HDTV antenna question(s)

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Greets Freaks,

 

  My neighbor ordered an HDTV antenna - the brand escapes me - and un-be known to him there were three connector options at the time of order - USA F type connector, European push on type connector, and Australian type connector.  When he realised that he ordered the Euro style connector he promptly picked up an adapter from the Euro push on connector to USA type F connector.  He then placed the antenna in a window and connected the antenna to the input of his TV.  He calls me at this point telling me he gets no signal on either VHF or UHF bands.

 

I admit to knowing next to nothing on how any of these antennas work as I have Community Antenna TeleVision (CATV), but if I had to guess, the antenna he bought is tuned to the European frequency spectrum, and as such will not work on the USA frequencies.

 

Can anyone confirm my suspicions on this?

 

Much appreciated

 

Jim

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

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Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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Perhaps a TV setup menu issue? Around the city I would think any piece of wire stuck into that antenna connector would pick up more than a few channels.

Tom Pappano
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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Hey Tom!

 

We are not in a city environment.  about 35+ miles East of NYC on Long Island.  OTA reception has been pretty poor in recent years due to 9/11 and the networks not replacing the transmitters for OTA with the same power of the originals as most of us use CATV.

 

When are you gonna be in the NYC area again?

 

JIm

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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Well, the desire to come back to NYC is very strong, we just need the stars to properly align 8)  Could indeed be a signal strength issue. I'm sure he did, but just to make sure did he do the channel scan for 'normal' tv channels and not cable channels?

Tom Pappano
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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According to the FCC, these channels should have "strong" signals in the middle of Long Island, and supposedly 'strong' is supposed to work with a typical indoor antenna.

 

 

WLNY-TV IND 55 UHF R
 
WFTY-DT UNIM 67 UHF  
 
WEDW PBS 49 UHF R
 
WCTX MY N 59 UHF OS
 
WLIW PBS 21 UHF R

Tom Pappano
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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Yeah those are local stations here on this hell hole so they should come in.

 

So then I guess my question is what so "Special" about these HDTV antennas then if all they are is conventional VHF/UHF antennas?

 

Me thinks these are nothing special at all.....

 

JIm

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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Nothing special at all, just the same old wide band dipoles, usually.  However because they're "digital" and can access "special" "free" tv stations, many people get cheated responding to late night tv ads 8)  Kinda like Radio Shack's 'black & white' tv tuner cleaner vs. more expensive 'color' tv tuner cleaner 8)

 

Tom Pappano
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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jgmdesign wrote:
My neighbor ordered an HDTV antenna - the brand escapes me - and un-be known to him there were three connector options at the time of order - USA F type connector, European push on type connector, and Australian type connector.  When he realised that he ordered the Euro style connector he promptly picked up an adapter from the Euro push on connector to USA type F connector.  He then placed the antenna in a window and connected the antenna to the input of his TV.  He calls me at this point telling me he gets no signal on either VHF or UHF bands.

 

Errrmmmm... AFAIK, Australia and Europe use the same belling-lee connector for OTA TV antennas. Perhaps the "push-on" connector is a "flex f" connector. It might be worth checking to see if your neighbor has the correct adapter.

 

Other possibilities to check are multipathing and antenna directionality.

 

- S

 

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Does he also happen to have an amplifier between the antenna and the TV?  I bought a cheap one, and it not only didn't work as an amplifier, it actually worked extremely well as an attenuator.  No signal at all.  Took it out, got 10 channels right away.

 

Antenna placement pointing can be quite critical if you're in the middle of a lot of other buildings.  Multipath interference can kill the signal strength.

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"Wisdom is always wont to arrive late, and to be a little approximate on first possession."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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FWIW, the signal strengths of several of my local UHF channels are similar to Jim's.  My antenna for my home office is 3' of Type J tc wire dangling from the antenna jack (it was within reach so I used it). 

Tom Pappano
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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No amplifier is involved. I am thinking this setup will not work due to our location, and possibly how the set is setup. I'll check it sometime this week. I have also noticed that modern TV sets tuners are not as sensitive as the older units...just my opinion on that.

Jim

I would rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed - Fortune Cookie

 

"The critical shortage here is not stuff, but time." - Johan Ekdahl

 

"If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue!" - Kartman

"Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?"  - Lee "theusch"

 

Speak sweetly. It makes your words easier to digest when at a later date you have to eat them ;-)  - Source Unknown

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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Yes, there was a lot of dodgy advertising here too trying to persuade people that they needed a "digital" aerial when the terrestrial TV went digital ...

 

frown

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jgmdesign wrote:
Euro style connector
If this is the connector I think it is then he might loose a few dB signal strength right there. Those connectors are some prehistoric design and aren't even impedance matched to the cable.

 

Could it be an active antenna that needs a (non existent) DC voltage on the coax to work?

I'm not a real HF guy, I'll stop here.

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Did you try checking the cable? Chances are this isn't the problem, but it's an extra thing to remove from the equation.
If you want, you could turn this into a project and construct your own antenna :)
I'm still using a log periodic for vhf/uhf ota tv from the 70's. It gives me about 60 channels ~25 miles outside of Philly. (It's about 20 ft up) Not sure what brand or its name, but just that it works well.
73, Matt

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N2EEE wrote:
I'm still using a log periodic for vhf/uhf ota tv from the 70's

There is really anything to wear out on an antenna - so, apart from mechanical damage,  no reason why one should not keep on working forever ...

 

 

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The first job is to identify the part number.    Then you can tell whether it is suitable for your local TV channels.

 

Quite honestly,   you can either mount a terrestrial antenna properly on your roof or a satellite dish on a regular external wall.

If you are not in a city you will probably get line of sight to a Satellite without climbing ladders.

 

By the time you have paid for someone to install an antenna on your roof,   you could have bought a free to air satellite box.    Or get an old one for free.

 

Yes,  a terrestrial antenna needs to be designed for the correct group of TV channels.    I doubt if you get channel #21 in the same group as #67.

And it needs to point in the best direction.    Preferably with a single length of coax cable without any joints or adapters.

 

David.

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Just some inputs that perhaps don't solve anything.

 

After 4G came all (almost) UHF ant.  here have a filter to block those freq. that are close to top of UHF, perhaps US still use those.

 

Some ant. have an amplifier build in, and that need's power, so the TV needs to have power out on the ant. (a setting in the menu.)