Newbie needs antenna help

#21
To reliably receive stations from the Miami area you are going to need an antenna with some directional gain. Keep in mind strong signals can be received off the back side of many directional antennas.
I'll suggest this one based upon price, and the need for a dual band antenna.
Stellar Labs VHF/UHF HDTV 60 Mile Fringe Yagi Antenna | 30-2440 (302440) | Stellar Labs

I ran across an antenna build site that was new to me the other day that I enjoyed looking at. First he shows his first build and what he did wrong then he shows how he built the next one.
https://somanyhobbies.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/diy-tv-antennas/
Steve
 

robrpb

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#22
Nice to hear from you again Steve.

I have been reading and researching the info and links you have given me. From my studies for my situation I have learned looking at TvFool's report and where the transmitters are located, all but one transmitter are to my south. WBWP-LD channel 25 (local ABC) is the only not to my south, which is to my ENE with a signal of about 70-74%.

I used a temporary setup with the loop-dipole and mounted it about 16-18" in the air. I can get all the channels I want, though on WFOR-TV channel 22(4.1) and AntTv 39.1 the signal is only about 50-54%. I have a couple other channels with low signals, but not like those two.

I was wondering if connecting a reflector is possible with the loop-dipole antenna, and would it help? Steve, I was wondering if the 2 bay antenna in the link you sent in reply #19 would give me more gain and improve the signal for those channels? If so, would it work okay without a reflector or would I need a reflector? How much better is a 4 bay or is that overkill?

Is there an easy way to check the gain on an antenna, similar to checking voltage with a volt meter?

Steve, regarding the antenna from Stellar Labs, my cousin and I would prefer to build one. It is challenging and more fun, at least for now. Thanks for the link for that new antenna website you found, I will check it out. Thanks for your continued help and patience with me. Rob
 
#23
I think you are still confusing real channel numbers which are relative to the frequency a signal is being transmitted on with virtual channel numbers which have no relationship to the frequency a signal is being transmitted on. When selecting an antenna you need to look at real channel numbers as listed on your TV Fool report, or Rabbitears.info.
It would be unusual for both TV Fool, and Rabbitears.info to be wrong. WPBF is listed as an ABC affiliate transmitting on real channel 16 which channel maps on your receiver to virtual channel 25.1 . WBWP is listed as transmitting on real channel 25 and should channel map on your receiver to virtual channel 57.1.
WBWP-LD WEST PALM BEACH, FL
Here is the RabbitEars.info report for your area click on the call sign to see what they are transmitting.
RabbitEars.Info
There is no easy way to calculate antenna gain the best tool we currently have is the free 4nec2 program, and the learning curve to use it is too steep for me. I actually have not yet tried to learn it.
There are quite a few home built antenna designs to consider. I've not mentioned the Gray-Hoverman because I've never built one.
Keep building and learning.
The second 4 bay I built actually worked very good, but by relocating the antenna, and making a few other small improvements in the installation my little 2 bay has worked great. I sometimes have worked helping others in locations in this valley where a VHF antenna is a must, or places where the UHF low power signals in this area are not possible.
Steve
 

robrpb

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#24
Okay, I understand what I was doing wrong. I see on TV Fool that WPBF is channel 16 and broadcasts from my NNW. Thanks.

The main channels I am interested in receiving are:

WPLJ 10
WPEC 13
WFOR 22
WXEL 27
WFLX 28
WTVJ 31
WPXP 36
WAMI 47

I would like to get WPBF 16, but it is not necessary, because it is the only channel to my north, while all the other channels are to my south. I limited the number of channels I listed because I figured the other channels I would like would fall somewhere in between.

This is from DIY Antenna for their 4 bay antenna, "I've found that these 3 sizes do a good job of covering TV channels 7 - 52 but each size has areas where it works best. The larger 10" version works better on the lower VHF-HI and UHF channels, the 9 1/2" size works better in the mid portion of VHF-HI and UHF and the smaller 9" size works better on the upper VHF-HI channels and upper UHF."

From those, which do you think would work the best for my area and the channels I would like to receive? I was thinking the second one, the 9 1/2 size. Rob
 
#25
You really should not have any trouble receiving WPBF unless there is some nearby blockage. A 4 bay antenna with no reflector will not work noticeably better then what you already have on high VHF channels 7-13, but should be a significant improvement on UHF channels 14-51.
I suggest trying a 2bay you can always recycle the elements into a 4bay. Here is one I haven't tried yet that looks to be an improvement over the 10"x9.5" that I've worked with in the past.
UHF H2 (11x12) 2-Bay Bowtie - NO Refl
I would tend to favor the 10"x9.5" or the 9.75"x 9.5" Kosmic SuperQuad. A 9.5"x9" will work fine too.
Your getting a good start by reading from those pages.
You do need to figure out why you lost channels when you tried the antenna you have outside. Something was wrong. The cable? Connectors? The location?
Steve
 

robrpb

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#26
I figured out what happened when I first took the antenna outside and lost some channels. When I took the antenna outside the second time and mounted it high on a pole, I was having trouble again with channels and so I looked for a compass and found one and then I went to TV Fool and focused on one channel to tune it in with a compass setting. When I did that the channels came in. I thought my house pointed due south, but according to the compass it faces just a little to the east and this was my problem, as I was initially pointing the antenna too much to the east. When I first mounted the antenna in my attic I got lucky when I just placed it on a truss. Rob
 

robrpb

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#27
Steve, I built the "UHF H2 (11x12) 2-Bay Bowtie - NO Refl" you mentioned in your reply #25 to me. For the whiskers I used 1/8" metal that is used for hanging drop ceilings. I was very disappointed with the results. I tested it at a height of about 15-18' and I was getting lower signals than with the loop-dipole. I tested it with the help of my cousin. He had a loop-dipole that he built for his house and we were going to test it and compare the 2 of them at the same height. I held the loop-dipole above my head at a height of about 10' and with just rough aiming it, the signal was much better. I did not even have to raise it to the height we had for the whisker antenna. On 1 channel with the whisker antenna the signal was about 10-15%, but with the loop-dipole the signal was about 50%, a tremendous difference. Other channels tested were also better with the loop-diploe, even at a lower height. For some reason I thought the whisker antenna would have more gain,giving a better signal, but that did not seem to be true.

My cousin is looking to build an antenna with more gain than the loop-dipole. He has a 2nd house about 40-50 miles north of me and can only get about 4-5 channels with the loop-dipole. What are some suggestions for building an antenna with more gain? Thanks.
 

robrpb

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#28
I built the loop dipole antenna in this thread back in 2015 with the help of @dkreichen1968 and his design. Thanks again Dan as this antenna has served me well.

I have a couple of informational questions regarding this antenna design. What channels/frequency does the small round antenna get and what channels/frequency does the long oval/rectangular antenna get? Thanks.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#29
Rob,

The oval section is designed to receive high-band VHF (REAL channels) 7-13 and the loop receives UHF channels) 14-37. Neither antenna section is designed or intended to receive low-band VHF (REAL channels) 2-6 but it may.

Jim
 
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