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Old 23-May-2013, 11:40 PM   #16
Pete Higgins
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: California, 58 miles @112 degrees from Mt. Wilson
Posts: 83
One step forward - Two steps back

tripelo,

Good to hear from you.

As I said in my last post, the CM-4228 was on a push-up mast with a rotor and was using the HDP-269. I ordered a Winegard YA-1713 Prostar 1000 10 El. Hi-Band VHF Antenna to go with it.

I thought I would use that combination to test the Winegard pre-amplifiers that overloaded with my tower array.

I installed the YA 1713 above the CM-4228 and ran two new 17í pieces of RG-6 down the mast, one from the CM-4228 (white) and the other from the YA-1713 (black), so I could experiment with UVSJ's, my HDP-269 and AP-2870, and several cable drop amps Iíve collected without having to lower the mast for each change. In anticipation of testing the pre-amps, I ordered three Antennas Direct FM Band 20 dB traps and two 3 dB & two 6 dB in-line attenuators to go with my Channel Plus 55 dB channel 26 notch filter.

When I got everything hooked-up, the new Winegard YA-1713 wouldnít receive channels 7 or 13. It is mounted about 30í south and 6í lower than my Antenna Craft Y10-7-13.

When it wouldnít work with my amps., I hooked it directly to the cable that runs to my PCT-MA2-4P distribution amp. and was able to receive 8 (8.1) & 10 (10.1) out of San Diego and 9 (9.1) & 11 (11.1) from LA. I then disconnected the YA-1713 and hooked up my Channel Master CM-4228 to the cable that runs to the PCT-MA2-4P distribution amp. and got a very pixelated channel 7, a fairly solid 9, intermittent 11 and a pretty good 13. All 4 LA stations measured high ďGreenĒ on my SNR meter with the Antenna Craft Y10-7-13 switched in (of course it has a +15 dB MA2-M mounted right behind it). Adding an amplifier to the Winegard 1713, at the base of the push-up didnít improve/add the missing LA stations. It did considerably improve VHF reception from the CM-4228.

Since I only had one 50í run of RG-6 going from the base of the push-up mast into the garage, I had to get up on the roof to switch antennas. I added a second run (white) so I could route the UHF and VHF signals to a garage coax switch separately. After I got tired of running out to the garage to switch between antennas I added a 4th RG-6 run into my office so I could monitor both push-up antenna signals from the office. Thatís kind of where Iím at right now. With no amplifiers in-line, the 4228 actually does better getting channels 7 & 13 than the YA-1713. Mid-band, the YA-1713 does better.

I sent Winegard an email on May 13th to see if they could think of any reason performance would roll off that dramatically at the top & bottom of the YA-1713ís band. So far I havenít heard back from them. They probably got the email and thought I was nuts!

Solid Signal sent me an email flyer for an 8-Bay ďSolid Signal Xtreme Signal HDB8X High Definition Blade 8 Bay Xtreme Antenna (HDB8X)Ē for $59.99 with $0.05 shipping. It looks to be 2 4-Bays on a swivel with 2-BALUMís hooked to a combiner. It has the multi-directional feature like the new Antennas Direct DB8e and blade elements similar to the 91XG. For $60.04 delivered I couldnít resist. They claim a maximum gain of 25 dB when both sides of antenna are parallel, which I believe defies the laws of physics, but if their matching harness arrangement is any good at all, I expect it will perform about as good as any other 8-Bay. They donít expect to ship them until after 1 June.

Next, I want to pull down the push-up, inspect the YA-1713 and swap the 17í cables. Iíll probably also try it on my tower and try the Antenna Craft Y10-7-13 on the push-up.

I canít drop or raise the push-up mast by myself. I have to set a ladder in front of it so I can reach the U-bolt through the upper stand-off bracket. Once I get the U-Bolt off I need somebody to hold it while I move the ladder out of the way so it can be laid horizontal. Going back up, I need somebody to hold it so I can position the ladder and re-install the U-Bolt. Thereís a real shortage of people in my neighborhood lining up to climb on a roof to raise & lower antennas! Since Iíll want to try the new 8-Bay anyhow, Iíll probably wait until the HDB8X gets here to do any more YA-1713 testing.

The tower got too heavy to lift, even with help, so now I can lower and raise it by myself with help from a 110 VAC winch. When I have the new patio roof put on Iíll try to figure a way to get winchís working for the push-up and my other tower.

Take care.
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