The folks at Mohu sent me a couple of antennas for review a while back. One was the Mohu Curve 50 (see below), the other was the Mohu Sky 60, reviewed this week (Mohu Sky 60 antenna review & The Riddle of COZI).
Recap of that post
The Sky 60 mounted on the roof solved all of our reception problems in the den, but one: COZI TV (a subchannel of KWHB-47).
KWHB’s antenna is close by, but our house is downhill and away from it, partially blocked. Large neighborhood trees add extra blockage to their signal as “seen” by the Sky 60.
None of the other five stations with antennas at the same site in Oneta (12 miles away) pose reception problems for us.
The lower frequency stations there, KJRH and KOED, operate with relatively low power (24 and 47 kW respectively), since their longer wavelengths are far less prone to obstruction.
The higher frequency stations (KOKI, KMYT and KOTV) are much higher powered (1000, 900 and 840 kW) in order to get their shorter wavelengths through ground clutter like our trees.
KWHB operates not only at a higher frequency than any of the other stations, but also at relatively low power (50 kW). Thus, our picture is often punctuated by pixelation when any amount of wind moves tree branches though the signal path to our Sky 60 antenna. (Also, KWHB’s antenna is more than a football field length lower than KOTV’s.)
We watchably receive the station in the theater room, but antenna positioning was critical. With a flat, amplified, wall-mounted antenna, I found an exact spot to miss the bulk of the local trees (or pick up a reflection of the signal, I’m not sure which), and get good signal strength on all stations, with the exception of KRSU in Claremore. There was no such spot in the den, but the Sky 60 pulls them all in well except COZI.
A way to get COZI in the den
Yesterday, I realized that I might be able to use the other antenna, the Mohu Curve 50, as an auxiliary to improve COZI in the den.
I now have both Mohu antennas hooked to a remote-controlled A|B switch that feeds the den TiVo box. I leave it on the Sky 60 all the time, except when COZI is on. Then I hit a button to seamlessly switch to the Curve 50. Presto, COZI loses most of the pixelation.
I found, not to my surprise by now, that pointing the Curve 50 in the exact direction of COZI was ineffective. What worked best was aiming it a bit less than 90 degrees away from the station, and placing it on the left side of the TV set-top (I took the above photo before this setup). It’s probably picking up a reflection of KWHB’s signal; I can’t even imagine the path it is taking. But it seems to work consistently.
(I want to mention again: this guy had good luck placing antennas in and near his basement window to pick up reflected signals! He also used two Mohu antennas.)
It may seem extravagant and a bit kludgy to use an extra antenna this way, but the result in our “special needs” den is that we are now receiving every station we want in our area.
The Mohu Curve 50 antenna
It has a very high WAF (wife acceptance factor). When I told Gaye that we had a new antenna, she said “Where?” She didn’t recognize it as an antenna. To me, it looks like a little drive-in theater screen, though I’ve never seen one with a designer curve.
It is basically a Mohu Leaf 50 (for 50 mile maximum unobstructed range) with a stand and backing for rigidity and shape. Like the Leaf 50 and the Sky 60, it has a filtered amplifier powered by AC, with the option to plug into a USB port for power instead. Amplification doesn’t relieve you of the need to experiment with positioning, but it does add a noticeable amount of signal strength, which can make the difference with marginal stations.
It works best as your general coverage antenna if you are able to place it near a window or wall facing toward your antenna farm.
A flat thin antenna like the Leaf 50 is very flexible about the mounting height, but you are typically limited to either north-south or east-west orientation (depending on your house). For most stations, this would not be critical, since, like the Curve, it is multidirectional.
The Curve 50, having its own means of support, is flexible in orientation, which was vital for me to pick up the weak and obstructed COZI. Heightwise, you could place it on the TV as I did, or on a table or high shelf. It certainly looks better than any indoor antenna I’ve seen.
The best antenna for you depends on your location relative to the antennas of the stations you want to receive. The Mohu Curve 50 might be the one, particularly if the WAF is important to your choice.