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  1. #1
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    Default Antenna for FM, UHF, VHF?

    O TBN Hams, TBN Hams, where art thou TBN Hams?

    We are tired of paying Directv half a decent car payment each month, and finding nothing to watch, so we are getting ready to cancel the service.

    We are using Netflix and Amazon Prime for streaming but we do watch some gardening and cooking shows on PBS. These shows might be online but if we can get them over the air we might as well do so. Streaming works for us but we only have 1.5mb down which is going to limit how many shows we can watch at the same time.

    The house is on top of a hill, not a tall hill, but there is a cell tower a mile away and the tower's warning light is about eye level with us. I don't want the antenna outside on a pole if I can avoid it. I think the PBS broadcast antenna is 15-20 miles away. I just want to stick the antenna in the attic and drop the coax into our wiring "closet." I see that some antennas don't handle channels lower than 6 and we need channel 4. And we might as well have FM reception as well.

    I did find that the FCC has a website that shows the signal strength at your house that might of interest to others.

    Any suggestions on what antenna we should get, look for or avoid?

    Thanks,
    Dan

  2. #2
    Gold Member EarPlug's Avatar
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    Oct 2001
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    Colorado
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    MF 1635

    Default Re: Antenna for FM, UHF, VHF?

    Try Antennas Direct. Have used the in the past. Very knowledgeable. They don't try and sell you what you don't need.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member k0ua's Avatar
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    Branson, Mo.
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    Kioti DK35se Hydrostat

    Default Re: Antenna for FM, UHF, VHF?

    Roofing materiel's can hurt depending on what they are at UHF especially., Obviously a metal roof is a no go.. but you will lose several db (decibels) even with shingles.. also watch coax losses. Longer run= more loss, smaller coax=more loss Higher frequency=more loss. I have no direct experience with receiving digital TV on antennas. As I am on cable, and watch streaming. But I have 40 years of experience with VHF and UHF , and HF for that matter. An outside antenna will always outperform and inside antenna. But inside antennas can work, and if you are over the threshold, with digital your signal will look good. One other possible problem is refractions and reflections from other metal objects in the vicinity of the antenna in the attic. You mentioned channel 4.. is that the same as the old channel 4 on lowband vhf? if so it is 66 to 72 MHZ so losses thru the attic shingles will be less than a UHF channel. but problems from nearby metal will be worse. Also this antenna will be physically large with longest element near 7 foot long. But sometimes a channel like channel 4 is not really the old channel 4, there were temporary channels for some stations, and some have moved back to the old channel assignments.. I have lost track of the channel mess.

    James K0UA
    James KUA

    Kioti DK35se hydrostat with 2 QA buckets, 48 inch. King Kutter Rotary Cutter. 750 lbs ballast box. Loaded tires, Construction Attachments SSQA Lightweight Pallet forks. EA 50 inch single lid "wicked" Grapple. Satisfied Everlast PA160 welder owner How to add a link to a post . Best way to search TBN


  4. #4
    Platinum Member CBW1999's Avatar
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    Northern Vermont on the 45th parallel
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    Kubota 7510, Toro Groundsmaster 217D

    Default Re: Antenna for FM, UHF, VHF?

    How to Make a Homemade TV Antenna | TV Antenna Plans

    I've played around with a couple of these ideas. The most effective I have found is the single coat hanger model. I have about a 30 mile radius to the transmitters I get and don't have any problems. I have good line of sight from the first floor for the most part.

    http://www.diytvantennas.com/
    This is my favorite site for simple and effective plans. Although my wife keeps wondering where her hangers go to

    Another, more technical site:
    www.freeantennas.com

    has some interesting ideas for directional antennae for wireless access points. I know there is another thread somewhere talking about using wireless cameras on the farm and overcoming transmission limitations.

    FWIW- about a year ago we did the same thing, dumped satellite and use Netflix and over the air. Don't regret it at all.
    I thank God everyday for all of the blessings he has given me- especially for the one's I do not recognize or see!

  5. #5
    Gold Member
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    Cos, N.H.
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    Kioti LK3054xs

    Default Re: Antenna for FM, UHF, VHF?

    Keep in mind that while the station still may market themselves as "Channel 4", the chances are that since the digital switch-over they are actually broadcasting on a UHF frequency. There are almost no low band (ch 2-6) VHF, and relatively few high band (ch 7-13) VHF signals left. For reasons I don't completely understand, digital signals don't work very well at those lower frequencies.

    A UHF outdoor antenna capable of receiving a station 15 miles away should be fairly unobtrusive.

  6. #6
    Silver Member Dishpointer's Avatar
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    Kansas
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    Ford 1600

    Default Re: Antenna for FM, UHF, VHF?

    Go to this website and fill in your address. It will show the location of your local station's antennas and what kind of antenna you will need to choose to receive the stations. AntennaWeb - Address

  7. #7
    Super Member
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    Default Re: Antenna for FM, UHF, VHF?

    Quote Originally Posted by k0ua View Post
    Roofing materiel's can hurt depending on what they are at UHF especially., Obviously a metal roof is a no go.. but you will lose several db (decibels) even with shingles.. also watch coax losses. Longer run= more loss, smaller coax=more loss Higher frequency=more loss. I have no direct experience with receiving digital TV on antennas. As I am on cable, and watch streaming. But I have 40 years of experience with VHF and UHF , and HF for that matter. An outside antenna will always outperform and inside antenna. But inside antennas can work, and if you are over the threshold, with digital your signal will look good. One other possible problem is refractions and reflections from other metal objects in the vicinity of the antenna in the attic. You mentioned channel 4.. is that the same as the old channel 4 on lowband vhf? if so it is 66 to 72 MHZ so losses thru the attic shingles will be less than a UHF channel. but problems from nearby metal will be worse. Also this antenna will be physically large with longest element near 7 foot long. But sometimes a channel like channel 4 is not really the old channel 4, there were temporary channels for some stations, and some have moved back to the old channel assignments.. I have lost track of the channel mess.

    James K0UA
    No metal in the roof. There is some duct work in the attic but the antenna will be above the metal.

    It took quite of bit of digging last night to find the actual channel for the station and it is channel four.

    The shortest path cable wise would be from the attic. Outside mount would be much longer and I really don't want to mess with the a pole or wall/eave mount unless I really have too. The antenna's I was looking at were one the long side but we have room up in the attic so it really does not matter.

    Thanks,
    Dan

  8. #8
    Super Member
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    Default Re: Antenna for FM, UHF, VHF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dishpointer View Post
    Go to this website and fill in your address. It will show the location of your local station's antennas and what kind of antenna you will need to choose to receive the stations. AntennaWeb - Address
    Thanks for that link! I think it has been posted on TBN before but I forgot about it.

    Thanks,
    Dan

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Trivoli, IL
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    SSTT (Sideways Snake Tain Tractor) and STB (sideways train box) tractor, dirt harvester

    Default Re: Antenna for FM, UHF, VHF?

    i have built a metal wire antenna, and also tried taking a piece of plywood and placing alumnum foil over it. to make it omni directional.

    i have also tried powered antennas you can buy at local stores. that plug into 110v outlet and then to TV.

    and then generic rabbit ears.

    they all can work, and you may get mixed results pending on your location. by far the best has been the DIY metal wire antenna made from cloth hangers. i have not had to move the antenna once! once i initially got it set just right in the living room. all the other stuff tried i had to move antenna to get different TV channels.

    though if i had a choice, i would most likely go with a couple different styles of antennas mounted high on roof, or on a tower. with option to rotate one of the antennas from inside the house.
    ===============

    for starters just try a cheapest rabbit ears / circle like antenna you can find. as in a couple bucks. and see what happens, you might be just right for receiving all your nearby stations. you may need to mo

    =================
    problem with over the air single, more so no with "digital" is when you loose signal or the signal is weak. you loose the entire picture, and pending on quality of digital tuner you may get BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP GARGLE BLEEP GARGLE high pitched noise as turner tries to get a good signal.

    if you live in a dense neighbor (in the city) or a lot of metal obstructions around. every hour may be a challenge for you, trying to get a signal as the waves bounce all over the place causing extra static.
    Ryan

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Antenna for FM, UHF, VHF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oaktree View Post
    Keep in mind that while the station still may market themselves as "Channel 4", the chances are that since the digital switch-over they are actually broadcasting on a UHF frequency. There are almost no low band (ch 2-6) VHF, and relatively few high band (ch 7-13) VHF signals left. For reasons I don't completely understand, digital signals don't work very well at those lower frequencies.

    A UHF outdoor antenna capable of receiving a station 15 miles away should be fairly unobtrusive.
    The station is on channel four.

    I just don't want to put up an outside antenna due to the extra work, longer coax run and we are on the top of a hill. We have had lightning bolts hit all around the house. The last one was 125ish feet away and took out a large oak. My hope is that the antenna in the attic would be less likely to attract lightning than it mounted outside on a pole.

    Later,
    Dan

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