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Lafayette, TN seeking Nashville stations

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Old 03-03-2018, 09:57 AM   #1
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Default Lafayette, TN seeking Nashville stations

Trying to help out my inlaws here. The current goal is to serve ONE television, but wouldn't additional TVs in the future be nice?

They currently have one TV, less than 100ft of cable, no splitters, and what appears to be a ClearStream 2MAX outside, strapped to the side of an old mast about 6ft from the ground.

The mast has an ancient but bent, wideband antenna on it, about 30-40 ft. or so from the ground, but there's something wrong with the connection up there and now, zero signal. Prior to the connection going bad, the old antenna seemed passable. Don't recall how reception was exactly.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...903843cbaface8

(They don't care about Bowling Green, about same distance but it's obviously in the other direction.)

Issues:
NO Ch. 8 PBS (it's close enough, but the transmitter is in a different direction from CBS/NBC/FOX/ABC and the Clearstream isn't super strong on VHF)

NO CBS. My understanding is that the real channel is 25 ... direction and transmitter power seem OK. It's possible their TV has simply been "auto programmed" to skip virtual channel 5, but I doubt it.

********
But enough station details for now. Do I:

a) just raise the ClearStream 2MAX to where it should be, up on the mast (with new cable, proper ground etc.)

b) try the big-ass antenna again (with new cable, proper ground etc.)

c) buy a different antenna (that can also do VHF Hi) where it should be, up on the mast (with new cable, proper ground etc.)

Bonus question, what's the best way to get to the top of the mast? Take it down, make antenna and antenna connections while on the ground, then hoist back up? The mast is in the ground, right near the side of the house, but I don't see anyone reaching over the roof edge for any of this! As it is, we'd need a super long ladder to disconnect the mounting bracket from the side of the roof area.
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Old 03-03-2018, 12:00 PM   #2
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I'd go with option C, and make it a big one, one that can do both UHF and VHF,
but the TV station for CBS on channel 8 is below the horizon for your location (marked as a first edge station see the link below) so you would have to go much higher to get a direct signal.

Link to the horizontal plot for TV station WNPT- channel 8.
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...ALLTV%26n%3d13

As you can see your location is being blocked by terrain (the Earth) try going higher on your TVfool reports to see if you can clear the ground, if over 60 feet you may need a tower for the antenna.

Also a quick fix for those other stations in the other direction is a TV antenna rotor, that way you can get them all. (with in range)

As far as working on the antenna and mast it's better to do this on the ground if possible, is the base mount for the mast on a hinged support?? If not then you may need a bucket truck.

If you have never raised a tall antenna mast before then I would suggest to hire someone who has, as it can be quite tricky and dangerous if you have electrical wires close by, and things can get out of hand if you don't have enough helpers.

The best mast is one that is a telescoping type, these type can be very easy to setup and raise, one like the one below.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Channel-...1850/203763038

Last edited by Terryl3; 03-03-2018 at 12:06 PM..
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Old 03-03-2018, 04:51 PM   #3
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Thanks Terry.

Ch 8 (WNPT) is Nashville Public Television (PBS) but I get what you're saying about the terrain. That helps explains the problem!

I don't see them messing with a rotor to get the Bowling Green stations. All they really want is Nashville.

The old mast is "just" in the ground, not hinged. I know of at least one helper who has volunteered to install a new antenna up there, so we'll snag him for sure. I doubt he has a bucket truck but my father-in-law has a John Deere 4010 with a front end loader that might get tall enough.

I've "ridden" in that a couple times, working on barn roof edges and such. I don't think the power lines are near the antenna area. I kinda doubt the front end loader will reach that high, and that we'll need to somehow yank the mast up and out of the ground to take it down where we can work on it. We'd still need to unattach it from the gable support.

I really like the idea of a telescoping mast, but it's probably best to use what's already there unless we can find a deal on a tower.

Is there a an antenna you like that can reach down to VHF HI well enough to snag ch. 8?

At my old house in GA I was in a similar situation with regard to distance and terrain, trying to pick up ATL stations northwest of ATL. There, I used an AntennasDirect XG-91 for most, and a Winegard YA-1713 for VHF-HI. It worked decently until after a few years the wind started to twist the antennas and I couldn't easily tighten them back up against the mast.

We will go as high as possible. What I learned in GA was that a 5-ft. mast on the roof peak was not enough, but a 10-ft mast locked everything in. It held great, without guy wires.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Terryl3 View Post
I'd go with option C, and make it a big one, one that can do both UHF and VHF,
but the TV station for CBS on channel 8 is below the horizon for your location (marked as a first edge station see the link below) so you would have to go much higher to get a direct signal.

Link to the horizontal plot for TV station WNPT- channel 8.
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...ALLTV%26n%3d13

As you can see your location is being blocked by terrain (the Earth) try going higher on your TVfool reports to see if you can clear the ground, if over 60 feet you may need a tower for the antenna.

Also a quick fix for those other stations in the other direction is a TV antenna rotor, that way you can get them all. (with in range)

As far as working on the antenna and mast it's better to do this on the ground if possible, is the base mount for the mast on a hinged support?? If not then you may need a bucket truck.

If you have never raised a tall antenna mast before then I would suggest to hire someone who has, as it can be quite tricky and dangerous if you have electrical wires close by, and things can get out of hand if you don't have enough helpers.

The best mast is one that is a telescoping type, these type can be very easy to setup and raise, one like the one below.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Channel-...1850/203763038
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:57 PM   #4
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I take it back. I don't see on the plot how/why Ch. 8 has a terrain problem. Yes I do see that ch. 8 is way down on power compared to the LOS stations.

But the graphic at the link doesn't mean anything to me. Am I supposed to consider the ERP number?

This is probably all semantics I suppose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terryl3 View Post
... channel 8 is below the horizon for your location (marked as a first edge station see the link below) so you would have to go much higher to get a direct signal.

Link to the horizontal plot for TV station WNPT- channel 8.
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...ALLTV%26n%3d13

As you can see your location is being blocked by terrain (the Earth) try going higher on your TVfool reports to see if you can clear the ground, if over 60 feet you may need a tower for the antenna. ...
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Old 03-03-2018, 08:21 PM   #5
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As to the channel 8 plot, the transmitter is on the far left, you are on the far right, the blue indicates that the signal is skipping over the top of the first hill (or mountain) this will/could cause the signals to come and go depending on the time of day and temperature.

The is what is called a "First Edge" signal, this means that something taller then the transmitter and your antenna is in the way.

Remember the Earth is not flat as some beleave.

If the transmitter is not high enough or your antenna is not high enough then you will/may have signal drop outs with a first edge station.

Redo your TVfool report with the AGL higher and higher (ten foot increments) to see at what height the signals for CH8 become LOS.

Last edited by Terryl3; 03-03-2018 at 08:24 PM..
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Old 03-04-2018, 08:28 AM   #6
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You may want to cross reference tvfool here.
You have a bunch of VHF-Lo and Hi in the surrounding area.

otadtv.com

36.5207 N, -86.02552 E

You might want to consider an HD8200U.
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Old 03-04-2018, 10:26 AM   #7
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Thanks again, Terry. Making more sense now. Looks like we'd have to go up to 65ft before ch. 8 becomes LOS. I doubt they'll commit to that, and the possible locations for mast would start to make power lines a concern for something so tall.

Sev --- Thanks. The only station listed as VHF LO that they care about is the Nashville CBS, but it's really ch. 25 (tvfool doesn't show that)
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Old 03-04-2018, 03:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deckeda View Post
Thanks again, Terry. Making more sense now. Looks like we'd have to go up to 65ft before ch. 8 becomes LOS. I doubt they'll commit to that, and the possible locations for mast would start to make power lines a concern for something so tall.

Sev --- Thanks. The only station listed as VHF LO that they care about is the Nashville CBS, but it's really ch. 25 (tvfool doesn't show that)
Glad to be of assistance.
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:51 AM   #9
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Good day deckeda Winegrud 8200U look's too be your best bet.
With the channel master amp and Rotor .
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Old 03-06-2018, 04:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hdb91xg View Post
Good day deckeda Winegrud 8200U look's too be your best bet.
With the channel master amp and Rotor .
I don't understand. As already stated there's nothing in VHF-LO they want. Or is the 8200U especially strong on VHF-HI?

And is the rotor needed for Nashville PBS because I wouldn't find an antenna with a wide enough pattern? Thanks.
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deckeda View Post
I don't understand. As already stated there's nothing in VHF-LO they want. Or is the 8200U especially strong on VHF-HI?

And is the rotor needed for Nashville PBS because I wouldn't find an antenna with a wide enough pattern? Thanks.
The 8200 is superior to the Clearstream.

Alternatively they could try a DB8E with the VHF addon.

If they do not want to invest a lot. I find that looking on craigslist can be productive for finding large used antenna's.
Old Radioshack such as my VU190-XR are good performers.
Low investment for testing purposes.

Why spend 200.00 when you can get used for 20-40.00?
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:41 PM   #12
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If 8200 is not needed go for the Winegard HD7698 for deep fringe VHF-High/UHF reception when VHF-Low is not needed.

Your CBS is on channel 5 BTY.
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Old 03-08-2018, 06:02 AM   #13
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WTVF's primary license is currently on UHF 25 (moving to UHF 36) at a million watts, the VHF 5 channel is licensed as a translator. They transmit on both frequencies. If you get one, you don't have to chase the other. The UHF allocation is missing from the TVFool database as a result of their recent screw-up.

Comparing a Winegard 8200 to a Clearstream 2 max is a laughable comparison. One is about the size of an SUV, the other comes in a box smaller than a briefcase.

You won't need a rotor to pick up the PBS station (WNPT)as it is only offset by 14 degrees from the much easier to receive UHF stations located along I-24 NW of Nashville.

Realistically, according to your plot, your two high VHF stations are the ones that will be hard (due to their more southerly location with more severe terrain paths to Lafayette). The UHF stations are going to be easy. Something like a 7694 with a preamp would be your minimum, stepping up to a 7698 for its relatively superior VHF reception would be reasonable but you'd still be dealing with a 14' long antenna.
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Old 03-08-2018, 03:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim5506 View Post
If 8200 is not needed go for the Winegard HD7698 for deep fringe VHF-High/UHF reception when VHF-Low is not needed.

Your CBS is on channel 5 BTY.
True enough.
I should have suggested that one as well.

Stacking a couple of 91xg's would work as well.
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Old 03-08-2018, 06:30 PM   #15
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Don't need a couple of 91XGs. All the UHF stations are "easy" per the chart, it's the high VHF channels that are not.
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