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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just moved to Birmingham from Austin and finding that the terrain here is much more challenging for OTA than I had experience with in the past. The trouble is that I'm on the south side of a hill slope along Meadow Brook (Valleydale) and the best I get with my custom UHF antenna is a 5 on my signal strength.


So, what's the trick with OTA stations for where I'm at? Or am I hopelessly terrain challenged because of distance and no direct line of sight to the towers?
 

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Do a search for Birmingham Red Mountain. This is a huge thread with a lot of info. I myself cannot get anything OTA and I am about 5 miles from the towers. The problem is I am in a valley and my apartment faces the opposite direction.


Good luck, I will be moving next week to Atlanta and this time I picked an apartment that should allow me to get all of their OTA-HD stations.
 

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sledford


Welcome to B'ham !


I've had success with the Channel master 4228 8 bay antenna out your way. Even on Hwy 119 behind the hill( no LOS). Pulled in everything except Fox6 which is low power..


Dave
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by sledford
... the best I get with my custom UHF antenna is a 5 on my signal strength.
sledford,


What "custom" antenna are your using?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You can find many different antenna design software pacakges on the internet that can enable you to literally build a custom antenna for different purposes. It's not real difficult but they are mostly tuned to certain frequencies. Mine was tuned to the Fox channel in Austin that was broadcasting HD with just 800 watts but I had LOS to the tower about 20 miles away and thus made it feasible to do. Although tuned to Fox's frequency for maximum gain, it was still good enough on the other channels as well.


My problem here is much more generalized since ALL of the channels come in with roughly the same strength....very poor and therefore, a tuned antenna is not the right approach. Rather than hunt and search and spend a lot of time I don't have right now, I'm relying on the experience of my fellow HDTV citizens to narrow in my options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by David Richardson



I've had success with the Channel master 4228 8 bay antenna out your way. Even on Hwy 119 behind the hill( no LOS). Pulled in everything except Fox6 which is low power..


Dave
Dave, if you don't mind another detail. How high did you place your antenna? And to cut to the chase, if I need to mount this bad boy on my chimney, which is 3 stories up, are there services to do that specific task? I'm a flatlander that grew up in S. Florida and getting up 3 stories on anything is not my cup of tea.


Steve
 

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You should really experiment with various things as your mileage may vary. Many of us have actually had better luck with our antennas on the ground (leaning against the side of the house, etc). I have a 4228, and I can't get the stations from my roof, but they all come in when the antenna is on the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I should have asked the obvious question as well being new to the area, where can I buy a CM 4228 locally? Shipping on these dogs is pretty stout in looking on line.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by tclove
... Many of us have actually had better luck with our antennas on the ground (leaning against the side of the house, etc).
Height (higher OR lower) and TILT angle can affect reception dramatically, especially in hilly terrain.


Trial & error and patience pay off.....:)
 

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You should be able to get one from Forbes Distributing (1416 4th Avenue South) for around $50. Arxaw is right. This directional antenna, in particular, is extremely sensitive. Just an inch or two one way or the other can make a big difference. HD reception is a crap shoot in Bham. It seems that wind, rain, etc. also make a big difference in your reception. You just have to be patient and particularly meticulous regarding placement.
 

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sledford


Every antenna I have installed has been in the attic as the clients we have are kind of picky. Haven't had any problems with 90% of the install. The 10% is in a deeeeeeep valley where I only come up with CBS and NBC.


You lose some signal with the attic but unless you are enclosed with trees like I am your antenna isn't the most attractive decoration.


Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Dave, trees are my problem too. No clear area except in the street and that is obviously no option for placing an antenna. ;-)


So, with all the trees what did you do?
 

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With a directional antenna (like the 4228), you can sometimes aim around trees. My directional antenna is pointed between trees and toward a hillside, which fortunately picks up bounced signals from stations originating in two different directions. It took a while to get it right, but it is rock steady now.


Aiming in hill/valley/tree areas can be tricky, especially if you have any low power stations. You may find a "sweet spot", only to find reception deteriorate at different times of the day/night, or when weather conditions change. Just keep trying, including aiming in directions you wouldn't think would work!
 

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Dave,


PROMISES, PROMISES (biggest smile possible)!! Seriously, I know you will. I've got a temporary solution....maybe some day we'll find a permanent one.


Later buddy!


Tim
 
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