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Old 22-Dec-2011, 10:59 AM   #1
DEDon
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Questions about PreAmps and Signal Amps while a waiting new antenna arrival

Although I've been around for a while, I've never attempted OTA reception until recently.
Like many others, I'm fed up with Cable Rates and, since I'm now forced into "retirement" by the economy (I did interior painting and Wallpaper installation and removal) and with Rates going up like they are, I am going to suffer the loss of watching Philadelphia Phillies (my passion) and I am going to OTA reception. I love the clarity!

Here is my Channel Analysis Chart:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...40330a07346c5a

I made a temporary antenna and just have a quad sheilded cable running from it down the roof and into a window in my room with the big screen TV, right now. No pre-amp.

I u-bolted it to the j-mount from an old DirTV dish that I removed. If you soom in, you can see the old DirTV dish sitting on the north end of the roof if you use these co-ordinates:39.714037,-75.662016 It sits just above my second story peak on the N end of the roof but, the line-of-site isn't the best, pointing NE towards the Philly stations because of a line of 45-50 foot spruce tree that are two properties N of me. The trees extend to the E and end at the left edge of my line-of-site, NE of the current mast position on my roof.

I have to take a picture of my current antenna and post it but, I used #8 solid bare copper wire, purchased at H.D. and and fashioned the elements in a Hooverman antenna configuration something like this
http://www.digitalhome.ca/ota/superantenna/index.htm
but instead of the horizontal reflector elements, I just used a 1/4" screen which I know won't work in snowy weather. It was an experiment and I get 3-1, 6-1 (-2&-3), 10-1(-2,-3). 12-1,-2,-3 and 17-1, and 23-1 are all too weak to lock. I wonder if a pre-amp will help. I'm going get back up there and make a minor adjustment, today. 29-1 (FOX) is also too weak to lock. I do get 57-1 and 61-1 as well as 48-1,-2,-3, and -4.

Does a pre-amp have electric powering it? Is there a difference between a pre-amp and a power booster? I'm a bit confused about that.

Yesterday, I "bit the bullet" and I ordered this stuff:
1 of WINEGARD TB-0005 5-Feet Swedged Masting Antenna Mount
1 of EAGLE ASPEN 500065 SINGLE WIRE ANTENNA ROTATOR
1 of Winegard HD7698P HDTV High Band VHF-UHF Antenna

I would like to use the J-mount that I have the home-made antenna attached to. I want to eventually move it down to the south end of the roof so that I can miss those trees when I point the antenna towards the 55-57 degree plain. I realize that I am going to have to deal with grounding issues and the slitters for the other rooms in the house are in the basement on the N side of the house, where the j-mount is, now. but, I have to deal with this line-of-sight issue.

Am I after a signal booster or a preamp to increase the signal to my TV or is there nothing else that I can do but await the arrival of my new TV?

Thanks for any advice.

Has anyone attached a rotor to one of them?
That's my game plan.
Any comments or ideas would be appreciated.

I didn't want to go over a hundred for an antenna. This stuff is "breaking the bank", already for me. SS doesn't go very far, trust me on that one.
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Viewsonics VSMA 601C-10R Amp
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Old 22-Dec-2011, 5:28 PM   #2
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It seems like you are already have a fairly good understanding of your situation. The large trees are not helping your situation. A DIY antenna project can work well, but if there are problems, very few DIYers have the test gear and knowledge to test and refine the antenna.

Regarding an amplifier, you'll get better results using a preamp. The actual amplifier is mounted on the mast near the antenna were the signal quality has not been degraded by a coax run into the building. Power for the amplifier is inserted into the coax at a convenient (dry) location inside the building. No amplifier will make an antenna 'stronger' nor will an amplifier correct multipath or on-channel interference. Amplifiers are able to overcome the loss of cable and splitters on the output side of the amplifier, and to a limited degree, overcome poor tuner noise figure if such a problem exists.

In you case I would consider an Antennas Direct CPA-19 or a Winegard HDP-269 preamp.

I'll be interested to hear how the HD7698P performs with WPVI, real CH-6. I'm hoping there is enough signal in the air to overcome the lack of low-VHF support in the HD769X design.
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 23-Dec-2011 at 4:54 AM. Reason: sp. hear / here
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Old 22-Dec-2011, 5:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
I'll be interested to here how the HD7698P performs with WPVI, real CH-6. I'm hoping there is enough signal in the air to overcome the lack of low-VHF support in the HD769X design.
I would doubt it. Adding WPVI will require a real low band antenna. The cheapest is the CS-600, but the gain is marginal. Better is a Y5-2-6. Use a HLSJ to add it to the HD7698P.

Baseball was better on radio than TV!
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Old 23-Dec-2011, 4:09 AM   #4
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Tv Reception with Tv antennas

I would have ordered and installed a HD7084P all channel antenna , for reception of digital channels , VHF low band channels 2 thru 6 , VHF high band channels 7 thru 13 , UHF channels 14 thru 69. And aim the HD7084P antenna at about 70 degree magnetic compass. Here is how to aim antennas , http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html
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Old 25-Dec-2011, 1:14 PM   #5
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Still in the Valley of Descision regarding antenna.

I found another antenna, even though I have already ordered one, that I may choose. It has a number of really good reviews. This is it:
http://www.amazon.com/RCA-ANT751R-Ou...uct/B0024R4B5C

I failed to mention in previous posts that my home-made antenna includes so rabbit ears. Perhaps that is why I am getting the VHF channel six so well.

I attached a picture of the antenna that I made, taken from the ground level. Again, this is TEMPORARY.

Continuing with the original thread subject, I am perplexed by what has happened since my last post.

I did receive the 8180 preamp that I ordered and, as per the directions, I hooked it up temporarily right at the TV. I ran another channel scan, an to my dismay, 29-1, the local fox station disappeared! I immediately removed the preamp, again, and re-scanned the channels. 29-4 is gone! Before, I had a weak (42-44 strength meter reading) signal that would drop off and wouldn't lock in. Now, it doesn't even exist after scanning. ...didn't go up and move the antenna. I don't understand.

The preamp didn't really seem to help that much. I was hoping that it was going to amplify the signal from 29.1. Instead, I've lost 29.1 (FOX), altogether. My other channels are still coming in but with no significant improvement.

I am still waiting for the order that include the rotor and upper mast. And I want to order a diplexer with threaded connectors. The one that I soldered to my home-made is a Radio Shack P.O.C. without a threaded connector and there are plenty of them in the Internet.

I appreciate the comments and the links. I did know how to point an antenna but, that will help someone, I'm sure.
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Winegard HD7084P antenna
ProBrand Int'l RTR100 rotor
Winegard Boost Pre-Amp
Viewsonics VSMA 601C-10R Amp
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Old 25-Dec-2011, 11:07 PM   #6
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Tv Reception with Tv antennas

As an example , the HD7698P is 168.25 inches long , is not a all band/channel antenna , and is $121.99 at solidsignal . The HD7084P is 131 inches long , Is a All Band/Channel antenna , and is $88.99 at solidsignal. With the HD7084P antenna aimed at about 70 degree magnetic compass , All of the major networks will be received plus A Lot of other tv stations and digital sub channels with no preamplifier or amplifier. And no rotor.
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Old 25-Dec-2011, 11:21 PM   #7
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Tv Reception with Tv antennas

Most of the group of tv stations at about 256 degree magnetic compass are showing some co-channel interference and are much weaker in signal strength. For reception of the group of tv stations at about 256 degree magnetic compass use a Winegard HDP269 preamp with the HD7084P antenna. And a rotor. The HDP269 preamp can also be used with/for receiving the the group of tv stations at about 70 degree magnetic compass. Here is how to aim antennas , http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html . Here are some places to buy antennas and etc. , http://www.winegardgarddirect.com , http://www.solidsignal.com , http://www.amazon.com.
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Old 25-Dec-2011, 11:29 PM   #8
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Rotors

I recommend using Quad shied coax with the Eagle Aspen rotor for Maximum power transfer between the inside unit and outside unit. The extra metal shield is better for power transfer. And also use Quad shied coax that has the Solid Copper center wire. Not copper covered steel.
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Old 25-Dec-2011, 11:39 PM   #9
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Tv Reception with Tv antennas

DO NOT in any way shape or form use that part or parts of the coax that has any type or kind - Active - cable delivered service , be it cable tv , cable phone service , cable internet service or any other type or kind active cable delivered service. Yes it is Ok to use coax that has No type or kind of cable service to get the antenna signal from point A to point B . If you need to , run new coax. Do Not connect the tv antenna to active cable service of any type or kind.
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Old 26-Dec-2011, 12:50 AM   #10
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Taking Advice to heart

I will be returning the preamp and the antenna that I just purchased and will go by your advice.

I wish that I could understand the difference between all of these preamps taht I have seen. I've seen a comparison chart and it appears that they only differ in gain and whether or not they have a FM trap...the difference between them is greek to me. I've read that more gain isn't necessarily better but, what about my situation has prompted your choices?

I didn't realize until I researched the WGDHD7084P, that it is like a little sister to the 8200 and, if I had not shied away from the size and price, I may have gone with that, earlier.

I'll take your advice on both the antenna and the preamp that you have suggested, I did notice that one that you are suggesting, the I did know that I shouldn't combine cable company and OTA signals in the same coax but, thanks anyway.

The cable that I am currently running from my temporary home-made is quad shielded RG6. I will only use quad on any new coax that I use, but, I know that the rest of the house has an inferior cable that the cable company may have put in when it was built. I had already thought of running this quad shielded cable that I am using with the temp antenna and running it with the rotor cable, once I get it. That one-cable design that the rotor advertises was not my reason for ordering that model.

I'll post again, once I get everything returned and your suggestions on the roof. Thank you.
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Winegard HD7084P antenna
ProBrand Int'l RTR100 rotor
Winegard Boost Pre-Amp
Viewsonics VSMA 601C-10R Amp
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Old 26-Dec-2011, 1:41 AM   #11
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Tv Reception with Tv antennas

The quad shield is for the connection of the Eagle Aspen rotor inside unit to outside unit. Standard RG-6 coax of the type that has one foil shield and some shield wires is Ok for the rest of the house coax wiring. Quad shield for normal low interference areas for housing wiring is not needed. Yes it is Ok to use quad shield , however standard RG-6 is not inferior. . . With quad shield , the extra layers of shielding can get pushed in close or touching the center conductor and cause bad signal transfer , all so look at the foam that surrounds the center wire , if it is smashed in , then make it more round. Need a nice clean connection on the inside of the connector that is on the end of the coax , standard shield or quad shield.

Last edited by Electron; 26-Dec-2011 at 3:34 AM.
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Old 26-Dec-2011, 3:23 AM   #12
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Tv Reception with Tv antennas

As you may or may not know , there are the Real Digital Broadcast Tv Channels and the Virtual Digital Broadcast Tv Channels. The Real digital tv channels are the channels that are being transmitted and received. Then there is the Virtual channels , virtual channels are Not real. Of most cases , the virtual channels are Legacy channel numbers , the tv channel the tv station was on before the change to digital. Yes I know that when you look at the list of tv channels that some channel numbers are the same , real and virtual. Even so , real is real and virtual is virtual.

Last edited by Electron; 26-Dec-2011 at 3:31 AM.
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Old 27-Dec-2011, 2:04 PM   #13
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That one won't pick up WPVI either.
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Old 27-Dec-2011, 4:34 PM   #14
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Tv antennas and tv reception

So that you do not continue selecting antennas that will Not work. Here is a antenna that will , HD8200U. However it is really your choice , you can select and use Any antenna.
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Old 27-Dec-2011, 6:52 PM   #15
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The HD8200U is not over-kill IMO. It will give you the best chance at reliable reception of WPVI, real CH-6 and with the aid of a rotator it give you access to weaker signals smaller antennas can not.
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Old 29-Dec-2011, 8:59 PM   #16
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Received the antenna. Now some setup guidance would be helpful, please

I got assembled the 7084, today. It takes up the floor space in my one-car garage! I'm moving the J-mount ( that has two side-struts that also get lagged into the roof) from the N to the S end of the roof where a cleaner LOS toward the Philly Stations will be obtained.
I believe that I can attach the EAGLE ASPEN 500065 SINGLE WIRE ANTENNA ROTATOR to the 2" J-mount, then mount the preamp and the 7084 to the 5' upper mast section that I also ordered. (hard to believe that there isn't a place to buy a tripod antenna mount around here)
I anticipate connecting the antenna to the preamp and that to the rotor and then continuing on down to the family room and the Big Screen.
I have decided not to return the other preamp with more gain because I am going to eventually connect this antenna to my splitters and feed most of the house.

Since no cable and no instructions came with the Eagle Aspen Rotor I am open to suggestions. There are two coax connections on the bottom of the Rotor- one from the controller and one to the antenna(preamp). Given the hookups available. The controller has two coax connections as well- one labeled "Rotor" and the other labeled "Receiver." I suppose that means TV in my case. So, I have two questions. How would I go about running a separate power line without jerry-rigging it at the Rotor on the roof? AND will the power injector inside the house used to power the preamp, interact with the power running the Rotor servos in the coax?
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Old 30-Dec-2011, 1:34 PM   #17
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I anticipate connecting the antenna to the preamp and that to the rotor and then continuing on down to the family room and the Big Screen.
Both the rotator and the preamp expect to send their power down the same coax. Obviously, that won't work.

The best solutions are a different rotator that doesn't use the coax, or a second coax just for the rotator.

Last edited by Tower Guy; 30-Dec-2011 at 1:37 PM.
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Old 30-Dec-2011, 1:58 PM   #18
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Thanks for your post. Installation procedures were confirmed by by a picture I found online showing one and two coax set-ups.
Still looking for operating instructions operation of the rotor.
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Old 30-Dec-2011, 2:05 PM   #19
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Tv antennas and Tv reception

http://www.eagleaspen.com/products/products_1.php?id=90
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Old 30-Dec-2011, 2:12 PM   #20
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Tv antennas and Tv reception

Most but not all radio shack stores have tripod mounts. Or here are some mounts , http://www.ronard.com/909911.html , http://www.ronard.com/34426560.html , http://www.ronard.com/ychim.html
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