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Old 10-Jul-2014, 5:34 PM   #1
mountainguy
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Need Equipment Advice - Eastern PA

OK folks, getting ready to cancel the DirecTV and go OTA. Here's my report:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e1c636f821e798

In looking at this, keep in mind my only real concern is picking up the five network channels (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and PBS) that are all aligned roughly 30 miles to the north-northeast. If I can get anything else, that would be gravy, but I really don't plan to move the antenna around. If I can get it locked on those five stations, that should be pretty much all I need.

My plan is to try a Clearstream 2V antenna, since the channels I want are a mix of UHF and VHF. My questions are:

1. Is that a reasonable antenna choice as a starting option?
2. Will I need to add an amplifier, and if so, what type?

Appreciate the input. Thanks!
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Old 10-Jul-2014, 6:56 PM   #2
mountainguy
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Cutting the Cord with DirecTV

OK folks, getting ready to cancel the DirecTV and go OTA. Here's my report:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e1c62159ef1fab

In looking at this, keep in mind my only real concern is picking up the five network channels (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and PBS) that are all aligned roughly 30 miles to the north-northeast. If I can get anything else, that would be gravy, but I really don't plan to move the antenna around. If I can get it locked on those five stations, that should be pretty much all I need.

My plan is to try a Clearstream 2V antenna, since the channels I want are a mix of UHF and VHF. My questions are:

1. Is that a reasonable antenna choice as a starting option?
2. Will I need to add an amplifier, and if so, what type?

Appreciate the input. Thanks!
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Old 10-Jul-2014, 8:39 PM   #3
stvcmty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainguy View Post
My plan is to try a Clearstream 2V antenna, since the channels I want are a mix of UHF and VHF. My questions are:

1. Is that a reasonable antenna choice as a starting option?
2. Will I need to add an amplifier, and if so, what type?
I do not think that is a reasonable antenna based on the TV fool plot you linked to.

I think you are in a multipath prone area, and the 2 edge path predictions make me think multi path will be bad. The Clearstream 2V has a fairly wide pattern so it will grab lots of multi path if it is in the air.

All the stations you want are available at 16 or 17 degrees true. (The translator on real 28 is ABC http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...callsign=w28dp It is probably strong enough to come in even on an antenna aimed at 16/17 degrees true anyway.)

I would recommend some sort of directional UHF/VHF combo antenna pointed at 16/17 degrees true. An antenna craft HBU33 is the smallest antenna I would try. A antenna craft HBU44 or a winegard HD7697P would not be overkill to avoid multipath concerns.

Will the antenna go at 15, or can you get it higher? If you can go higher, some potential multipath problems could be avoided letting a smaller antenna work, or letting a larger antenna have more of a margin for bad weather.

As for the amplifier question:
How many TVs do you plan to feed?
How long will the coax be between the furthest TV and the antenna?
Are you running new wire or using wire that was installed by someone else that may be in questionable shape?

One TV with a HD7697P and a new run of coax of 100 or less would not need a preamp. With two or more TVs a pre amplifier starts to look like a good idea.
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Old 10-Jul-2014, 9:12 PM   #4
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I have to agree. The C2V is a wonderful antenna design, but it's best application is in areas with relatively strong signals and where there is little or nor issues with terrain and obstructions.

Even the HBU-55, HD7698P and combinations of 91XG or DB8E + Y10713 are not overkill in this situation.
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Old 11-Jul-2014, 3:18 AM   #5
mountainguy
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More info

Thanks for the input guys. In answer to your questions, my plan is to mount this antenna at or near the location of my current satellite dish as it offers an uninstructed view to the NNE where my signals are coming from, as well as good quality coax that's already run to my 2 TV locations.

One TV would be about a 40 foot run and the other is probably pushing 100 feet.

Ideally I do not want to use a large antenna but if that's all
That will work then that is what it is.

I am sitting on the top of a mountain with a clear view north, so could that potentially alleviate some multi path issues?
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Old 11-Jul-2014, 4:59 PM   #6
stvcmty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainguy View Post
Thanks for the input guys. In answer to your questions, my plan is to mount this antenna at or near the location of my current satellite dish as it offers an uninstructed view to the NNE where my signals are coming from, as well as good quality coax that's already run to my 2 TV locations.

One TV would be about a 40 foot run and the other is probably pushing 100 feet.

With the 100 run, a splitter and having a channel on RF50 (higher stations have more loss in the coax, 50 is near the top of the current TV channels), a preamp makes sense. I recommend a RCA TVPRAMP1R, it offers flexibility by having the option to use combined input or separate UHF/VHF inputs. It is also inexpensive.

If you are going to use cable from a satellite install, make sure there are no multiswitchs, diplexers, SWMs, or any other leftover satellite stuff between the antenna and the TVs. (For a normal install all you should have is: antenna, preamp, ground block, power inserter, splitter, lines from splitter to TVs).

All the stations you want are on the same heeding, so a large antenna has some benefits:
More gain to give you a margin of extra signal for bad reception conditions.
More gain to potentially bring in other stations in that direction if conditions permit
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Old 11-Jul-2014, 6:32 PM   #7
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The C2V is a good antenna in situations were there is stronger signals.

The weak signal conditions at your location call for an antenna with much more gain. I'd suggest a Winegard HD7698P or Antennacraft HBU-55. I'd also anticipate needing a preamp such as the RCA TVPRAMP1R or Antennas Direct PA-18.
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Old 13-Jul-2014, 9:37 PM   #8
mountainguy
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Preamplifier vs. Amplified Splitter

Can someone explain the difference between a preamplifier and an amplified splitter? I had a sales rep at Antennas Direct suggest an amplified splitter rather than a preamplifier and couldn't really get a good answer from her as to why one would be more advantageous than the other. Aren't both devices simply "boosting" the antenna signal prior to distribution to the TVs.

For what it's worth, this is my plot:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e1c60e02824462
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Old 13-Jul-2014, 11:13 PM   #9
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Distribution amplifiers (DA) are generally capable of handling fairly strong signals. They are also designed for installation in a protected environment though you may find some exceptions. These are appropriate for overcoming loss due to splitting and long cable runs. An underlying design assumption is that the signal arriving at the input of the DA is at least of moderate strength after being carried through some length of coax.

Preamplifiers are generally intended for installation in an exposed location at or near the antenna. Some preamps are designed for use in weak signal areas and may overload if used where there are one or more strong signals present. Preamplifiers can be designed to handle a mix of strong and weak signals. You need to choose the correct design based on your application.

Preamplifiers are intended for installation near the antenna. This is so that weak signals will not be degraded further by a long run of coax. Once a weak signal has been weakened to the point of being buried in noise, it can't be recovered by amplification which amplifies the interfering noise as well. When you have weak signals to deal with, whether mixed with some strong ones or not, a preamplifier at the antenna is a better choice because the signal would be lower in quality after traveling through coax to a remote amplifier.

After reviewing your TV Fool report again, I still suggest you use a preamplifier mounted at the antenna. Unless you have a lot of splitting to do and/or some unusually long runs of coax, a DA is not indicated.

http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=13646
http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=1514
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 13-Jul-2014 at 11:26 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 14-Jul-2014, 3:26 PM   #10
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We routinely recommend our CDA4 DA for non-traditional use when both amplification and splitting is needed whenever there is a risk of strong signal overload with the PA18. This is based on my experience and recommendation to our staff, so it didn't just get pulled out of the blue sky. You're pretty close to translator W28DP which shows up as 'green' on your plot. I've simplified our guidelines for customer service to simply avoid the PA18 whenever the plot has one or more "green" stations.

A sensitive pre-amp with high overload resistance would usually be a better fit, but we have to work with what we have available to recommend. Our replacement for the overload resistant CPA19 will finally get here this autumn.
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Old 14-Jul-2014, 8:52 PM   #11
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I'm looking forward to seeing the replacement for the CPA-19.
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Old 15-Jul-2014, 4:44 PM   #12
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Me too. It's been in the queue for a long time while several other products have been developed or launched.

It will be as overload resistant as the old CPA19. We moved the filtering around so that, instead of filtering out the range between high-VHF and UHF, the filter was re-done to provide LTE/4G/Cellular resistance. Since there's no such thing as a free lunch, there's some impact to the noise figure at the high end of the UHF band as the filter starts to roll in.
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