Silly TV antenna question

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,529
Nova Scotia
Can you put one antenna up pointing one way, and another antenna up pointing another direction, tie their feeds together with a splitter before you tie in to your TV - and see all channels each would get?

Asking for a friend... ;hm
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
5,239
NE Ohio
I think you would have to install an A/B splitter (right term?) and then switch back and forth to the one you want/need to use...
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,529
Nova Scotia
I should have googled more before posting. Have been finding yes you can but cables need to be same length. Some say simple splitter will work, some say a 'combiner' is needed. Our cottage is on the fringe, in two directions. I think I want to try this but likely will do some experimenting before getting another antenna - any experience input welcome. :)
 

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
2,773
Massachusetts
how about using a rotor and marking on the control each station using one antenna
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,529
Nova Scotia
I think I'm about 40 miles the closest way. Mostly across open water. Except for the first few hundred feet that have some really big yard trees. Think I will also try a signal booster. First. The one station I want to get but haven't yet is about the same distance but the other way, across land.
 

Stelcom66

Feeling the Heat
Nov 6, 2014
451
Connecticut
I'd think a splitter wouldn't work - designed to take a signal and feed it to two (or more) devices. Connecting 2 antennas where the devices would normally go and having the one cable to the TV (where the signal would normally come to a splitter) would be like using a splitter backwards. I'm not sure if that's how they work, as they're passive devices. It's a good question.
 

Corey

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
2,483
Midwest
Not sure why you couldn't ...they make 'multi-directional' antennas where two different elements can be pointed in different directions. You can also get an 'omni' antenna to pull in signals roughly equally from all around. I lucked out in that the two main directions I need to get signals are roughly 180 degrees from each other, so bent up some copper into a Gray-Hoverman design and just left off the back reflector. That gives two main lobes 180 degrees apart. Works fine to get signals ~40 miles to the east and ~30 miles to the west. Not any grand accomplishment of signal reception, but it's only ~15 feet off the ground in my attic.

The other 'pro tip' is that a 'combiner' is just a 'splitter' with the labeling reversed.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,529
Nova Scotia
Not sure why you couldn't ...they make 'multi-directional' antennas where two different elements can be pointed in different directions. You can also get an 'omni' antenna to pull in signals roughly equally from all around. I lucked out in that the two main directions I need to get signals are roughly 180 degrees from each other, so bent up some copper into a Gray-Hoverman design and just left off the back reflector. That gives two main lobes 180 degrees apart. Works fine to get signals ~40 miles to the east and ~30 miles to the west. Not any grand accomplishment of signal reception, but it's only ~15 feet off the ground in my attic.

The other 'pro tip' is that a 'combiner' is just a 'splitter' with the labeling reversed.
My experimenting might have to wait until next year now. But I'd be really interested in seeing some pics of your antenna. :)
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,475
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I’ve made my own too out of copper Wire for 40 mile away sources that kick butt in my attic. Mine are all in one direction though so no input on the combiner.
 

Stelcom66

Feeling the Heat
Nov 6, 2014
451
Connecticut
I haven't had cable for 4 years. Don't watch TV much but the one station I watch for news did some kind of change about a year ago. They instructed viewers to have their TVs re-scan the channels to get the new setting in for them. Ever since then, their signal will fade out, especially it it's windy. Ironically, they're less than 40 miles away, where others that are that distance are fine. My antenna is outside,
against the 2nd floor near the peak of the roof. I'm almost temped to try a long copper wire in the attic or elsewhere outside the house.
 

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
2,773
Massachusetts
a long wire by it self won't due. the frequency of the channel is in uhf. the antenna will be a lot smaller for the uhf band than the typical tv antenna. if you make a horizontal beam like antenna you will make a horizontal dipole tuned to the frequency of the station a bigger one behind it and on the other side will be a smaller one. the more smaller ones the more directivity and the more gain the antenna will make for the far transmitter. it's been way to long since i made one so sorry i don't know the formula's to make it.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,126
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Can you put one antenna up pointing one way, and another antenna up pointing another direction, tie their feeds together with a splitter before you tie in to your TV - and see all channels each would get?

Asking for a friend... ;hm
Don't quote me, but I'm been researching TV antennas for awhile as my old Radio Shack antenna is starting to look a little worse for wear (although most days I am getting signal where I live from as far away as 90 miles according to tvfool.com, so I cannot complain.)

From what I remember reading you can tie in two antennas with a combiner (some splitters are set up so you can either split or combine signals), but the antennas need to be the same type (UHF or VHF) and mounted at least 10 feet apart . . . but don't hold me to that. I believe a number of folks who don't use a rotor mounted antenna do just what you have suggested.

Me . . . I am looking at huge roof mounted antennas since I have one or two stations that have gone back to low VHF . . . if only they stuck with the higher bands I could get a much, much smaller antenna.
 

Stelcom66

Feeling the Heat
Nov 6, 2014
451
Connecticut
a long wire by it self won't due. the frequency of the channel is in uhf....
Yes, ideally the antenna is made to the wavelength. What I really meant was I want to see if moving the antenna or making a change would help with the particular station I've been having trouble with since some kind of change they made. I may have an old Radio Shack amp I could try, but if I recall last time it didn't help. The station I'm having trouble with is UHF, channel 30. I also used to know the formula for antennas, half wave, quarter wave etc., but it's also been a long time for me since my ham radio days.
 

blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,518
WI, Leroy
antenna 300 ohm impedance for simplicity, stacking antennas again for simplicity just use ohms laws for a number - either series or parallel. that will give a number for a matching transformer ( input side) to 75 ohm output impedance that now can be fed to a amp or direct to set. Technically it is a lot more involved.
 

SmokeyPete

New Member
Nov 24, 2019
8
Millbury, MA
Can you put one antenna up pointing one way, and another antenna up pointing another direction, tie their feeds together with a splitter before you tie in to your TV - and see all channels each would get?

Asking for a friend... ;hm
Yes,

I do exactly that. I live outside Worcester Massachusetts in Millbury and wanted to pick up both television stations in Providence and Boston. I have 30 foot Coax running into my attic where I have a small Electroline EDA-2100 amplifier and another three feet of coax, then use a regular old $4 splitter that is then connected via two 10 foot coax sections to one Channel Master antenna pointed at Providence and one Wineguard Pointed at Boston (Needham TV towers specifically).


The Antennas are about 10 feet away from each other and I used AntennaWeb.org and a compass app to point the antennas in the right directions. Both Antennas are mostly uni-directional and as you may have read the bigger and uglier the Antenna the better it picks up those far off stations.

I use my 55 inch LG built in tuner. I have actually found the the built in TV antenna tuners seem to be more sensitive to weaker signal than many DVR tuners so I keep it simple. As far as the amplifier you may wish to try without one first in case the signal quality is already stong enough.

I use my attic because I have no desire to re-point my chimney. (LOL)
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,475
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Thank goodness all of my channels moved up to uhf. The old school vhf antennae are freaking huge for the same “range” as a primarily uhf antenna that is about the size of a window and vertical so easier to mount.
 

Corey

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
2,483
Midwest
My experimenting might have to wait until next year now. But I'd be really interested in seeing some pics of your antenna. :)
At the risk of serving as a 'good example of a bad example', pic is attached. This is literally some scrap 14 AWG romex I had, and a scrap piece of crown molding. I 3D printed some 'bow ties' to hold the three points where the elements come together (but don't actually touch) and provide attachment points. But I'm not going to climb through the blown fiberglass to get a pic of the backside, so my annotated pic will have to do!

This is a pretty minimal / crappy example, but with digital, you either have it or you don't and this brings in all channels I can reasonably expect to get with perfect clarity - so not really a need for anything more unless I want to get crazy and try for a third copy of PBS from a station 90 miles away.

Even within this design improvements could be made though. Adding a back reflector can help gain in the 'forward' direction at the expense of cutting down on signals from the rear. Adding NAROD elements is supposed to help gain as well.

You can also see my 'signal booster' attached on the rafter support at the right. This isn't so much to boost a crappy signal, more to make sure the decent signal I get has enough strength to propagate down the coax to the basement, through the distribution network and in some cases, back upstairs to the TV.

Yes, ideally the antenna is made to the wavelength. What I really meant was I want to see if moving the antenna or making a change would help with the particular station I've been having trouble with since some kind of change they made. I may have an old Radio Shack amp I could try, but if I recall last time it didn't help. The station I'm having trouble with is UHF, channel 30. I also used to know the formula for antennas, half wave, quarter wave etc., but it's also been a long time for me since my ham radio days.
You will really have to bring together several considerations for getting 'trouble' channels. I'd first go to one of the many station/antenna tracking sites. https://www.fcc.gov/media/engineering/dtvmaps for example, see if it is even possible to get the channel. There might be a mountain or other topography which will make it nearly impossible or require a multi-hundred foot mast.

Next you have to match the antenna, not only in wavelength, but also style... in the middle of a metro area, an omni directional might be a good choice to pull in strong stations from all around. Just outside a metro area, the Gray Hoverman might be a good option to add some directionality, but still have a wide main reception lobe on the front face for medium strong stations. If you're far away, the yagi - especially with a high number of elements would give the highest gain, but you'll need to have it pointed like a laser beam at that one station and good luck picking up much else outside the 'main lobe'. This is where an 'antenna rotator' comes in handy. Or I guess you could always have a farm of 5-6+ yagi's pointed at various locations on the compass.

2599 annotated.jpg IMG_2599.JPG
 

Stelcom66

Feeling the Heat
Nov 6, 2014
451
Connecticut
You will really have to bring together several considerations for getting 'trouble' channels....
I wish I had an actual attic, my house is a cape with crawl spaces in front and back. This one station used to come in fine until they did whatever change they did. I only watch that station, for news. I do believe my antenna (outside mounted on the house) is pointing the wrong way. What's kind of strange is I can pick up another station 40+ miles away with no trouble. If I could somehow move the antenna to get the station I watch, it would be fine.

I'm thinking of trying something moveable indoors on the 2nd floor. It would only be a few feet lower than the outside antenna. I'm thinking being indoors would degrade the signal significantly - but maybe not if it was a good antenna like yours.
 

Corey

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
2,483
Midwest
As far as pointing, I believe fbelec mentioned yagi antennas, they are pretty common for "TV" and look generally like this:

https://d2ul0w83gls0j4.cloudfront.net/products/68/600/687093.jpg


They are good for long range, but the directionality looks something like this, so generally if a station isn't in the big front "F" lobe, it will be hard to pick up.

http://www.astrosurf.com/luxorion/Radio/yagi--6ele-radiation-pattern.gif



By contrast, the GH antenna looks like this:

So a lot wider / usable range at the expense of signal gain - which is always the tradeoff.

If your channel suddenly "stopped working" - did the station register some change? drop in power? elimination of some band? analog to digital? (though that would have been some time ago). You might also take a look at your antenna... it's not unheard of for a storm to do damage, an antenna element to fail / fall off due to wind, or even a couple of hail stones in the wrong area. If the elements get knocked out of alignment, it will reduce the gain - sometimes quite substantially - even for relatively minor misalignment or a single missing element or two.

If you do try the Gray Hoverman, there are several options. As I said, I made mine out of scrap romex. But it works just as well from copper foil tape, or even aluminum. The key is the dimension and without the rear reflector, it is only as thick as the material it is made from. So at 14 awg, mine is technically less than 1/16" thick... you could hang it on a wall, or hide it behind a picture, mirror, artwork, etc. Just be sure the wall is facing your station tower... or 180º from it!
 

Stelcom66

Feeling the Heat
Nov 6, 2014
451
Connecticut
I'd be one to try tot build an antenna, did years ago for a radio hobby. I still have an SWR meter from my ham radio days. There was some kind of FCC ruling/requirement that required some stations to do something for some kind of compliance, and this particular station decided not to go along and was required to do some kind of change. I wish I saved the notices from over a year ago.

That would be fine if the antenna was very directional. There's really just one station I care about receiving. Strange thing is with the amplified antenna I had in the basement I watched almost an hour of news without any trouble. I just put it up last evening, sitting on top of a curtain rod. I'd rather not have that - a coax and power cable, and very noticeable. Would prefer to just have something on the 2nd floor, which is as close to an attic as I can get. I will take a look at my outside antenna too - certainly not out of the question to be damaged. We've
had some pretty serious winds in the last year.
 

Stelcom66

Feeling the Heat
Nov 6, 2014
451
Connecticut
Found the description of the change....

"In 2017, the Federal Communications Commission concluded an auction of a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum to wireless mobile carriers. For TV stations that chose not to participate in the auction, they must move their signals into a newly designated portion of spectrum. This initiative includes TV stations throughout the entire country and is commonly known as the “TV Repack” initiative. NBC Connecticut, Telemundo Connecticut and WDMR (Telemundo Springfield) chose not to participate in the auction and are subject to repack in coordination with other broadcasters in the Hartford/New Haven and Springfield television markets. "

I never ever had any trouble with that station before then. Intermittently have trouble ever since, especially when even slightly windy.
 

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
2,773
Massachusetts
bad thing about having to move from vhf to uhf is the vhf will carry signal out farther than the same power uhf