Hi, Guys. I must say, I've been following this thread with a great deal of interest, and marveling about the various configurations in whisker length and spacing, as well as construction materials used to build these 4-bay, 8-bay antennas. I'm greatly interested in which would likely serve me best in the zip code 18641.
I, too, like many of you, built the YouTube coathanger antenna, and was so impressed with the results, decided to construct a few of these.- One for each TV in the house. I was sadly disappointed upon buying these multiples of amplified rabbit ears, and the seeing what these cheap, homemade coathanger antennas could do by comparison!
I built mine all as per the instructions on the video, using coathangers on a piece of wood (1"X3"-3' long) I used ordinary drywall screws and steel washers.
Then I began brainstorming, and decided if they could do so well indoors, to the point of shaming some rooftop antennas, what could they do if I could raise them onto the top of my roof?- Then I began to wonder how the steel coathangers, steel hardware and ordinary pine board might fare over time in the weather, regarding rot and rust, and began to concoct a design based on the YouTube antenna, constructed on a pressure treated board of the same size, utilizing all brass hardware and ordinary copper wire. (Both superb conductors, and electrically superior to steel.) I also felt the design left a lot to be desired in structural integrity using ordinary wood screws, and chose to drill the board, securing the "whiskers" and balun transformer attachment with all brass fasteners with screws, nuts and a washer on each side of the board.
I ran about 50' of good RG-6 coax cable up the telephone pole outside my house, putting it roughly 35' in the air outside.
The results were nothing short of phenomenal! I cannot attribute the improvement one way or another to any one thing. I dont know if increasing the line of sight, by raising the antenna was responsible, or the use of better conducting material, or both.
I have plans to concoct and build a larger model of the YouTube antenna, using 8 guage copper ground wire for it's construction (on the basis of the theory of more surface area, as well as for outdoor durability) I am wondering, based on my needs, what whisker length, spacing and spread would work best. My understanding is all of the digital stations are located in the same direction, which is southwest, according to tvfool.com . I don't know if the deflector behind the antenna, making it uni-directional, as opposed to omni-directional would help, either.
I still am coming in short on a few stations. Everything is coming in in analog quite well, as far as that goes in my location. I am recieving all of the digital channels now, but some of them drop out frequently, as signal strength is anywhere between 15 and 50, approximately. Some stations are quite strong, while others are a bit weak, pixelize, freeze and drop signal. I'm wondering which variation of the 4-bay, 8 whisker dipole antenna would be best for pulling in the stions available in my area. One other bit of info: we are in a very mountainous area, located in a valley, so we have a large mountain on either side of where we are located. There are also several, very large pine trees all around us, which I'm sure are posing problems, as well.
The following stations are available in my area:
16.1, 16.2 (49)
44.1, 44.2, 44.3, 44.4 (41)
56.1, 56.2, 56.3 (45)
64.1, 64.2, 64.3, 64.4 (32)
Many thanks, in advance, for any experience, knowledge and help.