TV Fool  

Go Back   TV Fool > Over The Air Services > Help With Reception

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 29-Sep-2012, 1:31 AM   #1
jj00
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4
Antenna Question - Seattle, WA

Hello,
I have been using a set of rabbit ears for almost 2 years now in Seattle, WA. It's worked relatively well, but we'd like to get the antenna out of the living room if possible.

My current antenna:
Terk HDTVi (http://www.amazon.com/Terk-Technolog.../dp/B0001FV36E)

My tvfool.com specs:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...2df9c8a8ea3615

Some general info that might seem helpful (or not):
* 2-story house wired with coax in every room, the living/den actually have 2 connections, everything meets in the basement
* I have an old Directv dish on my roof (on the lowest part of a highly sloped roof) which is also wired into the house, it's located at the southern end of the house
* Our TV is on the 1st floor, at the Northern part of the house

Where I'm looking for improvement:
* I'm mostly looking for improved consistency, and slight improvement
* Sometimes people walk by the tv/antenna and it messes with the signal
* Fox is a little "blippy" at times
* I'd love to get 28.1, which is just inside the yellow graph on my spec page. We kind of get it now, it's not watchable, but comes in for 1-sec, off for 3-4 secs, etc. It makes me think we could get it if we had an improved antenna, or used a higher location.

Here are my different thoughts for a solution:
1. Take the Terk antenna and put it in one of the upstairs bedrooms, then connect all the wires to feed it into the living room (bedroom->basement->living room). However, when I make all the connections, the TV barely gets a signal, if any at all. I'm suspecting that the signal from the Terk antenna isn't strong enough to make the journey to my TV in the living room, since it has to make so many hops (bedroom to basement, and then basement to living room). I'm wondering if it would be worth getting some sort of amp or preamp to help the signal from the antenna make the journey.

2. I called an installer, but they want sometime close to $500+ to set something up for me, and that doesn't include a $229 rotor. I also might have to pay extra since my roof is so steep. I'm not even sure I need a rotor, since all my channels are basically due South from my house. They recommended I buy a Channel Master 4228 HD from them.

3. I was thinking I could just unscrew the dish on my roof and install the CM 4228, even though the position would be at the base of my roof instead of the top. Then I could just use the existing wires outside to feed it into my system. I wouldn't help much if I needed some sort of amp, since I'm not sure how I would power it outside, but it's just a thought.

If you don't see a theme here, I'm basically trying to do the least amount of work to get better results. I have no problems paying for an installer if thatís what I need, but Iíd hate to spend 500-1000 dollars when I could have just done something really simple with my current setup. Even buying the 4228 is only about a $100, and putting it where the dish is already standing seems safer than paying someone to climb my steep roof.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance! Iím having problems finding local advice, I guess Iím the only one in my neighborhood not using pay TV.
jj00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-Sep-2012, 2:33 AM   #2
GroundUrMast
Moderator
 
GroundUrMast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,740
An outdoor mounted antenna gives you the best quality signal.

I would opt for an Antennas Direct DB2e facing Capitol Hill. Then add an Antennacraft Y5713 pointing at Bremerton / Gold Mountain. Combine the two antennas with a UVSJ then use a splitter with only enough ports to feed the sets in use. (Leave the unused drops disconnected, they will only cause signal degradation.)


The aim of the Antennacraft Y5713 should be able to be adjusted to give you reliable reception of 9, 11 & 13. The stronger signals from 9 & 11 can be picked up on the back side of the antenna.


http://www.antennasdirect.com/store/DB2e.html
http://www.antennacraft.net/Antennas/AntennasVHF.html
http://www.antennasdirect.com/store/...Combiners.html
http://www.antennasdirect.com/store/splitters.html

You're very close to Queen Anne Hill and the high power levels of the stations up there. Any sort of amplifier is likely to overload. Fortunately, There should be enough power in the air to drive several sets if you wish.



FWIW: KBTC (VC 28.1 through 3) is now broadcasting from Capitol Hill on real CH-16 so no need to chase the primary CH-27 signal out of Tacoma.

Last edited by GroundUrMast; 29-Sep-2012 at 4:30 AM. Reason: Too much power, avoid an amplifier.
GroundUrMast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-Sep-2012, 6:28 AM   #3
be236
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 135
With KCPQ on RF 22 now (turned on a few weeks back) on Capitol Hill, you shouldn't need to point to Bremerton to get FOX RF 13 anymore.
be236 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-Sep-2012, 4:53 PM   #4
GroundUrMast
Moderator
 
GroundUrMast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,740
Thanks be236. I had been periodically checking for the new translator on RF-22 but obviously had not yet seen it.

That makes an Antennas Direct Clear Stream 2 Complete look like a very good option in the Ballard neighborhood.

http://www.antennasdirect.com/store/...VHF-Combo.html

Per ADTech: "If shopping on Amazon, use Model "C2-V-CJM" as your search string. This is a new version that just started shipping in the last six weeks."

http://forum.tvfool.com/showpost.php...55&postcount=6

Last edited by GroundUrMast; 29-Sep-2012 at 5:21 PM. Reason: Added link to ADTech's recent post
GroundUrMast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-Sep-2012, 5:14 PM   #5
be236
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
Thanks be236. I had been periodically checking for the new translator on RF-22 but obviously had not yet seen it.

That makes an Antennas Direct Clear Stream 2 Complete look like a very good option in the Ballard neighborhood.

http://www.antennasdirect.com/store/...VHF-Combo.html
Yup.

Up to a few weeks back, I've been able to get CHAN (RF 22) regularly.. then one day till now, I noticed I could not get it anymore and my signal meter was stuck at a known value that I knew usually meant co-channel interference.

Contacted the folks at KCPQ and they confirmed they turned on RF 22 on Cap Hill around that time I lost my signal to CHAN!

D'oH!

Just ordered and received and assembling 91XG now and hope (pray?) I can get CHAN RF 22 back (previously using a poorly made M8 to get CHAN).
be236 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1-Oct-2012, 12:57 AM   #6
jj00
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4
So I should take away from this that I can do well with an "Antennas Direct Clear Stream 2 Complete" over the one the installer recommended on the phone, the Channel Master 4228 HD? The prices are in the same ballpark, but the CM might be a little cheaper.

Is it just a matter of putting this on my roof and aiming South? I'm concerned over the coax distance the signal has to travel to get into my living room (roof->basement & basement->living room). Do I need to worry about the signal strength when travelling these distances via coax?

Thanks a lot for your feedback. I'm not up on all the terminology, but it doesn't seem like it's too hard of a thing to setup as long as I keep it simple. At the very least I think I can do as much as possible within reason. If I get into trouble, then call someone in to finish the job. It should be cheaper that way and a learning experience for me.

As far as 28.1, after rescanning my Tivo found the new channels! Unfortunately it doesn't register those as the same channels as Tacoma's PBS. I believe I have to send an email to Tivo to inform them of the change. I had to do this when Fox added the other channel (22?) to help with 13's reception issues.
jj00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1-Oct-2012, 6:14 AM   #7
GroundUrMast
Moderator
 
GroundUrMast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,740
The CM-4228 is a UHF only design. That does not stop it from receiving some VHF signal... but it's not good at it. You could find yourself needing to add a separate high-VHF antenna to get CH-9 & 11.

The C2-V-CJM has both UHF and high-VHF by design. Yes, I think the C2-V-CJM fit's your situation quite a bit better than the CM-4228. Another economical option would be an RCA ANT-751.

Aim to the SE, toward Capitol Hill, you'll still get plenty of signal from the Queen Anne towers. The signal power in the air is more than enough to drive 100' of RG-6 and a 2-way splitter. Again, be sure the antenna is connected to the input port of the splitter and, the splitter has only the output ports needed for the number of sets connected. If you have an 8-way splitter in the distribution panel but you only run two sets, you're loosing a significant amount of signal power for no reason.
GroundUrMast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1-Oct-2012, 3:20 PM   #8
jj00
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4
That makes a lot more sense, thanks for taking the time to explain it! I'll post again when I have everything setup.
jj00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-Oct-2012, 3:37 AM   #9
jj00
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 4
Nearly a month has past and I'm happy to report our antenna is setup! It wasn't as easy as I had hoped, and I had to call someone in the end, but doing my research here saved me a bunch of money.

I bought the recommended (above) antenna from Amazon:
Antennas Direct C2-V-CJM ClearStream 2-V Long Range UHF/VHF Antenna
http://amzn.to/RkRBCg

I decided to test things out by hanging the antenna out a 2nd story window. It didn't work very well. I decided it might be because of the distance between the antenna and our TV, so I went back to Amazon and ordered a Pre-Amp. I called Antennas Direct and they recommended their CPA19:
http://amzn.to/PRwsme
(I saved some money by finding one in their Warehouse Deals section)

I re-setup everything again with the pre-amp, and it didn't work any better than the first time. I decided to bite the bullet and called an installer. It cost a lot less than they quoted since I had bought my own antenna and done most of the homework, around $220. We popped the antenna on the roof and everything worked like a charm! The pre-amp wasn't needed either, so I was able to return it and saved some additional money.

I think the issue I had was that when testing I was just hanging it out a window by a string, so it wasn't pointed as precisely as it needed to be. If I had put it on the roof from the start, I might have saved even more money. Then again, hindsight is 20/20.

In case you are in the Seattle area, this is the company I went with:
http://homesatellite.com/LocalChannels.htm

I used them a few years ago to install a satellite dish, and they did a good job then and for this job too. They just removed the dish itself and used the mount to install the new antenna.

So all told I spent about $80 on the Antenna, and $220 on an installer: about $300 all in. We definitely get better reception than with the rabbit ears, and the living room isn't as cluttered. The cost was a little steep, but I just keep telling myself that I've been saving around $70/month by not having cable TV for about 2 years now.

Thanks for your help!
jj00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
antenna, rabbit ears, seattle

Go Back   TV Fool > Over The Air Services > Help With Reception


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT. The time now is 8:14 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright © TV Fool, LLC