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Old 21-Feb-2017, 6:52 AM   #1
Peoples16127
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System Recommendations

Cable company just notified us that rates are going up again, it is time to cut the cord. But we are 33 miles or more from broadcast stations, see attached.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e6a430834b0293

I contacted Winegard and they responded;

Based on your address our amplified Flatwave model FL5500A would work, again you are only going to get a few channels.

We do not have any trees or obstructions near the house.

I want to feed three televisions.

What equipment would you recommend?

Thanks
Rich
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Old 21-Feb-2017, 1:35 PM   #2
Thunder7
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I just started playing with one of those this week, and I can say that it receives the UHF channels good (I am a bit closer ~21-24 miles from most signals) and those come in crystal clear....my issue is the VHF-Hi channels....they are not doing so good (even thought they are in the same general direction from my home and distance). I am looking at alternatives now for those (as NBC is one of them). So my guess is, your situation may be similar since this antenna is rated at 50 miles max.
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Old 22-Feb-2017, 3:46 PM   #3
Peoples16127
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Thank you for the feedback, I am not sure what to do. Last year I tried a large outdoor antenna that I had from the analogue days with an amplifier. Reception was not good and I gave up and stayed with cable. But now they want $200 per month, and I do not have any other providers in our area.

Please let me know what you learn.

Rich
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Old 22-Feb-2017, 6:09 PM   #4
Jake V
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The Flatwave model FL5500A is not the best antenna for your plot.

Your TV Fool Report is only resolved to the block level. Please use these instructions to prepare a more accurate report: http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=14508

What "large outdoor antenna" and what "amplifier" did you use? If you can't find the model numbers please post photos.
Where did you you use it?
What direction did you aim it and what was between it and the towers (i.e., trees, houses, etc.)? I'm expecting roughly WSW (about 270 degrees towards Youngstown)?
If you were feeding 3 televisions what splitter did you use? How long were the cable runs?
What specific channels did you receive (real channel + call sign)?
Are you trying it with one uninterrupted cable length direct to one tv for initial testing?
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Old 22-Feb-2017, 6:19 PM   #5
rabbit73
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Welcome, Rich

Your tvfool report looks promising, but it is only to block level, so it might not list the accurate signal strengths at your exact location. You can do a more accurate report here if you move the cursor by drag and drop to your antenna location:
http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?opti...pper&Itemid=90

But going by your report you should be able to get the basic networks from a few channels as Winegard said. The channels are all UHF, and their antenna works best on UHF, but the antenna element itself doesn't have much gain, so they try to compensate for that by adding an amp.

I think it would be better to start with a UHF antenna that has more gain and add a preamp if necessary.

Quote:
Last year I tried a large outdoor antenna that I had from the analogue days with an amplifier. Reception was not good and I gave up and stayed with cable.
You should have been able to do better, so I'm wondering what went wrong, so that we can keep it from happening again. Can you tell us more about that antenna and the preamp? Some photos might help.

The antenna I suggest is the Antennas Direct DB4e, mounted outside, and aimed at 265 degrees magnetic.

Try it first with just one TV. If the signals are too weak, then add a preamp like the Antennas Direct Juice or Channel Master 7778.

Once you have good signals with one TV, then add a splitter. If the signals are too weak with a splitter, replace the splitter with a Channel Master 3414 distribution amp.

WKBN should give you CBS, Fox, and ION
http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...&callsign=wkbn

WFMJ should give you NBC and CW
http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...&callsign=wfmj

WYTV should give you ABC, MyN, and Bounce
http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...&callsign=wytv

WYFX should give you Fox, GetTV, and Laff
http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...&callsign=wyfx

and you might even get WNEO PBS
http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...&callsign=wneo

WQED might be possible if you want PBS and Create, but you would need to add a VHF-High antenna aimed at 187 degrees magnetic and combine it with your UHF antenna with a UVSJ.
http://www.rabbitears.info/market.ph...&callsign=wqed

If the antenna is outside, the coax shield should be grounded with a grounding block that is connected to the house electrical system ground with 10 gauge copper wire for electrical safety and to reject interference. For further compliance with the electrical code (NEC), the mast should also be grounded in a similar manner to drain any buildup of static charge which will tend to discourage a strike, but the system will not survive a direct strike.

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Last edited by rabbit73; 1-Mar-2017 at 6:24 PM.
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Old 22-Feb-2017, 6:28 PM   #6
Peoples16127
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I redid the tool as suggest above and there was no difference in the results. I will get the info on the antenna and the amplifier later today.

Thanks
Rich
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Old 24-Feb-2017, 10:13 AM   #7
Peoples16127
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I couldn't find the amplifier that I tried before, but it looked similar to the attached, also attached is a similar antenna.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/322419864060...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

http://www.ebay.com/itm/331990363128...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Last edited by Peoples16127; 24-Feb-2017 at 10:15 AM. Reason: fix links
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Old 24-Feb-2017, 3:02 PM   #8
ADTech
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A large all-channel antenna like one of that size should do fine. I wouldn't recommend that you buy one of them (at this moment), but I would recommend giving the one you have an appropriate test.

Go by your local Lowe's store and see if they have one of these: https://www.lowes.com/pd/RCA-Outdoor...former/3724168 Not all stores happen to stock it, so check online first. That particular transformer is the same cheap component that Winegard uses on the RCA-branded antennas that they manufacture for VOXX. It works well enough if you manage to install it without breaking it as the leads are VERY flimsy.

Try the new matching transformer, clean any corrosion from both the transformer matching leads as well as any connections between phasing lines, use a NEW length of coaxial cable from the antenna to your TV set that you will be using for your testing. Take that old amplifier and drop it off at a local recycling operation. If you were using the specific model you showed, that would explain a good deal of your unfortunate results as it's an FM/VHF only and is intended to specifically block UHF channels.

These suggestions are based on the specific information you provided. If that information was not correct or was otherwise faulty, then my recommendations are not based on your actual conditions and are probably incomplete. However, simply doing the maintenance on the antenna, a new transformer and a new coax takes everything to a fresh start and eliminates a lot of potential pitfalls that are yet to be discovered.
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Old 24-Feb-2017, 3:18 PM   #9
Peoples16127
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Thank you very much for the excellent suggestions, I will try them and report back.

Rich
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Old 28-Feb-2017, 12:14 AM   #10
Peoples16127
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I found the amplifier I tried, I was not certain how to connect to it. There are UHF and VHF inputs, but I am using a single coax from the antenna, what is the correct way to hook it up?

Thanks
Rich
Attached Images
File Type: jpg AMP1.jpg (113.2 KB, 243 views)
File Type: jpg AMP2.jpg (31.9 KB, 248 views)
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Old 28-Feb-2017, 1:33 AM   #11
rabbit73
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I couldn't find any manual for that amp, but I did find an old photo that shows the VHF input at the right end that you did not include in your photo.





Your strongest channels are UHF, so just connect the antenna coax to the UHF input.

If you also want to try for the weak VHF channels, then connect the antenna coax to the common port of a UVSJ, connect the VHF port of the UVSJ to the VHF input of the amp, and connect the UHF port of the UVSJ to the UHF input of the amp.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Winegard DA-8300-3L.jpg (117.4 KB, 677 views)
File Type: jpg Winegard DA-8300b.jpg (97.8 KB, 660 views)
__________________
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Last edited by rabbit73; 28-Feb-2017 at 1:41 AM.
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Old 28-Feb-2017, 11:43 PM   #12
Peoples16127
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You are correct, I cut off the right hand side of the amp when I took the picture.

I had never heard of a UVSJ, I tried to use a normal signal splitter, maybe that part of my problem.

When the weather warms up a bit and the rain stops, I will install again and try again.

Thanks
Rich
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Old 1-Mar-2017, 10:32 AM   #13
Peoples16127
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Is this the correct splitter for a single antenna cable to an amp with VHF and UHF inputs?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/LEVITON-VHF-...cAAOSwA3dYcbd1

Thanks
Rich
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Old 1-Mar-2017, 5:34 PM   #14
rabbit73
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That would probably work OK. It has two coax leads to connect to the amp. A more conventional UVSJ has a metal case for shielding, but would require two jumper coax leads.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Leviton C5157UVSJ_2.jpg (178.4 KB, 231 views)
File Type: jpg Leviton C5157UVSJback2.jpg (174.6 KB, 237 views)
__________________
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Last edited by rabbit73; 1-Mar-2017 at 6:29 PM.
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Old 1-Mar-2017, 5:50 PM   #15
ADTech
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I'll repeat my earlier recommendation to recycle the old amp.

In all but the most rosy of scenarios, it will cause you nothing but grief. You don't know ANYTHING about it's technical parameters and you haven't even established an actual need for any amplifier. It was likely designed for use by installation professionals in large cable TV systems, probably in apartment or hotel buildings several decades ago. It is unlikely to be a fit for your particular situation.

My recommendation is KISS.
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Old 2-Mar-2017, 2:50 AM   #16
Peoples16127
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I will try without the amp first and see what I can get.

Thanks
Rich
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