Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello. I am new to this. I live in Texas, USA, not Canada. Anyhow, I hope you can help. I cut the cable and had a square RCA antenna in the attic. It was ok, but had a hard time picking up the local PBS (public television), That is VHF. So I built a 4 bowtie antenna which was better. Now I get PBS and another new station, and quite a few stations actually. However, everything still has 2 out of 5 bars. Most stations are less than 30 miles away.The antenna is pointed in the direction of most stations. I have the antenna in the attic. See photo. I adjusted the reflector since I took this photo. I moved the radiant barrier in that spot so it is not in the way. So where do I go from here to get a better signal strength? Thank you.

11345
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Not bad for your first build. If you can’t put the antenna outside, I’d try an amplifier. Maybe that would increase your signal. As long as the channels stay locked in, it doesn’t matter how strong they are.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you. I do already own to antenna amps. Is one better than the other? See photos.

11346
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
Archer amplifier is the older of the two. Probably better quality than the RCA, but may be older technology. Crispysea is right. Try both and see which works better. Best to put amplifier as close to the antenna as possible. Give us some more information, and there may be someone who can suggest a better antenna design. List your TVFool information, and let us know specifically what channels you are trying to receive. Let us know what antenna design you built, or at least give us accurate dimensions, so that we can know what to expect from it. Without this information and what your goals are, it's hard to make any worthwhile suggestions. Also place the antenna as far from the aluminum faced vapor barrier as possible, to keep it from blocking or interfering with your signal. Keep in mind that it's important to build your antenna, as carefully as possible. Some dimensions aren't that critical, but some are critical for good reception.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,891 Posts
I once tried an antenna in an attic, for about 10 minutes.. It was immediately obvious that it was a waste of my time.
Up on the roof it went.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
I agree. Put it outdoors if at all possible. Sometimes they work better below the roof line, but you just have to check and see.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I would love to put one outdoors. I have the old dish out there on a pole bolted to the roof. So I could remove the dish and use the pole. However, I would need soomething sturdy for outdoor weather. If I did that I would consider something like this on Amazon for $39. Opinions?

11349
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
Would still need more information, to make a good recommendation, Without knowing what channels are available, what directions and distances to transmitter, and which bands you need to receive, it's hard to make good recommendations. If you can post a TVfool report, or let us know where you are located, and what channels your trying to receive, it's easier to make recommendations. First antenna looks to be a UHF only antenna(hard to tell without more info). Winegard antenna is VHF/UHF and will work OK, if all transmitters are in the same direction. Both antennas are very directional, and won't work well, if you have signals coming from different directions. There are antennas that receive VHF and UHF, that aren't as directional as the two shown. It's best not to make recommendations without knowing what you are trying to receive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
ljhavener Thank you. I understand. My zip code here in the US is 78154. I still have some difficulty with public broadcasting 19 miles away. It still cuts out every so often. That is VHF. I have my antenna as shown in the first photo as high as I can go in the attic with the radiant barrier removed. I am aware that outdoors is the way to go. I think I may do that to achieve a good VHF and UHF signal. Here are some links to my location on TV Fool. Signals are spread across a wide path. I could buy the Winegard as suggested, but I am certainly not opposed to building another DIY antenna. Thank you.

TV Fool
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
jicafold
Do you have info on your home build antenna(dimensions or a 4nec2 model)? Does it have VHF capabilities? I was looking at your picture, and it looks like your antenna is hanging from the ridge beam. Am I correct that the vapor barrier, still in place, is on the rafters, sloping down from the peak? Am I right, that it slopes down in front of the antenna, partially blocking the signal from the transmitter, in front of the antenna? If so, I think that it's going to affect the reception, of any antenna, at that location. From your TVFool data, PBS(ch9) shouldn't be too difficult to get. The Winegard YA-7000 should get the PBS and other channels coming from that direction. It is pretty directional, so it probably won't get signals from other directions. Most designs with reflectors are directional as well. There are homebuild 2bay and 4bay bowtie designs, for UHF, that have some reasonable VHF reception, and will have wider reception pattern.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
If you want to build one, you’d have good results with a bow tie, but without a reflector. You can even use a Gray-Hoverman without a reflector and VHF NARODs. Like you, I have some stations almost 180 degrees apart, and both work really well for me. I have several VHF channels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
The one I built was as this in this attached diagram with these exact dimensions. It is on the ridge beam as high as I can go. The radiant barrier in front of the antenna is completely removed. I did look at the Gray-Hovermann build article. I see that it is mainly for UHF. I suppose what I am looking for a nondirectional antenna best for both bands. I could try the Gray-Hoverman without a reflector and VHF NARODs as Crispysea suggests.

11356
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Have you tried without the preamp? Those look like some really strong signals, so you may be overloading the preamp.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
The one I built was as this in this attached diagram with these exact dimensions
I did a quick model, of your antenna, and it doesn't look like it has much gain on the HiVHF band(excessive SWR is the biggest problem). There are 4-bay bowtie antennas, like the (click to go to page) UHF Kosmic SuperQuad (9.75x9.5) NO Refl. , that has good UHF, as well as better HiVHF reception. It's larger than your current antenna, but I think it's smaller than the Gray-Hoverman, with narods. Either one will be an improvement on your current antenna.

The radiant barrier in front of the antenna is completely removed
If a better design works for you, in the same location, then your set to go. The vapor barrier, below the antenna, will still have some impact on the antenna. Signal will hit the barrier, and bounce up towards the antenna. This may be creating a multi-path situation, where some of the signal is hitting the antenna directly, and some is bouncing off of the barrier. There's no way, other than trial and error, to see if it having an impact on reception. It may even improve the reception, but there's no practical way to know, other than try it and see what happens. If it's convenient, I'd try your existing antenna outside, away from the roof, and see if it works better or worse. I think that you'll have to build a new antenna, with better HiVHF reception, before you really get the results that you are looking for. It may work just fine in the attic, but you may have to move it outside.

I have not tried either of those amplifiers yet.
The amplifier probably won't solve your current problems, and could cause issues, by over amplifying some of the stronger signals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thank you. I can take my antenna and try and stick it out a window later in the same direction and see what that does for it's performance. I assume the UHF Superquad is a bigger badder version of what I am currently using.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
He’s right, that antenna looks too small to get Hi-VHF. The whisker length should be around 9-10”, and the spacing between whiskers should be about 4-5”.

I have a slightly modified Superquad in my bedroom near a window, and it gets VHF very well, even a station on 5. Definitely try building it, and put it near a window if you can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
I assume the UHF Superquad is a bigger badder version of what I am currently using.
It's a similar design. It's design allows it to receive both UHF and HiVHF signals. HiVHF reception requires that it is larger than your current design. There are also 2bay and 4bay designs, that have a loop around them, that increases the HiVHF reception even more. I don't think that you will need the loop, but it's an option, if the standard SuperQuad doesn't give satisfactory results.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top