This is more of a ‘look what I found’ than a review. I don’t have sophisticated measuring equipment — just an HDHomerun, the meters in my DVRs, and my eyes.
Background: I love Heroes and Icons. The closest station carrying HI is WMTW in Portland Maine. WMTW is REAL channel 8 — a VHF station 68 miles and a single obstruction away. I have been pulling it in using an Antennacraft Y10-7-13 in my attic, but only during the late fall, winter, and early spring and with frequent dropouts — especially during the day.
Project: I decided to use information in this article and this Yagi designer tool to build a better VHF antenna. Rather than buy raw materials, I bought four Stellar Labs 30-2476 antennas. The plan was to extend the antenna’s directors by attaching additional front sections. If that was unsuccessful, I would start cutting directors and drilling holes.
On April 18 I was having trouble tuning WMTW. I hooked up my HDHR3 and headed up to the attic. This was the first time I saw the Y10-7-13 and the 30-2476 side by side. The Y10-7-13 is built on a sturdier beam and has two antenna elements but the 30-2476 has a more substantial vertical reflector. Another important distinction is that you can still purchase the 30-2476.
Replacing the Y10-7-13 with the 30-2476 changed nothing. WMTW was in and out just as it was with the Y10-7-13. I removed the front-most director from the 30-2476 and attached a second front section. Reception improved dramatically. Dropouts persisted, but were less frequent. I added a third section and the dropouts were gone. The HDHomeRun indicated 85-100% signal strength, 55-70% signal quality, and, most importantly, 100% symbol quality.
Epilog: It’s been nearly three weeks since I installed Frankentenna and I have been watching WMTW on my television every day and monitoring signal quality using the HDHomeRun Config Utility 24/7. Reception has been excellent — even during a very heavy rain.
Conclusion: The 30-2476 is an inexpensive Yagi antenna which performs as well as a Y10-7-13. If you want to target a deep fringe station and have room in your attic, the 30-2476 can easily be extended to improve gain. I highly recommend this antenna.