Hands on with the Antennas Direct DB8e part 2: Testing
For part one of this review, click here.
It's easy to assemble and super powerful. But how will it do in actual testing? We took a look at the Antennas Direct DB8e and found it to be the perfect antenna for those stuck in between markets. Its unique pivoting elements give it the ability to see two directions at once, and its powerful 4-bay design means wherever it points, it gets the best possible signal.
It was a beautiful day in our West Coast testing facility -- 82 degrees with no wind. This is the perfect time to mount an antenna. We took the assembled antenna, our Solid Signal brand tripod and 50 feet of Solid Signal RG6 cable along with a 9 foot mast we had lying around the shop and headed up to the roof.
The goal was simply to do the impossible. Our test facility is halfway between Los Angeles and Palm Springs, and the Palm Springs towers are hidden behind two 11,000 foot peaks. Could the DB8e penetrate through solid rock? We gave it a try. We aimed half of the DB8 west, and half east.
Initial results were impressive. The DB8e picked up every station from Los Angeles, every single one including VHF-High. This antenna is not designed to pick up VHF-High, so that was definitely not a typical results. It also picked up four UHF stations that were in the Palm Springs market, 25 miles away at a heading of 85 degrees. That's a first for our test site.
Still, KESQ-DT and KMIR-DT, those bastions of Coachella Valley broadcasting, eluded us. With a mile or so of rock in between us and them, it's not surprising.
The DB8e wasn't done doing tricks, though. Our only local station here at the test site is 8 miles away, almost due south, and through a hillside. Would the DB8e get the job done?
The DB8e pulled off the trick of using one antenna to get local and distant stations, and it pulled in a channel broadcasting on the other side of a hill!
We've been consistently impressed with this antenna. You may not need its split-personality tricks but if you do, you'll be glad to have it. We enthusiastically recommend this antenna for people between markets.
I have been looking for something like this for a long time. We're between markets and I thought I'd finally found the answer. Except when I read it's not designed for VHF-HighOh well....
Quite interesting facts! I am sure this test will help us, I mean most antenna installers some new information about digital broadcasting.
"Not designed for VHF-High" tells me it rolls off too much at the beginning of YHF-High, channels 7, and may not have the design gain below channel 14.
Originally Posted by Marken
I measured my signals from an antenna of similar design:
As you can see channel 7 doesn't come in while channel 12 does.
I thought as much VOS. I am thinking of trying a jury rigged device with 2 elements (top and bottom) of 18 inch before folding, 2 elements of 16 inch before folding, and 6 elements of 14 inch before folding. these would all be copper (12 gauge) . Do you think this would work as well as a DB8?
That's a lot of elements there, but if I understand you properly they would be smaller than the ones on the DB8, and wouldn't have the benefit of a back reflector. So I think the DB8 would probably outperform it.
maybe seems like a lot of elements. but there are the same number on a DB8 only the DB8 has elements all the same length, on two DB4 units that are combined. Mine would be all in one array, the length of the longer elements seem to be about the optimum for channel 7 and the shorter elements take care of the higher frequencies. I do not have a good signal meter except for the one that is built in to the TV. will let you know how it works (Privately) as to a reflector, those are easy to install, and can be added as needed.
What frequencies in VHF-hi are you needing, and what direction(s)?
You might look at modeling something like this: AntennaCraft Y5-7-13 Highband-Broadband VHF HD Yagi TV Antenna for Channels 7-13 (Y5-7-13) from Solid Signal
Use a VHF-UHF diplexer to add it to the output of the DB8
^Could you add this above the DB8 on the same pole?
I only have one VHF-hi and that's Fox 11.