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Old 9-Mar-2019, 6:49 AM   #7
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 101
Originally Posted by Zman83 View Post
Since I am almost directly midway between both the Charlotte and Greensboro/Winston-Salem markets, I would prefer to get both sets of stations (as many from both as possible). From the report, my goal is to get at least all of the green and yellow stations. My main concerns are that the stations come from more than two opposite directions, and many are between 35-50 miles away.
I live up the road from your parent's area in Davie County (not far at all). And just like your parent's house, I have four main points on the compass with WXII being to my north, the other Triad stations to my east below Greensboro, the ABC (WSOC) and CW (WCCB) affiliates in North Charlotte, and the rest of the Charlotte networks near Gastonia, NC.

I can tell you without a rotor, it might be tricky to get 'perfect' reception on all the Triad stations along with all the Charlotte stations. Also, note that Yagi style Winegard antennas can do quite well, but also highly directional. For example, I once used a Winegard 9095P and it did quite well (in one direction) at the expense of other directions. Also, note that combining multiple antennas means that you may not get the full advertised gain off each antenna because of the split/combiner. For example, Antennas Direct sells a so called model called the DB8e, which is essentially two antennas in one, due to design that enables each panel to be turned in opposite directions. And I believe they advertise this antenna with a maximum gain of 17.4 dBi. However, that amount of gain only occurs when both panels are facing the exact same direction. That is not to say that it’s a problem at your parent's house (combining antennas), but just to let you know that you don't necessarily get the full gain off each antenna when they are combined into one downlead signal going into the home.

Having said all of that, your parents do live in a good central location to receive television from the Greensboro and Charlotte TV markets. But it may involve some trial and error (on your part) to determine which antenna works best at your parent's home. You might want to consider picking up more than one antenna locally (at a Best Buy or similar) just for testing purposes. A lot of those stores have a liberal return policy, especially if you return the antenna (in the case of BB within 2 weeks). This might be more convenient versus mail order (if you are going to test). And if you don’t see satisfactory results with anything retail, you could then mail order some of the other antennas that cannot be purchased locally.

I don't have any experience with the Clearstream 2MAX (mentioned by RabbitEars), but you could certainly try it as he suggested. I 'can' tell you that I've tested the Clearstream 4MAX at my home; and it seems pretty good. You could test the 4MAX, aim it (roughly) 245 degrees towards Gastonia (where most of the Charlotte stations are) and see how well it picks up the Greensboro stations (located near Randleman, NC)...directly behind, off the backside of the antenna. From what I saw with this particular antenna, it does a good job of picking up equally well off the front and backside. In the end, it's a crap shoot sometimes with antennas, and until you test, you will never really know for sure how well any given antenna is going to perform. And what works best at one location is certainly not always best for another location.

Currently, I am using a Clearstream 4v (in my attic) facing the CLT towers. This is Antenna's Direct older Clearstream 4 model which has a back reflector. That back reflector gives the antenna slightly more gain on the front end (at the expense of the backside). This particular antenna seems to pack a pretty good punch into a long range antenna that is really not that large. Ironically, I am actually having better (overall) performance with this antenna versus my Antennas Direct DB8e, which of course is a much larger antenna. Because I have my antenna aimed at Charlotte, I rely on the antenna to pick up the Greensboro stations (off its side) and WXII off the backside. And it does this fairly well at my location – although it’s tough to say how well it will perform at your parent’s home.

I would also add that if you have access to a signal meter (either a built in one) through one of your TVs, or an external signal meter, it can certainly help! Unlike the old analog days, where we could ‘see’ how well a channel was tuning, digital is tricky due to the cliff effect of being all or nothing signal. And the signal meters can be very helpful in determining how much signal you are working with while testing antennas for digital TV.

Hope my feedback helps you in some way and good luck with the project!
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