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Athens, GA: Antennas, signal combiners and amplifiers--help needed

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I live in a fringe area, 60+ miles to broadcast towers. I have this VHF/UHF antenna:

http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=v21&d=antennas-direct-v21-high-gain-uhf-%2F-vhf-tv-antenna-(v21)

Still, my reception of a number of channels comes and goes. I'm thinking about adding an omnidirectional UHF antenna to my setup and I'd like to know a few things.

If I use a signal combiner, will it use whatever signal is the strongest, or do I specify which antenna for which frequency?

Should I try an amplifier? If so where should it be located?

Thanks for the help!
post #2 of 16
Please post your tvfool results so we can get a better idea of reception where you live. Your address will not be shown.
post #3 of 16
Please read the instructions before posting. All antenna help threads are to have a LOCATION in the title and TVFool information in the first post. You did neither. I added the location to the title.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
post #5 of 16
Clarify what you are trying to do.

The V21 is a decent VHF antenna, but, for UHF, it's no much to talk about.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
What am I trying to do? Well, my biggest issue is channels that come in some days very well and others not at all. Of course, I'd like to get as many channels as possible.

I think when I bought that antenna (trying to think back years ago) I was trying to get one antenna that would "do it all" at a long distance.

So, if I keep the existing antenna for directional vhf and get another unidirectional uhf, would that likely help? If so, that's when my questions about combining the signal come in...

Thanks for the help so far.
post #7 of 16
Perhaps consider a Winegard 7698 or Antennacraft HBU-55, and a Winegard LNA-200 preamp, as you are about 60 miles from the major Atlanta transmitters. But there are some closer translators which may help with WSB. That V21 antenna is not recommended for fringe applications, and it is weak for UHF and not that strong for VHF.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Interesting. Actually WSB (2.5 and 2.6 but not 2.1 and 2.2) is a channel I get just fine. Same is true for 8.X.

5.1, 11.1, and 46.1 are much less reliable.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Actually WSB (2.5 and 2.6 but not 2.1 and 2.2)

You are picking up the Athens channel 31 translator instead of the main signal from downtown.

Have you tried a pre-amp yet? If you can successfully pick up channel 11 in addition to channel 8, you won't have to scrap the V21 and start over with all new antennas. Should that be needed, the HBU55 or HD7698P would be logical although huge choices. If you can get ch 11 & 8 with the V21, then adding a UHF antenna like a DB8 or 91XG combined using the RCA TVPRAMP1 should work.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProjectSHO89 View Post

You are picking up the Athens channel 31 translator instead of the main signal from downtown.

Have you tried a pre-amp yet? If you can successfully pick up channel 11 in addition to channel 8, you won't have to scrap the V21 and start over with all new antennas. Should that be needed, the HBU55 or HD7698P would be logical although huge choices. If you can get ch 11 & 8 with the V21, then adding a UHF antenna like a DB8 or 91XG combined using the RCA TVPRAMP1 should work.

Thanks for explaining the WSB translator.

I haven't yet tried a pre-amp. I'm thinking I should make that my first purchase.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yesterday I received an RCA preamp I ordered. I installed it and now I'm getting twice the number of channels I was getting. So far I'm thrilled with the purchase. Thanks all!

[UPDATE] Yikes! In addition to all the new channels, I've lost one: WXIA (NBC). That kinda hurts considering one of the reasons I bought the pre-amp was to (more reliably) watch the Olympics. Any thoughts?
Edited by Shrubman - 2/7/14 at 5:22pm
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrubman View Post

Yesterday I received an RCA preamp I ordered. I installed it and now I'm getting twice the number of channels I was getting. So far I'm thrilled with the purchase. Thanks all!

[UPDATE] Yikes! In addition to all the new channels, I've lost one: WXIA (NBC). That kinda hurts considering one of the reasons I bought the pre-amp was to (more reliably) watch the Olympics. Any thoughts?
Is the internal switch on the preamp turned to combined or separate inputs? It should be on combined unless you have separate antennas. And you could be overpowering the WXIA signal as it is rather strong for RF10. And perhaps go to RadioShack and get an HBU-22 or 33 antenna. They also have HBU-55, but that may be overkill. Or Fry's or Dow Electronics may still have Winegard 7696 or 7698 antennas if a better antenna is needed.
post #13 of 16
Also, in addition to checking the combine/separate switch, check the FM Trap switch. You have plenty of very strong local FM signals which might easily interfere with WXIA's much weaker signal. Make sure the trap is on or in. you might consider supplementing it with an external FM filter.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Switches switched and probLem solved. Thanks to both of you.
post #15 of 16
I live near Athens, Georgia too. I've been considering switching to OTA for a couple years now. I see a few antennas around, but a few things have been holding me up from making the switch.

Do you get all of the networks now?
ABC
NBC
CBS
Fox
PBS
CW

What other channels do you get? (Is there maybe a broadcast version of TBS/Peachtree TV or some other turner stuff?)

Are your signals 99.9% reliable? (Charter hasn't been mad.gif, but I want to make sure that we don't switch to something less reliable.)

Did you have your antenna professionally installed?

I think if we are going to use an antenna it is going to need to be roof mounted and I'm not crazy about climbing up on the roof. Also we would need some coaxial wiring done. We would still use Charter as out ISP, so I would want the new Antenna to hook up to our existing coaxial cables in the house and then separate Charter's connection from the street straight into the cable modem. I'd like this done so that it could easily be reversed if we ever decide to go back to cable. We've called companies that advertise installing OTA antennas, but they were almost all based out of Atlanta and either said that they weren't willing to come this far out or that they didn't think we could get a signal.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
rakosnik sent me the same post privately so I answered it there.
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