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Old 16-Sep-2014, 11:24 PM   #1
sirota
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Please recommend OTA antenna for my location

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...d24391b4723903

I'd like to mount it outside, on the south corner of the house. It will not go at the highest point on the roof, but rather at the corner, trying to reuse the pole from a dish antenna that I inherited from the previous owner. It helps there's coax cable there too and I'm trying to avoid climbing up on the roof.

I'd prefer a smaller/discrete antenna (Mohu Sky? EZ-HD?) so it doesn't become an eye sore and the subject of discussions when I have people over or have the neighbors complain about it.

I was considering an attic install too, to keep the antenna out of sight -- would that work at my location?

What about grounding the antenna? Any suggestions please?

I'd like to power 2 TVs, so a 2-way splitter will be used. Not sure if I need some sort of a signal booster if I split it, given that some stations seem far.

Thanks for your help.

Last edited by sirota; 16-Sep-2014 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 17-Sep-2014, 12:09 AM   #2
emartz91
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RCA ANT-751 should work well. Your major networks are in green which is easy reception. You don't need a preamp. 185 degrees magnetic compass direction is where to aim (south). You have plenty of signal for the split. Good luck!
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Old 17-Sep-2014, 12:34 AM   #3
sirota
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Thanks. How do I deal with grounding it please?
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Old 17-Sep-2014, 7:48 AM   #4
timgr
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This thread is a good summary on grounding. http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=901

Your reception environment is quite favorable.

Realize that if you are not above the peak in the roof, the antenna will be partially obstructed by the building. Same thing applies to an attic installation. Same for surrounding trees and buildings. Might work, might not - depends on the nature of the obstruction and where the stations are broadcasting from. I'd try it out, but be prepared to put the antenna in a more favorable location on the roof. There are professional installers available if you are reluctant to install on the roof.

Last edited by timgr; 17-Sep-2014 at 7:51 AM.
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Old 17-Sep-2014, 1:10 PM   #5
tomfoolery
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Originally Posted by sirota View Post
I'd prefer a smaller/discrete antenna (Mohu Sky? EZ-HD?) so it doesn't become an eye sore and the subject of discussions when I have people over or have the neighbors complain about it.
Also consider the similar HBU11. Or if you like a panel-type, the Clearstream 2V, which has the VHF dipole, or the DB2e with the optional dipole. From what I can tell, the EZ HD actually is an ANT751.

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Originally Posted by sirota View Post
I was considering an attic install too, to keep the antenna out of sight -- would that work at my location?
It might. I have a similar TVF report to yours, and use a DB4e in my attic, with a dipole for high-VHF, and it's just enough on my weakest station, at least with my particular tv (some tuners are better than others at sorting out noisy or multipath signals). Reflected signals bouncing around in there, weakened from looking through roofing material (no reflective foil up there, though), some trees several hundred feet away - not a good situation, so I have a higher gain antenna than I would have used outdoors, like the ANT751r or HBU11.

You can always try a small one in there, and see what you get (move it around a lot to find a sweet spot), but outdoors is always better if you can live with it, and that dish mast is a good place to start. IMO.
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Old 17-Sep-2014, 2:15 PM   #6
sirota
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Thank you all for your reply. A lot to digest and learn. Let me ask a couple more basic questions:

(1) I'm not sure I understand VHF. Do I need such an antenna at my location? How do I identify the VHF channels to see if I even care about them?

(2) It seems that some of the antennas recommended above have a 40 mile range, but some of the stations in my report seem to approach 60 miles. Should I instead look at an antenna that claims 60 mile range?

(3) Re grounding: I should first see what the current dish installation does, hopefully it is properly grounded and so is the coax cable wiring done by the builder. If they look OK then I should probably try and re-use the same location for the OTA antenna.

(4) At the same locations where the 2 TVs will be placed there are also FM tuners (AVRs). The FM reception is not great with the simple wire the AVRs came with, any way to piggyback on the same TV coax cable from the OTA antenna to get better FM reception?

Thanks again.
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Old 17-Sep-2014, 2:58 PM   #7
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Television is broadcast in three bands: low-VHF (real channels 2-6), high-VHF (7-13), and UHF (14-51, with 52 and up no longer used for TV). FM radio is in between the two VHF bands. When you look at your TVF report for antenna selection, only look at the "Real" channels - those are what each station broadcast on. The "Virtual" channels are the channel numbers shown on the screen, which may or may not be the same. Before digital, there was no difference, but now stations more often than not are broadcasting on a different frequency than the channel number that shows on the screen. Confusing, but as far as the TV tuner and the antenna goes, all they care about is what frequency (real channel) the signal is on.

You have two high-VHF channels - KXTV, which broadcasts on real 10 (and shows on the screen as 10.x), and KVIE, which broadcasts on real 9 but shows as 6.x. Before the transition, KVIE was likely broadcasting on channel 6, which is low-VHF, and would have required an antenna with very long elements, but now it's broadcast on real 9 which is high-VHF, and requires an antenna with much shorter elements. Look at the Antennacraft HBU series of high-VHF/UHF antennas, and you'll see a series of very short elements in the front (UHF), and longer elements in the back (high-VHF), but compared to full-range antennas, they're not very wide at all (about half the length or less).

So most of your stations are UHF, which bow-tie types receive (DB2e type), or yagi types like the HBU-series and the ANT751r. But most bow-tie panel types don't receive high-VHF, so the longer VHF elements are added or included (C2V) and combined using a UVSJ, which is built into antennas that are designed to receive both.

And ignore the range ratings, as they don't really mean much absent any info about transmitted power, tower height, antenna height, terrain, obstructions, and so on.

I use a separate FM antenna, as my main station is low power and some distance, so I have a directional antenna aimed at it. But it powers 4 radios, including an AVR, with no amplifier. A TV antenna designed for FM also is usually a full-range antenna, with giant elements for low-VHF, which you don't need, and would be more prominent on the outside of your house than what you need for just TV. If FM is strong in your area (use the FM Fool feature), then perhaps you could hide one in your attic and run a separate coax to the two AVRs.
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Old 17-Sep-2014, 3:01 PM   #8
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The radio frequency spectrum is arbitrarily divided into "bands" - these are ranges of frequencies. Just like AM radio does not brodcast on the same frequencies as FM radio, VHF TV uses different frequencies from UHF TV.

The VHF and UHF frequencies are far enough apart that antennas can be designed to be optimal for one or the other, or both. A VHF antenna will recive UHF signals poorly, and vice-versa. The VHF band is also divided into two halves, VHF low and VHF high, with FM radio and some other stuff in-between.

Look at your TVFool report and see which stations you want to receive, and what band they are in. This will affect your choice of antenna. There is a chart at the bottom of the listing that is very handy for this.

The FM radio question is interesting. I have some thoughts, but I'll wait for the experts to weigh in.

Pretty sure all you can use from the dish installation is the cable - any boxes, junction blocks, splitters, combiners etc. will have to be removed. So if you have a single RG-6 cable from the roof down, and a single ground wire to the mast/pole, you should be able to reuse those. You still need to follow the NEC rules for grounding that are in the earlier post.
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Old 17-Sep-2014, 7:34 PM   #9
emartz91
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For fm, the best availiable antenna is an antennacraft fm6. It is a 6 element directional antenna. It is $30 on amazon. I would just run the antenna directly to the receiver. Since your tv report is favorable. I would expect the fm to be just as good. Your radio will be lit up with many signals with that antenna.
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Old 17-Sep-2014, 9:15 PM   #10
tomfoolery
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I'm using the FM-6 in my attic now, aimed toward my favorite (weak) station down in the reserved band (90.1). Almost 100 ft of RG-6 to a 4-way splitter, then another 20-40 ft to each receiver or tuner. I'm quite happy with it, especially for the money. I also used to have the FMSS turnstile omni, which of course has less gain (less than 0, I believe), but I lived near NYC, and stations were all around, so it was more appropriate. Cheaper, too. I think they still make it. You can also get FM vertical dipole antennas, but they're much more money, and to be honest, I think those two AntennaCraft units are a bargain.

If you don't know what you have, or where it's coming from, use the FM Fool locator, which works similar to the TV Fool page.

But I would definitely put up an inexpensive FM antenna before trying to tap FM off the TV antenna, and run a separate cable. I have 4 cables to my HT area - TV Ant., FM Ant., Cable TV, and Cable Modem (cable co. split the modem off first, before any splitters for TVs).
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Old 18-Sep-2014, 4:29 PM   #11
sirota
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Thank you everyone for the tips and recommendations.

Until I get this all ordered and set up, I'd like to try an indoor antenna so I can watch the nightly news. Would something like the Winegard FlatWave Amped (saw it at Costco for $30) or Mohu Leaf be OK? Anything else to try indoor?

What about the trick to connect the coax core wire to the house ground? I tried it and I seem to get some channels but I'm not sure whether there's any danger to it.
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Old 18-Sep-2014, 5:38 PM   #12
timgr
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Originally Posted by sirota View Post
Thank you everyone for the tips and recommendations.

Until I get this all ordered and set up, I'd like to try an indoor antenna so I can watch the nightly news. Would something like the Winegard FlatWave Amped (saw it at Costco for $30) or Mohu Leaf be OK? Anything else to try indoor?

What about the trick to connect the coax core wire to the house ground? I tried it and I seem to get some channels but I'm not sure whether there's any danger to it.

If you have the room, you can use your outdoor antenna indoors. Clamp it to a broomstick or such and prop it up. There's no difference between indoor and outdoor antennas but the size and mounting, and outdoor antennas are weatherproof. Probably worth it to pay the delivery premium to Amazon, if you want it right away, rather than buy an additional antenna.
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Old 18-Sep-2014, 5:57 PM   #13
sirota
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Between the HBU11 and ANT751, which is a better built one? Do I need to purchase any mounting hardware for them? I already have the mast from the dish, hopefully I can just re-use that if they don't come with the hardware.

Back to the grounding question, I looked at the existing dish installation, it does not seem to be grounded, just mounted on a piece of wood under the roof, 1 coax cable coming out, no sign of any grounding. Do dish antennas have to be grounded or are they OK like that if they use the coax cable the builder put in? Or perhaps the installer just did a poor job.
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Old 18-Sep-2014, 6:13 PM   #14
timgr
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I did a Google search on what the NEC (National Electric Code) says about grounding of satellite dishes, and everything I read said that satellite dishes must conform to the same grounding requirements as TV aerials.

Here's my search https://www.google.com/search?q=NEC+...f+dish+antenna and this article seemed quite topical http://ecmweb.com/qampa/code-quandaries-7

If it were mine, I would ground the mast to the building ground using #6 copper wire, as indicated by the NEC. You can buy whatever length of solid #6 copper wire on eBay - I found that the eBay seller was much cheaper than the local home center or any other online source, even with shipping added.
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Old 19-Sep-2014, 11:51 AM   #15
Stereocraig
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Originally Posted by sirota View Post
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...d24391b4723903



I'd prefer a smaller/discrete antenna (Mohu Sky? EZ-HD?) so it doesn't become an eye sore and the subject of discussions when I have people over or have the neighbors complain about it.

I was considering an attic install too, to keep the antenna out of sight -- would that work at my location?
I actually look forward to the conversations, when guests ask about my towers.
There have even been a few that have completely cut the cord, and are still w/ OTA to this day. (And thank me for it.)

Walkers and joggers, have actually stopped when I'm out in the yard, to ask about them.

It's good to know that people are paying attention to what's going on, in the neighborhood.

Not sure why you'd be expecting anybody to approach you w/ any negative comments.
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Old 19-Sep-2014, 2:43 PM   #16
sirota
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Not sure why you'd be expecting anybody to approach you w/ any negative comments.
I don't know, I'm new to the neighborhood and not sure how the neighbors would react. I was already told my front lawn was not up to standards a few days after I moved in (and it was not, they were right, but I was trying to dig out from under moving boxes, had no time to cut the grass).

Anyway, back to my original questions, still not sure what to order between ANT751, HBU11K (I probably want to get the kit here so it comes with the mounting hardware), ClearStream 2V (just because it looks a bit different and more modern though I should not be buying on looks alone, performance is more important). Any final recommendations between these 3?

And for grounding, I saw there's RG6 coax cable with an extra ground conductor on it. Would that ground conductor work to connect it to the antenna mast and then connect it to the house ground?
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Old 19-Sep-2014, 3:12 PM   #17
tomfoolery
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I don't know, I'm new to the neighborhood and not sure how the neighbors would react.
Aside from any legal worries, which would be unfounded, you said that the house had a satellite dish before you bought it, and I would assume some of your neighbors have them now. There's no difference, as far as I'm concerned. Mount whatever antenna you choose and be happy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirota View Post
Anyway, back to my original questions, still not sure what to order between ANT751, HBU11K (I probably want to get the kit here so it comes with the mounting hardware), ClearStream 2V (just because it looks a bit different and more modern though I should not be buying on looks alone, performance is more important). Any final recommendations between these 3?
The C2V has about twice the gain on UHF as the other two, but less gain on high-VHF. But it would work just fine, as would the others. Go with what you like, either for aesthetics, or performance (the HBU11 and ANT751r have more gain on low-VHF, and those are your weaker stations, though I rather doubt it matters), or cost (HBU11 and ANT751r are probably cheaper), availability (Radio Shack probably stocks the HBU11, but other big stores carry the ANT751r and C2V). But any of them should work well for you without an amplifier.
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Old 19-Sep-2014, 4:19 PM   #18
ADTech
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There's no difference, as far as I'm concerned.
There is no difference under the law as the same law protects the installation (in most cases) of both types of antennas.
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Old 19-Sep-2014, 8:14 PM   #19
sirota
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But any of them should work well for you without an amplifier.
Even if I want to split the signal to 2 TVs and using a fairly long cable run? The coax will go from the antenna mounted in the back of the house (south corner) to the front of the house where the pre-wired cable TV coax box is. The plan is to split in this box (using a grounded splitter, there seems to be a copper wire there for the ground) and then use the already pre-wired coax from the box to the rooms. Should I be concerned by long runs of coax?

Any suggestions for a 2-way splitter with ground? Any specs to look for in particular or anything you can pick up at local stores should do?
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Old 19-Sep-2014, 10:00 PM   #20
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No amp needed. You have enough natural non-amplified signal to drive several hundred feet of coax plus a splitter.

Pick the weakest desired signal. Add the real gain of the antenna on that channel to the calculated noise margin (NM) from your TVFool plot, then subtract downstream insertion losses. If the sum of all that is still greater than zero, it should work. In reality, leave a 5-10 dB fade margin as a surplus.
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Last edited by ADTech; 19-Sep-2014 at 10:02 PM.
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