I recently built the 4-bay, 9" whiskers with 8 1/2" spacing antenna based on mclapp's design
and it works very well for me.
I'm in the Houston suburbs (77346 zip code), and luckily all my major towers are located in the same spot, so once I aim the antenna properly, I'm good to go.
The major networks are both in the UHF range (NBC, FOX, CW, MyTV) and Hi-VHF (ABC, CBS, PBS), so mclapp's antenna, based on the simulation tests was a good choice.
I built it without a reflector, and installed it on my fence, about 7 to 8 feet high and pretty much got all the UHF stations showing 100% strength on my DISH vip722 box.The Hi-VHF stations were in the 75-85% range, but unfortunately, I'd get occasional breakups (down to 0%
I was planning on getting some material to put a reflector to see if that would help a bit, but a funny thing happened. My coax was only loosely running on the ground out to the grounding block since I wasn't sure whether this would become a permanent installation, so I decided to tidy it up a bit. All of a sudden, I was also getting 100% strength on the Hi-VHF channels with no breakup
I played a bit with the cable location to see how it affected the Hi-VHF signal, but I'm not sure if I figured it out. I can move the cable a bit at the anntenna, and have the strength back down to the 75% range, and then move it just right again to get back to 100%.
Is this due to the position of the balun, in relation to the phase lines? Is there a best position for it? I seem to get 100% when the balun is a little bit away from the antenna, and seem to get the signal degradation if I have it lay flat.
Or is this due to the 75 ohm coax itself? This only affects the Hi-VHF stations, the UHF ones remain rock solid regardless.
Any best practices for installing the balun and running the cable? Should it affect it that much, or do I have a bad cable?
Thanks for the help, and special shout-out to Mclapp for an AWESOME design!