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Old 10-Apr-2012, 4:51 AM   #1
umalum99
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New, Overwhelmed, and seeking antenna suggestions

Hi there.

Like many who have come before me, I am new to this forum. My husband and I are thinking of ditching Dish Network and going OTA within the next few months, so I'm starting research now. I continue to read various posts and websites about various antennas, and VHF/UHF, although I don't fully understand it all and it is tough to really weed out what is legit info vs info by those just trying to sell you something. Also, I still do not know what half the terminology means. I'm looking for recommendations on an antenna that might work for us.

Here is my TV Fool Report: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...36162f0135584b

We want ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS, and CW. I really want ESPN, but I know that won't be happening OTA. We live pretty close to the foot hills in Fort Collins, CO. The rear of our house faces south/southeast and backs to open space with a couple trees as obstructions. We have a split level house with one upper level, a main level, a lower level, and a basement. We would be connecting to a 2.5 year old Panasonic Viera plasma TV located on our main level, and would consider at some point hooking up a connection to a TV in our basement, but we could get by with streaming down there. I would prefer not to have a giant antenna hanging on the roof or off the side of the house, but realize that might not be possible. Ideally, I would like an attic mount (although I also have no idea how to tell if I could even mount one in my attic), or to reuse the mount for my current dish receiver if that is possible. The other major concern is the extremely high winds that rip through this area and finding an antenna that, if I must mount outside, can withstand the winds or not have my reception too affected by them. Is that even possible?

I hope this is enough information to get help from all of you. I'm curious about your thoughts on the EZ HD and Stacker Antennas, as well as other antennas you think I should be looking at and whether a pre-amplifier would be necessary. I'm eager to look at reviews and start gathering my information so I'm prepared when we make the switch in a few months.

Thank you in advance for all of your suggestions!
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Old 10-Apr-2012, 9:59 AM   #2
Electron
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Tv antennas and Tv reception

A simple reception situation. Many as in - Many - digital Tv stations/channels will be received. Install a Winegard HD7696P antenna with a Antennas Direct CPA-19 preamplifier , above the highest roof , aimed at about 177 degree magnetic compass. Here is how to aim antennas , http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html. 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. Buy the ronard mounts from solidsignal by typing the word ronard in the solidsignal search box or buy from ronard. Here are places to buy antennas and etc. , http://www.winegarddirect.com , http://www.solidsignal.com , http://www.amazon.com , http://www.antennasdirect.com. Use standard RG-6 coax (No need for RG-6 quad shield) from the antenna to the connection point that goes to the other coaxes that go to the Tv up stairs and the Tv in the basement. For one Tv connected , no splitter is used , For 2 Tv's connected use a simple common 2 way splitter that sells for $8.00 or so. A supper wiz bang gold plated HD compatible splitter that sells for $49.95 is not required.

Last edited by Electron; 10-Apr-2012 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 10-Apr-2012, 10:07 AM   #3
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Tv antennas and Tv reception

The Tv Must Scan for the Digital Broadcast Tv Channels sometimes named 'Air Channels' or 'Antenna Channels' in the Tv set up menu because the broadcast television transmissions travel through the air from the transmitting antenna to your receiving antenna. Do Not scan for cable Tv channels.
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Old 10-Apr-2012, 10:19 AM   #4
Electron
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Do not look for the easy way out. You will be setting your self up for the scammers selling scam antennas. Like but not limited to Lava antennas and Orca antennas.

Last edited by Electron; 10-Apr-2012 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 10-Apr-2012, 10:40 AM   #5
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Antennas receive the best when the antenna has elbow room. Antennas receive the best when the antenna has a clear view of the transmitters.
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Old 10-Apr-2012, 2:25 PM   #6
umalum99
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Thank you! I'll start reading through the links you posted and comparing pricing and reviews. I appreciate such a quick reply!
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Old 10-Apr-2012, 2:48 PM   #7
umalum99
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Will this Wineguard antenna hold up pretty well in 80mph winds?
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Old 10-Apr-2012, 3:40 PM   #8
Dave Loudin
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It will be one of the most capabale of holding up. That's one reason why we recommend it.

If you study your TVFool report (and I recommend that, including the Singal Analysis FAQ that's linked to), you'll note that the stations Electron is pointing you to are the main Denver ones. There are stronger stations, including some very close to you. However, those are mostly home shopping and religious programming outlets which you are not interested in. Only KPXH will help, as it relays ION programming from Denver. While pointing south, you may get a FOX and a CBS station from Cheyenne off the back of the antenna.

To reinforce what Electron told you, the predicted signal levels from Denver dictate a roof-mounted antenna. Good luck!

Last edited by Dave Loudin; 10-Apr-2012 at 3:59 PM.
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Old 11-Apr-2012, 3:29 AM   #9
umalum99
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Thanks!

Again, I really appreciate the feedback. I have another question regarding the mounts. The tripod mounts are much more expensive than I thought. Are they really that much sturdier and more recommended than an eave mount? With the winds we get here, will the antenna and eave mount stay put or fly off with part of my roof?
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Old 11-Apr-2012, 5:06 AM   #10
Electron
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The ronard mounts. The eave mount and chimney mount are Strong and Sturdy and will not go flying off in the wind. If the wind is so strong that the roof flies off the house then it won't be the any of the mounts or the antennas fault , it will be the Tornado. I lived for 12 years along the northern front range in Colorado. I now live in Arizona. Dorothy's house is in south western Kansas where I was born and raised.

Last edited by Electron; 11-Apr-2012 at 5:20 AM.
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Old 11-Apr-2012, 5:26 AM   #11
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The pay cable tv or the pay satellite is money month after month after month , year after year after year. The antenna set up is a one time cost that will give years of service.
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Old 11-Apr-2012, 2:58 PM   #12
umalum99
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Thanks. You have alleviated my concern over the eave mount. The question about the roof flying off was a bit of hyperbole. I was concerned that, should I try the eave mount, whether the winds would be so strong they would rip the antenna off along with the eaves the mount is attached to. I feel better knowing the eave mount is solid. I'm still considering the tripod mount (though not sure about 3 vs 5') because I understand this is a one time expense. I was just a bit taken aback by the tripod mount costing more than the antenna.
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Old 11-Apr-2012, 4:46 PM   #13
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Thank you for using the word hyperbole , Hi perb O lee. I was concerned that your view of the world and concepts was limited to 'the roof flying off'!. The 5 foot tripod is better , the antenna is up a little higher. The Ronard mounts are the highest quality. The tar pads that go under the feet will make the tripod leak proof of a long time. A helpful hint , feed the coax up through the mast pipe and out the top , now the coax will not whip in the wind and and no taping to the outside of the mast. You can buy cheaper mounts on the internet.

Last edited by Electron; 11-Apr-2012 at 4:53 PM.
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Old 11-Apr-2012, 4:55 PM   #14
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The eave mount is good to , no holes in the roof.
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Old 12-Apr-2012, 4:36 AM   #15
umalum99
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One more question, and this comes from my husband. Does having an antenna increase potential lightning strikes that could fry the TV?
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Old 12-Apr-2012, 5:35 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umalum99 View Post
One more question, and this comes from my husband. Does having an antenna increase potential lightning strikes that could fry the TV?
I would argue, "the risk is about the same as connecting to the electrical, telephone or cable TV networks". Each of those utilities has the potential to be struck by lightning and could conduct some of that energy into your property. I presume your house is already higher than the surrounding ground. If so it's something of a lighting rod by itself.

So I recommend you take a couple of fairly inexpensive steps:

1) Connect a #10 copper wire to the mast or tripod and connect the other end of that wire to the electrical service ground rod.

2) Route the coax down-lead from the antenna so that is can connect to a coax grounding block located close to the electrical service ground. The coax grounding block should be connected to the electrical service ground with a short piece of #10 copper wire.

All of the parts needed are available at the big box home improvement stores.

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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 12-Apr-2012, 6:33 AM   #17
Electron
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Air conditioners are mounted above the roof and are not grounded with a separate ground wire. Metal vent pipes stick up out of the roof and are not grounded with a separate ground wire. Some houses have a metal roof and it is not grounded with a separate ground wire. Some houses have metal gutters that are not grounded with a separate ground wire. It is interesting that more concern is given to a Tv antenna as if the antenna is a special case , the Tv Antenna Is Not A Special Case. That said , it is prudent to ground the antenna with separate wire and it is also prudent to ground the other metal objects that are above or on the roof and a metal roof with separate ground wires. That said: For different perspective get some binoculars get in the car and drive around and look at roofs , Are any of the antennas grounded with a separate wire?? Are any of the metal vent pipes that stick up out of the roof grounded with a separate ground wire?? Are the metal gutters grounded with a separate ground wire?? Are the airconditioners that are on roofs grounded with a separate ground wire?? Is a metal roof grounded with a separate ground wire??

Last edited by Electron; 14-Apr-2012 at 7:04 AM.
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