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Traveling to my Dad's in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and need to educate him about DTV and his options. He is located 2 1/2 miles North of Paradise, zip code (49768), right on the water of Whitefish Bay-Lake Superior, facing East towards Canada. He has a UHF/VHF antenna on a tower, 25', rotor, pre amp, set up now. He's using an anolog tv but i'm taking my flat panel DTV with me to check out possible digital reception. From what I remember he loves his PBS type UHF station the most from a Sault Ste Marie, Ontario tower, with CBS 9&10 VHF, and ABC 7&8 VHF, transmitting from satellite towers, (relay towers), from south of Sault Ste Marie, Michigan. Two more strong stations are from Canada, (the "Soo" again), VHF 2 CTV, and 5 CBC. There is also an NBC station that barely came in after he turned the rotor if he bothered. To tell you the truth, I doubt if he's watched NBC since Johnny Carson was on the Tonight Show. From what I could find out, Canada won't be switching to DTV until 2011, and his only chance to watch televsion after 2009 will be the UHF/VHF stations from Ontario, or hopefully CBS and ABC will have a strong enough digital signal to reach him. So here's a few questions I have before I try to answer his....his antenna takes a beating from extreme winds and needs replaced every few years so if I take the tower down I'm not afraid to replace everything if needed. I think everything came from R....S.... about 5 years ago and after reading the posts in this website, I'm sure there are other outlets for parts if needed. The need for both UHF and VHF reception is my main question, another huge combo antenna or two seperate ones? And again, suggestions for the best phasing of the two, new pre amp, signal combiner, set top box for digital, and heck, let's get him a fancy new rotor I can place next to his recliner. And if need be, I'll leave my DTV set up there and stick his in his bedroom to replace the 12'' black and white he uses. I'm 450 miles away so I'll have a couple of chances to get him set up. Oh, you can imagine why he just doesn't go dish, being on a senior citizens budget and quite frankly, still loves things simple. I can only imagine what will happen in the next year to all the senior citizens (urban and rural) who are just now wondering if they'll be able to watch TV next year. I'm urban, in my 50's, in a new apt, five miles from 5 tv towers, with an outdoor antenna indoors and still watch analog over digital because I can't stand the freezing and dropping of the stations. Don't get me wrong, I love the picture, the sound is even better, but it's all or nothing when it comes to a signal with DTV. Soon as this weather warms up, I'm gonna splice some R6 and sneak my antenna outside until spring, then I'll have to come up with another idea. Maybe buy my own place out in the country again and become a DX'er. Thanks, Mike
 

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go to www.tvfool.com and enter your address information. It will give you much better information than www.antennaweb.org , which gave very little info for your location.


Looks like you have a very good chance of receiving the Canadian stations (all except 1 are UHF for their digital transmissions), US stations will be a stretch.


Looks like it will be a grand experiment. If you do need new antenna equipment, you might want to research Winegard for a replacement. They are very well built and should last much longer than the typical RS (made by Antennacraft) antennas.
 

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What quality reception does he get now, on the analog stations? As a general rule of thumb, if you get halfway decent reception on an analog station (some overall "snow" or graininess is OK), you should be able to get an adequately strong digital signal with the same antenna setup.


(I remember Paradise... drove through it on my way to the Whitefish Point lighthouse while touring the U.P. a few summers ago.)


Here's the data from tvfool.com for your approximate location. The ABC and CBS stations are definitely a stretch, but they should be do-able with a good antenna setup. I get some stations at that approximate signal level (-100 dBm), at least at night, with a 160" combination VHF/UHF antenna from Radio Shack. With the weather conditions in that area, a Winegard would be much better because of its durability.
 

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I too live in a rural area and i have made my own hdtv antenna from the coat hanger you tube video i found online. i guess what i am wanting to know is it possible to hook 2 of these antenna's together to get better signal from different directions.
 

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"buzzdar"

if you do a google search on combining TV antennas, the quick and dirty answer is ...No ... just combining two similar UHF antennas facing different directions will cause about a 3db drop in signal. The antennas tend to cancel each other out. There are special antenna combiners where you specify the channels you want to combine and they are made up to those exact frequencies....made by Channel Master but hard to find now. Two antennas "stacked" and combined facing the same direction will increase the received signal. If UHF signal is the problem, you would probably do better with an XG91 UHF yagi and a rotor.....or two UHF antennas feeding an A-B switch to your TV
http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_disp...p?PROD=AD-91XG
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Never knew so much data was availible, and it seems to be coming from guys and gals like you. Where is this info on the goverments sites? Thanks to those that compile and include it in forums and websites like this. Still wondering about 2 versus 1 antenna for reception. The reason being for weight and wind and trying to "get up there" a few more feet with a mast extension/antenna set up on this 25' tower. I realize I can only go so high coming up out of that rotor, but 8' more would help flatten the earth curve. The tower is guy wired for extra strenth so I just need to worry about weight at the top. Now I'll probably confuse you but I'm thinking two seperate antennas. What's up there now is the 160'' UHF/VHF combo. I know big is better but this thing has such long elements etc. it can't handle the wind and ice/snow loads. How about a 2-4 bay UHF on top, and a smaller VHF or VHF/UHF combo underneath? I was wondering about off setting the direction of the 2 slightly to take advantage of VHF and UHF-digital signals from the east at about 40 miles and the UHF-digital from the southeast at 60-80 miles? Or will ghosting occur? And does that affect digital (starting next year)? By the way, loved info and maps from tv fool, too bad Dad's house is on the edge for coverage. So thanks again, and enjoy free tv, Mike
 

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I just check the FCC data base and found that after February 2009 WWUP will be on channel 10 and WGTQ will be on channel 8. With that information and also your one Canadian station on 11, I would definitely go with a separate high band VHF antenna. The advantage of a VHF high band only antenna is that it does not have the very long rods needed for channels 2 through 6.

Most on this site agree that the best is the Winegard YA-1713 and I certainly found it to make the most difference here in rural west Texas. There are alot of good UHF antennas discussed on this site and you will have to make a decision based on performance and weight.

To tie the two antennas together into one downlead the Channel Master 7777 pre-amp has separate inputs for a UHF and VHF antenna.

I would not point the antennas in slightly different directions in such a critical installation as I have never worked with a UHF/VHF combiner that completely isolated the two antennas and although multipathing in the digital world does not result in "ghosting" it does reduce the quality of the signal. Also, it would make the use of the rotor a bit confusing.
 

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I did a little more research this morning on your Dad's situation. I was afraid that by recommending a High VHF antenna only with no specifications below channel 7 that he would loose his favorite "PBS type Canadian station". However it appears that is available in digital as CICO-TV on UHF channel 25. CIII on 16 is called the Global Network and CJIC on 21 is a copy of analog 5 (CBC) and CHBX channel 11 is a copy of analog 2 (CTV).

Since CICO is important to your father I would get a very good UHF antenna also. I have the Winegard HD-9032 and get a PBS digital station 60 miles away through a mountain pass. It is large and possibly if weight is a great concern the HD-9075 would do the job. I would not use a 4 bay for such a critical application and have tried the PR-8800 (8 bay) and found it to be very heavy and not much better.

To tie the two antennas together, if you would rather not go with the Channel Master 7777, Radio Shack makes a combiner (model # 15-2586) and summitsource.com has the JVI 25-UVSJ.

It sounds like a very fun project. I live 8 miles from Mexico and is would be interesting to get reception over the northern boarder for a change.
 

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Before you put together the antenna system, you should contact the Canadian stations and make sure they are actually broadcasting a DTV signal. The Canadian transition is several years behind ours, and relatively few digital stations are on from Canada. Also, the information about Canadian station in the FCC databases is not always the most up to date about things like antenna heights and patterns.
 

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We have a 27ft home made mast with a low cost Radio Shack antenna with in-lline 30db booster living inland and surrounded by huge trees and we get incredible reception both the station's HD and SD outputs from three metros from 40 to 70 miles away. Our set-top-receiver supports both analog and digital and HD digital signal reception.


Most all tv stations are broadcasting simultaneous HD and SD signals and if the analog reception is fine the HD digital reception will be just as fine. So far as the Canadian stations maybe staying alalog for a while the UHF and VHF antenna will gladly receive both analog and digital and digital HD signals so if his tv or receiver supports all types of broadcaster signal formats he should be just fine.
 

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I think there are too many variables right now to go with separates. If your father wants something simple and effective, I would go with the Winegard 8200U:

http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_disp...p?prod=HD8200U


I think that VHF - Low reception will still be needed for a while as I am skeptical that any of the local Canadian stations are actually broadcasting in digital yet.


If he doesn't need VHF 2 CTV and 5 CBC (or any other stations on 2-6), then a 7-69 combo can be considered, such as:

http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_disp...p?PROD=HD7697P
 
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