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Old 13-Jun-2020, 6:14 PM   #1
Pistachio
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Question Roof antenna selection help UHF and VHF-HI San Diego

I am in San Diego near the coast (lets say approx. Latitude = 32.802, Longitude = -117.257). I am connecting to a receiver (Onkyo TX-NR686) and tuner (Homeworx HW130STB). I am going to get the rotator Yaesu G-450A . I am interested in receiving VHF-HI and UHF signals via a roof mounted antenna. I was planning to buy one UHF/VHF-HI or two separate UHF and VHF-HI roof antennas.

I have downselected my antenna choice to:
  • VHF antenna: Stellar Labs 30-2475 $27 (as recommended)
  • UHF antenna: Stallar Labs 30-2420 $16
both shipped for $17 from Newark
This is what I was planning to buy since I would get them both from one source, Newark. But I think the UHF antennas from Stellar labs donít look durable as the Winegard HD-1080 or HD9694P.
I was considering to possibly replace my UHF selection (Stellar Labs 30-2420) with the:
  • Stellar Labs 30-2426 $29 from Newark since it might get me better performance
or the
  • Winegard HD-1080 $27+$17 shipping from summitsource since it looks more durable. But here I will pay more for shipping since I would have to go through two companies.
Alternatively, as a single VHF-HI and UHF option, I was looking to only use the Wineguard HD-9694P $60 free shipping from Amazon. In this case I am apprehensive to pick one antenna for both UHF and VHF-HI.
Can you please help me confirm the better option near this price range for VHF-Hi and UHF?
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Old 13-Jun-2020, 10:53 PM   #2
Tim
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Looking at your RabbitEars report for the coordinates you gave shows two VHF-Hi stations almost due north of you and about 2-1/2 miles away.

And a bunch of UHF stations about 20 miles away situated east-southeast of you.

Take a look at the report:

https://www.rabbitears.info/searchma...tudy_id=104300

You can run your own report for your exact location at:
https://www.rabbitears.info/searchmap.php

Sounds like the situation calls for two separate antennas, VHF-Hi pointed north and UHF pointed east-southeast and then combined with a UVSJ combiner.

I can't comment on the build quality of the Stellar Labs antennas since I have never owned one, however for the few extra bucks I would certainly go with the 30-2426 because it will have more gain than the 30-2420.

Also, can you comment on the reason for the Yaesu rotator. With the signal report you have, I don't see any need for an expensive rotator.

Barring any terrain or tree issues, you should get good reception of all the green and yellow stations shown on the signal report. If you are going after Univision 17 on real channel 24, I suspect you might get good reception even though your antenna would be aimed SSE.
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Old 13-Jun-2020, 11:58 PM   #3
Pistachio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim View Post
Looking at your RabbitEars report for the coordinates you gave shows two VHF-Hi stations almost due north of you and about 2-1/2 miles away.

And a bunch of UHF stations about 20 miles away situated east-southeast of you.

Take a look at the report:

https://www.rabbitears.info/searchma...tudy_id=104300

You can run your own report for your exact location at:
https://www.rabbitears.info/searchmap.php

Sounds like the situation calls for two separate antennas, VHF-Hi pointed north and UHF pointed east-southeast and then combined with a UVSJ combiner.

I can't comment on the build quality of the Stellar Labs antennas since I have never owned one, however for the few extra bucks I would certainly go with the 30-2426 because it will have more gain than the 30-2420.

Also, can you comment on the reason for the Yaesu rotator. With the signal report you have, I don't see any need for an expensive rotator.

Barring any terrain or tree issues, you should get good reception of all the green and yellow stations shown on the signal report. If you are going after Univision 17 on real channel 24, I suspect you might get good reception even though your antenna would be aimed SSE.
I was also shooting to get the Spanish stations coming from 147-148 deg. So in that case I think I would need a rotor. I agree the Yaesu G-450A rotor was supposed to be costly ~$280 at the hamradio website for example but I found a website Writland selling the Yaesu G-450A for $69 +$7 tax, free shipping. For my entry level system I would not like to break budget just on a rotor. At the same time I don't to go cheap and fill up the landfill.

That said with the additional channels I mentioned, what system should I go for?
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Old 14-Jun-2020, 12:07 AM   #4
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I was also shooting to get the Spanish stations coming from 147-148 deg. So in that case I think I would need a rotor. I agree the Yaesu G-450A rotor was supposed to be costly ~$280 at the hamradio website for example but I found a website Writland selling the Yaesu G-450A for $69 +$7 tax, free shipping. For my entry level system I would not like to break budget just on a rotor. At the same time I don't to go cheap and fill up the landfill.

That said with the additional channels I mentioned, what system should I go for?
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...90388bad24ec2e
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Old 14-Jun-2020, 1:18 PM   #5
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Hey Pistachio,
Tim gives good advice here so I wanted to ask you if you're on a strict budget, shipping cost and initial Hardware investment will mean nothing later when you are enjoying your system.

My advice to you, is get what you can get and somewhat over build the system so that you have a margin. I am going to recommend to 30 - 2476 fo VHF. It's probably the best currently available VHF High antenna sold in the US and it's only a few dollars more then the 2475.

And as far as durability. I've had mine in the air since 2016 in the harsh Illinois winters. It is Well designed and durable. It doesn't have those plastic rod retainers it's all made of metal and the reflector rods go over the boom.. it is wind Worthy also.

You're UHF choices. Why so tiny? You might as well get the articulating eight Bay. Then you could do some slight aiming changes.

Believe me, the pricing is very good on what you're looking at and a few dollars more shouldn't break your budget I hope.

Unless you are within 5 or 10 miles of the transmitting antenna you can't really go wrong by going larger on antenna size. Did might give you the margin you need during adverse weather conditions or maybe even pick up some stations from LA?

Also, I've got to look into that Rotator choice that you found I'm looking for one myself and that model is a very highly recommended rotator. Did you actually see if they had stock on that?
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Old 14-Jun-2020, 3:19 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Pistachio View Post
I was also shooting to get the Spanish stations coming from 147-148 deg. So in that case I think I would need a rotor. I agree the Yaesu G-450A rotor was supposed to be costly ~$280 at the hamradio website for example but I found a website Writland selling the Yaesu G-450A for $69 +$7 tax, free shipping. For my entry level system I would not like to break budget just on a rotor. At the same time I don't to go cheap and fill up the landfill.

That said with the additional channels I mentioned, what system should I go for?
Thanks for the additional information. I am not familiar with the Homeworx HW130STB tuner that you plan to use. I wonder if you have to rescan the channels each time you change antenna directions?

A less expensive alternative to the rotator would be to install a second UHF antenna for the stations you want to receive from Mexico and have a coax A/B switch to switch between your two UHF antennas.

Wow, that really is a super price on the Yaesu rotator. In fact, almost sounds too good to be true. Have you ever purchased from the writland.com website before?
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Old 14-Jun-2020, 3:33 PM   #7
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Yaesu G-450 price too good to be true?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim View Post
Thanks for the additional information.

Wow, that really is a super price on the Yaesu rotator. In fact, almost sounds too good to be true. Have you ever purchased from the writland.com website before?
Good morning Tim, I went to the website. I tried order one but it wouldn't take my credit card information. Probably because I tried to use my wife's and the name doesn't match.



https://www.writland.com/index.php?r...scription=true

The cable is almost as much:

https://www.writland.com/abr-industr...scription=true

It seems kind of sketchy because I can't get a shipping date. I guess you ordered to find out?

Last edited by bobsgarage; 14-Jun-2020 at 3:44 PM.
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Old 14-Jun-2020, 4:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim View Post
Thanks for the additional information. I am not familiar with the Homeworx HW130STB tuner that you plan to use. I wonder if you have to rescan the channels each time you change antenna directions?

A less expensive alternative to the rotator would be to install a second UHF antenna for the stations you want to receive from Mexico and have a coax A/B switch to switch between your two UHF antennas.

Wow, that really is a super price on the Yaesu rotator. In fact, almost sounds too good to be true. Have you ever purchased from the writland.com website before?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsgarage View Post
Good morning Tim, I went to the website. I tried order one but it wouldn't take my credit card information. Probably because I tried to use my wife's and the name doesn't match.



https://www.writland.com/index.php?r...scription=true

The cable is almost as much:

https://www.writland.com/abr-industr...scription=true

It seems kind of sketchy because I can't get a shipping date. I guess you ordered to find out?
I purchased it on Friday and only got a confirmation email but no shipping info yet. I will call in the week and if its not looking good I can have my credit card people cancel the order. I will let you know if this pans out.
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Old 14-Jun-2020, 4:57 PM   #9
Pistachio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsgarage View Post
Hey Pistachio,
Tim gives good advice here so I wanted to ask you if you're on a strict budget, shipping cost and initial Hardware investment will mean nothing later when you are enjoying your system.

My advice to you, is get what you can get and somewhat over build the system so that you have a margin. I am going to recommend to 30 - 2476 fo VHF. It's probably the best currently available VHF High antenna sold in the US and it's only a few dollars more then the 2475.

And as far as durability. I've had mine in the air since 2016 in the harsh Illinois winters. It is Well designed and durable. It doesn't have those plastic rod retainers it's all made of metal and the reflector rods go over the boom.. it is wind Worthy also.

You're UHF choices. Why so tiny? You might as well get the articulating eight Bay. Then you could do some slight aiming changes.

Believe me, the pricing is very good on what you're looking at and a few dollars more shouldn't break your budget I hope.

Unless you are within 5 or 10 miles of the transmitting antenna you can't really go wrong by going larger on antenna size. Did might give you the margin you need during adverse weather conditions or maybe even pick up some stations from LA?

Also, I've got to look into that Rotator choice that you found I'm looking for one myself and that model is a very highly recommended rotator. Did you actually see if they had stock on that?
I purchased the rotator on Friday and I will post back here to let you guys know if this is too good to be true.

Can you recommend an "articulating eight Bay" antenna?

Also, what other supplies do I need? I don't have a mast or clamps, yet. Will anything come with the antennas? I plan to mount to my chimney.
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Old 14-Jun-2020, 5:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim View Post
Thanks for the additional information. I am not familiar with the Homeworx HW130STB tuner that you plan to use. I wonder if you have to rescan the channels each time you change antenna directions?

A less expensive alternative to the rotator would be to install a second UHF antenna for the stations you want to receive from Mexico and have a coax A/B switch to switch between your two UHF antennas.

Wow, that really is a super price on the Yaesu rotator. In fact, almost sounds too good to be true. Have you ever purchased from the writland.com website before?
So I know I am in special situation where most of the channels are coming from a couple directions. Mutiple Fixed antennas vs. rotator?

I was still thinking of going with a rotator to fine tune the channels (plus I actually already bought the one I mentioned before I saw this post, lets see it actually shows up). For day-to-day use maybe the multiple fixed antenna solution is better since I don't have to wait for the antenna to move around?

Thoughts?
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Old 14-Jun-2020, 5:15 PM   #11
Pistachio
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Originally Posted by Tim View Post
Homeworx HW130STB tuner that you plan to use. I wonder if you have to rescan the channels each time you change antenna directions?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LO7h1YIMv4
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Old 14-Jun-2020, 5:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Pistachio View Post
Apparently, you can scan or set the channels yourself in advance. This way you dont have to scan and re-scan all the time.
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Old 14-Jun-2020, 6:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pistachio View Post
Apparently, you can scan or set the channels yourself in advance. This way you dont have to scan and re-scan all the time.
Yes, there is a add Channel function. So even if you're not receiving the channel at that time you can still program it in and when you Rotator is rotated correctly you will receive that Channel.
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Old 14-Jun-2020, 6:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pistachio View Post
So I know I am in special situation where most of the channels are coming from a couple directions. Mutiple Fixed antennas vs. rotator?

I was still thinking of going with a rotator to fine tune the channels (plus I actually already bought the one I mentioned before I saw this post, lets see it actually shows up). For day-to-day use maybe the multiple fixed antenna solution is better since I don't have to wait for the antenna to move around?

Thoughts?
I agree, a rotators nice for fine-tuning. Sometimes you need a different aim on different days but not usually.
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Old 14-Jun-2020, 7:06 PM   #15
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I purchased the rotator on Friday and I will post back here to let you guys know if this is too good to be true.

Can you recommend an "articulating eight Bay" antenna?

Also, what other supplies do I need? I don't have a mast or clamps, yet. Will anything come with the antennas? I plan to mount to my chimney.
When you say "articulating eight bay" do you mean an eight bay antenna and a mount that allows me to point elevation of the antenna upwards? If so, is this a good 8-bay antenna? (stellar labs 30-2431 https://www.newark.com/stellar-labs/...na)?:confused:

And what articulating bracket would I want? I still need to identify what mechanical hardware parts I need and if I can source them here in San Diego rather than pay huge shipping costs for a mast.
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Old 15-Jun-2020, 4:12 AM   #16
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Mounting your new antenna.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pistachio View Post
When you say "articulating eight bay" do you mean an eight bay antenna and a mount that allows me to point elevation of the antenna upwards? If so, is this a good 8-bay antenna? (stellar labs 30-2431 https://www.newark.com/stellar-labs/...na)?:confused:

And what articulating bracket would I want? I still need to identify what mechanical hardware parts I need and if I can source them here in San Diego rather than pay huge shipping costs for a mast.
No, you will not need any special brackets . It is part of the actual antenna, you can see it in your link, the picture shows the antenna able to face different directions.

Antennas Direct has the DB8e, there are others that are similar. Basically they are two four bay antennas ganged / combined.

https://www.solidsignal.com/m/product.aspx?p=HDB8X

It looks like Newark has some decent pricing on those particular antennas.

So yes, chimney would be a great place to mount your antenna as long as you are well above the discharge. As you know hot gases may affect the longevity. Do be aware the new antenna can put some stress on the chimney if it's in bad shape.

Especially if it's a longitudinal form antenna such as a yagi or log periodic. If you get the 30-2476 At some point in time it may put the body of the antenna right over the discharge of the chimney. However, I do believe an 8 bay will be less in the chimney smoke / gases unless the wind is right. Those particular 8 bays don't always do well on VHF so so be aware that. If you decide to combined a VHF and a UHF you will need a UVSJ or a VHF / UHF combiner amp or a diplexer such as the ones sold by Antennas Direct or others.

Also too, for UHF considered a 4-bay antenna as it has a wider beam width. It may have a little less gain could possibly pick up more markets. That would be a good trade-off.

I believe that Newark site has a lot of chimney mounting accessories.

https://www.newark.com/easy-up/ez29-...42?st=Antennas

Oh, and do keep us informed about the G450 rotator. If it pans out for you I will order two myself. My fear is that it is some sort of Chinese clone. When it arrives you should probably call the company and see if that's a valid serial number...

Last edited by bobsgarage; 16-Jun-2020 at 3:35 AM.
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Old 15-Jun-2020, 2:03 PM   #17
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...... I still need to identify what mechanical hardware parts I need and if I can source them here in San Diego rather than pay huge shipping costs for a mast.
You can use chain link fence top rail as a mast. Available at the big box hardware stores. You can use either an eave mount or a wall mount bracket into the wall below the eave.
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Old 16-Jun-2020, 12:34 PM   #18
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You can use chain link fence top rail as a mast. Available at the big box hardware stores. You can use either an eave mount or a wall mount bracket into the wall below the eave.
True, 1 3/8" chain link fence top rail is my preferred Mast material. My shop is right next to a fence supplies and installation facility. I was recently told by one of the contractors 1 3/8 in SS 20 is not available. That is considered pipe. Apparently the place who manufactures it had to shut down because of covid-19 cases

However the 1 3/8" 18 gauge is available that is considered tubing. Although 18 ga. is very good in short sections I find it to be a little wobbly for longer sections, especially if you use the whole the 21ft that it comes in.

If you can find it , the SS 20 is the best way to go for top rail. And you can readily sleeve it with one inch water pipe to make a very thick and strong (heavy) mast. I did it, because I used the full 21' section.

In this case, I doubt that he's going to need 21 feet, but just food for thought in case he goes all the way to the ground to mount the base and make an eave mount like Tower Guy is suggesting.

Last edited by bobsgarage; 16-Jun-2020 at 3:16 PM.
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Old 16-Jun-2020, 1:36 PM   #19
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You can also get rigid electrical conduit at the local big box store. I've used the 1 1/2 in 10 foot lengths with no issues. Although 20 feet of it would be quite heavy.

IMC conduit would be lighter but is harder to find and still stiffer than the common EMT conduit.
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Old 16-Jun-2020, 3:56 PM   #20
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You can also get rigid electrical conduit at the local big box store. I've used the 1 1/2 in 10 foot lengths with no issues. Although 20 feet of it would be quite heavy.

IMC conduit would be lighter but is harder to find and still stiffer than the common EMT conduit.
I use EMT for masts all the time for TV and ham radio use. Just be aware that the outside diameter is larger than the trade size designator of the EMT.

1" EMT is 1.163" outside diameter (close to standard 1-1/4" TV mast)
1-1/4" EMT is 1.510" outside diameter
1-1/2" EMT is 1.74" outside diameter

Always be sure what size mast your TV antenna can accomodate. Some will not fit on 1-1/2" EMT.

Also to note, I have a friend who made a 26 ft. telescoping mast from three sections of EMT in the sizes shown above. Each section overlaps by 24" and the sections are locked in place with 1/4" bolts.
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