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Old 27-Jul-2017, 4:02 PM   #1
Frugal1SBM
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Moved to new location

A few years ago this site helped me cut the cable. I started with an indoor leaf and gradually went to attic and an upgrade antenna on the roof.

I am moving into a one story townhome which formerly had a DirectTV subscription and the dish is still there. I want to replace that dish with a OTA suitable to my new location. As there is an HOA rule the antenna must be on the backside below the roof line I cannot raise it up above the current 20-25 ft location.
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e6a4ee500a804d

The current dish is on the northside of the townhome. I have 3 TVs and think we can hook the antenna into the coax that feeds the tv hook ups. In my previous town location an amplifier was not recommended.
I would like to get the stations in the green and yellow bands, that should not be an issue to those to the north west but not sure about the ones to the south over the ridge of the roofline. Advice appreciated about an omni direction antenna and amplification and splitter booster. I am 68 and will get some help from my daughter's boyfriend to do the roof climbing but I wanted to do all the homework and buy the parts.
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Old 27-Jul-2017, 4:38 PM   #2
Jake V
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First, here are the FCC Rules regarding television antennas: https://www.fcc.gov/media/over-air-r...n-devices-rule

HOAs cannot prohibit antennas. They can tell you your antenna must not extend over the neighbor's townhouse, etc. If you need to extend your antenna above the roofline to receive stations then you are free to do so. Though I would politely speak to them beforehand to avoid unnecessary confrontation.

Your plot shows stations both to the southeast and the northwest. Assuming that you have good line of sight to the distance in both directions (meaning no buildings or mountains in the way) I'd recommend the Antennas Direct Clearstream 2-Max. It is a bi-directional antenna and, if aimed at roughly 322 degrees using a compass, would get you most of the stations from both Buffalo and Toronto/Hamilton.

You could likely reuse the wiring in place, though you should inspect it well since cable and satellite installers don't always do the best job. Try it with a single television and then add a splitter for the other televisions. You can always add amplification later should it be needed.

Last edited by Jake V; 27-Jul-2017 at 4:43 PM.
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Old 27-Jul-2017, 5:18 PM   #3
Frugal1SBM
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HOA rules - not visible from front of unit

I have already had one run in with the HOA in regards to accessibility changes I want to make to sidewalk so I want to tread lightly if I can. I have called the property manager to alert them that I plan to replace the current dish with antenna and want to elevate to 'peek' over roofline. If placed just so it should not be visible from street level. As the HOA is responsible for roof and siding maintenance they will be watching what we do. I do not require permission for anything below a meter in size.

I have a ClearStream™ 2V UHF/VHF Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna on my old house roof and it was serviceable but I could have used more reach. That house was a story and half with the antenna at least 5 ft above the roof line. It held up to some pretty strong wind storms.

Attached is a photo of the back of the unit with my unit's dish and the neighbors over the top of the umbrella. An antenna pole to elevate to the roof line is going to be noticeable and I am concerned about HOA displeasure even if FCC says I can make that change and it is within the boundaries of my unit.

Compare for me ClearStream 2MAX™ UHF/VHF Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna vs Free Signal TV Marathon, 1byone Amplified Outdoor Antenna or other omni-direction placed at the same level as the Dish? With 3 tvs and different viewers adjusting directionality is out. Optimization to serve all interests is the need. One time Cost is only tertiary concern.

Thanks
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File Type: jpg 506-BackPatiobefore.jpg (101.5 KB, 61 views)

Last edited by Frugal1SBM; 27-Jul-2017 at 5:30 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 27-Jul-2017, 5:40 PM   #4
ADTech
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Quote:
As the HOA is responsible for roof and siding maintenance they will be watching what we do.
Since this is a town-home and not a single-family residence that is solely owned by the homeowner, the OTARD rules do not provide the same level of protection as the roof of such a building does not fall under the "exclusive use or control" provisions of OTARD.

IOW, the HOA's rules are likely permissible in this instance.

Excerpt:
Quote:
Q: If I live in a condominium or an apartment building, does this rule apply to me?
A: The rule applies to antenna users who live in a multiple dwelling unit building, such as a condominium or apartment building, if the antenna user has an exclusive use area in which to install the antenna. "Exclusive use" means an area of the property that only you, and persons you permit, may enter and use to the exclusion of other residents. For example, your condominium or apartment may include a balcony, terrace, deck or patio that only you can use, and the rule applies to these areas. The rule does not apply to common areas, such as the roof, the hallways, the walkways or the exterior walls of a condominium or apartment building. Restrictions on antennas installed in these common areas are not covered by the Commission's rule. For example, the rule would not apply to restrictions that prevent drilling through the exterior wall of a condominium or rental unit and thus restrictions may prohibit installation that requires such drilling.
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Old 27-Jul-2017, 6:06 PM   #5
Frugal1SBM
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I just read through Rabbit73 advice on comparisons. I am afraid some of this is over my head and not sure how it applies to my situation. The review of the Clearstream was not encouraging.

http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.p...utdoor+Antenna

Comments?

ADTech - On Grand Island city planners do not allow for condos. The rules for Townhomes are that I own the unit and the land it is on. However the HOA and the management company hired to maintain the property have defined rules that limit the homeowner when it comes to external changes to our units. I intend to fight them about changing my sidewalk to a no barrier slope which disrupts their uniformity of landscape rules. For now I plan to get some temporary ramps to assist wheelchair entry for guests. I digress.

Per antenna rule attached

Last edited by Frugal1SBM; 27-Jul-2017 at 6:13 PM.
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Old 27-Jul-2017, 6:12 PM   #6
Frugal1SBM
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HOA rule

Rule did not attach to the last post.
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Old 27-Jul-2017, 7:33 PM   #7
rabbit73
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Welcome to the forum, Frugal1SBM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frugal1SBM View Post
I just read through Rabbit73 advice on comparisons. I am afraid some of this is over my head and not sure how it applies to my situation. The review of the Clearstream was not encouraging.

http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.p...utdoor+Antenna

Comments?
That advice was tailored for Adyoon and his location. Your location is very different and will require a different solution. Actually, the C2 or the ClearStream 2MAX™ might be the best choice for you. Your channels in green are all UHF, so you don't need the VHF dipole at this time.

Quote:
Compare for me ClearStream 2MAX™ UHF/VHF Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna vs Free Signal TV Marathon, 1byone Amplified Outdoor Antenna or other omni-direction placed at the same level as the Dish?
The Marathon and the 1byone are not suitable for you, because the amplifier that they have will be overloaded by your unusually strong signals. If you look at your report, you will see that the first three channels have the signal power (dBm) highlighted in red, which is an overload warning.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e6a4ee500a804d

Another way to define overload is by the Noise Margin number in the report.



Interpreting Noise Margin in the TV Fool Report
http://www.aa6g.org/DTV/Reception/tvfool_nm.html

Thank you for the photo showing the dish; it helps.



You have two problems with the HOA, both of which are in a gray area. Their antenna restriction is poorly written. The one meter limit is for a dish. OTA antennas are allowed to be larger, according to the FCC. IF you own the roof and the land, you are allowed to have your antenna at any location needed for good reception, as long as it isn't any higher than 12 feet above the peak of your roof. What is critical is the form of ownership as defined in your contract.

It seems that the ramp access is more important to you than the antenna, so I suggest you do some antenna experiments within the HOA rules and use your energy to battle the HOA on the ramp.

The main problems are that your signals are in two directions, and there is a great difference in signal strength. There are ways to solve the two direction problem; in your case it is with a bi-directional antenna.

The signals from the NW are much stronger than the signals from the SE, but the roof blocks the signals from the SE, making the difference even greater.

I suggest you first try the ClearStream 2MAX™ in the dish location. You might need to insert an attenuator to make the signals weaker to prevent overload. It would need to be enough attenuationt to keep the NW signals from causing overload without making the SE signals too weak. The coax should be grounded with a grounding block for the attenuator to be effective. Otherwise, the strong signals could get directly into the TV. The Dish guys should have grounded the coax.
https://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_...es/ATT1_QS.pdf

https://www.antennasdirect.com/store...ttenuator.html

http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=att-1



If more than 20 dB of attenuation is needed, you can add a fixed attenuator of 10 or 20 dB:



If you can't find a balance that way, try the antenna in the attic, which will attenuate the signals in both directions.

If that doesn't work, I suggest you add the reflector kit for the 2MAX and locate the antenna where the dish is with the reflector (the rear of the antenna) aimed NW and the front of the antenna (loops) aimed SE. The stronger NW signals coming from the rear will be attenuated by the reflector.

https://www.antennasdirect.com/store...y-C2M-REF.html

It's not clear to me which would be better, the C2V that already has the reflector, or the 2MAX with the reflector kit added; they seem to be equivalent for your situation.

The trees on the North side might actually help.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Frugal1SBMtvfTrees1.JPG (74.0 KB, 59 views)
File Type: jpg Frugal1SBMtvfTrees3.JPG (72.3 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg Frugal1SBMtvfDish2.jpg (161.6 KB, 294 views)
File Type: jpg Frugal1SBMtvfTrees2.JPG (204.3 KB, 36 views)
File Type: png AD ATT-1 Calib.png (112.2 KB, 240 views)
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Last edited by rabbit73; 28-Jul-2017 at 12:29 AM.
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Old 27-Jul-2017, 9:26 PM   #8
Frugal1SBM
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Wow, Rabbit73! Thank you for your clear and concise instructions. I have not peaked into the attic crawl space but it would solve the visibility issue and allow the antenna to be in the peak of the roof.

I will pick up the antenna with the reflector in case we need it. I took a couple new photos of the roof while running a load over today. As noted right now beyond those young trees there is open field and a golf course to the north. There will be houses being built across Whitehaven in the next several years which may impact me once they are in place. I can hope that the gaps in the houses will thread the needle for my directional settings.

Are there extenders for the dish pole that would allow me to get it a bit higher but still unobtrusive to the current roof line? Also since the signal strength is so strong on 3 main channels I understand amplification is counter productive. What about boosting split between TVs?
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File Type: jpg IMG_3186SM.jpg (159.7 KB, 29 views)
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Old 27-Jul-2017, 9:46 PM   #9
Frugal1SBM
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Would the 4Max offer any enhancement or would that be too much given the strong signal from closer stations?

https://www.antennasdirect.com/anten...html?zip=14072
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Old 27-Jul-2017, 9:55 PM   #10
Tower Guy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frugal1SBM View Post
Would the 4Max offer any enhancement or would that be too much given the strong signal from closer stations?

https://www.antennasdirect.com/anten...html?zip=14072
I'd use the 2MAX. You don't want the extra directivity of the 4 MAX, nor do you need the gain.

Don't even think about an amplifier.
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Old 27-Jul-2017, 11:26 PM   #11
rabbit73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frugal1SBM View Post
Are there extenders for the dish pole that would allow me to get it a bit higher but still unobtrusive to the current roof line?
Since the mount has braces, it could probably handle a 5 ft extension. Anything longer would be pushing it. The trick would be to match the diameters. If you are allowed to go higher, you would need a different mounting arrangement.
Quote:
What about boosting split between TVs?
It shouldn't be necessary to boost. First get the signals the way you want them with just one TV, then add a passive splitter. If the signals become too weak after splitting, then, and only then, replace the splitter with a CM3412 or 3414 distribution amp that is a splitter and amp in one unit.

If your TV has a signal strength indicator, it would help.

Just the coax that the dish guys put in would probably be OK, but I have doubts about any other distribution equipment they added, like switches and splitters.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 28-Jul-2017 at 12:00 AM.
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Old 28-Jul-2017, 12:04 AM   #12
JoeAZ
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Grew up in Cktg and Orchard Park. You've received some
very good advice. Some stations will not be receivable
for you. CHCH is on RF15 and WUTV, which is on top of
you, is on RF14. With the incentive auction repack, you
will lose more adjacent channels from either W.N.Y. or
Ontario. You MAY just want the optional VHF Dipole for
WBBZ Rf7 and CFTO Rf9. Down the road a bit, Rf 5 and
11 will be added during the repack. Probably not good
programming but you never know.......

GO BILLS!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 28-Jul-2017, 4:25 AM   #13
Frugal1SBM
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Repack?

Ok I was following until JoeAZ reply. I appreciate the support of approach but too much jargon. What do you mean by auction repack?

I would much prefer to get WUTV and CFTO. How do I add the VHF Dipole? I have the ClearStream 2MAX™ on hold at Walmart to pick up and the back reflector on order from Direct. (Antenna was out of stock)


Nevermind, I looked it up. May not need but I would put all the options in place since I am buying it with the dipole in the kit. It can't hurt can it?

Last edited by Frugal1SBM; 28-Jul-2017 at 4:48 AM.
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Old 28-Jul-2017, 1:49 PM   #14
JoeAZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frugal1SBM View Post
Ok I was following until JoeAZ reply. I appreciate the support of approach but too much jargon. What do you mean by auction repack?

I would much prefer to get WUTV and CFTO. How do I add the VHF Dipole? I have the ClearStream 2MAX™ on hold at Walmart to pick up and the back reflector on order from Direct. (Antenna was out of stock)


Nevermind, I looked it up. May not need but I would put all the options in place since I am buying it with the dipole in the kit. It can't hurt can it?
In the near future, Rf 38-51 will be unavailable for television broadcasting.
Those frequencies were sold to the highest bidder by the F.C.C. to be used
for other purposes, like cell phones. WIVB, for example, sold it's RF 39 frequency and will be moving with WNLO, CW 23 on Grand Island. With fewer frequencies available, things are going to be more compressed and more limited. The dipole kit will enhance your reception of CFTO and WBBZ without affecting reception of UHF stations. Hope this helps and answers
your concerns......
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Old 16-Aug-2017, 4:58 PM   #15
Frugal1SBM
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results

We installed the ClearStream 2MAX™ in the dish location with the back reflector orienting the figure 8 loops toward 322 degrees. That brought in the Canadian stations but not much in Buffalo. I see rereading we should have had the loop face the other way. We were in the middle of adding an extension to get the antenna higher when the HOA informed me I had to use an approved contractor to be on the roof. We have not tried an attenuator yet. Since I need to now pay a contractor should I go ahead have them install one and then we can turn it off by stealth if need be? I don't want to pay for two visits. I am going to have them lengthen the cable to the house at the same time.
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Old 17-Sep-2017, 10:54 PM   #16
Frugal1SBM
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Thank you all for the assistance. I now have the recommended 2MAX antenna above the roof elevated. It is oriented to the recommended 322 degrees with the reflector to the NW and helix to the SE. I get all the channels in the pink to green range. I would like to get some of the yellow range. I had a delay while working out with the HOA who could come to do the install. The dish antenna was removed and a tall antenna pole put in its place. Would the attenuator do anything to pull in those additional signals? It seems we are well balanced for the rest.
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