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John Candle 5-Aug-2011 10:46 PM

Tv Antennas and Reception
Put the pipes side by side , drill holes thru both pipes and put bolts through. Also the places that put up the fences around construction sites , have the swedging equipment , will likley swedge the pipes for free if you ask.

Yaguy 5-Aug-2011 11:06 PM

RE: Combining Antenna Masts
Thanks GroundUrMast and John Candle

It's 1.5" antenna mast steel pipe that was cut at one time so now the top end that tapered down isn't there. It's interesting that the pipe diameter can be altered mechanically after it's already formed. Thanks.

bwilson 13-Aug-2011 1:25 AM

Radio Shack Colorstar c490 ($100) with amp system(cat.#15-259) F.M. trapper ($50)

John Candle 13-Aug-2011 4:01 AM

Tv Antennas and Reception
I suspect that bwilson has put the information on the wrong post. The same information is also on davidhales question asking post.

Yaguy 29-Aug-2011 10:16 PM

RE: 4-way Distribution Amp
I'm wondering if anyone has experience with distribution amps. Mine, a 4-way from Radio Shack, wasn't used very much because, in the past, analogue channel 2 was too strong, but now with the digital channels, most are lower power, in the 20kW to 30kW range- one is to be 103kW- would it be good to try the distribution amp again? An overly strong signal won't damage the converter boxes? When I did have it hooked up I got decent summer tropo, once getting KEYT analogue 3 in Santa Barbara, CA, 1000 miles south of me.

The coaxial run to the distribution amp is 68', then 25' to one tv and about 20' to another tv.

No static at all 29-Aug-2011 10:27 PM

It's worth a try. I tried an old 4 way RS distribution amp with stronger digital signals & it worked well. No overload & delivered an excellent signal to all 4 sets. The amp is about 50-60 feet from the antenna.

GroundUrMast 29-Aug-2011 10:28 PM

You won't harm the tuner in your TV or STB.

Often Radio Shack, like many retailers, offered little in the way of technically accurate specifications.When selecting an amplifier, you need to know gain, bandwidth, noise figure and maximum signal capacity. The last two specs are often omitted in advertising material and may not be published in any other form.

The bottom line is, try it... if signal quality gets worse but you truly need an amplifier, post the most current TVFR for your location. We need to see what the rather dynamic signal conditions are like before we could recommend a preamp or DA.

(I can still see CBUT, real channel 2 here in Seattle so expect the powerful CH-2 signal to cause trouble with your amp. It can't tell the difference between analog and digital.)

Yaguy 30-Aug-2011 12:36 AM

RE: Distribution Amp
Thanks No static at all, and GroundUrMast

Wow CBC analogue 2 in Seattle. (It turns off Aug 31st.) CBUT '2' digital will switch from current UHF 58 to UHF 43 and power will go from 30.5kW to 103.3kW. I used to pick up KOMO 4 analogue with snow pretty much all the time in West Vancouver and it was more clear in the summer. It's strange because Canada, in our digital transition, has entered into agreements with the US that our OTA signals won't be anywhere near the power of some in the US. An effort to minimize signal spillover. In some cases, people who can't have an outdoor antenna in Vancouver might not be able to get all the local channels if they use an indoor antenna. The following shows the current allotted and pending channels: digital and analogue.

I've not had any luck with digital tropo, so I was going to see if tyring the distribution amp worked at all in keeping the signal 'up a bit'. But with digital it might be a little tricky and hopefully the noise of the distribution amp won't be too high, because that's something that Radio Shack never listed in the past.
An odd thing is that having the antenna on the chimney, 40' above ground, has not helped in any noticeable gain improvement, as opposed to previously having it 20' off the ground by my back porch.
But back then it was mainly for VHF. UHF might be different. I'd prefer not to have it on the chimney, as it's more difficult to get up there and I don't like the coax on the asphalt shingles (though it is on the northwest side of the house). It has stood up well, but the brown, flat 3-wire rotator cable looks a bit like a snake losing its skin.

Yaguy 3-Sep-2011 8:02 AM

RE: Electrical Current in Coaxial Cable
I tried my 4-way distribution amp and it didn't make much difference, save for the stronger channels showing up between 10% to 15% stronger in positions where normally they'd be less. But overall it wasn't that significant.

What I did notice was that when I took off the coaxial f-connectors from the splitter, I felt an electrical current go from possibly the copper inner conductor, the f-connector then into my hand. Now I know there's a small current (milliamp?) from the antenna, but to 'feel' it noticeably, where could that current be coming from?

GroundUrMast 3-Sep-2011 8:45 AM

Several possibilities...

A fault in the amplifier or TV power supply.

Does the coax run close to a power line? If so, it could be coupled via induction.

A volt-ohm meter would be a useful tool to track down the source

Is the coax shield grounded?

Yaguy 3-Sep-2011 8:41 PM

RE: Electrical Current in Coaxial Cable
Thanks GroundUrMast

I don't use an amplifier or preamp. The condition is similar to once having a Toshiba DVD/VCR combo and touching the metal housing I could feel a small electrical current passing from the metal to my hand. I don't know if it could be voltage leaking from either a DVD/VCR, a TV, or maybe there is some inductance from the flat rotor cable on the roof which is taped to the RG59 Belden 9104 DUOBOND II coaxial cable that runs to the house. The coax doesn't touch any power lines though.

What does "shield grounded" mean?


GroundUrMast 3-Sep-2011 11:05 PM

The shield portion of the coax should be connected to ground, for safety and some say, reduction of interference (the latter could be the subject of a rather pointless discussion, because the protection from static discharge damage to your tuner seems enough reason to ground the coax shield, IMO).

A ground block is used to make that connection, it should connect to your electrical service ground through a fairly short #10 copper wire.

Yaguy 4-Sep-2011 5:59 AM

Thanks again, GroundUrMast

I currently do have the coaxial cable connected to a grounding block outside, and a copper ground wire about 20" long runs directly down to a metal stake in the ground. It's the same stake the cable company used. Perhaps a new grounding block would help, as it's the same one I put in 20 years ago.

Where the electrical meter is there is no stake outside. The house wiring is mostly "knob and tube," but in superb shape- with no additions of aluminum- so originally the electrical sockets were 2-prong and now many have been replaced with the ones with the ground socket- it was an electrician that did it so I don't know how he grounded it. The electrical ground in my house may in fact be to the plumbing inside.

GroundUrMast 4-Sep-2011 6:26 AM

Unless there is water damage, corrosion or physical damage to the existing ground block, I would expect to never need to replace it.

Your suspicion about the TV or DVR would be worth investigating.

Yaguy 16-Sep-2011 7:59 AM

RE: RG6 Coax
Has anyone heard of or used the American made brand "Remee" RG6 coaxial cable for their antenna? I saw it and wondered how it stacked up against better known brands like Belden. Thanks.

Yaguy 21-Jul-2012 2:19 AM

RE: Coax and time?
What are classic symptoms that the coax has either water getting into a connector or a small crack in the outer jacket? I used to notice, after a rain, that analogue VHF 2 would have colour issues- like it was washed out or too bright. Just as if when one could fine tune the channel with the dial inside the speaker panel on the old 1980's Sony Trinitrons, and it was slightly off.
I currently have this cable that has done well over the years, and, despite it being RG59, the specifications numbers look pretty good, compared to a lot of RG6.

What do the experts think about this particular RG59 coaxial cable from the specs above for OTA use?

Billiam 21-Jul-2012 3:14 AM

Go with RG 6 and preferably a Quad Shield cable at that.

GroundUrMast 21-Jul-2012 4:05 AM

Symptoms of water in the coax or connector: Intermittent reception interruption on digital signals, ghosting that changes on analog signals.

From a practical point of view, testing consists of substituting a known good cable. The lab grade test gear needed to check the cable in place, is tens of thousands of dollars.

The specs for Belden 9104 are close to RG-6. But, a variation of tenths of a dB are irrelevant in a real application. I have yet to have any regret for buying coax at the big box home improvement store.

The antenna let's signal in, so I don't care about the extra shielding of quad. In the case of a satellite system that uses an IF (intermediate frequency) in the same frequency range as terrestrial WiFi and microwave systems, I'll pay extra to keep interference out of a closed system like the link between the dish and sat-receiver.

Yaguy 21-Jul-2012 9:04 AM

RE: Coax and Time
Thanks Billiam and GroundUrMast

Probably not a bad idea to put in the new RG6. Just have to get up on the roof or find a volunteer. Very interesting about the antenna letting in signals, where quad would benefit the higher frequency satellite more closed setup better.

Yaguy 24-Jul-2012 12:09 AM

RE: Various outdoor antennae
Is the new AD DB4e much better than the CM-4221HD? From what I've read, I don't know if it is really worth the extra cost. I know that the CM-4221HD uses nuts that can be tightened, or loosened to do a 'hack', and the new DB4e uses rivets that I've heard can sometimes be slightly loose upon opening the box (recognized factory problem). Right now, I seem to be having pixelation and lock issues with stations below a Noise Margin of +38dB - +36dB. The best I can get is 50% to 65% on those, and that's when pointing directly in their compass direction. I can't see if there is corrosion where the feed lines are riveted to the antenna elements. But the feed lines themselves look quite clean on my AntennaCraft VU-160XR, when looking at it with binoculars.

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