UHF TV antennas

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jwax
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UHF TV antennas

Post by jwax » Sat Feb 21, 2004 6:45 am

Anybody have good success with an amplified UHF TV antenna? Lots of brands to choose, but which is a good one?
John

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MrAl
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Re: UHF TV antennas

Post by MrAl » Sat Feb 21, 2004 4:31 pm

Hello there,<p>Sorry i cant help too much, but i used to use
two Radio Shacks in series a long while back.
It also picked up local noise better too but
at least i could get some channels in when i
couldnt without the amps.
You might want to check your local cable
co too for basic cable perhaps.<p>Take care,
Al
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

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jwax
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Re: UHF TV antennas

Post by jwax » Sat Feb 21, 2004 5:11 pm

Thanks Al, but "buying cable" is what I'm avoiding. $40/mo for dozens of channels that I wouldn't watch. My local (50 miles) UHF staions are free for the grabbing off the air!
Did you know that when David Sarnoff (RCA)swindled Philo out of his television patents, the media giant didn't even want to sell air time for advertising because he believed that would be a corruption of the airways, meant for the good of the people.
Then he changed his mind when he found out how much money could be made selling airtime.
Enjoy the Shopping Channel!

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Joseph
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Re: UHF TV antennas

Post by Joseph » Sun Feb 22, 2004 3:09 am

Hi jwax. I think I have finally found an ideological mate. ;) <p>I use a standard set-top type antenna with the 10 or so setting peaking knob. Once I had a cheap outdoor antenna with a homemade rotator, but gave that up after a lightning strike wiped out about a grand worth of equipment.<p>One easy way to enhance the reception of some stations is to use an extra wire terminated with an alligator lead which can be selectively clamped onto an aerial. Another thing which may help is to pass the VHF signal through the UHF signal path on the antenna before hooking it to the rear of the set.

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Re: UHF TV antennas

Post by perfectbite » Sun Feb 22, 2004 3:45 am

jwax. Don't let the cable company snooker you into buying one of their packages. Ask for basic, basic cable. They don't make any money on it but by Federal Charter they have to provide cheap universal access to the local TV stations. The cable company salesfolk usually work on commission and there is no commission for them on this basic, basic service so they'll hum and haw. I pay $15 (incl. the local taxes) per month and get 50 plus cable channels. Some of them you can keep, (talk about a waste of bandwidth, QVC for instance) and a few are in Spanish or Chinese but it turned out that for me it was cheaper over a year or two than buying and mounting and maintaining a decent antenna. Those antenna rotor thingies aren't cheap either.<p>[ February 22, 2004: Message edited by: perfectbite ]</p>

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Edd
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Re: UHF TV antennas

Post by Edd » Sun Feb 22, 2004 3:20 pm

Jwax:
Call me Simonized and let it go at that. :D <p>The first consideration is the strength of signal received from the UHF station(s).An amplifier is not going to make a good signal for you , it can only maintain that quality of signal that was produced at the ants terminals….if it is mounted THERE. Also you made no reference to as to how many, and, if in more than one direction, and their channel numbers. Also,mountainous area is not conducive to long haul UHF reception…line of sight conditions are what you are looking for. Also there is a “sheet/layering effect at UHF so when signal strength evaluating ,run your antenna up and down slowly at least a wavelength to find the hottest signal spot
If you don’t already have a dedicated UHF antenna you might rapidly fab a common folded dipole for signal strength evaluation by using the simple info at:
http://www.kyes.com/antenna/antennatype ... types.html
See # 4 for simple ant wire, folded dipole for use in signal strength evaluation
At Chan 69 ½ W-length is ~7 inches but at at Ch 14 its ~ 14 inches length.
If this gets a watchable picture it should boom in with a cut Yagi antenna.<p>Also, this Ham site gives Do it Yourself info on a Yagi design….which is my definite preferential….small size…hi performance.
If you find a good signal level and want to make a specific cut to frequencyYagi I can give you the element lengths and specs for a delta or gamma Z-matching to 75Ω coax if the channel info is provided
http://www.clarc.org/Articles/uhf.htm
$5 Brazing rod ant construction<p>Along another frame..as The Perfect Bite..byte..?.... sez be sure the cable company is quoting at its lowest, tier as city charter contractual agreements usually consider an affordable "basic" minimal rate.
In my area I get 18 free/off the air stations(eat your heart out Noo-Yark-Citee) but the local cable company only second sources but 8 of them among its 160 channels.<p>73's de Edd
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jwax
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Re: UHF TV antennas

Post by jwax » Sun Feb 22, 2004 7:10 pm

Thanks, all! Looks like I have a Yagi to build!
I appreciate the info, and love a challenging project! ;)

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Re: UHF TV antennas

Post by Dean Huster » Thu Mar 04, 2004 8:13 pm

There are some things that really aren't worth building, and TV antennas fit that category pretty well. Single-channel antennas are easier, but if you want a multiple-channel jobbie, that's a lot more work. Consider that you can buy a super-dooper, deep-fringe, suck-in-everything-that-isn't-nailed-down VHF/FM/UHF monster from places like MCM Electronics for under $100, and you can quickly see that buying all the aluminum tubing to properly make a durable antenna will be quickly used up.<p>Lightning? I have that aforementioned super-dooper, deep-fringe, suck-in-everything-that-isn't-nailed-down VHF/FM/UHF monster sitting on top of a 40-foot steel tower with a RS mast-mounted preamp, CDR ham radio rotator, RG-6 cable, etc. and can suck in everything on UHF that exists. On any given Saturday morning, I can pull in probably 20 or 30 UHF stations as I swing around the circuit, from Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Tennessee and Kentucky. Never been touched by lightning in the seven years I've had this set-up. By the way, the tower and rotator cost me $60 and 100 feet of RG-8 was thrown in, too.<p>Unfortunately, the wifey insists that we get TLC and all that other rot, so although I can get every network known to man, there's still a DirecTV dish mounted on this same tower. That is so disgusting.<p>Dean
Dean Huster, Electronics Curmudgeon
Contributing Editor emeritus, "Q & A", of the former "Poptronics" magazine (formerly "Popular Electronics" and "Electronics Now" magazines).

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jwax
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Re: UHF TV antennas

Post by jwax » Fri Mar 05, 2004 3:57 am

Thanks Dean! I appreciate your insight!
John :D

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Re: UHF TV antennas

Post by jollyrgr » Fri Mar 05, 2004 7:13 am

Dean,<p>How many of the 20 to 30 UHF channels are independents? Most channels now show all the same thing because the will all be WB, UPN, ABC, NBC, CBS, or FOX. Years ago it was neat to DX a far off station as it was an independent and would show programming that was not local. Now anything DX I find is a repeat of something I can get local.<p>As far as building antennas.....<p>Many years ago, as a kid, I found this book on improving TV reception. One project in this book was a rhombus DX TV antenna. It consisted of two legs of wire about 100 feet in length each, a resistor, and insulators. I made one of these and received numerous channels that had not been previously available. But the antenna did not stay up long as it stretched across the entire back yard!
No trees were harmed in the creation of this message. But billions of electrons, photons, and electromagnetic waves were terribly inconvenienced!

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MrAl
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Re: UHF TV antennas

Post by MrAl » Fri Mar 05, 2004 11:53 am

Hello there,<p>Dean, very interesting :-) Perhaps you can
tell us a little about Direct tv too?<p>I had considered many antennae in my time,
but only played with tv types when it was
really a necessity. I finally got around
to purchasing an RS $25 model and got pretty
good reception after mounting it in the
attic where it was free from problems with
weather and wind, etc. Lasted for a long time.<p>Now i use cable :-)<p>On the other hand, back when CB radio was a big
thing i couldnt resist trying my hand at
a "little" construction project.
With two 8' length 1/2 inch copper tubing
sections run end to end (with 1/2 inch gap
between ends and held in place with a heavy
fibre glass board and pipe clamps) a few
guy wires supported it vertically on top of
a roof already about 20 feet high. This brought
the very top to about 36 feet! It was
fun getting it up there :-) but after it
was finally installed i got out almost
across two towns, where before could barely
even receive from that far off.
Interestingly, the guy wire was actually
super heavy duty fishing line :-)
The thing stayed up there for years after
CB died.<p>
Happy dx'ing,
Al
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

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Re: UHF TV antennas

Post by Ron H » Fri Mar 05, 2004 3:58 pm

Hey Dean,
Do you have the satellite dish mounted on top of the tower so it will be closer to the satellite? ;)

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Re: UHF TV antennas

Post by toejam » Sun Mar 07, 2004 12:46 pm

right now, for me, cable is the best buy. I say this because with it comes the availibity to obtain a cable telephone for about 30 t0 40.00 with unlimited local and long distance calling.

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