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Old 26-Sep-2010, 11:56 PM   #1
Gramma Eileen
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 3
Oh to have TV again

Here's my info link:

I am up in the northern California mountains east of Sacramento - 55 miles from the major networks' transmitters. I am at 3,000 ft with oak and pine trees (a couple of which I may have to have cut back or down). My antenna is up 20 feet on a mast and has 50 ft of coaxial cable to a splitter, 6 ft to the 1st TV and 50 ft to the 2nd. I'll be moving my antenna location away from the tree that has overgrown it to a better location (info link).

Since the changeover to digital, with a converter box, I only receive the VHS-Hi channels 9 (PBS) and 10 (ABC) and not all the time because my current antenna has gotten beaten up by a tree. I'd also like to get 25 (CBS), 35 (NBC) and 40 (FOX). In the "olden days" I used to get all the network channels from Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay areas. I've been saving up to get this done (what I would have been spending on satellite TV) and can get all the items listed below if I have to.

I definitely need to get a new antenna. I have spent hours and hours reading up on antennas and have figured out virtually nothing. Do I get a Winegard HD8200U 110", 7-13 dB gain, or a Channel Master CM 2020 90", 6.5-13 dB gain, or a totally different one like the 8-bay kind such as the Channel Master CM-4228HD?

I'm not sure I understand about the NM(dB) levels - is it possible to get a channel with a signal listed with a negative NM(dB) level (say a -2.5) at the antenna location by using an antenna with a high enough gain?

Pre-amplifiers: I'm pretty sure I need one and have been looking at either the Winegard AP-8700, or possibly the Channel Master CM-7777 which has a higher gain and is supposed to be for fringe areas.

Rotator: The magnetic headings I need are only three degrees apart (227ᶛ to 229ᶛ) but the transmitters are 55 miles away - so, do I need to buy a rotator? I don't know how well they hold up in bad weather. I'm up at the snowline and only get, at the most, 18" of snow now and then which melts off within days, but sometimes get pretty high winds. I'm hoping I don't need one, but if I do, I'd appreciate some recommendations.

I've been reading about all this off and on for weeks (and revising this request for days) trying to decide what I should ask and get and my head is going in circles. I have to get my sons to come visit to take down the current antenna, make the changes, and put it back up. I want to get everything they will need together to improve my reception before they come since I'm 20 miles from town.

Thanks for any help you can give me. I will truly appreciate it.

Gramma Eileen
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