Originally Posted by TV8
In the Grand Rapids area there are 4 major stations that are VHF. That is unusual. So, unusual you will see "digital antennas" marketed all over the internet that are actually UHF antennas. This is because most major markets are all UHF. In the Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek-Holland -Muskegon area you will need an outside antenna preferably 25 feet above ground. That antenna can be of 2 types, a rotor and VHF/UHF antenna, or an "area special". For VHF reception make sure you are using a boom and spoke type antenna. Round or winged antennas or any others that are marked as amplified digital antennas do not work well with VHF signals (3, 8, 13 and 35). There is no such thing as a "digital antenna", we still broadcast an RF signal that is just modulated differently than the old analog days. RF is RF and there is no difference in the antennas. In the Muskegon area you will easily pickup 13 but may have trouble with 3 and 8. The only solution there is to go higher with the antenna. As you approach the lake shore from Holland to Ludington you may have problems picking channel 3, RF channel 8, this due to interference from the PBS station across the lake in Milwaukee. If this is happening to you the best solution is to finely tune the direction of your antenna to minimize channel 8 Milwaukee while still receiving channel 8 virtual 3, Kalamazoo. It helps to have a higher gain antenna with a good front to back ratio. Also, this is a situation where antenna height may be a disadvantage. Have the antenna as low as possible, while still picking up your local channels. One last thing to watch out for is a mast mounted pre-amp. They are not needed for VHF if the RG 6 cable is less than 100 feet, and can cause a great deal of problems if you are close to an FM station's tower. The amp will overload and you will lose channels 3 and 8. If you need additional signal to feed multiple TVs, then use an amplified splitter in the house. These are made to have about 7 db of gain on each outlet and are designed to make up for cable and splitter losses only.
I know this is a very old entry, but it is exactly the information I was looking for over the last few hundred threads.
I live in Holland, MI by Holland State Park. We are using a Winegard HD8200U on a mast about 25 feet off the ground and pointed at 110 degrees magnetic. We have a Winegard AP8700 preamplifier installed due to the long cable run outside an inside the house. I have unplugged the preamplifier and lost many stations so I know it is effective; my estimated insertion loss from cable length, a 4-way splitter, and a 2-way splitter is 15.2 dB.
We currently receive RF channels 7, 11, 13, 19, 20, 24, 33, and 45. Having all the leaves down allows us to get 13 and 33 in the winter months, only. What can I do to get RF channel 8? My wife really wants to watch CBS. I have considered stacking on another Winegard HD8200U with a diplexer pointed in the same direction to boost my gain by 2.5-3 dB.
Do I have any other options besides a rotor, stacking on another matched antenna, or switching to a different antenna setup?