Simple compact antenna

#1
I wanted a simple compact antenna for a good signal location with some very special needs. Low cost, bi-directional, VHF UHF, small, and easy to build.
TV Fool
I need some UHF gain for the low power translators and the VHF signals are strong enough to sneak in on about anything. What I've put to gather is a UHF closed end 2 bay bow tie with center whiskers. A 9.5"x9.5" 2 bay with 5" end spread on bow ties. Built out of eight inch diameter aluminum rod and PVC. The closed ends ad strength. The center whiskers seem to improve VHF performance. It's based on study of the works of others, and personal experimentation. It provides good reception of the low powers that are on the air down to 44 except 22. 22 is a repeat of 35 and is not needed. The analogs are long gone. 22 is on the air but signal is much lower than what is predicted by coverage maps. 40 and 38 are no longer in use.
I'll try to link photos. That didn't work on my first try. 100_1238.jpg 100_1237.jpg
Steve
 
Last edited:
#2
OK, those are two separate pictures. ;) At first I thought you were living on a house boat or sumpin. :daffy:

Looks pretty cool, Steve. Ten stations altogether, right? All LOS.

R.
 
#3
I count it as nine channels. I don't count repeats. Some older chip sets won't decode 2 of them. On a scan out on the test rig today the 2008 Samsung said 17 channels found on a scan. When you sort it all out that's nine separate programs. There is only one local TV station KCWC PBS. The other 2 VHF repeat Casper channels. 44 is a repeat of KCWC. The original idea was to cover the more populated area of this high desert mountain valley with high band VHF and use low power UHF to fill in gaps. Things were a bit better here a year ago then they are now. Broadcast money trail politics. Rabbit ears.info, and TV Fool can't begin to keep up with the way things change here. Mistakes in FCC data base that take a long time to get corrected.
The little antenna does it's job. It's about equal to a dipole on VHF and works as a bi-directional 2 bay on UHF. It does receive channel 22 it just way below the rest of the UHF signals. The antenna is about 20.5"x14.5". The closed ends were done for strength. On an open end I would go 10". I know the closed end adds some capacitance end loading. It's all seat of my pants guess work. With changes in feed line, transformer, and antenna location it's working a bit better then the 4 bay it replaced. By the signal quality meter lost a bit on channel 8, but have plenty to spare there. Gained on everything else. The 4 bay is a far better antenna. I just made so many other improvements it all balanced out. It's not a super antenna. It's a compact antenna system that works for this location.
Steve
 
#4
Rick The 2008 Samsung is the one I have access to that is new enough to decode everything correctly. A 2005 Panasonic Viera has some serious problems with one of the translators as does a Dish VIP722 with ATSC module. In my travels helping others I've ran across a few other receivers that have problems. I would guess it's 2007 and earlier receivers that have problems. I'm certain not all of the early receivers were out of the supply chain in 2009. I saw some mail order new NTSC televisions in a sale flier last year. It can be hard to explain to people that the Black Friday TV they bought new in 2006 won't work, and the VHF antenna they hauled to the dump is the one they needed to keep. This valley is over 60 miles across and quite hilly in between VHF is by far the best way to cover the heaviest populated parts of the valley.
Steve
 
#5
I count it as nine channels. I don't count repeats. Some older chip sets won't decode 2 of them. On a scan out on the test rig today the 2008 Samsung said 17 channels found on a scan. When you sort it all out that's nine separate programs.
See, now I'm getting all confused again. :boxer: Station, I say, not channels! 9.1, 9.2 and 9.3 are three channels, one station. I always count repeats. Man, am I supposed to count 4.1 and 5.1 as one channel cause they're both NBC??? News is different, anyhow... :behindsofa:

The antenna is about 20.5"x14.5".
Man, what happened to 9.5"x9.5" 2 bay with 5" end spread? You doin that on purpose? Make up my mind!

The closed ends were done for strength. On an open end I would go 10". I know the closed end adds some capacitance end loading. It's all seat of my pants guess work. With changes in feed line, transformer, and antenna location it's working a bit better then the 4 bay it replaced. By the signal quality meter lost a bit on channel 8, but have plenty to spare there. Gained on everything else.
See there? Yer a genius.

I didn't know a tuner could have problems "decoding" just one of several modern stations. I'm sure different resolutions, etc. have different "standards" for marking off lines or whatever. If it's not programmed, then you won't get it. But are you sure your various tuners aren't just more sensitive on different frequencies?

Yeah, 2005 is pretty old. Digital transition in Canada was August 31, 2011, so I'm sure if you work at it, you can buy any old thing.

Rick
 
#6
Rick There is an ATSC signal being transmitted in this area that will not decode properly on some early receivers. It will show good signal and a solid lock in the add local menu on the Dish VIP722 but will not play audio when you find where the receiver put it. On the 2005 Panasonic it will not play audio, or channel map correctly. I've seen this with other older receivers I've had the pleasure to work with. I knew that you would think of tuner sensitivity issues from what I had written. The owner of the transmitters says it's operator error on the part of the TV owner. 2007 or newer TVs do not have problems with any of the translator signals. Overlapping coverage from carrying the same programing is common here in a good signal location and is needed to cover areas that are not good locations. Example 5.2, 10.2, and 2.2 are KTWO SD 2.1 is KTWO HD. I count that as one channel. To add to the confusion I receive KTWO SD from 4 different transmitters, and KTWO HD 2.1 from two diferent transmitters. Yes it is confusing. I feel quite lucky to live in a part of Wyoming where broadcast signals are available. I Stated antenna dimensions as element length per side 9.5" by element vertical spacing 9.5" 5" element end spread add 1.5" for center space between elements. Over all dimensions 20.5"w x 14.5"h about 2" thick counting the tubing. I really don't know a better way to write this. I do not have the skills post a full set of plans. My computer skills are not good. In this part of the world 2.4 mbps is considered high speed broad band and we've only had that a couple of years. Where I've lived most of my adult life the phone line would only support voice when the weather was good. With out internet I had very little use for a computer.
Steve
 
#7
Rick There is an ATSC signal being transmitted in this area that will not decode properly on some early receivers. It will show good signal and a solid lock in the add local menu on the Dish VIP722 but will not play audio when you find where the receiver put it. On the 2005 Panasonic it will not play audio, or channel map correctly. I've seen this with other older receivers I've had the pleasure to work with. I knew that you would think of tuner sensitivity issues from what I had written. The owner of the transmitters says it's operator error on the part of the TV owner. 2007 or newer TVs do not have problems with any of the translator signals.
I still wouldn't call that a decoding issue. I'm trying to think of the right verb ... render maybe? "signal being transmitted in this area that will not render on some early receivers ... Unless the broadcaster is really trying to limit access and exclude certain viewers. Doesn't sound like that's the case here.

I Stated antenna dimensions as element length per side 9.5" by element vertical spacing 9.5" 5" element end spread add 1.5" for center space between elements. Over all dimensions 20.5"w x 14.5"h about 2" thick counting the tubing. I really don't know a better way to write this.
I was really thinking, "Dang, that's a tiny antenna!" :becky:

I do not have the skills post a full set of plans.
That's fine, cause I don't have the hardware skillz to build one! I'm, like, the computer geek of the universe, but I recently ruined a computer by trying to pull a display inverter OUT, horizontally, instead of UP vertically. Fancy, nonstandard inverter. It probably just needed a new one, which is a little $9 item, but now the whole display has to be taken apart and some contact(s) need some new solder. I'll just sell it on eBay. I'll STILL make money on the deal by scarfing the HD, RAM, power supply, and maybe the battery.

In this part of the world 2.4 mbps is considered high speed broad band and we've only had that a couple of years. Where I've lived most of my adult life the phone line would only support voice when the weather was good. With out internet I had very little use for a computer.
Well, 2.4 Mbps IS broadband. ;) It was only 10 years ago or so when a 56 Kbps could get you just about everything -- video (low res)... pages filled with text popping up in a second or two. 56k was actually a lie. It was around 50 times slower than 2.4 Mbps! When most people were stuck with it, it got much better support from web site designers.

I bet you'd be surprised how much activity there was (is?) on local bulletin boards in your area. All you need there is a phone line. If it's not a good connection, it knocks down to 24k or even lower. Where the internet sucks, other options rise up like Lazarus from the dead. There used to be ways to get limited internet access from the BBS networks, like Fidonet. I had a free internet email account years before I had internet.

I might be all wet about BBSes where you live. I've always lived in a pretty big city, right in between two mega cities -- Milwaukee and Chicago. I've driven all the way from Gary Indiana to Mequon, WI. 150 miles, at least 4 hours with Chicago traffic -- all one megalopolis.

R.
 
#8
Rick in this part of the state lives a man who has devoted his life to providing television signals to the rural people both broadcast and pay TV. I was born here, and have seen many of his projects come and go. A real television pioneer who at times sought out distant tv signals and re-transmitted the from local hill tops and mountain peaks. In the past the broadcasters welcomed his work. Larger coverage area. That is not always the case today. No re-transmit fees. Rumor has it charter cable still uses his signals as a back up. Hum that's what the tower with xg91 on top pointed at his transmitters is for. The local PBS station still turns to him as a parts source when over night is not fast enough. I personally do not get along with the man very well. That story goes way back. I did talk to him a couple of times in 2012 and got some good advice. A very knowledgeable man.
Decode may not have been the right word. It's a strong signal, but some pre-transition receivers don't know what to do with it. No audio, and strange channel mapping. 2005 receivers are partially to blame.
I did have some limited internet with a MSN TV box on that noisy phone line when the line worked. With the help of a computer geek spent a couple of months once trying to get a computer to work on that noisy line. When I had the phone line disconnected the phone company was happy to abandon that line. Now 2.4 Mbps wireless is available in most parts of the county for $40. a month.
The area I live in is a semi arid valley between two mountain ranges. A lot of sage brush, cactus. A few trees in areas near the rivers or mountains, and some irrigated farm land. It's mostly dessert. Fremont County, Wyoming - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. I put the link in just to show population density.
If you ask me the sage brush should be the Wyoming state tree.
I thought I would mention yesterday we were down to 4 TV channels. My guess would be power outage on one mountain. One transmitter must have battery back up it ran for a few hours after the others went down. Could still receive KTWO from a different direction.
Steve
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
B Comcast 0

Similar threads

Top