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How to accurately point antenna to TV station?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Two years ago I installed outdoor antenna (square shooter without amp) on the 2nd floor roof. Now I lost signal too often. The antennaweb.com only give general direction (no degree numbers) of the tv station. I have a cheap compass (works fine) and there is some scale on the antenna for adjustment of direction. I have to readjust it and want it be accurate. Thanks.
post #2 of 16
at tvfool.com they give you the compass direction in degrees from your locale; go to their signal locator, type in your zip and/or address, antenna height etc and the info will come up; they can give you analog only, digital only and both together pre and post feb. switchover.
post #3 of 16
If you know the location of the towers and on a map you can locate your home and the towers then also try and locate something on the map that is close to you such as a church steple and which is on the line from your home to the towers and point your antenna at that.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
That site is great. Thanks.

The bad is the page can't be printed out with the results (the table can be saved and printed as image). I had to "move" the useful contents to other application to print out.
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stHD View Post

The antennaweb.com only give general direction (no degree numbers) of the tv station. I have a cheap compass (works fine) and there is some scale on the antenna for adjustment of direction. I have to readjust it and want it be accurate. Thanks.

antennaweb.org gives you the compass direction to the nearest degree. tvfool.com provides the actual azimuth in degrees, so you have to correct for the offset for magnetic north for your location if you use a compass. But you should experiment with aiming to one side and the other of the directions to the local stations to find the best overall signal strength.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by walford View Post

If you know the location of the towers and on a map you can locate your home and the towers then also try and locate something on the map that is close to you such as a church steple and which is on the line from your home to the towers and point your antenna at that.

That may help. I know where the station tower is but it's about 11 miles away and there is no reference building or tower around my community for use. I think I have to use the exact numbers and confirm the receptions before I tighten the bolts.
post #7 of 16
You can do it the way they taught me in Boy Scouts.

Get a map and find the location of the station antennas and your house on the map. On a non metalic table allign the map with true north using the compass and the known magnetic north declination. Place the compass on the map at the location of your house and read the direction of the station antennas in degrees. Go to your antenna and using the compass set your antenna to this reading in degrees.

Also vary the antenna aiming a little for the sweet spot.

Rick R
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by afiggatt View Post

antennaweb.org gives you the compass direction to the nearest degree. tvfool.com provides the actual azimuth in degrees, so you have to correct for the offset for magnetic north for your location if you use a compass. But you should experiment with aiming to one side and the other of the directions to the local stations to find the best overall signal strength.

TVFOOL gives magnetic and true north.
post #9 of 16
I may have found good prices on channel master parts/stuff..warrenelectronics.com hope it's a help
they have close outs,I think I need a 4228, and a 7777,,from fairfield ct to ny city.??.if any close outs are good please let me know ,,thx
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by afiggatt View Post

antennaweb.org gives you the compass direction to the nearest degree. tvfool.com provides the actual azimuth in degrees, so you have to correct for the offset for magnetic north for your location if you use a compass. But you should experiment with aiming to one side and the other of the directions to the local stations to find the best overall signal strength.

If you enter your actual street address at antennaweb.org you may click on "street level map" where your address is at the center and the tower directions are plotted as lines extending from your address. That way your neighborhood landmarks or close-by street intersections will give you a point of reference for aiming the antenna.
post #11 of 16
The method I prefer is to use Google Earth and plot the location of the tower(s) and house and draw a line in between the two. If you have good satellite resolution at your house, it is very effective.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
OK, I rechecked the antenna (on roof more than 20 feet high from ground) and it was installed properly and was pointing to the direction of the tower as accurately as I could.

The problem is the trees which grew much taller and much bigger and much thicker. The signal was totally blocked. For various reasons I can't relocate the antenna and can't trim the trees.

I bought a cable amplifier and it helped. A few months later the problem happened again since the trees are still keep growing

I'm mainly missing ABC and FOX channels which broadcast a lot of sports. I can't miss the NBA finals on ABC. I want to buy another ammplifier and put the two in series to boost the signal. I guess it will work. If anybody had tried using 2nd amplifier and got worse results please post your experience. Thanks.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stHD View Post

OK, I rechecked the antenna (on roof more than 20 feet high from ground) and it was installed properly and was pointing to the direction of the tower as accurately as I could.

The problem is the trees which grew much taller and much bigger and much thicker. The signal was totally blocked. For various reasons I can't relocate the antenna and can't trim the trees.

I bought a cable amplifier and it helped. A few months later the problem happened again since the trees are still keep growing

I'm mainly missing ABC and FOX channels which broadcast a lot of sports. I can't miss the NBA finals on ABC. I want to buy another ammplifier and put the two in series to boost the signal. I guess it will work. If anybody had tried using 2nd amplifier and got worse results please post your experience. Thanks.

Won't help - in fact, it may make things worse.
If you can't move the tree / antenna, you maybe forced to DBS or cable.
post #14 of 16
Try aiming at the gaps in the trees, even if they are not exactly in the "right" direction.

Try as many different antenna locations as possible. My best reception is with my antenna 50' up in a tree. I found a spot on the roof that was almost as good, and less sensitive to wind. Still missing a few channels I can get from the tree though.

A tuner card attached to a laptop can be really handy. The "Eye-TV" includes separate "meters" for signal strength and signal quality (at least for the Mac it does). I took my laptop up on the roof and hooked it up to the antenna to look for the sweet spot.
post #15 of 16
A yagi does a far better job picking up signal that has to go through trees.

Try one of them .... and OVERSIZE it. The extra directionality will be useful although it makes aiming more critical.
post #16 of 16

I like to use my Apex DT502 (not 250) CECB signal STRENGTH bar to find the best location and initial aim for the antenna and then use the signal QUALITY bar to optimize aim for the fewest dropouts from multipath. I also have a signal level meter (SLM) to check the strength.

On strong signals, the signal strength bar tops out in the 80s, so you would need to use an inexpensive attenuator for initial aim or when comparing antennas to keep below the saturation point of the signal strength percent scale.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...6#post15414426 #9579


Edited by rabbit73 - 8/30/12 at 5:03pm
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