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Help me get HDTV Reception without outdoor antenna

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Old 02-28-2010, 05:14 PM   #1
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Default Help me get HDTV Reception without outdoor antenna

My elderly friend lives at 22xx Corner Stone Ct. in Neosho, MO 64850. This is one of the lowest spots in the town. A covenant of her complex prohibits visible antennas. She does have a garage attic facing the site of VHF broadcast towers in Pittsburg, KS 30 miles away.

The VHF stations she doesn't receive are VHF 7.1 and 13.1 They will not give Directv a waiver to give her the channels even if she pays extra. With an indoor amplified antenna she receives two Joplin, MO UHF stations clearly (18 miles away), but can't receive any VHF and several other UHF Joplin stations.

My mother in law lives at the other end of town on a higher plain and receives all available locals with an attic antenna.

I have tried moving the indoor antenna around inside to no avail. What is the best VHF indoor antenna to use in the cramped garage attic and can I combine that antenna with the indoor one using an inexpensive combiner/splitter. Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 02-28-2010, 05:38 PM   #2
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It is against FCC regulations to prohibit outdoor antennas on owned property.
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Old 02-28-2010, 05:44 PM   #3
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There is no such thing as a "best indoor antenna" beyond rabbit ears for VHF.

If you do have some space in the attic, a 5-element high-VHF Yagi or the new ClearStream C5 from Antennas Direct are about as small as you can get (from a commercially available antenna) while still getting useful gain.

The C5, in an attic, would also be expected to get the two UHF stations.
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:54 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by chiefy3 View Post

The VHF stations she doesn't receive are VHF 7.1 and 13.1
Are you sure that they are actually broadcasting on VHF? 7.1 and 13.1 are digital virtual channel numbers (nothing more than name tags) and do not necessarily indicate the actual RF channels that the stations are broadcasting on. It is the RF channels actually being used which are important. For example, in my area channels 3.1 and 5.1 are actually broadcast on UHF channels 22 and 14 respectively, so they require a UHF antenna rather than a VHF antenna..

You need to enter the address information at TVFool.com to get a list of what stationsare available in your area and what RF channels they are actually broadcasting on.
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:38 PM   #5
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Hello Cheify3 and welcome to the forums.

As you already found out those indoor amplified antenna's are designed to receive UHF only.
The reason why they only receive UHF well is because VHF has a longer wave length and requires a longer antenna to receive it.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...b7c8caa2c8b681

Here is your radar plot.

Channel 7 is indeed channel 7, but channel 13.1 is actually channel 9!

At 74 miles, I highly doubt if she is going to get KAFT with a indoor antenna.

About your only recourse for that channel is to use a outdoor antenna in doors or on a patio or deck. The height that would be lost inside of a garage, compounded by the loss through the walls of the garage would probably kill most good reception outside of the green.

The other problem is that the list of stations are all over the map like a shotgun pattern and there would be no way to put one antenna in one position and get all the stations you desire. You would have to use a good antenna rotor.

I would say that you could get away with a Winegard 7698P antenna for now and add to it if you needed to later, or subscribe to the cable television and drop the Sat Dish. You need to understand that to get the stations you desire, you are going to need a antenna 14 feet long. Most garages are not large enough to put a antenna that big inside of it and be able to turn it 360*, nor is most old people willing to turn the antenna every time they want to change channels.

The bulk of her channels do all come from one direction and as long as you could be satisfied with the nearest channels, you could get away with a HBU 22 antenna or a Winegard 7694P.
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Last edited by Columbo; 02-28-2010 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:07 AM   #6
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Hello Cheify3 and welcome to the forums.

As you already found out those indoor amplified antenna's are designed to receive UHF only.
The reason why they only receive UHF well is because VHF has a longer wave length and requires a longer antenna to receive it.


Here is your radar plot.

Channel 7 is indeed channel 7, but channel 13.1 is actually channel 9!

At 74 miles, I highly doubt if she is going to get KAFT with a indoor antenna.

About your only recourse for that channel is to use a outdoor antenna in doors or on a patio or deck. The height that would be lost inside of a garage, compounded by the loss through the walls of the garage would probably kill most good reception outside of the green.

The other problem is that the list of stations are all over the map like a shotgun pattern and there would be no way to put one antenna in one position and get all the stations you desire. You would have to use a good antenna rotor.

I would say that you could get away with a Winegard 7698P antenna for now and add to it if you needed to later, or subscribe to the cable television and drop the Sat Dish. You need to understand that to get the stations you desire, you are going to need a antenna 14 feet long. Most garages are not large enough to put a antenna that big inside of it and be able to turn it 360*, nor is most old people willing to turn the antenna every time they want to change channels.

The bulk of her channels do all come from one direction and as long as you could be satisfied with the nearest channels, you could get away with a HBU 22 antenna or a Winegard 7694P.
Thanks for the radar plot. I should have made it clear that the channels are broadcasting on 7.1, and 7.2 (simulcast 14.1).
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:08 AM   #7
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Thanks for the radar plot. I should have made it clear that the channels are broadcasting on 7.1, and 7.2 (simulcast 14.1).
Fox-14 (KFPX) transmits its primary signal on VHF channel 13 from the same tower as channel 7 (KOAM).

Channel 7 carries the content of Fox-14 on its second sub-channel so you have two opportunities to get the Fox programming. Unfortunately, they are both on VHF. Channel 7's signal is far more powerful (55 kW vs 5.6 kW) and will be easier to receive.

You have to ignore JB/Columbo. He usually fails to read what is asked and subsequently gives "advice" that doesn't apply to the original question.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:57 AM   #8
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To Chiefy3,

To start out with, one good outdoor type combo VHF/UHF antenna stuck in the garage attic will run rings around your indoor amplified rabbit ears for both UHF and VHF reception, so therefore it would be foolish, IMHO, to bother linking in your rabbit ears also.

And if there is a clear view to the 330 degrees from the garage attic, there is a very good chance that you will get quite a few channels to the North with something like Colombo suggested, a winegard 7694p or the the more expensive 7698P.

But the first immediate joker in the deck becomes, how much signal will you lose going through the building materials in the attic? If the garage has simply wood and shingle construction, the answer is not very much, but add in foil backed insulation or aluminum siding as a possibility and your signal loss becomes prohibitive.

The other joker in the deck is that you have another cluster of medium strength channels almost 180 degrees off that main 330 degree aim, many strong enough to come in off the back of the antenna with an amp, but if a higher main apartment building stands in the way, getting those will become very difficult. And since that question is not addressed in the post, that missing information needs to be added by the OP.

The third missing joker in the deck is how long will the coax run be? But if it gets very long, a fairly inexpensive preamp or distribution amp may be needed to make up for losses in the cable run.

Once more information is provided by the OP, its still going to be a gamble and a somewhat trial and error aim problem. But since a garage install is basically a step ladder do it your self job, it would help if you started cheap, and worked your way up to a more expensive antenna if the cheaper antenna did not do the job. But you would have to find someplace that would let you exchange the cheaper antenna for a full refund if it did not do the job.

And as DoctorCad pointed out, you could go for a better outdoor antenna mount, the law is on your side, but is it worth the hostility generated?
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Old 03-01-2010, 12:04 PM   #9
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To Chiefy3,

To start out with, one good outdoor type combo VHF/UHF antenna stuck in the garage attic will run rings around your indoor amplified rabbit ears for both UHF and VHF reception, so therefore it would be foolish, IMHO, to bother linking in your rabbit ears also.

And if there is a clear view to the 330 degrees from the garage attic, there is a very good chance that you will get quite a few channels to the North with something like Colombo suggested, a winegard 7694p or the the more expensive 7698P.

But the first immediate joker in the deck becomes, how much signal will you lose going through the building materials in the attic? If the garage has simply wood and shingle construction, the answer is not very much, but add in foil backed insulation or aluminum siding as a possibility and your signal loss becomes prohibitive.

The other joker in the deck is that you have another cluster of medium strength channels almost 180 degrees off that main 330 degree aim, many strong enough to come in off the back of the antenna with an amp, but if a higher main apartment building stands in the way, getting those will become very difficult. And since that question is not addressed in the post, that missing information needs to be added by the OP.

The third missing joker in the deck is how long will the coax run be? But if it gets very long, a fairly inexpensive preamp or distribution amp may be needed to make up for losses in the cable run.

Once more information is provided by the OP, its still going to be a gamble and a somewhat trial and error aim problem. But since a garage install is basically a step ladder do it your self job, it would help if you started cheap, and worked your way up to a more expensive antenna if the cheaper antenna did not do the job. But you would have to find someplace that would let you exchange the cheaper antenna for a full refund if it did not do the job.

And as DoctorCad pointed out, you could go for a better outdoor antenna mount, the law is on your side, but is it worth the hostility generated?
The Winegards are great antennas but may be a little long for the garage. What luck have any of you had with a Clearstream2.
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:31 PM   #10
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I will remind Projectsho of PFC's advice not to fight.

Also to remind you that yes the sub channels does carry the same programming on a standard definition channel - but if you are asking for advice for a High Definition set up - Projectsho's advice is not the best.

It's easy to throw stones, but just don't do it if you live in glass house.

The smaller antenna would get you some channels, the bigger antenna would get you more channels without the expense of the pre amplifier - which is more important when you are trying to get VHF signals from 74 miles away!

I'm not anal like Porjectsho and I don't sit there and read the license for every stinking station - nor do I know the sub channels of every stinking station. I am just giving the answer to the question that was asked.
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:43 PM   #11
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The Winegards are great antennas but may be a little long for the garage. What luck have any of you had with a Clearstream2.
The C2 will do well on UHF but will still likely miss your VHF stations. How much space is available?



Like I said, JB/Columbo isn't capable of reading very well, so it's usually best to ignore anything he passes off as "advice".

Quote:
I am just giving the answer to the question that was asked.
All except for that you didn't read the flippin' question.... His friend is having problem with the Joplin MO and Pittsburg KS stations, not stuff that is 74 miles away and in the other direction...

Last edited by projectsho89; 03-01-2010 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:14 PM   #12
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The C2 will do well on UHF but will still likely miss your VHF stations. How much space is available?



Like I said, JB/Columbo isn't capable of reading very well, so it's usually best to ignore anything he passes off as "advice".



All except for that you didn't read the flippin' question.... His friend is having problem with the Joplin MO and Pittsburg KS stations, not stuff that is 74 miles away and in the other direction...
I would like to verify that the vhf stations in question are 31 miles away, not 74. Sounds like the clearstream2 isn't good for VHF. Thanks everyone.
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Old 03-01-2010, 05:19 PM   #13
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I would like to verify that the vhf stations in question are 31 miles away, not 74. Sounds like the clearstream2 isn't good for VHF. Thanks everyone.
The C2 is often usable on high-VHF out to 20-30 miles unless you get lucky (it's a mostly-UHF) due to its less-than-optimal method of VHF reception. I don't like suggesting it beyond 15-20 miles for VHF unless you want to experiment.

The KFPX and KOAM tower is about 31-32 miles from Neosheo... I don't see a point in experimenting with the C2 based on what you've described if you need help with reception of VHF channels.

Good luck.

Last edited by projectsho89; 03-02-2010 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:02 AM   #14
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The Winegards are great antennas but may be a little long for the garage.
Consider this option mounted on the side of the house or garage.
http://www.dennysantennaservice.com/...v_Antenna.html
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:37 AM   #15
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Consider this option mounted on the side of the house or garage.
http://www.dennysantennaservice.com/...v_Antenna.html
Also available as the RCA ANT751:http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=ANT751
Which is also avail @ Wal-Mart: http://www.walmart.com/ip/RCA-Suburb...-Mast/10828410
Making it easy to try & return if not sufficient.

And if your friend is lucky enough that the direction of aim is to the rear of the house the antenna outdoors won't bother those who can't see it.

Another option may be a DIY M-4 or the Kosmic Superquad if you're not up for DIY.
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