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I live in Kalamazoo MI southwest of WMU's main campus. I currently have the Winegard FL5500A but the reception is extremely spotty. I need advice to buy a better antenna that has better reception. I live at the bottom of a hill so the reception is blocked on the ENE (70-85 degrees) side of my house. It has to be an indoor antenna because I am renting and we are not allowed to install outdoor antennas. Do you have any recommendations as to antennas that would work in my situation? I am hoping to pick up the local news and possibly abc, nbc, cbs, fox, etc.



 

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I think all the stations you want (except your local PBS) are north-northeast of you are near Gunn Lake. The CBS and NBS stations are on "hi VHF", so a pair of "rabbit ears" antenna may work for them, also your local PBS station is on "low VHF" and the rabbit ears may help you with that one too, but you may have to move the antenna going back and forth with the CBS and NBS stations. Your FOX and ABC stations are on UHF. There are a lot of different indoor UHF antenna around. For UHF I've had good luck with a Philips "silver sensor", it seems to work some on VHF, but I don't think as well as rabbit ears on VHF.


Try and get your antenna in a north facing window if you can.


Good luck.
 

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So the hill on the ene side of my house won't block the signal? It is as tall as my house and has a pretty solid wall right outside. Are there any antennas that could get all of the signals you mentioned or will I need more than one antenna?
 

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Rabbit ears are next to impossible to get any station on VHF-Lo, which would be WGVK on RF 5. The best way to get any VHF-Lo station is an outdoor antenna. I don't know how big your window is, but it might be possible to try a set of dipoles pulled out, so it's optimized for RF 5, & have it in a fixed position at the window. Otherwise, you might have to see if you can pull in RF 11, which is much farther than RF 5. If you can't get either RF 5 or RF 11 (both stations simulcast each other), then you'll have to go without PBS, CBS on RF 8, you have to watch out for potential interference from Milwaukee's PBS station, WMVS, as they also broadcast on RF 8.
 

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As stated in my original post, it has to be indoors because my apartment complex won't allow outdoor antennas. Can you recommend a specific brand, make and model that would work in this area? Thanks
 

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You haven't got any recommendations that will work because what you're asking for is impossible. Every situation is different and yours requires an outdoor antenna. If you can't do that then you need to purchase cable TV. There is not that much difference between most of the indoor antennas. There is no magic antenna that dramatically outperforms the rest.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by afwolf130  /t/1525483/kalamazoo-indoor-antenna-choice#post_24612421


As stated in my original post, it has to be indoors because my apartment complex won't allow outdoor antennas. Can you recommend a specific brand, make and model that would work in this area? Thanks

The Flatwave isn't the best antenna that you can try indoors. Winegard has the Freevision (FV30) that would probably be better for VHF. Walmart has the RCA 751 that could be used indoors, but it takes up more space. You could go even bigger than that and use an outdoor antenna indoors. As has been suggested previously, you should see what VHF you can get with a traditional pair of rabbit ears. If you can get VHF figured out, UHF would be next. An A-B switched could be used to connect a second antenna. Again, there are definitely better UHF antennas than the Flatwave. 2-bay, 4-bay, & 8-bay antennas can be used indoors, provided you have the space.


I'd also ask the neighbors if any of them have been able to get reception figured out and what they use. Good Luck.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by deltaguy  /t/1525483/kalamazoo-indoor-antenna-choice#post_24615794


The Flatwave isn't the best antenna that you can try indoors. Winegard has the Freevision (FV30) that would probably be better for VHF. Walmart has the RCA 751 that could be used indoors, but it takes up more space. You could go even bigger than that and use an outdoor antenna indoors. As has been suggested previously, you should see what VHF you can get with a traditional pair of rabbit ears. If you can get VHF figured out, UHF would be next. An A-B switched could be used to connect a second antenna. Again, there are definitely better UHF antennas than the Flatwave. 2-bay, 4-bay, & 8-bay antennas can be used indoors, provided you have the space.


I'd also ask the neighbors if any of them have been able to get reception figured out and what they use. Good Luck.

Even with those choices, RF 5 will not work with those choices. VHF-LO seems to only work with outdoor antennas with element antennas, optimized for those frequencies. If the OP insists on an indoor antenna, he'll have to see if he can get RF 11, or he'll have to go without PBS.


Like Calaveras mentioned, if the OP can't live with what he can get OTA (if he can get anything at all), cable TV will be the only choice. At least with cable, he'd also get WZZM, which he won't get OTA.
 

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Rabbit-Ears are only mediocre for VHF reception, esp. Ch2-6, where the fully extended Length is WAY too short. A Stick Dipole with the CORRECT Length for a desired channel provides a good SWR Match...but only for a SINGLE Channel:
http://imageevent.com/holl_ands/dipoles/vhfstickdipoles


VHF, esp Lo-VHF Antennas need to be fairly LARGE for a reasonable amount of Gain. For Ch11 (and perhaps also Ch5), you might want to try the fol. (2-Bay) Hi-VHF Hourglass-Loop Antenna (start with NO Reflector version) which is VERY easy to construct using AWG10 or AWG12 (even AWG14) size wire (no need to strip off insulation) and since it's FLAT, could be hidden behind curtains or a NON-METALLIC bookcase (NOT behind your HDTV or other electronic equipment):
http://imageevent.com/holl_ands/loops/hivhfhourglassloop

Note that it ALSO has about 4 dBi Gain on Lo-VHF (Ch2-6), although the SWR is excessive (that may or may NOT be an issue).


For Ch5, you might want to try one of the fol. larger Lo-VHF Hourglass-Loop Antenna:
http://imageevent.com/holl_ands/loops/lovhfhourglassloopnorefl [Ch3-6]
http://imageevent.com/holl_ands/loops/lovhffmhourglassloop [Ch2-6+FM]


A VHF and UHF Combiner (aka UVSJ) can be used to combine Ch2-13 signals with UHF and (if needed) a Lo-VHF and Hi-VHF Combiner (aka HLSJ) can be used to combine a Ch2-6+FM Antenna with a Hi-VHF (Ch7-13) Antenna before combining with UHF Antenna.

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave73  /t/1525483/kalamazoo-indoor-antenna-choice#post_24620935


Even with those choices, RF 5 will not work with those choices. VHF-LO seems to only work with outdoor antennas with element antennas, optimized for those frequencies. If the OP insists on an indoor antenna, he'll have to see if he can get RF 11, or he'll have to go without PBS.


Like Calaveras mentioned, if the OP can't live with what he can get OTA (if he can get anything at all), cable TV will be the only choice. At least with cable, he'd also get WZZM, which he won't get OTA.

They probably will not work. There are no absolutes with indoor reception. One forum member was having troubles with rf 2 in Las Vegas in one particular room. In another room in the same house, a commercial combo antenna with rabbit ears had no problem. There are three important VHF stations in play here. Basic rabbit ears provide a baseline for VHF reception. In one room here, I've seen a Flatwave perform better than rabbit ears for rf 9 & 10. I hope that's not true in this case, but you can't assume anything.
 
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