Old antenna for new tv

Page 1 of 2  

I have an old antenna in the attic. When i moved into my house i hooked it up to the tv. It works ok. Some channels dont come in perfect some of the time. I've tried adjusting it w/ no luck. I see these new style antennas for sale on line. http://www.antennahub.com/highgainoutdoorhdtvantennawithmotorrotorax-909-preorder.aspx
Are they better then the old style? Has anyone tried both?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/1/2010 11:05 PM, Jdog wrote:

SPAM?
Antennas come in all flavors. The technology is old.

I'm suspicious of the stats for the "new", 35 dB is very high. Built in preamp?
Check what kind of antenna you need:
http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx
Jeff
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

We don't know what the old style is that you refer to. You don't describe it.
Take a look at www.solidsignal.com . They don't sell anything like the one in your picture.
One thing the one in the ad has is a rotor. I have had one with a rotor and I found it a pain in the neck. I just picked the best overall direction and I stayed with that. IF the rotors gave good feedback, so I could tell which way they were pointed for a station that gave the best signal, that would be one thing, but they give estmates at best, afaict. Your ad doesn't go into that so it's no better than the others, I would think.
They don't call their antenna a digital antenna. I'll give them credit for that (or they're repeating what is on the box and they got these antennas out of a warehouse where they have been for 5 or more years.) There is nothing different about a digital and an analog antenna. However becuase of the deficiencies of digital, one may need a better antenna.

I used to use a 6 foot piece of single strand wire, and I got all the local digital stations, but I wanted to get the DC station, 40 miles away, so I bought the biggest 7 to 86 antenna I thought would fit in my attic.
It's pointed at DC and it too gets Baltimore but with the same interruptions at times.
I plan to buy a second omnidirectional one, and use a splitter (combiner) to connect both to my DVDR, etc. Also probably an amplifier, although solid signal sells so many I don't know which one. I haven't found a good web page about that so I have been meaning to call them for advice.
Even better than antennaweb imo is TVfool.com It will tell you all the stations in your area, what channel they are broadcasting on, from what direction and from how far away. Few tv stations use channels 2 to 6, even if you tune your tv to 2 or 6, they are really on another frequency. In all but a very few areas of the US there is at least one major station that uses at least one channel 7 to 13, so you will need high-VHF. If you don't have even one channel bellow 14, you can get a UHF only antenna.
If you don't need channels 2 to 6, you don't need an antenna with the really big elements. I think the longest on mine are 3 or 4 feet, because I have no stations below channel 7.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

<stuff snipped>
I'm in the same area and in the same boat and live in the shadow of a hill that obscures the line of sight with the big TV antenna complex near the Sears near Tenleytown. The problem I had with the rotor is that my DVR has no way to rotate the aerial to the proper direction for the channel I want to record. Since I have two DVRs, I ended up putting two antennas in the attic: one optimized for DC and the other for Baltimore. I segregate my recording based on that. Stations coming from Baltimore go to DVR one, stations from Washington, DVR two. Later this year, I am going to mount a tall mast on the chimney and put up the rotor again, with the largest aerial I can find to pull in the stations like 22 that broadcast from Annapolis, 90 degrees away from Baltimore or Washington and some other transmitters that aren't located with the other major towers. )-:
I still get dropouts, though, from overhead planes, rain clouds and elves. (IOU, I am not sure what causes them, but I do know they proliferate at the ends of programs where they're saying "Of course, the killer had to be - silence, splotches, more silence and finally the picture returns). As fuzzy as analog was, I don't remember losing key parts of the transmission they way I do with digital. I've also discovered that there's an incredible variation in tuners. The Polaroid DVR doesn't get half the channels that a new, no name 7" portable can pull in off the same aerial. Probably a 7 year difference in date of manufacture, though. I have noticed that even my friends with FIOS have problems in rainstorms because the weather affects the satellite transmissions from orbit to the FIOS dishes.
Still, I'm happy with basic cable, OTA HD and Netflix. And having a DVR with a commercial skip button. I don't think I could watch TV anymore without one.
-- Bobby G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 2 Sep 2010 05:44:52 -0400, "Robert Green"
Baltimore or Washington.

They never do, do they?

Very clever. I haven't tried this yet but someone on sci.electronics;.repair said one could use a splitter (combiner, same thing) to connect both antennas together, implying that there would be no problem interactino. No one contradicted him but I never asked further. I figured I would try it, so there wasn't much point to discussing it. But I havent' got the omni-directional antenna yet. Still, I do have that 6 or 8 foot wire.

Dropout is the word! Mine are all elves. I've never seen a reason.

I've been pretty lucky. It usually comes back when they're on the same jeopardy clue, or it drops out during commericals or during part of the news I'm not interested in.
But a week ago, I missed the last 5 minutes of Alfred Hitchcock. I went to zap2it.com , but it only gave a generic description, good for all episodes. I was going to search on the description.
So I looked for alfred hitchock full episodes and got several hits. I thought I would have to start watching each, but they each had one still shot from the given show, and mine had the back of a nurse's head with a guy facing her whom I actually recognized from the show. I rarely recognize anyone. So it took only a couple minutes to find the show, and I let it play in the background until I got to the last 5 minutes. It ended just like I remembered from 45 years ago!

Right. The arrogance with which they asserted that it woudl be better than analog.

Very interesting. Thanks. I noticed this years ago with analog tvs, and also with radios, that famous brand doesn't make much difference

I didn't know they made those. A year or two before the switch, a friend gave me a VCR with commerical skip, but it turned out the whole machine didn't work. I wonder if I was supposed to know that. Anyhoe I didnt' get it fixed before the switch. I still plan to connect a VCR to watch movies I bought for a dollar and never watched, and things I recorded, but there's no rush.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/2/2010 12:46 PM, mm wrote:

That works fine. On the same pole I think they should be at least 5 foot apart vertically. Also the wires coming to the splitter from the antennas should be the same length.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Thanks. They're not going to be on a pole but in the attic, which is about 7 feet high in the center and 6 inches high at front and back edge.
Any advice about placement in that case??
I figured the big one meant to get DC stations south of here would be south of the omnidirectional, meant to get stations east and if I'm lucky north of here. Is 5 or 10 feet between them enough?
I figured I'd hang the antennas from the rafters and have room to put light-weight boxes underneath.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/2/2010 10:59 PM, mm wrote:

Sorry, I don't. I'd try it out at least 10' but I'm just guessing. May even have to mount one higher than the other, but again, I'm not sure. Keep in mind your roof does block some of the signals and it will work better outside. I don't know what would happen with a steel roof!?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Two antennas made it theoretically possible to switch back and forth via a timer, but that was an incredibly complicated solution compared to spending another $200 on a second DVR and having a two completely separate recording "chains." It's turned out to be very useful for the sweeps when the only three interesting programs broadcast all year are telecasted on the same day and time.

I've done similar things (multi aerial receiver for household X-10 RF controls signals), but in this case, the antennas are at opposite ends of the house (Washington signals are strongest on the south side, Balto on the north) so there didn't seem to be any point to combining the signal. I suppose it might not be a bad idea to see what happens if I combine them. Hmmmm . . .

It's pretty annoying. It's like microwave ovens. My old reliable Litton had nothing but a mechanical spring timer that lasted over 20 years with only a broken door latch. The replacement has a super-fancy multi-function "cooking system" (aka "timer") that locked up tight the first time we used it. Sometimes newer is not better.

That's good detective work. I had a similar experience the other night and discovered Wikipedia has a lot of synopses for old TV shows with pretty detailed commentary. I like to watch Hitchcock just to look for actors who made it to the big time later on. HD OTA is great because I am getting to watch old movies that used to be available only on AMC or TCM. That and the Outer Limits where you can see a futuristic looking video-telephone device equipped with a rotary dial!!!!! There's nothing as funny as old science fiction where they either got it half wrong or all wrong. I remember when computers were represented by huge arrays of flashing lights.

There are so many things that turned out to be better for the sellers than the buyers. Hell, I like HD for movie viewing, but I don't want to see the news anchor's nose hairs or acne scars. What ticks me off most is the aspect ratio issue. I was watching something on Comcast's analog net and it was a conversation between two people, neither of whom were on the screen in 4: 3.

I've got almost a dozen different devices with ATSC (HD capable) tuners, from USB cards to DVR to LCD TVs of differing sizes. The variation in the number of channels each different device sees when scanning from the same antenna is pretty darn wild. The best tuner is in my LCD TV, which sucks, because I can't record from it! The worst is a Samsung DVD recorder, the best a Panasonic DVD recorder (although the DVD part crapped out one week after the warranty did after burning less than 25 disks so it's useless). On the other hand, my older Panasonic DVR with DVD recorder has burned over 500.

There aren't many DVRs left on the market. I was told is was because TIVO sues them out of production, but I can't say for sure. But both the Panasonic DVR and the Polaroid have commercial skip buttons (Panny is 1 min, Polly is 30 sec). Neither is available new anymore, although I believe Philips and ChannelMaster are making consumer HD DVRs. My units aren't HD, but in HQ mode, I really don't notice the difference. OTA HD still has a lot of SD content.
-- Bobby G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/2/2010 5:44 AM, Robert Green wrote: Later this year, I am going to mount a

We also opt for over-the-air reception. We are lucky. At our location (north of Wheaton, MD) all the DC transmitters are within about 15 degrees of each other, except for Chan 22, which is about 90 degrees further east. We opted for a fixed mast on a chimney mount with a high gain, directional, unamplified VHF/UHF antenna. Although the antenna is directional, we get 4,5,7,9,20,26,30,32,50 and 66 reliably without needing a rotor. Since we often want to watch a DC station while recording 22, or vice versa, a rotor would not have been a good solution for us. Our installer agreed to try mounting an unamplified 8 bow tie UHF antenna on the same mast, pointed at 22, using a reverse splitter to merge the signals from both antennas into the single feed wire. Although you can find many web sites that say phase distortion makes that type of setup unworkable, it works like a charm for us even though we passively split the download 3 ways. You might want to try it before you invest $$$ in a rotor.

Us too. It can be totally clear, sun shining, no breeze and no sound of airplanes, yet suddenly the signal strength starts fluctuating wildly and we get drop outs or even short episodes of "no signal" blank screens. Since it most often happens at about the same time of day for a particular station, I suspect it may be aircraft activity from BWI and/or national relatively close to the transmitting tower and too far from the house to hear anything. Of course there's lots of helicopter traffic in the close-in DC area. As you say, it usually happens at a critical moment in whatever program is in progress!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Dang, we've got enough DC area posters here to form a local chapter of AHR. I've been in a few other newsgroups that have "met up" with each other, and it's always interesting to put a face to the name. Channel 22 is really the red-headed step child of the DC area, existing out in left field. A friend that lives in Wheaton gets WTOP radio on her phone lines, the towers are so close by. (-:

I've found it's hardly ever a good solution and it's why I'm working with the two aerial/two DVR system that's working fairly well. But since we're in a small valley, I suspect that the extra 10 or 15 feet I'd gain with a chimney mounted antenna would eliminate a lot of the dropouts. I am surprised you get reception with an amp. How long is the run of cable from the aerial to the TV set?

Since that same technology works well to give my whole house good X-10 (the home automation stuff) RF coverage. I got an amplifier, a five way splitter-combiner and mounted five small aerials at each corner of the house with one in the middle. They're not even really aerials, just sections of RG6QS peeled back to reveal the central wire stripped to a length that's allegedly a multiple of the RF wave). Ever since I installed them, I get full coverage from my home automation system throughout the house and several hundred feet away from it. I was also warned about phase distortion, I've seen no evidence of it. In a plaster/lathe house, one aerial just doesn't cut it. Now I have only one "slightly" dead spot right near the furnace underneath the spot where all the ducts diverge. I see no reason why the same technique would not work on the TV antennas. It would certainly be easy enough to try. I guess it's time to get the coax and tools out. I miss not having 22 - ComcASSt dropped it (and WHUT - 19) from their ever-shrinking basic cable lineup. I read somewhere that DC is one of the few places where they have delayed the digital switchover because residents here poll as very price sensitive and likely to leave ComcASSt if force to upgrade to digital.

I also live next to the only multistory building for miles and there's quite an issue with multipath distortion. While it's not so easy to spot with a digital tuner, when I had analog, and a plane flew overhead (we're on the approach to both BWI and Andrews AFB) you could see a second image appear, shift left, then right, then slowly vanish. I only wish digital did something like that and not the "picture gone" or "sound gone" problems I see. Another slight annoyance is that channel surfing is much, much slower as most of the tuners I have take a second or two to "lock" in the channel.
-- Bobby G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/3/2010 12:20 PM, Robert Green wrote:

I'm sorry if I gave you the impression that I have an amp in my antenna circuit. I thought I would need one, but I don't. I've got the high gain (but unamplified) VHF/UHF joined with the 8 bow-tie array through a reverse splitter feeding a 3 way splitter that serves my master bedroom, den, and kitchen nook. The longest run is to the kitchen nook, probably about 75-100 feet. Except when the gremlins are active, almost all the stations max out the signal strength bar graph on the TVs or are only 1 bar less. I suspect that an amplified splitter might have over-driven the RF front end of the tuners.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My mistake. I meant to write "withOUT an amp." D'oh! I am still surprised you get that strong a signal WITHOUT an amp. My location is at the base of a hill so I suspect that's why without an amp, only get two channels (5 and 14) and even those show only half of the max signal strength. Wheaton's much higher up and closer to the Wisconsin Av. tower complex. That's got to help with getting a strong signal.
On the other hand, where I live, if you're riding a bicycle, you can coast almost a mile from the top of the hill down to my house. It's not good for TV reception and every 10 years or so, there's a rainfall that comes and overflows all the storm drains and flows past my house and into the lowest area around - the park behind my house. The folks who have lived here since they were kids tell me the land behind my house was a local natural spring. The drainage culvert at the low end of the park is several feet across and during the real frog strangling rain we had a few months ago even it turned out not to be wide enough to carry off all the water.
I have it better than my neighbor whose house is right at the T intersection of the major uphill pointing road. She's gotten several feet of water in her basement, even with an oversize sump-pump. Mother Nature can deliver a hell of a lot more water than any sump pump likely to be found in a home. It comes pouring up the basement floor drain (non-sanitary, thank god, so it's only street water, not sewer water) like Old Faithful. I've put in three sump pumps (one's a 12V emergency system) and that barely copes with the flooding of the 100 years storms that seem to be coming every 10 years now. )-:
I was considering putting a waterproof submarine-type hatch over the floor drain but a knowledgeable neighbor said that could cause the entire foundation to lift or crack. Not sure if it's true, but I am sure I don't want to find out. Now that they've relined our storm and sanitary sewer lines, it seems that storm drain flooding has increased. But it could easily be that the severity of the storms and the inches per hour have increased. Soon, I'll be checking Ebay for used mining pumps . . .
From aerials to floods. How's that for thread drift?
-- Bobby G.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I just noticed the dimensions.
Dimensions: 22.8" x 17.7" x 25.8"
I'm not sure which dimension refers to what, but all but one of the elements are smaller than the maximum in the same direction. They are folded over, but I'm not sure that's good. Let's assume it's not bad. It still leaves those elements at about 3/2 the dimension, ad most 38", and 5 of the 6 of them are the same size. (or 7. One or two things are reflectors)
The antennas they have been selling for 60 years have elements of different lengths because there are channels of different wavelengths.
The better antenanas have more elements, each of a different length.
Let's assume it could be bad to have the element folded over. It could be because the same tv signal will induce a current in one direction in one half of the element and in the opposite direction in the ohter half of the element. Or maybe not, but it seems that way to me.
Ah, but it probably has an amplifier. It's much better to have a strong signal from the antenna, than a weak signal that is amplified. Amplifiers are recommended when there is a long distance from the antenna to the tv. Of course maybe that used to be more true, because the antenna would amplify the "noise" too. Now most noise is filtered out in the process of digital detection. Maybe. I'm no techie.
That said, I'm dissatisfied with my big antenna and I'm going to buy an amplifier on the hopesw that it will help.
The first week the antenna was in the attic, I got channel 26, and channels 30.1 to 30.5. Teh channels 30 are even farther from me than DC, but I hven't gotten them again except in the middle of the night. So I do have a signal but maybe it is too weak.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/2/2010 2:59 AM, mm wrote:

That's a LPDA (log periodic dipole array).
A popular choice for UHF are bow tie.
This antenna has large diameter closed loop elements which leads to a wide frequency range.
That won't work well on VHF as the elements, particularly in the low range are small compared with the wavelength. Ditto on the reflector which becomes smaller than a wavelength.
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/types.html
I'd probably choose a different antenna, although if the OP know what stations and where this may work well. Most stations are now UHF but there are a few VHF.

That is my take also.
Note if you take the number of elements and do a rough gain calculation, the numbers don't add up to all antenna gain. My rough guess is about 8 dB or so.

Might need to get it out of the attic.
Jeff (used to hold a ham license, still remember something.... or part of something!)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Everyone says that, but I just don't want to do it. Plus I'm very close to having all I can reasonably expect. There are a cou amplifier or the

I had a novice license for a year in 1960, but didn't have to know much to get that. I was trying to learn what I need for a general license, but couldn't get my code speed up anyhow, so I didn't work much on the theory.
But about 4 years ago I got a license, general I think. No more code requirement, and the tech stuff is mostly about antennas and safety, I guess since few people build their own oscillators anymore.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

While we're talking about stuff like this.
Long ago when I was in high school I had a Hallicrafters reciever, 4 bands from ?? the table radio band up to shortwave.
And I was listening to the sound from one of the tv stations (even the radio was AM and tv sound is supposed to be FM, but it matched the sound coming from our tv on one channel) and every couple minutes I would have to tune the radio higher. This went on for 40 minutes or more, with me eventually tuning the radio much higher than it was, so high I went off the end of the band.
I think there was a higher band so I started at the low end of that, but couldn't find the same station.
What the heck was going on?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/2/2010 11:51 AM, mm wrote:

Could you have been picking up the IF harmonics from the TV itself? Did your reception go away when the TV was off?
TDD
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 02 Sep 2010 13:38:16 -0500, The Daring Dufas

Would the IF increase in frequency like that, maybe as the tv got warmer. But before you answer look at my next answer.

I think the tv wasn't on when I started. My older brother never watched tv and I don't think my mother or I was until the signal sounded like a tv show and I turned the tv on.
Maybe one of our next-door neigbhors' tvs? The lots were 100 feet wide so his tv was 100 feet away more or less. The tv was in t he middle of the house, about 40 feet from one property line and 60 feet from the other.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/2/2010 3:56 PM, mm wrote:

Harmonic signals can be weird and caused by lots of unexpected things. The Navy sometimes has problems when a bit of corrosion between two pieces of metal turns into a semiconductor junction and because of all the high power transmitters on board, that corroded metal can turn into a transmitter when the RF from the intentional transmissions hit it. I was repairing a two way radio some years ago when a transistor exhibited some very odd characteristics. It would work fine for DC and audio frequencies but when hit with RF it acted like an inductor and caused interference on other radios. I replaced it with a new one and the two way set worked fine. I've walked around transmitter sites with a field strength meter plus portable receiver and seen some very strange signals pop up when the transmitter was operating.
TDD
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.