Exactly how big is a "large directional" antenna?

scott78945

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 18, 2005
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I looked up my channels on antennaweb.org and to get most of the channels in my area it states that I need to get a large directional w/ preamp. How large is large? I am only 10 miles from the towers but I still need a large antenna? Just doesn't seem right. Would getting a medium antenna with a booster help? I have to point the antenna towards southwest, south, and southeast all at the same time to get the channels. I know I can get a rotator but would a multidirectional antenna help out in thie situation? Too confused on what antenna I actually need.
 

jolt

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Aug 5, 2005
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What's your zip code? Could you be in a valley, and need a higher antenna? try "faking" it by telling it that you have a two story house, and have no trees around you. You might need a mast and wires to get the correct height.

Also, if you are only 10 miles away, try a silver sensor. Get it from a store with a nice return policy, and be gentle opening the box/packing material.

I have a 36 element, 10 foot boom, with a RS amp on it. I'll be updating to CM amp next spring. It's only rated "Blue" by the CEA, I imagine a purple with have 42+ elements, with a 14 foot boom. The 10 foot was bad enough to mount on my roof, I wouldn't want to handle a 14 foot antenna by myself!
 

scott78945

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 18, 2005
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my zip is 13219. I was having problems using an indoor antenna as we have aluminum siding and it is reflecting it. I was thinking about putting it in the attic and just running the coaxial cable down.
 

jolt

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Aug 5, 2005
23
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That might help quite a bit, but I'm going to bet you'll have some "breakups" in the picture. I'm guessing your in a low area, that's why you need a blue antenna to pick up fox. You'd only need an UHF antenna for your location, you don't have one of the "wacky" VHF HDTV stations like Cleveland!

Sure, you could pole mount a 5 to 10 foot mast on your roof, get an amplified blue antenna, and waste a day mounting/pointing this thing. It'll be around $200 for everything. Accessories add up fast. I "reused" some RG-6 quadshield wiring the cable company was nice enough to leave in my house after I had a cheap cable modem 3 month trial.

Just a thought (if anyone has this, please chime in here), have you tried a RCA ANT3900 DBS clip on antenna? DBS dishes WOULD face south, which is what you need here. This would be fairly easy to install, and it's amplified. You might need a diplexer to "dual use" the DBS coax. You might still have issues with your siding, based on where your dish is mounted. Roof mounting would be awesome. Top of roof mounts, even better.
 

Lorenzo

SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 17, 2005
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It looks to me that your digital transmitters are all on UHF and except for Fox and PAX a medium directional outdoor antenna will work fine. I think for UHF reception a 4 bay bowtie mounted on a short pole outside should do the trick although the 30 degree difference in direction to the transmitters might mean you need to carefully point the antenna.
 

scott78945

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 18, 2005
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I was actually looking to buy the Channel Master model 4228 but unsure if this is overkill or not. Thanks for helping.
 

Lorenzo

SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 17, 2005
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The 4228 is a great UHF antenna. The only problem I see at your location for HD CBS, NBC, PBS,WB and ABC is that the WB transmitter is located at 186 degrees, 32 and 50 degrees away from the other transmitters. This is a little too wide for the 4228 and probably your best bet is to point betwen 136 and 154 degrees and possible have iffy reception on WB. The 4228 is the equal of a large directional antenna for UHF but a poor antenna for VHF except maybe for chnls. 11-13.
 

scott78945

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 18, 2005
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Do you have a suggestion as to what antenna would fit the bill? I don't really want to sink a whole lot of money into this. I guess I could get a rotator but I can't be bothered to tell you the truth. I want to just put something up and hope for the best. Should I stick with the 4228? Would an pre-amp help get in any of the other signals? How do you figure out the degree's of location so I am pointing it at the correct location? Thank you very much for your help.
 

Carl B

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Dec 13, 2003
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Arvada, CO
scott78945 said:
Do you have a suggestion as to what antenna would fit the bill? I don't really want to sink a whole lot of money into this. I guess I could get a rotator but I can't be bothered to tell you the truth. I want to just put something up and hope for the best. Should I stick with the 4228? Would an pre-amp help get in any of the other signals? How do you figure out the degree's of location so I am pointing it at the correct location? Thank you very much for your help.
Those antennas with enough gain for BLUE, generally have too narrow a beamwidth (CM 4228) and those w/ enough beamwidth don't have enough gain (RS 40" Yagi). If you mount the antenna outside, you could probably get by w/ a medium directional antenna w/ a pre-amp. I've had good experience w/ the Winegard PR-9018 and a CM 7775 or CM 7777 pre-amp. The PR-9018 has a pretty broad beamwidth, but still picks up weak signals well when coupled w/ the pre-amp.

You point your antenna using a common magnetic compass. The azimuths provided on antennaweb are all magnetic azimuth readings.
 

Shaayna

New Member
Jan 21, 2009
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0
Acworth, GA
I was looking for an answer to the exact same question as the original post. Can someone please put all of this in Layman terms for me.

thank you,
Shaayna
 

bhelms

"Wannabe Retiree"
Lifetime Supporter
Feb 26, 2006
7,700
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Central PA
The 4228 is a great UHF antenna. The only problem I see at your location for HD CBS, NBC, PBS,WB and ABC is that the WB transmitter is located at 186 degrees, 32 and 50 degrees away from the other transmitters. This is a little too wide for the 4228 and probably your best bet is to point betwen 136 and 154 degrees and possible have iffy reception on WB. The 4228 is the equal of a large directional antenna for UHF but a poor antenna for VHF except maybe for chnls. 11-13.
Just some comments on that based on my experience. I receive channel 10 (currently analog) quite well on my 4228. One (not so) local channel will be returning to ch 8 after the conversion date. I think I'll have some chance of receiving that, but distance will be a factor. I get a poor analog ch 7 signal now, but that's coming from the backside of the antenna! I'm sure if I swing the antenna around it will be clear, but since that particular channel is probably changing I haven't experimented further with it.

In terms of directionality, the 4228 seems to be a bit less directional than most long range yagis. I have mine pointed to 230 deg. to pick up 2 channels from that direction from 25 miles. While pointed in that direction I can still pick up very strong signals from a channel at 320 deg. and 30+ miles (90 deg. off-axis) and another at 115 deg. and ~10 miles. Of course YMMV, but it might be worth a try in the OP's situation...

PS - I'm using the CM7777 preamp as well, but in retrospect that might be too much gain. I wish I had mounted the preamp closer to the ground so I could experiment more...!
 

Tower Guy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 1, 2005
648
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I was actually looking to buy the Channel Master model 4228 but unsure if this is overkill or not. Thanks for helping.
It's a great antenna. In your case it may have an excessively narrow directional pattern. What is the spread between the stations from your exact location?

A large directional antenna that covers UHF only ranges from the squarish 4228 to a corner reflector-yagi that is almost 10' long. There are even larger antennas VHF, but you don't need that.
 

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