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jtnichol 13-Jun-2011 9:37 PM

CS4 + CS5 + Winegard AP-8275
Ok i'm a noob. I've been poking around for answers too so I understand this a little more anyhow.

I plan on mounting these antennas 4' apart on a rooftop mast. I plan on using a supplied Combiner with the Clearstream 5 then after both leads go to the combiner where I will then run the combined coax stream to the house. Inside the house is where I plan to add the amplifier.

Here's my map according to TVFool with a 30' elevation approximate from the address ground level.

Looks terrible but I figure its worth a shot with these antennas.

Any other suggestions? More height?

Dave Loudin 13-Jun-2011 10:16 PM

If you think the TVFool report looks terrible, then you haven't taken the time to read the Signal Analysis FAQ which has a link at the top of your report. Take a momenet to read that, and you'll discover that you have one of the best scenarios possible: all stations of interest grouped in the same direction, all major and minor broadcast networks available, only UHF channels used for broadcasting, and plenty of signal strength available.

You only need a modestly sized UHF antenna AND NO AMPLIFIER. Antennas such as the Antennas Direct Clearstream 2, ChannelMaster 4220, or Winegard HD-1080 aimed at about 300* azimuth will suffice, even with the cable run inside. You could probably drive 4 TV's with simple splitters, too.

jtnichol 13-Jun-2011 10:39 PM

Dave thanks!

I guess I'm not reading something right in the report. I'll check that analysis....well, the antennas are ordered. The CS 5 is here....I don't think I should have bought that one. It says its for VHF...well looking at the chart I think there are just a couple VHF around. Hell....the more I read the more I get confused. I'm glad you know that I'm on the right path as far as distances go....I guess I was looking at the point furthest away on the map and thought that part of the line was the beginning of the the beginning of the signal is from the point closest to me?


ADTech 14-Jun-2011 12:17 AM

Hmm... I drove right past the entrance to your lake on my way to a graduation party in Legacy Park on Saturday....

Dave is right in that you probably don't need the C5 and the preamp. However, since TVFool cannot analyze the last several hundred yards accurately, I'd have to see your exact location on a terrain map and a satellite photo to make a "best" determination of what UHF antenna would serve you. If you're on the east side of the lake with a clear view towards KC, a small UHF antenna would be fine. OTOH, if you on one of the western coves with a hill and trees to your back, the C4 might not be successful.

Since you already have the C5, I'd suggest putting it up there. We're over in St Louis, an all-UHF city, in a valley and behind trees and buildings and trees, and the C5 with a CPA19 is the only antenna on our roof. I've never had a bit of signal problem off it in the 9 months it's been up there.

If you'd like me to take a closer look, send me either your GPS coordinates (preferred) or your street address by private message and I'll take a closer look at it.

John Candle 14-Jun-2011 12:19 AM

Tv Antennas and Reception
I think the 2 antennas will work just fine. You really do not need the CS5 but what the heck you all ready have it. The amplifier may be a bit too strong at 29 and 28 dB gain. Signal splitters reduce signal strength. How many Tv's will be connected??

jtnichol 14-Jun-2011 12:27 AM

Wow thanks everyone!

I tend to buy more than I need so I can do the install right the first time I go there and then sell off the rest. I paid less than retail by scouting eBay so I feel pretty good.

The address of the property is:

1 NE Lake Shore Drive
Lake Lotawana MO

Any guidance is appreciated....

SO the C5 can tune UHF? I'm confused as ever now....

John Candle 14-Jun-2011 1:04 AM

Tv Antennas and Reception
Antennas are 'tuned' buy the length of the metal elements. When UHF signals are strong a VHF antenna will receive UHF. When VHF signals are strong a UHF antenna will receive VHF. And then there is the resonating frequencies at fractions of wave lengths. I do not get in to all this when I am dealing with question askers , it only serves to confuse the question askers. I stay with UHF is UHF and VHF is VHF . AD Tech lets his tongue slip on this UHF,VHF from time to time and it gums up the works. It's a full time job keeping question askers on the right path. The question askers are mixed up enough to begin with and are using every kind of wrong antennas and amplifiers and then some.

John Candle 14-Jun-2011 1:11 AM

Tv Antennas and Reception
How many Tv's will be connected. The question askers NEED to receive and watch Tv with the least amount confusion as possible. The question askers NEED to feel like they have done something right and correct.

John Candle 14-Jun-2011 1:32 AM

Tv Antennas and Reception
The satellite view shows 2 big trees on the north and north west side of the house. It will be best to put the antenna on the south , south west side side of the house at the height of the roof top to shoot past those trees at the Kansas City stations. Dense thick trees like those , absorb and block Tv transmissions. How many Tv's will be connected??

John Candle 14-Jun-2011 1:39 AM

Tv Antennas and Reception
How many Tv's will be connected??

ADTech 14-Jun-2011 1:40 AM


AD Tech lets his tongue slip on this UHF,VHF from time to time and it gums up the works.
I see the peanut gallery has arrived. No, JC, my tongue did NOT slip. I know exactly how the C5 works on UHF since I personally did the field trials on it for UHF performance before we re-specified it last winter. Since there's no evidence you've ever used one on UHF (or VHF, even), perhaps you should defer to someone else who has.


SO the C5 can tune UHF? I'm confused as ever now....
Yes. It approximates an omni-directional antenna on the UHF band. The polar plots and VSWR curves for both high-VHF (pages 1-6) and for UHF (pages 7 & 8) are in the tech data sheet at It's usually suitable for uncomplicated UHF at short to moderate range where multi-path isn't severe.

Your location isn't what I would call uncomplicated. You've got a modest rise in elevation on the bearing towards Independence and trees in your immediate line of sight. The UHF-specific C4 will have a much better chance of being successful for you. Situate it a location on your roof that offers the clearest line-of-sight between bearings 280 and 315 true. Best reception will likely be achieved by centering the aim around 295-300 true.

Hook the antenna up to a single TV set with a straight run of coax. Make that work, then, if you're planning on multiple sets, install your splitter or distribution amplifier and re-evaluate your reception. If you've suffered reception loss, then an amplifier, either a pre-amp or distribution amp, is called for, otherwise, you're done.

John Candle 14-Jun-2011 2:06 AM

Tv Antennas and Reception
I do have a CS5 and I do know about UHF and VHF reception with the CS5. Even so it is not useful to confuse question askers. I Know people , they understand bits and pieces , Well it's Ok to use this antenna for that and use that antenna for this and always use an amplified antenna and on and on , then they end up here at tvfool to 'hopefully' find an answer.

jtnichol 14-Jun-2011 5:15 AM

Hey thanks all!

I plan on going to one TV. I've been planning on installing antenna on the South/Southwest roof of the house all along not because of my tech know how but because of the TV in the room below. The homeowner will be renovating the basement at which time I may install a splitter. Now here is the question I there a way to "patch in" to the existing cable supplied by the cable company to distribute the signal? I'm struggling a bit with knowing if that is even legal or not....or if the signals can even be combined. Maybe that's a whole different thread.

For now, I'll start with one antenna, scan, then try the other and scan again. It sounds like at this point I won't need both antennas....or for that matter the amp.

Ok...can one or both of you guys tell me what combination of things I would need to make something like this work at my house? In other words...can I reuse parts from this install and just use them at my house? What about climbing up in a tree 80 ft. and popping an antenna on the trunk. I have some serious oaks, a nice insurance/life insurance plan, and plenty of people to dare me.

As far as tech details and simple answers go...I understand. I'm a noob but a teachable one. I appreciate all the help and helpful links. I may not understand it all but I won't be bothered in trying. I'm pretty much self taught in everything I do and still continue to impress myself after a six pack of beer. I do DJ work and yes I do play both kinds of music: Country and Western.

Good chat ya'll. Thanks again....Where is the paypal button for helpful info?

jtnichol 14-Jun-2011 5:21 AM

BTW just for the heck of it I hooked up the C5 antenna to the FM port on my Hauppage WinTV capture card and tuned in a crapload of stations, a nice FM antenna?!

Also are there any good ways to ground my antenna? I've read a few post but is it something you do only with interference? or does it keep a lighting strike from traveling to the TV? I dunno

John Candle 14-Jun-2011 6:30 AM

Tv Antennas and Reception
Yes you can use the cable wiring for the antenna wiring. However DO NOT connect the Antenna and active cable Tv or active cable internet service or cable delivered phone service on to the same coax at the same. I will say it again , DO NOT and I mean DO NOT combine the Antenna and active cable Tv or active cable internet service or cable delivered phone service on to the same coax at the same time. If the cable coax line is active with any type or kind of cable delivered services , DO NOT connect the Tv antenna to it.

John Candle 14-Jun-2011 6:37 AM

Tv Antennas and Reception
Well there you go , use the CS5 as a FM antenna. It is best to run separate coax wiring for the FM radio and the Tv antenna. Use the CS4 for the Tv. With one Tv connected you Will Not need the the preamplifier.

GroundUrMast 14-Jun-2011 7:10 AM

Don't Connect CATV to OTA Antenna System
An active cable TV signal includes frequencies used for aircraft communications and navigation. If you connect the cable TV system to your antenna you will very likely cause harmful interference to aircraft, fire and police frequencies.

As JC has already said, "DON'T DO IT."

If the cable TV folks have been fired, you can re-use the abandoned cables and splitters in the building.

A thread re. Grounding

John Candle 14-Jun-2011 8:53 AM

Tv Antennas and Reception
The first choice for grounding is the house ground rod that is in the ground below the electric meter. Ideally the coax would come down from the antenna close to house electric service meter area and a 'coax grounding block' is used to ground the foil shield and shield wires of the coax with a wire from the coax grounding block to the house ground. And ideally a Ground Wire is connected to the metal structure that holds the outdoor antenna and then brought down to and connected to the house ground rod. HomeDepot and Lowes have all manner of grounding supplies. The truth is that a direct lightning strike on the grounded wires will melt the wires in a split second and the lightning can then jump to something else. The main reason for grounding is to divert atmospheric electric static and other electromagnetic interference to ground.

John Candle 14-Jun-2011 9:17 AM

Here is an exchange of information on the subject of grounding. ,

Dave Loudin 14-Jun-2011 3:17 PM

You've received a torrent of advice on what to do, so let me help you recap:

The bulls-eye chart depicts a combination of strength and direction of signals. The longer the bar, the stronger the signal. If you look carefully, you'll see the bar ends at the color where you'll find that station's details in the table below. Stations in green are projected to have lots af signal in the air to the point an indoor antenna may be used.

In the table are the details you need to pick an antenna. First is the "real channel" column that lists the channel actually used to transmit the signal. (The virtual channel provides a way to preserve a station's identity. A station that broadcast on Channel 9, say, in the analog days can still be tuned as "9" even though the digital signal may have ended up on another channel.) Second, is the Noise Margin column, which tells you how much signal is predicted to exist referenced to the signal necessary for decoding by a receiver.

Good design practice that accounts for interference and signal fading modes not accounted for in this site's prediction model leads to design for +15 dB NM. Since you are mounting outside, there are no losses for going through walls and the like (often 20 dB or more), so, even accounting for 5 dB loss in the cable, you don't need any antenna gain to capture enough signal for your TV. Hence my recommendation for a small UHF antenna. Going a little overboard with antenna gain does not hurt anything, to a point. Once you have enough signal to properly drive your TV and overcome the unusual propagation events and local noise, the picture does not get any better.

ADTech knows your area and knows more than any of us about the antennas you ordered. He is telling you 1) the very last bit of terrain may knock the signals down more than what is predicted. Having the extra gain of the CS 4 may be needed, and 2) antennas do not have zero sensitivity outside their design range. You can see from the PDF document that he linked to that the C5 will respond to UHF frequencies and deliver most of what it captures into the cable downlead. Most importantly, the C5's gain over the UHF band in the forward direction (+- 20 degrees from center) never dips below -6 dBi.

What does this mean for you? Let's consider the case where TVFool's predictions are reasonably accurate for your side of the lake. The strongest VHF signals are KQTV (-6.3 NM), KTWU (-18.4 NM), and WIBW (-21.7 NM). The C5 has 5 dBi gain at channel 7, and 7 dBi at the others. Doing the math (including 1 dB cable loss) leaves you with NMs of -2 for KQTV, -12 for KTWU, and -15 for WIBW. This means you will see KQTV on occasion (maybe 30 to 40% of the time) and the other two stations rarely if at all. On the UHF side, the weakest station, WDAF, is still predicted to have an NM of +34. Assuming the worst case gain of the C5 (-6) and 3 dB cable loss, you will still have an NM of +25, which should be rock-solid reception. Bottom line, with the C5 only you would get all the UHF stations, some bonus reception of KQTV, and FM radio.

If your situation is what ADTech fears, then lets try to model that by shaving 25 dB off the available signals. The VHF stations will be totally closed to you, and the CS4 would be the antenna that would fit the bill. You would have UHF only reception.

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