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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey,


Looking to build a decent but not great VHF antenna. I need to try and hide it on the balcony of an apartment 2nd floor. I'm trying to get channel 7 which DTV.GOV shows -55db for my location.


I'm thinking of a large bowtie 22" wiskers without a reflector. What i'm concerned about is I'd like to bolt it to the sheathing where no one will see it. from what I can tell theres only bricks on the other side being its an outside opening. Theres no insulation or vapor barrier.


How much of an effect will the wood and brick have on this, and does it matter how close the wiskers are to the wood?


This should get the antenna around 20 feet off the ground and aimed directly at NYC which is approx 20-30 miles line of site.
 

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A simple rabbit ears antenna, properly adjusted and in a perfect setup, represents unity gain. As long as you don't end up with excessive negative gain and multi-path that eats into your NM too much, it ought to work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What is a suitable VHF antenna for this area?


Like I said the cheap SD DTV box I borrowed from a friend and a old TERK TV-50 and a radioshack amplifier I *barely* get channel 7. This was with the antenna outside aimed right at the station.


But Also like I said, the antenna might be a POS as well as the box.


The large bowtie idea came to mind because I could mount it up on the sheathing on our balcony where no one would ever see it. But I don't know how it would perform either.


I'm very new at this
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thetube0a3 /forum/post/18292729


What is a suitable VHF antenna for this area?


Like I said the cheap SD DTV box I borrowed from a friend and a old TERK TV-50 and a radioshack amplifier I *barely* get channel 7. This was with the antenna outside aimed right at the station.


But Also like I said, the antenna might be a POS as well as the box.


The large bowtie idea came to mind because I could mount it up on the sheathing on our balcony where no one would ever see it. But I don't know how it would perform either.


I'm very new at this

A) as you said it wa an OLD antenna. Was the cabing equally old?


B) you mentioned RADIO SHACK amplifier.


C) trust me it won't take much of an antenna to get that station in. try some rabbit ears first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
BCF : The cabling was RG6 I grabbed from work.


However I will agree with you on one thing. Radio shack amplifier. The name alone makes me want to just thing it has a knob and an LED that lights up.


however it did seem to increase my sensitivity A LITTLE. but barely. The TERK antenna is not impressive at all. A 4 bowtie antenna made from rusty coat hangers an engineer loaned me worked almost as good at VHF as the TERK did and was far smaller.


It sounds like my first step is to buy a decent new HD DTV tuner and go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok, The Centronics 502 should be here tuesday. In the mean time I decided to do some messing around to see what I could come up with. Bought rabbit ears + loop from rat shack. picked up ONE UHF channel. As opposed all of the 38 channels +-5 that are weak that I was able to get with the TERK50 and even my friends rusty home made 4 bowtie antenna.

The tuner im using right now is a magnavox TB100MW9. Which from what people said in another thread seems to be decent at receiving. Maybe my apartment is simply in a poor spot regardless of what maps show?


I may mount the terk as high as I can on the balcony out of site and call it a day. But i'd still like to try a single large bowtie.

Does anyone have opinions on how the bowtie will perform is mounted directly against plywood?

Would it be better with small standoffs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
SO luckily the 502 tuner is coming today. However I spent last night trying to get ready to mount the antenna. I figured i'd experiment a little by temporarily placing the antenna up on the wall INSIDE the building directly behind where I want to mount it outside.


Oddly enough I picked up ZERO channels using the 6 foot long TERK. I tried another wall aimed in the same direction "right at NYC" Same thing


I got frustrated and dropped the antenna on the couch, I picked up most of my channels instantly.


I'd like to think i'm not crazy but ?????


My only assumption is multipath. But the magnavox CECB i'm experimenting with has a signal meter, and that was pretty low as well.


I'm at a loss. I assumed maybe vapor barrier in the walls was blocking it. But the fact it got it from the center of the room dropped on a couch totally confused me. Does this signal meter take into consideration quality and multipath?



any ideas?
 

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Magnavox CECB's are not known for being at the top of the heap in performance.


Receiving RF inside of a building is an art and there is no way to determine the best location without test equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Good news,


The ZAT-502-HD just came. However I cannot test until tonight.



Systems2000: I was under the impression the magnavox CECB's received pretty good? Should I expect quite a bit more from the centronics HD box?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thetube0a3 /forum/post/18321172


Good news,


The ZAT-502-HD just came. However I cannot test until tonight.



Systems2000: I was under the impression the magnavox CECB's received pretty good? Should I expect quite a bit more from the centronics HD box?

I never liked the Magnavox CECB.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thetube0a3 /forum/post/18321172


Good news,


The ZAT-502-HD just came. However I cannot test until tonight.


Systems2000: I was under the impression the magnavox CECB's received pretty good? Should I expect quite a bit more from the centronics HD box?

My ZAT502 HD did very well compared to my SONY:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...ostcount=10649


The signal strength bar will help you find the best "hot spot" for your antenna and the signal quality bar will help you aim the antenna to minimize multipath problems.


As stated by systems2000:
Quote:
Receiving RF inside of a building is an art and there is no way to determine the best location without test equipment.

Yes, there is a lot of art and trial-and-error.

The two ZAT signal bars can be your test equipment. Make sure you have a long enough coax to try different locations.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thetube0a3 /forum/post/18321172


Systems2000: I was under the impression the magnavox CECB's received pretty good? Should I expect quite a bit more from the centronics HD box?

You should expect more from just about any set top box, vs the magnavox, particularly with certain magnavox models. Which models, I don't recall offhand. Many of them are basically crap. The ZAT502 should be a big improvement.


Indoor TV reception is like cell phone reception in some buildings. Move over a few feet and you find a hot spot where it will work. If you have a metallic vapor barrier in the wall insulation or low-e insulating glass windows, indoor TV reception is a crap shoot with odds stacked against you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok I have the zat-502 hooked up and I'm honestly lost and confused right now.


Indoor reception is near impossible with the 2 antennas i'm using, outdoor reception is strange. atleast to me.


The one antenna is 4 rusty coat hangers arranged like a DB4 with no reflector.

The other is the TERK TV-50. The terk is garbage for sure. the rusty DB4 sans reflector is out performing it.


What worries me is the fact that rabbit ears and a loop did absolutely nothing indoors, and the DB4 is only getting me 30-40% strength AT MOST on the 502 receiver. This is also using the radio shack outdoor amplifier which who knows if the thing is worth the plastic it is made out of. the DB4 is hanging on the balcony right out in the open aimed at NYC. I'm using RG-6.


I'm looking at the RCA ANT751. But have my doubts about that as well. I need HI-VHF to come in FAR better (or atall) And i'd like a bit more strength in the VHF bands



If I wasn't in an apartment and had my own house, i'd already have a 180" Yagi on the roof


Does this RCA ANT751 have a hope of working here? Or is it just way too small?
 

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Did you try the 4-bay without the cheesy amp?


For VHF, a VHF+UHF antenna (ANT751) should work better than a homemade DB4, which is basically a UHF-only antenna. If you have a walmart nearby, buy an ANT751 there. If it doesn't work, just return it. If they don't have one in stock, order it online and have it shipped to store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Unfortunately no I didn't try it without the cheesy amp. It never seemed to make things worse, And it did gain me alittle sensitivity in a few cases.


One thing to note. I decided to try something I saw in another thread where someone attached rabbit ears to a UHF antenna. I attached two pieces of wire to the DB4. each extending horizontally around 3 feet to each side. connected at the balun. I figured this may gain me some sensitivity in VHF. All i got was far worse signal quality across the board.



I'm really curious as to why tvfool and the dtv.gov site show this area as having green in many channels yet im only able to get 30-40 on the signal strength on them. location? trees?
 
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