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I use an antenna to receive local networks. It works well and costs me nothing.

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However, there are a couple fringe channels I'd like to receive. At present, I receive them inconsistently. I can confirm the antenna is pointed in the correct direction towards the tower. I'd also rather not use a powered amplifier.

What else can I try?

  • In the US, the site antennaweb.org will tell you what type of antenna is needed to receive a specific channel as well as what direction the antenna needs to be aimed. – David Mar 12 '15 at 20:32
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An old fashioned trick with no need of repositioning the antenna is: Wrap with aluminum foil. Wrap every antenna (or sticking out piece of metal) with it. You may even want to try using a bigger piece of aluminum foil to actually extend the antenna.

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    I will try this and get back to you :) – Mooseman Mar 12 '15 at 18:24
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    The antenna appears to be a modified Yagi design. There's not much you can do to modify one of those that won't make things worse. – Mark Mar 12 '15 at 21:40
  • @Mark Actually the antenna is a Log periodic design where the longest elements are for the lower frequencies and the shorter ones are for the are for the higher frequencies. The longer elements act as reflectors for the shorter ones. – Old_Fossil Jul 7 '18 at 17:40
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Correctly orienting a directional antenna is important. Try also positioning the antenna at a higher altitude and near a window.

If you have access to an attic, and you are willing to buy a long coaxial cable (A "quad-shield" cable is best for preventing signal loss), place the antenna there. Because a roof is both thinner than walls and lacking of wiring, and because of the higher altitude, you will receive a stronger signal.

Some channels are simply impossible to receive either because of the effective radiated power vs. distance and various sources of interference.

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    Buy a bigger antenna and a mount that could be put on the roof instead. A good cable is still required. I feel like it will be less messy too. – s3v3ns Mar 12 '15 at 14:18
  • @s3v3ns you should avoid answering in the comments. Better write it as an answer. – vladiz Mar 12 '15 at 18:12
  • @vladiz He was right to leave a comment. The above wouldn't be a full answer. – Mooseman Mar 12 '15 at 18:14
  • Yes but it can be expanded, and it is the best way to improve TV reception, unfortunately it is not a lifehack – vladiz Mar 12 '15 at 18:17
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    @vladiz it was posted in the comments because it is not a hack, just common sense – s3v3ns Mar 12 '15 at 19:38
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Make sure you've got a clear line of sight to the transmitter antenna. Anything between your antenna and the transmitter will make the signal worse; obstructions containing water (eg. trees) or metal (eg. mesh-reinforced plaster or stucco) are especially bad.

Obstructions near the line of sight usually make things worse, but can occasionally have the paradoxical effect of improving the signal.

If there are any buildings nearby with large metal surfaces, try pointing the antenna at them. Occasionally you can catch a reflection that's stronger than the direct-line signal.

  • Obstructions near the line of site that improve the signal are blocking other radio signals that typically interfere. – Adam Zuckerman Mar 13 '15 at 0:38
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The antenna pictured as shown is a log-periodic dipole array (LPDA) antenna. Judging by its small stature it is usable at best on UHF channels. VHF channels reception for anything other than local would next to impossible without serious amplification. An antenna for both VHF and UHF coverage would be substantially larger.

On VHF the elements range between 1 meter to a 0.5 meters in length whereas UHF the elements range in size between 0.35 meters to 0.15 meters in length. When you factor in the spacing of the elements required for desired operation the length of the antenna is upwards of 3 meters in length.

As you increase in frequency your range becomes less due to signal propagation effects. This type of antenna the gain increases with frequency as the larger elements act as reflectors for the smaller ones. If you want fringe reception mount this antenna as high as possible and point the small end in the direction of your desired stations.

In the days of analog TV you could get away without too much signal amplification. However with digital TV amplification is necessary so the receiver can lock onto the signal.

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