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I bought the $1.99 flat HD antenna Menards had on sale this week...

The technical side of broadcasting. Think IBOC is a sham? Talk about it here! How about HDTV? Post DX reports here as well.
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MWmetalhead
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Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2004 11:23 am

I bought the $1.99 flat HD antenna Menards had on sale this week...

Post by MWmetalhead » Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:02 pm

...check back to this thread for a detailed reception report by Monday evening. :)

Channels I can receive normally with my $10 RCA antenna and $20 off-brand Amazon antenna when connected to my living room TV:

WJBK*
WDIV
WXYZ
WHNE*
WDWO*
WUDL**
WMYD
WUDT*
WPXD
WADL
WKBD
WTVS
WWJ

*Noticeably stronger on the Amazon antenna than the RCA.
**Reception has become increasingly difficult since phase one of the FCC repack.


Lori Bennett and Bob Walker have turned WLAV from an iconic classic rock station into a ratings boondoggle. Sad.

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audiophile
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:21 pm
Location: Between 88 and 108 MHz.

Re: I bought the $1.99 flat HD antenna Menards had on sale this week...

Post by audiophile » Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:23 am

I just put a recycled full-size outdoor antenna at the second location.

WJBK
WDIV
WXYZ
WMYD
WPXD*
WKBD
WTVS
WWJ

WNEM
WJRT
WEYI
WSMH

I wish I could get CBET, WAQP and WDCQ.


Ask not what your country can do FOR you; ask what they are about to do TO YOU!!

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MWmetalhead
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Re: I bought the $1.99 flat HD antenna Menards had on sale this week...

Post by MWmetalhead » Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:34 am

So, I went ahead and connected my paper thin, 12" x 3", flat panel antenna from Menards.

The verdict? Two thumbs up!!! :)
For the money, I was truly impressed by the results! 61 channels!


I received every single channel I normally receive with my two other antennas on my living room TV, with the exception of channel 23 WUDT (Daystar). Given the fact the other Class A / LPTV signals I normally pick up all came in fine, I suspect WUDT is either running reduced power or is off the air right now.

Signal strengths of some of the normally weaker channels in my area were all respectable:
- WADL: 28 dB
- WDWO: 21 dB
- WUDL: 22 dB
- WHNE: 20 dB (repositioning increases this to 23 dB)

The skies are clear and the wind calm is in my viewing location (near 14 Mile & Woodward Ave in Oakland County).

Biggest surprise was how easy it was to pick up WUDL, virtual channel 19. This channel can be flaky when using my GE/RCA set-top rabbit ears/UHF loop combo.

I will reiterate - I picked up this antenna for $1.99 yesterday. Coincidentally, had I remembered to bring my savings pass that was mailed to all homes in my area (where I was guaranteed at least $2 off my purchase), I would've gotten it for free.

There are a few "cons" to this antenna; they are as follows:
- You will not get any reception of RF channels 2 through 6;
- There are no suction cups or two-sided tape strips that allow for easy wall mounting; you will need to purchase & add these materials on your own;
- Because of the style of this antenna, repositioning isn't as convenient as a set-top antenna that comes mounted on a base. (Menards had two or three varieties of these in stock in Bloomfield Hills, including a variant of the GE/RCA set-top antenna that I own and that Moldyoldie bought for his uncle's house in SW Detroit. That antenna normally retails for $10 - $12; I believe I saw a price of $4.99 at Menards.)

Some of you may be wondering how well this antenna performs on the VHF-hi band; the only such channel I regularly receive at my location is WJBK, whose tower is about five miles due south. Here's a quick comparison:
- $1.99 antenna: 28 dB signal
- GE/RCA ears & loop set-top combo: 27 dB signal
- Amazon ~$20 antenna (UMustHave brand): 33 dB signal

From a reception standpoint, this antenna performs every bit as good as the GE/RCA product from VHF 7 - 13 and on all UHF channels. In fact, I'd say the no-name $1.99 antenna outperforms the GE/RCA product by a slight edge - since it seemed to pull in WUDL & WHNE with less effort and a steadier signal.

The ~$20-ish UMustHave antenna from Amazon is the leader of the pack, is triple the size of the $1.99 antenna from Menards, and should work really well for anyone within 25 miles of TV broadcast towers with no terrain obstructions. As an example of that antenna's impressive performance, it picked up WHNE like gangbusters. That said, the $1.99 antenna from Menards still delivered rock solid reception of WADL, a station located 16 miles from my house. For those looking for an inexpensive over-the-air TV reception solution, if you live within 15 to 20 miles of the major UHF towers and within 10 miles of the major VHF towers, the $1.99 antenna (which will cost $4.99 when it's no longer on sale) is worth a try!


Lori Bennett and Bob Walker have turned WLAV from an iconic classic rock station into a ratings boondoggle. Sad.

k8jd
Posts: 184
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:35 pm
Location: Commerce, MI

Re: I bought the $1.99 flat HD antenna Menards had on sale this week...

Post by k8jd » Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:33 pm

MY DIY TV antenna
When I bought my first house, and got settled in , we bought a Serious color TV. We had a B/W portable from our apartment that went in the bedroom and a Big TV was more suited for the living room.
The previous owners had left no roof antena behind so I decided to build an antenna.
I made a simple fan Dipole with one dipole cut for Ch 2 and one for Ch 7 and a little one cut for about 700 MHz for the local UHF channels. I hung the wires on the back wall and sides of the front closet and ran some twinlead thru the wall to the TV. Worked great for local reception, from our N.W. Detroit location, and cost me $ 00.00 !
When warm WX came, and we saved more cash, I purchased a big aluminum LPDA style antenna and chimney mounted it. I could get Toledo stations with it aimed away from Southfield, and there was PLENTY of signal from the local towers off the back side.



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