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Antenna Placement: height versus distance

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Old 02-09-2013, 12:06 PM   #1
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Default Antenna Placement: height versus distance

With an old broken antenna, I receive local channels 3.1-3.4 which I think (?, I can't find a frequency to channel table) is equal to channel 49. I am going to put up antenna on a pole and have read Tigerbangs prescriptions. However . . . .

I know that 'height is king'. The house is at 1385', but 400+ feet south the ground is 20'-30' higher. It is also closer to power lines, but no phone or data lines. Should the antenna be near the house at the lower height, or on the hill but farther from the house?

-------------Technical-------------
Samsung in-television receiver, intend to use AntennasDirect 91XG with rotator and preamp. If I can't find an older Jerrold, Dehli, or BT VHF antenna, I'll probably go with Tigerband's AntennaCraft recommendation.

Zip code 22824 is 11 miles away, but I am at 38.850328 N, 78.757467 W. Google maps has the elevations wrong since radar isn't as precise as the optics. Telephone poles are a common "mast" in this area, and I have a 40' steel light pole that just needs a foundation.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:25 PM   #2
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You are correct that channel 49 is Harrisonburg 3.1-3.4.

What VHF stations are you after? I only see a PBS station from West VA & a low power religious station in Woodstock?
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:54 PM   #3
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The religious station WAZT in Woodstock had (it used to) excellent local news, which no other stations could be bothered to cover. Also had some nice 'classics' at times, but the news was outstanding. Of course, the station has gone through two bankruptcies, and I have no idea what's on it now. The antenna for WAZH is visible from here, about 2 miles away at 3000'+ looking down on the house, so no antenna needed.

Primarily I want the maximum number of stations I can get.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:45 PM   #4
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You are going to be better off locating the antenna near your house and going for height because you lose 1/2 of your signal in every 100 ft of RG-6 coaxial cable (400' is about -14dB) much of which can be compensated for with a preamplifier, but the little bit of elevation you gain probably will not make that much difference.

www.rabbitears.info shows all your major networks are available on translator stations at 318 degrees about 12 miles away, listed as coming from Moorefield, WV.

Are those signals on the air and receivable at your location?

TVFool does not list them. If I move the location up to the top of the ridge to the NW by the WAZT transmitter, TVFool does see those translators, but they are very weak, so you probably can't get them - back to the drawing board...

Wow! you've got PBS translators all over the place, but other networks are kinda scarce in your neck of the woods.

Even calculating TVFool at 400 ft you can barely get a hint of WVIR out of Charlottesville.

You live between two mountain ranges and all the population centers are on the other side of the mountains.

Is satellite TV out of the question? Dish offers a very basic plan for about $30 per month called the welcome pack, no HD of course, I believe.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:31 PM   #5
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If what you are looking for is a guarentee that what you buy will work, even I couldn't give you that advice.
What I do see though is a station less then 3 miles away that is weaker then a station 18 miles away.
I would have to wonder about overload with the station being so close.
The antenna near the house, up as high as you can get it, but in the right place near the house is more important then just getting it up high.
How your signal refracts over the horizon is going to play a major role in how your reception works.
WVIR is not a high power station - Charlottesville, I think that transmitter is up on Carters Mountain - not far from Waynesboro, as my uncle would say - we do support work for them.
'Their tower is in the national forest, and the national forest only permits it because it is not lighted or painted, they just tell the aviators to fly around it and not into it. It is also the reason why it is not very tall.
With the mountains to the south, it is impossible to pick up any stations out of Roanoke and almost impossible to even pick up the station in Richmond Va from Waynesboro.

Yes most everything in the neighborhood is serviced by a translator of some sort.
No there is no market there to put up any high power transmitters or television stations - it just seems that was the way Virginia has always been ran.

Cable television or sat dish is the prefered method of reception for most people living in or near the valley...
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:50 PM   #6
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Just out of curiosity, how are the coverage maps calculated? Richmond 6 or 12 has always been unavailable in Waynesboro, but came in watchably at Deerfield (38.189625,-79.40918) 25 miles farther west and behind 4400' Great North, higher than Carter's 1400' or the Blue Ridge at 2400'. Charlottesville's 29 came in great there, but isn't listed at all on tvfool. My current location is too far north to get either one now, but this location received analog Ch 5 from DC in the old days.

The Moorefield stations/repeaters sound interesting, but it's a diagonal shot over the ridge-line. Besides lugging a tv and portable generator around, what's the best way of determining actual signal strength?
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcpatrick View Post
Richmond 6 or 12 has always been unavailable in Waynesboro
Too bad this is now the case. When my grandparents owned the West Lawn Hotel in Waynesboro years ago, it was like being in reception heaven when we visited. You could get DC, Richmond, Lynchburg, Roanoke, Harrisonburg & Staunton with just a run of the mill VHF antenna 30 feet above the ground. I'm sure cable or satellite are a must there now for any decent reception.

Last edited by hoopitup2000; 02-13-2013 at 05:45 AM. Reason: Left out Roanoke
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