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post #15571 of 18788 Old 07-21-2017, 08:52 AM
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Stations have until late November to file their channel sharing agreements, so there's plenty of time. Only a dozen or so are filed so far.

(It's nice to finally be able to attach a date to that, rather than saying "120 days after they get paid".)

- Trip

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post #15572 of 18788 Old 07-21-2017, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeekiM01 View Post
FYI - I just took delivery of the Winegard HD8200U, and boy is that box intimidatingly large!!! I haven't cracked it open yet.

I also got notice that my Winegard HD7698P is ready for pick up at Home Depot. I am going to drive over there and pick it up in a couple of hours or so...

This feels a little bit like the 3 bears... the DB4E may be too cold, the HD8200U may be too hot, and the HD7698P might just end up being "just right"...

I will update you guys soon...
Well... I guess my mind is made up for me in terms of the Winegard antennas... Home Depot was supposed to deliver an HD8200U to my house, and an HD7698P to the store (quicker delivery times had me route one of them to the store instead)...

Turns out, they shipped me TWO HD7698Ps!!! Dang it...

I have already spent way more mental and physical calories on this project, so I am not going to return one of the HD7698Ps and order an HD8200U at this point... I am going to hoist this bad boy up and see what it does...

Wish me luck...
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post #15573 of 18788 Old 07-21-2017, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post
Stations have until late November to file their channel sharing agreements, so there's plenty of time. Only a dozen or so are filed so far.

(It's nice to finally be able to attach a date to that, rather than saying "120 days after they get paid".)

- Trip

What happens to the stations that filed for sharing but can't reach an agreement? Do they have 90 days to go off the air or 180 days?

Chuck
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post #15574 of 18788 Old 07-21-2017, 10:25 AM
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Well, they have 120 days to file, so they may not know if they can't reach one until then, after which the 90 days will have passed. They can seek an extension of up to 6 additional months. If they give up at day 120, I don't know exactly what happens, but stations are required to show crawls and PSAs and things for at least 30 days before signing off, so I'm going to guess the 180 days applies there too.

- Trip

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post #15575 of 18788 Old 07-21-2017, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeekiM01 View Post
I have already spent way more mental and physical calories on this project, so I am not going to return one of the HD7698Ps and order an HD8200U at this point... I am going to hoist this bad boy up and see what it does...

Wish me luck...
It should be trouble-free once you get it set up. I haven't touched mine since adding the 91XG 6 months ago. You should be good . . . until ATSC 3.0 obsoletes your Tivo.

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post #15576 of 18788 Old 07-21-2017, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post
I hate to mention this as you are accumulating more antennae, but if the only station you aren't receiving reliably is KGO RF 35 repeater in Fremont the maximum-channel setup is to leave the DB4e compromise aimed and point a separate VHF antenna at SF. A VHF/UHF joiner is used to combine signals onto the same coax remaining Tivo-friendly. You'll still get KICU, KQEH and the other Fremont stations while adding KGO RF 7 and the other SF VHF stations.
@lifespeed

Can you recommend a VHF Yagi and a VHF/UHF joiner solution that you like?

I just put the 14 foot Winegard up, and I won't go into specifics, but I definitely lose channels AND most importantly, the 14 foot boom is an eye-sore... It's not a WAF issue (well, yes it is)...but it is also a "me" issue... My chimney is right next to the roofline, and the 7-foot boom pointing at Sutro is almost all overhang, which casts shadows and is a complete eye-sore in the backyard. If this was centered on the peak of my roof with guy wires, then maybe this wouldn't be so bad... But having almost the entire 7-foot boom extending past the roofline is not the visual solution that I am looking for.

So it's a functional issue AND a visual issue... I don't lose any critical channels mind you...but the combination of getting less AND the visual clutter factor is enough for me to try something else...

I agree that a VHF dipole is also NOT the solution... So if I can find a good VHF Yagi solution with a recommended joiner that you like, that will probably be a better solution for me.

Last edited by MikeekiM01; 07-21-2017 at 12:07 PM.
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post #15577 of 18788 Old 07-21-2017, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeekiM01 View Post
I agree that a VHF dipole is also NOT the solution... So if I can find a good VHF Yagi solution with a recommended joiner that you like, that will probably be a better solution for me.

These are you're yagi choices:

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/produc...eo+retargeting

and

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/30-2476

and combiner:

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/33-2230

There's also this:

https://www.antennasdirect.com/store...V-antenna.html

but I think the yagis are better. There are not dozens of VHF choices like there are with the UHF antennas.

Chuck
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post #15578 of 18788 Old 07-21-2017, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeekiM01 View Post
I just put the 14 foot Winegard up, and I won't go into specifics, but I definitely lose channels.

You mean you lost Fremont stations, right? That's the point of using a more directional antenna. You don't receive stations you're not pointed at. Better mulitpath rejection and higher Signal Quality on the stations you're pointed at. Sounds like the HD7698P is acting just as it should.

If I were one of those 3 remaining full power Fremont stations I'd be looking to see if I could move to Sutro Tower or Mt. San Bruno. Looks to me as though there's room for at least 3 side mounted antennas on Sutro Tower. It's a bad deal for the viewer to have stations in different directions.

Actually KICU is the only full power Fremont station whose main channel is not being broadcast from Sutro or San Bruno. KSTS 48.1 is on KNTV, KDTV 14.1 is on KSFS and KQEH is just a version of KQED. I don't know why KSTS and KDTV didn't sell in the auction and channel share with their co-owned stations. That's what KQED did with KQEH.

Chuck

Last edited by Calaveras; 07-21-2017 at 12:48 PM.
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post #15579 of 18788 Old 07-21-2017, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post
You mean you lost Fremont stations, right? That's the point of using a more directional antenna. You don't receive stations you're not pointed at. Better mulitpath rejection and higher Signal Quality on the stations you're pointed at. Sounds like the HD7698P is acting just as it should.

If I were one of those 3 remaining full power Fremont stations I'd be looking to see if I could move to Sutro Tower or Mt. San Bruno. Looks to me as though there's room for at least 3 side mounted antennas on Sutro Tower. It's a bad deal for the viewer to have stations in different directions.

Chuck
All true, but you have to work with what you have. Hoping for the broadcasters to change something can be slow to futile, as witnessed by the 5-month-long saga of KGO RF 35 repeater technical problems they seemed unwilling to acknowledge and unable to understand.

Lifespeed
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post #15580 of 18788 Old 07-21-2017, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeekiM01 View Post
@lifespeed

Can you recommend a VHF Yagi and a VHF/UHF joiner solution that you like?

I just put the 14 foot Winegard up, and I won't go into specifics, but I definitely lose channels AND most importantly, the 14 foot boom is an eye-sore... It's not a WAF issue (well, yes it is)...but it is also a "me" issue... My chimney is right next to the roofline, and the 7-foot boom pointing at Sutro is almost all overhang, which casts shadows and is a complete eye-sore in the backyard. If this was centered on the peak of my roof with guy wires, then maybe this wouldn't be so bad... But having almost the entire 7-foot boom extending past the roofline is not the visual solution that I am looking for.

So it's a functional issue AND a visual issue... I don't lose any critical channels mind you...but the combination of getting less AND the visual clutter factor is enough for me to try something else...

I agree that a VHF dipole is also NOT the solution... So if I can find a good VHF Yagi solution with a recommended joiner that you like, that will probably be a better solution for me.
First you want to be completely sure your DB4e is receiving all the stations with 70% or greater signal quality except for KGO RF 35 in Fremont, which you'll get over VHF from SF. Check during the day, twilight, and late at night. Hopefully your next reconfiguration can be the last. As his been correctly pointed out, compromise antenna aim does not always work, although it appears you may be in a good location to get away with this.

Given you're happy with the DB4e, add the Stellar Labs 30-2476 (may as well get the higher-gain 12-element version unless you want to take a chance on the aesthetics of the 1' shorter version). I suggest mounting the VHF antenna 2.75' (1/2 wavelength) below the lower edge of the DB4e, allowing maximum height for both antennae as the DB4e mount allows about half the panel to reside above the pole. I like the Antennas Direct VHF/UHF combiner if for no other reason than they have taken the time to measure and publish specifications for it.

BTW, I did mention a separate VHF Yagi antenna was an option in a post a few weeks back: As far as integrated VHF/UHF antenna vs separate, receiving both SF and Fremont on the same UHF antenna with no rotor dictates a separate VHF Yagi pointed at SF as there are no Fremont VHF stations and the VHF Yagi wants direct aim (to SF).

Lifespeed
91XG Yagi for San Francisco, DB4e bowtie for Fremont
SiliconDust HDHR4-2US network tuners, one per antenna
Media server PC running Emby
Rabbit Ears reception report

Last edited by lifespeed; 07-21-2017 at 01:12 PM.
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post #15581 of 18788 Old 07-21-2017, 06:10 PM
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KGO to operate on aux antenna

https://enterpriseefiling.fcc.gov/fo...d1f2e&goBack=N


Quote:
KGO is being moved from channel 7 to channel 12. The plan is to bring up the new aux antenna on channel 7 and operate via the aux during the swap of the main antenna. We will then transition to channel 12 on the new main antenna. See Plan attached.
KGO to operate on new RF 7 aux antenna for a while.

Sharee Call Sign KRON-TV (Not what Sharee means for most of the other stations that will be broadcasting the original two stations or more on one channel.)


I think what the missing Plan says is that a new aux antenna will be used first by KGO while the existing KGO RF 7 antenna is removed and then the new KGO RF 12 and KRON RF 7 antennas are installed in that place.

I still think that the KRON final RF 7 antenna will be smaller than the existing KGO RF 7 antenna! Or the new RF 12 and RF 7 antennas are taller than the existing KGO RF 7 antenna.

After the KGO RF 12 antenna is tested then KGO will stop using RF 7 aux antenna and use the new RF 12 antenna freeing up the new aux RF 7 antenna for KRON to start testing on and then the new RF 7 antenna just below the new RF 12 antenna.

Where is the missing plan???

SHF

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post #15582 of 18788 Old 07-21-2017, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post
These are you're yagi choices:

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/produc...eo+retargeting

and

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/30-2476

and combiner:

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/33-2230

There's also this:

https://www.antennasdirect.com/store...V-antenna.html

but I think the yagis are better. There are not dozens of VHF choices like there are with the UHF antennas.

Chuck
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post
First you want to be completely sure your DB4e is receiving all the stations with 70% or greater signal quality except for KGO RF 35 in Fremont, which you'll get over VHF from SF. Check during the day, twilight, and late at night. Hopefully your next reconfiguration can be the last. As his been correctly pointed out, compromise antenna aim does not always work, although it appears you may be in a good location to get away with this.

Given you're happy with the DB4e, add the Stellar Labs 30-2476 (may as well get the higher-gain 12-element version unless you want to take a chance on the aesthetics of the 1' shorter version). I suggest mounting the VHF antenna 2.75' (1/2 wavelength) below the lower edge of the DB4e, allowing maximum height for both antennae as the DB4e mount allows about half the panel to reside above the pole. I like the Antennas Direct VHF/UHF combiner if for no other reason than they have taken the time to measure and publish specifications for it.

BTW, I did mention a separate VHF Yagi antenna was an option in a post a few weeks back: As far as integrated VHF/UHF antenna vs separate, receiving both SF and Fremont on the same UHF antenna with no rotor dictates a separate VHF Yagi pointed at SF as there are no Fremont VHF stations and the VHF Yagi wants direct aim (to SF).
Thanks @Calaveras & @lifespeed

I appreciate the product pointers! And yes @lifespeed , I do remember you mentioning this as an option a few weeks back... At the time, I decided that I was going to try one of the Winegard antennas first... (and now I have!)...

As you've already mentioned, I am getting all of my channels with the DB4E just fine right now. I have a few hiccups with KGO (7) and just last night, I lost KKPX (65) for half the night... But those are just hiccups... I generally have no problems picking them up 80% of the time...

I am going to take my time (as you suggest) to check my signal quality at different times of the day and get some confidence that my DB4E is reliable at various times in the day (I wish I could test it at various seasons in the year without waiting all that time!). Unfortunately, I just have my TiVo signal quality meter to measure my signal, so that will have to do for now.

Since it was suggested that my signal strengths are so strong in this area that a VHF dipole might work, I might take my chances on that standard VHF Yagi... I haven't made up my mind on that yet...

Thanks!!!
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post #15583 of 18788 Old 07-21-2017, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post
You mean you lost Fremont stations, right? That's the point of using a more directional antenna. You don't receive stations you're not pointed at. Better mulitpath rejection and higher Signal Quality on the stations you're pointed at. Sounds like the HD7698P is acting just as it should.

If I were one of those 3 remaining full power Fremont stations I'd be looking to see if I could move to Sutro Tower or Mt. San Bruno. Looks to me as though there's room for at least 3 side mounted antennas on Sutro Tower. It's a bad deal for the viewer to have stations in different directions.

Actually KICU is the only full power Fremont station whose main channel is not being broadcast from Sutro or San Bruno. KSTS 48.1 is on KNTV, KDTV 14.1 is on KSFS and KQEH is just a version of KQED. I don't know why KSTS and KDTV didn't sell in the auction and channel share with their co-owned stations. That's what KQED did with KQEH.

Chuck
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post
All true, but you have to work with what you have. Hoping for the broadcasters to change something can be slow to futile, as witnessed by the 5-month-long saga of KGO RF 35 repeater technical problems they seemed unwilling to acknowledge and unable to understand.
Yup... It was largely the Fremont stations...and yes, you did warn me...and yes, the antenna is probably doing exactly what it is supposed to do... Like I said in my post, the lost of channels was not the sole deciding factor for me...it was that, in addition to the aesthetics of half of the 14-foot boom hanging off the side of my house past the roofline!

You both have been super fantastic and exceptionally helpful in my antenna-quest! You are great resources for this forum community! Thank you!
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post #15584 of 18788 Old 07-21-2017, 09:32 PM
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BTW, for anyone who is considering one of the Winegard antennas (HD7698P or HD8200U), here is a photo to give you an idea of the size. I placed it up against my basketball backboard to help you visualize the size...

For those of you not familiar with the standard height of a basketball hoop, the hoop itself is 10-feet high.


My OTA Setup
- TiVo Roamio OTA DVR (with Harmony Elite Remote)
- Antennas Direct DB4e (UHF) & Stellar Labs 30-2476 (High-VHF)
- Channel Master Chimney Mount w/10 Foot Mast (1.5" Diameter)
My RabbitEars Report

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post #15585 of 18788 Old 07-22-2017, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post
YA VHF/UHF joiner is used to combine signals onto the same coax remaining Tivo-friendly. You'll still get KICU, KQEH and the other Fremont stations while adding KGO RF 7 and the other SF VHF stations.
KICU and other stations may be worth seeing, but it isn't worth spending any effort to get KQEH for its short remaining lifetime.
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post #15586 of 18788 Old 07-22-2017, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeekiM01 View Post
BTW, for anyone who is considering one of the Winegard antennas (HD7698P or HD8200U), here is a photo to give you an idea of the size. I placed it up against my basketball backboard to help you visualize the size...

For those of you not familiar with the standard height of a basketball hoop, the hoop itself is 10-feet high.

I thought my 30 year old Winegard was big. It's a 79 active element UHF-VHF-FM but it appears to be under 10' in length.
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post #15587 of 18788 Old 07-22-2017, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post
The formula to make one of those 300 ohm twinlead dipoles is 5540/MHz. That takes everything into account. To do better than that you'd need to measure the SWR and adjust the length for the frequency of interest.

As I said, if your application is non-critical you can use any old piece of wire for an antenna. Same goes for DTV. The telescoping whip on my portable radio receives many FM stations inside the house. But the stations I want to receive require a much better outdoor antenna.

Chuck
Actually, the canonically correct formula does apply a "velocity factor", which adjusts for the speed of radio waves through a solid (or not so solid) conductor. The thicker the active dipole element, the lower the speed of radio waves, which can be as low as 92% of the speed of light through a vacuum. One time when I was bored I calculated the EXACT length of a dipole for my frequency of interest using the thickness of the coat hanger wire I use for antennas. Then I fell asleep, and upon wakening, questioned some my life choices and time management...

Technically, you even have to adjust for the SHAPE of the dipole, but again, you first should ponder what you're doing with your life...

Also, note that most what you're really trying to accomplish with the reference half-wave dipole is getting the most efficient matching of near-field and feed line impedance, since from the standpoint of pure receptive "power" a full-wave dipole is superior (and so forth, "bigger is better"). But from a purely practical standpoint, you'll get more bang from a smaller antenna if you exquisitely deal with the realities of feed line impedance, specifically the "imaginary" aspects of impedance which are all too tragically real...

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post #15588 of 18788 Old 07-22-2017, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post
I thought my 30 year old Winegard was big. It's a 79 active element UHF-VHF-FM but it appears to be under 10' in length.
79 "active" elements and <10' boom length? How are you counting "active elements"? I'm assuming this is a VHF LPDA with some type of UHF corner reflector and a small UHF active element as the 79th element. That still leaves 78 VHF "active elements", which even if you divide that number in half for the dipoles means you still have a LOT of "active elements"...heck, you'd even have a lot of elements miscounting re-radiators and the like as "active"...this thing must look like a well-groomed porcupine...

But I'm not too surprised if you have a short boom length LPDA with a lot of elements sticking out of it, since the antenna "industry" doesn't really design antennas for correct reception as much as sell them the way Detroit LIKES to sell cars: by the pound, but in some cases you might want to park it in a small garage, and style counts for more than bogus horsepower ratings...

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post #15589 of 18788 Old 07-22-2017, 02:56 PM
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Interesting VHF/UHF combo

Here is an interesting setup, VHF and UHF without the 14' long mast-wobbling monstrosity.



I should point out this is, of course directional for both UHF and VHF so not exactly what @MikeekiM01 is doing. But it could prove useful for some folks. Specs aren't posted, but I wouldn't be surprised if performed close to the favorite 91XG on UHF.

Personally, I'm not touching a thing for the next three years, at which point ATSC 1.0 will likely be dropped in favor of ATSC 3.0. I'm betting the broadcasters coordinate the repack equipment shuffle to include the equipment for the new modulation, video and audio codecs. The narrower UHF band will allow antenna design improvements, and VHF will become more important in the bay area. Will SiliconDust be ready to support us network tuner users with ATSC 3.0 tuners?

Lifespeed
91XG Yagi for San Francisco, DB4e bowtie for Fremont
SiliconDust HDHR4-2US network tuners, one per antenna
Media server PC running Emby
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post #15590 of 18788 Old 07-22-2017, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxreactance View Post
79 "active" elements and <10' boom length? How are you counting "active elements"? I'm assuming this is a VHF LPDA with some type of UHF corner reflector and a small UHF active element as the 79th element. That still leaves 78 VHF "active elements", which even if you divide that number in half for the dipoles means you still have a LOT of "active elements"...heck, you'd even have a lot of elements miscounting re-radiators and the like as "active"...this thing must look like a well-groomed porcupine...

But I'm not too surprised if you have a short boom length LPDA with a lot of elements sticking out of it, since the antenna "industry" doesn't really design antennas for correct reception as much as sell them the way Detroit LIKES to sell cars: by the pound, but in some cases you might want to park it in a small garage, and style counts for more than bogus horsepower ratings...

--
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When we had our antenna taken down years ago to put on a metal roof I had the Antenna Doctor do the re-installation. The closest thing he could find to our antenna was a Winegard Chromstar 2000, model CA-8100. I'm just looking up at it from the backyard so maybe it is longer than 10'. These old eyes aren't what they used to be.
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post #15591 of 18788 Old 07-22-2017, 06:50 PM
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[QUOTE=lifespeed;54463657]Here is an interesting setup, VHF and UHF without the 14' long mast-wobbling monstrosity.



Thanks for sharing that, Lifespeed. Instead of a low-V/high-V/UHF monstrocity, they've put together a rather neat package. Maybe that should be the one I get instead of the huge 8200. I'll have to check on the specs to see how well it works.

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post #15592 of 18788 Old 07-22-2017, 08:07 PM
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Specs aren't posted, but I wouldn't be surprised if performed close to the favorite 91XG on UHF.

The 91XG has about 2 dB more gain the HD7698P does on UHF according to modeling. Not much and not really needed most anywhere in the Bay Area. But the 91XG has as much as 10 dB more rejection in unwanted directions which is helpful in the Bay Area.

Chuck
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post #15593 of 18788 Old 07-23-2017, 04:07 PM
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...

Personally, I'm not touching a thing for the next three years, at which point ATSC 1.0 will likely be dropped in favor of ATSC 3.0. ...
Come join us, 99.99% of the posts say it will never happen ever and another string of 7 (Seven) negative posts were just added today to the ~ 400 negative previous posts. No way that will change as the moderator is in the lead with the negative posts and has the power to remove the positive posts and ban the ATSC member(s) making positive posts.

The only good news is that the people that will be making the decisions between ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0 will never read:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/showth...8&goto=newpost

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post #15594 of 18788 Old 07-23-2017, 05:19 PM
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Come join us, 99.99% of the posts say it will never happen ever and another string of 7 (Seven) negative posts were just added today to the ~ 400 negative previous posts . . .
The last couple pages were about all I could bother to read. I understand the pessimism. Technology changeovers take time. The same people were saying the same things about ATSC 1.0. It wasn't pain-free, but the results were very good once it was all done. I predict the same for ATSC 3.0.

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post #15595 of 18788 Old 07-24-2017, 09:34 PM
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When we had our antenna taken down years ago to put on a metal roof I had the Antenna Doctor do the re-installation. The closest thing he could find to our antenna was a Winegard Chromstar 2000, model CA-8100. I'm just looking up at it from the backyard so maybe it is longer than 10'. These old eyes aren't what they used to be.
Well, I took a look at this:

http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=hd8200u

And you know, it DOES look like well-groomed porcupine.

And the confusion about the number of "active elements" is actually on the friggin' web page selling these pieces of junk: "69 Active Elements, 34 VHF elements, and 35 UHF elements".

"35 UHF [active] elements"...sheesh!

It's a Yagi stick with a corner reflector (I have an antenna very similar to this, BTW). It ACTUALLY has exactly ONE UHF "active element".

"Active" (sometimes with a different name) elements are those elements actually connected electrically to the feed line, and ultimately your TV. Everything else are "passive" elements (sometimes with different, usually stupid names, like "parasitic"): directors, reflectors, re-radiators. The are NOT connected to the feed line, but are used to focus and direct the signal to the actual active elements, increasing the "power" of the antenna.

A Yagi stick has a boat-load of director elements, and the corner reflector consists of a bunch of reflector elements arrayed on 90 degree V-angle booms to focus the directed signals right onto the ACTUAL active element (generally a little squashed loop or something) at the center of the V.

This antenna also features a lot of re-radiator passive elements in the VHF section.

As to the actual efficacy of this and many other typical commercial TV antennas, all those rods poking out at you are mostly there as a marketing ploy. "It must be good, it's really big and has a whole bunch of rods, I'm really getting my money's worth."

Again, and I'm sorry to disappoint many people here yet again, I get 100 channels from two pieces of coat-hanger wire and a UHF loop I scavenged off a small TV I bought at a garage sale for $1...

It's more where you put it than how much you paid for it.

--
max
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post #15596 of 18788 Old 07-25-2017, 08:36 AM
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Well, I took a look at this:

http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=hd8200u

And the confusion about the number of "active elements" is actually on the friggin' web page selling these pieces of junk: "69 Active Elements, 34 VHF elements, and 35 UHF elements".

"35 UHF [active] elements"...sheesh!

It's a Yagi stick with a corner reflector (I have an antenna very similar to this, BTW). It ACTUALLY has exactly ONE UHF "active element".
Thanks @maxreactance

That's VERY interesting information! BTW, how did you come to the conclusion that there is only 1 active UHF element with all of the marketing hype claiming otherwise?

Me, not being the expert, I just want to understand what you were saying... Are you saying that these large antennas with all these passive elements are designed to have the active element draw the signal in, and the passives are meant to catch the signals passively through signal reflection?

Again...very interesting... Thanks again!

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post #15597 of 18788 Old 07-25-2017, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by maxreactance View Post
Well, I took a look at this:

http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=hd8200u

And you know, it DOES look like well-groomed porcupine.

And the confusion about the number of "active elements" is actually on the friggin' web page selling these pieces of junk: "69 Active Elements, 34 VHF elements, and 35 UHF elements".

"35 UHF [active] elements"...sheesh!
"Pieces of junk"? That'a a bit harsh. I purchased this antenna over 30 years ago (probably before you were born) from Quement Electronics in San Jose, and have had absolutely no issues with it at all, for analog and now digital, regardless of environmental conditions. The engineering specification pamphlet that the Antenna Doctor gave me states 79 active elements, 42 UHF and 37 VHF. Personally I don't care how active is defined. It just works as advertised. I get all of the Bay Area stations that I would ever want trouble-free. If a coat hanger bent at 90 degrees works for you, fine.
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post #15598 of 18788 Old 07-25-2017, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeekiM01 View Post
Thanks @maxreactance

That's VERY interesting information! BTW, how did you come to the conclusion that there is only 1 active UHF element with all of the marketing hype claiming otherwise?

Me, not being the expert, I just want to understand what you were saying... Are you saying that these large antennas with all these passive elements are designed to have the active element draw the signal in, and the passives are meant to catch the signals passively through signal reflection?

Again...very interesting... Thanks again!
Well, I'm not quite sure about your description of passive vs. active elements.

"Active" elements (also called "driven" elements) are connected electrically to the receiver (for a receive antenna). The mysterious electro-magnetic radio waves fly through the air, and when they encounter a conductor (a metallic object with "free electrons"), they cause the free electrons to move in the conductor, replicating the electro-magnetic signal electrically in the conductor.

In an antenna, if that conductor is connected electrically to the receiver (your TV in this case, through your coax cable or flatwire or whatever), it is considered to be an "active" or "driven" element of the antenna, because it is the actual element that transmits the electrical signal to your receiver that let's you watch your shows. Everything else on an antenna is a "passive" (or sometimes called "parasitic" for unknown reasons) element that is NOT connected electrically to your TV. They are just there to focus the electro-magnetic waves on the "active element".

Classic example is the standard satellite TV dish. The dish just gathers the radio waves in the area of the dish, and focuses them towards the "feed horn" sitting at the middle of the dish, which acts as a "wave guide" to guide the waves to the actual "active element" deep inside the feed horn, which is just a tiny little dipole about an inch in size. This little dipole is what is actually electrically connected to the satellite box. Everything else just gathers and guides the radio waves to the active element, to greatly amplify the power delivered to the active element.

A Yagi stick is the same idea, with a different design. There are many descriptions of Yagi sticks on the Internet, here's one of hundreds:

http://www.radio-electronics.com/inf.../yagi/yagi.php

There they call the "directors" and "reflectors" "parasitic elements" and the "active element" the "driven element", but the concepts are always the same. The "directors" act as kind of a "wave guide", drawing in and "directing" the waves to the active element, and there is a "reflector" behind the active element which is kind of like the dish in a satellite dish.

The TV antenna I used for many years was a LPDA (log-periodic dipole array) for VHF with a Yagi stick with a corner reflector for UHF, very similar to the subject antenna with the 157,000 or whatever "active elements". As you can clearly see in the link above, there is exactly ONE "active" or "driven" element in the Yagi antenna design, but typically there are a LOT of directors, giving this antenna very specific reception characteristics (beam width, directivity, gain over isotropic/dipole, radiation pattern, etc.).

Sometime after the digital TV cutover in 2009 (?), I became obsessed with getting the maximum number of digital channels, so I experimented endlessly with all the various antennas I owned, different permutations and combinations, different locations, until I found the exact optimal combination and location of antennas to give me the maximum number of channels (about 100 non-duplicates).

As it turned out, MY optimal antenna consisted of TWO active elements with NO passive elements: a VHF half-wave dipole made from coat-hanger wire and "cut" to about channel 7 physical channel frequency, and a UHF loop from an old portable TV (probably "cut" a little too small for the current and upcoming TV frequency spectrum), screwed directly into the flatwire screw inputs on an old (40 years?) Radio Shack masthead amplifier that I use to be able to split the signal off to the six or so receivers in my house.

Your mileage may vary, but the laws of the electromagnetism and their application in digital TV reception in the USA do not...everything, good or bad, happens for a reason...

--
max

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post #15599 of 18788 Old 07-25-2017, 01:54 PM
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That's VERY interesting information! BTW, how did you come to the conclusion that there is only 1 active UHF element with all of the marketing hype claiming otherwise?

I wouldn't get too hung up on this terminology. In the overall electronics world the word "active" usually refers to devices that change the electrical signal somehow, such as tubes, transistors and diodes. Devices such as filters and transformers are passive. In this world antennas are passive devices.

In the antenna world the word "active" is normally only used when not all the elements are used on the full frequency range that the antenna covers. For example, on my high VHF 22 element LPDA seen in my avatar, only 4 or 5 elements are used on any frequency.

All antennas have driven elements, elements connected to the feed cable. This could be just one or multiples as in the bowtie antennas. I've never heard the word "active" applied to driven elements and I've been doing this since the 60's. It's not correct to say an antenna with 50 elements has 50 active elements although I've seen this usage over the years. That would imply there are inactive elements which there aren't. "Active elements" is redundant.

Antennas have some combination of driven elements, reflectors and directors. The simplest antenna is a dipole and has a single driven element. The bowtie antennas get their gain from phasing dipoles and adding a reflector screen. There are no directors. Yagis normally have one director and one reflector and various numbers of directors. There are various hybrid antennas that try to maximize various parameters. A dish antenna has two parts, the feed which normally consists of a director and a reflector of some sort, and a parabolic collector which is unique to antenna designs.

Chuck
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post #15600 of 18788 Old 07-25-2017, 02:01 PM
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FYI - I just took delivery of the Winegard HD8200U, and boy is that box intimidatingly large!!! I haven't cracked it open yet.

I also got notice that my Winegard HD7698P is ready for pick up at Home Depot. I am going to drive over there and pick it up in a couple of hours or so...

This feels a little bit like the 3 bears... the DB4E may be too cold, the HD8200U may be too hot, and the HD7698P might just end up being "just right"...

I will update you guys soon...
You may have to change your screen name to Goldilocks!
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