Converting Direct TV dish into an antenna for OTA HD

Discussion in 'Over the Air TV By RabbitEars.Info' started by Runau, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. Runau

    Runau Topic Starter Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2019
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Reading up on how to do this. I understand what to do to change the dish and add the antenna and then reorient the direction etc... I have 4 leads coming off the dish now. 2 of these leads go into the area I want to use them in. If I connect one lead to my ChannelMaster can I then go through all four leads and hook them up one at a time and check to see which one is hooked up on the other end at the point of use and provides a signal? Is it this simple? Thanks. Brian
     
  2. comfortably_numb

    comfortably_numb Dogs have owners, cats have staff Pub Member / Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Posts:
    7,684
    Likes Received:
    8,062
    Location:
    Missouri/Kansas
    I've seen people add an OTA antenna to a dish mast, but I have not heard of using the dish itself as an OTA antenna-
     
    charlesrshell likes this.
  3. Geronimo

    Geronimo Supporting Founder Supporting Founder Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2003
    Posts:
    11,724
    Likes Received:
    1,318
    i think he is adding an antemnna to the mast. at least that is what I get from the Channel master reference. I could be wrong.
     
  4. Runau

    Runau Topic Starter Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2019
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Real question is on the existing wiring and how to identify which of the 4 leads is the one I need? Thanks.
     
  5. Magic Static

    Magic Static FTA Geek Staff Member HERE TO HELP YOU! Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Posts:
    6,860
    Likes Received:
    3,959
    Location:
    Montana
    :welcome to the forum Brian
    Yes it could be simple like you described. As long as there is nothing else connected to the cables that would cause a issue go ahead and try it. :)
     
    comfortably_numb likes this.
  6. Runau

    Runau Topic Starter Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2019
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    thanks.
     
  7. Runau

    Runau Topic Starter Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2019
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Ok. antenna is mounted to the Direct TV dish. Removed their end and mounted antenna to the 2x1 rectangle that sticks out from the dish. Hooked up the lead to the antenna and I have a signal. My signal comes into a Channelmaster DVR for OTA. Rotated the dish to @ 2 degrees north. I am in zip 46228. Still some static on CBS stations. Based on where I am what degree would you point the antenna and does the elevation matter? Direct TV mount makes it really easy to adjust. Thanks for any help. Brian
     
  8. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Posts:
    15,607
    Likes Received:
    2,309
    Location:
    Salem, OR
    The antenna should generally be level.

    Your use of the term "static" is troubling. Is the picture breaking up or "pixelating" or is there something like lightning going on?

    Your zip code seems to include many of the towers so we're probably going to need something like what you can get from the Rabbit Ears search map to give you the best advice.
     
  9. Runau

    Runau Topic Starter Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2019
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    By static I mean it goes to "weak signal" on the channelmaxter display. Thanks Brian
     
  10. Runau

    Runau Topic Starter Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2019
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    CBS 29-1 Kokomo, IN I am 3.5 miles from the tower and get weak signal from antenna.

    upload_2019-7-26_16-20-13.png
     
  11. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Posts:
    15,607
    Likes Received:
    2,309
    Location:
    Salem, OR
    I'm betting you're actually getting a signal that is too strong rather than weak. The predicted difference in signal between WXIN and WTTK is 2-1/2 units. I suspect that the tuner is reporting the signal quality rather than the signal strength. A signal that is distorted due to being over-driven will have a low signal quality.

    Being that close to the towers can be a problem -- especially if you also want distant stations.
     
    FTA4PA and charlesrshell like this.
  12. Jim5506

    Jim5506 SatelliteGuys Master Pub Member / Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Posts:
    6,648
    Likes Received:
    1,254
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Exactly what "antenna" are you putting on the lnb arm of this DirecTV reflector?

    The dish has a fairly small focal area and the active antenna element must fall in that area.

    As close as you are to the towers, you should be able to pick up these channels with a paperclip in the RF input port, very little antenna needed.

    Looks to me like you are Rube Goldberging the system.
     
    danristheman and charlesrshell like this.
  13. Runau

    Runau Topic Starter Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2019
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Any ideas on what to do? I have a signal booster on the line I will remove. Do I point it away from this tower some? if yes how much?
     
  14. Runau

    Runau Topic Starter Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2019
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    I wanted to use the direct tv for it's mounting and adjustability more than anything. antenna is a basic Ge I purchased at Lowes for $50.
     
  15. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Posts:
    15,607
    Likes Received:
    2,309
    Location:
    Salem, OR
    I recommend you not use an outdoor antenna. Jim5506's suggestion of a paperclip isn't as far-fetched as it might sound but I'd probably go with a UHF loop or bowtie (such as they used to include with TVs) and hope for the best with WUDZ and the high-VHF channels after the repack. As close to the towers as you appear to be, you need to start very small (the RCA tabletop antenna with rabbit ears and a loop that Lowes has on clearance for $10.38 may be overkill). Home Depot offers a couple of non-amplified antennas for under $15 that include rabbit ears for VHF.

    You do NOT want any kind of amplified antenna, amplifier or preamp as they will surely swamp your tuner(s).
     
    charlesrshell likes this.
  16. Runau

    Runau Topic Starter Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2019
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Indianapolis

    Tried the Lowes unit. Signal was worse than the antenna. Brian
     
  17. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Posts:
    15,607
    Likes Received:
    2,309
    Location:
    Salem, OR
    You might try a section of cable without any antenna.

    As I said, chances are pretty good that the signal is too hot (what you get using a 30 mile antenna at 4 miles) and you need to go as small as you can and that may just be a short chunk of coax.
     
  18. Jim5506

    Jim5506 SatelliteGuys Master Pub Member / Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Posts:
    6,648
    Likes Received:
    1,254
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Like this.
    My FM antenna.. Stub Antenna.jpg
     
    FTA4PA and charlesrshell like this.
  19. Runau

    Runau Topic Starter Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2019
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    had a guy in today who has been working with antenna's for 20+ years. Hooked up a meter to test the signal strength coming off the antenna. signal strength is good and not too strong, he said rarely do signals bleed across one another, in his experience. A little windy today and he showed me on his meter I have a good signal band, but then it would spike downward. He said the downward spike shows the interference in the signal and is caused by the trees shifting in the wind. Best we can do without a bigger antenna and looking for the sweet spot in the roof yard to mount it. Thanks. Brian
     
  20. harshness

    harshness SatelliteGuys Master

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Posts:
    15,607
    Likes Received:
    2,309
    Location:
    Salem, OR
    My "Mr. Coax" was some RG59 with one of the connectors ripped off. Picked up low-frequency FM stations 75 miles away.
     
    charlesrshell likes this.

Separate names with a comma.

More...