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Old 30-Jan-2015, 3:31 AM   #1
DaveSmithe
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Extreme OTA Newbie Needs Help Please! - Near Wichita KS

TVFOOL link:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...2c1561e5fa3db7

Our subscription to DISH is about up ... and we are seriously pondering joining the cord cutting craze and entering the OTA family.

I research everything before I buy ... in this case ... I am just getting more and more confused!!!!

I know there are TONS of extremely educated OTA individuals on this board and I ask for all input I can get ... I do ask one thing: please dumb it down for me
I know computers, I know ZERO about OTA other than what I have tried to teach myself over this last week and to the point of information overload and analysis paralysis!!

We live approximately 30-50 (at most) miles from the towers in Wichita KS ... most of the towers are clustered, what looks like, within 30 degrees of each other

Depending on the DVR, we may not split the cable run from the antenna to the DVR - but at most we would be running 2 tvs.

Since we already have DISH ... I will probably take down the dish and install whatever antenna on that pole - on the roof. We do have a few trees within immediate distance - neighbors - but other than that - its not all that blocked that I can tell, but then again ... NEWBIE!!!!

While I would PREFER to install as small as possible antenna on the mast of the former dish satellite, and not have a honkin' big antenna outside, we are willing to do just about anything reasonable to get good reception from the towers you see in the report above ... if we can get away with installing in the attic ... that would be IDEAL, but not a deal killer.

We would obviously love to have all of those HI VHF and UHF stations in "HD" quality!!

So ..... what to do?!?!?

With all that said ... here are the pieces of equipment we are considering:

ANTENNA Choices (or other as you may see fit!!!!):
- Mohu Sky 60
- AmazonBasics Amplified Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna - 60 Mile Range
- Winegard FL6550A FlatWave Air Outdoor HDTV Antenna
- HD stacker?
- the DB4e HD TV Digital Antenna - with VHF Retrofit Kit (from an email from antenna direct)

- If needed: Preamp - Winegard LNA-200 Boost XT
- If needed: Antenna's Direct EU385CF UHF/VHF Antenna Combiner

- Either the Tablo or Tivo OTA for recording

- New RG6 quad shield cable (please recommend some suggestions)


Any and all information / guidance is greatly appreciated!!!



other Information - regarding stations ... From AntennaPoint - here are the towers they found with directions and miles:
KSAS-TV FOX 26 24.1 UHF 350.0 kW Wichita 31.26 mi 287.14
KSNW NBC 45 3.1 UHF 891.0 kW Wichita 31.39 mi 286.55
KAKE-TV ABC 10 10.1 VHF 24.63 kW Wichita 31.78 mi 287.32
KDCU-DT 31 0.1 UHF 570.0 kW Derby 32.49 mi 289.36
KMTW MYTV 35 36.1 UHF 1000.0 kW Hutchinson 36.19 mi 304.33
KWCH-TV CBS 19 12.1 UHF 1000.0 kW Hutchinson 52.25 mi 303.54
KSCW CW 12 33.1 VHF 19.1 kW Wichita 52.25 mi 303.54
KPTS PBS 8 8.1 VHF 9.28 kW Hutchinson 52.66 mi 302.82


If there is any other information you need ... please let me know!

thanks in advance!!!!

David
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Old 30-Jan-2015, 6:40 AM   #2
GroundUrMast
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I'd use a DB4E + Antennacraft Y5713. Use an RCA TVPRAMP1R set for 'separate' UHF and VHF inputs and FM trap 'on'. Connect the DB4E to the UHF input and the Y5713 to the VHF input of the preamp.

Mounted outdoors, clear of obstructions, this combination should be expected to provide reliable reception of most if not all of the top 15 (or more) stations listed on your TV Fool report.

I've not been disappointed with the factory assembled cables or the bulk RG-6 cable sold at Home Depot. Quite a few years ago, I was very disappointed with product from Radio Shack, but in recent years have found some of their products to be satisfactory... Though a bit pricey. No need to use quad-shield coax.

To feed two TVs and a DVR, I'd use an Ideal 85-133 3-way splitter. (Many 3-way splitters including the 85-133 have two ports that will have twice the loss of the remaining. The ports on the 85-133 are labeled 4 dB, 8dB & 8dB. use the 4 dB port to drive the longest run of coax.)

Please consider grounding the antenna system: http://forum.tvfool.com/showpost.php...4&postcount=20
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 31-Jan-2015 at 1:57 AM. Reason: 3-way insertion loss
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Old 31-Jan-2015, 12:15 AM   #3
DaveSmithe
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GroundUrMast ... thank you!

While I have not looked ... wouldnt the DISH be grounded somewhere and would I be able to tie into that?

Newbie question so I may not know what I am talking about

Last edited by DaveSmithe; 31-Jan-2015 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 31-Jan-2015, 1:50 AM   #4
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The summary I linked to would apply to a satellite receiving antenna the same as for OTA TV antenna systems. I would hope your satellite dish/mount was bonded to the electrical system grounding system using a method like the one described in the link. If the dish is being removed, you can often reuse the coax, grounding block and possibly the wire used to make the bond to the grounding point (if it's long enough to run unspliced to the OTA TV antenna mast). Avoid splicing a bonding conductor if at all possible.

Look for a #10 AWG (or heavier) copper conductor run from the satellite antenna mount, to the electrical service... Some installers are aware of the importance of this and do the job correctly. Some installs lack the proper bonding connections. There should also be a coax grounding block inline with the satellite system coax(es) and this should be bonded to the same electrical service grounding point as the dish/mount is. (This means there should be two bonding leads. One for the dish/mount and the other for the coax.)

Satellite systems often have multiswitches and other 'satellite system only' accessories inline. Generally, it's less trouble to simply presume all the old satellite accessories will block OTA frequencies and remove all of them. To avoid headaches, I'd only expect to be able to reuse the coax and grounding block... but beware of moisture intrusion and other damage that would call for scrapping the coax and starting with new.
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Old 31-Jan-2015, 3:35 AM   #5
DaveSmithe
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I was reading about the Antennacraft Y5713 and one site says:

"This antenna has a 300 Ohm output (twin lead) output, and requires a 75 Ohm transformer if coax cable is to be used."

Will the RCA TVPRAMP1R you mentioned accomplish this?


Oh and I am sure I know the answer to this will be to experiment, but would it matter if the DB4e is above or below the Y5713?

I'd like to try and use the current DISH pole but I am rethinking this to maybe taking that assembly completely down and instead use an eave's mount such as http://www.amazon.com/Winegard-SW-00...dp/B001DFTGUQ/ and the 5' pole mentioned on the same page: http://www.amazon.com/WINEGARD-TB-00...dp/B001RU3JG4/ ... considering the DB4e is nearly 40" high.

Last edited by DaveSmithe; 31-Jan-2015 at 3:57 AM. Reason: added question...
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Old 31-Jan-2015, 9:20 AM   #6
timgr
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You'll need a balun like this - http://www.amazon.com/WINEGARD-TV-29.../ref=pd_cp_e_1

A 5' mast in that eave bracket won't leave enough distance between the two antennas. A 10.5' chain link fence top rail makes a good mast. Inexpensive (ca $12) at the local home center. Keep the antennas separated by 3-4' on the mast, so they won't be electrically coupled.

Last edited by timgr; 31-Jan-2015 at 9:24 AM.
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Old 31-Jan-2015, 5:04 PM   #7
GroundUrMast
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Agreeing with timgr...

I'd add that I would expect a satellite mount to fail, possibly damaging the structure it's mounted on, if you extend it's height.
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Old 31-Jan-2015, 6:07 PM   #8
DaveSmithe
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So the balun would attach to the Y5713, correct?


I am trying to imagine/follow how the setup would be.

so this is what I am looking at:

Eaves mount with a 10' pole.

- DB4e on top
- Y5713 under (separated by 3-4')

balun attached to Y5713

- cable from balun to RCA TVPRAMP1R (VHF in)
- cable from DB4e to RCA TVPRAMP1R (UHF in)

RCA TVPRAMP1R - FM trap 'on'

From RCA TVPRAMP1R "out" cable to DVR (probably Tivo OTA) - assuming for the moment that we are only running one tv.

(if two-three TVs - RCA TVPRAMP1R "out" cable to Ideal 85-133 3-way splitter - then the from splitter to DVR and other two/three TVs.)

check on grounding ...

Connected and watching crystal clear free tv

Does that sound about right?

I will learn this stuff!!!
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Old 31-Jan-2015, 6:10 PM   #9
timgr
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Re your question about top or bottom, most people would put the DB4e array at the top of the mast, and the Y5713 yagi further down. Supposedly this "looks right" ... plus the top 2 feet of the array can be above the end of the mast.

I mounted mine the opposite way, but my report indicates that my VHF reception is very very height dependent.



This is a DB8e and a Y10713. The other antenna is for FM.
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Old 31-Jan-2015, 6:31 PM   #10
timgr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveSmithe View Post
So the balun would attach to the Y5713, correct?


I am trying to imagine/follow how the setup would be.

so this is what I am looking at:

Eaves mount with a 10' pole.

- DB4e on top
- Y5713 under (separated by 3-4')

balun attached to Y5713

- cable from balun to RCA TVPRAMP1R (VHF in)
- cable from DB4e to RCA TVPRAMP1R (UHF in)

RCA TVPRAMP1R - FM trap 'on'

From RCA TVPRAMP1R "out" cable to DVR (probably Tivo OTA) - assuming for the moment that we are only running one tv.

(if two-three TVs - RCA TVPRAMP1R "out" cable to Ideal 85-133 3-way splitter - then the from splitter to DVR and other two/three TVs.)

check on grounding ...

Connected and watching crystal clear free tv

Does that sound about right?

I will learn this stuff!!!
Yes. The Y5713 will have wing nuts to connect to 300 ohm twin-lead cable. 300 ohm is the old TV antenna cable that was commonly used in the past. Today we use coaxial cable, which has a different impedance (75 ohms) than the twin lead. The balun both matches the impedance and adapts the cable type.

Yes, that sounds right. The preamp will have a power supply that you will need to put indoors somewhere, inline with the cable. Phantom power is supplied to the preamp via the coax. You'll also want to locate a grounding block for the coax shield near where the mast ground is bonded to the building ground.

Note that most coax has a copper-clad steel conductor. Copper clad works fine for high frequency but may have too much resistance in a long run for the DC phantom power. Probably won't matter at 50' or less, but I bought copper for my installation, which has about a 100' run.
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Old 31-Jan-2015, 8:58 PM   #11
DaveSmithe
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Thanks GroundUrMast and timgr!!

what do you think about this: instead of mounting via eaves mount ... installing two 10' poles or a 21' pole (both chain link fence top rails), installing the pole in the ground (6" to 1' down, cemented in), with an eaves bracket near the top of the roof to help support the pole ... running the grounding from the grounding block to the electrical system grounding system.

Would look something like this - forgive the non-artistic child-like writings-Win 7 snippet tool is not friendly!

it is roughly 15' from the ground to the peak of the roof. Installing it 6" to 1' in the ground would give me roughly 5-6' of pole to work with.

Here are a few images of what I was thinking as well as 2 images of our home (first one facing south), second one is a view, basically of what the antennas will be "looking" through.






Last edited by DaveSmithe; 31-Jan-2015 at 9:24 PM.
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Old 31-Jan-2015, 9:15 PM   #12
timgr
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There are lots of mast mounting approaches. With the eave bracket, you don't need to bring the mast to the ground. I don't think there's any reason to bring the mast to the ground on a pad unless you want to make the mast free-standing in your yard. Telescoping masts are available for this.

I would not extend the top rail pipe more than one length. The top rails are meant to nest into the next top rail section when building the fence, but that joint is not meant to provide any lateral strength. And bringing the pole to the ground doesn't gain you anything - the antennas are really light. The strength you need is against wind load; that it, the wind will try to push the mast over, but the static load is really minimal. If you want to run your cables down the side of the building, plastic conduit is very cheap and aesthetically no different from bringing the mast to the ground.

Take a look here - http://www.antennapartsoutlet.com/ - browse through what's available and that may give you a better idea of how best to exploit your building's layout.
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Old 31-Jan-2015, 10:28 PM   #13
Tim
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I use a telescoping mast that is ground mounted and then bracketed to the eave of the house as you describe and it works perfectly. Makes a very solid support system. I had planned to use it for a ham radio antenna but ended up using it to try out OTA TV.
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Old 2-Feb-2015, 7:33 PM   #14
DaveSmithe
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Guys ... just read another post about the HBU-55 being on sale at RadioShack.

If they still have that on sale and in stock ... would that be a good option for my location?? With a pre-amp (Winegard LNA-200) or Is it overkill?


I updated the TVFool report to show a 20' height - as with either ground-mount 21' pole or a eaves mount, it will be at least 20' off ground:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...2c159cd0b0eea7

Yes ... I am still hem-hawing around with what to do!!!!!


nevermind ... I see this thing is 145" long!!!!

Last edited by DaveSmithe; 2-Feb-2015 at 8:08 PM. Reason: wow ....
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Old 2-Feb-2015, 8:12 PM   #15
timgr
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Realize that the HBU-55 is big, with a 12' (145") boom length. For VHF, the size really helps.

Compare the specs.
http://www.antennacraft.net/pdfs/HBU55_.pdf
http://www.antennacraft.net/pdfs/Y5-2-6.pdf
http://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_f...s/DB4E-TDS.pdf

Ok, Antennacraft specs in dBd, and AD in dBi, which is dBd + 2.15.

So VHF the HBU-55 has it way over the Y5713, 9.3 vs 4.9 dBd while the DB4e is better in UHF at 12-13 dBi vs 11-12 for the HBU-55. The HBU-55 will give you a single cable, but I think the Antennacraft antennas all need a balun. You can always add an amplifier later, if you think it will help. If, for example, the antenna connected directly to a TV provides more channels than the antenna split for multiple TVs.
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Old 2-Feb-2015, 8:22 PM   #16
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Thanks Tim ... yeah, I saw that it was 145" ... holy cow!

why cant this be simple?!
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Old 3-Feb-2015, 12:19 AM   #17
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I'll stick to my original suggestion of the DB4E + Y5713 + TVPRAMP1R. It gives you the needed gain, beam-width and flexible aiming adjustment... And modest wind load.

The added gain of the HBU-55 comes at the 'cost' of a more narrow forward beam. This means that the antenna will tend to be less able to receive signals that are to the right or left of aim point. An HBU-44 or HBU-33 will not have as pronounced narrowing of forward beam and IMO would be a better fit than the HBU-55. But the VHF and UHF aim point are locked together.
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Old 4-Feb-2015, 3:50 AM   #18
DaveSmithe
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Everyone .. really want to thank you for all the information - we really appreciate the time!!

Assuming we do go with the DB4e, Y5713, RCA TVPRAMP1R ... I have done a few different possibilities ...


This first one is eaves mount - assuming I can get a 7' (?) post and install the Y5713 above the DB4e with 3' between ...

The second one is a ground mount possibility - and yes its probably overkill, but it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy with being attached in 3 places!

The third one is using the existing Dish mount along with an eave mount - dish will hold DB4e and 5' pole for the Y5713 ... not sure where the RCA TVPRAMP1R would really go. Anyway, using this setup, it looks like (not really in the pic) the Y5713 would be 5' away from the DB4e and roughly 2' above the top of the DB4e (horizontal distance from top of DB4e to bottom of Y5713)

(1)



(2)



(3)



Yes .. I am anal!

So ... what do you think??

thanks again!
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Old 4-Feb-2015, 5:30 AM   #19
GroundUrMast
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Test reception before you drill any holes.

I've been successful using a similar configuration to you plan #1. In my case, I placed the UHF antenna at the top (not a hard fast rule... experiment and use what works best. I've used wall stand off brackets, but the type you show are fine. Use what best fits your mounting surface. I also installed a 10.5 foot chain-link top rail from the local big box home center. For some applications, three more feet is a significant factor. My install survived several storms with 60 MPH gusts. I've since sold that house do I don't know if the antenna is used by the new owner or if they have removed it.

Plan #3 is also quite practical.

But, Test reception before you drill any holes.

Plan #2 looks like it would work well. I wouldn't fee the need to spend the extra money though. And once more just to sound preachy...

Test reception before you drill any holes.
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Old 4-Feb-2015, 4:47 PM   #20
DaveSmithe
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GroundUrMast ... thank you again! Not preachy ... advice well given!!


Will definitely test before drilling ... my biggest concern is the fascia board not holding the bolts ... it was built in 1954

I have not yet been on the ladder to test the hardness/softness of that fascia...so wish me luck there.

I didn't even consider the 10' pole ... duh! That would give me plenty of room to put both on one mast ... especially since from the eaves mount lower bracket to the peak of the roof takes up about 2' of the mast. But will test several locations.

Honestly I hope that #3 will work out ... as long as there is enough clearance from the top of the DB4e and the Y5713 ... as long as the DB4e is not blocking line of site for Y5713, it should be OK, correct??


Hopefully will get this stuff ordered this week and have a good day to install it in about a week or two ... stay tuned!!!!

Now ... what antenna to order?!?!

Last edited by DaveSmithe; 4-Feb-2015 at 5:08 PM. Reason: wording ...
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