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-   -   Antenna (s) recommendation (http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=16626)

Insaneoctane 3-Jul-2019 11:35 PM

Antenna (s) recommendation
 
First time poster and love what I'm reading on this site! I'm looking to possibly cut the cord, but I'm fairly far with mountains in the way. I'm really only looking to get the major networks to supplement my Netflix and Amazon content. I'm not sure if I can get away with just UHF or VHF or both. I am really hoping to find an antenna solution that I can mount in my attic. My home is 2 story, so the attic mount will be 25 to 30 feet up. I've been looking at just trying a clearstream 4max and seeing what that offers. Antenna direct recommended both a DB8-e Ultra Range UHF and Clearstream 5 Ultra Range VHF. I'm hoping to not go crazy. I have access in my attic to stand and I should be able to point the antenna East....
Appreciate all suggestions!

My tvfool report

Tower Guy 4-Jul-2019 12:15 AM

I’m thinking that a Winegard HD 7694P or HD7698P with a preamp.

RMinNJ 4-Jul-2019 12:18 AM

I dont know... I just went through this and the antennas I tried did not do well at all in the attic. Maybe your attic is different than mine. Its a shame because attic is a convenient and accessible place...

GroundUrMast 4-Jul-2019 2:57 AM

You are not wrong to want to mount in the attic... The antenna life expectancy will be nearly unlimited. However, you need to be prepared for the possibility of disappointing results as most attics are subject to a variety of signal impairments. Roofing and insulating materials commonly attenuate or block signals significantly. The bottom line is, try it and see.

I agree with Tower Guy's suggestions, and would add the Winegard HD8200U and Channel Master Advantage 100 to the list for you to consider. Both of those antennas give you some possibility of seeing real channels 2 through 6 (something the 769XP types are not intended for). You would want to take the size of these antennas into consideration, they're large and may not fit in an attic, even a relatively large one.

I use an Antennas Direct DB8e and consider it to be among the best high-gain UHF antennas available. The CS5 is also an excellent antenna for real channels 7-13 (no intentional CH 2-6 capability though).

OTAFAN 4-Jul-2019 7:38 AM

Here's your report from, https://www.rabbitears.info/

https://www.rabbitears.info/search.p...=dBm&height=30

(It takes just under 30 seconds to load, a bit slow for some reason.....)

It looks much better than your TV Fool report. I think it might be more accurate since there seems to have been a lag in updated information for the TV Fool reports, as posted by some of the Techs on this forum.

If that is the case, probably all of the above recommendations would be acceptable, depending on what you actually are looking to receive. The gentlemen posters above are all very experienced in their fields and I would take their advice with gratitude.

Also, while you're on Rabbitears.Info website, check out the TV market listings for Los Angeles, and look specifically at the channels you want to receive in detail, especially the Longley-Rice maps. Those maps will really tell you how good you can expect your reception to be.

But in the final analysis, getting up either in your attic or roof (better choice), and hooking up an antenna to your television will certainly reveal your actual reception. It takes some time and effort to find out what works at your location.

Hope this helps and please report back with your findings when you can. I know it would be of interest to me and others.

All the best.....

P.S. Just looking at a few of the major LA stations on the Longley-Rice maps for your area, I think you will need a roof top antenna as high as practical and probably a preamp etc., for optimal reception in Moorpark, CA.

JoeAZ 4-Jul-2019 12:17 PM

Having been to Moorpark to visit Carrera's Deli, I am fairly
familiar with the terrain. There is no way to have LOS to
Mt Wilson from the vast majority of Moorpark. Only the
extreme West and possibly South might have LOS.
Forget about the attic, it's not likely to provide consistent,
reliable reception. The Winegards mentioned previously
are the best way to go. Keep your RG6 cable as short as
possible to ONE tv to start. Walk your roof to find the best
spot using the TV signal meter, if you have one, for strongest
signals. Be sure to ground the antenna properly. It's lots
of work but you'll be happy with the results.......

Insaneoctane 6-Jul-2019 4:45 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks for the replies. I re-ran my address through rabbit ears and it's not nearly as good as the center of my zip code. See attached screenshot....
By the way, does it look like I need VHF if I only wanted major networks?

OTAFAN 6-Jul-2019 8:00 PM

Zip codes usually cover larger areas than an exact address. You did the right thing to narrow down your reception quality.

JoeAZ knows your area and he's another experienced Tech on this forum. I would go with his recommendations too.

If rabbit73 will chime in on this thread, he could give you some visual aids that might help you achieve your goals. You could even PM him to keep your address secure, and he would be able to specify exactly what you need.

I'm not a Tech, but have learned so much on TV Fool from all these good chaps, that I try to pass on what I know works at my location here in SOCAL LA/OC. But to answer your question, I would say if you don't need low VHF real channels 2-6 and just want high VHF channels 7-13, then yes, you could get by with VHF high. But you do have a few major LA stations that broadcast on UHF, but show virtual VHF channels. So, it all depends on what you really want or need.

Let us know how it all works out for you. Take care, Insaneoctane…..

GroundUrMast 7-Jul-2019 4:48 PM

If you opted for VHF only, you would likely get the ABC, FOX and MY affiliates. KNBC and KCBS would be unavailable though.

Insaneoctane 8-Jul-2019 7:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeAZ (Post 61763)
Walk your roof to find the best
spot using the TV signal meter, if you have one, for strongest
signals.

Anyone care to suggest a good and affordable meter? Thinking $30 or under?

OTAFAN 8-Jul-2019 7:41 AM

I think JoeAZ meant your TV signal meter on the television set in your house. Either that, or a small hand held TV you could use up on the roof to see where your best signal(s) strength location is.

If you use the first method, you would need to have a family member or friend down inside watching your TV signal meter, while you moved the roof top antenna around to figure out the optimal reception on the channels you're interested in. (You could do this solo, but given your location you'll be up and down your ladder A LOT).

He might have another idea about this, but I know from a few of his previous postings regarding this issue, he mentioned the above two methods.

GroundUrMast 8-Jul-2019 4:13 PM

Signal meter + Free DVR capability
 
I have several SiliconDust HDHR tuners. The current model, https://www.silicondust.com/product/hdhomerun-duo/ is selling on Amazon for about $80. Older models should be available via ebay if you need to save $.

The signal metering function is quite useful for signal survey and antenna alignment. See http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=820

Toward the end of the thread I also share scripting code for recording on a Linux system. (No need to pay for DVR service)

Insaneoctane 8-Jul-2019 4:55 PM

Thanks, I'll look on ebay for some used SiliconDust tuners....

Another question..... I'm struggling on the various retail websites (Amazon, WalMart, etc) to accurately understand the fully assembled dimensions of some of the recommended antennae. Anyone able to provide the fully assembled dimensions of some of the recommended antennae (ie Winegard HD8200U, Channel Master Advantage 100, etc). I'm confused because I'm hoping to just understand Height (without any added 'pole'), Width (probably the biggest dim?), and depth of the offerings....

JoeAZ 8-Jul-2019 6:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by otafan (Post 61773)
i think joeaz meant your tv signal meter on the television set in your house. Either that, or a small hand held tv you could use up on the roof to see where your best signal(s) strength location is.

If you use the first method, you would need to have a family member or friend down inside watching your tv signal meter, while you moved the roof top antenna around to figure out the optimal reception on the channels you're interested in. (you could do this solo, but given your location you'll be up and down your ladder a lot).

He might have another idea about this, but i know from a few of his previous postings regarding this issue, he mentioned the above two methods.

Exactly!!!!!!!

rickbb 8-Jul-2019 7:19 PM

I use a small USB tuner in a laptop with a 6 foot coax cable.

Might not be what you're looking for to use once, but I've found it very useful to locate the best location on a roof.

Insaneoctane 8-Jul-2019 8:28 PM

The Winegard HD8220U on Amazon is $145
The Channel Master CM-3020 is $109

The CM-3020 is about 1 foot less wide (better for "fitting"). If the HD8220U is known to be better then I'll spend the extra $36 on it. But more money isn't always better.....Do you guys think it matters for my application?

JoeAZ 8-Jul-2019 8:57 PM

The Channel Master 3018, available at Lowe's and Home Depot should
be sufficient. They cost about $80.00 and cover lo/hi Vhf and UHF.
Is your roof made of concrete tile or metal??? If yes, your chances of
getting good attic reception are nearly ZERO. The biggest, best antenna
won't overcome the issues involved with attic reception. Attic reception
is limited to areas where signals are very strong.

Insaneoctane 9-Jul-2019 12:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoeAZ (Post 61784)
The Channel Master 3018, available at Lowe's and Home Depot should
be sufficient. They cost about $80.00 and cover lo/hi Vhf and UHF.
Is your roof made of concrete tile or metal??? If yes, your chances of
getting good attic reception are nearly ZERO. The biggest, best antenna
won't overcome the issues involved with attic reception. Attic reception
is limited to areas where signals are very strong.

Thank you for that feedback. I've accepted that it's about a 90% chance that the attic will NOT work for my application.

I also appreciate you letting me know that the CM 3018 will be sufficient as it will save my $20 over the 3020 (and $60 vs Winegard), but what is the difference? The dimensions between the 3020 and 3018 look identical, so I'm just curious. If I thought the 3020 would be better, I'd certainly choose that...but, not knowing the difference and having you recommend the 3018, I'm fine with that if there is no benefit. Thanks in advance!

OTAFAN 9-Jul-2019 7:46 AM

Here's the link for Channel Master antennas:

https://www.channelmaster.com/TV_Antennas_s/35.htm

Here's the link for Winegard antennas:

www.winegard.com/hdtv-outdoor-antennas?q=offair

Here's a couple YouTube video links that discusses antennas, TVs and more from a gentleman who installs antennas in Pennsylvania. It's slated toward the consumer market, so it might be of interest to you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRsQDcehmB4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhZ7H-cwFCk

If you're going to buy the CM3018 to save some bucks as JoeAZ recommended, the technical specifications are just slightly less gain than the CM3020. (You can compare the two through the link above).

If you're still considering one of the largest antennas on the block, the Winegard HD8200U, GroundUrMast gives it his endorsement, along with the CM3020.

The Winegard antennas mentioned by Tower Guy above including preamps, I'm sure will serve you well for what you decide you want.

They all know their business and would not be recommending them if they did not think the antennas would work in your more difficult reception location in Moorpark, CA. You have those pesky 1 & 2 Edge signal path issues because of the Mountain range(s) in your way, unfortunately. That's why you'll have to get up on your roof and find the "sweet spot" for best signal strength. Like JoeAZ said, "It's lots of work, but you'll be happy with the results....."

Remember: When up on the roof, safety first, last and always! Get someone to help you if you can.

Looking forward to your final results. Please let us know how it all turns out.....

Best to you!

Insaneoctane 9-Jul-2019 4:49 PM

Hopefully I will decide on the antenna soon. One thing that has me slowed down right now is that Im now considering rooftop vs attic (where I started this thread) and the grounding requirements are making the installation job much much more complicated. I'm starting to consider maybe just grounding the mast and coax and possibly skipping the 6 gauge to breaker as that is an entire new level of PIA....

Also struggling with the standard chimney mounting straps. My chimney is stucco and I'm worried that as I cinch the straps down they will crumble or break the stucco. Seems like they need to offer some slightly compliant padding for the corners for stucco?


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