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Running Tests on some Indoor Antennas

Discussion in 'Local Reception' started by Satellite Samurai, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. Satellite Samurai

    Satellite Samurai Cool Member

    Oct 10, 2008
    I am preparing to run a test on some common indoor antennas. I am using the Digiair Meter, which is a basic RF signal strength meter. Believe me I would use a spectrum analyzer if I had one, but I think for all practical purposes this should be fine.

    I am wondering If I should do this test outside, since the building could cause all sorts of reflections and some of these antennas may handle multipath differently.
    In either case I know I would need to keep each antenna in the same spot. Using the same cable, if it is not built into the antenna.

    I am concenred about the ampflied versus non amplified. Would an amplfied antenna throw off the reading? In other words would one those rediculous 30db Amped indoor antennas register that much higher simply because of the gain?

    Any advice on how to make this experiment as sound as possible would be apreciated.

  2. Jim5506

    Jim5506 Hall Of Fame

    Jun 7, 2004
    Testing indoor antennas is generally useless, for the reasons you state for wanting to do your tests outside.

    All indoor circumstances are differentand absent a "standard" indoor set of rooms most test results would be irrelevant, but we can't determine which ones.

    Probably best would be to construct a series of facads of various materials and determine the effectiveness of signal reception through these materials, not a small enterprise.

    But it sounds like fun, anyway.
  3. boba

    boba Hall Of Fame

    May 23, 2003
    Don't bother doing it. Each location is going to bring special circumstances to your test. You already realize indoor vs. outdoor will change the circumstances. Changing the direction the rabbit ears face even moving them 6" higher or lower may change the reception. Is someone standing in front of the rabbit ears, there are so many variables that you really can't make a generalized statement about anyone particular product.
  4. billcushman

    billcushman Cool Member

    Jul 27, 2008
    See post #52 on page 3 of my OTA Antenna thread below.

    Signal strength is not nearly important as the absence of multipath and corrected inverse bit error rate of the ATSC signal in the actual conditions of use. My tests identified antennas that had significant disadvantages affecting performance, and a couple that worked fairly well in one specific set of conditions. Good luck on your testing.
  5. BillRadio

    BillRadio Legend

    Aug 5, 2004
    I think it could be a useful test if you followed some kind of control and comparison. For example, the actual signal indoors would be affected greatly by reflections and absoption, so the antenna should be moved into enough positions to establish a "range" of measurements. Antenna A could show a range of, say, -50 to -75db, Antenna B varies from -55 to -80db, etc. The control would be that the 'range' of highs and lows were measured across the same line of movement.

    It's perfect for your own circumstances, but it would be hard to replicate in another environment.
  6. tvjay

    tvjay Godfather

    Sep 26, 2007
    How does the meter work? I have been looking for a review but can't seem to find one.

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