16 bay TV antenna

tobyS

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Building a 16 bay dipole antenna to get over air digital TV...hope it works. I'll build another for Chicago stations if this one, pointed at Fort Wayne, performs well. Notice the use of fiberglass seat components. It's really rigid. This is in-process build. I have a lot to do, putting on the "bow ties" and wiring it up, but wanted to show the structure. I think you can see the one V set if you look hard enough.
 

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SCSG-G4

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Since the TV signals are LOS, you will need to factor in the height at your location and the height of the transmitter towers, plus any obstructions between the two points. There is an on-line program/app that will give you directions from your location to stations within about 100 miles. Is that a ROHN 45 tower that you are building it on?
 

tobyS

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Since the TV signals are LOS, you will need to factor in the height at your location and the height of the transmitter towers, plus any obstructions between the two points. There is an on-line program/app that will give you directions from your location to stations within about 100 miles. Is that a ROHN 45 tower that you are building it on?
I salvaged the pipe tower about 12 years ago with my boomtruck when a friend needed it removed. It's been modified with a hinge and gives me about 40' on this very directional antenna.

Yes, I have ran my location through the station locators, have Fort Wayne due east at 65 mi and Chicago at 80. Most of Chicago is high up.

Frank, thanks for the encouragement....or ? This is one of those projects that I have to trust others, because while I do power electrical, the details just don't click for HDTV.
 
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tobyS

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The 10-32 screws holding the V are epoxied to the fiberglass and the aluminum V is held well, directly against it, with washers. I'm not sure the 3/32" rod should be 1/8", but will try. The first bird standing on it.....

I'll make sure one works before building the next.All pars for it are cut and drilled but I need tig rod for wiring.

I'm hand bending the antenna to be at 4.5" -5" to the reflector(s). Edit...all done ready to start "wiring".

So far, fiberglass MV seats, pvc electric conduit, threaded rod, AL tig rod, 1" x 2" welded fence and fasteners are the components.
 

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frank8003

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I salvaged the pipe tower about 12 years ago with my boomtruck when a friend needed it removed. It's been modified with a hinge and gives me about 40' on this very directional antenna.

Yes, I have ran my location through the station locators, have Fort Wayne due east at 65 mi and Chicago at 80. Most of Chicago is high up.

Frank, thanks for the encouragement....or ? This is one of those projects that I have to trust others, because while I do power electrical, the details just don't click for HDTV.
Work on it, like STUDY
You should see what it takes for a Sub to talk to the Great Lakes regions from the Pacific or Atlantic over 3000 miles away. Local reception transmit seems mo simple after getting that all working.
Study big and go small.

We keep secret because nobody supposed to know.
 
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tobyS

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I found these AL terminal blocks in lot of 24. They have silver plating that helps reduce corrosion, especially with copper to aluminum. I epoxied them in the middle to connect 4 bays with the same length wire. Wire so far is 3/32" weld rod. Since going to copper to connect 4, 4 bay units, the lug seemed to be a fine solution. I hand form the connecting wires, they are equal length to begin. Ran out of rod, must get more. When I'm done, I'll be much better at forming the wire and still may go to 1/8" on the V.
 

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frank8003

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Forty foot high tower, antennas atop that, assure that thing has super duper grounds.
What is your zip code and what it is you aimin at?
I fail at research for line of sight (LOS) between Indiana someplace, and Ft. Wayne/ Chicago

You're looking at two problems getting reception - you're over the radio horizon so the signals will be weak at best? Digital TV cannot tolerate signals arriving with an echo from bouncing off a reflection in analog TV multipath creates ghosting, with digital it destroys the receiver's lock on the signal.


All those antenna claims about distance really mean nothing. If there is an antenna rated at 50 miles, it simply isn't going to just quit working at 55 or 60 miles. This is sales hype to try and show who has the better antenna, but I have never seen these mileage ratings equate back to antenna gain, and that's what it's ALL about. 75 miles across the water or land from a 2k' tower is not a big deal at all depending on the gain of the receiving antenna. But what really kills all these line of sight claims over water is thermal inversion and just normal moisture in the air. One can deflect the strongest carrier completely off the ground, and the other will simply eat it up from fog or excessive humidity (moisture) in the air.

THEN, you also need to worry about the radiation patterns of the broadcasters. Unless they are all combined on a community antenna, each station that you might receive can, and probably will have a different pattern. They can pick and choose the markets they choose to hit, and even control down-tilt (distance as it were), and you may or may not be in one of them. TVFOOL is probably the easiest consumer site to analyze the criteria, but it's not gospel doe to all the weather variations

When You done building that really nice antenna and just before you put it up up then put a yagi on top of it with its' own set of downleads. You won't be sorry you did that. Ones with little motors are less than 25 bucks, sometimes much cheaper, they rotate drive off of the little cable it comes with.
 
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tobyS

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46975. Straight east is a couple near Fort Wayne, north is some near Elkhart and south bend that I get from inside my attic already. Chicago is distant but I'm hoping their height and power will give something. SW is Lafayette, which I don't care about but pick up off the side of the attic antenna already.

I already have a $35 yagi mounted up top with rotator. I'll take a photo in the daylight. Antennaclimber suggested it but man, does it seem light duty.

There is a lot of area on this antenna, but nothing will overcome a lack of clear line of sight..

I'll be able to rotate the yagi to see how it compares with the Fort Wayne stations on this 16 bay dipole. If I get nothing on either, I'll assume they are not in range. Same with Chicago.

Edit.....added photo of top.
 

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tobyS

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Was on hold ordering more rod and found the 4043 aluminum tig rod has 5% added silicon and the 5356 has 5% added magnesium. Early in this project I wanted the optimum electric conductivity, so I looked at the property of the alloys and found silicon is more of an insulator while magnesium is high, with aluminum.

Without any real testing but a huge disparity in conductivity of the alloy, I bought the 3/32"x36" 5356 tig rod, to have the magnesium alloy. I should gain a small amount of stiffness too. Bought 5 lbs, enough for a couple more.
 

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