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Thread: UHF Yagi Stack vs. Parabolic

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Default UHF Yagi Stack vs. Parabolic

    I located a new (still in the box) Finco P-7 (7 ft. parabolic), which had been discontinued a number of years ago, in August 2010. I used a Channel Master 4250 (6 ft. parabolic) back in the 1970s and I had wondered what it would be like to DX DTV with a parabolic. So I couldn't resist the temptation but I really didn't do much with it until recently.

    In July, I took my P-7 down to Mike G., a DXer on the southeast side of Indy, where we mounted it on the end of his house, up around 30 ft., just enough to clear his roofline. In comparing reception between his Yagi stacks (wideband) at 40 ft. and the parabolic at around 30 ft., the parabolic delivered a stronger signal for almost every station. He used the Winegard HDP-269 preamp on each setup and used the same DTT900 for the tests. He even hooked the lines through his signal meter and it showed stronger signals from the P-7. The only exceptions I saw while at his house were on the very low UHF channels, like WTIU, Bloomington and WREP, Martinsville. That was pretty much expected. Then after three weeks, we took it down and I moved it back to my house, approximately 14 miles NNW of Mike's.

    Prior to taking it to Mike's house, I had played around with it on a temporary mast up around 25 ft., which didn't even clear my neighbor's houses. So after seeing the difference in reception at Mike's I had to take the plunge. On Aug. 1, I lowered the crank-up tower and took off the mast and the two Triax Yagi stacks (wideband and Band A). I didn't reuse any of the original masting parts because I wanted to be able to put everything back as it was if I wasn't happy with the P-7. So now after over a month of testing the P-7, I like it but I don't see much of a difference with it, at least from my less-than-prime location for DTV DXing. I've been trying to get used to the different null locations. The F/B ratio is fairly similar to what I got used to with the Band A stack, where more signal gets in from the rear than with the wideband stack. BTW, I do have approx. 2/3 of the parabolic screened with chicken wire. The top of the parabolic is close to 40 ft. AGL and I'm using the Winegard HDP-269 preamp.

    The biggest pro I've noticed so far with the P-7 is that it does seem to work better than the Yagi stacks when I aim it towards the Indy antenna farm (3-5 miles to the SW). WTWO and WAWV, Terre Haute, IN @ 84 miles are much easier to receive and the azimuth reading is the correct heading for Farmersburg, IN, the transmitter site. With the Yagis I almost always had to misaim one way or another to receive them. And a few weeks ago I logged two DTVs from Paducah, KY which I had never seen before. The aim for Paducah is right at the antenna farm. Otherwise, reception in other directions doesn't seem to be much different. I do think the P-7 has a little more gain than the wideband stack on channels above 40.

    The first picture shows the antenna setup prior to Aug. 1, with two Triax Unix 100 wideband antennas horizontally stacked on the top, with two Triax Unix 100 Band A (ch. 14-38) antennas horizontally stacked just below those antennas, and then a single Funke 1922 VHF high-band antenna at the bottom of the mast. The second picture shows the latest setup as of Aug. 1 with the Finco P-7 on the top and the Funke 1922 below it.

    Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Shreveport, LA
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    Steve, thanks for sharing that information. It is very interesting.

    Your comment about F/B sure hits home. The F/B of my CM 8-bay is aggravatingly poor compared to my currently out-of-commisssion P-5. Yet, if I'm reading correctly, your wideband stack had even better F/B than the P-7. That is not much of a compliment for 8-bays.

    Why did you screen only two-thirds of the dish?

    I sure need to get my dish back up. I have the repair parts on hand, but I just hate to think about taking down the 8-bay and putting up the dish.
    Danny
    Shreveport, LA
    Mexico/Latin America TV DX ID Tips http://www.tvdxtips.com
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  3. #3
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    Pembroke Pines, FL, USA
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    No that I'd buy right now, but does **anybody** sell parabolics anymore, and if not, why not? (btw I love that pic on wtfda.org's home page!)

    I wonder if the folks that moved into Fernando's old house in Monterrey are using it, or even know what it's for? Maybe Elizabeth & I can vacation there, like during the spring? [Is there a "Groucho" emoticon?]

    cd

  4. #4
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    15 mi. N of Boston MA
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    That front page pic is beautiful!

  5. #5
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    May 2008
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    Thunderstorm, KY
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    Wade still sells parabolic antennas...

    http://www.wade-antenna.com/Wade/uhfparabolic.pdf

    ...but they're BIG BUCK$.

    73, Ed NN2E
    "You Might Be a Redneck If...
    Your TV is on 24/7.
    Your TV has been permanently on for over a decade.
    The only time your TV is off is during a power outage.
    Your TV gets 512 channels, but you go outside to use the bathroom.
    Your new TV is sitting on top of your old TV.
    Your TV costs more than all of your other furniture.
    Your deer-stand has a TV antenna on it.
    Your cable provider has no idea that you exist."
    Jeff Foxworthy

  6. #6
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    Christopher, U.S. antenna makers (Channel Master, Winegard, and Antennacraft) began to discontinue their largest, highest-gain, most-directional antennas in the 1990s. The old Finco (Finney) company completely shut down around 1980. I think cable and satellite TV had a lot to do with it. To be more precise, companies were no longer willing to make products which have limited selling potential.
    Danny
    Shreveport, LA
    Mexico/Latin America TV DX ID Tips http://www.tvdxtips.com
    Submit and read DTV Stats http://www.tvdxexpo.com/dtvdxrecords.html
    TV and DTV DX Photographs http://www.tvdxexpo.com
    My Photographs of 100 Mexico TV DX Local IDs http://www.tvdxexpo.com/100mexicotvids.html
    More than 1,100 TV logs since 1994

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cd637299 View Post
    I wonder if the folks that moved into Fernando's old house in Monterrey are using it, or even know what it's for? Maybe Elizabeth & I can vacation there, like during the spring? [Is there a "Groucho" emoticon?]
    Jeff Kruszka showed me some video of Fernando's place. He had a very nice house. Jeff spent several days with Fernando and Irma twelve or so years ago.
    Danny
    Shreveport, LA
    Mexico/Latin America TV DX ID Tips http://www.tvdxtips.com
    Submit and read DTV Stats http://www.tvdxexpo.com/dtvdxrecords.html
    TV and DTV DX Photographs http://www.tvdxexpo.com
    My Photographs of 100 Mexico TV DX Local IDs http://www.tvdxexpo.com/100mexicotvids.html
    More than 1,100 TV logs since 1994

  8. #8
    pjdyer Guest

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    In 1992 the father of a friend of mine was getting rid of his old TVRO system. In a roundabout way I could have had the 8'-10' solid fiberglass dish for $50. I don't know what gain it would have had down at UHF. Besides I had nothing to mount the wind-load monster on. I still second-guess not taking it (even if it had ended up as a huge bird bath!)

    73, Pat - WA5IYX

  9. #9
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    Same here, Pat... I've had several opportunities to take possession of 10 & 12 ft sat dishes but I didn't. I kinda wish I had, now. A solid dish would be a nightmare to keep in the air but a screened dish has possibilities. It could be "re-screened," with a larger mesh screening material, to reduce it's wind loading and make it less of an engineering challenge to mount on a tower. The next time somebody offers me a screened sat dish I'm gonna take it.

    73, Ed NN2E
    Owner / Operator - Murphy's Law Test Site & Thunderstorm Proving Grounds
    "You Might Be a Redneck If...
    Your TV is on 24/7.
    Your TV has been permanently on for over a decade.
    The only time your TV is off is during a power outage.
    Your TV gets 512 channels, but you go outside to use the bathroom.
    Your new TV is sitting on top of your old TV.
    Your TV costs more than all of your other furniture.
    Your deer-stand has a TV antenna on it.
    Your cable provider has no idea that you exist."
    Jeff Foxworthy

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Ed, I have a question about the element repairs on the dish. Didn't you use automotive-type hose clamps? Which side of the tube did you put the part with the screw? The back, top, bottom? I'm guessing the screw part was not facing the front.
    Danny
    Shreveport, LA
    Mexico/Latin America TV DX ID Tips http://www.tvdxtips.com
    Submit and read DTV Stats http://www.tvdxexpo.com/dtvdxrecords.html
    TV and DTV DX Photographs http://www.tvdxexpo.com
    My Photographs of 100 Mexico TV DX Local IDs http://www.tvdxexpo.com/100mexicotvids.html
    More than 1,100 TV logs since 1994

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