risk of veering too far astray from the SBGH reflector issue, it always struck me as odd (even going back to the 60's when I used to visit DC) that the TV facilities were on relatively short sticks. The antennas mounted on the various Tenleytown towers are all < 250m.

Even +40 years ago, the suburban sprawl was underway and I know that the far flung Virginia suburbs had a rough time getting the analog signals of WRC, WTTG, WMAL and WTOP.

Many of us have been spoiled by facilities at > 600m HAAT. :)

...and after that digression, we rejoin the topicality already in progress...
 

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The antennas mounted on the various Tenleytown towers are all < 250m.
But looking at the TVFool report, it looks like Tenleytown is the highest point around there, kind of like Manayunk area in Phila. Still, in the city, reception can be hard to get.
 
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