OTA antenna help - Coralville IA - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 01-21-2013, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,

I decided to unload my monthly cable bill a week or so ago - before I had done a ton of research on how I might go about getting the locals OTA. This led to some mad scrambling towards the end of the week in order to be able to watch the NFL conference championships yesterday. A few years ago, I built a DIY coathanger antenna to tide me over for the 5 days or so between calling the cable company and them actually installing service. Since I still have that antenna, I rechecked and adjusted all the dimensions, and then installed it in my attic / crawl space last week.

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with the coathanger antenna feeding an HDHomerun, I get the following channels with very few dropouts or artifacts KIIN (12), KWKB (25), KYOU (15), k20kf, KCRG(9), KGAN (51), KFXA (27), and KRIN (35). I also get KWWL (7) but intermittently with plenty of dropouts.

My question is - do I stand to benefit much by substituting a cheap commercial antenna (something like a channel master 4220 or similar) for my homemade one? Or might I be better off continuing to tinker with the DIY antenna (haven't added reflectors yet or anything like that). Since I'm only going to be in this house for another 8 months or so, I don't want to invest tons of money / time into this project (i.e. probably not interested in exploring roof or other exterior mount options), but if I could upgrade the antenna to get KWWL more consistently along with better reception of the channels I already receive, that seems like it would be worth it.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 3 Old 01-23-2013, 05:10 AM
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The 4220 is not really going to help because it is a UHF only antenna. And KWWL 7 is a VHF channel that is a weak signal down on your tvfool list.

Obviously the best thing to do would be to get a more conventional VHF/UHF antenna and mount outside, but given that you do not want to really put too much money or time into this project, I would try moving your homemade antenna around in the attic and find a sweet spot. The higher you go, the better. And try to point the antenna to the NNW.
To get KWWL more reliably, maybe you can add a VHF rabbit ears to your UHF antenna, and join them with a combiner. But keep in mind KWWL is 51 miles away at 1 edge reception ( signal has to bend over a hill). So it is a lot to ask for an indoor antenna. Thats why putting it outdoors would at the very least increase chances of better reception.
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post #3 of 3 Old 01-24-2013, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Mike, that's a great point, and somehow the VHF / UHF thing completely slipped my mind. I will have a look and see how much I really care about having NBC, then give the VHF antenna + combiner approach a shot if I indeed opt to keep tinkering.
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