8-Bay Antenna Operational!

A quick video showing off my new 8-Bay UHF antenna for DTV reception. This antenna is stellar, and is able to pick up much more than my 4-bay home made unit could. In this video I show the unit, the not-so-proper mast, and I flick through the channels in order to show just now many nice looking channels I can get.

A few things that I forgot to mention was that when I orient the antenna differently I can get a few other stations. For instance I am able to get CHEK when pointing as West as I can. Also some times KVOS booms in (Oddly when I raise the antenna is looses the node).

DTV HD TV Antenna

A little while back I purchased a 55inch LCD TV. I don’t have cable, I don’t have TELUS TV, nor satellite TV. The plan is for my room mate to build a HD-HTPC [High Definition Home Theater Personal Computer] with HDMI and HQ audio. Until this is built we needed something to look at; something to get the news and entertainment.

After a quick Google search to find a decent antenna design I found one that was popular and easy to build. If you type in “home made hdtv antenna” you will find a few designs, but the one I chose seems to be the most popular. As a ham radio op I wanted to make my own antenna, play with it, and experiment with designs. I took a midnight drive over to VE7SCC with a chunk of 2×4 and this is what I came up with:

Trailer park antenna

Trailer park antenna

Yeah, It looks like it should be strapped to the side of a 1970′s vintage mobile home, but I wanted HDTV. The antenna design has a few names, bowtie being the most common name. This 300ohm antenna is fed with an old balun that was laying around the bottom of my tool box for 10 years. The elements are made out of in-wall solid electrical wire that was part of the emergency power system at VE7SCC. The elements are the ground strand, and the phasing straps are the two conductors. Screws and washers make up the rest of the parts. I did add a two O-poles [whatever they are called] so that I could add a VHF dipole to this UHF antenna. That still has not happened.

In the photo you do not see the reflector on the back of the antenna. My room mate [VE7SDI] and I created one out of a pizza box, aluminum foil, and thumb tacks. We had plans of doing it right, but we laughed at the idea and could not turn it down.

Vancouver has a few digital broadcasters. When I did a scan with the new antenna this is what I found:

2: CBC [SD] – rough copy
8: Global [SD] – very clear!
8.1: Global [HD] – perfect
10: CityTV – good copy
17: A-Channel [HD] – some issues at different times of the day
24: Multi-cultural channel [DTV, barely HD] – great signal but poor video quality
26: CBC French [SD] – very weak
32: CTV [HD] – perfect when using the back reflector
42: Channel M [DTV, barely HD] – “Meh”

I was disappointed to find out that I could not get CBC HD [58.8/2.1].

When I get back from Vacation I will have another update with my 8 bay commercial antenna constructed.