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Old 7-Aug-2013, 5:02 PM   #1
hirosandwich
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Join Date: Aug 2013
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Urban rabbit ears to chimney

I've been visiting for the better part of 10 years when we cut the cord and have been somewhat satisfied with rabbit ears. Being in construction, I realized proper roof mounting on this 100 y.o house is going to be rather involved, so we waited..until now.

First, here's our signal analysis.

True LOS to the primary transmission tower is for the most part correct - I can see the Willis Tower (Sears Tower) just above a treetop from the roofline on most days.

The recommended antenna for similar circumstances I've seen here is the AntennaCraft HD850, however there's a problem mounting this on our 15 foot chimney. (btw, the chimney has already been selected as the optimal location for LOS, grounding, and point of entry into the house.) I plan on using the standard Ronard 12' chimney mount with 1-1/4" EMT as a mast, as recommended by Ronard.

My problem is the antenna will not be able to clear the top of the chimney - rather it must be mounted below the cap. The reason - the chimney cap courbels out 5" and is 14" tall. Moreover, I have three liners that extend another two feet beyond that. This is asking way too much for EMT, nor any thinwall mast. Guy wires are not possible anywhere on this flat roof. Besides, the offset for the mount is 4-1/2" and the chimney courbel is 5".

I've also seen the Channel Master CM2016 suggested for slightly different reasons. I believe this will work with a bit of creative use of a pipe bender, however its beamwidth and range is more limiting. How will this affect me? Is there another recommendation with similar profile?

Lastly, the new point of entry into the house will require splicing/extending 6 existing RG6 another 30 feet and swap the 6-way splitter into 8. Explaining the existing setup will be too involved but you should know that those 6 cables have never been tested. They are QS though. The shortest run will be 50' yet the longest run will likely be +100'. Is a pre-amp warranted? Also looking for an 8-way splitter suggestion.

If you've read this far, thanks. Pls let me know if I missed anything.
And thanks to all who contribute to this site.

-tony
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Old 7-Aug-2013, 7:50 PM   #2
teleview
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The Antenna Craft HD850 is a good antenna for reception at your location.

Aim the HD850 at about 113 degree magnetic compass direction.

Here is how to aim antennas , http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html.

Here is a chimney antenna mount that extendes out further out from the side of the chimney.

Ronard # 4424 Commercial chimney mount.

http://www.ronard.com.

Use a larger diameter heavier guage mast antenna pipe.

Mast antenna pipe is ridiged and does not flex.

______________________

Recommend Test reception with a 8 way splitter first.

Can install a Channel Master CM3418 , 8 way distribution amplifier later if required.
_____

To keep , Weather / Water , out of outside connections , use Compression type connectors on the ends of coax.

Use coax that has Compression type connector on the ends of coax.

Remove and Discard Rubber weather boots.

Rubber weather boots take in and hold water inside the boot , this is not good for connections.

To make double sure , weather / water , does not get into outside connections , wrap with http://www.coaxseal.com.
____________________________

Here are some places to buy antennas and etc. .

http://www.soldsignal.com.

http://www.amazon.com.

http://www.antennacraft.net.

http://www.channelmasterstore.com.

Last edited by teleview; 8-Aug-2013 at 7:15 PM. Reason: Clairfy information and typos.
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Old 8-Aug-2013, 7:46 PM   #3
hirosandwich
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Thanks for the suggestions!

Hmmm, I was hoping the Ronard 4424 wouldn't be necessary. So what you're implying is that the benefits of the HD850 clearly outweigh the CM2016, in your mind? So much so, you wouldn't hesitate $plurging for the the commercial mount? Is there any specific area, given our signal analysis, that this difference is most realized between the two antennae?

-tony
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Old 8-Aug-2013, 8:30 PM   #4
teleview
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As I understand it you are saying that the best place/location for reception is the chimney.

The reason I recommend the ronard 4424 is because it holds the antenna mast further away from the chimney so the HD850 All channel antenna can be mounted above the chimney.

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Yes you can also Test reception with the CM2016 and a different chimney mount then the ronard 4424.
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Old 8-Aug-2013, 10:19 PM   #5
GroundUrMast
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The HD850 may seem large... but for most of OTA TV broadcastings' history I would consider it a medium size antenna. (For what ever that's worth.)

The HD850 is a better fit in you application because it has intentional support for Low-VHF reception. The Chicago market is fairly full in terms of OTA TV licenses, so future additions are more likely to be forced to use L-VHF assignments. I say go for it. Still, If you want to use a slightly smaller antenna, the Antenna craft C290 or Channel Master CM-3016 are fine options also.

You have the benefit of strong signal levels in the air. You won't need to use any amplifier and can expect just about the best possible OTA reception of anyone in the world.
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If the well is dry and you don't see rain on the horizon, you'll need to dig the hole deeper. (If the antenna can't get the job done, an amp won't fix it.)

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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 8-Aug-2013 at 10:22 PM. Reason: C290 & CM-3016
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Old 8-Aug-2013, 10:56 PM   #6
hirosandwich
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
The HD850 is a better fit in you application because it has intentional support for Low-VHF reception. The Chicago market is fairly full in terms of OTA TV licenses, so future additions are more likely to be forced to use L-VHF assignments.
Ah, just what I was after. Thanks for this little tidbit.

Without seeing a modern antenna in person, it's difficult to determine the clearance required for mounting on a chimney. I think the last one I saw up close was 40 years ago...and they were quite large. In my mind's eye, they are all still that large (and heavy) and require an equally large footprint. I think that's partly where my disconnect comes in.

In any case, I think I'm armed with enough info to make a reasonably education decision. Maybe I'll post some pics of the install.

thanks again.

-tony
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