Stacking VHF High/VHF Low and UHF antenna vs. an all band? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-19-2012, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone-glad to have found this place! I've been kicking ideas around for "cutting the cord" but still receiving as many channels as possible OTA in HD and otherwise. I live in Northwestern NJ so I have two major markets-Philadelphia and New York-within reach. From researching on TV Fool (Can't link to it yet) most Philadelphia stations should be pretty reliable from my location with an outdoor antenna 30' AGL. NYC TV is more difficult, mostly because of the difference in topography. The terrain gets flatter and lower heading south into the Delaware River Valley toward the Philly transmitters. Heading east toward NYC however, there is a small mountain ridge about 400' higher than my elevation that looks like it plays havoc with signals coming from New York area transmitters. The other complicating factor is the variety of bands in use by the major networks. If I want to be able to watch Philadelphia and NYC news, weather, and sports, I'll need it all-in addition to UHF channels there are the following oddballs that I do want to be able to watch as well.

VHF High
WABC - NYC ABC affiliate
WNJB - New Jersey PBS affiliate
WHYY - Philadelphia PBS affiliate

VHF Low
WPVI - Philadelphia ABC affiliate

At first I considered installing a Winegard HD8200U mounted 30' AGL with a rotor and a quality pre-amp, but in talking with other folks who know these things better than I, I got the following suggestion:

Construct a single mast with the following antennas(starting from the bottom):

VHF Low - Antennacraft Y5-2-6 - Fixed below the rotor aimed at WPVI

VHF High - Winegard YA-171 - On rotor

UHF - Two Antennas Direct 91XGs - On rotor

The VHF stations are all in the green or red range and should be easily pulled in by this setup. Again referring to the TV Fool report, every other major network in NYC broadcasts on UHF, including the all important WNYW (Fox) which is the flagship station of the NY Giants . WNYW is way down in grey territory with a dB of -10.6 so I need all the gain I can get for UHF reception. Will combining the 91XGs get me there? Should they be stacked or mounted side by side? I've seen both configurations but don't know the pros and cons of each. Finally, how much spacing will the VHF Low, VHF High, and UHF antennas need and what would I be looking at for total mast height assuming that the lowest antenna (the Antennacraft Y5-2-6) is mounted 30' AGL?
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-19-2012, 02:49 PM
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Welcome.

Go ahead and post your "truncated" TVFool link. We can figure out the complete URL.
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-19-2012, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arxaw View Post

Welcome.

Go ahead and post your "truncated" TVFool link. We can figure out the complete URL.

Thanks! Here goes...

/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id=67d9bf91f35bdc&t=ALLTV&n=34

I appreciate any insight you can give me. I also thought of another question to kind of sum things up...I think its safe to say that I would get "better" reception with the four antenna rig I posted about above than a single HD8200U, but I guess the million dollar question is, how much better? The four antenna rig will easily be triple the cost of a single HD8200U with a rotor-not to mention be a much more complicated install/design. So the real issue is, would the reception be so good that it would justify all of the extra cost and work?
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-19-2012, 02:58 PM
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http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...=ALLTV&n=%2034

Hopefully, someone with experience with lowband VHF reception will post suggestions.
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-20-2012, 11:15 AM
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I think you're on the right track. You might consider the 120"-long Antennacraft Y10-7-13 instead of the 100"-long Winegard YA-1713, because the Antennacraft was recently tested to have a bit more gain. You might also consider first trying just one 91XG and see how it does on its own before committing to two. Perhaps it will be good down to around -5.0 dB NM or maybe even a bit lower without an amplifier, and your location would seem to be fine for most amplifiers. In order to keep the outside appearance more reasonable, it's perhaps possible (you'd have to test) that the Antennacraft Y5-2-6 might even pick up WPVI-6 from inside your attic since it's your second strongest station (if you have an attic of sufficient size and that antenna could be mounted at the very highest central point in your attic, and joined with the outside antennas appropriately).
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-20-2012, 12:08 PM
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A single 91XG will acheive about a 10% improvement over the 8200 on UHF. I also agree with the Antennacraft Y10-7-13/91XG combo suggestion. It will provide both better performance & less windload, especially important if a rotator will be used. A fixed lowband antenna below the rotator will also keep windload down & offer similar VHF-LO performance to the 8200.
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-20-2012, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcd0865 View Post

I think you're on the right track. You might consider the 120"-long Antennacraft Y10-7-13 instead of the 100"-long Winegard YA-1713, because the Antennacraft was recently tested to have a bit more gain. You might also consider first trying just one 91XG and see how it does on its own before committing to two. Perhaps it will be good down to around -5.0 dB NM or maybe even a bit lower without an amplifier, and your location would seem to be fine for most amplifiers. In order to keep the outside appearance more reasonable, it's perhaps possible (you'd have to test) that the Antennacraft Y5-2-6 might even pick up WPVI-6 from inside your attic since it's your second strongest station (if you have an attic of sufficient size and that antenna could be mounted at the very highest central point in your attic, and joined with the outside antennas appropriately).

For WPVI, I have heard of people getting them with an FM antenna, & might be a better choice than any VHF-Hi antenna. The only other suggestion would other than an all channel antenna, is to get separate VHF-Lo & VHF-Hi antennas (Antennacraft Y5-2-6 & Antennacraft Y10-7-13). Of course, I'm a bit closer to my stations, but not guaranteed this will work for the OP. When I wanted WOCK-CD (RF 4) from Chicago, I took a chance & got the Antennacraft CS600, & luckily, I got WOCK-CD with this antenna for their puny 300 watt (or on STA power of 810 watts). WPVI transmits at much more power than that. It's worth looking into, but given that the distance of WPVI, this antenna might not have enough gain to pull it in. A pre-amp will definitely be needed.
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-20-2012, 03:48 PM
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As far as NYC is concerned, if you are in High Bridge, you'll be OK if you are near the observatory in the stae park, but out of luck elsewhere. Your problem is the hill to the east that Cokesbury Road crosses.

For Philly, KYW seems the strongest, and you should be in pretty good shape with them.

I'd stick with Philly and not depend on NYC.
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-21-2012, 06:39 PM
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Stacking two 91XGs should provide an additional 2-3.5 dB gain over a single 91XG. From my experience and some other DTV DXers, I would recommend stacking them horizontally, side by side, with separation around 40 inches, IIRC. This will make the antennas very directional, increase the gain and help reduce any potential co-channel interference.

I had very good results DXing with two horizontally stacked Triax Unix 100 antennas, virtually the same as the 91XG. I've experimented with various antenna combinations and this is one of the best setups I've ever had. The only UHF antenna I've used that has had a little more gain on channels higher than around 38 is the discontinued Finco P-7, a huge 7 ft. parabolic, which I'm currently using. With WNYW being on RF channel 44, an old parabolic like the Finco P-7 or Channel Master 4251 that's in good shape might add some needed gain for the higher UHF channels. Some great info about parabolics here http://www.rocketroberts.com/cm4251/cm4251.htm Just a thought if you might be able to locate one in your area that's not being used.

As examples, I've attached pics of the previous setup and the current setup. The first picture shows the antenna setup prior to Aug. 1, with two Triax Unix 100 wideband antennas horizontally stacked on the top, with two Triax Unix 100 Band A (ch. 14-38) antennas horizontally stacked just below those antennas, and then a single Funke 1922 VHF high-band antenna at the bottom of the mast. The second picture shows the latest setup as of Aug. 1 with the Finco P-7 on the top and the Funke 1922 below it.

Good luck with your project.
LL
LL
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-22-2012, 10:48 AM
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I had a Winegard 8200 and wanted to improve the UHF reception. I got the best Winegard UHF only antenna and it was worse than the 8200. Sold the UHF only antenna. I have since moved and now use a Winegard 7015 in my attic. All of the above antennas were combined with a Winegard 8275 preamp.

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post #11 of 12 Old 02-22-2012, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick_R View Post

. . . I got the best Winegard UHF only antenna and it was worse than the 8200.

Was it the 9095 or 9032?
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post #12 of 12 Old 02-23-2012, 03:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Rules View Post

Was it the 9095 or 9032?

While I know you're not the one I should comment on, but I have the Winegard HD9032 UHF only antenna, & I get better UHF reception overall than the VHF/UHF/FM antenna I used to have under the Philips name. I would have preferred the Antennas Direct 91XG, but at the time, money was an issue, & had to settle on the Winegard. I however find it even more directional than the Philips antenna I used to have, as the Winegard seems to have a narrower beam, & had to have it aligned just right to get WWME-LD in Chicago.
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