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Best 6-13 VHF antenna in deep fringe?

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Old 10-19-2009, 07:15 PM   #1  
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Default Best 6-13 VHF antenna in deep fringe?

I'm looking for a high-gain antenna for channels 6 - 13. I'm in a deep-fringe and problematic area, with mountain-tops 360 degrees around me. Lat: 42.60216111111111 Long: 74.7123

I've already installed two antenna systems at my property, one about 200' from the house and the other 450'. All is working well, but I'm trying for more channels, especially VHF.

I'm going to install a third system up near the top of one hill, about 600' feet from house. It is the best chance I've got to get certain VHF channels from approx. 60 miles away. I'm going to run burial-grade flooded RG11 in conduit, and a ultra-low noise British preamp (4/10ths dB noise rating).

I've already gotten channel 6 (oldest TV station in the USA?) on a test antenna. It's a 30 year old Radio Shack antenna that was 18' long until I cut part off. I have no idea what model it is. It laid in my farm dump for almost 20 years, so it seems I can do better.
I get one channel 7, but there are two 7s available here - each at an oposite direction. One channel 7 comes in from the valley on one side of me. The other 7 comes from the direction of this hill. Even though the channel 7 up on the hill is supposed to be the strong one, I haven't been able to lock into it yet.

So, mainly, up on the hill I am targetting channels 6, 7, 8 and 13.

I'm finding out that many if not most VHF-only high-gain antennas are no longer made. That includes the Wade-Delhi VIP 306 or 307. Wade quit. Ironically, I recently found out that the Wade-Delhi was named for the town of Delhi near me. The antennas got their start there, and later moved to Canada. Maybe special designed for this hilly area?

I've read many gain charts, posted by companies and also by individuals with test gear. Best gain antenna I'm seeing at the consumer lever is the VHF/UHF Channel Master Crossfire CM 3671? I've read some forums where it can be tweaked, the UHF part removed, and VHF gain enhanced.

Anybody got any suggestions as to a better possible alternative?
I'll add that the highest gain figures for VHF, at least as posted, are by Blonder Tonque for their single-channel antennas at almost $300 each. So, to get four channels (maybe), it's $1200 plus parts to join them together. That I'm not willing to do. Also, I know that many gain specs are bogus, and I have no way of knowing if the Blonder Tongue specs are accurate. Here are some specs I've found in several places. Considering the prices, the CM3671 seems the best bet, unless I find something else in the same price-range.

VHF antenna by channel with NET gain (not company posted gain)
except for the Blonder Tonque specs. Those ARE company specs.

Chan 6 - BlonderT BTY- 9.2 dB,WN HD7698 - 7 dB, CM3671-7dB
Chan 7 - BlonderT BTY-13.2 dB, CM 3671-12.8 dB,HD7698-9.8 dB
Chan 11-BlonderT BTY-13.2 dB,WN HD7698-9 dB, CM36710.5 dB
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:46 AM   #2  
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

Your situation is unique because most people fights to get good UHF reception and you are trying to get good VHF reception.

About the only answer I can give to you is good luck.

The Winegard 8200U antenna will more than likely suit your needs as well as any other VHF antenna out there.

Just make sure that your pre amplifier is set up for VHF. Most European amplifiers are set up for UHF only because of how they reassigned their channels all up into the UHF.

Loss in the wire will not be a big problem due to the fact that there is much less loss in VHF frequency spectrum then in the UHF, so even a long run of R 11 is not that big of a deal.

Your biggest problem is going to be getting the antenna up high enough and finding a rotor to turn it and building a relay system that will run the remote rotor box up on the tower.

One of the biggest challenges will be amplifying the television while blocking out the radio signals. Channel 6 will probably give you fit's.

Good luck and come back and tell us how you made out.
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Old 10-20-2009, 12:30 PM   #3  
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Hi and welcome to the forum.
The Winegard 8200U antenna will more than likely suit your needs as well as any other VHF antenna out there.
I already have two HD8200 antennas. One here and one at my house in Michigan. My only compliaint with it is the build quality. I suspect it will not handle the wind that we get here late winter and early spring.
I already have two antenna systems here and am building a third. Basically, I keep working my way up the mountain behind my house. The HD8200 here, is down low pointing out at the valley. It catches many channels on both bands from the Interstate highway. But, it gets nothing when pointed up the hill. I put it up this spring, and already, two directors in front have been broken off by wind. They are held on by cheap plastic connectors. Also the entire antenna is sagging under it's own weight, i.e. it does not have enough supports as it comes out of the box. I know the 8200 used to be truck-shipped only, and was built different. Now that it's been changed so UPS can ship, I think it's been cheapened. Being Chinese probably doesn't help.
I'm going to have to reinforce it before winter and make some repairs and improvements on it. ON the other hand, I've got a huge RadioShack 18' long antenna that I bought new in 1979, and it's been very rugged. Not so sure about it's reception though, and I have no idea who actually made it.


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Originally Posted by JB Antennaman View Post
Just make sure that your pre amplifier is set up for VHF. Most European amplifiers are set up for UHF only because of how they reassigned their channels all up into the UHF.
No problem there. The company in England makes models specific for Europe, USA/Canada, or Australia. For the USA/Canada market, it makes a model 9262 that covers VHF/UHF for US/Canada channels 2 to 51. 23 dB gain and a .4 dB noise figure which is incredibly low. That's 4/10ths, not 4 dB.
They also sell USA amps for channels 14 to 51 amp and for 7 to 13.
55.00 for ann of them. With shipping, amp alone costs $120 US dollars. Power supply adds to the cost, but it can use just about any 8 to 20 volt DC unit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JB Antennaman View Post
Your biggest problem is going to be getting the antenna up high enough and finding a rotor to turn it and building a relay system that will run the remote rotor box up on the tower.
Height is not an issue here, since height makes no difference in gain with most channels. TV Fool shows no extra gain until the 100 foot mark (which I'm not going to do). I already have a rotor on my system that's approx. 500 feet distant from the house. I buried UF 14 gauge cable to run it and it works fine. But, with this new installation, on the hilltop with even more wind- I'm not going to install a rotor. I want to put up one good VHF antenna with a fixed position, and dual UHF antennas above it - both also fixed but pointing in different directions.

At this point, I've been surprised at the lack of VHF antennas. But, I guess, the over-the-air industry in general almost died in the USA - due to Satellite and cable TV. I suspect now, with the digital change, there is more interest again - but not many, if any US companies in the business anymore.

Does anybody have any actual test figures with the expensive, commericial grade Blonder Tongue antennas? I don't trust the company's claimed specs without some other verification.
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:51 PM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdemaris View Post
So, mainly, up on the hill I am targetting channels 6, 7, 8 and 13.
You could build your own antennas. I'm willing to design a large channel 6 for you. So far, I have a 4 element design configured for 3/4" diameter element material. (3/4" surplus CATV line) The feed is a split element direct fed 75 ohm with no folded dipole. That antenna may be big enough for you. The gain specs are similar to the Antennacraft Y5-2-6.

I had the Antennacraft antenna up during the ice storm on December 11-12, 2008. It survived without any damage. That may be all that you need.

To try for both channel 7s you may want to take a look at stagger stacking. As shown it's optimized for stations 180 degrees apart. Your's are 152 degrees apart, but I don't know the exact direction of your bounce shot for WBNG.
http://www.anarc.org/wtfda/stagger.pdf
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:54 PM   #5  
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Originally Posted by jdemaris View Post
Chan 6 - BlonderT BTY- 9.2 dB,WN HD7698 - 7 dB, CM3671-7dB
Chan 7 - BlonderT BTY-13.2 dB, CM 3671-12.8 dB,HD7698-9.8 dB
Chan 11-BlonderT BTY-13.2 dB,WN HD7698-9 dB, CM36710.5 dB
The Winegard HD7698 doesn't work on channel 6.
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:57 PM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB Antennaman View Post
Channel 6 will probably give you fit's.
There are no FM stations near his house.
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Old 10-20-2009, 02:05 PM   #7  
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Im going with the Delhi VIP 307.
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Old 10-20-2009, 04:09 PM   #8  
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Im going with the Delhi VIP 307.
That was going to be my choice, but Wade no longer makes it. No VIP-306 or VIP-307. They stopped making all consumer-grade antennas. That according to their USA dealer (Goldcrest) and also, Wade's website.
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Old 10-20-2009, 04:24 PM   #9  
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The Winegard HD7698 doesn't work on channel 6.
My goof. I got that off a color net-gain chart, and had trouble matching up all the lines and colors to the antennas.
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Old 10-20-2009, 04:51 PM   #10  
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To try for both channel 7s you may want to take a look at stagger stacking. As shown it's optimized for stations 180 degrees apart. Your's are 152 degrees apart, but I don't know the exact direction of your bounce shot for WBNG.
That's a very interesting article; thanks.

I don't think I'm going to have trouble with the two channels 7s competing. I doubt I've got a single spot on my property that has a shot at both. My lowest antenna is pointing at Interstate 88 towards Binghamton to get WBNG on 7. In the morning hours, the best signal is at 150 magnetic degrees. At night, there is NO signal at 150, and the best signal is at 240 degrees. Hard to figure, but I think is snakes its way trough the valley for 50 miles, until it gets here, and "wobbles" a bit. Always comes in well as long as pointed properly. As to the other 7, since I've never locked into yet, I don't really know where the signal comes from. But . . . I'm hoping it will come from the same direction that I'm getting channel 6 and channel 12 from. Channel 6 and 12 both have their transmitters in New Salem and Channel 7 is in New Scotland. All very close to each other. At present, I can get 6 and 12 almost perfect, both coming from 90-100 degrees magnetic. Just a few freezes and pixelizations, now and then - and that's with a 30 year old antenna that is pretty beat up. That's why I'm going further up the hill - to get a better shot at the mountain top where these signals are coming from. It's also why I want to use the best VHF antenna I can find.

I'm in hopes of finding one antenna for all 6-13. I'm already planning on putting three antennas on the mast, and I'll run out of room with any more. Hopefully, one VHF with 6-13, and dual stacked UHF antennas.

I wish I knew if the specs on the Blonder Tongue single-channel antenna are really true. I suspect they don't even make it. I looked close, and I think it's actually a Wade commerical Taco antenna.
But, even if they are true, I might spend the money for a channel 6 antenna - since I know I'll get it. But for 7? I could spend all that money, get no signal, and then be stuck with an esoteric antenna.
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:01 PM   #11  
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Having one antenna for channel 6 and channels 7-13 is a very large compromise.

The 1/4 wave length for channel 6 is about 34 inches (length of one element) whereas the 1/4 wave length for channel 7 is about 16 2/3 inches.

Trying to incorporate both into one antenna would also risk introducing FM which starts just above channel 6 at 88 MHZ.

Your best bet is a VHF highband antenna like the Winegard HD 7698P (7-13) and a seperate custom made yagi for channel 6 only.

You already have the HD8200 which is the best all channel antenna, anything else, other than seperate antennas, would be a step down.
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:08 AM   #12  
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Having one antenna for channel 6 and channels 7-13 is a very large compromise.

. . .
You already have the HD8200 which is the best all channel antenna, anything else, other than seperate antennas, would be a step down.
Yes, the HD8200 does seem to be very good as far as all-around reception goes. Before I mounted my 8200 down low pointing at the valley, I installed it temporarily up on the hill (where I'm working now). It did NOT get channel 6. Mounted where it is now, it does get other VHF channels, including RF 7, RF8 and RF12. At the time when I tested for RF6, and could not find it, I just assumed it was not available from my property - considering the HD8200 is about as good as it gets (I thought). But, later, I installed and old montrous Radio Shack antenna that I'd bought in 1979. It was about 18' long, but I cut a large section off the front of it. I don't know what that section did (maybe UHF?) but it wasn't hooked to anything, i.e. the elements had no wires going to them. It's still a mystery to me, and I don't remember what model it was when I bought it years ago.
To my surpise though, when I pulled it out of my farm dump, and stuck it up on a pole - is channel 6 started working. So, I know channel 6 is available, and I know the HD8200 won't pull it in.

Subsequently, maybe you're comments about compromising are dead-on. When I tried the HD8200 and did NOT get 6, I was using a preamp with a FM trap, but have no idea why I could not get 6 with the HD8200 and DO get it now -using the same amp on that old Radio Shack antenna. Maybe removing a large part of improved it in some way? Or maybe, sitting in farm dump for 20 years and getting bent and corroded knocked out some other parts of it, making it work better on 6? Keep in mind, that channel 6 is supposed to be the "flamethrower" in my area, with by-far, the strongest signal, even though it comes from 40-50 miles away. I had been assuming the mountains were blocking it, but maybe it does have something to do with FM also.

The closest FM radio station is 22 miles away - but it might cause some problems. I recall using FM traps years ago, to clear up some analog signals on VHF that had herringbone patterns. That was when I lived at a different location, not far from here but with a better shot at the sky.

I'm going to buy the YA -1026 for channel 6 if I can find one somewhere. It was discontinued by Winegard, but SolidSignal still lists one. Also an AntennaCraft Y10-7-13 for hi-band. Same place has one for sale cheap, as a "return." I'll join with either a hi-low combiner, or a Jointenna, tuned for just 6 on the low-band antenna.
I suspect channel 6 will be around for awhile. It was the first TV channel in the USA, and I think maybe keeping it is a matter of prestige for the company - whoever that is now. Was originally General Electric. So, for this area, it's worth spending some money on a special antenna.
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Old 10-21-2009, 08:21 PM   #13  
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That was going to be my choice, but Wade no longer makes it. No VIP-306 or VIP-307. They stopped making all consumer-grade antennas. That according to their USA dealer (Goldcrest) and also, Wade's website.
damn!....wish I had bought and extra one while they still made them....damn damn damn...thats the only vhf antenna that really does the trick here with all the hills and great distance between me and any vhf stations....
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Old 05-06-2018, 09:36 PM   #14  
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Ok stack 2,8200,u and lol

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Old 05-06-2018, 09:57 PM   #15  
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Default Damn wish I had bought 2 of them!!!

[QUOTE=smdp1;952229]damn!....wish I had bought and extra one while they still made them....damn damn damn...thats the only vhf antenna that really does the trick here with all the hills and great distance between me and any vhf lol

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