Hoople, North Dakota: Antenna recomendations - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-11-2013, 09:23 PM - Thread Starter
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http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d1ddafce574be95

To save money my dad has canceled cable and I am trying to help him get more then the 2 channels (WDAZ, KNRR) he can now get with rabbit ears. There is an old VHF only antenna that has not been hooked up for almost twenty years on a tower on the roof of his two story home, and used to get in the analog days WDAZ, KNRR, KVLY, KXJB, KGFE. Now only WDAZ and KNRR are VHF and the others moved UHF when they went digital. Looking at this situation do you think replacing the old VHF antenna with a large VHF/UHF antenna like the Winegard HD8200U or maybe keeping the old VHF antenna and adding a large UHF antenna below it like the Antennas Direct DB8e would give him a chance at regaining those now UHF stations, or is it a lost cause? Anything else we can try?

Thanks for you help!
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-11-2013, 10:35 PM
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I would probably recommend against getting a dual VHF/UHF antenna and instead think about adding a UHF antenna to the VHF one that's in place now. I don't know much about the Antennas Direct model you mentioned, but I see that it's multi-directional. To have even a shot at getting KVLY and KXJB, a better option would probably be to get a purely directional antenna, and the biggest, most directional one you can find at that. You also don't really need a multi-directional UHF antenna since all the UHF stations with the biggest chance of coming in are all located in the same general direction. The Antennas Direct 91XG or Winegard HD9095P would be a couple of options. if you point it just slightly to the east of due south from Hoople, you should have a good chance at picking up PBS station KCGE on channel 16 and you might have a shot at getting KVLY and/or KXJB. Northern Walsh County is really at the very edge of the KVLY and KXJB broadcast areas, though. Still, if it's any consolation, I've observed firsthand that TV Fool is a touch too conservative with the predicted coverage areas of those stations. The computer model probably underestimates how powerful those stations are with their very tall towers and the incredibly flat terrain of the Red River Valley.

Now, as for the VHF antenna, if what you have now is a directional design, I would imagine it's pointed to the south in order to pick up all the stations that used to broadcast on VHF. If that's the case, I would try to flip it so that it points to the north-northeast. Although not listed on the TV Fool chart, CKY, the CTV station in Winnipeg, broadcasts a digital signal on channel 7 from a site near Ste. Agathe, MB. Hoople is about 75 miles by air from there, and, like KVLY and KXJB, right about at the edge of the station's coverage area. But it can't hurt to try for it. The antenna would not be aimed in the right direction to pick up WDAZ, but that station is close enough and strong enough that orientation of the antenna might not matter as much. Picking up CTV would definitely be a bonus, especially if you are unable to get CBS (KXJB) and/or NBC (KVLY), since some of the shows your dad might be interested in watching on those networks could be broadcast on CTV.

If you do decide to go the route of a separate VHF and UHF antenna, I would also recommend a preamp just because you'll absolutely need all the signal you can get for the UHF stations and CKY. You can get a preamp with separate VHF and UHF inputs to accommodate two antennas.
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-12-2013, 03:41 AM
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The DB8 is very directional despite its being (mis)labeled as "multi-directional".

There is no point to a large, all-channel antenna such as the 8200 since there are no low-VHF channels in range. Reception o fKBRR isn't needed since KNRR is easily received, even with rabbit ears.

The DB8 or the new DB8e would actually be good choices for the UHF stations from Fargo and Grand Forks. A rotor might be needed to "tweek" the aim of the antenna. A very sensitive pre-amp is also needed.
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-12-2013, 07:22 AM
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The new DB8e allows you to aim each side in different directions, or aim in one direction for a very strong directional 8bay design.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-12-2013, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for everyone’s advice so far.

I know Antennas Directs has published theoretical specs for the DB8e without combiner losses, but does anyone know the real world performance yet in Db gain on the DB8e yet to better compare them?

Is the 23 degree separation of the UHF stations enough that the slightly more aiming friendly panel antenna DB8e is worth the extra cost over the directional antenna HD 9095P?

What is a good amplifier for this application combining the VHF and UHF antennas, boosting the weak signals and not overloading the two powerful VHF signals?

How critical is the spacing between the two antennas, my pole is long enough that I should be able to get three feet between the old VHF and a directional UHF, but a tall panel like the DB8e will be getting rather close to the old VHF antenna.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-12-2013, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
I know Antennas Directs has published theoretical specs for the DB8e without combiner losses,

Please refer to the footnotes on page 1 of the Technical Data Sheet which states in engineer-speak "Pattern computed using array theory..." which encompasses said combiner losses when the panels are no longer in phase.

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