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Old 4-Sep-2012, 11:47 PM   #1
quicksilvr
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Help with first OTA antenna installation

Hi, I'm glad I found this forum before I spent the money on an antenna that might not be the best for me. I've never used an ota antenna....the kids have been living off Netflix for the last 8 months. Football season however, it sparks me into action to try and get the major networks over the air. So here's to football season, 2012.


My TV Fool report:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e779a2e5cc9a61

I would like to get as many channels as possible, but really the major networks are my main interest. I will be mounting the antenna as high as possible on a pole attached to my chimney.

At first, I was drawn to the Lava 2605 and 2805, but the amount of plastic scares me, and several bad reviews. Right now, I have an AntennaCraft 70" 22-element antenna in my Amazon shopping cart, but wanted to wait to pull the trigger until I got a little feedback from the experts. Thanks in advance.


EDIT: when looking at my report, I see that my local channel 26 doesn't have a network associated with it. However, it IS now a FOX affiliate.

Last edited by quicksilvr; 4-Sep-2012 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 5-Sep-2012, 12:11 AM   #2
rabbit73
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Welcome, quicksilvr:

You have a very unusual situation. KQTV, which is on real VHF channel 7, is extremely strong, which is why it is highlighted in red. It is strong enough to cause overload even without a preamp.

The rest of your channels of interest below it are all UHF channels.

I suggest a high gain UHF antenna aimed at about 163 degrees magnetic with its coax going to the UHF port of a UVSJ. This will pass the UHF signals with very little loss (about 0.5 dB) and attenuate the very strong KQTV signal. If the KQTV signal is attenuated too much for reception you could always add a simple VHF antenna for CH7 with an attenuator connected to the VHF port of the UVSJ.

An alternative with your present antenna would be 2 UVSJs, with the coax between the UHF ports direct, and the coax between the VHF ports having an attenuator.
Code:
                          / UHF > coax >  UVSJ UHF \
antenna > UVSJ 1 common >                            UVSJ 2 common > amp or TV
                          \ VHF > atten > UVSJ VHF /
The UHF loss would then be about 1 dB.

If you need a preamp for the weaker channels (like NBC), the UVSJ should be between the antenna and the preamp input.

Some of the other forum members might suggest a better solution.

What model is the AntennaCraft antenna, HBU22? If so, I'm not certain it has enough gain for consistent reception of your weakest UHF channels.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 5-Sep-2012 at 12:52 AM.
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Old 5-Sep-2012, 1:05 AM   #3
teleview
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ALL questions and answers about broadcast tv reception and More.

The following is a Teleview - recommendation for digital broadcast Tv reception.

KQTV is a strong signal , I recommend install a Antennas Direct DB4e UHF antenna (no amplifiers) to receive the UHF stations and the Weak KSHB-TV UHF channel 42 NBC.

The DB4e UHF antenna will receive the channel 7 signal that is very strong and act to attenuate the channel 7 signal strength.

For 1 Tv connected use no splitter.

For 2 Tv's connected use a common simple 2 way splitter.

For 3 Tv's connected use a common simple 3 way splitter.

For 4 Tv's connected use a common simple 4 way splitter.

No requirement for UVSJ's and second antennas and such.

Aim the DB4e at about 175 degree magnetic compass direction.

Here is how to aim antennas , http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html.

Here are some above the roof antenna mounts , http://www.ronard.com/909911.html , http://www.ronard.com/34424560.html , http://www.ronard.com/ychim.html , http://www.ronard.com.

Buy the ronard antenna mounts at solidsignal by typing the word ronard in the solidsignal search box.

Here are some places to by antennas and etc. , http://www.solidsignal.com , http://www.amazon.com.

As always , trees and tree leaves do a real fine job of reducing or blocking Tv reception and so do buildings and other obstructions.

It is best install the antenna at a location where there is the least amount to no amount of trees and obstructions in the directions of reception.

The Tv/s Must Channel Scan for the Digital Broadcast Tv Channels , sometimes named the 'Air Channels' or 'Antenna Channels' in the Tv setup menu because the Tv transmissions travel through the air from the transmitting antenna to the receiving antenna.

DO NOT channel scan for cable tv channels.
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Old 5-Sep-2012, 3:39 AM   #4
quicksilvr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
Welcome, quicksilvr:

You have a very unusual situation. KQTV, which is on real VHF channel 7, is extremely strong, which is why it is highlighted in red. It is strong enough to cause overload even without a preamp.

The rest of your channels of interest below it are all UHF channels.

I suggest a high gain UHF antenna aimed at about 163 degrees magnetic with its coax going to the UHF port of a UVSJ. This will pass the UHF signals with very little loss (about 0.5 dB) and attenuate the very strong KQTV signal. If the KQTV signal is attenuated too much for reception you could always add a simple VHF antenna for CH7 with an attenuator connected to the VHF port of the UVSJ.

An alternative with your present antenna would be 2 UVSJs, with the coax between the UHF ports direct, and the coax between the VHF ports having an attenuator.
Code:
                          / UHF > coax >  UVSJ UHF \
antenna > UVSJ 1 common >                            UVSJ 2 common > amp or TV
                          \ VHF > atten > UVSJ VHF /
The UHF loss would then be about 1 dB.

If you need a preamp for the weaker channels (like NBC), the UVSJ should be between the antenna and the preamp input.

Some of the other forum members might suggest a better solution.

What model is the AntennaCraft antenna, HBU22? If so, I'm not certain it has enough gain for consistent reception of your weakest UHF channels.
Thank you. Yes, the antenna I was looking at is the HBU22. Which I see now, would be barely enough to reach my weakest UHF stations. Do you have any experience with the DB4e mentioned below?

I'm curious why the DB4e would not require the use of a UVSJ, but other antenna's would. I do have a little indoor RCA antenna that picks up KQTV right now...it's the only antenna I've ever used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teleview View Post
The following is a Teleview - recommendation for digital broadcast Tv reception.

KQTV is a strong signal , I recommend install a Antennas Direct DB4e UHF antenna (no amplifiers) to receive the UHF stations and the Weak KSHB-TV UHF channel 42 NBC.

The DB4e UHF antenna will receive the channel 7 signal that is very strong and act to attenuate the channel 7 signal strength.

For 1 Tv connected use no splitter.

For 2 Tv's connected use a common simple 2 way splitter.

For 3 Tv's connected use a common simple 3 way splitter.

For 4 Tv's connected use a common simple 4 way splitter.

No requirement for UVSJ's and second antennas and such.

Aim the DB4e at about 175 degree magnetic compass direction.

Here is how to aim antennas , http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html.

Here are some above the roof antenna mounts , http://www.ronard.com/909911.html , http://www.ronard.com/34424560.html , http://www.ronard.com/ychim.html , http://www.ronard.com.

Buy the ronard antenna mounts at solidsignal by typing the word ronard in the solidsignal search box.

Here are some places to by antennas and etc. , http://www.solidsignal.com , http://www.amazon.com.

As always , trees and tree leaves do a real fine job of reducing or blocking Tv reception and so do buildings and other obstructions.

It is best install the antenna at a location where there is the least amount to no amount of trees and obstructions in the directions of reception.

The Tv/s Must Channel Scan for the Digital Broadcast Tv Channels , sometimes named the 'Air Channels' or 'Antenna Channels' in the Tv setup menu because the Tv transmissions travel through the air from the transmitting antenna to the receiving antenna.

DO NOT channel scan for cable tv channels.

Thank you. I might very well go this route and try the DB4e.

How big is it? I didn't see any measurements....
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Old 5-Sep-2012, 5:24 AM   #5
GroundUrMast
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While both suggestions have merit, I favor the DB4e option. Here are the specs, http://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_f...y/DB4E-TDS.pdf (fairly compact).

It's designed as a UHF antenna, but will still receive some signal from KQTV. It's able to receive across a fairly wide arc. (so you should be able to aim at the weaker UHF signals and still get enough signal from the side, ie. KNPN real CH-26) The DB4e has quite a bit of gain in the UHF range which you need.

Finally, if you find the need to add an amplifier, a single UVSJ can be expected to attenuate VHF signals fed into the UHF port by about 20 to 30 dB. In other words you would still have the option to add a UVSJ with the antenna connected to the UHF port and a resistor termination cap on the VHF port. The UHF signals would pass with almost no attenuation while the VHF signals would be reduced enough to prevent overloading a distribution amplifier. But..... try just the DB4e with no amplifier into one TV to verify you've got a good signal on the channels that matter to you. Then, if you need to split to more TVs, you'll know if you need to use a distribution amplifier or not.

Rule of thumb: If 'simple' works, don't make it more complicated.
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Old 5-Sep-2012, 5:27 AM   #6
thom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quicksilvr View Post
Thank you. I might very well go this route and try the DB4e.

How big is it? I didn't see any measurements....
http://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_f...y/DB4E-TDS.pdf

The DB4e is lightweight and comparatively small. It tends to act like a VHF antenna on the sides, but especially for the higher end of high VHF. That may be enough to blunt the assault from channel 7.

It's a solid choice, I have two of them stacked to pull Los Angeles from 100 miles away.
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Old 5-Sep-2012, 5:46 AM   #7
teleview
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The following is a Teleview - recommendation for broadcast Tv reception.

Quote.
The DB4e will receive channel 7 signal that is Very Strong and act to attenuate the channel 7 signal strength.

That being the case , then all of the channels are received , The VHF high band channel 7 , the VHF high band is channels 7 thru 13.

And the UHF channels , the UHF channels are 14 thru 51.
____________________________________________________

If you are connecting more then one Tv , you can connect the little RCA antenna to a splitter and see if it will supply signal to all Tv's.
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You say the little RCA antenna is working well.

If you like you can connect a indoor antenna to each Tv , You can get some more of the little RCA antennas.

Or I recommend the TERK HDTVi.
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Old 5-Sep-2012, 4:19 PM   #8
quicksilvr
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Thank you all. I have the DB4e, a 30' quad-shielded RG6, and a Ronard chimney mount in my cart at SolidSignal. I assume I can simply source a length of 1" pipe from a local hardware store to use for the antenna mast. Are there any recommendations for that pipe that make it better to use for this application?

Because my chimney is on the north side of my house, and does not extend above the top ridgeline of the roof, I will probably be mounting a pole that extends about 10-12ft ABOVE the top of the chimney. Which will put the antenna about 28'-30' above ground level. For a pole this tall, should I plan to use anything else besides the chimney mounts? It seems like a guide-wire or something of the sort might be necessary.
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Old 5-Sep-2012, 5:08 PM   #9
teleview
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The following is a Teleview - recommendation for broadcast Tv reception.

Antenna mast pipe works the best because it is Rigid , does not bend.

If you can find other pipe that is Rigid and does not bend then guy wires will not be required.

Last edited by teleview; 17-Sep-2012 at 7:57 AM.
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Old 6-Sep-2012, 3:30 PM   #10
quicksilvr
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Final question: what is the best splitter to get? I just need a 2 way, I only have 2 TV's in the house. I don't want the use of a splitter to cause me to lose some of the channels that are right on the fringe of coming in well.

If a good splitter will not cause significant signal degradation, I'll use one. Otherwise, it's worth it to not even use the other TV, and ensure that I get the best reception possible on my main TV.
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Old 6-Sep-2012, 3:56 PM   #11
teleview
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The following is a Teleview - recommendation for broadcast Tv reception.

Use a common simple 2 way splitter.
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Old 6-Sep-2012, 4:01 PM   #12
thom
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Understand it's the splitter's job to degrade your signal. It's going to cut the output signal in half (half goes to one output, half to the other). There's also inefficiency in the splitter itself, so you'll lose a bit more as well. They're cheap, so it's a worthwhile experiment assuming it's not a hassle to run the cable to the other TV.

I'm using a Perfect Vision 22-233 as a combiner (just a splitter used backwards) and am pleased with its performance.
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Old 6-Sep-2012, 5:39 PM   #13
ADTech
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A splitter's job is not to degrade the signal, its purpose is to divide the signal. The signal coming out of a splitter should be identical to the input signal except at a lower power as indicated by the device's insertion loss.
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Old 6-Sep-2012, 5:54 PM   #14
teleview
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The following is a Teleview - recommendation for broadcast Tv reception.

Splitters DO NOT DEGARDE the signal.

Splitters , split the signal to other locations.

Splitters reduce signal level by maximum of 3.5 dB for each split.

Here is the TRUTH , the signal strengths will supply signal to signal to 2 , 3 , 4 , TV's when using the DB4e antenna.

Here is the TRUTH , use a common simple 2 way splitter.

Here are some but not all common simple splitters ,

P-1000-2AP-GX , CM3212 , RCAVH47 , GE 73218 , CNC2002H , DIG702867 .

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Last edited by teleview; 6-Sep-2012 at 6:44 PM.
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Old 6-Sep-2012, 6:35 PM   #15
quicksilvr
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Thank you all. Just placed my order with SolidSignal!
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Old 7-Sep-2012, 5:57 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
A splitter's job is not to degrade the signal, its purpose is to divide the signal. The signal coming out of a splitter should be identical to the input signal except at a lower power as indicated by the device's insertion loss.
Well, sure, its stated purpose is to divide the signal, but there is no division without degradation. The first definition in Websters for degradation is 'to reduce'. In the context of the original question which was:
"I don't want the use of a splitter to cause me to lose some of the channels that are right on the fringe of coming in well.

If a good splitter will not cause significant signal degradation, I'll use one."
"lower in power" is exactly the kind of degradation he's asking about.
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Old 16-Sep-2012, 3:19 AM   #17
quicksilvr
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Thanks for the assistance everyone. I installed my DB4e today, about 25ft elevation. Run straight in to my main TV (using a female adapter for now instead of the splitter) I get every channel from tvfool report that is red or stronger. Signal looks very strong on all channels, so I doubt I will have any issues at all with the splitter.
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Old 16-Sep-2012, 4:05 AM   #18
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The following is a Teleview recommendation for broadcast Tv reception.

Vey good quicksilvr.

Clear clean strong reception.

Plenty of signal strength to connect . 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , Tv's

Last edited by GroundUrMast; 17-Sep-2012 at 6:52 AM. Reason: Deleting off topic comments
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Old 17-Sep-2012, 3:55 AM   #19
quicksilvr
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Tonight I watched NBC (channel 41.1, real channel 42) and my signal was fine. I then installed the splitter in place of the F adapter, and the visual quality stayed the same. However NBC is the weakest of all my signals. With NO splitter I saw 28-29db strength (good picture). WITH the splitter, I saw 27-28db (still fine picture). But all my other channels are 32-33db.....so I would guess that if I really did use a 4 way splitter to 4 tv's, I might start losing channel 41.1...if each split costs me 1db of strength.

Or maybe that's all bologna. I dunno...I'm just happy to have lots of clean and clear HD broadcasts for FREE!. Watched 3 football games today from my own couch. It's been a long time since that's happened.

Last edited by GroundUrMast; 17-Sep-2012 at 6:50 AM. Reason: Deleting reference to off topic comments
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Old 17-Sep-2012, 5:22 PM   #20
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If you're reading off SNR numbers off your set's diagnostic page, be aware that they should do perfectly well until you hit the 15-17 dB range. With the digital system, as long as the minimum ratio is maintained, reception won't be any difference between a "good enough" number and a very high value (30-35 dB SNR). The problem is that, if it drops just too low, it falls off the "digital cliff".

The SNR reading isn't really a signal power meter for measuring the signal levels.
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