best bet for rooftop antenna in the middle of nowhere? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-14-2014, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi- obviously, this has been covered here a million times, but I'm hoping I can get some good recommendations for the best antenna setup in my area. We do ota tv only, and since the switch to digital, we've been having trouble locating some channels. PBS comes and goes, and we haven't seen NBC in a few years, other than the odd day or two it appears before going away again. Thanks for any input- my tvfool info is as follows:

 

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de1c60ad0e8d514

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post #2 of 14 Old 05-15-2014, 03:15 AM
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NBC is on channel 6, which will require a low-VHF antenna, and PBS is on 42 or 43, depending which one is stronger, and requires a UHF antenna. What antenna are you using now? That would be a helpful starting point.

- Trip

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post #3 of 14 Old 05-15-2014, 06:22 AM
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Also, go to Trip's web site to help you figure out which Phoenix stations are on which of your area translators. Just click on the blue "rabbitears" under Trip's post. This should help you determine which translator site you are receiving and even if your chances would be better aiming at another one.
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-15-2014, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, but NBC is on 2.1 or 12.1 here, and the PBS stations are 8.1 to 8.3. I'm in Prescott, AZ - about 100 miles from Phoenix. Currently, we have a Radio Shack aerial around 8 feet long. I don't recall the model number, as I bought it ten years ago before we moved here.

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post #5 of 14 Old 05-15-2014, 08:43 AM
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Yes, I know where you are, based on your TVFool analysis. K06AE-D appears on your TV as channel 2-1, and thus you will require a low-VHF antenna.

If you do not know your model number, could you post a picture of it?

- Trip

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post #6 of 14 Old 05-15-2014, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Hope this helps- it sits about 25' off the ground right now. Has no preamp, coax runs to two tvs, i believe about 35' to the splitter, then 25' to one tv, maybe almost 40' to the other.

 

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post #7 of 14 Old 05-15-2014, 09:36 AM
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That pic is a medium range UHF/VHF all band combo antenna, made by Antennacraft for RadioShack. Since you seem to have channels on both Low VHF and High VHF, as well as UHF, then that is the appropriate type of antenna. You should investigate as to whether most of those low power translator signals will provide the major networks, as your full power stations appear to be extreme fringe. A larger version of your current antenna would be the Antennacraft C490 now sold at Radioshack. Or a Winegard 8200. But it may be all you need is a good low noise preamp. Such as Winegard LNA-200, Channel Master 7778, or the RCA version. But for problematic fringe signals, a Kitztech preamp may be a better choice. And best fringe antennas are the Antennas Direct 91XG for UHF, and the Winegard 8200 or 7698 for UHF/VHF. Depending upon what may be needed. But I would determine if the nearby translator signals will provide all the major channels you desire.
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post #8 of 14 Old 05-15-2014, 09:59 AM
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I'll save you the work Tyler asked you to do. Here are the translators and what they carry.

Mingus Mountain
6 (2-1 NBC)
7 (7-1 IND)
16 (45-1 MY)
34 (61-1 CW)
36 (10-1 FOX)
38 (3-1 IND)
40 (5-1 CBS)
42 (8-1 PBS)
44 (15-1 ABC)

Mount Francis
11 (3-1 IND)
30 (5-1 CBS)
32 (32-1 3ABN)
39 (10-1 FOX)
43 (8-1 PBS)
47 (15-1 ABC)

Badger Mountain
14 (45-1 MY) - Currently analog

Is your current antenna aimed at 70 degrees (toward Mingus Mountain)? I concur that it looks like it should get you decent (though perhaps not ideal) results. If it is appropriately aimed, an amplifier may be helpful to you, as recommended.

- Trip

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post #9 of 14 Old 05-15-2014, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks all- I'll try moving the antenna to that orientation. I haven't touched it since we moved in 8 yrs ago, and it looks like things have changed.

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post #10 of 14 Old 05-15-2014, 06:02 PM
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Let us know how it goes.

- Trip

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post #11 of 14 Old 05-16-2014, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Experimented with pointing the antenna yesterday, starting at roughly 70 degrees, scanning five times, moving a degree or so each time. I found just about everything, except no sign of PBS. ABC was just on the verge of breaking up, so I imagine a preamp could help that. The PBS stations here have been coming and going for about a month, so I'm not sure if the problem is on my end. My son's grown up watching PBS programming for the last five years- its loss is what's motivating my attention to this now. I repointed it to the orientation it was originally so we could record our usual shows. Once I get the preamp, I'll try again.

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post #12 of 14 Old 05-21-2014, 06:43 PM
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Sorry for letting your post linger. I'm surprised PBS is giving you such trouble, since there should be one or more sources for it nearby. Definitely let us know how the pre-amp goes.

- Trip

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post #13 of 14 Old 05-21-2014, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbeary View Post
 

Experimented with pointing the antenna yesterday, starting at roughly 70 degrees, scanning five times, moving a degree or so each time. I found just about everything, except no sign of PBS. ABC was just on the verge of breaking up, so I imagine a preamp could help that. The PBS stations here have been coming and going for about a month, so I'm not sure if the problem is on my end. My son's grown up watching PBS programming for the last five years- its loss is what's motivating my attention to this now. I repointed it to the orientation it was originally so we could record our usual shows. Once I get the preamp, I'll try again.

 

 

From looking at your TVFool report and checking rabbitears.info to learn what stations are carried by the translators, it appears to me that you might have some co-channel interference causing problems in receiving the PBS transmissions.

 

K42AC-D at 70 degrees appears to be your best bet for getting PBS ("Arizona PBS Eight"), but there is a chance that the weaker signal from the more distant K42IQ-D ( a religious station, GCN) could be interfering with that.

 

On RF 43, I would expect your antenna to pick up K43IE-D (KSAZ FOX 10) rather than the weaker signal from PBS translator K43LW-D.

 

There is a web site that lists all of the PBS translators:

 

http://www.azpbs.org/reception.php

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post #14 of 14 Old 05-21-2014, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks- I have a preamp on order. That interference wouldn't surprise me. There are religious radio stations around here that bleed all over the dial. The PBS issue is interesting- we didn't get it at all for years, then it appeared and was fine until about a month ago, when it started going in and out at random instead of just with storm activity. We're far enough from civilization that a mild thunderstorm can kill a translator for two days. It's common enough that we just expect it to happen. Once the preamp arrives, I'll set it up and see what I can find.

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