Advice on choosing OTA antenna (1 Viewer)

badpistacio

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 19, 2009
36
0
Monterey, CA
I'm having trouble narrowing down an antenna. Any help would be appreciated. There are two local towers I want to get. They are 51 degrees apart. The close tower is about 13 miles away and the farther one is 21 miles away. I need to receive both UHF and VHF and the antenna will mount on the roof unless an attic mount will do. Can anyone recommend an antenna that would do the job?

Thanks a lot!
 

CowboyDren

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 18, 2005
990
1
64133
Looking at the TVFool.com report for Monterey, CA, I see that channel 8 is at about 64°, and some channels are at 105°-ish; that's only about 45°, and pretty much any antenna will do adequately, pointed straight down the middle.

Since you need ch8, you probably need a VHF-Hi+UHF combo antenna, something along the lines of an Antennacraft HBU-22 or an Antennas Direct V10. You may be little too far out for me to try my luck with a UHF-only antenna. Antennas Direct, Winegard, and Channel Master all make excellent antennas for VHF-Hi (ch7-13), but the Antennacraft HBU-22 is a great starter antenna, and cheap enough that you don't mind upgrading later if it doesn't work out. Worst case, you could get a rotator. If you absolutely have to have both sets of towers, and absolutely cannot use a rotator, you could go with an HBU-22 pointed at 64° and an Antennacraft U4000 (4-bay UHF-only) on a separate mast, pointing at 105°. The U4000 has a very broad "beam width," and will certainly catch all UHF stations if pointed down the middle, and has a much higher gain figure than the combos that are available.

If I were to start from scratch, I'd buy a U4000 first, put it up, and just see what happens. A lot of people find that the U4000 does collect enough VHF radiation to make for watchable TV, but they're usually closer to the source. Then add another mast with an HBU-22 later, if the U4000 just isn't good enough.

If you get a U4000, it works with ALL UHF channels with no rotator, but ch8 still doesn't come in, you could get a dedicated VHF antenna like the Antennacraft Y5-7-13, point it directly at 64°, and split 64-105° with the U4000, joined with a UVSJ antenna combiner; that's actually the most elegant option, and the second-to-cheapest. The cheapest would be if you could get away with the HBU-22 with no rotator...
 

Splicer

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 18, 2007
231
0
Short of the seperate masts for both antennas, should you need 2 antennas, I'd say that CD has given good advice. However, should you need 2 antennas, you can easily mount both on one 10' mast. I think you'll be pushing it trying to get CH8 with the U4000 though. But of course it is worth a try. Worse thing that can happen is it doesn't work. ;)
 

CowboyDren

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 18, 2005
990
1
64133
Sorry, it's a reflex. I hate ladders, so long masts usually turn me off, too. ;)

To be very clear about combining two antennas on one mast, ch8 is at about 180MHz, for a wavelength of ~66", so radio theory says that the VHF antenna needs to be at least 33" away from (higher than) the UHF antenna if they're on the same mast. This is true whether you wanted a dedicated VHF-only antenna at 64° or an HBU22.

I still recommend the Y5+UVSJ if the U4000 doesn't work by itself, but if you observe the distance rules, you can use an outdoor-grade splitter [backwards] with an HBU22 and a U4000. That'd allow you to point the U4000 at 105° directly. I know, I'm spewing too much information at you at this point. Just consider it reference material. ;)
 

Splicer

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 18, 2007
231
0
I highly encourage the use of a UVSJ over a 2 way splitter used as a combiner for OTA, if for no other reason than the inherant loss that a 2 way will cause. As for the antenna seperation, while I agree it is necessary, one 10' mast can handle that easily. I have my Y5-7-13 at the top, one U4000 in the middle and another U4000 at the bottom without any issues. The middle antenna is pointed in a different direction from the top and bottom antennas, which are pointed in the same direction.
 

badpistacio

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 19, 2009
36
0
Monterey, CA
Well, here's an update. I took CowboyDren's advice and got a U4000 and pointed it more or less down the middle. I got everything great but no VHF. So now I'm ordering a Y5-7-13 and a UVSJ splitter. I'll put the Y5 at the top of the 10' mast and leave the U4000 where it is (about 4 feet down) and I should be good to go.

Thanks again for all the help!
 

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