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Old 19-May-2017, 9:18 PM   #1
ota north-south
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looking for 50 mile north-south antenna

Hey everybody,

I live in Loveland CO, 50 miles north of Denver and 50 miles south of Cheyenne WY.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e6a47d8bb4bd63

In December, when there were no leaves on the trees, I bought a Winegard FL5500S amplified flatwave indoor antenna. I was getting tons of channels out of Denver and Cheyenne with no pixelation.
Now with leaves on the trees and a little wind, I get pixelation on several channels (both Denver and Cheyenne)

Would an outside antenna on the roof help my reception? I know the trees are still there, but it would be outside and quite a bit higher up.

Are the round, white, plastic, omnidirectional amplified outdoor antennas any good? The reviews I see range from junk at 30 miles to fabulous at 70 miles.
Any suggestions for a good north-south or omnidirectional antenna?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 20-May-2017, 12:18 AM   #2
JoeAZ
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You do not mention how close or how high those trees are to your
home and any likely outdoor antenna. That is paramount. You would
likely benefit from two directional antennas. A single antenna, running
without a reflector is likely to have issues. Cannot make any
recommendations without more information from you.
Any antenna made of plastic is questionable at best. With the
extremes in temperature and high winds they won't last long.
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Old 20-May-2017, 11:50 AM   #3
ota north-south
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The antenna will be about 25' height.
To the North the tree is roughly 60' away. It's an old Elm tree probably
about 60-70' in height.
To the South there are two aspen trees about 50' away and they are about
40' in height.
There's also an ash tree 70' away and roughly 80' in height.
It's an older neighborhood with big trees.
Last night there was no wind at all and all channels were coming in very clean.
So I know the signals are getting thru the trees to my indoor antenna, but if the wind kicks in I get pixelation.
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Old 20-May-2017, 2:01 PM   #4
Jake V
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The small antennas like the flatwave you are currently using are really only good for locations near the broadcast towers, where signals are strong. You don't want anything advertised as an 'omni-antenna'. They generally are not any better.

Normally I would have suggested something like the ClearStream C2V with the reflector removed, but now they've come out with the ClearStream 2Max. It does not have a reflector (which makes it bidirectional) and, if you aim the flat side north/south you should get most of the channels in green and yellow (though maybe not all of the LP channels). Make sure to get the best clear line of sight both north and south. And use a good quality coax (i.e., RG-6 and not RG-58)

If you purchase it somewhere with a good return policy you can get a refund if you are not satisfied.

Given your almost-acceptable experience with the flatware I think you'll be happy.

You can also consider trying it in your attic, though attics are not friendly locations for antennas. But whether you mount it on the roof or in the attic, test it before permanently mounting it or drilling any holes for cables. Sometimes a few inches one way or the other makes all the difference.

If you mount outside, make sure to ground everything properly.
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Old 20-May-2017, 3:58 PM   #5
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Your local Walmart should have either the C2V or the C2MAX (depends on where they are with their May electronics department reset). If they still have the C2V on hand at a clearance price, it would be the better value. Both models come with a compact 20" J-mount in the box. Purchase RG6 coaxial cable separately as needed. I suggest Wally World since they do offer a 90 day return policy while Best Buy only offers two weeks.

Jake's advice to look for a clear line of sight is critical and is the same that I offer day in and day out. The requirements of the signals being able to get to an antenna trumps customer convenience if one is to expect it to work well.
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Old 20-May-2017, 6:07 PM   #6
JoeAZ
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OTA, you don't mention which channels you receive and which channels
you want to receive. Just about any antenna will get you some of the
channels from Denver and Cheyenne, even a clearstream. The reality is
that by far, most of your stations will come from the much larger Denver
market. Do you receive independent KCDO? Is that of interest to you?
Only two antennas will get you Cheyenne and Denver reliably.
A UHF antenna pointed North and a VHF/UHF antenna pointed South, South East.
You can try using one antenna to receive what you want but I assure
you, it won't work reliably. Any antenna that claims to work through trees
is laughable..... I draw your attention to: "NEW CLEARSTREAM MAX" on
the TV Fool site...... You may just be better off with what you have and
are already using..............
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Old 20-May-2017, 6:25 PM   #7
ota north-south
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Thanks for the replies.
All the Wally's around here have the C2max in stock, but not the C2V.
I also saw 95% 5 star reviews for the C2v. Not a lot of reviews on the C2max,
but that's probably because it's pretty new.

My Dish is still on the roof, I was going to remove the dish and install the antenna there as the cable is already there. I'll check the line of sight when I get up on the roof.

The Dish installer used a dual RG6 and both run to a grounding block in the garage, where it's grounded to the outdoor water faucet in the garage. One of the RG6 cables ends at the grounding block and the other RG6 cable goes from the grounding block thru the wall to the TV. I have to wonder why he used dual RG6 cable?

I'll report back once I get up on the roof and check out the line of sight.

Joe, you are correct. Most of the channels come out of Denver.
Cheyenne does have 6 good channels. 5.1,5.2,5.3,27.1,27.2,27.3 and I would like to get those channels clearly. The trees are an issue, so before I do anything I'm going to check out the line of sight on the roof.
Got some snow on the roof right now from our spring storm, but it's warming up so the snow will be gone soon.

Last edited by ota north-south; 20-May-2017 at 7:02 PM.
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Old 20-May-2017, 7:35 PM   #8
Jake V
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If the location of your current satellite has a good line of sight to both the north and the south and the wiring is available, it makes perfect sense to remove the satellite and try a new antenna there.

As to JoeAZ's comment about being better off with what you have, I disagree. The Winegard FL5500S amplified flatwave indoor antenna does not list a gain (which is telling). That type of antenna typically has a gain of about 3 dBi on UHF and almost nothing on VHF. They then amplify it. Amplification is only good if you have enough signal to amplify. The C2-Max has a gain of 8.7 dBi on UHF and 2.6 dBi on VHF, so you are starting off with something much better. Plus, if if you are mounting it on the roof with good LOS north and south you've do even better. Additionally, if you get it where you have a good return policy you have nothing to loose but a few hours.

As to the reviews you've seen, always take them with a grain of salt. You need the right antenna for the location you are at (for the strength of the signals arriving at your location). A paper clip can work very well if the signal strength is high. The most powerful antenna can pull in no channels if there is not enough signal.
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Old 21-May-2017, 5:41 PM   #9
ota north-south
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Well I was checking out my line of sight on the roof.
That tree to the north is bigger than I thought.
No matter where I mount an antenna on the roof, it will have to go thru that tree. I'm surprised the Winegard does as well as it does.
The Winegards amplifier certainly helps a lot. When I unplug the amplifier on the Winegard it gets nothing.
To the south the line of sight is better. There are trees in my yard and the neighbors, but there are good sized gaps between the trees.
I may give the c2max a shot, as I can always return it, but now I'm wondering if the c2max will need an amplifier like the Winegard does.
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Old 21-May-2017, 7:41 PM   #10
JoeAZ
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If I may, If there is a way for you to attach your current Winegard antenna to a 10 ft temporary mast, that may be
very telling with regard to your reception through the trees.
You can then make a much more informed decision as
whether an outdoor antenna, of any type or brand is going to
help.....
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Old 21-May-2017, 9:38 PM   #11
Jake V
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For many antenna / amplifier combos when the amplifier part is not powered no signal at all is passed to the television.

That said, there is nothing wrong with trying your existing flatwave on the roof. Though since it is not designed for outdoor use I'd do so on a non-rainy day.
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Old 21-May-2017, 11:40 PM   #12
ota north-south
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Joe and Jake, thanks for the posts.
I've been thinking of taking the Winegard outside to see how it does.
The cable is already there for the dish and I could run an extension cord up there for power.

I emailed Winegard last week in regards to their FL6550A outside antenna.
To me it looked like the outdoor version of my antenna(a flatwave in an enclosure), but they emailed me back and said it was directional and wouldn't get anything off the back side. If I thought I could build a weatherproof enclosure for the flatwave that could withstand snow, rain and wind I might try that. I think the north wind would get it though.

I didn't know that about the antenna/amp combos. Yeah with the power unplugged it got nothing.

We are expecting good weather this week, so hopefully I can experiment a little bit.
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Old 23-May-2017, 10:21 AM   #13
Stereocraig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ota north-south View Post


I didn't know that about the antenna/amp combos. Yeah with the power unplugged it got nothing.
An amplifier w/ no power applied will pass about as much signal as a potato.

Think about somebody playing an instrument through an amp that's not turned on.
Same difference.
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Old 23-May-2017, 6:00 PM   #14
ota north-south
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I played around with the Winegard yesterday.
For the North (Cheyenne) it doesn't do any better outside. But it does okay.
For the South (Denver) it does better outside.
We're kinda thinking to just concentrate on Denver and going with a
vhf/uhf directional to get rid of pixelation and maybe pull in a couple more Denver channels.
Best Buy has the C2V on sale for $60. Wally doesn't have the C2V.
Wally has the 2Max for $80. Best Buy doesn't have the 2Max.
Looks like the C2V has a little more gain than the 2max.
When we were getting the 5's and 27's out of Cheyenne clearly (in the winter, no leaves) we didn't watch them much, although it was kinda interesting to watch those from time to time.
So, we're shopping for a uhf/vhf directional and looking at the C2V.
Open for suggestions on an outdoor 60 mile vhf/uhf directional.
Thanks,
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Old 23-May-2017, 7:52 PM   #15
JoeAZ
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Greetings,
By a long shot, you will be much better off with a Winegard
7694P. Home Depot can get you one, including shipping, for
$48.86 It is very sturdy and quite compact. Works great!
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Winegard-...694P/204701104

MCM electronics sells antennas inexpensively. You might
wish to consider a 4 bay UHF aimed towards Cheyenne with it's own dedicated cable in addition to an antenna pointed towards Denver.

Be sure to wrap the insulators (plastic parts) with some electrical
tape. At the end of each, twist the tape so you have sticky to sticky
side. It helps keep things neat and it protects against the wind and
summer sun......
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Old 23-May-2017, 8:32 PM   #16
Jake V
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The C2V is not bi-directional. To make it bi-directional you need to remove the reflector (see my first post). Without the reflector the gain will be similar to the C2 Max.

The Winegard referenced by JoeAZ is a good antenna but it, too, is directional. There is no real way to make it bi-directional.
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Old 23-May-2017, 8:51 PM   #17
ADTech
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Quote:
There is no real way to make it bi-directional.
Well, you can, you just have to open it up and remove the 5 wire rods..
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Old 25-May-2017, 11:44 PM   #18
ota north-south
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Picked up the Clearstream 2Max at Walmart yesterday.
15 day return policy since it's electronics.
Went with the eave mount on the north side of the house, which is where the dish was located. Used the dish cable and ground wire.

Aimed it thru the gap in the trees on the south side. The gap is south/southwest, so that worked out well for most of the Denver towers which are in the foothills west of Golden.
We figured the 6 Cheyenne channels to the north would be a bonus as those signals would have to fight thru that tree.

Adjusted the antenna probably half a dozen times, checking signal quality each time.
We are getting the 6 Cheyenne channels clearly. (nice surprise)
Did a new channel scan and got 58 channels.
21 of those channels we have selected to skip.

So, we can surf 37 channels. No issues so far, a second or two of pixelation on a few channels, but it cleared up quickly. Had some wind, clouds and rain today and everything was fine.
Signal strength is not super high, but at 50+ miles from the towers the picture is crisp and clear with hardly any pixelation.
So far, so good.

Thanks for the help.
Richard
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Old 2-Jun-2017, 1:45 PM   #19
ota north-south
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Added a 3' extension mast to the 2max.
Signal quality increased quite a bit, especially for Denver channels.
Picked up 9 more channels with extension.
New channels are mostly skipped though.
Very impressed with this antenna.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Roof Antenna 3.jpg (58.8 KB, 73 views)

Last edited by ota north-south; 2-Jun-2017 at 1:51 PM.
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