Rooftop Antenna

Discussion in 'Home Improvement' started by Von Jones, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Veteran Member
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    We have 6 antennas, none of which are attached to our concrete tile roof.

    We have them attached to the brick chimney using metal straps, and to vent pipes with steel clamps and to steel masts set in concrete in the ground.

    Our Satellite Antenna is attached to wooden fascia boards on the eaves.

    Our 6 Antennas are:

    Satellite Dish for DirecTV
    Police Scanner Antenna
    Long-wire Antenna for Communications Reciever and Crystal Set
    UHF TV Antenna #1
    UHF TV Antenna #2
    UHF/VHF FM Antenna

    Hal
     
    #16
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
  2. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Veteran Member
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    Those are UHF Bowtie Antennas with Reflectors
    Hal
     
    #17
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  3. John Brunner

    John Brunner Very Well-Known Member
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    Yup.

    I sort of messed up. I had one larger Channel Master UHF Bowtie antenna that got great reception from the market it was point at, and reasonable reception from the opposite direction from the signals that came through the backside. Had I realized I could buy a signal combiner, I would have purchased a second Channel Master, tied them together and had really great reception. But none of the articles I read about combining two antennas discussed such a unit. They only talked about Phase Synch issues. So I got that Antennas Direct package that had everything pre-synched. Or maybe the combiners were not available 6 years ago.

    My neighbor gets good reception because he has a Yagi and a rotor, but I knew I'd burn out the rotor with my 2 markets being nearly opposite each other. He also has an older TV and a separate tuner, and I have a flat screen TV with the tuner built in. My understanding is that the tuners in modern TVs are only added as an obligation, and you get a lot of signal loss through them because they are poor quality.

    Either way, I get over 40 channels (with some signal loss at certain times of the day during certain times of the year on a couple of channels), so I'm not complaining. When I was paying for satellite, rain would refract the signal. UHF seems to be more durable...and it's free.
     
    #18
  4. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Veteran Member
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    Antrnnas with reflectors have directivity in the direction opposite the reflector.

    Without a reflector they are bidirectional or even omnidirectional.

    Antennas with multiple elements are called arrays, usually "Phased Arrays".
    Hal
     
    #19
  5. John Brunner

    John Brunner Very Well-Known Member
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    This is yet one more thing in my life I would have been better off going to an expert than researching on my own...or going to an expert to augment what I think I 'earned. I got a Crutchfield store up the road in Charlottesville.

    But the few stations I don't pick up are a couple of UHF ones that are 50 miles away from me and 45° out from the main transmission points, and one lonely little NBC station that still transmits via VHF. So I'm not missing much. And as I've mentioned before, I'll be getting fiber next year so will have access to some online video resources.
     
    #20
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
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  6. Silvia Benoit

    Silvia Benoit Well-Known Member
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    Talking about TV antennas...Is possible to get a "traditional " one to use w/o cable?
    I seldom watch TV but I pay for cable (TV & computer). I was told I could cancel the cable (TV) and watch the local channels. I would be saving about 80,00 bucks.
     
    #21
  7. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    You can find the small ones at Walmart for around $10-15, and a good variety of them on Amazon. Ours came from Amazon and Bobby put it on the roof, but it actually worked fine even inside of the house. The smaller ones are meant to be used inside.
    We no longer have any cable, and we just have Wifi connection and use our iPads most of the time, and watch the television if the weather is bad.
     
    #22
  8. Silvia Benoit

    Silvia Benoit Well-Known Member
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    Thanks a lot.
     
    #23
  9. John Brunner

    John Brunner Very Well-Known Member
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    Antennae are my only source of television. Where I am, internet is insufficient to stream video (I can hardly watch YouTube stuff.)

    I used to have satellite TV, and then installed an antenna 5 or 6 years ago when I realized I was watching the same few satellite channels over & over. I am about 25 miles from one transmission area and 40-50 miles away from another in the opposite direction, and I get 45+ stations from my rooftop antannea. Some of those stations are duplicates usually playing the same programming (CBS from both markets, PBS from both markets), although the programming for the same network differs at times. This works out fine for me in the rare event that bad weather (or other issues) may affect one transmission point.

    As Yvonne says, if you are in an area where the transmission points are reasonably close, you can pick up most of the available stations with an indoor antenna. These are not like the antennae you and I grew up with:

    [​IMG]

    Some are flat panels that mount on the wall.
    Some are small modules that plug into the back of the television.
    Some just sit on the table top.
    Some have "boosters," so the thing also plugs into an AC power outlet.

    To find what antenna channels are available at your house, go to TVFOOL, enter your address, and it will give you a list of all the stations you can receive at your specific location. It color-codes them with relative signal strength:

    Green=Indoor "living area" antenna suffices
    Yellow=Requires indoor attic-mount antenna
    Red=Requires rooftop antenna
    Grey=Requires "extreme measures"

    Of course, these all depend on what may be nearby that affects the signal (trees or house that blocks the signal, hi-powered FM radio transmitter nearby, etc.)

    TVFOOL has all sort of other technical features that you will not need unless you really get "into the weeds" as I did when I installed this two antenna rig:

    [​IMG]
    The left pair of panels points to one city while the right pair points to the other. TVFOOL told me exactly which compass direction to aim each for maximum reception.

    One last item: ZAP2IT is the best online TV Guide I have found that lists programming specific to each region. You choose from a list of local Cable Providers, a list of local Satellite Providers, or just Antenna.
     
    #24
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
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  10. Silvia Benoit

    Silvia Benoit Well-Known Member
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    John

    Well, I see I will need my electrical engineer father to install the antenna...too bad he died a long time ago.
    Thanks for the great i.nfo. I live in a building 100+_ miles from NYC but mine apartment building is the only one on the block (both sides) and on the higher side of the avenue (is on a hill) so I think there is going to be some interference but no as much. Thanks again.
     
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  11. John Brunner

    John Brunner Very Well-Known Member
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    You're very welcome.

    I fear that my overly-long answer may have made things seem more complicated than they really are.

    Did you go to TV Fool and look up your address? There may be things you can pick up without too much trouble. My place is in sort of a hollow...a 75 foot drop in elevation from the paved road, with trees surrounding the house. I still get over 40 channels.

    I did not know that you lived in an apartment. I wonder if there isn't a community antenna already installed by building management you can attach to.
     
    #26
  12. Silvia Benoit

    Silvia Benoit Well-Known Member
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    John

    I just checked TVFOOL; as I had assumed it "told me" GREEN.
    My place is elevated...the avenue "cuts" the hill and the places on the other side are located a lot lower; it looks like a route in the "mountain middle.""

    Any brand name you could suggest? Thanks.

    Did you go to TV Fool and look up your address? There may be things you can pick up without too much trouble. My place is in sort of a hollow...a 75 foot drop in elevation from the paved road, with trees surrounding the house. I still get over 40 channels.

    I did not know that you lived in an apartment. I wonder if there isn't a community antenna already installed by building management you can attach to.[/QUOTE]
     
    #27
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  13. Silvia Benoit

    Silvia Benoit Well-Known Member
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    John

    No, not at all. I am used to my father's electrical / communication explanations and I recognized some of the words you used, I really thank you.
     
    #28
  14. John Brunner

    John Brunner Very Well-Known Member
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    The first thing I would do is check with property management to see if there's a common rooftop antenna installed already you can just tie into. That will be your best bet as far as convenience and quality are concerned.

    I have not bought one of these in over 10 years. @Hal Pollner @Frank Sanoica and I believe @Faye Fox all have radio and/or electronic backgrounds. If you go back to TVFool and look up your address again, this time using the Title For Report field, you can use that Title to give them access to the analysis without revealing your address. You're gonna want to look this up again anyway for purposes of deciding which way to aim the antenna/where to install it (because it identified the direction of the transmitter towers.)
     
    #29
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
  15. Susan Paynter

    Susan Paynter Active Member
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    Would an IPTV box be an alternative option for the antenna. I am not sure of the legalities to using one in the US or anywhere, but I do know a few people who are quite satisfied with it. They say the cost to own one is meagre
    However, You do need high speed internet.
     
    #30
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