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Go to the Deep Fringe than 30 more miles, thats where I live

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Old 04-07-2009, 09:22 PM   #1  
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Default Go to the Deep Fringe than 30 more miles, thats where I live

I see alot of people calling the deep fringe 45 miles, 50 sometimes 60 and I read "tigerbangs prescription" for the deep fringe but I was wondering if that deep fringe package fits all ? zip 71832.. long -94.47296 lat 33.95730. I bought into the hipe over the RS U-75R saying it could receive UHF signals from 75 miles out. I am also using a CM booster Ummm... its day two now and I cant get it to even register a signal on my antenna meter, not even 1% just 0, been to tvfool and the antenna.org place, I even contacted the FCC . I would like to pick-up one station KTAL out of Shreveport, transmitting from 77.6 miles away. will that deep fringe package work here or do I need to look at other deep fringe packages and what would those packages be called I was thinking of building something like the tower to babel to get elevated enough. I would like to use that google earth program on tvfool to see the reception area in 3d but I dont have a fast enough internet connection. I was wondering if UHF signals can even travel that far ?

Curious Mike

Last edited by Small Engine; 04-07-2009 at 10:10 PM.. Reason: more info
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:12 AM   #2  
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Those "distance figures" have always been contrived. The receiving antenna is the last thing influencing reception range (in some circumstances, a station 5 miles away cannot be received with -any- antenna, in others, a 3' metal whip can get a TV station at 3800 miles!).

You are likely just too far away for reliable reception of KTAL. Distance is limited by the fact that the earth is a sphere. Per fcc.gov, KTAL transmits from 1490' above average terrain. At ground level, on flat terrain, KTAL's transmitter can be "seen" at ground level for roughly 50 miles. Beyond that, you'll have to add further distance by adding height at the receiving end. To add 27 miles, you'll need about 450' of antenna height (unless you're on a hill or cliff hundreds of feet over the land in the direction of KTAL, you'll need a tower that high!).

You should expect to -see- KTAL with your U-75 on occaission. Not reliably, but not particularly rare. Tropospheric refraction can allow UHF radio waves to "bend" around the curvature of the Earth, and, if KTAL really is a million watts ERP, it shouldn't take much to do it.
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:35 AM   #3  
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Contrary to the implication that you need line-of-sight to to the transmitters to receive stations, it is possible to pick up stations over the horizon by 15 to 25 miles if you have the right anenna and enough antenna height. Your choice of a Radio Shack U-75 ws unfortunate, as you need more raw gain that that antenna provides. Even with the BEST available equipment, however, reception can be sporadic at 75 miles. You didn't mention which Channel Master preamplifier you have, but a Channel Master Titan 7777 plus an AntennasDirect XG-91 aimed in the right direction, with at least 50' of antenna height will give you a fighting chance at reception.
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:17 AM   #4  
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I only partly agree with itsmultipath after looking at google earth and
your center of zip code TVfool report. You appear to be at least a 100 feet higher up the dirt pile than the KTAL transmitter. But I too have a slow internet connection, try a public library to get better terrain figures.

Your KTAL is not going to be very strong, but its not so weak as to be hopeless. I think Tigerbang has it basically right.

Your main problem is the radio shack U-75R wimp, only 40" long and at best a medium range antenna. I have the radio shack VU-160XR and its 140" long. And even then, its not designed to be a deep fringe reception antenna. The radio shack range claims are horribly inflated.
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:16 AM   #5  
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Don't make too much of the 140"/40" length ratio of the VU160 over the U-75. The VU160 is an all-channel antenna, and it's huge size is mainly used on channels 2 through 6. On UHF, the VU160 is as good or marginally better than the U-75.

I may have underestimated the radio horizon for channel 15 when calculating the horizon for KTAL. I know the radio horizon is longer than the optical horizon and decreases with frequency (which is why low-VHF carries so far with a good antenna). I had used 1.30 in place 1.22 in the formula (view in miles = sq root [altitude in feet] x 1.22) for the optical horizon. I've never seen any mathematical figure for the radio horizon at 476 MHz.

Do keep in mind that if your antenna is a mere 36' above the ground, you add another 8 miles or so of "view" to the station's 50-odd mile "view".

At any rate, such deep-fringe reception may still present problems. If you had a high-gain antenna and a very-high gain amplifier, you may be able to pull in KTAL, but with a rare tropo duct, you just might find yourself watching WPMI in Mobile instead!

Last edited by itsmultipath!; 04-09-2009 at 06:44 AM.. Reason: added reference to rx ant height; changed undesired station to one more realistic
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:44 AM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Small Engine View Post
I would like to pick-up one station KTAL out of Shreveport, transmitting from 77.6 miles away.
Attached are the tvfool results at 20' and 100'. The U-75 with a preamp should just barely receive KTAL at normal heights.

When you consider other antennas, look carefully at the channels that you wish to receive. The highly rated 91XG does not have the best gain on channel 15. The Winegard HD-8800 beats the 91XG from channels 14-34.

See here for details: http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/comparing.html
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Last edited by Tower Guy; 04-08-2009 at 10:58 AM..
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Old 04-08-2009, 03:28 PM   #7  
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As Tower Guy demonstrates, in terms of NM(dB), that extra 80 feet of height buys almost 7 dB in gain, going from below zero to decidedly positive.

But given small engine's rather depressing selection of gettable stations, one has to wonder if the cost of that extra 80 feet is worth it.
And the better investment would be in the best available antenna and preamp , and then trying for maybe 30 or 40 feet in height.
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:10 PM   #8  
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Default All I Want Is KTAL

Thanks for the input Guys !
I didnt think throwing 35 bucks towards getting free tv again was going to be the cure, but that lil rs u75r did get alot of two thumbs up reveiws, including some on this HDF forum, so I said what the heck and gave it a try. I originaly took the old antenna off and put the 75r by itself. I didnt pick-up any signals so I put the old antenna back on with the 75r and wired them together in paralle using coax in place of the flat wire. this is what I have so far..

CM 192” Antenna
CM 0747 Amp with (fm out switch) pre-amp
RS U75R UHF Antenna
Pole 27’ max height

Here is a couple pics taken today showing the two antennas together and a pic of the landscape towards KTAL, notice the antenna is shooting right thru the power lines to my house, which I'm sure dosnt help matters. Tower Guy thanks for those links. If I read the chart right on the Antenna Comparing link the Winegard PR-8800 8-Bay Antenna is the best one for getting Channel 15, I'm asuming that you posted HD-8800 because thats the new part number ?. Both 4228 and the 8800 8-Bay antennas have better gain and it makes sense because they have more surface area to collect signals.
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Quote:
But given small engine's rather depressing selection of gettable stations
Thanks For Understanding...

So it looks like I'm going to have to upgrade to a tower and a 8-Bay antenna and possibly up-grade my booster/amp from a CM 0747 (which I have no specs on ) to a CM Titan 7777. I would rather make a one-time payment to get back to Free TV than go back to being a Dish-aholic with those reoccuring fees for life.

So those Yagi style antennas arnt for the real deep fringe areas ? Maybe I can use it when they start putting up all those repeating stations someday. I think they should have spent the money on building repeating stations instead of spending millions maybe billions on those coupons IMHO.

Mike
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:18 PM   #9  
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I very much doubt small engine is correct with "Maybe I can use it when they start putting up all those repeating stations someday. I think they should have spent the money on building repeating stations instead of spending millions maybe billions on those coupons IMHO."

Unlike you, I happen to live with 20-30 miles of quite a few low power repeater type stations, including one exactly 18.6 miles away that my antenna is almost directly pointed at. And I don't get a single one of those LP stations.

Sadly and unfairly, small engine may be a loser in the digital TV transition and be doomed to be on the wrong side of the digital cliff.
But to get within range to be helpful, there would have to be an exponentially increasing number of LP stations needed to do any good if we have to drill down to the basic 10 mile ranges. For almost all people, the coupon program is far more cost effective.

But still, you shoud, with a proper antenna and preamp, to get those two Shreveport stations, and with multicasts, you might get some more useful variety.
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:17 AM   #10  
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Wow! When I saw that tv fool screencap, I thought it was a mistake, but it's not! I never knew there was such a vast empty zone East of the Rockies.

I agree with NonMcTubber about the future (or lack thereof) of OTA where Small Engine lives. Places like his (also Upper Michigan, the High Plains and the deserts of the Southwest) theoretically -never had- analog OTA TV (locals disregarded the engineers, put up big antennas on tall towers, and lived with poor, unreliable reception and/or very few stations).

Not only is the population density low, but, precisely because reception is poor, and channels are very few, cable and satellite penetration is near-perfect in such areas. Hence, any translators one could install would likely go ignored.

In a way, I -envy- Small Engine's location, it sounds FANTASTIC for TV DXing, a hobby he should probably take up! And, he dosen't have to live with desert or semi-tundra weather. If he tried, he could get a lot of good analog DX (Canada, Mexico and beyond) with the big VHF antenna, and some good digital DX (even with the U-75).

I would strongly recommend seperate coax runs for the two antennas.

Last edited by itsmultipath!; 04-09-2009 at 08:19 AM.. Reason: minor corrections
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Old 04-09-2009, 06:23 PM   #11  
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I agree that living in the Boone-Docks has its advantages , but I still have to rely on local resources to find the equipment I will need to get the Free Digital signal before the April 16th cut-off date, thats when KTAL will stop transmitting a analog signal. I have been learning more about tv signals, antennas, amplifiers than I thought I would need to know. This is a good forum and I appreciate the feedback. I just got back from the local Radio Shack with a 15-2507 High-Gain Amplifier and pluged it in to my old antenna and WOW what a difference, It says its a 30db gain amp and I think I bought it because it has the FM out switch and Gain adjusting knob on the power souce, thats inside the house, and this gives me something to play with anyway I'm pretty impressed right now over what a minor change in an Amplifier can do! or was it just the 300ohm to 75ohm transformer that came with the Box ?

Do I Dare Hook It Up to My lil u-75r ?
Not Tonight... I'm going the watch Law & Order in what looks like HDTV to me

DXing ? sounds interesting, let me look into that

Mike

Last edited by Small Engine; 04-09-2009 at 06:29 PM.. Reason: 300 75 transformer
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:52 AM   #12  
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I'm watching KTBS channel 3 on analog this morning and I have rarely ever received it before, it looks like it is transmitting from just down the street. KTAL is clear as a bell, but still a analog signal. I might be experiancing that "Tropospheric refraction" right now because of some thunderstorms that have just passed by over the last 24hrs. I'm not saying that the RS equipment is the "real deal" I'm just saying whatever works is fine with me. I have scanned for digital signals this morning and still havnt received any, but I still havnt hooked-up that lil U-75 yet. I think when I get back home today I will give it a go and see if I can get some digital signals. I'm almost positive I will need to raise my antenna higher tho. 6 days and counting till the analog goes by-by I am very confident that I will be able to receive the Free Digital singnals, I just need to keep testing, testing, and upgrading where I can. My next purchase will be a rotor so I can do some DXing.

Mike
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:18 AM   #13  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Small Engine View Post
I might be experiancing that "Tropospheric refraction" right now.
This is how to determine if you were getting tropo this morning:

http://www.dxinfocentre.com/tropo.html
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Old 04-10-2009, 06:07 PM   #14  
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Default Free Digital 100% pure

I put the 300 ohm to 75 ohm transformer on the lil U-75R. and then from there, everything was cable that screwed together not twisted together..ant to the preamp to power supply to the digital converter then to the TV. I attached the audio and video cables between the converter and tv....I turned on the tv and turned to channel 3, then I turned on the converter. I ran the autoscan and it found one channel in digital....40% peak and the low flucuates. I'm sure the tropo has alot to do with it. I think I'm still verticly challenged tho. I left the old antenna on the pole unpluged, because the signal is working and I dont know if the new antenna is getting some refraction off the old one ? "if it aint broke dont fix it"

New Antenna and Amplifier including tax...$100
Free Digital...Priceless

Thanks Tower Guy for that handy link

I'm under buget and ahead of shcedule on this program....I need to find more tv equipment to buy

Mike
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:14 AM   #15  
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Default Invest in Tv Antenna and Amplifier Stocks

The Tropo Gods gave me the Show of Shows last night…3.1,3.2,3.3,6.1,6.2,10.1,12.1,33.1,45.1 I really appreciate them coming over and hanging out at my house, I even offered them a beer, but I guess they don’t drink ?, even as they packed there bags this morning they provided me with 3.1 and 6.1 (my fav) alas as the Tropo Gods moved on to bless others and now the sun is high in the sky and the clouds have cleared, my signal has started to fade, but this story is long from over.. I havnt even turned my antenna towards the West, East or North yet!
I know my old antenna and flat wire amplifier was the Latest Greatest back in the day..12 years ago. I have asked the local folks what they are going to do when they turn off the analog signal
Quote:
“well where gona hook up that box thing-a-ma-jig to our ol antenna and everything is going to OK…Right ?”
I try to advise them that they should start hooking it up now before the cut-off date and see if it works, and if it dosnt , then you will need to update your antenna and amplifier to something more HDTV friendly. Dont delay.. test your converter box today

PS.. If I had the money, I would invest it in Channel Master, Winegard and Radio Shack Stocks, because when they start pulling the plugs on analog, all hell is going to break loose IMHO.

OK OK... back to testing and testing. I was thinking of putting a roller bearing assy on my antenna so I can spin it like the "Wheel of Fortune" and then run Autoscan again.



Mike

Last edited by Small Engine; 04-11-2009 at 05:09 PM.. Reason: typo
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