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mikey_sl 2-May-2012 7:45 PM

More newbie help please...
fool report

So I have actually read many posts here and at digitalforum.

Here is my profile.
Ditching satellite and I want to get the most available channels.
Wont buy the cheap stuff.

I am surrounded by transmitters (yes poor me...)

Ideally I would like to pull in digital channels from:

Mount mansfield (Vt.) 80 mile
Mont Royal (montreal.) 10 miles
Ottawa 100 miles
Quebec City 100 miles..

From the analysis you see the furthest station at just under 150 miles!!!

While much of these stations are local versions of the same network... I would like to see how many I can grab.

Proposed installation:
On the roof coupling my pre-existing satelite mounting bracket (good idea or not?)
Alternative is eaves or chimney mounting

From the posts I was considering the Winegard (9301??/which model?) the Antennacraft HBU 44 (hbu 55 overkill??)

My assumptions (yes i am...):

I need an antenna that is omnidirectional
I need a pre-amp for the weaker signals (Cm 7777?)
I prefer NOT to use a rotor (i do understand physics-signal direction and r^2)


Electron can u give me the benefit of your advice?

Thanks in advance

Electron 3-May-2012 1:40 AM

Tv Antennas and Tv Reception
Those STRONG local transmissions will prevent the use of a antenna amplifier and the stations that are far away are Very Weak and the low power stations that are close are Very Weak.

You could install a Winegard HD7084P antenna with No amplifier or a HD7698P antenna with No amplifier and something I seldom recommend (antenna rotor) and aim the big antenna at the Weak stations at favorable TV DX times and receive those Weak stations.

The HBU33 is good , it is not all that directional and has some forward gain and receives channels 7 thru 69.

May I suggest a Winegard HD7000R , it is not all that directional and has some forward gain and receives channels 2 thru 69.
The reason I suggest the HD7000R is , tvfool is not up to date on channel assignments of Canada , however tvfool does show Analog channels 4 and 6 being transmitted.

Anyway the aiming direction for reception at your location is about 140 degree magnetic compass.
Here is how to aim antennas ,

Here are places to buy antennas and etc. in Canada , , ,
Here are places to buy in the States , , , , , , some Canadians buy from the States and have it shipped to relatives or friends close to the border on the USA side. .

The satellite mount can be used for the HBU44 , HBU33 or HD7000R , mounting antennas above the high point of a roof is usually the best for reception.

I do not recommend the satellite mount for big antennas like the HD7084P or HD7698P.

Here are some Strong and Sturdy antenna mounts that will work with any antenna. , , , , buy the ronard antenna mounts from solidsignal by typing the word ronard in the solidsignal search box or buy from ronard.

mikey_sl 3-May-2012 3:56 AM


The direction is towards VT. to pull in the local US networks.
The local channels (10 miles) I can probably pull in with a coat-hanger...
I will look at the winegard (you own stock?)

I am thinking the cost/complexity (multiple antennas/rotor config) outweigh the benefits of the stations in 220-330 degree range .

I will go without a rotor still thinking of the HBU 44... dont know if it gets me much...

Why will the local stations screw with a pre-amp like the CM 7777??

Electron 3-May-2012 4:20 AM

Tv Antennas and Tv Reception
Many as in , MANY , digital Tv stations/channels will be received from the States and Canada with the HBU44 or HBU33 or HD7000R , the Tv transmissions are Strong.

A preamplifier is Not required and is contraindicated because the local stations are Very Strong.
A preamplifier will over load and be the cause of bad or no reception of some channels.

I lean toward the HBU33 over the HBU44 because the HBU33 is slightly less directional , this will help receive Tv stations at your location that are very widely spaced.

And like I suggest , my first choice of antenna is the HD7000R.

Electron 3-May-2012 5:10 AM

Tv Antennas and Tv Reception
The Tv/s Must scan for the Digital Broadcast Tv Channels sometimes named the 'Antenna Channels' or 'Air Channels' in the Tv menu because the tv transmissions travel through the air from the transmitting antenna to your receiving antenna. DO NOT scan for cable Tv channels.

GroundUrMast 3-May-2012 7:20 AM


Originally Posted by mikey_sl (Post 23920)


Why will the local stations screw with a pre-amp like the CM 7777??

The strong local signals will overpower most amplifiers, especially those intended for use in weak signal locations. The CM 7777 is a fringe to deep fringe amplifier, intended for use in weak signal applications.

An overloaded amplifier will literally mix the TV, FM and other radio signals captured by the antenna. This leaves you with signals that are no longer 'clean enough' to tune, demodulate and recover error free data from.

Amplifiers are not a magic cure for every reception problem. But I'm starting to find myself tempted to buy stock in the companies that sell them. It seems they're very easy to sell.

Dave Loudin 3-May-2012 6:11 PM


Originally Posted by mikey_sl (Post 23920)
I will look at the winegard (you own stock?

Humor can be a dangerous thing on the internet. I'm tempted to be offended by this off-hand remark.

You've come here seeking advice. We've offered it to you, based on experience. We recommend certain manufacturers and models because they have proven to work for the situations presented, are generally well-constructed, and are priced fairly.

I think we all try to offer at least two choices when they are available. Sometimes one design is just the best for the job, however.

mikey_sl 3-May-2012 7:14 PM


I have seen devices claiming to "filter" or separate the channels. Would this make a difference.
I guess as a lot of this is new to me I would like to "play" with the reception and see what is available (mostly digital but maybe analog as well...) and while I may never watch those fringe channels I wanted to tap the expertise in this forum to help me make a cost/effort/results type of preliminary assessment. My perspective based on the info I have seen here indicates that I should KISS the problem. Enjoy the channels I can get easily and ignore the others..... regrettably that is not in my general make-up....
I review antenna specs and I look at the Winegard 7698p (170 inch boom) and i immediately start salivating.....same as antennacraft hd1850 (180 inch boom)..... just dont think it will give me much more for the extra cost....

Electron 3-May-2012 7:23 PM

Tv Antennas and Tv Reception
I do not own stock in Winegard. As a mater of fact I own No stock. I know it is extremely rare now days and no one believes any thing about the truth now days. I actually care and do my best to help others.

mikey_sl 3-May-2012 8:03 PM

i understand you point but i will push back a bit (as is my nature)
you correctly interpret my comment as humour but then you proceed to chastize me for my humour when the comment wasn't directed at you.

The tone of my posts was neither aggresive nor offensive. I appreciate the time people take to answer so I can be lazy and not have to invest as much of my time.
So again I thank Electron and groundurmast for their informative responses.

Your post however does not contribute to the discussion in any way so my question to you is, why bother?

As i mentioned earlier I have not been completely lazy and I have read posts here and in other forums trying to garner enough knowledge to ask semi-intelligent questions.

In my research I have seen the discussions on the cheap antennas (lava for example) and have appreciated the intelligent discourse on durabilty and performance advertising versus performance measurement.

In fact there are many quality manufacturers and I believe AntennaCraft is one of them. So I (lacking the experience with these different manufacturers) question why one over the other.

I rarely take "because I know better than you" as an acceptable explanation (this caused me some problems with authority growing up...but I digress...).

Here is a link to a post that I read comparing the performances of different winegard and antennacraft antennas

other factors include:
The winegard is less expensive
the winegard is more easily available in my area... actually the Antennacraft is damned near impossible to get locally or shipped at a decent price...
The channel master is also more easily available in my area....

So why one over the other?
Is it just based on going with what you know?

So in summary:

I am a sceptical, questioning individual with authority issues ( me and John mellancamp) whos is trying to be as politically correct as possible in an effort to pull the knowledge you guys have so I can make a semi-intelligent decision.

The basic question for me is whether there is any value in over sizing/over-complicating the configuration based on the potential results. In the signal analysis report the "other" channels reside in the backplane of a directional antenna. Ergo either I use a rotor to tune them in when/if wanted, as suggested by Electron, or I forget about them.
I suppose I could use a second antenna but then the complications are exacerbated as is the cost... considering the required gain to get them. It is unlikely that there is a omni-directional antenna that will achieve the required gain through 360 degrees....

A pet hypothesis (yes I am still typing believe it or not..) is to get the "BIG daddy" Antenna and point it at the remote stations with the expectations that the "fringe " elements will pick up the signals along the 140 degree position as the princiapal ones are fairly strong...

Again I suppose I am now challenging physics and the r-squared relation.

.... if you have actually read this far I thank you.

mikey_sl 3-May-2012 8:05 PM

I guess Dave was accurate in his assessment.

My sincere aplogies Electron I meant no insult it was merely a poor attempt at humour.

thank you for taking the time to review my post/information and provide me with useful information.

GroundUrMast 3-May-2012 11:11 PM

You may have already read the TV Signal Analysis FAQ . The explanation of NM is particularly important. At the most basic level, NM + Antenna Gain needs to equal a positive number for a tuner to have a chance of locking onto a digital signal. A net NM of +10 dB or greater is needed to allow for signal fade, additional noise and interference. Engineering for a net NM of over 15 dB is not overkill in my opinion. When faced with strong local signals, even greater efforts may be needed to prevent interference to the weaker signals. Note that Antenna Gain and Amplifier Gain are not the same and are not interchangeable in the above calculation.

An extremely large parabolic antenna such as the Wade PB-82-BB is about 150 lbs and claims gain of 21 to 25 dBi. (In a big storm it can put over 1000 lbs of force on the supporting tower.) The largest consumer grade antennas top out at about 16 or 17 dBi. The point being, signals with predicted NM values below -10 dB have little hope of reliable reception with any antenna.

Another point; I have occasionally seen a few new members recommend an antenna based on the naive notion that "if it worked for me, it should work for everyone" or "this is my favorite". That does not describe the work of the regular contributors here. The recommendations made by the regular contributors here at TV Fool are based on an understanding of the physics and the math that goes with the theory.

@Electron's suggestions deserve your consideration. As a moderator, I want to thank you for resetting the tone of your thread.

GroundUrMast 3-May-2012 11:21 PM

If you want to get into the DXing hobby, attempting to receive distant stations as atmospheric conditions provide temporary paths for radio waves, A large combination antenna or large UHF plus large VHF would be in order.

An example of a very high performance antenna system would be Antennas Direct 91XG + an Antennacraft Y10713 or Winegard YA1713 or HD5030. A premium rotator such as a HyGain AR-40 would be needed to reliably support and turn that large mass.

Dave Loudin 4-May-2012 2:48 AM

@mike_sl, thank you for dialing down the discourse. I failed to respond to you in a way to keep the temperature down, and I apologize. I was trying to offer that we try not to focus too much on one particular manufacturer when several choices are valid. For example, the Winegard HD769x and AntennaCraft HBU lines offer similar performance. Choosing which one gets down to personal preference and costs. As @GUM said, we use the noise margin predictions, the range of channels, and the spread of azimuth required.

One factor you are probably not fully aware of: as antenna gain increases, the azimuth range the antenna will be sensitive to decreases. The hazard of going for high-gain antennas where they are not needed is you may now have to use a rotator to get all the channels you want.

Another factor to consider about the predictions generated here or anywhere else: there is an implied reliability of 90%. This means what you see for noise margin will be met or exceeded 90% of the time. With short paths, the variability is typically small, so the statistics are tight. For the long paths, especially the long 2-edge and tropo ones, the variability is much greater, so the statistics are far looser. For those stations (generally the double digit negative noise margins), the signal you will see 1% of the time will be something you can receive. This could appear as coming in a couple hours per day or only on cool nights or...

You've got some excellent choices. Good luck.

Electron 4-May-2012 4:42 PM

Tv Antennas and Tv Reception
The Big Antennas will not give you much more and nothing new that I can see then the HBU33 or HBU44 or HD7000R.
A antenna that is not very directional is required at your location because the Tv stations are widely spaced in different directions.

mikey_sl 4-May-2012 10:33 PM

i will go with the 7000r based primarily on the advice here...

As a benefit it seems cheaper and more accessible

If there is interest i can post the results once i get it setup

So to summarize

winegard 7000r
no pre-amp
raise the antenna on a mast to ensure it is above the peak of my roof (about 5 feet.

.... thanks to all.....

Electron 5-May-2012 2:22 AM

Tv Antennas and Tv Reception
I am interested.

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