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Old 17-Feb-2015, 4:31 PM   #1
lobo012847
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Lightbulb Micco, FL

I am a totally confused novice at TV antenna selection. I hope someone here can assist me in antenna selection. I live in Micco on the East coast of Florida (pretty flat). I have stations to the NNW (Orlando) and to the South (Ft. Pierce & West Palm Beach) . Both locations have stations from about 45 miles up to 62 (most) miles in the yellow/pink good/fair reception "zone". I have seen "omnidirectional" antennas advertised that seem to be good (too good?) and I figure that a roof mounted (15-20 feet high) omnidirectional antenna would work best in my situation. I live in a community with an HOA so looks and size of the antenna WILL be a factor. Something similar to the Lava Omnipro HD-8008 perhaps? Any help and POSITIVE comments will be a great help.

Thanks

PS: Here is the "radar" locator for the stations I should be able to receive.
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...2c1561fc8ec33b. Hopefully this web address is usable.
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Old 18-Feb-2015, 12:01 PM   #2
signals unlimited
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Antenna for HOA

The Signals Unlimited DTV-2D antenna is a 10" X 12" fiberglass antenna that should pass the HOA, as it is is similar to a small satellite dish, with a similar profile. The antenna is directional, but the rear panel removed it becomes a bi-directional antenna which would be ideal for your reception pattern. Used with a preamp, it should bring in all but the VHF 2 (real 11). Available at www.tripleplayantenna.com.
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Old 18-Feb-2015, 3:30 PM   #3
timgr
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To the OP - You are aware of the FCC rules regarding antennas, are you not? http://www.fcc.gov/guides/over-air-r...n-devices-rule

There are only very limited restrictions that your HOA can impose. "The rule prohibits most restrictions that: (1) unreasonably delay or prevent installation, maintenance or use; (2) unreasonably increase the cost of installation, maintenance or use; or (3) preclude reception of an acceptable quality signal."

I would certainly consider the earlier posts here about the Lava antennas before purchasing one. https://www.google.com/search?q=site...m+lava+antenna

More height should help reception. At the least, it will get you above any surrounding vegetation, which can have a significant negative impact on reception. 18' is pretty low. You have two main groups of signals you might want to receive. Use of an "omnidirectional" antenna that does not focus on one or the other of these headings will reduce your chance for reliable reception. I would first try for the large group of stations originating from Orlando, at ca 330 degrees magnetic. You also have a bunch of stations from the West Palm Beach area, it appears.

Whether the above poster's 10"x12" antenna would meet your needs I do not know. Personally I would go with a larger conventional antenna like the Antennas Direct DB4e, or DB8e if you can accept the larger size. The Eagle-Aspen is another popular and inexpensive UHF-only antenna, though not as sensitive as the DB4e or DB8e.

As mentioned, WESH NBC is a VHF-high station which probably would not be picked up by these nominally UHF-only antennae. Note that in general longer the wavelength is (ie lower the frequency), the larger the antenna has to be. VHF is lower than UHF. You should be able to easily get WESH by adding an antenna like the Antennacraft Y5713, but this has a 5' beam and looks like the stereotypical TV antenna. You could also use a UHF-VHF combination antenna, like the Antennacraft HBU33. Again, a large antenna that will have a very low HOA acceptance factor. Or you could combine an Antennas Direct Clearstream 5 with one of these UHF antennas to get WESH too. The C5 is fairly compact and may have a more acceptable appearance to you. Pricey though, at $180 vs $30 for the functionally similar Y5713.

Last edited by timgr; 18-Feb-2015 at 3:40 PM.
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Old 18-Feb-2015, 4:14 PM   #4
lobo012847
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Thanks for your response! Yes, after sending my request for assistance I did a little more research and the LAVA products seem to be of dubious quality. I did find a
Winegard FlatWave Air Outdoor Amplified HDTV Antenna (FL6550A)
● Dual band High VHF/UHF
● +60 mile range
● Weight: 2.92 lbs
● Dimensions: 14”x14”x 4”
● 1 year limited warranty
This seems to be a new antenna type from Winegard. The construction also seems to be much better. It is in a cast aluminum case.

I also looked at the ClearStream™ 4 Ultra Long Range UHF TV Antenna. It seems to be a good quality piece also. But, it is not UHF/VHF.
What do you think about these? Is either one better for my use than the other?
I have also spoken with the HOA and there are not any major restrictions on antennas, except those of the FCC. But, size is a consideration. Many of the "long range" antennas are 5 - 6 feet long. Way to big for here, as this is a Manufactured Home community. The 18 ft height is just an "educated guess. However. I do not want this attached to my steel roof, and the possibility of needing to remove the antenna during a hurricane is always there. I was thinking of using an eaves mount to secure the mast at the top end and probably a stand off type mount on the side of the house. Mentioning the steel roof makes me wonder -- could the roof cause additional problems with the signal reception?

Thanks again for your help. I REALLY appreciate it!!
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Old 18-Feb-2015, 5:14 PM   #5
timgr
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Hi - I'd want to see the technical specs for the Winegard antenna before I purchased. I looked at the Winegard site and all they give you are the installation manual and a claim of a 60 mile range.

I was going to point to the excellent technical info on the Antennas Direct site, but they don't give you a lot for the CS4. Compare to the DB4e https://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_...s/DB4E-TDS.pdf which has quite a lot more detailed technical data. The CS4 says it has 12.2 dBi gain, but it also says it works well with widely spaced towers. That's not what you have - you have two groups of stations at nearly 180 degrees from each other. The gain pattern of the DB4e is certainly broad enough to cover the whole group of stations from Orlando, and you might pick up a station or two on the back side. It is possible to remove the reflector of the DB4e and pick up signals from both the front and the back, but at somewhat reduced sensitivity in the forward direction. You can easily drill out the rivets that hold the screen in place and try it, and then put the screen back with some screws and nuts if you want to return to the original configuration.

Regarding your metal roof, I recall that we have covered that here before. You could search old posts. I know that the metal roof will form a ground plane below the antenna, but I don't recall how much vertical clearance you need to avoid any negative effects. I'd guess you'd want 5-6' feet or so.

Eave mounts are sold commercially, but they aren't meant for easy removal in advance of a hurricane. I'd think you'd want something like a long mast that attaches to the peak of your roof, and which can be tipped down if a storm threatens. Telescoping masts are available commercially. If you look online, there are a few examples of hinged towers that pivot to lower the antenna to the ground - that might give you some ideas.

Another comment - the Eagle-Aspen is cheap enough that in your position I would buy one and test out my reception in both directions. You can get a 10.5' chain link top rail at the home center for a mast, and rig that to hold the antenna on your roof, with a long RG-6 cable. Point it at Orlando, then point it at West Palm Beach, and see what you get. Try it without the reflector and see if you get stations from both cities.

Last edited by timgr; 18-Feb-2015 at 5:24 PM.
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Old 18-Feb-2015, 7:32 PM   #6
lobo012847
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Thanks again.
Is it possible to attach two like antennas to the same mast, with each pointing in opposite directions? Or would they "fight" each other? If it can be done then perhaps that is the answer to having two sets of stations almost 180 degrees apart.
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Old 18-Feb-2015, 8:00 PM   #7
Jake V
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You might consider an Antennas Direct DB-8e with one panel pointed SE (to about 165 degrees on a compass) and the other panel pointed to NW (to about 327 degrees on a compass) for UHF. It is likely the one to get you the most channels.
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Old 18-Feb-2015, 8:26 PM   #8
lobo012847
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Thanks Jake. I have looked at that antenna (and another 1 or 2 similar to it), but was concerned that by only using half of it for each direction, my reception might drop off accordingly. As I said earlier, I am a novice at this, so please forgive my dumb questions and responses.
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Old 18-Feb-2015, 8:40 PM   #9
Jake V
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You are correct that the gain is much less when the two panels are aimed in separate directions. Others will comment, but I think you should get the majority of stations and would be quite happy.

Just thinking. Another possibility is to leave the panels facing the same way and remove the reflector and try to find a sweet spot (your channels are more or less in opposite directions). Others will comment. Maybe a smaller antenna without the reflector could do the job.

You might also do additional reports at 20 and 25 feet just to see.
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Old 19-Feb-2015, 5:08 PM   #10
lobo012847
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Just wondering if a rotor might work, or perhaps two antennas back to back?
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Old 19-Feb-2015, 5:42 PM   #11
signals unlimited
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PA. DTV reception

I would start easy. Use the simple Bay antenna that I recommended, or a similar one such as the Eagle Aspen. Try pointed in either of the two positions of your stations. Test the results in both. It may work very well. If not remove the rear panel to form a bidirectional antenna. You could add a rotor if needed.
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Old 19-Feb-2015, 5:45 PM   #12
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I rarely suggest a rotator because most folks have more than one TV. If two or more TVs are tuned to different channels, one or more viewer is likely frustrated by poor or no reception of the desired signal. Also, many tuners lack the ability to manually add channels or 'ADD SCAN', this means that these TVs would need to be rescanned each time you adjust the rotator.

Back to back antennas are not likely to combine into a single down lead without interfering with one another. An exception would be when one antenna covers one band (VHF for example) and the other antenna another band (UHF). In that case, a passive filter devise, a UHF/VHF combiner is available and works very well. If you need to use two antennas that cover the same band(s), I'd suggest using separate cabling from each and an axillary tuner at the TV. http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=2882

In your case, I'd start with one antenna system that covers both UHF (real CH-14 and higher) and High-VHF (real CH-7 through 13). A premium option would be an Antennas Direct DB8E + Antennacraft Y10713 + preamp (AD Juice + UHF/VHF combiner or RCA TVPRAMP1R). with one system, you can test reception from both directions... Then decide if the added complexity and expense of dual market reception is worth it to you.
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Old 24-Feb-2015, 10:53 PM   #13
lobo012847
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Thanks GroundUrMast.
Your suggestion of the DB8E seems to be the answer.
I did see a Solid Signal Xtreme Signal HDB8X 8 Bay VHF/UHF HDTV Antenna (HDB8X) that seems similar with a higher gain (22db), but I'm not sure of the quality (it is only $69.99). Are you familiar with this antenna, or is Antennas Direct better quality?
I think I will settle for the Orlando market. It's too much trouble trying to pick up both -- for little gain.
Thanks again.
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Old 24-Feb-2015, 11:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
that seems similar with a higher gain (22db),
That gain number is bogus. Some clown at the Chinese company who makes the antenna who didn't know their backside from an antenna made the false assumption that since each half of that antenna when considered by itself was around 11 dB gain, two of them must therefore be twice that, or 22 dB. The seller doesn't seem interested in correcting it although they've been told the number is bad.
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Old 25-Feb-2015, 8:21 PM   #15
lobo012847
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Thanks AdTech, I thought it sounded too good.
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