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Long-range antenna recommendation?


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32 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   dradieee

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 05:28 PM

I'm living in Stevens Point, WI and I currently don't have cable. I'm trying to pull in channels from Wausau, WI which is about 30 miles away. I've gone through many different antennas trying to find one that works and I haven't found one yet. I'm looking for an indoor antenna. Also, I have no idea which channels I'll be able to get. Help?

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#2 OFFLINE   Scott Kocourek

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 05:32 PM

Check this site for channels in range http://www.tvfool.co...apper&Itemid=29

Try the Blade antenna available at Solidsignal.com http://search.solids...search=1&cart=0

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#3 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 05:45 PM

Check this site for channels in range http://www.tvfool.co...apper&Itemid=29

Try the Blade antenna available at Solidsignal.com http://search.solids...search=1&cart=0

You've learned well grasshopper.

TVFool is a good starting place to learn what channels and their "guesstimated" strengths are.

Once you have an idea of these, then you can look for antennas that will work.

I've got the HDBlade and for my needs it works very well.

30 miles is where a lot of my channels come from, and I can even pickup a station 70 miles away. [I wouldn't really count on 70 mile ranges, but in some cases it works]
A.K.A VOS

#4 OFFLINE   Scott Kocourek

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 06:17 PM

You've learned well grasshopper.

TVFool is a good starting place to learn what channels and their "guesstimated" strengths are.

Once you have an idea of these, then you can look for antennas that will work.

I've got the HDBlade and for my needs it works very well.

30 miles is where a lot of my channels come from, and I can even pickup a station 70 miles away. [I wouldn't really count on 70 mile ranges, but in some cases it works]

And you thought I wasn't listening. :lol:

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#5 OFFLINE   Jim5506

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 08:15 PM

I would recommend more antenna than the Blade.

At 30 miles you are going to need an excellent indoor antenna - of which there are none.

Look at a small UHF/VHF combo antennna and mount it on an old floor lamp stand or hang it from the ceiling on a broomstick, or mount a medium sized antenna in your attic.

Best bet, put either of those antennas outside in clear air.

Yes, I know there are anecdotal tales of rabbit ears reception at 60 miles, but that's what they are - anecdotes and tales.
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#6 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 08:25 PM

I would recommend more antenna than the Blade.

At 30 miles you are going to need an excellent indoor antenna - of which there are none.

Have you ever used a HDBLADE?
It's fairly new and can be impressive.
As I said I can get a station from 70 miles away with mine.
A.K.A VOS

#7 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 08:28 PM

Yes, I know there are anecdotal tales of rabbit ears reception at 60 miles, but that's what they are - anecdotes and tales.

I guess you haven't used them much then, but either way the HDBlade has more gain and I've compared to two for SNR values to get a fairly good understanding of the two.

You want to try mounting at this location with rabbit ears?

http://forums.solids...11&d=1346782770
A.K.A VOS

#8 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 08:46 PM

I'm living in Stevens Point, WI and I currently don't have cable. I'm trying to pull in channels from Wausau, WI which is about 30 miles away. I've gone through many different antennas trying to find one that works and I haven't found one yet. I'm looking for an indoor antenna. Also, I have no idea which channels I'll be able to get. Help?


Hasnt worked at all, or hasnt gotten all the channels? The NBC station is 70 miles away. I think they have a translator station 30 miles away, but only 1KW is going to be hard to get with an indoor antenna. The rest of them should be fairly easy to get with a small vhf-hi/uhf yagi. Dont know how much luck you will have with an indoor antenna. Maybe a compromise and mount a small yagi in the attic?

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#9 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 09:44 PM

The NBC station is 70 miles away.

As much as I like my HDBlade, I wouldn't count on it for 70 miles. If I got something [as I do with 20 dB SNR] from 70 miles, it would be a plus/bonus, but not something to base my purchase on.
A.K.A VOS

#10 OFFLINE   dradieee

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 09:48 PM

Hasnt worked at all, or hasnt gotten all the channels?


Hasn't worked at all. I recently got an antenna that's supposed to bring in channels from 30 miles away and it picked up nothing. I've been into Best Buy three times now bringing home a new antenna each time and each time getting no channels.

I'm also not sure if my landlord allows for us to mount things on the outside of the house and I'm pretty sure I don't have access to the attic so I'm not sure what my options are.

#11 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:01 PM

Hasn't worked at all. I recently got an antenna that's supposed to bring in channels from 30 miles away and it picked up nothing. I've been into Best Buy three times now bringing home a new antenna each time and each time getting no channels.

I'm also not sure if my landlord allows for us to mount things on the outside of the house and I'm pretty sure I don't have access to the attic so I'm not sure what my options are.

Any chance you can post links/pictures of what you've tried so far?
A.K.A VOS

#12 OFFLINE   Juanus

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:25 PM

Does anyone have any experience with mounting an antenna on the dish? I figure its on the roof and high and all that. Then I could run a coax down and in through the house and get really good reception.

#13 OFFLINE   Jim5506

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 09:26 PM

Does anyone have any experience with mounting an antenna on the dish? I figure its on the roof and high and all that. Then I could run a coax down and in through the house and get really good reception.


It's best to start your own thread, but...

Attaching an antenna to the Dish pole is not recommended, first the dish upper portion is above the end of the pole so you can't get a good attachment, second an antenna adds wind load to the mount which is not super heavy duty anyway and third, without a 3-4 ft extension (which is not easy to attach, if not impossible) the dish would possibly interfere with the antennas reception.
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#14 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 09:35 PM

I'm also not sure if my landlord allows for us to mount things on the outside of the house and I'm pretty sure I don't have access to the attic so I'm not sure what my options are.


The fact you are getting nothing, even with an antenna rated for 30 miles is suspect. Im beginning to think you might have aluminum siding, or aluminum faced insulation, or something similar in your walls which are causing a major signal loss.

Try the antenna(s) in a window without a screen and see what happens.
Can you pick up FM stations from the same town as the TV stations from inside the house? From your car radio in the driveway?

Next bet, check and see what your neighbors are using. How large an antenna, which direction is it pointed? Is there a small box under each antenna (amplifier)? You can guess fairly well from what the neighbors are using as to what kind of luck you will have. If they all have 150" boom antennas on towers, then you are probably SOL. If they have no antennas visible, or very small antennas, the problem probably lies in your outer wall composition.

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#15 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 09:49 PM

Im beginning to think you might have aluminum siding, or aluminum faced insulation, or something similar in your walls which are causing a major signal loss.

Could also be a cinder block construction too.
A.K.A VOS

#16 OFFLINE   dradieee

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 10:05 PM

Any chance you can post links/pictures of what you've tried so far?


Here's the latest antenna I've gotten.

Posted Image

It's the Terk Omni-Directional Amplified Flat Digital Antenna. The woman at Best Buy personally had this antenna and lives only a few blocks from me and it worked for her like a charm.

The fact you are getting nothing, even with an antenna rated for 30 miles is suspect. Im beginning to think you might have aluminum siding, or aluminum faced insulation, or something similar in your walls which are causing a major signal loss.

Try the antenna(s) in a window without a screen and see what happens.
Can you pick up FM stations from the same town as the TV stations from inside the house? From your car radio in the driveway?

Next bet, check and see what your neighbors are using. How large an antenna, which direction is it pointed? Is there a small box under each antenna (amplifier)? You can guess fairly well from what the neighbors are using as to what kind of luck you will have. If they all have 150" boom antennas on towers, then you are probably SOL. If they have no antennas visible, or very small antennas, the problem probably lies in your outer wall composition.


When I was talking to people they mentioned the thing about the siding so I'm wondering if that could be preventing me from getting channels.

I'm able to get radio from my car in the driveway just fine. I'm not sure what my neighbors are using, I think some are using cable so they won't be any help to me but it's worth asking them.

#17 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 10:08 PM

Just temporarily hang your indoor antenna out a window, and see if it works. If it does, there are antennas which will work for you, and can be mounted to the windowsill or other non-house-damaging methods.

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#18 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 10:44 PM

It's the Terk Omni-Directional Amplified Flat Digital Antenna. The woman at Best Buy personally had this antenna and lives only a few blocks from me and it worked for her like a charm.

Amplified antennas are normally fairly poor antennas where most of the gain is in the amp.
If the antenna doesn't have good gain, it can't be "amplified" to get a signal.
Stick it on a window on the same side as the station is coming from and see what you can get.

A friend got the HDBlade [no amplifier] and got stations from one direction but not the other. It turned out he lives in a cinder box home, so he could only get stations that came through the window.

Winegard makes the Blade, and they've been in the business of making antennas since the fifties. They test and post the gain and patterns of almost all of their antennas.

The HDBlade has turned out to be a damn good indoor antenna, but if you put it in a closed box that can't get any signal, it won't work any better than a crappy one.

Here's a pdf on the specs of the blade. As you can see over the Terk, there are "real numbers"
http://forums.solids... vs Leaf LR.pdf

Edited by veryoldschool, 01 October 2012 - 10:51 PM.

A.K.A VOS

#19 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 10:46 PM

Just temporarily hang your indoor antenna out a window, and see if it works.

Duct tape it to the window. :lol:
A.K.A VOS

#20 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 10:54 PM

Duct tape it to the window. :lol:


I used to use a 4 bay channel master in a closet taped to the wall. It worked great :)

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