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Old 27-Apr-2011, 2:06 PM   #1
Joe2011
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Go or No with Winegard Hd7696P ?

TV Fool Report:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...8d1785476e0249

Background: I had successfully installed a LAVA HD-2805 antenna with directional motor and super low noise signal amplifier built in, on my one story ranch house on a 6 ft steel pole secured to the chimney - total height about 30 feet above ground. Un-interupted 50 foot run of coax cable to the motor controller box about 20 feet below next to the TV and then patched thru an RCA digital converter box to my Sony 2001 era analog TV - Clear 180 degree vista toward the front on the house (12:00 O'Clock) The transmitters for the weakest stations are at 3:00 O'clock. Tall trees behind and on sides of house. A big fat international airport directly between the antenna and "TV Hill" about 17 miles away in Baltimore. Channels 11 & 13 were weak ... channel 38 same transmitter location - strong?! After 9:00PM - channels 11 & 13 appeared stronger - though they did not appear to register stonger on the RCA digital converter box signal strength meter?
Per forum suggestions I replaced the Lava with a Winegard HD7694P, on the same pole, run directly to the RCA Digital converter box - no breaks, splitters or rotor controller in between. I've dialed in pointing the antenna to the compass setting from the report and even moved the direction slightly left and right for improved signal strength but the compass setting is directed through tall trees at the 3:00 O'clock position. Channels 11 now gets no signal and 13 is very bad (worse then the LAVA) The other channels are also weaker with more frequent drop outs? I've checked the connections - re-scanned several times with no improved results. I am re-installing the LAVA antenna today as I can at least get the UHF stations above 13 with some consistency while I wait for your replys. I do notice with the LAVA antenna the directional setting with the strongest signal is not in line with the report compass setting but is pointed in a sight line clearing the trees? Should I send this Winegard antenna back and seek a VHF only antenna for channels 11 & 13 with a duel antenna set up and A, B switch? Have I missed something with the highly recomended Winegard HD7694P? Are those trees the likely problem with a tight directional antenna like the Winegard?
Suggestions ... ?

Last edited by mtownsend; 27-Apr-2011 at 8:00 PM. Reason: Fixed link to TV Fool report
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Old 27-Apr-2011, 2:26 PM   #2
Tower Guy
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Have I missed something with the highly recomended Winegard HD7694P?
Maybe. The antenna acts as if the VHF section is disabled.

I have not installed a HF 7694P myself, but other models of Winegard antennas have feedline couplings betwen the UHF and VHF sections of the antenna that must be unfolded and connected.
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Old 27-Apr-2011, 2:48 PM   #3
No static at all
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The 7694 is more than enough antenna. Is there a metal cap on the chimney or anywhere within a foot of the antenna?

There is some pretty strong FM around you as well that the 7694 may be seeing more of than the Lava did. I would try an FM trap as well.

I've put up 3 7694's in Northern VA with weaker strengths than yours & results have been quite satisfactory. 2 of the locations are spotty at times with 11 & 13, but good for the most part.

Are you seeing WUTB-24?
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Old 27-Apr-2011, 4:12 PM   #4
Joe2011
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I do not receive WUTB 24 but I do receive channel 22 (MPT) which, because the tower is so close, comes in strong even though a different compass direction altogether.
I checked the internals on the Winegard 7694P (once you open the array and snap a small black plastic box with circuit board into postion, that circuit board contains metal coupling pins that clip to 4 antenna feed lines running inside - two UHF and two VHF I suppose) Those appear to be solidly connected.
I do have a metal flue swing cap/door on the chimney, but the antenna is about 3 feet above that. Would the Winegard be affected differently then the LAVA by that cap?
I've attached 2 pictures of the set up - (this is the LAVA - the Winegard was installed in the same location) The compass heading is directly into those trees and at times when I rotate the LAVA toward the front of the house, away from the compass heading reccomended; I pick up a better signal. I do not get that improved signal when pointing the Winegard in that same "off compass heading" direction.
An FM trap?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Antenna Set up 1.JPG (94.3 KB, 501 views)
File Type: jpg Antenna Set up 2.JPG (125.4 KB, 559 views)

Last edited by mtownsend; 27-Apr-2011 at 8:01 PM. Reason: Removed redundant TV Fool report
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Old 28-Apr-2011, 5:57 PM   #5
Tower Guy
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When I rotate the LAVA toward the front of the house, away from the compass heading reccomended; I pick up a better signal. I do not get that improved signal when pointing the Winegard in that same "off compass heading" direction.
An FM trap?
That may mean that the Lava's internal preamp is overloaded, it may mean that the rotor calibration is off, or it may mean that the Lava has a distorted pattern on some channels.

Trees are often a bigger problem on UHF than VHF, so I'd start considering interference on VHF that does not bother UHF. Examples are a noisy computer or power line interference.

You can listed for power line interference using the AM radio in your car. Tune it to 530 and listen for buzzing. If the buzzing is very loud near your house or in the general direction of the VHF TV stations, you may need to have the power company resolve the problem.
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Old 28-Apr-2011, 10:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
...An FM trap?
FM Trap at Radio Shack.

FM Trap at Antennas Direct.

Used to reduce FM radio signals that could be interfering with desired signals. The LAVA will not have a means to connect this devise ahead of the amplifier, which is where it needs to be if it's to be effective.
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 28-Apr-2011 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 29-Apr-2011, 12:23 AM   #7
Tower Guy
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There is some pretty strong FM around you as well that the 7694 may be seeing more of than the Lava did. I would try an FM trap as well.
I ran the FMfool report for the correct coordinates. The strongest FM signal is WLZL which is 2 edge and -35.4 dbm. The TV set with no preamp and any HD769X antenna should handle that fine. By comparison WBAL is -51.5 dbm.
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Old 29-Apr-2011, 1:48 AM   #8
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Can you post a few close up photos of the HD7694P? Curious if there is anything obvious that we could spot for you.
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Old 30-Apr-2011, 2:44 PM   #9
No static at all
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Originally Posted by Tower Guy View Post
I ran the FMfool report for the correct coordinates. The strongest FM signal is WLZL which is 2 edge and -35.4 dbm.
Thanks TG, I only ran the zip code & the numbers were a bit higher (-20dbm LOS)
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