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post #1 of 34 Old 02-05-2015, 07:11 AM - Thread Starter
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West Palm Beach OTA newb

Like many, the wife and I have decided to cut the cord. I have a boat load of questions, but it seems that I need recommendations on a quality antenna. Here is my TV Fool report...

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...2c15d7716807dd

Can anyone recommend a good antenna?
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post #2 of 34 Old 02-05-2015, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ratm View Post
Like many, the wife and I have decided to cut the cord. I have a boat load of questions, but it seems that I need recommendations on a quality antenna. Here is my TV Fool report...

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...2c15d7716807dd

Can anyone recommend a good antenna?
For the top few stations on the list, I would recommend using a paper clip . For the stations to the south of you in the Miami area, I would recommend a high-VHF and UHF combination antenna. The Antennacraft HBU33 mounted on a roof will do the trick, as it would receive your high-VHF stations WSVN and WPLG as well as all the rest. I wouldn't recommend using an amplifier or preamp, that could make the situation worse where you live. Point the antenna toward Miami, and you should be good on all West Palm Beach and Miami stations. The noise margins for the Miami stations are somewhat low, but not out of reach.
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post #3 of 34 Old 02-05-2015, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
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For the top few stations on the list, I would recommend using a paper clip . For the stations to the south of you in the Miami area, I would recommend a high-VHF and UHF combination antenna. The Antennacraft HBU33 mounted on a roof will do the trick, as it would receive your high-VHF stations WSVN and WPLG as well as all the rest. I wouldn't recommend using an amplifier or preamp, that could make the situation worse where you live. Point the antenna toward Miami, and you should be good on all West Palm Beach and Miami stations.
paper clip. Awesome . But YIKES, that antenna is huge. So....

1. I need an antenna that is No bigger than my current direct tv dish, so I can place it right next to it and be some what discreet with my HOA.

2. That said is there one that you can recommend that I can put in my attic?

3. Facing Miami? I really don't care about getting Miami stations, but if I can get the West Palm stations clear as a bell by facing it towards Miami, then its a win win.
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post #4 of 34 Old 02-05-2015, 08:01 AM
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paper clip. Awesome . But YIKES, that antenna is huge. So....

1. I need an antenna that is No bigger than my current direct tv dish, so I can place it right next to it and be some what discreet with my HOA.

2. That said is there one that you can recommend that I can put in my attic?

3. Facing Miami? I really don't care about getting Miami stations, but if I can get the West Palm stations clear as a bell by facing it towards Miami, then its a win win.

An HBU33 is a small outdoor antenna. You cannot compare TV antennas to satellite antennas. The HOA cannot tell you what size TV antenna you can have on your own house. The FCC has mostly pre-empted that.

You can likely get the top 10 stations in your list with an attic mounted ANT751 pointed somewhere between 270 and 350 degrees. Those stations at 180 degrees will require an outdoor antenna pointed in that direction. If you'd like to get both markets you could go with two antennas, one in the attic and one on the roof with an A/B switch in the house.
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post #5 of 34 Old 02-05-2015, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratm View Post
paper clip. Awesome . But YIKES, that antenna is huge. So....

1. I need an antenna that is No bigger than my current direct tv dish, so I can place it right next to it and be some what discreet with my HOA.

2. That said is there one that you can recommend that I can put in my attic?

3. Facing Miami? I really don't care about getting Miami stations, but if I can get the West Palm stations clear as a bell by facing it towards Miami, then its a win win.
If you don't care about receiving anything from Miami, then you don't need much. The RCA ANT751 is a smaller outdoor antenna that has good enough gain to give you what you want. Indoor reception may be unpredictable, even in the attic. But you can give it a try if you want. I just know it didn't work for me because my house has aluminum siding, and I couldn't receive all the Cleveland stations about 20-25 miles away.

The Mohu Leaf is also a good indoor antenna. But it's not really designed for high-VHF reception, and you have a few of those channels.
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post #6 of 34 Old 02-05-2015, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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THANK YOU!!! Both of you, for your input. Next question set...

1. If I go with the HBU33, can I use ONE for two tv's?

2. I know that RG6 is the standard here, which I have. Can I use the existing DirecTV RG6 that is wiring my whole house?
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post #7 of 34 Old 02-05-2015, 08:50 AM
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THANK YOU!!! Both of you, for your input. Next question set...

1. If I go with the HBU33, can I use ONE for two tv's?

2. I know that RG6 is the standard here, which I have. Can I use the existing DirecTV RG6 that is wiring my whole house?
Yes and yes... that's what I did when I moved into my house. I just reused the existing coaxial cable that was already wired to each room by the cable company.
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post #8 of 34 Old 02-05-2015, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes and yes... that's what I did when I moved into my house. I just reused the existing coaxial cable that was already wired to each room by the cable company.
Awesome. Since I will effectively be splitting the signal, do I need to amplify it at all to keep the quality at both TV's excellent?
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post #9 of 34 Old 02-05-2015, 10:02 AM
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Awesome. Since I will effectively be splitting the signal, do I need to amplify it at all to keep the quality at both TV's excellent?
If you split the signal to two TV sets, you're reducing the signal by about 3.5 dB in just the splitter alone. RG-6 coaxial cable has a loss of around 1 dB for every 18' of length at channel 52 (less for lower channels). I wouldn't recommend an amplifier or preamp. It will more than likely cause overload for you. It does for me. An amplifier has never helped where I live, and I have noise margin values around the same high range as you do. Most of the time, nearby FM towers can overload your amp, and make TV reception worse. That's why I wouldn't recommend it. If you reduce the signal 3.5 dB with a splitter, as you can see, that reduction subtracted from the noise margin values will leave you WELL above the threshold of zero in order to receive a decodeable picture. So I wouldn't worry about it. You're not aiming to get Miami anyways. FYI, I get several channels with noise margin values around zero with no amp and a splitter to two TVs.
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post #10 of 34 Old 02-05-2015, 10:20 AM
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Have you even TRIED a pair of Non-Amplified Rabbit-Ears????? Or the RCA Non-Amplified Flat Panel?????
Here's a summary of various INDOOR Antenna Comparisons....you need one with at least SOME Hi-VHF (Ch7-13) Performance:
I'm still using rabbits ear antenna for my HDTV, need better stronger Antenna signal

Near TV (away from Metal) and (even better) Attic would be good locations for these Antennas, if you don't have some unusual amount of attenuation due to a Metal Roof....in which case locate near a WINDOW....or Outdoors.

Here's a good price on ANT-751 (upgrade to typical "Indoor" Antenna), Free shipping to your local store for pickup:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/10828410?w...872274&veh=sem

Fol. is an even lower cost ($15 with Free Prime 2-day shipping) UHF 2-Bay Bowtie alternative that should also be adequate for Ch12/13 since they're so strong:
http://www.amazon.com/Eagle-Aspen-EA.../dp/B000GIT002

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post #11 of 34 Old 02-05-2015, 12:16 PM
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I don't see an ABC affiliate in West Palm Beach. Is it a subchannel of one of the other stations?

Oops, didn't realize you are in Lake Worth, Fl.

I would start with the ANT751 in the attic, but it may need to be outside for the ABC station 40 miles away. PLUS the local stations are not all in the same direction, so aim may be tricky since they are close to 90° apart.

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post #12 of 34 Old 02-05-2015, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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ABC is WBPF 25
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post #13 of 34 Old 02-05-2015, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd rather not try something first only do have to change it to something else.
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post #14 of 34 Old 02-05-2015, 02:59 PM
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I'd rather not try something first only do have to change it to something else.
Then go for the HBU33. It won't look that big when it's up on your roof.

I liked that antenna so much when I had it on my roof that I purchased one for my family's vacation cottage in Ontario. It works excellent up there in the middle of nowhere.

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post #15 of 34 Old 02-05-2015, 04:45 PM
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My reason for recommending the ANT751 is because it is not as directional. The spread between the locals may be a problem with too directional of an antenna.

Mount the antenna outside in the clear & you should be fine. It is small enough that it will not draw any more attention than your satellite dish.
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post #16 of 34 Old 02-05-2015, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
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My reason for recommending the ANT751 is because it is not as directional. The spread between the locals may be a problem with too directional of an antenna.

Mount the antenna outside in the clear & you should be fine. It is small enough that it will not draw any more attention than your satellite dish.
Thank you and that makes sense. Stupid newb question here, but are any of these antenna's capable of receiving 1080p once the networks get around to broadcasting in it?
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post #17 of 34 Old 02-05-2015, 05:51 PM
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Thank you and that makes sense. Stupid newb question here, but are any of these antenna's capable of receiving 1080p once the networks get around to broadcasting in it?
The antenna has nothing to do with resolution. If 1080p ever comes to broadcast TV the antenna will still work the same.
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post #18 of 34 Old 02-05-2015, 08:48 PM
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To receive your weakest stations (ABC, CW) you need to point the Antenna more towards 340-deg (re True North) than the powerful stations towards as far away as 270-deg. [And perhaps also 359-deg for a total Angular Spread of 89-deg....at RIGHT ANGLES...but not to worry, it CAN be done....unless Multipath causes some nasty reality bites.]

RCA must figure that customers are only confused by "Specs"...so they don't disclose any for pretty much ANY of their products. However, if you look at the W-G HD7000, you'll see that the UHF element on the Front of the Antenna are identical to ANT-751...and the long elements on the HD7000 for Ch2-13 have be redesigned with shorter elements designed for Hi-VHF (Ch7-13). I modeled ANT-751 and found that the Hi-VHF performance was very close to the HD7000...and of course the UHF performance is Identical:
http://static.highspeedbackbone.net/pdf/HD7000R.pdf
Note that UHF (Ch14-51) Beamwidth varies from 75-deg on Ch14, to 56-deg on Ch33 and ONLY 40-deg on Ch50....and note deep nulls off to the sides.

Antennacraft is only a BIT better...they provide ONE NUMBER for the entire Band but don't indicate whether it's a MIN, a MIX, an AVERAGE...or something else....and don't want to confuse us with actual Azimuthal Pattern Charts. FWIW, they claim 52-deg Beamwidth for HBU-33 in UHF Band....I'm guessing it's probably AVERAGE, based on specs for "similar...sorta" W-G HD-7674P, with UHF Beamwidth of 61-deg on Ch14, 54-deg on Ch33 and 46-deg on Ch50:
http://www.tvantenna.com/products/tv.../HD-7694P.html
Actually UHF (front) part of HBU-33 looks more like CM-3018, but I couldn't find any specs...but from fol. Azimuthal Pattern Charts, it's a LESS than 50-deg over most of the NEW UHF Band:
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/CM3018.html

OTOH, 2-Bay Bowtie with Reflector like above Eagle (and old DB-2) provide 60 to 50-deg Beamwidth across UHF Band...which makes it the BEST CHOICE from a Beamwidth point of view.

BUT, once you point towards your weakest station, the strong ones are going to come in no matter WHICH direction they come in on, cuz Gain is significant in ALL directions, as shown the fol. EXAMPLE Old DB-2 (Eagle may have better performance...but like many other mfrs, NO SPECS):
http://imageevent.com/holl_ands/mult...refl/addb2refl

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post #19 of 34 Old 02-06-2015, 06:25 AM
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To receive your weakest stations (ABC, CW) you need to point the Antenna more towards 340-deg (re True North) than the powerful stations towards as far away as 270-deg. [And perhaps also 359-deg for a total Angular Spread of 89-deg....at RIGHT ANGLES...but not to worry, it CAN be done....unless Multipath causes some nasty reality bites.]

RCA must figure that customers are only confused by "Specs"...so they don't disclose any for pretty much ANY of their products. However, if you look at the W-G HD7000, you'll see that the UHF element on the Front of the Antenna are identical to ANT-751...and the long elements on the HD7000 for Ch2-13 have be redesigned with shorter elements designed for Hi-VHF (Ch7-13). I modeled ANT-751 and found that the Hi-VHF performance was very close to the HD7000...and of course the UHF performance is Identical:
http://static.highspeedbackbone.net/pdf/HD7000R.pdf
Note that UHF (Ch14-51) Beamwidth varies from 75-deg on Ch14, to 56-deg on Ch33 and ONLY 40-deg on Ch50....and note deep nulls off to the sides.

Antennacraft is only a BIT better...they provide ONE NUMBER for the entire Band but don't indicate whether it's a MIN, a MIX, an AVERAGE...or something else....and don't want to confuse us with actual Azimuthal Pattern Charts. FWIW, they claim 52-deg Beamwidth for HBU-33 in UHF Band....I'm guessing it's probably AVERAGE, based on specs for "similar...sorta" W-G HD-7674P, with UHF Beamwidth of 61-deg on Ch14, 54-deg on Ch33 and 46-deg on Ch50:
http://www.tvantenna.com/products/tv.../HD-7694P.html
Actually UHF (front) part of HBU-33 looks more like CM-3018, but I couldn't find any specs...but from fol. Azimuthal Pattern Charts, it's a LESS than 50-deg over most of the NEW UHF Band:
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/CM3018.html

OTOH, 2-Bay Bowtie with Reflector like above Eagle (and old DB-2) provide 60 to 50-deg Beamwidth across UHF Band...which makes it the BEST CHOICE from a Beamwidth point of view.

BUT, once you point towards your weakest station, the strong ones are going to come in no matter WHICH direction they come in on, cuz Gain is significant in ALL directions, as shown the fol. EXAMPLE Old DB-2 (Eagle may have better performance...but like many other mfrs, NO SPECS):
http://imageevent.com/holl_ands/mult...refl/addb2refl
From the look of the TV Fool report, it appears that it wouldn't matter which direction the antenna is pointed in order to receive the nearby locals (if using a roof mounted antenna). Shove a paper clip in the coaxial input of the TV, and that would probably be adequate. Those noise margins are really high for the top 6 stations. In fact, I have similar noise margins for a few of my stations, and the coaxial cable alone picks up the strong ones, no antenna even connected!! These are in overload territory. That is why I would use an antenna pointed south... then all locals and Miami can be received too. I'd be interested in hearing how this works out.
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post #20 of 34 Old 02-06-2015, 07:12 AM
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That is why I would use an antenna pointed south... then all locals and Miami can be received too. I'd be interested in hearing how this works out.
I too would experiment with so many signals available. It's nice to have 2 markets with all the sub-channels & alternative programming these days.
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post #21 of 34 Old 02-06-2015, 02:15 PM
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Hey, any antenna you get today is also going to be "4K Ready", so no worries about 1080P!
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post #22 of 34 Old Yesterday, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, two more questions.

Picture 1. This is the station that I need that is furthest from my house and I need to be able to pick up this station. Will the HBU33 work? I am a little confused about the color pattern. What exactly does it mean (I think signal strength but I am not sure)?

Picture 2. I MUST have the stations ranging from the station due north of my (Hobe Sound) to the ones due west of me. I am thinking its about 100ish degrees total range. Do I aim the HBU33 north since the ones due west of my house are so close?
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post #23 of 34 Old Yesterday, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
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Ok, two more questions.

Picture 1. This is the station that I need that is furthest from my house and I need to be able to pick up this station. Will the HBU33 work? I am a little confused about the color pattern. What exactly does it mean (I think signal strength but I am not sure)?

Picture 2. I MUST have the stations ranging from the station due north of my (Hobe Sound) to the ones due west of me. I am thinking its about 100ish degrees total range. Do I aim the HBU33 north since the ones due west of my house are so close?

This has already been answered. See my post #4 above. The pictures aren't really of any help. Colors farther from the transmitter mean weaker signals.
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post #24 of 34 Old Yesterday, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
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This has already been answered. See my post #4 above. The pictures aren't really of any help. Colors farther from the transmitter mean weaker signals.
Thank you for the reminder. I plan on getting the HBU33 and mounting it to the existing DTV pole that is attached to my house.
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post #25 of 34 Old Yesterday, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Welp, scratch the whole project. I broke off the Cable input on the back of my F8500. FML

pardon me while I go throw up...

What are my options short of trying to have a Samsung repairman come out and replace the coax input? Would something like this work?

http://www.epvision.com/HDTVSTB/phd208main.htm

or this

http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp...u=020572070010

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post #26 of 34 Old Yesterday, 08:26 PM
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Sure you could use something like that, or you could use something like this that has recording capabilities to an attached USB hard drive. http://www.amazon.com/Channel-Master...eywords=dvr%2B My wife was a bit reluctant to drop the DirecTV, but the DVR capabilities and the included channel guide sold her on OTA. It made the transition easy for her and now she loves it and is glad we made the change. I have found the dual tuners to be just as sensitive as the tuners in any of my TV sets.
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post #27 of 34 Old Yesterday, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Sure you could use something like that, or you could use something like this that has recording capabilities to an attached USB hard drive. http://www.amazon.com/Channel-Master...eywords=dvr%2B My wife was a bit reluctant to drop the DirecTV, but the DVR capabilities and the included channel guide sold her on OTA. It made the transition easy for her and now she loves it and is glad we made the change. I have found the dual tuners to be just as sensitive as the tuners in any of my TV sets.
That looks pretty awesome, especially when attaching a ext HDD. However, before the input broke off, I couldnt get more than 17 channels. I am not sure if I need something to record a ton of shows with just the basic channels coming through.
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post #28 of 34 Old Today, 05:33 AM
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Actually, having recording capabilities can compensate for a limited number of channels available if you carefully look through the guide for shows of interest during off hours and on the minor networks.
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post #29 of 34 Old Today, 05:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Actually, having recording capabilities can compensate for a limited number of channels available if you carefully look through the guide for shows of interest during off hours and on the minor networks.
Hmmmm. Ok, next question. Would this set up be possible...

Antenna to channel master DVR (or something like it) via coax. Then DVR to AVR via HDMI. Then AVR to TV via HDMI.
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post #30 of 34 Old Today, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by ratm View Post
Ok, two more questions.

Picture 1. This is the station that I need that is furthest from my house and I need to be able to pick up this station. Will the HBU33 work? I am a little confused about the color pattern. What exactly does it mean (I think signal strength but I am not sure)?

Picture 2. I MUST have the stations ranging from the station due north of my (Hobe Sound) to the ones due west of me. I am thinking its about 100ish degrees total range. Do I aim the HBU33 north since the ones due west of my house are so close?
I'm not sure which TV station that is in the coverage map, but if you get the HBU33 and point it south, you still have a pretty good chance picking this station up from the back of the antenna. Here is the gain of the similar HBU44... http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/HBU44.html

Notice that there is still a decent lobe out the back of the antenna that could potentially pick up that channel AND also pick up your weaker stations to the south. It's worth a shot. I would try different rotations of the antenna to find what you prefer, but I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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