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Old 28-Feb-2019, 10:40 PM   #1
ChicagoNW
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Question Longer-Distance Advice?

I am delighted to join this site, and this is my first post!

Following is my reception report: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...9038ff1d2ad6ea

Currently I am using a ClearStream 2MAX antenna with its optional reflector. Since it’s a brutal winter, I am currently using my new antenna INDOORS on the ground floor near my primary receiver. With this setup, I amazingly found a “sweet spot” where I can receive all “green” stations down through RF20, with the exception of RF12 (high-VHF) and RF24 (low-power). This suits me fine, as WBBM has a repeater on RF32 (virtual 48.3), which gives me CBS.

When the weather is nicer, I would like to install a higher-gain antenna that might give me the chance of picking up Rockford and Milwaukee. Ideally, I would prefer a single UHF/VHF antenna.

Would appreciate suggestions! After extensive research, I am torn weighing the tradeoffs of antenna size, directionality and durability for harsh winter weather. Some candidates, based on my research, might be CM-5020, CM-4228HD or Antennas Direct XG91. I realize the latter two are optimized for UHF, so VHF reception would only be a “bonus,” if possible. Open to thoughts about these and other options that might allow me to pick up adjacent markets.

Thanks!
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Old 2-Mar-2019, 8:29 PM   #2
rabbit73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoNW View Post
Currently I am using a ClearStream 2MAX antenna with its optional reflector. Since it’s a brutal winter, I am currently using my new antenna INDOORS on the ground floor near my primary receiver. With this setup, I amazingly found a “sweet spot” where I can receive all “green” stations down through RF20, with the exception of RF12 (high-VHF) and RF24 (low-power). This suits me fine, as WBBM has a repeater on RF32 (virtual 48.3), which gives me CBS.
Hello, ChicagoNW; welcome to the forum. Thank you for the signal report. You are doing very well with your indoor antenna; your signals in green are very strong.



Quote:
When the weather is nicer, I would like to install a higher-gain antenna that might give me the chance of picking up Rockford and Milwaukee. Ideally, I would prefer a single UHF/VHF antenna.
Your goal will be difficult to achieve. Your local signals are much stronger than the signals from Rockford and Milwaukee. You will need a preamp for Rockford and Milwaukee, but it would be overloaded by your local channels.
Also, your antenna should be aimed at the transmitters, so you would need a rotator or separate antennas.

My advice is to keep your system simple and stick with the locals with your CS2MAX in the attic or outside.

You can, at a later date, add a second antenna and preamp to experiment with Rockford and Milwaukee.

There will be many channel changes because of Repack by the FCC:

https://rabbitears.info/repackchanne...=&lss=&status=

https://www.fcc.gov/about-fcc/fcc-in...ition-schedule

https://www.commlawcenter.com/2017/0...deadlines.html
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ChicagoNWTVFmap.JPG (62.0 KB, 764 views)
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Last edited by rabbit73; 2-Mar-2019 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 2-Mar-2019, 11:49 PM   #3
ChicagoNW
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Rabbit73, I appreciate your advice. I consider myself lucky to be getting all the local channels I want with an indoor, ground floor antenna some 30 miles from downtown Chicago.

Back in the analog days, I used to have a roof-mounted antenna with a rotor. I was able to regularly receive some Milwaukee and Rockford stations, but I realize digital signal propagation is quite different. So it’s helpful to set reasonable expectations.

I did some further research, and it seems the CM-4228HD eight-bay antenna is supposedly optimized for UHF below RF40, which might be good for post-repack when the TV spectrum will top out at RF36. But would a rectangular eight-bay be compatible with a rotor?

Since I was a kid, I’ve always been interested in pulling in long-distance signals (DXing). From Chicago, I have logged low-VHF stations as far away as Miami, Corpus Christi, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick with a “normal” rooftop antenna and rotor. That’s one of the reasons I was thinking about an all-channel model like CM-5020, but if I understand what you’re saying, perhaps the strong locals would be a deterrent.

Anyway, I’m glad to have found this thread so I can learn from those who are more experienced. I will be happy to cut the cord when my contract runs out, because I love the OTA results I’m getting so far!
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Old 4-Mar-2019, 12:10 AM   #4
Nascarken
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Hello there I suggest the Winegrud 8200U with a channel master 7777amp 18 Gauge SOLiD copper Rg6 and it should cover your low band vhf low power station
And your hi vhf,tv TOWER station 's and your uhf,CHANNEL'S all in one big antenna set-up
And buy a good rotor not a cheap channel master rotors or rca.Well good luck with your antennas Direct antennas and the 91xg buy antennas Direct for uhf is the best ANTENNA for uhf and with a channel master 7777AMP hooked up to it is out of this world.For the uhf!! Well good luck with your antennas and good luck and have fun.
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Old 4-Mar-2019, 12:33 PM   #5
JoeAZ
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Quotes from Rabbit 73:

"Your goal will be difficult to achieve. Your local signals are much stronger than the signals from Rockford and Milwaukee. You will need a preamp for Rockford and Milwaukee, but it would be overloaded by your local channels.
Also, your antenna should be aimed at the transmitters, so you would need a rotator or separate antennas."

"My advice is to keep your system simple and stick with the locals with your CS2MAX in the attic or outside."

"You can, at a later date, add a second antenna and preamp to experiment with Rockford and Milwaukee."

I agree 110% with rabbit73. A few points to consider. You will need to
get above the treeline if you plan to receive Milwaukee and/or Rockford.
That means an expensive tower or telescoping mast most likely. You are
correct to observe that analog and digital propagation are different.
Generally, analog coverage was larger than digital. What was, back in
the old days and what is, today, are very, very different. Get your
local, Chicago stations with your antenna mounted outside first. By the
way, you can stream Milwaukee news and possibly Rockford with
a Roku. Roku has free nationwide streaming of many, many stations live
newscasts. That would certainly be less expensive and more reliable.

Last edited by JoeAZ; 4-Mar-2019 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 4-Mar-2019, 1:35 PM   #6
ChicagoNW
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JoeAZ, thank you for your insights!

I have already discovered that the ClearStream 2MAX is capable of high-VHF (RF12) indoors, from my second story. I can't pick up RF12 from the ground floor, either indoors or outside, so I will ultimately need to install a roof-mount antenna.

Yesterday I experimented dragging my 2MAX through a window pointing to Chicago and picked up an additional low-power station (RF30/virtual 57.1). Signal strength improved a bit on the stations I was already receiving.

Unfortunately, a tower would not be an option in my neighbourhood. I am in a single-family home, but the property lines are extremely close. I could install a roof-mounted antenna with a rotor.
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Old 4-Mar-2019, 1:38 PM   #7
ChicagoNW
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Nascarken, a couple of follow-up questions:

1. Do you have any recommendations of higher-quality rotors? I have seen positive mentions of the HyGain brand, but not sure which models would be best suited for my application.

2. With the Channel Master 7777 preamp, would I need to be concerned about overloading my local channels?

Thanks!
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Old 4-Mar-2019, 5:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
With the Channel Master 7777 preamp, would I need to be concerned about overloading my local channels?
YES, you need to be concerned. Do NOT use that amp. In the event that you find an amp is needed, stick with a medium gain (15-20 dB) amp with high overload tolerance.
Quote:
I can't pick up RF12 from the ground floor, either indoors or outside,
That suggests either an impaired signal path, stronger localized electrical noise at the lower elevation, or a combination of both.
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Old 4-Mar-2019, 7:11 PM   #9
Nascarken
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If you use the 7777amp your closest tower's receiving them frum the back side of your antennas and you will never see over load you see I have used all3,ANTENNA 's
With the channel master amp with the 91stacked and not stacked I received 69.1 frum springfield 01129 198 Hanson drv antenna 100ft hi 32db out of the channel master amp 80miles away day or night with no dropouts no problem with over load silley I even
tried to make over load happen and never happen so then I got my hands on a Johansson amp kits uhf 45db,and still no over load happen like I said use the back side of your antennas and by higain rotor $300dollars,is all you need .
Or maybe use too HDB91 buy SOLiD single one 10ft pole position them in a v pattern the one that you point at the faraway TOWER'S with a channel master 7777amp and the 2nd one for the in town TOWER'S and no need for a Rotor.
3ft apart on the HDB91.Or the ANTENNA Direct 91xg.

Last edited by Nascarken; 5-Mar-2019 at 6:53 PM.
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Old 12-Mar-2019, 1:28 AM   #10
ChicagoNW
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This past Friday night, my curiosity got the best of me, and I picked up a Channel Master CM-4228HD at a local electronics store. Near my main TV in the living room, I opened my west-facing front door, and aimed the antenna toward Rockford, which is 54 miles WNW. Surprisingly, WTVO 17.1 (RF16) locked in clear as a bell. I say "surprisingly" because my TV Fool report lists the noise margin at -2.0 dB at a 30-foot elevation, when I was indoors at ground level, with my garage blocking the line of sight.

On Saturday afternoon, I did a retest with another capture of WTVO. On both occasions, I could not quite pick up WQRF 39 (RF 42), listed at -1.3 dB NM. My LG TV was registering a 28% signal strength, with about 30% needed to lock in a station. I have a feeling that a mounting at 25-30 feet will produce a better result.

The CM-4228HD could not quite capture WBBM 2.1 (RF12, 29 miles away) on the ground floor. However, it improved the signal strength of my UHF stations and yielded one new low-power station (RF30).

Now I'm thinking of having the CM-4228HD mounted outside to feed my main living room TV and using my ClearStream 2MAX for a secondary TV upstairs. I already know the 2MAX can pick up RF12 indoors on the second floor.

These results seem to suggest that the 2MAX is a great antenna that can compete with the "big boys" in a challenging, indoor environment. It would be a good option for customers who don't have access to an attic or a rooftop.

Now I need to find an experienced installer who can run cable.
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Old 12-Mar-2019, 2:52 PM   #11
Nascarken
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Well I suggest you go too your home improvement store like home depot
Or Lowes they sell a nice kit for doing that tipe F connections IT'S like $30dollars
and the kit comes with 5 F,connectors and everything else too make up your Rg6 cable's
Good luck and have a good day!ps
I think the new channels master antenna
Will kick IT'S but not only in price and
In the recv end as well!!!

Last edited by Nascarken; 12-Mar-2019 at 2:58 PM.
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Old 20-Mar-2019, 3:31 AM   #12
ChicagoNW
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This afternoon my CM-4228HD graduated to the rooftop!

Before my installer arrived, I tried another front-porch reception attempt for Rockford (54 miles) and clearly picked up both WTVO and WQRF. Aiming was critical.

Since I do not yet have a rotor, the installer aimed at Willis Tower in Chicago (29 miles). This captured nearly all stations on that heading for a total of 22 stations yielding 85 sub-channels. The only exception was WOCK (RF4), whose low-VHF frequency does not conform to my antenna.

When we completed the channel scan, we were surprised to see WSBT (RF22) from South Bend, Indiana (more than 100 miles). This is a full-power station on virtual channel 22. Since I also have a local low-power virtual 22, my LG OLED successfully intermingled the South Bend and Chicago channels in my guide.

From my location, Chicago and Rockford are almost 180 degrees apart; thus, Rockford is on the back side of my eight-bay antenna. While WTVO and WQRF appeared at ground level facing Rockford, there was no signal at roof level facing Chicago. In contrast, WREX (high-VHF 13) now bounces up and down in strength, as if it's on the threshold of coming in, even though there was no signal on the ground. I have a feeling I should be able to capture all three stations with a rotor.

I have been studying signal maps for stations in all adjacent markets, both current and after the upcoming repack. It is interesting to see how some stations are not only relocating channels, but towers as well, apparently to gain population in their coverage area. The most extreme example is WAOE in Peoria, which is a city 2-1/2 hours away by car. WAOE's new signal map shows a tower located so far northeast that Peoria--its city of license--is on the southwest outer fringe, while the northeast fringe will reach suburban Chicago!

I talked to my installer about coming back for a future rotor mounting. That way I can point all directions . . . although there's a risk I'll end up wanting to try even more antennas!
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Old 20-Mar-2019, 4:24 PM   #13
Nascarken
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Ok so how hi is the antenna ? And if you're looking too get vh F
And uhf RECEIVE I Suggest a Winegrud or a channel master combinations antenna set-up
If I was your antenna installer I would have Suggest that to you do too your BROADCASTING TOWER's in your area.
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Old 20-Mar-2019, 7:04 PM   #14
ChicagoNW
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Nascarken, my new antenna is mounted at about 30 feet (two-story home). I needed to compromise on antenna dimensions for aesthetic reasons, due to very tight property lines in my subdivision. If my space were larger, I would have gone with one of those “big boys.”

That being said, I would be open to another solution down the road, such as the 91XG plus a high-VHF antenna. I just thought I’d see what I could get out of the single eight-bay.

It’s fun experimenting!
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Old 21-Mar-2019, 12:46 AM   #15
Nascarken
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Well yes and I like fershier thing's in receiving RF .
is fun the 8bay antenna try too get it on a swivel Mont
Like how the satellite dish adjust your 8bay antenna on a 45 degree angle ???
See it in prove. The SIGNAL.
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Old 25-Mar-2019, 11:32 PM   #16
bobsgarage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoNW View Post
This afternoon my CM-4228HD graduated to the rooftop!


When we completed the channel scan, we were surprised to see WSBT (RF22) from South Bend, Indiana (more than 100 miles). This is a full-power station on virtual channel 22. Since I also have a local low-power virtual 22, my LG OLED successfully intermingled the South Bend and Chicago channels in my guide.

From my location, Chicago and Rockford are almost 180 degrees apart; thus, Rockford is on the back side of my eight-bay antenna. While WTVO and WQRF appeared at ground level facing Rockford, there was no signal at roof level facing Chicago. In contrast, WREX (high-VHF 13) now bounces up and down in strength, as if it's on the threshold of coming in, even though there was no signal on the ground. I have a feeling I should be able to capture all three stations with a rotor.

WAOE's new signal map shows a tower located so far northeast that Peoria--its city of license--is on the southwest outer fringe, while the northeast fringe will reach suburban Chicago!

I talked to my installer about coming back for a future rotor mounting. That way I can point all directions . . . although there's a risk I'll end up wanting to try even more antennas!
Hey, great news!

Since Rockford and Chicago are 180 Degrees apart, you could remove the reflector on your 4228 and really get both cities. Credit and Thanks to Rabbit73:




Just an idea.

It's worth a try!
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Old 26-Mar-2019, 2:57 AM   #17
ChicagoNW
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Hi, bobsgarage! Thanks to you and Rabbit73 for the signal profile without a reflector. That is an extremely interesting idea!

Over the weekend, I contacted a local amateur radio club to get their thoughts about a possible rotator installation. The club leader replied he would tap into his network and come back with ideas on that front.

In the meantime, I have been having a wonderful evening of DXing tonight with signals coming from South Bend, Indiana (102 miles). Tonight I logged WNDU (16.1/RF42), WSBT (22.1/RF22), WSJV (28.1/RF28) and WHME (46.1/RF48). All stations except WSJV were received with 100% signal quality for approximately two hours; WSJV was moderately pixelated. There must be some unusual tropospheric propagation tonight.

I also noticed some signals on high-VHF channels 7, 8 and 11. All three stations are somewhere outside the Chicago market, but I could not quite decode them. I am assuming RF8 might be WMVS from Milwaukee, but that would be odd because my antenna is on a 111-degree heading, and Milwaukee is at 8 degrees! A rotator sure would be helpful.

Now that I'm getting my feet wet with rooftop reception, it's exciting to see the possibilities.
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Old 26-Mar-2019, 1:17 PM   #18
Nascarken
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoNW View Post
Hi, bobsgarage! Thanks to you and Rabbit73 for the signal profile without a reflector. That is an extremely interesting idea!

Over the weekend, I contacted a local amateur radio club to get their thoughts about a possible rotator installation. The club leader replied he would tap into his network and come back with ideas on that front.

In the meantime, I have been having a wonderful evening of DXing tonight with signals coming from South Bend, Indiana (102 miles). Tonight I logged WNDU (16.1/RF42), WSBT (22.1/RF22), WSJV (28.1/RF28) and WHME (46.1/RF48). All stations except WSJV were received with 100% signal quality for approximately two hours; WSJV was moderately pixelated. There must be some unusual tropospheric propagation tonight.

I also noticed some signals on high-VHF channels 7, 8 and 11. All three stations are somewhere outside the Chicago market, but I could not quite decode them. I am assuming RF8 might be WMVS from Milwaukee, but that would be odd because my antenna is on a 111-degree heading, and Milwaukee is at 8 degrees! A rotator sure would be helpful.

Now that I'm getting my feet wet with rooftop reception, it's exciting to see the possibilities.
You should have looked at the New channel master antennas it will receive BROADCASTING station that you are looking for. and you dount have to take nothing off to make it work,
And you do not need a Rotor for it just use one of channel master amp like the 7778or the
7777,amp

Last edited by Nascarken; 26-Mar-2019 at 1:26 PM.
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Old 26-Mar-2019, 1:28 PM   #19
Nascarken
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Originally Posted by ChicagoNW View Post
Hi, bobsgarage! Thanks to you and Rabbit73 for the signal profile without a reflector. That is an extremely interesting idea!

Over the weekend, I contacted a local amateur radio club to get their thoughts about a possible rotator installation. The club leader replied he would tap into his network and come back with ideas on that front.

In the meantime, I have been having a wonderful evening of DXing tonight with signals coming from South Bend, Indiana (102 miles). Tonight I logged WNDU (16.1/RF42), WSBT (22.1/RF22), WSJV (28.1/RF28) and WHME (46.1/RF48). All stations except WSJV were received with 100% signal quality for approximately two hours; WSJV was moderately pixelated. There must be some unusual tropospheric propagation tonight.

I also noticed some signals on high-VHF channels 7, 8 and 11. All three stations are somewhere outside the Chicago market, but I could not quite decode them. I am assuming RF8 might be WMVS from Milwaukee, but that would be odd because my antenna is on a 111-degree heading, and Milwaukee is at 8 degrees! A rotator sure would be helpful.

Now that I'm getting my feet wet with rooftop reception, it's exciting to see the possibilities.
we'll probably go up Another 10ft on the antenna.
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Old 26-Mar-2019, 6:36 PM   #20
Tower Guy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoNW View Post

I also noticed some signals on high-VHF channels 7, 8 and 11. All three stations are somewhere outside the Chicago market, but I could not quite decode them. I am assuming RF8 might be WMVS from Milwaukee, but that would be odd because my antenna is on a 111-degree heading, and Milwaukee is at 8 degrees!

.
My guess would be:
Channel 7 WOOD Grand Rapids
Channel 8 WWMT Kalamazoo
Channel 11 WGVU Grand Rapids
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