Need antenna advice for Kitty Hawk area - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-23-2013, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
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My BF wants to ditch cable and try OTA, but he doesn't know if he can even get any decent reception where he lives. This is the report from TVFOOL:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d1ddafbde22ecf6

It looks pretty dismal to me, but I'm not sure I know how to read the results. Any advice? His house is one story, and there are a lot of trees around. There is a radio station tower about quarter of a mile away - if that makes any difference at all.
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post #2 of 14 Old 02-24-2013, 04:48 AM
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Basically the report shows the stations are very weak to receive. Generally the 3 important columns I look at are NM(db), miles, and path.

NM is basically the strength. Anything in green or yellow is receivable. Once you get into the red area where the NM is just above 0, reception does become more difficult. In the purple area, it becomes almost impossible. On your report, NBC and FOX are way down at the bottom.
Dist miles is how far away you are from the transmitters. In your case you are about 60 miles away and the towers are to the NW of you , indicated by the 321 Deg compass reading.
The path is how the signal gets to you. If you have no hills or obstructions in the way, and you are fairly close to the tower like PBS, then you have Line of Sight, or LOS. If you have a mountain/hill or 2 in the way in your way, your signals must bend around it either once or twice, this is called 1 Edge, or 2 edge. Tropo is basically saying you can only get a signal during certain atmospheric conditions.

Do your have neighbors around you that have an antenna that you can ask how there reception is?

I would re-run the tvfool report, but this time plug in the antenna height at lets say 25 feet. Height of the antenna is a major factor in receiving channels.

If you did want to attempt this, you will need a BIG Vhf/Uhf antenna mounted outside with an amp. Buy stuff at like Radio Shack so if it did not work, you can always return it easily.
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post #3 of 14 Old 02-24-2013, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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I entered 25 feet in, and it did change the results considerably. I don't think there are any neighbors on this road have an outdoor antenna, but I'll have him check.

Here are the results.


http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d1dda3c6c5792fc


We've been looking at antenna's online, but really don't know what kind to get. I've not really seen any specific recommendations for any on the TVFOOL site. Antennaweb use to give suggestions based on your address, but I don't see that there anymore. Do you have any suggestions as to a good antenna? He would want UHF and VHF, of course.

http://www.amazon.com/Winegard-HD8200U-Platinum-VHF-Antenna/dp/B001DFS4BI/ref=pd_cp_e_0
Would something that that be a good choice?

What about an amplifier? Do those come with the antenna or do you get those separately?
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post #4 of 14 Old 02-24-2013, 11:06 AM
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As long as the place isn't in trees, Norfolk is doable with the right equipment.

A deep fringe UHF/high-VHF antenna (or combination) with a decent pre-amp will do the job. Not difficult, just big.
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post #5 of 14 Old 02-24-2013, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ProjectSHO89 View Post

As long as the place isn't in trees, Norfolk is doable with the right equipment.

A deep fringe UHF/high-VHF antenna (or combination) with a decent pre-amp will do the job. Not difficult, just big.

He does have trees...lots of them behind the house, and across the street. No tall trees that block the roof though, so would that be okay?

I really was hoping for a specific antenna recommendation, there are SO many different kinds. Does the brand matter? Can we really get a decent one at Radio Shack?
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post #6 of 14 Old 02-24-2013, 11:29 AM
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Here are a couple of specific recommendations. I like the Winegard brand. I live in West Texas and we have a great deal of high winds and sever weather. Didn't the Wright Brothers work in Kitty Hawk due to the steady winds and of course there can be hurricanes.
The Winegard HD-7698P is their largest VHF/UHF antenna and would be suitable for your area. Since the only major network on VHF is ABC on channel 13, if ABC is not an absolute must and you would be willing to take a chance that it may not be received, I would be tempted to try the Winegard HD-8800. It is a UHF only antenna of a completely different design that has a much lower wind load than the large combination antennas. It also feels like a bit of a shame to have half of the combo antenna devoted to VHF to receive that one channel. One could always add a VHF high band only antenna to the mix later if ABC became a higher priority.
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post #7 of 14 Old 02-24-2013, 11:35 AM
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When it comes to the issue of trees, what is important is if the signal has to pass through them on the way to the antenna. In other words, if you have a clear line of sight in the direction of Norfolk, they won't be an issue. If you cannot get out from behind them, they will likely bite you in the backside, especially when they're wet and the wind is blowing.
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post #8 of 14 Old 02-24-2013, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister B View Post

Here are a couple of specific recommendations. I like the Winegard brand. I live in West Texas and we have a great deal of high winds and sever weather. Didn't the Wright Brothers work in Kitty Hawk due to the steady winds and of course there can be hurricanes.
The Winegard HD-7698P is their largest VHF/UHF antenna and would be suitable for your area. Since the only major network on VHF is ABC on channel 13, if ABC is not an absolute must and you would be willing to take a chance that it may not be received, I would be tempted to try the Winegard HD-8800. It is a UHF only antenna of a completely different design that has a much lower wind load than the large combination antennas. It also feels like a bit of a shame to have half of the combo antenna devoted to VHF to receive that one channel. One could always add a VHF high band only antenna to the mix later if ABC became a higher priority.

ABC would be a channel he would definitely want.

As far as the others, I don't understand how NBC and CBS are not also on VHF. I live 50 miles away, and those channels are 10 and 3, at my house. confused.gif What am I missing?


The Winegard HD8200 list these bands:
Bands: Lo-VHF H-VHF UHF

The HD7698 lists these:
Bands: H-VHF UHF

Would he be better off with the 8200?
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post #9 of 14 Old 02-24-2013, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProjectSHO89 View Post

When it comes to the issue of trees, what is important is if the signal has to pass through them on the way to the antenna. In other words, if you have a clear line of sight in the direction of Norfolk, they won't be an issue. If you cannot get out from behind them, they will likely bite you in the backside, especially when they're wet and the wind is blowing.

Well I am sitting here looking out the window, towards Norfolk. And I see trees...lots of them. But they are pines..and it's certainly not a solid wall of them...I mean, I can see lots of sky though them. I guess we'll just have to try it and see.
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post #10 of 14 Old 02-24-2013, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chessie View Post

ABC would be a channel he would definitely want.

As far as the others, I don't understand how NBC and CBS are not also on VHF. I live 50 miles away, and those channels are 10 and 3, at my house. confused.gif What am I missing?


The Winegard HD8200 list these bands:
Bands: Lo-VHF H-VHF UHF

The HD7698 lists these:
Bands: H-VHF UHF

Would he be better off with the 8200?

10 and 3 are the virtual channels. You have to look at the real channel column in the report.
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post #11 of 14 Old 02-24-2013, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepier View Post

10 and 3 are the virtual channels. You have to look at the real channel column in the report.

Ah. I see. Never knew there was a virtual and a real channel. Interesting.
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post #12 of 14 Old 02-24-2013, 12:37 PM
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No need for an 8200 although a 7698 would certainly be applicable.
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post #13 of 14 Old 02-24-2013, 01:28 PM
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I agree on the 7698.
Quote:
There is a radio station tower about quarter of a mile away - if that makes any difference at all.
That worries me. I ran an FM station report using your approximate location.

FM stns OBX - Copy.JPG 119k .JPG file

If you enter your exact address at fmfool.com you will get a more accurate report. That radio station is probably WCXL which has a very strong signal of +12 dBm. Fortunately it is in the opposite direction, so it might not give you trouble from overload if you don't use a preamp. If you do use a preamp for your weaker stations like WAVY on real CH31 for NBC, then you would need an FM trap or even two in series.
Quote:
What about an amplifier? Do those come with the antenna or do you get those separately?
It would be separate from your 7698.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg FM stns OBX - Copy.JPG (119.0 KB, 5 views)

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post #14 of 14 Old 02-24-2013, 02:03 PM
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The presence of that FM station also means that your pre-amp must be well shielded (that eliminates all the ones with only a plastic case over the circuit board) to prevent ingress and that it must be both sensitive and able to withstand very strong signals without going into overload. Very few amps meet those criteria and I only know of one but it's been recently discontinued (CPA19).
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