OTA HDTV antenna close to transmitters in NYC

Reply

  #1  
Old 02-25-15, 05:12 AM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 746
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
OTA HDTV antenna close to transmitters in NYC

We have an apt in NYC (midtown) about 9 blocks N and 6 block E of Empire State Building where many channels are transmitted. I ran our address through antennaweb.org and it looks like the lion's share of channels would come in through a small multidirectional antenna. We have a south facing window, which faces a park with tall trees (across the street). There are tall buildings 2 blocks to the south and within a few hundred feet to the east. If you go to the roof of our building (12th fl), you can see the tip of the antenna for the ESB. we are on the 3rd floor,and our building is masonry (brick).. I am trying to cut the cord with our cable company and am looking for an antenna that would work. I have been told that being that close to ESB, we could get a lot of interference. What type antenna would most likely work? It has to be an indoor one as we are not allowed to have exterior antennas. Should I get amplified or non-amplified? Small vs medium multidirectional? I was thinking of something like the Mohu Leaf.Thanks.
Dave
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 02-25-15, 05:38 AM
P
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,982
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Wow, nice neighborhood. It sounds like you are on the East River. I think that you are far enough away from the Empire State Building to avoid interference. You're problem is that you are on the 3rd floor. That's pretty low for any antenna to work. I don't like multi-directional antennas but that maybe all that you can find, for indoor. Whatever you buy, make sure that they have a good return policy, that you can return it for any reason. Here's a site that will get you started.

Best indoor antennas for free HD TV | Cord cutting 101 | Digital Trends
 
  #3  
Old 02-25-15, 10:05 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 59,183
Received 1,118 Votes on 1,038 Posts
It may be a matter of trying an antenna or two. You don't want an amplified antenna as that will increase the interference between channels.

The Leaf would be a good starter choice. Wineguard makes a similar plate type antenna.
 
  #4  
Old 02-25-15, 01:38 PM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 746
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I was thinking of making my own antenna before buying one since I essentially have all the supplies at home. I've seen one that is a 2x4 with 8 interconnected V's made of wire. Would that give me a good idea about ability to pull in signals or is it too crude compared to something like the Leaf? Thanks
 
  #5  
Old 02-25-15, 02:13 PM
G
Member
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Hamilton County, Ohio
Posts: 4,295
Received 2 Votes on 2 Posts
Start simple. Make up a bowtie antenna or even a coat hanger antenna. Signals bouncing off buildings can cause some ghosting but a little tweaking should give you acceptable pictures. At UHF which is where most signals are these days, they are likely to go through walls rather than bounce off them.
 
  #6  
Old 02-25-15, 02:19 PM
P
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,982
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
How can you make your own antenna? Don't they have to be designed for digital broadcasting?
 
  #7  
Old 02-25-15, 02:37 PM
F
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,495
Received 35 Votes on 27 Posts
There is no such thing as a "digital" antenna. All antennas simply grab the electromagnetic radiation being broadcast. It is the receiver that has to be designed for the digital signal.
 
  #8  
Old 02-25-15, 05:16 PM
P
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,982
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ok, I wasn't sure about that. As I said before, the 3rd. floor in an NYC building is not the best place, for an antenna. That much I know.
 
  #9  
Old 02-25-15, 05:59 PM
F
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,495
Received 35 Votes on 27 Posts
I agree that any inside antenna is less likely to work as well as an outdoor antenna. My own experience bear this out quite well. In his location I would be surprised if any indoor antenna would work on the third floor. Maybe if he was on the fifty-third floor.
 
  #10  
Old 02-26-15, 04:31 AM
R
Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Near Buffalo, NY
Posts: 4,233
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
This is how we watched this year's SuperBowl. A snowstorm disrupted dish reception so I whipped this up out of some coat hangers. Worked like a champ. The transmitter is 36 miles away. Name:  AntennaCoatHanger.jpg
Views: 348
Size:  25.3 KB

Search "coat hanger antenna" to get how-to instructions.
 
  #11  
Old 02-26-15, 05:01 AM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 746
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Exactly, Rick. That is the one I am going to make. I can do it for about $5. I will post back with my results.
 
  #12  
Old 02-26-15, 05:24 AM
P
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,982
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
If a coat hanger could work, why not a pair of rabbit ears? I used to use them for FM radio. They also had a dial on them which did something as I turned it.
 
  #13  
Old 02-27-15, 04:00 AM
R
Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Near Buffalo, NY
Posts: 4,233
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Rabbit ears are tuned to the VHF band and most TV stations are broadcasting on UHF. Some had a small UHF loop between the telescoping antennas, but they were not very good.
 
  #14  
Old 02-27-15, 04:49 AM
P
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,982
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I remember those loop antennas but they were only good for stations above 21. Anything below was considered VHF. At least that was true before the digital conversion a few years ago.
 
  #15  
Old 02-27-15, 05:34 AM
A
Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 4,109
Received 81 Votes on 75 Posts
All TV antennas are compromises for the frequency bands that the stations broadcast on. You can fabricate individual antennas optimized for each specific channel. They could all be constructed more or less the same, but with different length fins and fin spacing.

In the case of rabbit ears, the "ears" telescope so as to be adjusted for specific channels if you wish. Higher frequencies are better received using shorter ears. For UHF the "ears" would be about 6 inches long. For a given station power, UHF does not travel as far as VHF so most UHF antennas have several "sets of ears" which will capture more of the broadcast signal.

If you fabricate an antenna using pieces of coat hanger wire and a 2x4, it will work just as well as a commercially manufactured antenna with the same number, length, and spacing of fins, and mounting location, although your 2x4 might not withstand as high winds if mounted outdoors.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 02-27-15 at 05:51 AM.
  #16  
Old 03-09-15, 12:31 PM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 746
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
So, just an update. I made the coat hanger antenna with a 2x4 and 8 fins. I leaned it against our east facing window and easily pulled in 15 channels, if not 20. All networks were strong. A few of the channels would break up from time to time. But overall, I was impressed. And this is not even in our south facing windows, which would get better reception, I'd think. I just didn't have a long enough coax cable to reach them.
 
  #17  
Old 03-09-15, 07:11 PM
Piddler's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: US
Posts: 109
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Great save on the super bowl Rick.

It's true that there are NO digital antennas. Only the transmitting and receiving equipment has changed. Nothing new has been invented about the transmitted signal itself or its reception. The only difference is as was stated earlier, they have begun to transmit on UHF and that sucks because it doesn't travel as far as VHF signals. I bought a $100 antenna and a $70 amplifier and I'm getting 20 channels to watch. I've got a rotator but I haven't mounted it yet. I can probably get several more stations if I do. Several that I get are HD and look great. I had to get glasses so I could see how good they look.

I'm not sure about getting reception in big cities with all the buildings. I'm in the country and we worry about trees blocking signals. Good luck folks.
 
  #18  
Old 03-09-15, 07:32 PM
Piddler's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: US
Posts: 109
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
great work Dave, I kind of wish I'd have built my own antenna too.
 
  #19  
Old 03-10-15, 04:22 AM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 746
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Piddler, I built it as an experiment as it only cost me a couple $$ instead of $50-100. I am wondering since I got so many channels how the Leaf would now perform as it is much less obtrusive.
 

Last edited by Dave4242; 03-10-15 at 04:45 AM.
  #20  
Old 03-10-15, 07:45 PM
Piddler's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: US
Posts: 109
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Well Dave, it sounds to me like you've got a working system and you just want to make it look better. I'd put it on a smaller piece of wood and hide it behind a picture on the wall. It will probably work if you just hid it behind your TV.
 
  #21  
Old 03-11-15, 04:03 AM
D
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 746
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Unfortunately, near TV, I got no signal. I had to put it directly in window 10 ft away. Window is an old steel casement. I wedged some of the fins under two metal handles on window, and that really helped reception. I think it made the metal frame of window a huge reflector. But it takes up the whole window and is not very attractive.
 
  #22  
Old 03-16-15, 08:48 PM
Piddler's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: US
Posts: 109
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ok Dave, have you thought about making this thing into a lamp in front of the window?? Or even mount it under an end table by the window?? I'm just sayin'....
 
  #23  
Old 03-17-15, 11:58 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 59,183
Received 1,118 Votes on 1,038 Posts
Aluminum siding or the foil backerboard behind vinyl siding are like signal shields.
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description: