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Old 4-Jan-2018, 7:05 PM   #1
jimmylittleman
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 12
New Technology in Antennas

Hello,

I am 60 to 80 miles away from most broadcast towers (I am in Bow WA the stations come out of Seattle, Tacoma)

For the past 10 years or so, I have had a Winegard HD 8200U antenna and a pre-amp to boost my signal - and a rotor to turn the antenna when needed. In addition to the distance, I have issues with trees etc - when the weather is good I get many stations out of Seattle area - but stormy weather takes out a lot of viewing options

I have been reading a lot of advertisements about new high strength, long distance antennas of late - I know that some of this stuff is kind of BS but am wondering if there might be some recommendations on a newer more powerful antenna that might be available. I will be getting a new roof put on this spring and that would be the time to make a switch if there is something out there better/more powerful - any advice would be appreciated
tx
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Old 4-Jan-2018, 10:03 PM   #2
jrgagne99
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Location: Canaan, NH
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Most of that high strength, long distance stuff is BS, IMHO. You can trust the big antennas from brands like Winegard, CM, Antennas Direct, and Stellar Labs. If the antenna is small, it probably won't work well at 60-80 miles, that's my two cents. I have heard that antenna performance can degrade over the years due to corrosion and other factors, so maybe 10 years is a good time for a refresh, especially if you have a convenient opportunity.

Do you need the VHF-Low capabilities of your 8200U? If you don't then switching to the Winegard 7698P would be a fine choice, or you could do a two-antenna setup for a little more horsepower. One antenna for UHF and one antenna for VHF-hi. For example, I have an Antennas Direct DB8e (UHF) and a Stellar labs 30-2476 (VHF-Hi) combined with a UVSJ and pre-amp (RCA-TVPRAMP1R does both). In my personal experience, the antenna combo I described performs about 3 dB better across the spectrum than the CM-5020, which I believe is Channel Master's equivalent to the Winegard 7698P... for what that's worth. I've never done a direct comparison of my setup to the 7698P or 8200U. Another factor to consider is wind load. I'm SWAG-ing that the wind load on the combo setup I have is at least 2X more than the 7698P or CM-5020. In my case, they are bolted to a tree so it doesn't much matter, but if they're on a mast, then it might.

If you do in fact need the VHF-lo, and want to refresh the antenna at this opportunistic time, Solid Signal also has a clone of the 8200U on sale right now for $70. It is called the HD8200XL. Based on its appearance, it *probably* performs the same as your 8200U did when it was new.

Last edited by jrgagne99; 4-Jan-2018 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 5-Jan-2018, 12:31 PM   #3
JoeAZ
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 240
"Most of that high strength, long distance stuff is BS, IMHO."
I agree with Jrgagne99 on every point...........
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Old 5-Jan-2018, 10:52 PM   #4
rabbit73
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: S.E. VA
Posts: 2,191
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmylittleman View Post
I am 60 to 80 miles away from most broadcast towers (I am in Bow WA the stations come out of Seattle, Tacoma)

For the past 10 years or so, I have had a Winegard HD 8200U antenna and a pre-amp to boost my signal - and a rotor to turn the antenna when needed. In addition to the distance, I have issues with trees etc - when the weather is good I get many stations out of Seattle area - but stormy weather takes out a lot of viewing options
I would first suspect that the antenna system isn't working as well as it did when it was new. Even if it means setting up a temporary antenna to check out that possibility, it is worth the trouble and expense. Once you are satisfied that your complete antenna system is OK, then it must be the trees.

Trees block TV signals and trees keep growing. Wet trees block TV signals more than dry trees. There is no magic antenna that can see through trees.
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/antennas/siting.html

scroll down to trees
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