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Old 4-Mar-2014, 6:03 AM   #1
Falconers
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Location: Cameron Park, CA
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Antenna Advice for Foothills east of Sacramento (Cameron Park)

Ive already ditched Dish and have been living without OTA for a year mostly streaming content on AppleTV with Netflix & Hulu, but Im missing stuff on my local broadcast like the news & sports.

Id like to get recommendations for the right equipment and avoid things that wont work. Id rather learn from your experience.

Please recommend for the following location:

TV Fool Reports

Height: 10 ft - http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...5b943a7633c493
Height: 20 ft - http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...5b9457be2d1870
Height: 25 feet - http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...5b9462f34f9797

There are no blocking trees around me and all the stations I care about are to the SW (~210 degrees magnetic). The trees that are on the ground tend to be oaks, pines, and various deciduous trees, but none are blocking except that on terrain.

Additional Info

A. One TV with no splitters to a Tivo
B. Cable run is no more than 50 of coax.
C. Clear view with nothing in the way for a couple miles (see picture below), then terrain blocks the way towards the Sacramento towers.
D. House has a hip roof (no gable ends)
with metal rain gutter around the whole house
E. Channels we would like to get are listed below:

KVIE-DT - PBS - Ch 9
KXTV - ABC - Ch 10
KMAX-TV - CW - Ch 21
KOVR - CBS - Ch 25
KCRA-DT - NBC - Ch 35
KTXL-DT - Fox - Ch 40

It looks like I should aim the antenna at about 210 degrees magnetic (yes, with a real compass, not my iPhone :-D

F. Prioritized/Preferred List of Mounting Locations

1. Exterior Wall - In a perfect world, Id like to mount the antenna to the old Dish mount or something similar on the SSW wall. I think the issue would be that pointing it toward 210 degrees would limit the length to something like an HBU11k/RCA ANT751R. Im guessing thats those don't provide enough gain. It is 16 from the ground to the bottom of the rain gutter, so I could mount it reasonably high at about 13 and be clear enough of the rain gutter.

2. Attic - Second choice would be to mount the antenna in the attic. My attic is large and about 11 tall , but room to maneuver a large antenna, but I realize after reviewing posts that there are frequent issues getting good signals in an attic and being inside itll get even more noise. This would easily be 20 high.

3. Roof - If I need to mount it on the roof, Im guessing I could do a tripod. I was thinking a Ronard Ronnie 5 (or Ronnie 10 that I cut a couple feet off). There is clear line-of-sight on the roof towards 210 degrees, so I wouldnt think it would need to be above the peak of the roof. This would be about 25 high. I'm guessing I really need to do this, but need validation that it's not doable the other ways to prevent marital strife.

PICTURE - Here is a picture that was taken about 12 high in the direction of about 210 degrees magnetic.

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Old 4-Mar-2014, 7:46 AM   #2
GroundUrMast
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The ANT-751 and HBU-11 are less antenna than what I would be comfortable recommending. Antennas such as the Winegard HD7694P and Antennacraft HBU-33 are more suited to the modest signal levels at your location.

Alternately, you could consider an Antennas Direct DB4E + CS5. They not nearly as long as the classic Yagi type antennas, but offer comparable performance.

Experiment with mounting location, use what works.
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 4-Mar-2014 at 7:48 AM.
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Old 4-Mar-2014, 8:24 AM   #3
dmfdmf
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I've successfully saved a Dish j-pole by installing a 10' mast extension to clear the roof. Would that give you a clear shot to SW where the broadcast towers are? Does the antenna go to the Tivo and the TV plug into the Tivo for video signal or do they both need a feed? If they both need a feed then you'll have to split the cable and so its equivalent to two TVs. You are probably going to need a pre-amp given your fool report.
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Old 4-Mar-2014, 4:09 PM   #4
Falconers
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Great advice & mounting question

@GroundUrMast

Thanks for the great advice. If I went with the Winegard HD7694P, do you think I could get away with mounting it on the Dish pole? The mount projects from the wall (wood siding) about 12". It looks like the HD7694P is 65" long & 35 inches wide. Will that give me enough antenna to attach it to? It would mostly be hanging off one side with about 6" on one side and the rest on the other to maintain clearance from the wall.

I'm really intrigued by the DB4E + CS5 recommendation. I would never have come up with that on my own, but it appears to be a great fit for my situation for mounting on the exterior wall, since I have a clear view that direction. I think I'm going this direction unless someone with good mounting experience says that I'm not crazy for trying to mount the HD7694P on an unused Dish mount.

@dmfdmf

Thanks for the reminder about the Tivo. I will only directly connect to it, not the TV, too. But that brings up another great point. If it can record more than one show at a time, I'm guessing it effectively is doing an internal split and needs the pre-amplifier? It looks like a 10G201 preamp is the way to go based on consistent recommendations for it from Teleview.

About the extension. Great idea, but unfortunately my overhang is 28" including the rain gutter all the way around my house. The Dish mount only sticks out about a foot. But I guess I could extend it up so both the DB4E + CS5 are on the same mount instead of making another one for the other.
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Old 4-Mar-2014, 4:17 PM   #5
teleview
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Looking at the , Digital Current Plus Pending Applications Included Channel List.

Looks like you will be receiving down the channel list to at least , KQCA-DT MyNetwork and KSPX-DT ION.

I recommend the , HD7694P antenna or HBU33 antenna.

And the , Ronnei tripod.

A antenna system amplifier will most likely not be required for the Tivo/Tv connection.
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Old 4-Mar-2014, 5:09 PM   #6
GroundUrMast
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If the existing J-pole is wall mounted, there may not be enough clearance to the rear for the 7694 or HBU-33. (Your description and measurements make me fairly certain that the existing wall mounted J-pole is not going to work with the typical Yagi style antenna.) A DB4E would be a much better option in such a case. However, there won't be room for the CS5 on the same J-pole. If you opt for the two antenna solution, they can be on the same mast, separated by at least 3'. They can also be mounted separately. I believe the CS5 ships with a UHF/VHF combiner so you'll be able to run one down-lead into the house.

Given the edge path conditions due to the obstructing terrain, we don't know if the wall mounted site is going to provide reliable reception. I would simply try the location that you prefer, if it works, great... If needed, move on to the next most preferred site, testing reception before committing to holes in the wall, eve or roof.

I would try the install with no preamp... Why spend money if it adds no value? http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=13646 If the need for amplification is proven, the 10G201 is a good option, as is the RCA TVPRAMP1R.
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Old 4-Mar-2014, 5:15 PM   #7
Falconers
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Looks like I have a good plan... Time to get to working on it!

I'm going the DB4e + CS5 route without a pre-amp to start. One less thing to break if I don't end up needing it.

I'll update with how things work out. Thanks!
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Old 7-Mar-2014, 6:05 AM   #8
Falconers
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Thumbs up Great preliminary results!

Amazon delivered the CS5 and DB4e antennas today. I assembled them and did a quick sanity check. I connected each individually directly to the TV with a 50 foot coax cable.

I received 24 channels with the CS5 and 42 channels with the DB4e. I was surprised how well the CS5 picked up UHF channels. The DB4e picked up the UHF channels a lot better, most in the mid 80% to 90% range, where they where in the mid 60% range for the CS5.

Now keep in mind that I had the antennas of sitting on my son's bed, roughly pointed in the direction of the towers, and the towers were on the opposite side of house.

I'm planning to mount the antennas this weekend. I'll share a final update when the job is done. I get so many stations, I'll probably add a splitter to route them to my son's TV, too.

Thanks again for your help! I was initially skeptical I'd get anything after looking at the antennaweb Internet site. TVFool is awesome!
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Old 7-Mar-2014, 5:16 PM   #9
GroundUrMast
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Thanks for the update... Yes, the CS5 has some UHF capability. If I understand correctly, the design goal was a modestly directional H-VHF solution... It was later discovered that the antenna has incidental UHF capability that happens to be approximately omnidirectional.

Looking forward to your next report...
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Old 10-Mar-2014, 8:51 PM   #10
Falconers
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Great Final Results!

I mounted the antennas this weekend, and the reception is great and has surpassed my expectations. I ended up picking up 93 channels and mounted it on my exterior wall facing about 220 degrees. I received all of the local Sacramento area network channels with a solid signal and also many of the San Francisco Bay area channels that are about 100 miles away with a solid signal, as well.

The weakest signal UHF I reliably get is from KBCW and VHF signal is KNTV from the San Francisco area, but some of the signals that are supposed to be a little stronger don't come in reliably enough for me to want to have in my programming. I could probably climb back up on the ladder and fine-tune the aim to improve a couple more stations, but I'm more than satisfied with the number and quality of the signals I receive. I am not using a pre-amp, but did some testing with an RCA TVPRAMP1R and found it made the signals stronger but less reliable (cutting in with the pre-am and out versus completely normal and stable without it). It made a marginal improvement with the UHF, but the issue I have is that when the power is out for some reason; the signal is horrible.

I also confirmed that reception, even to the distant San Francisco stations like KRON-TV, worked well both in clear weather yesterday and heavy rains this morning.

Reception was the same using the 4 tuner Tivo Roamio base model compared to my Panasonic TV digital tuner, and I highly recommend it to people who are used to DVRs or video on demand. It does a great job tying my Netflix and Hulu Plus in with my local channels and shows with the integrated search.

The only snafu I ran into was the wiring in the existing wiring in my wall to the outlet I tried to reuse that was previously for a Dish install. The signal was terrible, but worked great when I ran a direct wire. I spent some time in the attic pulling new wire, which overall resulted in a shorter run. It's about 70 feet total, a little longer than I though it would end up being. I mounted the diplexer to combine the UHF/VHF signals that came with the CS5 antenna in the included box below the overhang.

In case it matters to anyone, here is a picture of the mounted antennas on the exterior wall. The antennas are separated by 3 feet from each other. Hopefully I didn't mess things up too much and that this post is helpful to someone in a similar situation.

I appreciate all the great advice!
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg tvfool-InstalledAntennas.jpeg (160.6 KB, 484 views)

Last edited by Falconers; 10-Mar-2014 at 8:56 PM. Reason: Photo was sideways. Attached instead.
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Old 10-Mar-2014, 9:30 PM   #11
teleview
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Wow 93 channels that's a lot.

And to that the Streaming Services such as and not limited to Hulu and Netflix.

That are Low Dollar services.

The December 2013 issue of Consumer Reports , page 42 , has a Practical and Useful article about Internet Streaming Receivers and Services.

----------------

Pay cable Tv and pay satellite services continue to charge more and more money.

Last edited by teleview; 11-Mar-2014 at 6:19 AM. Reason: Clarify information and typos.
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