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Old 31-Mar-2012, 10:17 PM   #1
Kool-Aid
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: East-Central WI
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Help with reception - Near Gresham, WI

Hello

Like so many on here, I have an antenna question.

To start, here is my TV Fool results

TV Fool

The surrounding area has tall trees (50' +). This is where I have my camper (permanent site) and I am unable to put up any type of tower. The antenna(s) will have to be mounted to the surrounding trees.

That being said, here are my goals (wants and needs):
NEEDS
Callsign Net Real Virt Subs
***** WAUSAU *****
WSAW CBS 7 7.1 7.2 (MY) 7.3 (WEATHER)
WAOW ABC 9 9.1 9.2 (CW+) 9.3 (This TV)
WFXS FOX 31 55.1 55.2 (Me-TV) 55.3 (RTV)
***** GREEN BAY *****
WLUK FOX 11 11.1
WCFW CW 21 14.1
WBAY ABC 23 2.1 2.2 (WEATHER) 2.3 (LIVEWELL)
WACY MY 27 32.1
WFRV CBS 39 5.1
WGBA NBC 41 26.1 26.1 (Me-TV)
***** EITHER OR *****
WHRM (WAU) PBS 24 20.1 20.2 (WI) 20.3 (CREATE)
WPNE (GRB) PBS 42 38.1 38.2 (WI) 20.3 (CREATE)

WANTS
wTPX ION 46 46.1 46.2 (QUBO) 46.3 (ION Life)
WJFW NBC 16 12.1 12.2 (ANTENNA TV)

** I know these are listed on the Tv Fool plot, but just to give anyone an idea what I'm actually looking to accomplish.

SETUP
Currently I am using the factory antenna - Winegard Sensar III - I added the wingman. The cable comes into the camper and goes through the built-in factory amp (unknown make / model). There are three separate jacks (two bedrooms and the livingroom).

PROBLEMS
The Sensar III works OK between 6p-9a (I understand signals are more difficult to get during the day). I can usually get most of the Green Bay stations on the livingroom tv (30% - 40% which is fine w/o drop-outs) during that time period. During the day, I may get one station at about 20%.

The Wausau market is at 270 degrees (WSAW & WAOW) - 286 degrees (WFXS & WTPX)
The Green Bay market is 132 degrees - 136 degrees
WJFW (while part of the Wausau market) is located in Rhinelander @ 338 degrees.

My inlaws (who are not technology savvy - to say the least), will be using the camper periodically. I do not want to use an A-B switch. I also do not want to use a rotor.

MY QUESTIONS ON A SOLUTION
--- Can I use two separate UHF antennas? I've been doing a lot of reading and some people say yes, some say no.
----- If using two separate UHF antennas, I looked at incorporating a Winegard CC-7870 to combine the two UHF antennas. Has anyone used this?

--- Based on the TV Fool results, would I be better using a UVSJ to combine the UHF and VHF lines, or should I go with a pre-amp?
----- If a pre-amp is recommended, should I use a medium range one (CM 7778 or equivalent) or a long range one (CM 7777 or equivalent)?

--- Am I better off with two VHF/UHF combo antennas (one at each market).

MY THOUGHTS ON A SOLUTION
- (2) UHF antennas (one toward Wausau and one toward Green Bay)
-- Antennas Direct db4e (or equivalent)

- CC-7870

- VHF Antenna (toward Wausau)
-- Antennacraft Y5-7-13

- CM 7777

- RG6 Cable into camper

- Bypass built-in amp in camper

FINAL THOUGHTS
I lived in one of the cities for 25+ years and now I live in the other. I know it seems kind of silly to want both markets;

however, the Wausau market (about ~60 DMA's smaller) has more variety and I like to keep up on the local news from both.

I know WTPX (ION) is a long-shot; however, I thought if I am pointing an antenna toward the WFXS (FOX) tower - same tower, I might have a shot.

I know WJFW (NBC) is even a longer-shot; however, I thought maybe the back-side of antenna that is pointed toward Green Bay may catch WJFW.

I do not want to go to extreme lengths to get WTPX or WJFW, my only thought is if a system could be built around them. My main goal is reliable reception from both markets (my needs list) at any time of the day.

I hope someone can recommend a solution. Please also recommend antennas and pre-amps (if necessary).

Thank you in advance.
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Old 1-Apr-2012, 4:43 PM   #2
Electron
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Tv antennas and Tv reception

The best tree to use for a antenna tower is a tall straight pine tree. The tree can be toped off or the antenna mounted down lower on the pine tree. The trees branches will need to be removed in a manner that the branches can not whip around and destroy the antenna. Pine trees that are thicker diamature / circumference do not sway as much in the wind. The more of the other trees that are blocking the reception of the antenna the more the signal will be reduced. Try to find a tree that stands by it's self up higher and the other trees are further away. Falling out of a tree is real close to zero fun , so don't do it. Here is a tree mount , http://www.ronard.com/tree_adjust.html. Of the two groups of tv stations , I recommend going for the south east group first. The south east group has WGBA NBC that is much easier to receive then WJFW NBC to the west. And the south east group has all major networks and other channels to receive. The tree situations might dictate the group of stations that are received. The signals at your location are weak signal strength. However don't want a big antenna swaying and whipping in the wind , yet don't want the antenna to small either.

Last edited by Electron; 2-Apr-2012 at 3:14 PM.
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Old 2-Apr-2012, 5:00 AM   #3
Electron
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Tv antennas and Tv reception

Install a http://antennasdirect.com , Clear Stream 2 V , UHF/VHF antenna with a http://winegarddirect.com , AP8275 preamp aimed at the south east group of station , about 136 degree magnetic compass. Here is how to aim antennas , http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html. Here are more places to buy antennas and etc. , http://www.solidsignal.com , http://www.amazon.com. Buy the ronard mount at solidsignal by typing the word ronard in the solidsignal search box or buy from ronard. . I Strongly Recommend the reception of the south east group of stations only with one antenna , the CS2V antenna. The CS2V is a very strong and compact antenna.

Last edited by Electron; 3-Apr-2012 at 5:56 AM.
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Old 2-Apr-2012, 6:05 AM   #4
Electron
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Tv antennas and Tv reception

For the reception of the group of stations to the west at about 280 degree magnetic compass. Install a second CS2V and a second AP8275 and separate coax all the way to the location of the Tv. At the location of the Tv the 2 separate antenna preamp and coax systems will be connected to a Radio Shack #15-1968 remote control antenna switch.
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Old 2-Apr-2012, 6:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
My inlaws (who are not technology savvy - to say the least), will be using the camper periodically. I do not want to use an A-B switch. I also do not want to use a rotor.
That's understandable... but makes the solution more complex (expensive).

Quote:
--- Can I use two separate UHF antennas? I've been doing a lot of reading and some people say yes, some say no.
----- If using two separate UHF antennas, I looked at incorporating a Winegard CC-7870 to combine the two UHF antennas. Has anyone used this?
Regarding the CC7870 as an antenna combiner: http://winegard.com/kbase/kb_tip_res...hp?tip_num=291. A few people get lucky combining two antennas with a reversed splitter, which is what the CC7870 is. However, most people find the results disappointing, often loosing reliable reception of one or more channels.

Quote:
--- Am I better off with two VHF/UHF combo antennas (one at each market).
Yes, though reception of real CH-16 might need a dedicated antenna. Regardless, that leaves the problem of how to make the system user friendly. I suggest you contact the folks at http:www.tinlee.com, to inquire about their tuned antenna combiner product. I believe the AC7 series product could solve the problem.

If the cost of the appropriate combiners are within your budget, you would be able to combine two or more antennas into a single coax.

From what I have seen, it looks as if mounting at 50' AGL gets you to LOS for several stations. As Electron has already observed, trees are prone to sway and find ways to damage antennas. None the less, quite a few replacement antennas could be purchased for the the cost of a self-supporting tower installation.

I would be inclined to buy one Winegard HD7698P, an Antennas Direct PA18 preamplifier and a tree mount kit (if I believed I had a good candidate tree). (Lacking a good tree mount option, I'd look at a guyed telescoping mast.) Then I'd prove to myself what can and can't be seen. From there I would decide if I could justify a second antenna and tuned combiners.
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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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Old 2-Apr-2012, 1:37 PM   #6
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For mounting antennas in a tree, I suggest you look at the new TriplePlay antenna. It is compact and built from solid fiberglass. This will survive blows from falling ice and limbs up to 2 inches in diameter. With a 7777 pre-amp and a clear view to the stations It could do all of the channels on your needs list, with the exception of channel 12. Use with the any of the above suggested configurations for best results. See the antenna at www.tripleplayantenna.com.
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Old 3-Apr-2012, 3:16 AM   #7
Kool-Aid
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: East-Central WI
Posts: 2
Thank you for all the feedback.

I will try to address each message.

Message #2, Message #3 & Message #4
There are numerous large, tall pine trees north of the camper (within 10 ft). There is already a trimmed area to allow mounting, (with what I think is plenty of clearance). I will only mount as high as my extension ladder will reach (I completely agree falling out of a tree doesn't sound like my idea of fun ).

Thank you for suggesting the tree mount. I've never seen those before.

As far as the two different NBC stations, I was going to focus on WGBA. I was just hoping on some off chance I could maybe get WJFW - but I wasn't going to go out of the way to get it (I just thought if some type of unplanned scenario would occur allowing me to get it).

Thank you for the antenna suggestions and also the A-B switch suggestions.

Message #5
As far as the CC-7870, I was afraid (but not completely surprised) that would be the response.

I haven't contacted tinlee yet; however, I have been looking around their website. I have seen there name on numerous other threads and they seem to be highly recommended.

Thank you for the antenna suggestion.

Message #6
Thank you for the antenna suggestion. I looked at the website; however, I haven't been able to find any reviews online. It is an interesting concept (multi-band incorporated as well as being very durable).

Final Thoughts
Thank you for all the suggestions, you definitely have given me much to research.
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Old 3-Apr-2012, 5:44 AM   #8
Electron
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Tv antennas and Tv reception

The more trees there are between the transmitting antenna and the receiving antenna the more the signal will be reduced or blocked.
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