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my antenna is about 200"above sea level ( house on the upper most part of point loma on the ocean side) the line of sight to the LA Mt Wilison is 330-320 degrees and a 105 miles. I currently have a home depot combination VHF UHF antenna (rated for 45 miles I believe) I receive the regular broadcast channels(LA) quite well. with the exception of 9 and 28. 28 is always a little snowy and about 6:30 in the evening it disappears for some reason then comes back on later. My question is will purchasing new equipment( better antenna, preamp etc) allow me to get the LA HDTV stations ( I have not purchased a HDTV yet), or am I stuck with only the san diego stations for HDTV. Also I was wondering why my reception for LA is better when antenna is pointed toward the east side of MT Soledad about 20 degrees , then where you would expect the best reception at the 330 degrees. I guess the bottom line is it worth the time and money to go for LA stations. thanks

jose
 

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For me, I have found 55 miles about limit for UHF/digital reception. I am talking about reception without dropouts or blocking. Of course, as you know know, every reception situation is different so, if want to spend the money..and try for 100 miles..go for it. But, I am thinking you will not do it ..on regular basis. But, on other hand, I have never try it. I wish you luck. One thing for sure, you will have to get that antenna (probably 2 antennas like Televes or Blake) much about ground level..like 50-60 feet. and have a clear shot at the transmitters.
 

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You may be surprised with your long distance reception, I would buy a high quality antenna, I recommend a Televes DAT75. The coast seems to have almost nonstop Tropo ducting which helps signals travel over long distances, I also have read about people in San Diego that have good luck with LA reception, also get a rotor to switch back and forth and to fine tune your signal.
 

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There is a lot of info. here:

http://www.atechfabrication.com/


on tests of long distance reception in LA from S.D. using Blake, Televes, etc. antennas.


Your prospects for reliable reception are better than mine because the Mt. Wilson towers may be (just) visible to you at 105 miles despite the curvature of the earth.


I receive the various S.D. DTV stations - ranging from about 112 to 133 miles away - about 25% of the time. But S.D. towers are at a lower altitude than Mt. Wilson.


My advice:


First establish if you have line of sight, including the effects of the earth's curvature and any intervening mountain range.


If you do, then invest in a stacked antenna system. If you have no multipath, stack vertically. Use a low noise preamp such as the Channel Master 7778. A rotor and maybe even a tilter are desirable. I suspect the Blake JBX21WB's have slightly higher gain than the Televes DAT75's.
 

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given your height and the height of the towers in LA you actually have no problem with a line of sight signal, do you have any high mountains between you and L.A. ?
 

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Point Loma/O.B. is not line-of-sight with Mt. Wilson, but is a good spot to catch the tropospheric bending of signals along the coast.


The reason you have to turn your antenna away from the direction of the signal is that your antenna isn't optimized for those frequencies--the major lobes of reception are slightly off the sides. Your system is adequate for VHF, but UHF could use some help, especially if you want to receive KCET-DT.


For your location, the Winegard PR-4400 available at Willy's or Western Radio Electronics works well, too. They have all-channel Winegards that you could use for VHF/UHF. Note that some people report better reception with Channel Master, though you'd have to mail order them.


I believe that the same manufacturer makes antennas for Home Depot and Radio Shack. They are okay for in-town reception, but you'll have a lot of fade-outs for the long-haul reception that you wouldn't have with the Televes, Winegard or Channel Master products.


What's so great about the Televes is that even though it's ugly, you can get ABC and CBS in town, and LA DTV stations in digital by pointing in one direction (NW) and you don't need a full-size VHF-UHF array. You may be able to get KPBS off the side, as well.


I would recommend a quality preamp like the Channel Master 7775 to reduce fading.


Keep in mind that with this array you'll lose LA reception every time there's a Santa Ana wind or good, cleansing rain. Tropo reception depends on the refraction off of humid air, or reflection off of the ocean or sharp temperature clines in the air.


I've used this technique to communicate to Hawaii on VHF ham radio under relatively rare conditions with 10 watts of power. Pretty cool.
 
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