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Old 13-Jan-2016, 5:16 AM   #1
tv4me
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VHF antenna

Can someone advise me about an finding an antenna that will work for my situation? I have a mast that is about 20' above ground on a gable end with lots of tall trees from NE to NW. The top 4 stations in the results would satisfy me though i am pretty sure a set top antenna is not going to do it. I checked on antennaweb and got very different results. It showed real 7 and 2 in the violet range. I have done OK with a 12' + antenna of a design similar to the pic attached, but it recently failed and I am 66 years old and just had a heart attack so I would prefer not to try to deal with a 12'x8, antenna at the top of a ladder. I do have a rotator. It seems that no one even sells a VHF only antenna anymore. Ladt, I would sacrifice low VHF for easier installation. Thanks for any advice. Larry

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...51348696b5423c
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Last edited by tv4me; 13-Jan-2016 at 5:41 AM.
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Old 13-Jan-2016, 12:51 PM   #2
ADTech
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Bangor, ME has the peculiar distinction of being the only TV market in the whole country were a UHF antenna is not needed.

Existing VHF-only (2-13) antennas are huge, typically 9-10 wide and 10-15' long, and extinct. I don't know when the last one went extinct, but it's been quite a few years. The best one can do now is an all-channel combo like the Winegard or Channel Master offerings and ignore the UHF part of the antenna.

Quote:
I checked on antennaweb and got very different results. It showed real 7 and 2 in the violet range.
The antenna color coding scheme on antennaweb has no correlation to the color coding used in the TVFool system except by coincidence.

There are high-VHF antennas available including our ClearStream 5, a compact antenna intended for reception of channels 7-13. Recently, cheap Chinese imports have hit the North American market being sold by MCM Electronics. Other than that, there aren't any viable high-VHF only antennas around with after Winegard discontinued theirs and AntennaCraft went down with Radio Shack's bankruptcy.

Sacrificing low-VHF would mean giving up WLBZ, your NBC affiliate, with its sub-channel(s).
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Old 13-Jan-2016, 1:03 PM   #3
tv4me
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Thanks

Thanks for the reply. As i said, I would sacrifice WLBZ for a lighter and easier to install antenna. Essentially, i want to be able to watch local news occasionally and Patriots games (mostly on CBS), so I would rather not spend any more money than necessary. Since the heart attack last week, it looks like retirement (at least semi) might be a good idea. I have been a carpenter/building contractor, a relatively stressful job at times. At the same time, I don't want to buy a piece of junk that will be on the dump in a year. Larry

PS I found an antennacraft hbu55 new in box for $60 that seems like it would get me all but WLBZ. Would I even need a pre amp with that antenna?

Last edited by tv4me; 13-Jan-2016 at 1:10 PM.
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Old 13-Jan-2016, 1:55 PM   #4
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As you said that antenna won't pick up your channel 2 NBC, but will get you 13 CBS and 25 PBS. I don't think you'd need an amp unless you are going to run over 100 feet of cable and split it to lots of TVs.

The trees may be an issue as you would need to point the antenna almost due north. If you could put it in a different location or up higher to get around or over the trees it would help.

$60 new in box is not a bad deal.
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Old 13-Jan-2016, 2:41 PM   #5
ADTech
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He doesn't need 25 PBS, it's a fill-in translator for WMEB main channel 9 which would be more readily received through the forest anyway

The HBU55 is also 12' long and 4' wide which would be quite unwieldy for someone who just had a heart attack. Even at $60, it's not a very logical choice.
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Old 13-Jan-2016, 3:52 PM   #6
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antenna

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Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
He doesn't need 25 PBS, it's a fill-in translator for WMEB main channel 9 which would be more readily received through the forest anyway

The HBU55 is also 12' long and 4' wide which would be quite unwieldy for someone who just had a heart attack. Even at $60, it's not a very logical choice.
ADTECH, I hope you won't take offense but you are advising me to buy a product that you are selling. I have to assume that your advice is biased at best.
I am hoping that my son, who is coming to visit this weekend, and who does AV installs, can put up the HBU55 for me (if I buy it). The really difficult part of installing the previous antenna was the width. It was about 8' wide and even though the wings could be spread out after it was up, I had to be standing on the ridge to do spread them. It only weighs 10 lbs.
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Old 13-Jan-2016, 5:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
ADTECH, I hope you won't take offense but you are advising me to buy a product that you are selling. I have to assume that your advice is biased at best.
I have given you THREE choices, only one of which is made by my employer. The other two are not.

Just trying to match up your stated requirements with what's available without over-complicating your install.

Best of luck!
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Old 15-Jan-2016, 7:10 PM   #8
tv4me
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
I have given you THREE choices, only one of which is made by my employer. The other two are not.

Just trying to match up your stated requirements with what's available without over-complicating your install.

Best of luck!
I went back and read your post several times and found only one antenna recommended. Several other companies were mentioned but no specific antennas. Your antennas are likely better than cheaper ones, no doubt, but it would be good to have more than one option and I am hoping to spend less than $100. What about the Model # DB4E with a rotator? That is half the cost of the C5 and seems to have almost as much range.

Last edited by tv4me; 15-Jan-2016 at 7:34 PM.
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Old 15-Jan-2016, 7:37 PM   #9
tv4me
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[QUOTE=tv4me;54278]I went back and read your post several times and found only one antenna recommended. Several other companies were mentioned but no specific antennas. Your antennas are likely better than cheaper ones, no doubt, but it would be good to have more than one option and I am hoping to spend less than $100.

Last edited by tv4me; 15-Jan-2016 at 7:41 PM.
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Old 16-Jan-2016, 1:27 AM   #10
rabbit73
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Quote:
ADTECH, I hope you won't take offense but you are advising me to buy a product that you are selling. I have to assume that your advice is biased at best.
ADTech is an engineering type person, not a marketing type. He suggests the right tool for the job no matter who makes it. I have read his posts on several forums for many years, learned a lot from him, and come to respect the advice he has given to posters with reception problems.

He has learned to be conservative with his advice and not promise any more than can be delivered because he has learned on the front lines that a disappointed customer is bad for business. He has also tried to teach that lesson to their marketing department.

Quote:
What about the Model # DB4E with a rotator? That is half the cost of the C5 and seems to have almost as much range.
That antenna is a very good UHF antenna, but it is not suitable for your location. You need an antenna for real channels 7, 9, and 13 which are VHF-High channels. It is the real channel number that determines the antenna needed.

VHF-Low, real channels 2-6; very large elements
VHF-High, real channels 7-13
UHF, real channels 14-51

Quote:
1, The best one can do now is an all-channel combo like the Winegard or Channel Master offerings and ignore the UHF part of the antenna.
Winegard HD7694P, and 7697

Quote:
2. There are high-VHF antennas available including our ClearStream 5, a compact antenna intended for reception of channels 7-13.
Quote:
3. Recently, cheap Chinese imports have hit the North American market being sold by MCM Electronics.
MCM Stellar Labs 30-2475 and 30-2476 are inexpensive, come with poor assembly instructions, but do the job.
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/produc...-2475-/30-2475
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/produc...-2476-/30-2476

If you decide you must have real channel 2 for NBC, you have to go big. Solid Signal makes a clone that might work:
http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=hd8200xl
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Last edited by rabbit73; 16-Jan-2016 at 1:59 AM.
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Old 16-Jan-2016, 6:41 AM   #11
tv4me
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Follow up

Rabbit73. Thanks for taking the time to post all that info. As a newbie, I have no idea what anyone's agenda is and appreciate a second opinion. And as I said in my post, I did not want to offend anyone. I have a few follow up questions for you (and anyone else that would like to chime in).
1. Is the antennacraft hbu55 a good antenna for my purposes, aside from being fairly large? As I mentioned, I found one for $60, though I have not bought it yet.
2. Putting size aside, Is the ClearStream 5 as good or better for reception of high VHF than the Wineguard or Channelmaster units you mentioned? (or the or HBU55 ). The ClearStream 5 certainly looks solid and its size would make it much easier to install.
3. Are the Stellar Labs units solidly built or flimsy, and how well do they work? A piece of junk is no bargain.
4. For anyone not aware, CBS is streaming all their NFL playoff games including the Superbowl, and as far as I can tell, no subscription, cable or otherwise, is required.
Larry
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Old 16-Jan-2016, 2:10 PM   #12
rabbit73
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Quote:
1. Is the antennacraft hbu55 a good antenna for my purposes, aside from being fairly large? As I mentioned, I found one for $60, though I have not bought it yet.
The specs seem suitable (VHF-high gain 9.3 dB) for your location. If the antenna is in good condition and the trees aren't too thick, it should work.
http://www.antennacraft.net/pdfs/HBU55_.pdf
http://www.antennacraft.net/Manuals/HBU_web_manual.pdf

Quote:
2. Putting size aside, Is the ClearStream 5 as good or better for reception of high VHF than the Wineguard or Channelmaster units you mentioned? (or the or HBU55 ). The ClearStream 5 certainly looks solid and its size would make it much easier to install.
The CS5 should work, with the same concern about trees. It has a little less gain than the HBU55, the Winegard 7694, and the 7697.
https://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_...with%20uhf.pdf
http://www.skywalker.com/catalog/Manuals/WIN1051.pdf
http://www.winegard.com/kbase/uploads/HD7697P.pdf
Quote:
3. Are the Stellar Labs units solidly built or flimsy, and how well do they work? A piece of junk is no bargain.
I wouldn't call it flimsy, more like adequate, almost as good as Antennacraft build quality. If the same antenna was made here it would cost a lot more because overseas labor is cheaper and their government gives financial breaks for export.

The user reports are few because the product is new here, but the reports are satisfactory when the antenna has been assembled correctly. I assume your son could figure it out, and do better than this:



http://www.avsforum.com/forum/25-hdt...l#post39697130

Keep in mind that your tvfool report is only a computer simulation, it doesn't take into consideration trees, and is known to be less accurate for 2Edge signals. If your reception is marginal because the report is too optimistic, a preamp might help.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 16-Jan-2016 at 2:32 PM.
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Old 16-Jan-2016, 6:38 PM   #13
tv4me
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trees

It is pretty heavily wooded to the north. Are there any antennas that are better for trees? Will it just require an antenna with more gain? At one time I had a large antenna on the highest gable and got good reception (low and high VHF). I moved it down about 10' because I built an addition that made it difficult to service the antenna. Reception was OK for a while but I think something broke and I lost the low VHF and later lost all but one station. So I think a good antenna should restore my reception. I just don't want to do it twice.
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Old 16-Jan-2016, 6:56 PM   #14
rabbit73
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There are no magic antennas that can "see" through trees. Trees do serious damage to TV signals. Fortunately for you, VHF signals get through a little better.

Quote:
Will it just require an antenna with more gain?
That isn't usually the solution. You have to try different locations and higher if possible.
Quote:
I just don't want to do it twice.
I understand, but there is no way I can give you a guarantee. You and your son will need to do some testing.
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Old 16-Jan-2016, 7:11 PM   #15
tv4me
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rank

So Rabbit73, would you venture to rank, in your opinion, the HBU55, Cearstream5 and the larger Stellar Labs antennas, considering only VHF signals? Or is such a comparison apples to oranges. Dennys TV site has a ranking of a number of antennas, including the HBU55 but not any of the others I am considering. Larry
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Old 12-Feb-2016, 7:50 PM   #16
tv4me
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Winegard 7697 vs 7698

posting new thread about Winegard antennas

Last edited by tv4me; 13-Feb-2016 at 6:13 PM. Reason: no replies so I am posting as a new thread
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