Reducing Multipath

What can you do to reduce multipath?

  • Buy a good quality, well-designed antenna. A directional Yagi antenna is best here. Select one with a narrow beamwidth or acceptance angle and a high Front-to-Back Ratio. High gain is needed when your line of sight is completely blocked by large obstacles, like a mountain ridge, or if you are trying to pick up stations over long distances.
  • Mount your antenna up high on a tall mast 15-20' above the rooflines of surrounding houses. Usually the higher you get the antenna the better, but try different heights to get the cleanest signal. Sometimes you will find that some channels have different sweet spots in regard to height, so a compromise may be needed.
  • Try different X-Y locations on the roof, looking for the cleanest signal. You can do this by taking a small TV on the roof, then mount your antenna to a long lightweight pole and walk around on your roof.
  • Yagi's with a tight beamwidth need to be aimed with accuracy in both the vertical and horizontal plane. Normally a Yagi with a small horizontal beamwidth has a even smaller vertical beamwidth, usually less than half the horizontal width. Tilting the antenna up around 3 to15 degrees can improve reception a lot in bad multipath areas. The exact angle must be found through trial and error, or by using a remote controlled Vertical Tilter.
  • Stack the antennas horizontally by placing two identical antennas on a common boom. Out of all the experimenting I have done, horizontal stacking has made the biggest improvement in multipath reduction. Stacking also requires that you adjust the vertical and horizontal angle with even greater precision. I have found vertical angle should be within one degree and horizontal angle within two degrees for best results. The weaker the station the more critical the adjusting becomes.
  • Move to a different location. If you are moving, check with some locals shops or neighbors about reception conditions. Use a elevation generating computer mapping program, plot out a map of all possible moving locations.