Salina, KS: Dual OTA antenna setup recommendations - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 23 Old 12-09-2014, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Salina, KS: Dual OTA antenna setup recommendations

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...d243745dcb2a1c

Need recommendations & setup guidance on TV antenna installation for new home. I apologies beforehand for the length of this question.
Here’s my situation. I’ve just finished construction of a new home and, having been without any cable/satellite TV service for the last 15 months, and suffering no ill effects, I’ve decided to join the ‘cable cutting’ crowd and ditch my Dish Network satellite service, after 15+ years.
While constructing my home, I ran both RG6 coax and CAT 6 Ethernet cabling to a central wiring closet, and from there to all locations that I thought I might one day place a HDTV. So cabling internally is not an issue. In fact, in most locations I have multiple RG6 and CAT 6 cables available. And most runs are under 100 ft. in length.
To this end, I’m getting ready to install new OTA TV antennas on my new house, and would like some recommendations.
Where I’m located (central Kansas) I have very little in the range of channels. According to both the AntennaWeb & TVFool websites, at best I will probably only receive 5-9 channels. But this is something that I’m willing to live with, especially since I’m also relying on internet streaming services (Roku, Xbox 1) to supplement my lack of OTA channels.
The biggest problem is that the surrounding stations are located in two different directions. The majority of stations are located S/SW of my location at a distance of 40-50 miles. The other stations are located to the N of my location at around 25 miles.
What my plan(s) are, is to use two separate antennas pointing at opposite directions, and combining the incoming signals to run into the house. Then once in the house, using a signal distribution amplifier (if needed) or splitter, to run the combined signal to each HDTV location inside. The antennas will be mounted on opposite ends of the house (approx. 50 ft.) using eave mounts and be approximately 30 ft. AGL.
I currently have two antennas that I’ve purchased to try this out with. The first is a Mohu Sky HD 60, and the second is a Winegard FlatWave Air (FL6550A). However, both are ‘powered’ antennas, each having their own amplifier. And I’m not sure exactly how or what to use to combine the signals of both antennas, being they are both ‘powered’.
If I can get these antennas to work together, I may look at switching one of them out for something like Denny’s HD Stacker antenna, if I find one of the others doesn’t pull in the signal(s) like it should. I’ve tested the Mohu Sky antenna from inside the house on the first floor, and get about 6 channels with it alone, which I was pretty impressed with.
Any recommendations on my setup, or any other advice on a more suitable solution would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Dave

Last edited by DrDon; 12-10-2014 at 10:04 AM.
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post #2 of 23 Old 12-09-2014, 04:58 PM
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Please post your TVFool plot so we can see what you're up against.

While you're at it, it would also be a good idea to stop buying over-hyped, over-priced, under-performing antennas, including the one you haven't bought but mentioned.
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post #3 of 23 Old 12-09-2014, 08:23 PM
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My relatively cheap flat Philips powered antenna picks up from the front and back sides and allows me to get stations from opposite directions with a single antenna. Local - 10 miles, Distant 90 miles.

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post #4 of 23 Old 12-09-2014, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, the two I've purchased may be overhyped, however from the limited testing I've done with the Mohu, it performs at least as well as the larger antenna's I've tried/used on my parents home (Winegard HD8200 or Channel Master CM3020). And they're about 30 ft. higher in elevation than I am.

At this point I really don't care what antenna(s) are used, I just want the best way to combine the two signals. Thanks.
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post #5 of 23 Old 12-09-2014, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
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post #6 of 23 Old 12-09-2014, 09:58 PM
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I think you are going to be disappointed if you try and join the signals from two antennas.
To do it, you need something like a jointenna (not made anymore), but that just lets you add one channel from one antenna to another, and it must be an isolated channel (no adjacent channels, or the adjacent channel gets killed).
I'm running three antennas.
I also routed cat5E and RG6 to six rooms. I needn’t have bothered with the RG6.
My solution is to have three HDHomeRun tuners connected to the three antennas, and use the network to get the signals to a MythTV setup.
Since you are already using roku & x-box 1 for streaming services, those devices might also support the latest HDHomeRun tuners, so you could use them to watch live TV (I don't have those, but I can do this with a PS3).
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post #7 of 23 Old 12-10-2014, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveN39 View Post

Ughhh..... What a mess! 1 and 2 edge stations in several directions and mostly weak. Would you list the stations that are "must receive" so we can ignore the ones you don't care about? That might make things a little easier.
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post #8 of 23 Old 12-10-2014, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, it's real pretty isn't it.

The main stations I'm wanting are as follows:
  • KAAS - 17
  • KSCW - 12
  • KWCH - 19
Anything else would be a bonus. Specifically:

  • KAKE - 10
  • KPTS - 8
Thanks for looking...
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post #9 of 23 Old 12-10-2014, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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An additional note...

I've been able to pick up two of the three main stations fairly well in my testing with the 'Mohu' antenna @ ground level, with the antenna facing South. And I pick up the third station without any issues with the same antenna facing North.

That is the reason I was looking at combining two antennas facing opposite directions, as stated in my initial post.
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post #10 of 23 Old 12-10-2014, 10:04 AM
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Please read the sticky threads before posting. Especially the ones that say "read before posting." A location is required in the title of all antenna help threads and TVFool link in the first post. You'll save yourself time.

See my edit.

Thanks.

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post #11 of 23 Old 12-10-2014, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveN39 View Post
Yeah, it's real pretty isn't it.

The main stations I'm wanting are as follows:
  • KAAS - 17
  • KSCW - 12
  • KWCH - 19
Anything else would be a bonus. Specifically:

  • KAKE - 10
  • KPTS - 8
Thanks for looking...

If I was going to do this first I'd get an Antennacraft Y10-7-13 for high VHF and point it at 190° for 8, 10 and 12. This must be outside and not pointing into a building or trees.

For UHF I'd try a CM4228 or equivalent and point it at 190°. A preamp would help. You might get some of those weaker stations in that direction. Again mounted outside. You might be able to get KAAS off the back since it is strong. If not, then it'll take a separate antenna. In order to combine it properly with the other antenna you need a bandpass filter for channel 17 on that antenna and a notch filter for channel 17 on the south facing antenna. This can be done with Tin Lee filters. It wouldn't be cheap. They have an all in one to do this but channel 17 and 19 are too close together. They need to be at least 3 channels apart.
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post #12 of 23 Old 12-10-2014, 05:14 PM
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I find it hard to believe there are so many two edge signals in central Kanas at 30 feet. Yes, there are rolling hills unlike western Kansas where one can stand on a picnic table and see the horizon in all directions. Back in the analog days, I clearly remember camping at Kanapolis Lake (near the OP's home) and placing a simple rabbit ear and loop on the top of my truck camper and picking up many TV channels.
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post #13 of 23 Old 12-10-2014, 08:42 PM
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To receive (probably, no guarantees with 2Edge signals) NBC on Ch45 (NM = -7.2 dB) you're going to need a SERIOUS UHF Antenna pointed SOUTH (about 184-deg re True North), such as CM4228HD mentioned above or the A-D 91XG or (even better than either) the A-D DB-8e. It should pick up CBS on Ch19 and MAY also pick up KDCU on Ch31. It will "PROBABLY" also pick up the much stronger FOX on Ch17 on the BACK of the Antenna....if Multipath doesn't wreck havoc with the signal....unlikely with an Outdoor Antenna in Rural FLAT Area.

That only leaves Ch51, Ch47 and Analog Ch15 towards the NORTH, which presumably you don't "need"....so if all goes well, you might only "need" ONE UHF Antenna.....thereby avoiding the 3.5++ dB Loss in an RF Combiner.

I also recommend a separate HIGH-GAIN Hi-VHF Antenna, such as Antennacraft Y10-7-13, pointed about 18-deg further clockwise from SOUTH (202-deg re TN), which should pick up CW on Ch12, PBS on Ch8 and ABC on Ch10. [Skewing direction is something a Combo Antenna, incl. the Stacker isn't made to do.]

I also recommend a Mast-Mounted Preamp (typically improves Sensitivity by about 10 dB) with separate VHF and UHF Inputs (hence avoid 0.5 to 1 dB Loss in UVSJ Combiner), such as RCA TVPRAMP1, which has a Low Noise Figure measured between 1.9 and 2.5 dB, as reviewed here:
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/25-hdt...al-review.html

In looking at the FMFool results for your Zipcode, I see that there are FIVE strong FM Stations within 15-miles of the Post Office (YMMV). The second harmonics generated in the Preamp COULD cause reception problems on Ch7-13. IF this is indeed a problem in your case, you have two alternative courses of action:

1) Install a FULL FM BAND Filter between the Hi-VHF Antenna and the Preamp's VHF Input, This is BEST for TV Reception, but will block reception of most FM Stations...meaning ( if required) you'll need a SEPARATE FM Antenna on it's OWN Rotator, with it's own SEPARATE downlead coax...which is a GOOD IDEA all-around anyway.....

2) Use a VHF/UHF Combiner, such as from Antennas-Direct or Radio-Shack (NOT Pico-Macom or Hollands, they BLOCK DC to UHF Preamp) to combine the Hi-VHF Antenna with the coax on the OUTPUT of the Preamp, so the VHF signals, including FM Band, do NOT go through the Preamp. This will allow you to ALSO feed an FM Receiver via the same downlead and will avoid the second harmonic FM signal interference problem....but the lack of Preamp MAY result in problems for your weak ABC station on Ch10. So I recommend the first course of action....

Last edited by holl_ands; 12-10-2014 at 08:59 PM.
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post #14 of 23 Old 12-10-2014, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister B View Post
I find it hard to believe there are so many two edge signals in central Kanas at 30 feet. Yes, there are rolling hills unlike western Kansas where one can stand on a picnic table and see the horizon in all directions. Back in the analog days, I clearly remember camping at Kanapolis Lake (near the OP's home) and placing a simple rabbit ear and loop on the top of my truck camper and picking up many TV channels.

The curvature of the Earth is imposing a limit. In his list KSCW's antenna is 1473' HAAT. To calculate the distance to the horizon over flat terrain use:

Horizon = SQR (Antenna height in miles x 7912)

For KSCW that's 47 miles which is almost exactly the distance he is from the transmitter. It does't take but the lowest hills to turn that into a 2 edge path.
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post #15 of 23 Old 12-11-2014, 06:15 AM
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For people thinking about advice for NBC and ABC from Wichita, KSNL-LD translates KSNW (NBC) and KHDS-LD translates KAKE (ABC), so getting those much stronger and much closer signals would bring in those networks. KDCU is Univision and probably not of concern. The only Wichita signal that would probably be beneficial would be PBS from KPTS.

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post #16 of 23 Old 12-11-2014, 06:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post
The curvature of the Earth is imposing a limit. In his list KSCW's antenna is 1473' HAAT. To calculate the distance to the horizon over flat terrain use:

Horizon = SQR (Antenna height in miles x 7912)

For KSCW that's 47 miles which is almost exactly the distance he is from the transmitter. It does't take but the lowest hills to turn that into a 2 edge path.

That is good information to know. Also, as I am remembering the analog days, it was no doubt the original channels 8, 10 and 12 that I received. The great thing about analog when camping was that if it was at all watchable one was happy. I believe it would be much more difficult nowadays. That is no doubt why there are so may satellite dishes on RVs.
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post #17 of 23 Old 12-11-2014, 07:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister B View Post
That is good information to know. Also, as I am remembering the analog days, it was no doubt the original channels 8, 10 and 12 that I received. The great thing about analog when camping was that if it was at all watchable one was happy. I believe it would be much more difficult nowadays. That is no doubt why there are so may satellite dishes on RVs.
Yes, you're right...back in the analog days we had no problems getting all the Southerly stations (even PBS & KAKE). Since the digital switch, we no longer receive KAKE at all, & PBS is very sporadic at best.
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post #18 of 23 Old 12-11-2014, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister B View Post
That is good information to know. Also, as I am remembering the analog days, it was no doubt the original channels 8, 10 and 12 that I received. The great thing about analog when camping was that if it was at all watchable one was happy. I believe it would be much more difficult nowadays. That is no doubt why there are so may satellite dishes on RVs.
Quote:
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Yes, you're right...back in the analog days we had no problems getting all the Southerly stations (even PBS & KAKE). Since the digital switch, we no longer receive KAKE at all, & PBS is very sporadic at best.

There was a tradeoff in the switch to DTV. Everyone gave up snowy/ghosty stations. Only the digital version of stations that had at least mostly snow-free pictures with little ghosting could be received... but with perfect pictures.

I don't know that anyone realized how many people were watching very weak analog stations and that all those viewing such stations would not receive the digital versions.
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post #19 of 23 Old 12-11-2014, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post
For people thinking about advice for NBC and ABC from Wichita, KSNL-LD translates KSNW (NBC) and KHDS-LD translates KAKE (ABC), so getting those much stronger and much closer signals would bring in those networks. KDCU is Univision and probably not of concern. The only Wichita signal that would probably be beneficial would be PBS from KPTS.

- Trip
Too bad those are in yet another direction for him but they're at the top end of the UHF band so it could be possible to add those in with a separate antenna.

I can see that it is possible to build an antenna system with no rotor in this case that could get all the stations using the proper bandpass/notch filters and four antennas. It's even possible to put a preamp on one of them. It would be an expensive project compared to what most people need. I would find it a fun challenge but few others would care to undertake with it.
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post #20 of 23 Old 12-11-2014, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post
I don't know that anyone realized how many people were watching very weak analog stations and that all those viewing such stations would not receive the digital versions.
I did, but I don't think anyone listened when I said so.

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post #21 of 23 Old 12-11-2014, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, looks like I'm stuck with whatever I can get. I knew it wasn't going to be good, but wanted to try and get some professional advice to get the best solution for my situation. I appreciate all the responses and assistance.

I agree that the larger antenna(s) such as those mentioned in prior posts, would give me the best results when properly setup. However, I was also trying to get away from such a large foot-print antenna. We've lost two large antennas nearby at my parents home in as many years, due to high winds. So I guess for now, until I can afford & have time to install an actual antenna tower (such as a Rohn or TX Tower), I'll get by with whatever I can get.

I think for the present, I'll incorporate some of what DAP recommended with using the HD Homerun devices to transfer signal to my network, which is similar to what my ultimate goal is anyway. That, along with some of the antennas recommended by Calaveras, holl-ands and others in prior posts.

Thank you all for your recommendations & comments.

Dave
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post #22 of 23 Old 12-11-2014, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post
For people thinking about advice for NBC and ABC from Wichita, KSNL-LD translates KSNW (NBC) and KHDS-LD translates KAKE (ABC), so getting those much stronger and much closer signals would bring in those networks. KDCU is Univision and probably not of concern. The only Wichita signal that would probably be beneficial would be PBS from KPTS.

- Trip
That's Great news....I'll have to remember to investigate ALL of the channels NOT identified as to which Network they support...

That significantly changes the recommendation. A Bi-Directional Antenna would be a better choice....but instead of the 2-Bay Bowtie Mohu, I would recommend a higher Gain 4-Bay Bowtie, such as is available from mclapp as an inexpensive pre-assembled "KIT", as I recommended for a similar situation here (it has even LOWER wind resistance than Mohu):
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/25-hdt...l#post29792505

If you are into DIY Projects, I also developed the FF4 (Free-Form 4-Bay), with even higher UHF Gain (esp on lower channels like Ch15, Ch16 & Ch19)...which reminds me, I need to upload the even bigger and higher UHF Gain FF6 and FF8 (NO Reflector, so very low wind resistance) Results to my website...in case you find you want to improve the long-term Reliability:
http://imageevent.com/holl_ands/multibay/4bay
BTW: In MOST Antenna models I presume AWG12 to AWG10 wire sizes, which most people would use in Attics/Indoors. For Outdoors, you might want to use something larger than AWG10...or at least twist two AWG10 wires together for improved strength....Results remain about the same (actually SWR improves a bit).

Although the 4-Bay (as well as the Mohu) have SOME Hi-VHF Band Gain, I doubt that it will be enough for long term reliability, hence I still recommend a Separate High Gain Hi-VHF Antenna, such as Y10-7-13, esp. to pick up weak PBS on Ch10.

Last edited by holl_ands; 12-11-2014 at 10:45 AM.
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post #23 of 23 Old 12-11-2014, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by holl_ands View Post
That's Great news....I'll have to remember to investigate ALL of the channels NOT identified as to which Network they support...

That significantly changes the recommendation. A Bi-Directional Antenna would be a better choice....but instead of the 2-Bay Bowtie Mohu, I would recommend a higher Gain 4-Bay Bowtie, such as is available from mclapp as an inexpensive pre-assembled "KIT", as I recommended for a similar situation here (it has even LOWER wind resistance than Mohu):
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/25-hdt...l#post29792505

If you are into DIY Projects, I also developed the FF4 (Free-Form 4-Bay), with even higher UHF Gain (esp on lower channels like Ch15, Ch16 & Ch19)...which reminds me, I need to upload the even bigger and higher UHF Gain FF6 and FF8 (NO Reflector, so very low wind resistance) Results to my website...in case you find you want to improve the long-term Reliability:
http://imageevent.com/holl_ands/multibay/4bay
BTW: In MOST Antenna models I presume AWG12 to AWG10 wire sizes, which most people would use in Attics/Indoors. For Outdoors, you might want to use something larger than AWG10...or at least twist two AWG10 wires together for improved strength....Results remain about the same (actually SWR improves a bit).

Although the 4-Bay (as well as the Mohu) have SOME Hi-VHF Band Gain, I doubt that it will be enough for long term reliability, hence I still recommend a Separate High Gain Hi-VHF Antenna, such as Y10-7-13, esp. to pick up weak PBS on Ch10.
Thanks for that info...I did go and check out your website along with Calaveras, and saved a link to them, just for my future reference. Looked like a lot of good information.
When I do get some free time, I will investigate and look at additional options for better results. It's been decades since I've done any antenna work myself, but used to enjoy it...
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