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Any hope for OTA in Kitty Hawk area?

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Old 02-23-2013, 08:25 PM   #1
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Default Any hope for OTA in Kitty Hawk area?

My BF lives about 3 miles north of Kitty Hawk, NC. He currently has cable, but wants to ditch it if he can get decent OTA reception. I've been looking on the antenna sites, and it doesn't look good to me, but I'm not entirely sure I know how to read the results. This is the TVFool report for his address.

(this site won't let me post a link...not sure why)

Can you guys give me your thoughts? We have no idea what sort of antenna might be needed to get in more than a few stations. He has a lot of trees around, and his house in one story. There is a radio station tower about a quarter mile down the road, if that matters at all. Appreciate the help.

I
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:59 PM   #2
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Chessievideo,

Welcome! Please make two more test posts, then you will be able to post the link to your BF's tvfool results. Will this antenna be mounted outside on the roof or in the attic?
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:35 AM   #3
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Surrounded by salt water on at least two sides, I don't know of anywhere that would be a better location to put up a television antenna.

Here is a generic field report for Mallard Drive - Kitty Hawk NC with a antenna height of 24' above ground...

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...1dda2dbd671037

With a Winegard 7698P / no preamplifier and a good antenna rotor, you could expect to get everything in the green, pink and Yellow.

The key is to get the antenna at least 10' above the main roof of the house.

Lightning protection is a must!
You just can't stick something up in the air - living so close to the ocean and not expect it to act like a lightning rod.
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IDRick View Post
Chessievideo,

Welcome! Please make two more test posts, then you will be able to post the link to your BF's tvfool results. Will this antenna be mounted outside on the roof or in the attic?
test1
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:29 PM   #5
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test1
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB Antennaman View Post
Surrounded by salt water on at least two sides, I don't know of anywhere that would be a better location to put up a television antenna.

Here is a generic field report for Mallard Drive - Kitty Hawk NC with a antenna height of 24' above ground...

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...1dda2dbd671037

With a Winegard 7698P / no preamplifier and a good antenna rotor, you could expect to get everything in the green, pink and Yellow.

The key is to get the antenna at least 10' above the main roof of the house.

Lightning protection is a must!
You just can't stick something up in the air - living so close to the ocean and not expect it to act like a lightning rod.
He isn't surround by water...actually up the road a bit from there, and on a road with trees on both sides.
Here is the TVFool report.
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...1dda3c6c5792fc

Why would a preamp not be needed? (I thought that it would.)

Had not even considered needing a rotator. How do those work? I assume there must be an automatic rotating device that turns them?

Last edited by chessievideo; 02-26-2013 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:33 AM   #7
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Pre amps by nature, amplifies the signal to overcome loss associated via the coax. But amplifiers by nature also injects some of it's own internal noise into the equasion.
If you have a signal that is too close, amplifying it not only amplifies the weak stations, it also amplifies the stronger stations.

Things such as pagers, police / fire / ambulance radios, commercial radio stations etc - are also amplified which might cause overload.
'The overload would corrupt the good signals, which would degrade them and make them unstable and unuseable.'

NO - antenna rotors are not automatic, at least not the cheap ones.
If you want to watch it, you have to turn it.
Most of the stations comes in from two different aims - which means if you want to watch everything on your report, you have to be willing to turn the antenna.

Same thing with antenna height, increasing the height of the antenna 14' to 24' would be about the same as having a 10db amplifier - without the noise associated with amplifiers.

The antenna is the key to good reception..
You can't take a smaller antenna and amplifiy the signal and get the same results as a larger antenna and no pre amplifier.

It's best to start with a clean signal and if necessary amplify it a little, then to start out with a crappy signal and amplify it.
If you amplify crap, all you end up with is a bigger pile of crap...
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:53 AM   #8
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Thanks for posting your tvfool report!

Tvfool lists stations 21 miles southeast of your BF's location. With a quick check on the internet, it appears that these transmitters to the SE are no longer in operation. Thus, your main opportunity for receiving OTA tv will come from Norfolk, VA whose broadcast towers are just under 60 miles away to the Northwest. The signals are also two edge, which means the signal must bend over two or more geographical features before getting to your BF's place. Two edge signals can be very challenging but may not be that difficult at your location. No one will know for sure until you put an antenna up and try. You could walk the neighborhood and look for large antennas aimed to the NW. I did that in my neighborhood and always knocked on the door. Most were happy to answer quick questions on their antenna setup.

Two of the Norfolk stations are high VHF and the remainder are UHF. You'll need either a large combo such as the Winegard 7698 (suggested by JB) or you could consider separate VHF and UHF antennas. Antenna gain will be higher with the separates than with the combo yet will cost about the same in total price. If you go with separates, I'd suggest the TigerBangs deep fringe solution (XG-91 for UHF and Antennacraft Y10-7-13 for VHF). Mount the XG-91 on top and the Y10-7-13 about 3 feet below on your antenna mast.

IMO, a pre-amp is a necessary item at your location. Pre-amps amplify the signal which compensates for any transmission loss between the antenna and tv. Plus the noise factor is lower on a pre-amp than on most tvs, saving another increment of signal strength (~3dB). If you go with a 7698 antenna, I would then suggest a Winegard AP8700. If decide to purchase separate antennas, I would recommend a Winegard AP2870 or Antennacraft 10G221.

IMO, a rotor is not a necessity at your location. It would be nice to have but not a necessity. Norfolk stations require a single aim not multiple aims. A rotor would allow you to adjust the antenna(s) without getting up on the roof, which is occasionally useful...

For a good discussion on antenna installation, see: http://manuals.solidsignal.com/AntInstallGuide.pdf

Good luck!

Last edited by IDRick; 02-25-2013 at 11:20 AM. Reason: corrected grammar
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB Antennaman View Post
Things such as pagers, police / fire / ambulance radios, commercial radio stations etc - are also amplified which might cause overload.
'The overload would corrupt the good signals, which would degrade them and make them unstable and unuseable.'
So...the radio tower down the road could be a problem then...is that what you are saying? Or is that far enough away? (It's about a quarter mile or so...maybe a bit more).

Quote:
Originally Posted by JB Antennaman View Post
NO - antenna rotors are not automatic, at least not the cheap ones.
If you want to watch it, you have to turn it....
Yeah I knew that, I just was asking if the rotor had a way to turn it from inside. That was what I meant by "automatic". I probably wasn't clear on that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JB Antennaman View Post
Same thing with antenna height, increasing the height of the antenna 14' to 24' would be about the same as having a 10db amplifier - without the noise associated with amplifiers.....
I think he is considering a higher place now. He said something about getting an old telephone pole or something like that. Of course then he'd have to sink it...but he'll figure that out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JB Antennaman View Post
The antenna is the key to good reception..
You can't take a smaller antenna and amplifiy the signal and get the same results as a larger antenna and no pre amplifier.

It's best to start with a clean signal and if necessary amplify it a little, then to start out with a crappy signal and amplify it.
If you amplify crap, all you end up with is a bigger pile of crap...
Okay...he was a bit taken aback at the size of the antennas...but I told him that was key to reception where he is.

Thanks IDRick...good info. A bit confused on the rotor and preamp though, since I am getting two different opinions. If it were me, I think I would go ahead and get a rotor and a pre-amp...I'll let him read over this thread and see what he thinks. Thanks for the link to the manual!

Last edited by chessievideo; 02-26-2013 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:39 AM   #10
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Chessie,

A pre-amp is critical if your BF wants to watch NBC and FOX out of Norfolk, VA. Here's why. The expected signal strength at your antenna is equal to the Noise Margin from tvfool plus antenna gain minus environmental losses. We can't put a number on the environmental losses (they exist, we just don't know how much) but we do have gain and tvfool NM estimates.

NBC NM = 0.2 Fox NM = -1.5 Antenna gain = 13.7

At the antenna, signal strength for NBC = 13.9 dB and Fox = 12.2 dB. You will lose signal between the antenna and the tv (at least -4 dB, more with long runs and any splitters in the tv distribution). We need to have at least 10 dB of signal strength at the tv for consistent reception but will not have that with NBC and FOX unless your BF installs a pre-amp. Good luck, whatever you decide! :-)
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:52 AM   #11
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Chessie,

A pre-amp is critical if your BF wants to watch NBC and FOX out of Norfolk, VA. Here's why. ...

Good luck, whatever you decide! :-)
Thanks so much. I'll try to come back and update this thread once he has done this.
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:59 AM   #12
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My research went no further then the TV idiot report - pie graph.

It said there was local signals..

FM Fool is another factor, along with the public service radios in the neighborhood. Without doing a full FCC search, there is no way for me to guess what is in your neighborhood.

When ever you live on a penesula - reguardless of it's size, you are Surrounded by water on two sides...

You don't normally get noise off the ocean, with the exception of lightning..

I have a 50 / 100 watt transmitter antennas in my yard.
When I transmit - it wipes out the local television reception.

My parents lives 200 yards+ up the road, and I do not get any complaints about overload.

Like I said before, if you had local transmitters, you would need to filter out those frequencies before you amplified the others.
That was why I said I didn't reccomend a amplifier.

Automatic - I am not a mind reader.

Height is always the key - the higher you can get the antenna, the less ambient noise from the house you will have to put up with.
And your horizon gets bigger.

I use the Winegard 8200U antenna, although I do not have a station below channel 8 that is useable.
At the time it was the most logical choice.

The difference between the 7698 and the 8200 is one set of directors less - but the antenna's still weighs the same amount - about 17.5 lbs....

As predicted, once the break in period was over and the stations burned in their transmitters and the sun spot number reduced - the gettable signals into my location - my reliable signals are all less then 56 miles away..

The 65 mile away signals would be gettable if I would put my antenna 20' higher in the air.
There is 200' of tower laying in my yard, just needs the holes dug, the rebar bent, the cement purchased and poured.
All it takes is money.

As long as I have the majority of the signals in my report, it does not matter if I can watch the signals in MorgantownWV, Youngstown, Cleveland OH, Westin WV.... Even the Pittsburgh signals are unreliable unless the right solar / weather / atmospheric conditions exists.

Height equals gain!

If you were my neighbors 2 miles to the south in Punxsutawney, you wouldn't even be able to receive those signals I just mentioned because Punxsutawney is 200' lower in elevation then my location.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:26 PM   #13
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Chessie,

You do have one strong nearby FM station. Make sure you turn the FM trap "on" after installing your pre-amp. Good luck, let us know how it works out for you!
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:16 PM   #14
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I'm at the other end of the state from you, with my own set of technical difficulties. Good luck.
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