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antenna advice for Houston area

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Old 12-10-2012, 02:18 PM   #1
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Default antenna advice for Houston area

I use Windows Media Center and Silicon Dust network tuners (One with cable card for 3 tuners and 4 tuners for OTA. I was using the OTA for unencrypted cable QAM local channels, but Comcrap keeps changing the mapping and redoing the setup on all my PCs is a pain. Plus they are moving to encrypt all QAM channels in future, so I decided to switch these tuners over to OTA.


I looking to pickup ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS, ION, and CW. All these are located in same area of Houston and I'm 29 miles away. I have an Antennas Direct DB2 that was mounted was mounted on old DISH mast. I'm receiving no signal on Ch 8 and 11, poor on Ch 13 and the others are strong.

What antennae would you suggest?
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:19 PM   #2
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I would post TV fool but need more posts.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:22 PM   #3
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ok almost to 5.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:23 PM   #4
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TVfool report:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...cc49ba3b115b44
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:51 PM   #5
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Add the VHF kit from the C2V to your DB2. Email AD for instructions.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:12 PM   #6
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I'm in Katy about 29 miles also and have tried the equivalent of a DB4 with great success on the same channels as you have. The reason why channel 8 and 11 are a problem is they are using the VHF band, channel 8 is on channel 8 and channel 11 is on channel 11. I'm surprised about channel 13 as they are actually on a VHF channel 13 and very strong signal that is close to being a UHF frequency. Maybe the DB2 was not aimed toward the towers or judging from your TVfool you might have the downtown area in the signal path which would possibly cause a multipath issue. I added a couple of elements to the DB4 that were essentially rabbit ears which allowed most channels to come in pretty well, but not perfect. Now I use a Radio Shack VHF/UHF antenna mounted at about 15 feet above grade and get a very strong signal on all stations.

I would change to a VHF/UHF antenna like a ChannelMaster CM3016.
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projectsho89 View Post
Add the VHF kit from the C2V to your DB2. Email AD for instructions.

assuming you mean this - http://www.antennasdirect.com/store/...-Assembly.html
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:45 PM   #8
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Yes. It can be adapted to your antenna. Get the directions.


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VHF channel 13 and very strong signal that is close to being a UHF frequency.
Not very close at all. UHF 14 starts at 474 MHz, channel 13 is less than half that frequency and ends at around 215-220 MHz (don't feel like looking it up). There is a huge chunk of spectrum between 220 and 474 MHz.
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Yes. It can be adapted to your antenna. Get the directions.




Not very close at all. UHF 14 starts at 474 MHz, channel 13 is less than half that frequency and ends at around 215-220 MHz (don't feel like looking it up). There is a huge chunk of spectrum between 220 and 474 MHz.
Not that much difference in terms of antenna required. That's why many installations of DB4 and DB8 antennas work pretty well for VHF high. But, if you feel the need to win, I'll understand.

That kit is essentially rabbit ears and may not have enough gain if downtown Houston is in the signal path. But you never know until it is tried.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:20 AM   #10
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Actually, it is quite a bit of difference. A channel 13 high-VHF antenna with the same performance as a channel 14 UHF antenna would have be more than twice the size.

UHF designs tend to have really "wobbly" reception patterns on VHF channels. Some are blind as a bat straight ahead while picking up better off to the sides or from the rear. It's really a hit or miss proposition since you can't predict how the antenna will perform on any specific VHF channel. From my informal testing on the old AD bowties, They have forward gain on VHF anywhere from -30 to -15 dB with slightly better performance at the higher end of the VHF spectrum. If it happens to work, it's due to having sufficient incoming VHF signal power at the antenna to overcome the large negative net gain on that particular channel at that particular angle. A real crap-shoot, in other words. A simple dipole would be expected to have near unity (0 dB) gain on the frequency it is cut to. At least it is completely predictable.

There's a reason the resonant elements of a UHF antenna are less than a foot wide and that high-VHF elements are around 2.5 feet wide.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:10 AM   #11
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Like I said, if you feel you have to win the point, I understand.. But is is well known that the DB4 and CM bow tie 4 and 8 bay antennas do quite well on VHF High. But you gotta get out of the books sometimes. From that standpoint, you win the technical point. Still I don't have a lot of hope for those outdoor rabbit ears for his location because of obstructions.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:29 AM   #12
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The channels I want to pick up are all high band VHF, so thinking about buying a AntennaCraft HBU22 or a Y5-7-13. I looked at the TVfool online map and I my path to stations actually goes slightly west of Houston main downtown core.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:08 PM   #13
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How important is antenna size in regards to the wife approval factor? The DB2 with the Vhf attachment would have a very small form factor. On the other hand, the HBU-22 would give you 5 to 7 dB more VHF gain than the the modified DB2+VHF attachment for only $7 more in cost (solid signal pricing) and a very quick install (remove DB-2, attach HBU-22, done). If it meets the wife approval factor, I would go for the HBU-22. Remind her that people rarely look up at the roofs and when they do, they really don't "see" the antennas unless looking for them... Over 30% of the homes in my neighborhood have antennas yet many will say no one has them... Good luck whichever you decide.

BTW, the y5-7-13 is an excellent vhf antenna but would mean that you have two antennas on the roof. Wife approval factor? If you go this route, you will need a uvsj to join them together into a single downlead cable (see: http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp...-antenna-(uvsj)) and should mount them 2 to 3 feet apart (vertically) on your mast.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:24 PM   #14
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The Radio Shack antenna I have (came with the house) is about the same as the AntennaCraft HBU22, so it should work well for you. Bear in mind that I don't have downtown to contend with, but I think it should do fine and be better than joining two antennas, imo.
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