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Travel Back In Time To Buy A Good TV Antenna

The technical side of broadcasting. Think IBOC is a sham? Talk about it here! How about HDTV? Post DX reports here as well.
Arthur Mometer
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Re: Travel Back In Time To Buy A Good TV Antenna

Post by Arthur Mometer » Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:15 pm

WWTV 9 was off Dish for a while. Has it come back yet?

Now WDIV 4 is about to be taken off. With just a punch of a button, I can get WDIV with an attic antenna.

Time to BAA-Buy An Antenna, and not let these disputes prevent you from watching what you want to watch.


"I'm meteorologist Arthur Mometer."

"Those of you who think you know everything are very annoying to those of us who do."

"Lies have to be repeated and repeated to be believed. Truth stands on its own merit."

ftballfan
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Re: Travel Back In Time To Buy A Good TV Antenna

Post by ftballfan » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:31 pm

In many parts of the country (especially in urban/suburban areas), a good rooftop antenna will get more stations than satellite or cable


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k8jd
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Location: Commerce, MI

Re: Travel Back In Time To Buy A Good TV Antenna

Post by k8jd » Wed Nov 04, 2015 1:49 am

BIG TV Antennas
A few decades ago another radio nut friend moved out of Detroit and built a hilltop house in eastern Livingston county.
My family went out there to visit over a weekend and early one morning (before sunrise) we turned on his TV to see what was on the air.
He had found the biggest antenna available and got it up on his roof.
We saw two and sometimes three different stations on each VHF channel by turning the antenna around. Before WXYZ TV signed on for the day we could see WABC TV in NYC coming thru the snow, 600 miles away !,
He told me this was not a rare condition, temp inversions there happened about half the time in some months. Hilltop location helped.



Arthur Mometer
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Re: Travel Back In Time To Buy A Good TV Antenna

Post by Arthur Mometer » Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:22 am

I would be surprised if WABC-TV 7 was common. I have to wonder what year it was. As I recall, you would occasionally see WKBW-TV 7 from Buffalo, NY. And I do recall an era where the WABC-TV ID would make it all the way down the network path to local Michigan stations. Not saying it couldn't happen, just that at 500-600 miles, it would not be common, even if all other Channel 7s were off the air at the time. Livingston County has some amazing DX potential, and regular viewing potential though. Back in the 1960s, I was at a house out near Runyan Lake and they got good pictures with a 20 foot piece of wire as an antenna. It's several hundred feet above the elevation on either side in Flint or Detroit.

Before they took their combined seven old AM towers down, you could see the old site tower lights from WSNL 600 and WFDF 910 from places in Tyrone Twp. You probably can still see the WTRX 1330 tower lights still. WFNT 1470 towers are now unlighted. Many TV transmitting towers lights can easily be seen, most notably WEYI's tower from near Center Rd. and US 23, about 34 miles away. Not sure where you could see Southfield towers on 23, though they can be seen driving South on 75 North of Pontiac in some places.


"I'm meteorologist Arthur Mometer."

"Those of you who think you know everything are very annoying to those of us who do."

"Lies have to be repeated and repeated to be believed. Truth stands on its own merit."

Arthur Mometer
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Re: Travel Back In Time To Buy A Good TV Antenna

Post by Arthur Mometer » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:57 am

Here's a site that you can find the elevation for a location. You can touch the location and get the AMSL in meters. For example, put in Fenton, MI and then touch just north of US 23 and Center Rd. in Tyrone Twp., and you get 325 meters, about 1056 feet.

http://www.mapcoordinates.net/en


"I'm meteorologist Arthur Mometer."

"Those of you who think you know everything are very annoying to those of us who do."

"Lies have to be repeated and repeated to be believed. Truth stands on its own merit."

ftballfan
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Re: Travel Back In Time To Buy A Good TV Antenna

Post by ftballfan » Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:43 pm

If I had the time and money, I would buy a house midway between two markets on a hill and put up a YUGE antenna to see what I could pull in


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WOHO
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Location: Cumulus has killed 1470 KHz

Re: Travel Back In Time To Buy A Good TV Antenna

Post by WOHO » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:09 am

Now that we're finally getting our antennae all rigged-up after the HDTV swap and the nice new subchannels being added, I'm really scared that this FCC BS cellphone DTV spectrum auction for their wireless buddies is going to see the demise of a few OTA stations and one or two double-up on one tower, causing us to lose our fun/free bonus subchannels, and some diving into useless crapola low-band VHF. I have trouble with RF5 - I think all the VHF Lo/Hi stations are grossly underpowered from the FCC models and could use more power to avoid pixilation.



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mtburb
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Location: Wyandotte, 17 miles from Southfield, 38 miles from Oregon

Re: Travel Back In Time To Buy A Good TV Antenna

Post by mtburb » Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:05 pm

My family had that "Detroit-style" antenna setup when they first got television when they were still in Wyandotte in the 50's. Later had another one of those on their new home in Southgate when they moved there in April 1965, later taken down in the early 1980's when Wayne Cablevision (later Maclean Hunter, now Comcast) started serving Southgate and when Wyandotte Cable began operations.

We still remember when a number of Downriver residents also had yagis for channels 11 and 13 (and in some cases even one for channel 6) to get the professional sports games that were blacked out in the Detroit market.
Last edited by mtburb on Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:47 am, edited 2 times in total.


My furthest DTV tropo: KDKA Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 202 miles for three days in January 2017 and a night in September 2017 with only an Antennas Direct C2V!

Current setup: Antennas Direct C2Max (2018-present)

Arthur Mometer
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Re: Travel Back In Time To Buy A Good TV Antenna

Post by Arthur Mometer » Fri Nov 06, 2015 5:28 pm

People did put up 10 Element Yagis for WJIM-TV/WLNS 6, WTOL 11, and WSPD-TV/WTVG 13 back in the day. A channel 9 Yagi was a frequent "Local" add on antenna for the Detroit area. It really got messed up when they moved CBET 9 South. But I think they have the pattern pointed the correct direction now-toward Windsor. The only other nearby market station to stand a ghost of a chance of seeing regularly in the roughly Central Detroit Metro is WFUM/WCMW-TV 28.


"I'm meteorologist Arthur Mometer."

"Those of you who think you know everything are very annoying to those of us who do."

"Lies have to be repeated and repeated to be believed. Truth stands on its own merit."

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mtburb
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Location: Wyandotte, 17 miles from Southfield, 38 miles from Oregon

Re: Travel Back In Time To Buy A Good TV Antenna

Post by mtburb » Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:17 pm

Well, today, I drove by a house on Oak Street in Wyandotte that still has a "Detroit-style" antenna setup. No photo, so enjoy the best Google Street View I could get of it instead.
Image

The long loop element covers WJBK, then a shorter one behind that is for WWJ, the shortest elements at the back are for WXYZ. The elements about a foot above all of those, pointed northeast, are for CKLW.


My furthest DTV tropo: KDKA Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 202 miles for three days in January 2017 and a night in September 2017 with only an Antennas Direct C2V!

Current setup: Antennas Direct C2Max (2018-present)

k8jd
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Location: Commerce, MI

Re: Travel Back In Time To Buy A Good TV Antenna

Post by k8jd » Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:42 pm

That 8 ft parabolic dish has an apeture of something like 5.97 wavelengths, at mid UHF TV frequencies. The DB gain is proportional to that but I think you have to also factor in the focal length .
An unholy marriage of optics and antenna theory. :D
Anybody who can figure out the gain out there? Speak up !
Ed Joseph wrote:
Arthur Mometer wrote:One more antenna for tonight.
Wow... we had that EXACT setup, with the FM crossed Dipole with the big UHF parabolic reflector (7 foot) up around 60' when I was a teenager. Had a massive Cornell-Dublier rotor mounted inside the tower. We could pull in signals from at least 150 miles out and that FM antenna was great for an omni.

But it took about a dozen of us to walk that tower up with all that on it.



k8jd
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Location: Commerce, MI

Re: Travel Back In Time To Buy A Good TV Antenna

Post by k8jd » Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:48 pm

Hi Art Thermo Meter, do U think much of the "FMfool" and "TVfool" website estimations. A lot of info pops up there. I have used them for various camping sites around the state, to find what can be heard and seen there.
Arthur Mometer wrote:Here's a site that you can find the elevation for a location. You can touch the location and get the AMSL in meters. For example, put in Fenton, MI and then touch just north of US 23 and Center Rd. in Tyrone Twp., and you get 325 meters, about 1056 feet.

http://www.mapcoordinates.net/en



Arthur Mometer
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Location: Radar Room

Re: Travel Back In Time To Buy A Good TV Antennalivicio

Post by Arthur Mometer » Fri Dec 04, 2015 10:40 pm

TVFool and FMFool seem to be based on some model that is very similar to or identical to Longley Rice. Since terrain and point to point terrain profile is a very important factor in signal prediction, one that was not used fully in FCC coverage estimations, I'd rate the site Good to Excellent. Obviously a DXer can get signals further, all the time or occasionally, but as far as easy reception, the lists generated are very accurate.

The gain quotes I recall for the UHF Parabolic Reflector were 17 dBd at Channel 14 to 21 dBd for Channel 83. The combination of wave and particle theory and frequency/wavelength are the only thing that separates "radio" waves from optics. Optical Telescopes are essentially antennas for visible light. Antennas just change in design from VLF and below to visible light and above.

Reflection calculations at optical surfaces are similar to VSWR calculations. I was told that it all had to do with the wave equation, but the Physicist I asked never showed me exactly how. One thing we couldn't immediately reconcile is how Glass has a refractive index of about 1.5, and Water 1.33, but refractive index is supposed to be close to the square root of dielectric constant, and it works fairly well for Glass and Transparent Plastics, with dielectric constants averaging 2-2.5, but not Water, which has a dielectric constant of 78. It has to do with relative permittivity and permeability, related to electric and magnetic properties, capacitive and inductive properties at the atomic or molecular level, and is actually the square root of the product of those. Those properties determine the speed of light and the inverse index of refraction, in a substance. In a transmission line, the dielectric (but it would have to also have to be related to the magnetic properties, not just electric) determines this.


"I'm meteorologist Arthur Mometer."

"Those of you who think you know everything are very annoying to those of us who do."

"Lies have to be repeated and repeated to be believed. Truth stands on its own merit."

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WOHO
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Re: Travel Back In Time To Buy A Good TV Antenna

Post by WOHO » Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:43 am

Yeah, if only the FCC would have used TVFool to realize that they needed to give VHF stations a bucket load more ERP to reach their old analog contours, but instead they used FCC-FOOL.



Arthur Mometer
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Re: Travel Back In Time To Buy A Good TV Antenna

Post by Arthur Mometer » Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:04 pm

If you can page through and find the Index, you can find images of TV and FM Antennas used since the beginning of such Antennas.

One thing that surprised me, is the large number of designs in the early History, and many were designed for VHF-UHF. There are even VHF-UHF Antennas using Rhombic designs for UHF. It looks like a single wavelength per side of the rhombus, so I don't know how well these would work. Most designs I have seen in books specified three to five wavelengths per side of the rhombus. I would also think the bandwidth would be limited. Back when these designed, shortly after they opened up Channels 14-83, UHF stations were mostly designed to serve a small local area, like 10-20 miles, so they probably worked OK for that.

I have always heard people say they were going to build a rhombic antenna to get some difficult to receive channel. Due to the difficulty of designing, building, space requirements, and orientation, I never talked to anyone who followed through building a rhombic antenna. Has anyone here built a rhombic for TV or FM?

http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Ele ... talogs.htm


"I'm meteorologist Arthur Mometer."

"Those of you who think you know everything are very annoying to those of us who do."

"Lies have to be repeated and repeated to be believed. Truth stands on its own merit."

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