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Old 7-Nov-2010, 1:28 AM   #1
Phoenix42
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Newbie help - which antenna?

As we continue to cut the cord we are finding there are some things that we cannot get from the internet, but as we can get them OTA we'd perfer to. Unfortunately I'm completely baffled by all the terminology, and find my self out of my depth, so before I drown or worse install something completely unsuitable can some one point me in the right direction.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...81a35ee7665699

House is single story, there are two story houses to the left and right, but in front/behind. There are tall trees evergreen / deciduous. Getting clear or the houses and trees is not an option, mounting a reasonable height mast to the roof or preferable gable is.

And to future show my newbieness, I assume I'll need a digital converter box for my ~8yr old CRT, is this correct?

Thanks all in advance.

edit:
Only one TV needs to be connected.
This TV is located close to gable end.
No existing wiring. Existing cable/satellite come straight through wall.
Easy of use is important, which puts rotating out of the picture - I think, willing to sacrifice some channels for this.

Last edited by Phoenix42; 7-Nov-2010 at 1:37 AM. Reason: more info
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Old 7-Nov-2010, 5:20 AM   #2
GroundUrMast
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Yes, you will need a converter box. Amazon still has a few available. SolidSignal still has the CM7000 unit which many consider worth the extra $'s http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp...r%20Boxes&sku=


A single antenna aimed at 155 per your compass should receive the majority of the major networks. Try to find a mounting location that can 'look' between the trees and buildings. Here are several similar antennas...

http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp...0Antennas&sku=

http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp...0Antennas&sku=

http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp...0Antennas&sku=

http://www.amazon.com/Antennas-Direc...9106645&sr=1-1

Because you are not going to split the signal to multiple sets, I would attempt to run without an amplifier, adding one if it proves necessary is not a big project.

Regular RG6 coax is the right cable for OTA applications. (Quad-shield is OK if you already own it, but save your money otherwise.)
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Old 7-Nov-2010, 1:04 PM   #3
Tower Guy
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Originally Posted by Phoenix42 View Post
Easy of use is important, which puts rotating out of the picture - I think, willing to sacrifice some channels for this.
I'd suggest a 4 bay UHF only, perhaps the 4221, u4000, or hd4400 aimed at Boston. Next I'd get a Y5-7-13 VHF antenna and aim it at WMUR. Add the two antennas together with a UVSJ.

You can get what you need at Stark Electronics in Worcester.
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Old 8-Nov-2010, 2:56 AM   #4
Phoenix42
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Thanks GroundUrMast and Tower Guy, you've narrowed down the range greatly.
Now I just need to understand the differences between 4bays and 8bays - from what little I understand more bays equals more signal pulled in, but if I limit myself to channels in the yellow range how much signal do I need to pull in?

From an install point of view, can I leverage an old satellite dish roof mount, and attach a short mast to it to support an antenna?

I assume if I add in a Y5-7-13 VHF that the two antennas should be a certain distance at minimum apart, what is the rule of thumb on this? Also, it would be pointing right at my neighbors house (std wooden construction) - would this be futile?

Again, thanks.
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Old 8-Nov-2010, 4:19 AM   #5
GroundUrMast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix42 View Post
Thanks GroundUrMast and Tower Guy, you've narrowed down the range greatly.
Now I just need to understand the differences between 4bays and 8bays - from what little I understand more bays equals more signal pulled in, but if I limit myself to channels in the yellow range how much signal do I need to pull in?

From an install point of view, can I leverage an old satellite dish roof mount, and attach a short mast to it to support an antenna?

I assume if I add in a Y5-7-13 VHF that the two antennas should be a certain distance at minimum apart, what is the rule of thumb on this? Also, it would be pointing right at my neighbors house (std wooden construction) - would this be futile?

Again, thanks.
Your correct that the 8-bay 'pulls in' more signal than a 4-bay. It does so in two ways... #1: By having more elements receiving signal and #2: By focusing it's sensitivity more narrowly in one direction. Both have the advantage of improving your chance of a strong, interference free signal.

Most antenna mast is 1.25" OD (+/-), typical Sat. dish mounts are a bit larger in dia. (about 1 5/8"). Not usually a problem when mounting an antenna. But if you are trying to mix and match the mast parts with Sat. parts you will likely need to have some fabricating skills and tools.

I opted not to suggest the second antenna (VHF 7 thru 13) because there are options for each network on UHF frequencies. It is up to you to decide if one of the VHF channels is worth a little additional expense and work. If you do install two antennas on the same mast try to separate them by at least 4', which means a 10' mast would be the ideal choice when mounting two antennas.

Don't worry too much about your neighbors house. Aim the new antenna(s) per your report and then pan left and right to fine tune for the best signal.
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Old 10-Nov-2010, 5:39 PM   #6
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Thanks all for hte input, I'll post back with my results later.
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Old 5-Jan-2011, 3:35 AM   #7
Phoenix42
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Picked up a CM-7000 off of ebay for $60 and borrowed a RadioShack antenna from a co-worker. Picking up WBZ and WUNI crystal clear with a strong 70%+ signal, a few others are picked up but poor image, and then some more but 0% signal - surprised that the rabbit ears picked up anything.

I'm reading this to mean that a 4-bay would be sufficient, thoughts?
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Old 5-Jan-2011, 4:26 AM   #8
John Candle
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Tv Antennas and Reception

A winegard HD7695P on the roof or at the peak of the roof on the side of the roof. Point the antenna at 181 magnetic compass. This will give you the channels to the south in arc from channel 19 to 29. All those channels to watch will be just fine. Read and understand this about Real Digital Tv Channels and Virtual Digital Tv Channels http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=695

Last edited by John Candle; 5-Jan-2011 at 4:48 AM.
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Old 5-Jan-2011, 12:52 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Phoenix42 View Post

I'm reading this to mean that a 4-bay would be sufficient, thoughts?
Are you willing to go without WMUR?
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Old 5-Jan-2011, 2:10 PM   #10
Phoenix42
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Morning Tower Guy, there was no differencing of opinion on what antenna to use for WMUR, just your suggestion for the Y5-7-13 VHF, a UVSJ and taller mast for antenna separation, so I'd considered the matter settled - I just need to compare the content of WMUR with WCVB, the ABC affiliate out of Boston. As both are owned by Hearst I'm expecting a certain amount of over lap. So my concern is just about which UHF would meet my needs - I'm inclined to go with a 4-bay, and probably the Channel Master 4221HD, as I think an 8-bay might pull in too much signal and over power the receiver, this is based on getting a solid signal with the RadioShack indoors antenna pointed in a random direction.
Thanks
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Old 5-Jan-2011, 5:00 PM   #11
Tower Guy
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Originally Posted by Phoenix42 View Post
I just need to compare the content of WMUR with WCVB, the ABC affiliate out of Boston.
The 4 bay is the correct UHF antenna. It may even pick up some of the RI stations, especially if you split the difference between 140 and 166.

I assume that WMUR has a newscast that's more specific to NH. I didn't know if you had any interest in NH stories.
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Old 2-May-2011, 3:16 AM   #12
Phoenix42
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Thumbs up

Some feedback:
I borrowed an old 4bay bow-tie of unkown make and model , stuck it onto the old satellite dish J mount and pointed it using landmarks - I'm picking up about 25 channels

I need to do some fine tuning as WNEU and WLVI are not strong enough, and at night I can get the RI stations. Strangely I am getting WZMY which is 110 degrees off to the east of my pointing, and a strong signal, 80, but no image from WTIC which is ~90 miles away and 90 degrees to the west.

A CM4221HD with some fine tuning will, I expect, resolve the weak channels.

Thanks All.
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Old 2-May-2011, 4:23 PM   #13
Phoenix42
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edit
Looking at report output again I see that WNEU is coming in to the rear of my antenna. I'm assuming this antenna has a poor reflector if it is doing this.
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