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AllStar
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm one of those about to lose my long distance network feeds and am seriously considering going to the 622 so I can pick up my locals with my attic antennas.

My problem is that I have stations coming from two different directions about 90 degrees apart. I currently have two low end Radio Shack VHF/UHF antennas and one high gain, directional UHF antenna. All three antennas are currently combined to give me one RG-6 cable to my receiver. I get my best signal by manually turning the high gain antenna depending on which station I want to view. Is there a way using these three antennas to be able to pull in a signal strong enough for the receiver to record stations in either direction without having to manually be here to move the antenna? When I'm away from home and programs are to be recorded, I want to be able to get them regardless of which direction the signal will be coming from. My initial thought is to stack the two VHF/UHF antennas and point them toward the station with the strongest signal and then point the high gain UHF antenna toward the station with the weakest signal. I'm just wondering if there is some other device that I'm not aware of that will solve my problem.

Also, with the offer from DISH to install an OTA antenna for me, will their antenna help my situation? Anyone know exactly what they will be installing?

Thanks.

Len
 

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Premium Member
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21,658 Posts
Sounds like your antennas are better than what Dish would likely provide. Ultimately the only way to know for sure is to get a receiver and hook it up and try. I can say that my new ViP622 is better than my previous Dish receiver at locking in OTA digitals and also better than a standalone OTA digital receiver I have in another room.

Hard to say what your results will be for sure until you try it out.
 

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Beware the Attack Basset
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lsokoloff said:
My problem is that I have stations coming from two different directions about 90 degrees apart.
You left out a critical statistic: how far away are these broadcast towers?
Is there a way using these three antennas to be able to pull in a signal strong enough for the receiver to record stations in either direction without having to manually be here to move the antenna?... I'm just wondering if there is some other device that I'm not aware of that will solve my problem.
There are devices called "tanks" that essentially pre-tune an antenna to a particular frequency or small range of frequencies. See also "bandpass filter".
Also, with the offer from DISH to install an OTA antenna for me, will their antenna help my situation? Anyone know exactly what they will be installing?
Of course not. What you need is based on a number of factors:

1. Distance to the various transmitters
2. Directions of the transmitters
3. Obstructions (land features, vegetation)

The typical starting place is www.antennaweb.org. Feed it your Zip Code and it will do some math to calculate distances and directions. From there, it will make some recommendations about what class of antenna are required to receive each location. Remember that the ViP622 tunes only "digital" (ATSC) stations, so tick the "Show Digital Stations Only" radio button.

Using the Zip Code for your area, it appears that you're kinda screwed for OTA reception. You can get ABC, NBC and a PBS from the Wilmington. Florence may be a stretch for another ABC and a CW affiliate.
 

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AllStar
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110 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies guys. I have been to the antennaweb site, but I didn't know how detailed you wanted me to get. Here are the details for those of you who want to help me through this.

I get NBC (37º and 31 miles), ABC (59º and 22 miles) and FOX (59º and 22 miles) out of Wilmington. With my high gain antenna pointed at them, they generally come in at about 90%.

I get CBS (311º and 56 miles), ABC (310º and 56 miles) and FOX (303º and 43 miles) out of Myrtle Beach or Florence. With the antenna pointed at them, CBS comes in at about 70% and ABC comes in at about 85%. FOX is due to go digital any day now.

Terrain is flat, flat, flat and there are no buildings or obstructions in the way.

I just stacked my two Radio Shack VHF/UHF antennas in my attic and pointed them both at my stronger Wilmington signal. The high gain UHF only antenna is pointed at the Myrtle Beach/Florence stations. I get the Myrtle Beach/Florence stations great, but can't lock a signal on the Wilmington stations. Same thing happens when I swap the positions of the antennas.

Seems to me like I can just disconnect my VHF/UHF antennas, although they do allow me to pick up analog signals in case of a loss of a satellite feed. Maybe what I need to do is pick up another high gain UHF only antenna and point it in the other direction and combine the signals. I'll do a search for your "tanks" and "bandpass filter" suggestions, but if you can point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it. My concern was that combining two antennas that are pointing in different directions would interfere with each others signal, but that may not be a problem. There's got to be a way for me to pick up strong signals from both directions without physically having to go up into the attic to move the antenna.

Thanks.

Len
 

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Legend
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228 Posts
lsokoloff said:
I'll do a search for your "tanks" and "bandpass filter" suggestions, but if you can point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it. My concern was that combining two antennas that are pointing in different directions would interfere with each others signal, but that may not be a problem. There's got to be a way for me to pick up strong signals from both directions without physically having to go up into the attic to move the antenna.

Thanks.

Len
Well, you could use an antenna rotor to avoid going up to the attic.

In general it is a bad idea to just combine signals from multiple antennas. What happens is that the antenna(s) not pointed at a station pick up multipath reflections of that station which interferes with proper reception - and ATSC (digital TV) is very sensitive to multipath. However, having said that, you might get lucky and find an antenna position (or positions) that work. Another approach is to use filters to pass only the stations you expect to receive from a given antenna. You might find a combination of JoinTennas that would work:

http://www.channelmaster.com/pages/TVS/Passives.htm
http://www.warrenelectronics.com/Antennas/joiners.htm
 

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AllStar
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110 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the reply bbomar. A rotor won't solve my problem if I'm away from home when the scheduled recordings must change from a Myrtle Beach channel to a Wilmington channel. If I'm home, I have no problem going up to the attic to turn the antenna. It's when I'm away that the problem occurs. I'll check out your suggested sites to see what else I can do.

Len
 

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AllStar
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66 Posts
I have a similar situation here in Tampa. CBS is north and others south. I purchased a "Tampa Bay Special" antenna from Radio Shack. It consists of two antenna. One with uhf/vhf and the other towards cbs vhf. I connected these two with a flat antenna wire that looked like a ladder or one with holes in it. I do not know how they did it, however, it works and the signals do not intefere with each other. I am sure there is a way to connect two antenna that are pointed in different directions. It works for me.
 

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Beware the Attack Basset
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25,930 Posts
Don't bet the farm on UHF. While some stations will stay up there, others will move back down to their VHF frequencies after the transition (especially channels 7-13).
 

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Child of the 60's
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3,127 Posts
My suggestion would be to cruise on over to our sister site (avsforum.com) and in the forums, you'll find a section for OTA reception (sorry, can't remember the exact title, but you'll know you're there when you see it!!). With luck, you'll find a thread for your neck of the woods and you'll be able to find someone in the same boat that you are. The "Seattle" thread provided me with a ton of good information.

Another option would be to head to your friendly high end A/V store and see if one of their more knowledgeable staff can get you going in the right direction, or ask for the name of the antenna installer who does their custom work. He/she should be able to give you the info. you need. If you're so inclined, you can always have them do the install for you.

Good luck!!

John
 
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