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-   -   Opions on what to try next (http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=16750)

KoolBreeze 4-May-2020 6:18 PM

Opions on what to try next
 
Iíd like to get some input/opinions on how to improve my reception. My rabbitears study is at:
https://www.rabbitears.info/searchma...study_id=86648

My current setup is a Clearstream 4MAX installed in my attic at about 25í above grade. The roof is OSB decking with asphalt shingles. It is connected to a Channel Master CM-7778HD pre-amp set to high gain, which is connected to a Channel Master CM-3418 distribution amp. Six of the eight ports on the distribution amp are in use feeding 5 TVs and a Tablo Quad DVR (4 tuners).

On my Samsung TVís signal meter, I get 7-8 bars out of 10 on the UHF channels (CBS & Fox) when unamplified and 10 bars when the amps are in the loop. No problems on the TVs, however I do get some occasional pixelating on the Tablo, depending upon conditions. Iím guessing thatís because of the Tabloís 4 tuners splitting the signal.

The VHF channels (NBC & ABC) are where the problem is. On the TV meter, I get 3-4 bars unamplified and 4-5 amplified. Using the TV tuners, I get pixilation and momentary freezes regularly but itís not unwatchable, just annoying. On the Tablo, the pixilation & freezing is every 30-60 seconds at times, which is very annoying.

Iím considering adding a Clearstream 5 for VHF and combining it with the 4MAX temporarily to see it if solves the problems on VHF. If it does, then Iíd likely switch out the 4MAX for something like the UHF only DB4e.

Iím also considering trying to fit something like the Denny HD Stacker in the attic instead. But Iím not sure if that is a better option or not. But it will be a very tight fit due to the framing supports. I can probably get it to fit but there is really only 1 spot for it, which is in the same area the 4MAX is currently, but there wonít be room to rotate it much. I wouldnít think Iíd need to rotate it though once it is set.

The other option is to go outside with something more traditional (or even the HD Stacker) mounted on a pole. One problem with that is that there is a big oak tree in the line of sight regardless of where I put the antenna, unless I move it away from the house or put it on a tall tower. I tried the 4MAX outside in several locations around the house at height of about 15 feet and actually get better reception with it where it is in the attic. So Iím guessing that spot just happens to be able to peak through the oak tree a little better.

Thanks for the help and suggestions.

RMinNJ 5-May-2020 10:07 PM

Im a novice...will be starting up my antenna project this spring as soon as all the leaves are on the trees.

My home is surround by trees.. the antennas i tried did not do well in the attic at all... I think I got one station temporarily. So I know I need to be outside.

That said, yeah..if you're getting other stations in your attic..I didnt think the clearstream was the best VHF antenna.. Perhaps you could try another combo antenna as an experiment such as the HD7694P which would have the same length as the HD stacker but not the height.. It has much more vhf gain and it hits the udf gain of the clearstream at some frequencies.

KoolBreeze 6-May-2020 12:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RMinNJ (Post 62839)
Im a novice...will be starting up my antenna project this spring as soon as all the leaves are on the trees.

My home is surround by trees.. the antennas i tried did not do well in the attic at all... I think I got one station temporarily. So I know I need to be outside.

That said, yeah..if you're getting other stations in your attic..I didnt think the clearstream was the best VHF antenna.. Perhaps you could try another combo antenna as an experiment such as the HD7694P which would have the same length as the HD stacker but not the height.. It has much more vhf gain and it hits the udf gain of the clearstream at some frequencies.

Thank you! That looks like it may be just the ticket. I had overlooked it due to the 45 mile rating I guess. Didn't notice that the specs claim it has more gain than the Clearstream 5 on VHF, which is where I having issues. It's also cheaper than both the clearstream & the HD Stacker. Plus I think it will fit pretty well. I'll give it a shot.

KoolBreeze 10-May-2020 12:37 AM

I put the HD7694P up in the attic today. The great news is that it gets a much stronger VHF signal than the Clearstream 4MAX and it seems to have fixed the problem channels. In fact, it's at 9 out of 10 bars on the TV's meter unamplified. With the pre-amp and distribution amp in the loop, it pegs the meter. The picture is great too, no pixelation or freezing thus far.

The bad news is that I lost 8 channels that are in the opposite direction, e.g. behind it. But that's ok, I don't watch those anyway and the goal was to fox the main networks, which it did.

Thanks again for the suggestion.

bobsgarage 10-May-2020 11:31 AM

Did you have a CM4VJ ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KoolBreeze (Post 62846)
I put the HD7694P up in the attic today. The great news is that it gets a much stronger VHF signal than the Clearstream 4MAX and it seems to have fixed the problem channels. In fact, it's at 9 out of 10 bars on the TV's meter unamplified. With the pre-amp and distribution amp in the loop, it pegs the meter. The picture is great too, no pixelation or freezing thus far.

The bad news is that I lost 8 channels that are in the opposite direction, e.g. behind it. But that's ok, I don't watch those anyway and the goal was to fox the main networks, which it did.

Thanks again for the suggestion.

Thanks for your follow-up, I kind of missed your reception question but it seems like you got it solved rather quickly.

So you must have had the C4MVJ antenna which is a version of the C4MAX. It has no reflector but does have a VHF element which is pretty weak. I'm thinking that's what you had because you lost the other Market when you put the highly directional Winegard up.

I experimented with the C4MVJ because I was looking for one antenna solution for two markets myself. In the end I took them down because the VHF was just too weak. And because it was a bi-directional antenna it sacrifices strength in one direction for reception in two directions. That's because it doesn't have a reflector.

KoolBreeze 13-May-2020 3:26 AM

You are correct, the 4max I had did not have a reflector. Sad part for me is that it cost twice as much as the Winegard. But oh well. I gave it to my SIL and itís working pretty good for him.

The HD7694P has not missed a beat so far. Have not seen a single hiccup, even on Tablo Quad.

RMinNJ 13-May-2020 8:35 PM

That is so cool. That Winegard is on my list for this spring/summer..but I may need bigger. If I got any signal at all in my attic I'd put the biggest one I could fit up there but no..mine needs to be outside.


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