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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,


I currently live in Houston, about 2-4 miles away from the antenna farm and I believe I am under the first lobes coming off the broadcast antennas. My analog reception is truly terrible, though my digital OTA is fairly decent on some stations. However, I can't seem to get all the stations in by orienting my antenna in any particular direction (even though they are only 2 degrees separated, i.e. 8 and 10 degrees from me ). I can get MOST of them with my current orientation, but I can't get the best one for showing off HD, that being the PBS station.


Any antenna gurus out there with thoughts?


The antenna I currently have is like the 83" boom UHF/VHF one from Rat Shack.. no preamp used. For the record, I've tried about 3 different sets of table top indoor antennas and they ALL sucked.


Thanks,

Jeff
 

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Have you tried the Zenith Silver Sensor antenna? The signals where I live are extremely strong, and that was the only one I tried that worked.


If you haven't tried it, I'd suggest picking it up. If it doesn't work, take it back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by steelcurtain
Have you tried the Zenith Silver Sensor antenna? The signals where I live are extremely strong, and that was the only one I tried that worked.


If you haven't tried it, I'd suggest picking it up. If it doesn't work, take it back.
Steelcurtain,


No I haven't. I've seen it mentioned a few times. It's a bowtie, right? My understanding is that it must be in a window facing the antennas to get good reception. That's not really an option for me as this HAS to go in the attic. Not sure how well the Silver Sensor would work in the attic. Anyone using one there?


Also, is the SS available at Rat Shack too? If not, where are people snagging them?


Thanks,

Jeff


PS - Uh oh... just did a little more digging. The SS is UHF only and the PBS station I want to get in better is VHF (Channel 9-1).. CRUD!!!
 

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The Silver Sensor is not a bowtie, its available at stores like Sears or Circuit City not Radio Shack. Some have used them in an attic but that does reduce the signal level - you might have to move it around to find a good reception spot and it has a narrow reception angle. The Silver Sensor can receive the higher VHF band (7-13) if they are strong signals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ahh ok, thanks TB. I may just try it out in a window location downstairs and see what's what before I try it upstairs. I'll drop by CC tonight and see if I can pick one up.


Thanks,

Jeff


Quote:
Originally posted by ThumperBoy
The Silver Sensor is not a bowtie, its available at stores like Sears or Circuit City not Radio Shack. Some have used them in an attic but that does reduce the signal level - you might have to move it around to find a good reception spot and it has a narrow reception angle. The Silver Sensor can receive the higher VHF band (7-13) if they are strong signals.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Iceblade
Steelcurtain,


No I haven't. I've seen it mentioned a few times. It's a bowtie, right? My understanding is that it must be in a window facing the antennas to get good reception. That's not really an option for me as this HAS to go in the attic. Not sure how well the Silver Sensor would work in the attic. Anyone using one there?


Also, is the SS available at Rat Shack too? If not, where are people snagging them?


Thanks,

Jeff
Not a bowtie. Being so close to the transmitter, it might work in your house anywhere. It's interesting, best reception from it where I am (80 miles from most transmitters) comes from a certain spot on my bed, and another spot gets another set of stations, and yet ANOTHER spot gets a third set, but the last two are only in good atmospheric conditions. The interesting thing is that that particular spot in the correct direction goes through a closet and a wall.


I found mine at Buy.Com, but Best Buy has em too.


- Trip
 

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2-4 miles you should be able to pick them up using a coat hanger. try skinning off a small section of coax cable and using that.
 

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If you are so close as to be under the pattern of the antenna, you may want to try for a bounce-shot from the other direction.....180 degrees. Here in SLC, people on the west side close to the mountain, all turn their antennas toward the east mountains, 20 miles away. Maybe a tall building, factory, arena or something further away from you will give a decent bounce.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Kenglish,


Yeah... that's what I may have to try to do.. but being out "in the sticks" in flat-as-a-pancake Houston isn't going to do me any favors. :(


Incidentally, I did run to Circuit City, Best Buy, Conn's and Home Depot. None of them carry the Silver Sensor. I ran to the crappiest Sears in the entire world and they were all out of it. Big surprise. The next closest Sears is on the other side of the city... so it may be the weekend before I can snag one. Anyone know of an internet place with a good return policy in case the SS doesn't solve my woes? Copperbox? Buy.com?


Thanks,

Jeff


Quote:
Originally posted by kenglish
If you are so close as to be under the pattern of the antenna, you may want to try for a bounce-shot from the other direction.....180 degrees. Here in SLC, people on the west side close to the mountain, all turn their antennas toward the east mountains, 20 miles away. Maybe a tall building, factory, arena or something further away from you will give a decent bounce.
 

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you were misinformed. best buy does carry it. It has the Zenith trademarks on it and I think it comes in a flat triangular box.
 

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Try an attenuator. With that distance and a big antenna

you may be suffering from overload. Radi Snack sells them.


Also, Ch. 9 has very different properties

from UHF especially if in a attic. Try a rabbit ears in various places

in the attic. Set the length correctly. Ch 9 is 190 MHz so you need an

antena 146/190 = 0.78 meter long.


Doug McDonald
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
/sarcasm mode ON


Really? What a shock that the Best Buy guys didn't know their own products! :)


/sarcasm mode OFF


I'll check with another store tonight just to see what's what. The only models that the BB I visited had were Terk or RCA I believe.


Thanks,

Jeff


Quote:
Originally posted by GregF
you were misinformed. best buy does carry it. It has the Zenith trademarks on it and I think it comes in a flat triangular box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks, Doug. So you don't think that the Silver Sensor is going to do it all by itself? Another post alluded to the SS being able to reign in the higher numbered VHF stations.


I'll see if an attenuator helps anything tonight. I realize that it might help for analog reception, but I thought digital was a different beast in terms of bringing the signal in.


Thanks again,

Jeff


Quote:
Originally posted by jdmcdonald
Try an attenuator. With that distance and a big antenna

you may be suffering from overload. Radi Snack sells them.


Also, Ch. 9 has very different properties

from UHF especially if in a attic. Try a rabbit ears in various places

in the attic. Set the length correctly. Ch 9 is 190 MHz so you need an

antena 146/190 = 0.78 meter long.


Doug McDonald
 

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(disclaimer: I am not an antenna guru heheh)


You might have better luck with the model number, ZHDTV1. Or you can use best buy's website to check stock at stores of your choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Greg,


BINGO! Thanks, dude. I had searched both the CC and BB websites and not seen diddly until I used the model number. Thanks... I'll run out at lunch and see if the store they SAY has it really does.


Thanks,

Jeff


Quote:
Originally posted by GregF
(disclaimer: I am not an antenna guru heheh)


You might have better luck with the model number, ZHDTV1. Or you can use best buy's website to check stock at stores of your choice.
 

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The UHF bowties and Silver Sensors will indeed pick up

VHF stations if they are exceedingly powerful, as yours

may be at 4 miles. They will, however, have strange

anglual patterns.


However, VHF is very fickle for indoor reception. You can

consider signals as coming in through gaps between metallic

areas. UHF signals will pass through smaller gaps. So what my

suggestion about VHF was, was to try moving a small VHF-only

antenna around to different places.


Doug
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the clarification, Doug. I was able to snag a Silver Sensor at lunch. Unfortunately I really can only use one antenna for my particular setup as I am already diplexing the antenna signal with my DSS signal and feeding that to my Spaun 5x8 multiswitch. If I am understanding you correctly, I would have to diplex a correctly positioned VHF antenna with the Silver Sensor's UHF line and have that de-muxed at each tv that I want to receive full band OTA TV on, correct? I don't think normal RG6 cable has bandwidth to transfer a UHF/VHF diplexed signal on one half of ANOTHER diplexer and DSS on the other half, does it? Perhaps I am not understanding the situation well enough?


Thanks,

Jeff



Quote:
Originally posted by jdmcdonald
The UHF bowties and Silver Sensors will indeed pick up

VHF stations if they are exceedingly powerful, as yours

may be at 4 miles. They will, however, have strange

anglual patterns.


However, VHF is very fickle for indoor reception. You can

consider signals as coming in through gaps between metallic

areas. UHF signals will pass through smaller gaps. So what my

suggestion about VHF was, was to try moving a small VHF-only

antenna around to different places.


Doug
 

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You can combine a VHF and UHF antenna to one coax first before the diplexer. You can use a regular RF splitter in reverse or look for a combiner at Radio Shack or similar store.
 

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One example is this. The Silver Sensor goes to the UHF leg, the VHF antenna goes to the VHF leg, the IN leg will actually be out in this case and go to the ANT input on the diplexer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks, guys. Looks like I'll be stopping at the Shack tonight. :)


Any thoughts on a VHF only antenna that's worth a squirt? The only rabbit ears variety thing I have is a combo UHF/VHF indoor one that I got from Rat Shack that truly sucks. It was the reason I ended up getting the monstrousity I currently own and am hoping to replace with the Silver Sensor and something else.


Regs,

Jeff
 
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