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Directional Antennas (1 Viewer)

tagsfan

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May 19, 2008
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Real Name
Tony
I recently made two homemade Directional Antenna's. I have one hooked up in the attic and works great as long as you have the Antenna pointed in the direction of the TV stations broadcasting tower (appox. 25 miles). At the present time I am "splitting the diffence" between two local stations. I am getting a signal strength of about 70% to 80% from both stations when I have it pointed between the two stations. If you point it directly at one station you get 100% on one but only 50% from the other.
Now here is my problem.. Eventhough I can get 5 channels from these two TV stations, I have a third TV station (PBS) that I would like to pick up as well. The station is approx. 25 degrees from the first two stations and it is getting a signal strength of about 30 percent and is very distorted/pixilated (losing signal from time to time). I was wanting to know if I could hook the second directional antenna up (pointed in the direction of the third TV station) to the same cable that is hooked up to the first antenna. I did not want to run another cable down the wall of the house and cut another hole in my wall to run a second OTA cable for my second antenna (already have two cables .. Mediacom cable service and OTA cable). Can I do this? I have been asking people from work and I have received many suggestions on how to fix the problem. I was unsure how to handle all the suggestions. One person stated put a in-line pre-amp for the antenna that I have hooked up at the present time to pick up the weak signal from the third station. Can you over amplify the signals that are around 80%? Do I need a pre-amp? Another person told me to us a "regular" splitter by hooking it up backwards (us the outlets as inlets and the inlet as an outlet) to hook up the two antennas. I was unsure about this idea as well. Does anyone know if you can hook splitters up backwards and have good results. What is the difference between bi-directional splitters and combiners? Am I heading down the wrong path? Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can get all three stations with a high signal strength (without buying an omni-direction antenna)? At what signal strength will you start to affect the quality of the picture? If I have a signal strengh of 40% and another at 100%, should there be a noticable difference between the two? Sorry for so many questions. I have just purchased a new Samsung 4671 (46 inch) TV and I want to put it to good use :) .

Any help would be appreciated.
Tony
 

Robert_J

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2000
Messages
8,350
Location
Mississippi
Real Name
Robert
Most ATSC tuners are very sensitive to being overdriven so use an amp as a last resort. A splitter in reverse will may not work either. Since antenna 1 gets a weak signal from PBS, it will be combined with the strong PBS signal from antenna 2. On analog TV, that would create ghosting. With digital signals, that confuses the tuner and it will not lock into the station. You need a jointenna. These are special order for your situation. Input one will handle all stations but have a filter for PBS. Input two will only handle PBS and filter all other stations. When ordering, you have to specify which frequency the stations are broadcasting on, not the channel. While my local Fox is on 13-1, they are actually using UHF 52 for the broadcast. Also, will your local channels still be using these frequencies after the cut-over in Feb 2009? Both my Fox and CBS stations are switching back to their VHF frequencies on the cut-over day. I have to upgrade my UHF only antenna before then.

-Robert
 

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