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Old 8-Mar-2019, 3:11 AM   #1
Zman83
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Antenna recommendations?

Hello,

I am looking for some suggestions for an antenna (and a few other parts) for my parent’s house. First of all, here is the tvfool report:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...903881d7f00d54

I plan to place the antenna (or antennas) on the roof, using a chimney mount, approximately 20-25 ft. above ground level.

From the antenna to the first TV (TV1) will require approximately 35-40 ft of cable. I plan to run a splitter for a second TV (TV2), which is approximately another 20-25 ft. away. Since there are two TVs, I would really prefer to stay away from rotators. (I’m also considering a pre-amp (Winegard LNA200 for the cable length, especially to TV2).

Currently, TV1 is only connected to cable, and TV2 is only connected to a set of “rabbit ears” that are approximately 36” tall and also has a small round hoop, and is located in a room on the north side of the house. With this setup, I get WFMY, WGHP, WXLV, WMYV (66-71 degrees) very well. I also am occasionally able to pick up WCWG and WXII (2 degrees). With this antenna, I have not been able to receive any Charlotte stations.

Since I am almost directly midway between both the Charlotte and Greensboro/Winston-Salem markets, I would prefer to get both sets of stations (as many from both as possible). From the report, my goal is to get at least all of the green and yellow stations. My main concerns are that the stations come from more than two opposite directions, and many are between 35-50 miles away.

For an antenna, I have emailed Solid Signal and they are recommending the Winegard HD7694P antenna, but I noticed that it is only listed as a “45 mile” antenna. I have looked at a few of the aim-able 8-bay antennas, such as the Xtreme Signal HD8BX and also some of the 360 degree models, such as the ANTOP brand “flying saucers”, but I’m not sure about their ability to pull in remote stations or from multiple directions like my situation. Some people have mentioned combining two or more antennas for opposite or different directions, which would be fine if it will help pull in more stations reliably. Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to try to provide as much information as possible to help describe my dilemma.
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Old 8-Mar-2019, 6:56 AM   #2
Nascarken
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Hello there i have noticed that you have low vhf&hi,vhf/uhf,if you are looking too
Get ALL the tower's receiving them I Suggest a Winegrud 8200U with a channel master
7777or the 7778amp with a hi gain rotor but I think you said you do not want too use
A rotor if you point the ANTENNA just right you should probably get moist of your BROADCASTING TOWER'S,
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Old 8-Mar-2019, 1:37 PM   #3
Zman83
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Talking

Thanks for your response. I should have specified, I'm mainly interested in uhf. I'm not concerned about the low vhf, and although I wouldn't mind getting wtvi on the hi, I wouldn't be upset if I didn't. So you think I could use one 8200U to get most or all of the stations I mentioned in the original post without a rotor? That would be great, I just thought they were very directional.
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Old 8-Mar-2019, 5:57 PM   #4
rabbit73
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Hello, Zman83; welcome to the forum.

Your might try a bi-directional antenna like the Antennas Direct Clear Stream 2MAX without a reflector, which could be aimed to pick up NE and SW.



Try the CS2MAX with just one TV first, then add a splitter. If the signals are too weak at the second TV, replace the splitter with a Channel Master 3412 distribution amp.
https://store.antennasdirect.com/Cle...V-Antenna.html

If that doesn't work, you will need two antennas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zman83 View Post
Some people have mentioned combining two or more antennas for opposite or different directions, which would be fine if it will help pull in more stations reliably.
Combining two antennas aimed in different directions often doesn't work; you just have to try it.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 8-Mar-2019 at 6:14 PM.
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Old 8-Mar-2019, 6:28 PM   #5
rickbb
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I'm just up the road from you in Elon. I get channels just fine from Winston/Greensboro market and the Raleigh/Durham markets with a bow tie style antenna with no reflector on it.

Rabbits advise is a good start.

With a mount point you have described and IF there are no trees, etc blocking the signal path you should have very good reception.
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Old 8-Mar-2019, 8:52 PM   #6
Nascarken
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
Hello, Zman83; welcome to the forum.

Your might try a bi-directional antenna like the Antennas Direct Clear Stream 2MAX without a reflector, which could be aimed to pick up NE and SW.



Try the CS2MAX with just one TV first, then add a splitter. If the signals are too weak at the second TV, replace the splitter with a Channel Master 3412 distribution amp.
https://store.antennasdirect.com/Cle...V-Antenna.html

If that doesn't work, you will need two antennas.

Combining two antennas aimed in different directions often doesn't work; you just have to try it.
Well you are wrong about the 2antennas pointed in 2 different directions
Doesn't work it does if you space the antennas 3 feet apart and the feed line
The same length with uhf tv antennas the feed line should be 3ft long tip to tip
And hi band vhf 4ft apart and with the feed line should be 4ft long
And what is nice about stagger stacking hi band vhf is 3ft apart and works well
With the channel master amp's and to tune the 2antennas is not hard to do.
Well good luck with your antennas and for the price of that clear streem.The 8200u will kick IT'S but.And more channels to see ant that the name of the game????
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Old 9-Mar-2019, 5:49 AM   #7
scott784
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zman83 View Post
Since I am almost directly midway between both the Charlotte and Greensboro/Winston-Salem markets, I would prefer to get both sets of stations (as many from both as possible). From the report, my goal is to get at least all of the green and yellow stations. My main concerns are that the stations come from more than two opposite directions, and many are between 35-50 miles away.
I live up the road from your parent's area in Davie County (not far at all). And just like your parent's house, I have four main points on the compass with WXII being to my north, the other Triad stations to my east below Greensboro, the ABC (WSOC) and CW (WCCB) affiliates in North Charlotte, and the rest of the Charlotte networks near Gastonia, NC.

I can tell you without a rotor, it might be tricky to get 'perfect' reception on all the Triad stations along with all the Charlotte stations. Also, note that Yagi style Winegard antennas can do quite well, but also highly directional. For example, I once used a Winegard 9095P and it did quite well (in one direction) at the expense of other directions. Also, note that combining multiple antennas means that you may not get the full advertised gain off each antenna because of the split/combiner. For example, Antennas Direct sells a so called model called the DB8e, which is essentially two antennas in one, due to design that enables each panel to be turned in opposite directions. And I believe they advertise this antenna with a maximum gain of 17.4 dBi. However, that amount of gain only occurs when both panels are facing the exact same direction. That is not to say that it’s a problem at your parent's house (combining antennas), but just to let you know that you don't necessarily get the full gain off each antenna when they are combined into one downlead signal going into the home.

Having said all of that, your parents do live in a good central location to receive television from the Greensboro and Charlotte TV markets. But it may involve some trial and error (on your part) to determine which antenna works best at your parent's home. You might want to consider picking up more than one antenna locally (at a Best Buy or similar) just for testing purposes. A lot of those stores have a liberal return policy, especially if you return the antenna (in the case of BB within 2 weeks). This might be more convenient versus mail order (if you are going to test). And if you don’t see satisfactory results with anything retail, you could then mail order some of the other antennas that cannot be purchased locally.

I don't have any experience with the Clearstream 2MAX (mentioned by RabbitEars), but you could certainly try it as he suggested. I 'can' tell you that I've tested the Clearstream 4MAX at my home; and it seems pretty good. You could test the 4MAX, aim it (roughly) 245 degrees towards Gastonia (where most of the Charlotte stations are) and see how well it picks up the Greensboro stations (located near Randleman, NC)...directly behind, off the backside of the antenna. From what I saw with this particular antenna, it does a good job of picking up equally well off the front and backside. In the end, it's a crap shoot sometimes with antennas, and until you test, you will never really know for sure how well any given antenna is going to perform. And what works best at one location is certainly not always best for another location.

Currently, I am using a Clearstream 4v (in my attic) facing the CLT towers. This is Antenna's Direct older Clearstream 4 model which has a back reflector. That back reflector gives the antenna slightly more gain on the front end (at the expense of the backside). This particular antenna seems to pack a pretty good punch into a long range antenna that is really not that large. Ironically, I am actually having better (overall) performance with this antenna versus my Antennas Direct DB8e, which of course is a much larger antenna. Because I have my antenna aimed at Charlotte, I rely on the antenna to pick up the Greensboro stations (off its side) and WXII off the backside. And it does this fairly well at my location – although it’s tough to say how well it will perform at your parent’s home.

I would also add that if you have access to a signal meter (either a built in one) through one of your TVs, or an external signal meter, it can certainly help! Unlike the old analog days, where we could ‘see’ how well a channel was tuning, digital is tricky due to the cliff effect of being all or nothing signal. And the signal meters can be very helpful in determining how much signal you are working with while testing antennas for digital TV.

Hope my feedback helps you in some way and good luck with the project!
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Old 9-Mar-2019, 6:46 AM   #8
scott784
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Just a quick added comment here.

I noticed one error in the TVFool database. It is not listing the main WSOC (ABC) Channel 9 broadcast channel on RF34 from N. Charlotte. The WSOC TV listed on his TVFool Report is for a WSOC translator located near Statesville, NC (RF46), which is off the air at this time. This same omission is on my own TVFool Report as I live in the same general locality. But I will also note the missing WSOC (ABC) station Channel 9 on RF 34 is located in the same area of N. Charlotte as is the tower for WCCB (CW) Channel 18 on RF27 that can be used as a point of reference until the database is correctly updated.
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Old 9-Mar-2019, 12:00 PM   #9
Nascarken
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Well I have been installing antenna and the Winegrud & channel master vhf/uhf
Tv ANTENNAs the vhf receive is a 100miles+and the uhf RECEIVE is 65/70,miles.
the Winegrud is$135dollars+shipping the channel master is about the same price.
it's a little bit smaller than the Winegrud.And the antenna Direct antennas are not that good,the only thing that ANTENNA Direct has going for them is the 91xg.and is only a
Uhf,ANTENNA and I have used both the other antenna like the antenna Direct 91xg,is
The HDB91,by SOLiD single has a beem pattern with of 60,with both of these antennas
With a channel master 7777AMP hooked up too them I received broadcasting tower's 80miles away day or night and in bad weather conditions single of RECEIVE 90%
And I like the HDB91,becuse of the 60beem with it makes it so you don't need a Rotor.
And when you use 2of them in a v pattern set up the right way all is good for uhf
And the Winegrud 8200U I Suggest is the best ANTENNA for your vhf/uhf,and the channel master AS well so the way I look at it is the price,for an ANTENNA,so if you're looking for all channels and BROADCASTING TOWER's look at the combination uhf/vhf outdoor tv antennas and when installing an outdoor tv antenna use a good Rg6,sold 18gage SOLiD copper wire when installing a mast mount AMP like the channel master 7777&7778,
Well good luck with your antenna set-up and be safe on that RooF and look out for power lines when installing an outdoor tv antenna.ps,and I suggest too everyone
Be 4you buy that outdoor tv antenna put it into the tv Fool report first with or without an amp,too before you buy anything!!!Good day to everyone on the form!!!

Last edited by Nascarken; 9-Mar-2019 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 9-Mar-2019, 12:38 PM   #10
JoeAZ
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NascarKEN, I would like to invite you to view the Nascar
event here in Arizona this weekend. It is certain to be
spectacular. Perhaps you should take a break from this
forum and direct your attention to the race????
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Old 9-Mar-2019, 3:35 PM   #11
Tower Guy
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My choice for your location is the C2MAX. The lack of a reflector is ideal. The Winston Salem station are directly opposite Charlotte. The angle between the Charlotte stations is too wide for a 4MAX.

Your only VHF station is a PBS, but you have other PBS’ to choose from. I would not bother with a VHF antenna.
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Old 9-Mar-2019, 5:21 PM   #12
rabbit73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott784 View Post
I noticed one error in the TVFool database. It is not listing the main WSOC (ABC) Channel 9 broadcast channel on RF34 from N. Charlotte. The WSOC TV listed on his TVFool Report is for a WSOC translator located near Statesville, NC (RF46), which is off the air at this time.
This is the TVFool report:



A report from rabbitears.info has a more accurate list of channels:



Quote:
But I will also note the missing WSOC (ABC) station Channel 9 on RF 34 is located in the same area of N. Charlotte as is the tower for WCCB (CW) Channel 18 on RF27 that can be used as a point of reference until the database is correctly updated.
TVFool is not likely to make any corrections with such a small staff.
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File Type: jpg Zman83TVFreportRE.JPG (186.2 KB, 1083 views)
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Old 9-Mar-2019, 5:30 PM   #13
scott784
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tower Guy View Post
My choice for your location is the C2MAX. The lack of a reflector is ideal. The Winston Salem station are directly opposite Charlotte. The angle between the Charlotte stations is too wide for a 4MAX.

Your only VHF station is a PBS, but you have other PBS’ to choose from. I would not bother with a VHF antenna.
I would definitely try the 2MAX as mentioned by Tower Guy and also Rabbit73. And I also agree with Tower Guy that I would not bother with a VHF antenna in your parents' circumstances.

*If* an antenna like the 2MAX (or other multi-directional antenna) would 'reliably' bring in all the stations, 4 points on the compass, then that would be great! But, we all know with digital TV (unlike analog), that you really want enough signal to work with so that your channel is not near the digital cliff. Otherwise, what looks like a perfect picture on HDTV may potentially start acting up (pixilations and drops during inclement weather, etc.) This is what I like about signal meters when testing antennas. Some TVs have them built into the set, but many don't, which is unfortunate.

I only mentioned the 4MAX because I have actually tested that one (out of these two). And while it does not have as wide of a beam angle as the 2MAX, the larger surface area of the 4MAX does give it more forward gain...which 'may' be needed for the Charlotte stations at his parents’ house for reliable reception during good/bad weather. These TVFool Reports are only projections of what may be received at any location; but they are only a tool, and cannot be taken as written in stone with so many variables. And what may sometimes appear as the strongest signal/station, is simply not always the case.

Most of the Charlotte stations are directly in front and the Greensboro stations behind. I don't think the poster is that concerned about WTVI; and that is the only VHF channel on the report. And it is also noted that there are other PBS stations in the area, to include WUNG (PBS) Concord, NC (which I also noticed appears to be missing on the TVFool Report).

In my view (and perhaps the poster shares this view), the goal (with multiple points on the compass) is to try to get as many channels (and as reliable) as possible. And when/if this is not possible, find a compromise where you maximize the number of 'reliable' channels.

Beyond maximizing the number of channels, my assumption would be that his parents want reliable reception from all 4 major networks (CBS, NBC, FOX, and ABC) whether those networks are out of Greensboro or Charlotte.

Considering the 4 points on the compass, it appears NBC may be of the most concern here. That being said, I would suggest focusing on whether or not I could get a good/reliable lock on 1) WCNC and 2) WXII (WXII only as second choice). Those of course are the two NBC stations in Charlotte and Winston-Salem.

So you can certainly try a more omni-directional antenna for the 4 points on the compass here to determine if you can get strong enough signals in all directions. But if that doesn't appear realistic, my advice would be to focus on the two primary points (Gastonia/Dallas, NC towers for the Charlotte market and the towers near Randleman, NC for the Greensboro market).

If you end up focusing on two points on the compass, I would point your antenna about 245 degrees towards Gastonia/Dallas NC. In that scenario, the Greensboro towers will be directly behind the antenna off the backside. And if you can get excellent reception (even from these 2 points), your parents will have good access to all 4 major networks (CBS, NBC, FOX, and ABC; and they would potentially be getting the majority of the channels from both markets.

Yes, be careful on the roof!
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Old 9-Mar-2019, 5:32 PM   #14
scott784
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
This is the TVFool report:



A report from rabbitears.info has a more accurate list of channels:



TVFool is not likely to make any corrections with such a small staff.
Yes, indeed. rabbitears.info has more reliable listings.
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Old 10-Mar-2019, 5:39 AM   #15
Zman83
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Thanks everyone for the responses, it is definitely appreciated! In reference to the rabbitears.info report, with exception of the WUNL, I receive all of the "good" signal stations from the report on the small rabbit ear antenna that I first described. I would like to keep those and gain some of the other networks that are in the Charlotte/Gastonia area, since I do live between the two markets and may be able to get some of the "best of both worlds"; I think the possibility of receiving one of the markets off of the backside of an antenna is definitely worth a shot. I will look into the Clearstream 2Max or 4Max that was mentioned, as it will give me an idea what channels I can receive reliably (or at all), and if I do get it locally (again, as someone mentioned) then I should be able to return it without having to pay return shipping, depending on how well it works. I may try to pick up a signal meter somewhere too. So, thank you all for the comments and suggestions. I will try to post an update soon.
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Old 10-Mar-2019, 4:00 PM   #16
Nascarken
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O well in a few years it will fall apart and then you will wish you wet with the Winegrud or
The channel master antennas lol
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Old 10-Mar-2019, 8:53 PM   #17
Tower Guy
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In 2011 I installed a pair of C-2 antennas on a tower on a hill exposed to wind snow and ice. They continue to work perfectly after eight years. The C2MAX should do just as well.

Last edited by Tower Guy; 10-Mar-2019 at 9:09 PM.
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