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Old 23-Jun-2014, 5:18 PM   #1
MnToyGuy
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Deep fringe antenna recomendations?

I have a cabin in N Minnesota and am looking at adding TV. Here's my signal analysis:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e1c689048a9da8

The antennas I am considering are:

Winegard HD8200U

AntennaCraft HD1850

Though I see many recommend the Winegard HD 7084P

I'll have a cable run of < 100' and will use a rotator. I'll be split at the first TV at about 30' of cable with the rest running to the second. I'm not sure which preamp to use

Channel Master CM7777, Channel Master CM7778 or Winegard LNA200. It there such thing as too much gain on them

I should add that reception is better than the report. Here's the report for my dad's place next door:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e1c6645498020d

and he pulls in channel 8 very clear. He's running an older equivalent of the above AC with a rotator and preamp (unknown type/spec) with about 50' of cable.

Please let me know what you recommend. Note the location is remote, and gets heavy snow/ice during the winter as well as large birds (bald eagles and turkey vultures) sitting on the antennas.

Thanks for you help guys!!
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Old 23-Jun-2014, 6:01 PM   #2
StephanieS
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Greetings Mntoyguy,

I had a response all ready to go for you, then my browser crashed. Alas, I get to retype it.

Your plot is actually more favorable to me for the reason you have LOS to the translators at magnetic 286. With signal strengths as low as they are, having the line of sight gives your antenna to the chance capture as much signal as possible from them without terrain issues.

I wouldn't invest in a rotor either. You can get all the available signals in a locked down configuration. As I see it you'll have access to ABC, NBC, PBS and FOX. No CBS affiliate puts a useable signal to your location.

A two antenna option I'd invest in would be for UHF a Antenna's Direct DB8e. Orientated to magnetic 286. You would be catching the translators at 30 miles distance. I'd expect to see ABC, FOX and PBS from them. This is premium UHF antenna that will give you nice gain for those weak translators.

The second antenna I'd mount would be an Antennacraft HBU11. Orientate to magnetic 270. This would be for NBC. The HBU11 is a VHF/UHF antenna. For this set up, the HBU11 would only be providing VHF signal.

Purchase an RCA TVPRAMP1R preamp. The channel masters you mention aren't as tolerant of stronger signals. Your NBC affiliate would likely cause them problems. You need a preamp that can handle moderately strong signals in addition to working with weaker ones.

Mount DB8e on your roof on top of a 10' pole, then 4' below mount HBU11. Run short lead of coax from HBU11 to VHF input on the TVPRAMP1R. Connect DB8e coax to the UHF input. Make sure to have preamp in "separate" on it's selection switch since you have two antennas you are combing.

Run downlead to splitter. Connect power inserter just before splitter. Split signal and run coaxes down to each TV.

You should be a happy owner of most of the major networks (sans CBS) at your location.

Cheers.

Last edited by StephanieS; 23-Jun-2014 at 6:03 PM.
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Old 23-Jun-2014, 9:27 PM   #3
MnToyGuy
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Wow, thanks for the quick reply.

The mount is going to actually be up the side of the building. Roof peak is at 25' and I've got the pole from my dad for free, just need to add one more section. He got a 40' ham tower, but running his signal analysis, it doesn't really help him; probably terrain issues.

The roof is metal and I don't want to put any more perforations in it, so up the side works and I can stand on the roof to put the last section up.

The HBU11 is lower gain than either of the large ones I mentioned. Is that all I need because of the LOS? Will I still get the stations at 227?

You mention Fox. They are a -10.6 NM and at 178 How will that get pulled in?

The other thing that is strange is that my dad pulls in PBS channel 8 with a -10.6 NM. Is this due to the antenna gain?

What about the combo antennas? My dad has an extra rotator I can have for cheap.

Last edited by MnToyGuy; 23-Jun-2014 at 9:40 PM.
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Old 24-Jun-2014, 1:03 AM   #4
ADTech
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You don't need any of those combo antennas as they all have the wide, low VHF elements that won't be needed in your area.

You likely also don't need the HBU11. A DB8e (or a DB8) should pick up a VHF 11 signal that strong. If not, we now have a simple VHF kit that clips right onto the reflector for the 'e' series bowties and our UHF loop antennas.

Fox is available on one of the Orr translators.

The RCA pre-amp is adequate.
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Old 24-Jun-2014, 1:10 AM   #5
MnToyGuy
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Is there difference in the content from the Orr translators, vs the VHF ones? Also, my dad said they are all SD vs HD. It is all water access only, so do I want to do it right even for future growth. Is there a chance low VHF will be added in the future?
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Old 24-Jun-2014, 1:18 AM   #6
StephanieS
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No problem, glad to help out when I can.

Regarding the rotor, think of this way. If you can achieve the desired reception without one, then why put one up? It's another device than can fail and will require a trip up to your roof to fix. Think of it as streamlining, lol.

As to WDSE PBS 8, your TVfool map only gives you a reasonable guideline. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you are unlucky. The TV fool map just gives you a baseline based on topography and doesn't account for localized variables.

When I recommended a setup, I didn't even factor in the gray shaded signals. These are stereotypically not going to be received. That's why WDSE didn't get factored into my thoughts. Again though, you could get lucky.

I focused on the KRII NBC, K24JR-D (WRPT, PBS), K26KM-D (WIRT, ABC) and K28LN-D (KQDS, FOX) as your signals with the strongest chance of successful reception.

The HBU11 is nice because it's small and in the right situation it can perform well. I have a RCA ANT751 (similar design) suburban antenna as my secondary. Mine under line of sight conditions can receive reliably to about 15 db above zero signal strengh. The HBU11 won't receive the signals at 227 magnetic though, they are too weak. Those require a more aggressive antenna. With KRII being 42 db, the HBU11 should do just fine. You can also take in ADTech's recommendation, both can work. It's just a personal decision which one you go with.

Regarding FOX see K28LN-D, that translator rebroadcasts FOX's main signal.

Good luck!
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Old 24-Jun-2014, 12:35 PM   #7
ADTech
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Quote:
Is there a chance low VHF will be added in the future?
While the maxim of "Never say never" should be remembered, there are no plans for virtually any broadcasters to move to low-VHF. The problems with background noise and interference have been shown to be bad enough that low-VHF is pretty much swampland for most areas and most broadcasters don't want to go there willingly.
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Old 25-Jun-2014, 7:11 PM   #8
MnToyGuy
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Wow, thanks for all the input!! I'm so glad I posted the question, otherwise I'd be running a setup like my dads, trying to pull in the weak distant VHF signals. He's right next to a hill and can't get LOS on the 3 repeater stations

I need to be at 30' height to get LOS on the UHF channels. VHF I can be down at 20' even. Will the metal roof interfere at all?

How should I orient the "panels"of the DB8e? I've seen them angled out, or should they be flat aimed at 286 since I don't need multi directional reception.

ADtech, do you recommend just trying it without a VHF and see what I get on channel 11?

edit

I see the preamp handles FM as well. I could use better FM reception. Is there an add on to the DB8e for FM? I'm running a 75' straight wire for AM that lets me pull in Minneapolis stations during the day on the crappy AM tuner in my high end stereo receiver.

Last edited by MnToyGuy; 25-Jun-2014 at 7:16 PM.
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Old 25-Jun-2014, 8:05 PM   #9
ADTech
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Don't put too much faith in the calculations resulting from changes in elevation. Vertical resolution of the terrain data exceeds 10' and there is considerable "averaging" of terrain elevation within the horizontal resolution of the data.

If the signal must cross the roof to get to the antenna, plan on 10' above the metal roof for UHF signals. If the antenna is on the same side of the roof as the signals, 3-4' is adequate for UHF.

Align the panels so they are parallel to the crossbar and aimed in the same direction for maximum UHF reception.

Your VHF station is probably strong enough that a separate VHF antenna likely will not be needed. If it does, the option above should work.

You'd be best if you kept FM out of the TV signal distribution since you have several moderately strong FM stations nearby. Our 3-element FM antenna works quite well and would likely be the best suggestion I can offer unless you have very specific FM reception requirements.
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Old 10-Aug-2015, 7:34 PM   #10
MnToyGuy
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Hi Guys,

Siding is finally up and I've got the DB8e and RCA preamp along with the VHF antenna. Hopefully we can get everything installed this weekend.

Question is how I should split it. The antenna will be on the bunkhouse and I need to split off a line for the cabin. See attachment. The first way will save about 50' of run to the cabin.

Also if you could recommend a good splitter.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf SCAN30353814_000.pdf (11.3 KB, 250 views)
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Old 10-Aug-2015, 7:47 PM   #11
ADTech
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Either scheme should work.

The 2-port splitter in the first diagram MUST have DC Pass capability. You can use any splitter that is rated for satellite service that has diode-steering DC pass for that one. The other one does not need the DC pass feature, so any cable-rated splitter will suffice.

I suggest the Ideal-branded splitters available in-store at Home Depot.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Ideal-2-4...-332/202276264

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Ideal-5-M...-134/202276261
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Old 10-Aug-2015, 8:13 PM   #12
MnToyGuy
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Does it matter if the power through is a single port DC pass or both ports?

Is my signal strong enough that it doesn't matter how I split? First method sends 50% to the cabin and 1/6 to each TV in the bunkhouse. Second I'll get 25% to each TV.
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Old 10-Aug-2015, 8:38 PM   #13
Billiam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
Either scheme should work.

The 2-port splitter in the first diagram MUST have DC Pass capability. You can use any splitter that is rated for satellite service that has diode-steering DC pass for that one. The other one does not need the DC pass feature, so any cable-rated splitter will suffice.

I suggest the Ideal-branded splitters available in-store at Home Depot.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Ideal-2-4...-332/202276264

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Ideal-5-M...-134/202276261

Any idea about what kind of insertion loss goes with using this splitter? Can't find any info on their company website or elsewhere for that matter.
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Old 10-Aug-2015, 9:19 PM   #14
ADTech
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Quote:
Does it matter if the power through is a single port DC pass or both ports?
Not if you use the one I told you to.


Quote:
Is my signal strong enough that it doesn't matter how I split?
That's correct. With 22-24 dB of UHF gain from the pre-amp, you're "spending" about 3.5-4 dB for the first 2-port splitter, then another 7.5-8 dB for the 4-port. Add in the total length of RG6 from the mast-mounted preamp to the furthest outlet (cable length), divide that length by 17 to find the worst-case cable insertion loss. Using 100' RG6 coax as an example, your total worst case loss is under 18 dB which is less than your pre-amp's gain of ~24 dB @ channel 31.

Quote:
Any idea about what kind of insertion loss goes with using this splitter?
I've tested samples in-house. My estimates above are using that data.
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Old 10-Aug-2015, 9:57 PM   #15
MnToyGuy
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Awesome! I'll let you guys know how it works out. The antenna will be on the bunkhouse and those three runs will be around 30' - 50' ea. If I use the 2 way splitter, the cabin run will be around 40'.

The only possible glitch I foresee is cedar trees in the way. I can always drop those.
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Old 12-Aug-2015, 3:09 PM   #16
rickbb
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Cedar trees are nasty anyway, they carry rust fungus that infect apple trees.
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Old 25-Aug-2016, 10:32 PM   #17
MnToyGuy
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http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e2cbe9db254537

Finally got my data cable run hooked up temporary. I'm very impressed with the DB8e. No issues with the signal even through a 4 way splitter.

I guessed at the alignment, so I may be off by 10-15. I get 11, 13, 31 and a very snowy 47. I'm right on the LOS height for 24/26/28. I do not get those channels. I'll be able to get another 2.5' by raising the base up to the deck. I'll do that and align, then try trimming tree branches if needed. Pictures show installation and the trees in the way. There's a hill there, which I am (hopefully) just peeking over

If that fails, I'll just align to 226 and try to pull in 15.

Now time for AM and FM setups. I have a long wire AM antenna and will be using the above mentioned FM (I need to pull in 101.3 and 103.1). Do these need to be split or is splicing acceptable?



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