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Old 7-Sep-2011, 5:31 AM   #1
Ziffster
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Question Antenna Help!

Hi,

We are thinking about getting a Clearstream C4 to replace an small older VHF/UHF antenna (about 100" in size) with no booster. We would like to increase the number of stations we get.

We always get: 14.1, 18.1, 19.1, 20.1, 48.1

We sometimes get: 31.1

We never get: 6.1, 13.1, 51.1

The analysis is: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...838762e32cbf77

The mapping hasn't been updated so you need to look at 'Digital Only - Current + Pending' to see the correct results.


Should changing to the C4 help? If not, does anyone make an antenna which will help?

We would like to avoid the need for a router - but as the TV has dual tuners we could go with two antenna pointed in different directions if they can be mounted on one mast. Is their a pair that you would suggest installing and how closely together can they be mounted on the shaft?

Your help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 7-Sep-2011, 8:18 AM   #2
John Candle
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Tv Antennas and Reception

This information for reception is based on the Current + Pending Applications Included Digital Channels. Here is how to aim antannas , http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html . I recommend a Winegard HD5030 , VHF low 2 thru 6 , VHF high 7 thru 13 , antenna aimed at about 90 degree magnetic compass to receive , CKCO-DT 13 , CIII-DT 6 , CFPL-DT 10. I also recommend a AntennaCraft U4000 UHF antenna aimed at about 110 degree magnetic compass. The 2 antennas will be connected together with a UVSJ = UHF/VHF separator joiner. Mount the HD5030 below the U4000 , separate by about 3 feet on the same mast. The U4000 will receive the UHF channels at , 91 , 144 , 256 , degree magnetic compass. Yes the U4000 will receive CHCH-DT 51 through the back of the U4000 antenna. If needed the metal reflectors of the U4000 can be turned so the metal reflectors are up and down , vertical , so the V shaped metal receptors can get more signal at the back side of the U4000. Here are some places to buy antennas and a UVSJ and etc. in Canada. Lighthouse Electronics 1636 Tecumseh Rd East Windsor Ontario N8W 1C5 , 519-252-2512. , http://www.saveandreplay.com , http://www.trentondistributors.com , http://www.canadapost.ca/shopper , http://www.otacanada.com

Last edited by John Candle; 7-Sep-2011 at 5:02 PM.
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Old 7-Sep-2011, 8:22 AM   #3
John Candle
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Tv Antennas and Reception

How many Tv's are/will be connected??
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Old 7-Sep-2011, 8:08 PM   #5
Ziffster
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Originally Posted by John Candle View Post
...
Winegard HD5030 aimed at about 90 degree magnetic compass
AntennaCraft U4000 aimed at about 110 degree magnetic compass
UVSJ UHF/VHF separator joiner
Mount the HD5030 3' below U4000 on the same mast
Thanks! Definately will give it a try - sounds like it might actually work unlike what the local antenna guy tried to sell us.

Unfortunately the only really good local guy around here worth his salt sold his business a year ago and the person who has taken over was trying to sell me a pair of ClearStream C4 aimed in different directions claiming they would work. I forgot to mention that his solution also included as third antenna to pick up FM.

I like your solution much better since would have only one feed rather than 3.

Currently have a two tuner HTPC driving a large screen projector so would be really nice to have all the channels to both tuners. Currently stream media to everywhere else in the house rather than having local tuners.

Nice to also have FM so would be looking to connect up three 'tuners' - two HDTV and one FM tuner.

Should I consider an amp? Had tried hooking up the three together before to the old single antenna and had ok success with a two way but change that to a three way splitter and lose about half the stations. Cable run is about 50' from antenna to basement, then a further 100' from the entry in the basement to where the TV is located.

Are any 3-way splitters better than any others?


Thanks!

Last edited by Ziffster; 7-Sep-2011 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 7-Sep-2011, 9:51 PM   #6
John Candle
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Tv Antennas and Reception

I know some Canadians have friends or relatives in the USA and drive across the border to get items that are hard to get in Canada. Here are USA sellers of Tv antennas and etc. , http://www.solidsignal.com , http://www.amazon.com , http://www.starkelectronic.com , http://www.3starinc.com , http://www.winegarddirect.com , http://www.antennacraft.net , http://www.channelmasterstore.com
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Old 8-Sep-2011, 4:06 AM   #7
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Thanks,

For some reason the 8 bays are on sale all over the place locally. Everything including the U8000, 4228HD, DB8 (both old and new styles), C8 and even HD8800 are all available for about the same price as a U4000.

Would any of the 8 bays work better than the U4000?

Would a amplifier like help or hurt the situation?

The Winegard HD5030 is the only one which is hard to come by locally. But I've talked to a few people now who are pushing the Clearstream C5 for about half the cost.

Are any other VHF only antenna worth considering?



Most of the common stuff has become a whole lot easier to get over the past two months up here - guess in anticipation of last weeks switch to digital (all the 'pending stations' shown on TVFool are now live).

For example can easily pick up a DB8 at www.computervalley.ca for below SummitDirect pricing.

Seems that more and more people are getting fed up with the poor quality of 'digital cable' due to the high compression used to pack 1,000 stations in the feed and are exploring the option of OTA combined with the high cost (I know of some people paying as much as $100/month). With overall how good digital OTA is stock is just flying off the shelves which is increasing the options.

A few people around here have bought from and recommend:

www.summitsource.com

Checking their prices even with shipping by UPS ground the prices are as good as any I can find up here.

Any comments on if they are any good to deal with?
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Old 8-Sep-2011, 4:42 AM   #8
John Candle
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CIII-DT 6 and CKCO-DT 13 are the 2 weakest receivable stations. I do not think a antenna amplifier will be needed with the 2 Tv's and FM tuner hook up. However if the 2 stations are on the edge of being received reliably. A AntennasDirect CPA-19 preamp , http://www.antennasdirect.com , can be installed at the output of the UVSJ. I recommend install the UVSJ as close to the antennas as possible , but still get out of the direct weather , rain and snow , put it up under a eave or in the attic. Also I recommend a Winegard CA8800 TV-FM separator , it separates out the FM to the FM tuner and the Tv channels to the Tv.
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Old 8-Sep-2011, 4:55 AM   #9
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Here are some antenna mounts , http://www.ronard.com/909911.html , http://www.ronard.com/34424560.html , http://www.ronard.com/ychim.html. http://www.ronard.com , Ronard has a tool free number for the USA and Canada.
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Old 8-Sep-2011, 3:57 PM   #10
Ziffster
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Here are some antenna mounts , http://www.ronard.com/909911.html , http://www.ronard.com/34424560.html , http://www.ronard.com/ychim.html. http://www.ronard.com , Ronard has a tool free number for the USA and Canada.
Thanks!

Was actually planning on replacing the existing antenna which is on a 40' tower. Can they be mounted using a standard 1.5" 16 gauge 10' mast on top of a tower?

However, thinking about your suggestions regarding other mounting options got me thinking. Back in the analog days not far from our current place with a 40' antenna and a CM UHF dish (think it was 6' diameter) antenna we use to be able to pick up some US stations. If we mounted the new antenna on a new mast and mount, are their any antenna which would allow us with a rotor to pick up any US stations - two of particular interest would be:

WBNX 30 (55.1) NM -11.7 Pwr -102.5 Tropo
WTVS 43 (56.1) NM -16.7 Pwr -107.6 Tropo
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Old 8-Sep-2011, 4:54 PM   #11
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In both cases you would be at the mercy of atmospheric conditions. Both signals are so far below the horizon that the signal would be available only when the conditions cause helpful reflections off of the layers of the atmosphere.

I am not aware of any consumer grade parabolic UHF antennas on the market... Wade offers a commercial product. Because you're dealing with a path that changes dramatically and frequently, I would not expect the largest parabolic array to provide reliable reception. http://www.wade-antenna.com/Wade/uhfparabolic.pdf
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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 8-Sep-2011, 6:32 PM   #12
Ziffster
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Originally Posted by John Candle View Post
Here are some antenna mounts , http://www.ronard.com/909911.html , http://www.ronard.com/34424560.html , http://www.ronard.com/ychim.html. http://www.ronard.com , Ronard has a tool free number for the USA and Canada.
Ok, I think that I have everything sorted out and I'm ready to order (and the whole lot comes to under $200).

Antennacraft U-4000 UHF/HD
Winegard HD 5030 VHF/FM
Pico Macom UVSJ Combiner
Channel Master CM1805 Mast
Antennas Direct CPA-19 Pre-Amp
Winegard CA8800 FM Band Separator
Channel Master CM3212 Splitter

Did I miss anything?

I want to get it fully installed and set up on the mast before taking it up the tower... or at least that is the plan. Did it that way 20 years ago just have to decide if I have the nerve to do it again by climbing the tower or if I let the local volunteer firedepartment do it (to raise funds as they have a bucket truck with 50' reach they will do antenna replacements for a $250 donation).



p.s. I quickly entered the coordinates of our old place into TVFool. I never realized how much of a high spot we were living on. The stations which show as Tropo showed as 2Edge from our old address.

Did a little playing and to get the same reception here would need to put up around a 200' antenna

The neighbours would really love that right next door
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Old 8-Sep-2011, 11:59 PM   #13
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You know something about Tv reception , I like that. There is the RG-6 coax , you can get that local. The coax that has the newer compression type fittings , not the the older crimp type , is the best to use. The compression type fittings do a much better job of sealing out the weather and are made of higher quality metal and plastic.
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Old 9-Sep-2011, 1:30 AM   #14
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Here is a fold over tower , do all antenna mounting and adjustment standing on the ground , http://www.rohnnet.com/towers-foldover. Sell your tower at , http://www.kijiji.ca
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Old 9-Sep-2011, 3:03 AM   #15
Ziffster
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Thanks!

Not sure if your old enough to remember Heathkit Televisions, but I still recall building a Television Kit with my Dad back in the 70's - it was 'super high tech' for it's day with such advanced features as color, a wireless remote channel changer and get this... a built in rotor control so when you changed stations the rotor who move to a preset position (I still can't get my HTPC to do that).

Quick questions - When mounting on a tower is it still best to keep the preamp and combiner where it will be protected from the weather or since the result would be that you would end up with a 40' run of cable between the antenna and the combiner / preamp is it better to mount it up the tower?


BTW when searching for pricing and a supplier on the tower you mentioned came upon the used 490' freestanding tower in the picture for sale (and it is currently in Ohio) used for only twice what the Rohn folding would cost.



Put a Wade PB-82-BB Twin 8' Parabolic at the top pointed in the right direction with it's 25 dB gain and should be able to pull in those US stations real good.

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Old 9-Sep-2011, 3:23 AM   #16
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If you haven't come upon the link before you may like:

http://ne1h.com/Rohn25GFoldOverManual.pdf

It is the manual from 1978 for the folding tower you mentioned. Back then they made both a series 25 and series 45 version (they now only make the 45 series). What is especially interesting is the 'parts list' has the prices written in the margins. The 48' 25 series was over $700 even back then.
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Old 9-Sep-2011, 6:25 AM   #17
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Well there ya go , you can set up your own local cable system , sell those USA channels to your neighbors for a monthly subscription fee. Yes it will be better to put the UVSJ and preamp up close to the antennas. Can wrap the connections with Coax Seal tape or Scotch 2228 1 inch X 10 foot rubber mastic tape. I have used Scotch 2228 many times , stretch it a little during the wrapping , it seals to what it is applied to and it's self so well that the only way to get it off is cut it off. And Coax Seal tape is great stuff also. I am 62 years old , I was doing Tv , radio repair , etc. and antennas when I was very young.
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Old 9-Sep-2011, 6:54 AM   #18
Ziffster
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Wonder if I could charge the $109/month the cable company round here charges?

Thanks again for all your help.

Had a close look at the tower earlier tonight and it's in a lot worse shape than I thought it was so leaning towards a new tower since I can pick up locally for about $600. Put up a hinged base plate 48' a couple of years ago and with a few friends and some long ropes as guy lines installation was pretty easy.

Once I get it up I post as to how well it is working.
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Old 9-Sep-2011, 2:52 PM   #19
Ziffster
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Thought I would post a couple of related questions regarding accessories.
  1. Have you observed any difference between RG-6U cable brands and/or the general purpose quad shield and the twin shield rated specifically for use outdoors?
  2. Have you observed any difference between the $1 generic units and the $8 premium models of components like the 2-way passive splitter and UVSJ?
  3. Any thoughts regarding instead of installing the 300 to 75 transformer on each then combining the two instead use a 300 to 75 transformer / coupler like Winegard's SD 3700?
  4. Any opinion on Delhi GN18 (27lb/section) versus Rohn G25(40lb/section)? Assume 50' tower with poured cement base & braced at 12' & 35' (personally I'm leaning towards the Delhi since easier is will be easier to put up a 150lb antenna than a 220lb antenna.
  5. Finally, any thoughts on if lightening surge arrestors are worthwhile?
At our old place (where I had put up the tower) I had installed a lightening surge on the house side of the pre-amp power supply. Even with the tower hit twice in five years by lightening (part of the reason wife allows the tower is that it seems to gets hit rather than the house) never had problems other than both times the preamp power supply was fried (remarkably the preamp itself survived). However I never really came to a conclusion is the surge arrestor had protected the downstream equipment or if the power supply for the preamp had been what 'trapped' the surge.

Last edited by Ziffster; 9-Sep-2011 at 4:12 PM.
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Old 9-Sep-2011, 4:11 PM   #20
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Using a coax ground block is ok with the coax. If the tower has the staked base then the tower is grounded and if a ground rod has been driven then that is ground.
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