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Old 25-Aug-2013, 11:23 PM   #1
kyle_in_rure
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Help me choose an antenna..

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This setup is going to be for a relative of mine, who is getting rid of his satellite setup.

-We would like to receive at least the first 9 channels on the list, (all in the NW direction), which I don't think will be a problem. It would be nice if we could get WMAV 36 and WFBI 33 as well. The more, the better, really.

-He wants to keep it in the attic if possible. I am aware of the potential for signal loss, but it would be easier on him. They have a lot of strong winds during storms, and it's just one less thing to worry about. They have the typical OSB decking with asphalt shingles.

-There will be about 60 feet of RG6 between the antenna and the coax, and we have considered splitting it two ways to get a signal in another room ( also about 60 ft). This will depend on the signal results, I think.

If we can do it without an amplifier that would be nice as well, but I'm open to opinions. I have a lot of experience with the more "traditional" element antennas, but know nothing about some of the newer models.


Thanks in advance for any input.

Last edited by GroundUrMast; 26-Aug-2013 at 1:46 AM. Reason: repaired TVFR link
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Old 26-Aug-2013, 2:16 AM   #2
GroundUrMast
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Given the desire to make an attic install work, use the largest antenna that will fit in the space while still allowing correct aiming. Start by pointing directly at WFBI, about 316.

The 'HD' series of Antennacraft all channel antennas comes to mind. http://www.antennacraft.net/Antennas...llChannel.html Channel Master CM-3016, 3018, 3020, 3671 & 3679 are also worth considering. You have Channels in all three bands, UHF, H-VHF & L-VHF.

If you connect one TV and get good reception, but loose some channels after adding the splitter, add a Channel Master CM-3410 distribution amplifier between the antenna and splitter. The amplifier is going to do it job best if located close to the antenna.

WMAV will likely need an antenna aimed directly at it... The antenna pointed toward the NW is not likely to have much ability to receive from the side. WFBI is weak enough that the attic may prefent you from seeing it reliably... You'll simply have to try an antenna in the attic to see what you're going to get.

IMO, a premium system would be mounted outside, clear of obstructions. You could use two antennas, a Winegard HD7084P pointed at the main group of stations, and a UHF antenna such as the Antennas Direct DB8 or DB8e facing WMAV at 201. An AC-7-E channel injector (spec'd for UHF CH-36) from tinlee.com http://www.tinlee.com/CATV-Signal-Injector.php?active=1 would allow you to mix the outputs of the two antennas into a single down-lead. I would also equip the WMAV antenna with a Winegard LNA-200 preamp.
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 26-Aug-2013 at 2:32 AM. Reason: Added CM antennas to the list, premium system option
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Old 26-Aug-2013, 3:36 AM   #3
kyle_in_rure
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Thanks for the reply,

I was looking at this antenna here: http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp...u=716079000635

Looks pretty good for the price, what do you think? The attic space is huge, we can go as big as we need to.

I've been able to get a surprisingly strong signal (50-70%) from WMAV with a set-top antenna, so I may try it with just the one antenna to see if it will work. We also get a lot of other stations randomly at night (like WLOV) with just the rabbit ears. The problem is we can't get VHF channels and they occasionally drop in and out. Indoor antennas seem very unreliable with DTV.

Thanks for the input, I will run this by him and will come back if/when we do the install.

Last edited by GroundUrMast; 26-Aug-2013 at 4:35 AM. Reason: repaired URL
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Old 26-Aug-2013, 4:37 AM   #4
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The CCS1843 would be a great choice.

Indoors is where you will find plenty of interfering signals generated by computers, appliances, motors, lighting, etc. You also have less desired signal... It all adds up to less reliable OTA TV reception.

It's always good to hear how a project turns out.
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Old 2-Sep-2013, 4:54 AM   #5
kyle_in_rure
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Back as promised with updates. I ended up installing the CCS1843 antenna (that thing is HUGE) in the attic, with about 80 ft of coax cable. We were able to receive everything we wanted and more. We faced it towards the NW stations, but were able to receive WMAV 36 fairly strongly anyway. We also picked up WBBJ 43, WJKT 16, and WBII 20. However, these 3 channels were iffy and dropped out at certain times of the day, I assume due to the directionality of the antenna?

Would it be possible to install some sort of amplifier that may alleviate this loss? I am also still interested in splitting the signal; I hooked up the splitter but that caused us to lose our weaker channels.

Any recommendations as far as amplifiers, antenna moving, etc. would be great. Or Maybe even adding a smaller antenna?

Thanks for the recommendations. It is very exciting to get rid of the satellite bill.
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Old 2-Sep-2013, 7:31 AM   #6
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Since I mentioned the LNA-200, I've been able to read of some first hand testing... Let's just say there are better options...

My personnel experience with the CM-3410 confirms it's a good low noise amplifier capable of handling strong signals without overloading. So as I said in post #2 of this thread, "If you connect one TV and get good reception, but loose some channels after adding the splitter, add a Channel Master CM-3410 distribution amplifier between the antenna and splitter. The amplifier is going to do it job best if located close to the antenna."
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Old 2-Sep-2013, 4:45 PM   #7
kyle_in_rure
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Whoops, I guess I should have gone back and read your original post. Thanks for the recommendation. Do you think 50 ft. of cable away from the antenna is too far? That's where the cable junction is, so it would kind of be the most convenient place.
Also, do you think this amplifier would help with the few channels that get very weak certain times of the day?
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Old 2-Sep-2013, 8:30 PM   #8
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The most effective location for an amplifier is at the antenna. But for sure, it needs to be before the splitter. With 50' of coax between the antenna and preamp, you will loose close to 3 dB of net noise margin compared to what you could have had with the amplifier at the antenna. The CM-341X series amplifiers can be powered via a remotely located power supply with the addition of a PCTMPI1G. http://www.channelmasterstore.com/Am...p/pctmpi1g.htm

If the problem is only a signal strength issue, yes, the amplifier will help. If you have a signal quality issue, you will amplify the noise and interference as you amplify the signal which won't improve the quality of the signal. You need to try and see.

Often the single factor that will improve signal quality more than any other is, locate the antenna where there are fewer obstructions such as vegetation or buildings.
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 2-Sep-2013 at 8:35 PM. Reason: power inserter
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Old 2-Sep-2013, 8:53 PM   #9
kyle_in_rure
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I could always add a short length of coax at the antenna if I were to install a preamp. I think I may have gotten a distribution amplifier and a preamplifier mixed up. Would it ever be necessary to use both?

Thanks
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Old 3-Sep-2013, 1:23 AM   #10
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Given the signal power levels in the air, I doubt you would need two amplifiers. Rule of thumb: One amplifier can be too many, two is almost always too many. If you are starting with weak signals and have some long runs of cable and are splitting many ways, then a second amp may be needed.

I've been presuming this is an attic install. So that's why I've been suggesting a distribution amplifier (which is not designed to be outside in the weather).
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Old 3-Sep-2013, 1:32 AM   #11
kyle_in_rure
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Oh, I understand now. Yes, it will be in the attic. I will buy the distribution amplifier you suggested.

Thanks for all your help.
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