Ready for The Digital TV Transition if you use an antenna

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Antenna Facts

Postby eamarquardt » Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:33 pm

Hi,

Here are some facts regarding antennas and TV signals.

If you put up and an antenna and it works, GREAT!

VHF and UHF signals are "line of sight". This means if there are mountains in the way or if you are in a valley (as I am) reception may be considerably degraded or unavailable.

Omnidirectional antennas (get signals from any direction) do not result in as high a signal strenght as directional antennas.

Directional antennas result in higher signal strenghts and can minimize or eliminate signals from other unwanted directions.

Finally: BIGGER IS BETTER

So, try anything to see if it works in your location and if it works "yeah baby". If not, go directional and bigger.

Cheers, 73, K,

Gus/AB6KS
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Postby bobhenry » Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:39 am

The return of the redneck antenna

Thought I would resurrect this old post for the newbies.

January of 09 WOW this thread is over a year and a half old !

At our Whitewater Memorial gathering was this past weekend 4 of us brought our "Redneck" antennas. This little $3.00 home project takes about 20 minutes to build.

Oh yeah ....The outcome ...........

Scott 32 channels Me 34, Kurt 30 some ?? Scuba 34.

We were 40 miles from Cincinatti and about the same from Dayton Ohio.

Wife and I cut the cabel / sattelite connection 3 years ago and I built this little antenna in January of 09 have 2 set up in the house for our home viewing and they work great.

I'll be adding pictures of the build instructions in my albmu later today for those that may be interested.
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Postby bobhenry » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:15 am

Image

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Postby Ageless » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:23 pm

Checking ccraigslist; the converter boxes are being given away now by the dozen.
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Postby bobhenry » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:36 pm

As are the old style tv sets. Goodwill has them by the dozens.

I used the antenna with my new flat screed lcd tv this week and just this little antenna 34 crystal clear channels.

If your TV is HD ready there is no need for "THE BOX"

All my home units are the old style needing a converter.
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Postby Karl » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:42 am

bobhenry wrote:As are the old style tv sets. Goodwill has them by the dozens.

I used the antenna with my new flat screed lcd tv this week and just this little antenna 34 crystal clear channels.

If your TV is HD ready there is no need for "THE BOX"

All my home units are the old style needing a converter.


Bob,
The redneck antenna you made for me worked great at Whitewater!

A little boy dragged his parents over to my campsite at Whitewater last weekend. He pointed at my trailer and said to them, "See. I told you he had a TV on the side of his camper!!". I told the little boy that when I'm driving down the highway and I pass a car with a little boy or girl in it, I turn on Barney then drive next to his car for a while. The kid thought that was waaaaay cooool. His parents probably figured they would speed up a bit if they saw me on the road.
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Postby bobhenry » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:53 am

Did you get a scan count to see how many channels you were getting.
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Postby Karl » Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:53 pm

bobhenry wrote:Did you get a scan count to see how many channels you were getting.


I think it was around two thousand but I'm not sure. Well, maybe not 2,000. I'm guessing it was around 25 or thereabouts. I didn't notice the final tally at the end of the scan. Regardless, it worked GREAT!
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Postby bobhenry » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:46 am

Knockin' the dust off of this one.......

But I have some new information!

For anyone using a converter box

My magnavox converter box died about 4 AM wednesday morning. :(

I was unable to sleep and was channel surfing and all the sudden the remote just quit.

Batteries???? That was my 1st guess and I inserted fresh ones ( yes the were installed as shown) This was not the answer.

I walked to the converter box which unlike many ofter models , has manual controls on top, volumn up and down , channel up and down, and off and on. None of these manual buttons worked. It would not even shut off. Assuming some tiny circuit has fried I gave it last rites and turned off the TV.

Here is the update...... I was about to unhook it and the thought REBOOT came to mind. Why ? I do not know but I pulled the plug and let it set for about 3 minutes and plugged it back in. The short version is it lives. All the manual controls work as well as the remote.

Just letting you all know that before you toss a dead one in the trash you might want to try and "REBOOT"
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Re: Redneck antenna

Postby bigbendhiker » Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:04 am

bobhenry wrote:Image

Image

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I built this exact antenna this morning with material I had on hand in the garage. I mounted it in the back yard on a farm type fence post. I have not installed any reflectors and I did not aim it any more than just a general siting towards the southwest which is where the local towers are located (Cedar Hill, TX.)

According to Google maps it is about 34 miles from my house to Cedar Hill. I was amazed at the results from this very small home built antenna.

Image

Antenna mounted in back yard.

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Channel scan showing 67 channels found

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Local CBS affiliate - sample picture.
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Re: Ready for The Digital TV Transition if you use an antenn

Postby bobhenry » Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:28 am

This was recently posted on another thread but it fits here also.......

I have run the entire house on red neck antennas since the changeover. No cable bills no satelite bills just free TV. I have picked up 2 converter boxes at Goodwill in the last month for about 5 bucks each. They are starting to phase out as more and more folks are replacing their older TV's. In my experience using the converter EVEN with the digital units is a plus. It seems there is a boost in the signal and gains you many channels you might not otherwise be able to get. In my opinion the older style TV and the converter still offers the best picture quality but thats because I only have a cheap Craig digital flat screen so maybe the bigger more expensive units are much better. The real nice older style TV's are going for under $10.00 at Goodwill these days. I picked up a magnavox AC / DC unit for the camper for under $5.00 last saturday. Coupled with the $5.00 converter it has an excellent picture and I can pick up 14 stations crystal clear. So right now it is possible to get great TV for literally less than $10.00 (TV and converter) build your free (except for the balum) antenna and have a real cheap form of entertainment for those rainy camping days.
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Re: Ready for The Digital TV Transition if you use an antenn

Postby Cliffmeister2000 » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:18 am

In the Central Arizona Goodwills, all non flatscreen TVs are $1.00, regardless of size.
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Re: Ready for The Digital TV Transition if you use an antenn

Postby Cliffmeister2000 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:19 am

This is a very old thread, but I thought I'd add a little info here on my latest adventure.

I live in Avondale, AZ, and as the crow flies (but we don't have crows in this part of AZ, so it must be a grackle), I am 17 miles from the broadcast antennas on South Mountain in Phoenix.

Yesterday, I looked at my cable bill and decided I don't need cable enough to pay $90 a month for it! I took the cable box and remote down to the local Cox outlet and gave it back!

I told my wife I was going to buy a good outdoor antenna and mount it where the Dish was when we had one of those. Always the skeptic, Gina (my beloved wife) asked how much would THAT cost, and how would I know it would work? So, I dug out my Redneck Antenna, and hooked it up to the cable connections outside our house. I just propped the antenna on a planter that is out there. Came back in and fired up the TV, changed the source from Cable to Air, and did a scan. 42 channels! 2 don't work well, the rest are great! 1/2 of the channels are in Spanish, but all I really cared about were the main ones I used to get as a kid; CBS, ABC, NBC. As a bonus, I get FOX.

Well, I am so pleased, I am going to mount my RHDTV antenna on the eave where the Dish used to be, and see if I get away with it. Our HOA Nazis are mostly octogenarians who troll the neighborhood looking for weed or paint issues, parked cars, etc. I'm hoping they miss it completely, like they have my illegal rollout patio cover that I've had for 8 years.

Pleased as punch, I am! :D

The one thing I know I will miss is the DVR. Then I found a little device called Simple.TV. For $199, I get a box that connedcts to my network, I hook an external hard drive to it (I happen to have a 500GB drive I'm not using at the moment) and I have a DVR that can play back to any TV in the house (up to 5 TVs can watch different recorded programs at once. I only have one TV, so that's a non-issue). For $4.99 a month, I can have an app that dives me directory features like I had with cable, but I don't need those, so I won't make that investment.

Does anybody have any knowledge of the Simple.tv? Is it as good as advertised? :thinking:
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Re: Ready for The Digital TV Transition if you use an antenn

Postby bobhenry » Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:12 am

Hey Cliff....

If you want to camo the red neck antenna mount it directly to the dish and reaim it for best reception. The H.O.G. (homeowners group) police will simply think its some new fangled model. The parabolic dish reflects back some of the signal as bounce and the gain just might make for a few more channels.

Bob

P.S. I have been running the house on my red neck antenna for almost 4 years now and don't miss what I can't get.
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Re: Ready for The Digital TV Transition if you use an antenn

Postby grages » Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:27 pm

Hi guys and Gals, sorry if I'm resurrecting an old thread. I just wanted to point out a website that you can use to see what direction you need to point your antenna for whatever stations are available. It will do both, give you a station list and the direction.

So if you know you are going to be camping somewhere find the closest zip code (this also works when you are at home :) ). "Click" the Click here to start button, on the next page plug in your zip-code (the only required info) and you will get a list of all stations in range and the bearing to that station, plus a map for reference. So for a directional antenna you now know what direction to point it.

http://www.antennaweb.org/Default.aspx

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