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Old 5-Dec-2012, 12:01 AM   #1
samwynterhall
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Would appreciate some help

I put this in the general discussion area, but maybe it's meant to be here.

I live in southern end of Huntsville, Al, surrounded by a couple of hills, I tried an indoor RCA antenna with an amp from Walmart, but have decided to go with an attic antenna. My neighbor uses the Antennacraft 5884 Colorking in his attic, but has to have an amplifier for certain channels on bad weather days. Was wondering if the Antennacraft HBU22 would allow me to not worry about having an amp (Concerned about the heat up there).

Here's the analysis:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...cc4966b8192ae5

Regards

Sam
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Old 5-Dec-2012, 12:20 AM   #2
teleview
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Please make 2 more tvfool radar plot reports.

At 25 and 40 feet antenna heights.

How many Tv's are/will be connected??
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Old 5-Dec-2012, 9:53 AM   #3
samwynterhall
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Thank you for responding.

My fiance's already said no to an outside antenna, but I'll provide a link them anyway...it would really stick out in our neighborhood and worried about the tornado alley we live in, so it's the attic or nothing.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...cc497e1807adb1
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...cc49ffaa0c43b1

As to the second part of the question, it'll be one tv until next November (Duration of my Direct TV contract), then there'll be a total of four. My plan is to attach the antenna to the cable, in the cable box outside, that runs to all the rooms that have a tv.

BTW, saw this guy: AntennaCraft MXU47 Deep Fringe UHF HD Yagi TV Antenna.
Wonder if it'd work, I don't really care about the VHF.

I suppose my last resort is get an amp, gamble that it'd operate sufficiently during the summer...even with ridge vents, the attic gets really, really hot.

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 5-Dec-2012, 10:54 AM   #4
Stereocraig
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Electronic components are usually rated for 85c, so I doubt even AL temps would pose a problem.
Don't be too surprised if your attic install doesn't perform as well as you'd like.
Building materials are real good at blocking and reflecting signals.
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Old 5-Dec-2012, 12:21 PM   #5
samwynterhall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stereocraig View Post
Electronic components are usually rated for 85c, so I doubt even AL temps would pose a problem.
Don't be too surprised if your attic install doesn't perform as well as you'd like.
Building materials are real good at blocking and reflecting signals.
Didn't know they're rated that high, the only one's I've seen with a temp spec showed only 140 F, most of what I looked at, I couldn't find any numbers.

As for the performance, we just want the local stations at a minimum, WHNT, WAFF, WAAY and WZDX. Any suggestions (by anyone) for just an antenna or antenna/pre-amp combo would be appreciated.
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Old 5-Dec-2012, 2:52 PM   #6
elmo
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If going with an attic install w/o need for VHF, what about a ClearStream C2? The reflector may help you to deal with the multi-path better? Don't quote me on that though. But seeing as you have hills and attic to deal with, multi-pathing would likely be your biggest issue, as the tower for those locals is rather close by. Plus it's gonna be easy to install in an attic if you have 2x bracing all around.
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Old 5-Dec-2012, 3:13 PM   #7
Stereocraig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samwynterhall View Post
Didn't know they're rated that high, the only one's I've seen with a temp spec showed only 140 F, most of what I looked at, I couldn't find any numbers.
I can't speak for the materials that they use for the enclosures, I'm referring to the individual electronic components that are used to build the amp itself. 85c used to be the standard, but I think there's a new "commercial" standard, of 70c, which would still be 154F.
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Old 5-Dec-2012, 3:40 PM   #8
teleview
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Here is a list of the receivable Digital Tv stations/channels with one antenna aimed in one direction outside above the roof antenna.
In the order of strongest to weakest signal strengths.

WTZT-DT , REAL VHF channel 11 , virtual number (11.1) RTV Retro Tv Network.

WHIQ-DT , REAL UHF channel 24 , virtual number (25.1-2-3) PBS and PBS World , PBS Create.

WAFF-DT , REAL UHF channel 49 , virtual number (48.1-2) NBC and Bounce.

WAAY-DT , REAL UHF channel 32 , virtual number (31.1) ABC.

WZDX , REAL UHF channel 41 , virtual number (54.1-2-3) FOX and MyTvNetwork and Me-Tv.

WHNT-DT , REAL UHF channel 19 , virtual number (19.1-2) CBS and Bounce.

WHDF-DT , REAL UHF channel 14 , virtual number (15.1) The CW.

I recommend install a Winegard HD7696P antenna above the roof in such a manner that the roof and house is not blocking reception to the , north west and north.

Aim the HD7696P antenna at about 340 degree magnetic compass direction.

Here is how to aim antennas , http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html.

Install a Winegard AP8700 preamp.

_________________________________

For 1 Tv connected use no splitter.

For 2 Tv's connected use a , HFS-2D , 2 way splitter.

For 3 Tv's connected use a , HFS-3D , 3 way splitter.

Buy the HFS splitters at , http://www.hollandelectronics.com , or , http://www.solidsignal.com.
________

Here are some above the roof antenna mounts , http://www.ronard.com/909911.html , http://www.ronard.com/34424560.html , http://www.ronard.com/ychim , http://www.ronard.com.

Buy the ronard antenna mounts at solidsignal by typing the word ronard in the solidsignal search box.

Here are some places to buy antennas and etc. , http://www.solidsignal.com , http://www.amazon.com , http://www.winegarddirect.com.

Here is the Federal Antenna Law that says Yes you can install antennas above the roof.
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html.
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Old 5-Dec-2012, 5:51 PM   #9
samwynterhall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teleview View Post
Here is a list of the receivable Digital Tv stations/channels with one antenna aimed in one direction outside above the roof antenna.
In the order of strongest to weakest signal strengths.

WTZT-DT , REAL VHF channel 11 , virtual number (11.1) RTV Retro Tv Network.

WHIQ-DT , REAL UHF channel 24 , virtual number (25.1-2-3) PBS and PBS World , PBS Create.

WAFF-DT , REAL UHF channel 49 , virtual number (48.1-2) NBC and Bounce.

WAAY-DT , REAL UHF channel 32 , virtual number (31.1) ABC.

WZDX , REAL UHF channel 41 , virtual number (54.1-2-3) FOX and MyTvNetwork and Me-Tv.

WHNT-DT , REAL UHF channel 19 , virtual number (19.1-2) CBS and Bounce.

WHDF-DT , REAL UHF channel 14 , virtual number (15.1) The CW.

I recommend install a Winegard HD7696P antenna above the roof in such a manner that the roof and house is not blocking reception to the , north west and north.

Aim the HD7696P antenna at about 340 degree magnetic compass direction.

Here is how to aim antennas , http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html.

Install a Winegard AP8700 preamp.

_________________________________

For 1 Tv connected use no splitter.

For 2 Tv's connected use a , HFS-2D , 2 way splitter.

For 3 Tv's connected use a , HFS-3D , 3 way splitter.

Buy the HFS splitters at , http://www.hollandelectronics.com , or , http://www.solidsignal.com.
________

Here are some above the roof antenna mounts , http://www.ronard.com/909911.html , http://www.ronard.com/34424560.html , http://www.ronard.com/ychim , http://www.ronard.com.

Buy the ronard antenna mounts at solidsignal by typing the word ronard in the solidsignal search box.

Here are some places to buy antennas and etc. , http://www.solidsignal.com , http://www.amazon.com , http://www.winegarddirect.com.

Here is the Federal Antenna Law that says Yes you can install antennas above the roof.
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html.
Thanks Teleview. Unfortunately, I know I can't put it outside, and almost certain it wouldn't fit in the attic on the north-west side in the orientation required. Any alternatives that allows an small area attic installation (maybe a 6-7 ft boom), maybe one of those deep fringe type of antennas, or how what another poster mentioned, the clearstream2, would that be feasible? From a size standpoint, it would be ideal.

Again thanks.
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Old 5-Dec-2012, 6:41 PM   #10
samwynterhall
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Teleview, thanks for your time.

Unfortunately, I'll be putting the antenna in the attic, and I believe that the model you listed is too large for the north-west area, too many angled 2x4s bracing the roof. One poster mentioned the clearstream 2, which would fit nicely, but was wondering if the clearstream 4 would be better. Maybe there's other smaller alternatives, I don't really need all the channels, just the usual ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.
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Old 5-Dec-2012, 8:29 PM   #11
samwynterhall
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Received another suggestion, from this board, sent to my email account, but it isn't here in this thread...odd, it's by rabbit73.

"...If you don't need the local news CH11, I suggest an Antennas Direct DB4e UHF antenna aimed at 11 degrees magnetic, which gives more UHF gain that you need in the attic for your weak signals. The attenuation of the signals caused by being in the attic can vary according to the construction.

Most tuners need a signal of at least -84 dBm, so you need a preamp like the Antennas Direct CPA19 to make your signals stronger before going down the coax to your tuner."

The size is great, but was wondering if there's another preamp that's not quite as expensive.

Thanks rabbit73.

Last edited by samwynterhall; 5-Dec-2012 at 8:48 PM.
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Old 5-Dec-2012, 9:47 PM   #12
samwynterhall
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Okay, think I've decided to go with:

Antennas Direct DB4E (Width = 23 in. Height = 37.5 in)

Winegard Ap8700 pre-amp ( Adds 17dB (VHF) and 19dB (UHF) to a 75 ohm signal)

Thanks to all.

Regards
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Old 5-Dec-2012, 10:02 PM   #13
elmo
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Good luck and keep us posted with the final results!
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Old 5-Dec-2012, 10:03 PM   #14
rabbit73
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Try just the DB4e alone first to see what it will get.

If the heat in the attic is a problem, this might be a solution: If you have an airconditioned room just below the attic, you could put the preamp there. If the coax from the antenna to the preamp is less than 6 ft, the preamp performance will not be seriously compromised. My coax is 9 ft from the antenna to the preamp, and 50 ft to the power inserter and TV; the preamp makes a big difference.

This is what my tvfool report looks like; my ant is at 5ft---last column. The UHF antenna is a CM4221 4-bay bowtie, and the VHF antenna is a folded dipole of 300 ohm twin lead cut for CH13. The channels are in numerical order to make measurements (not shown here) with my signal level meter:

Code:
Real           tvfool-zip      tvfool-address    tvfool-address, 5 ft
 CH            dBm   path        dBm   path          dBm   path
 
  7  WTPC     -41.9   LOS       -74.0  2Edge        -81.0  2Edge
  9  WSKY     -58.1   LOS       -88.2  2Edge        -95.5  2Edge
 11  WGBS     -73.8   LOS       -98.9  2Edge       -114.6  2Edge
 13  WVEC     -38.6   LOS       -71.1  2Edge        -78.0  2Edge
 16  WHRO     -32.4   LOS       -62.3  2Edge        -72.2  2Edge
 17  WKTD     -50.0   LOS       -87.9  2Edge        -95.4  2Edge
 20  WUND     -93.8   2Edge    -117.9  Tropo       -124.4  Tropo
 22  WRIC     -57.9   LOS       -87.7  2Edge        -94.3  2Edge
 25  WTVR     -60.4   LOS       -90.1  2Edge        -96.5  2Edge
 26  WRLH     -58.5   LOS       -88.5  2Edge        -95.1  2Edge
 29  WVBT     -32.7   LOS       -69.2  2Edge        -77.5  2Edge
 31  WAVY     -32.8   LOS       -66.2  2Edge        -75.6  2Edge
 33  WTVZ     -33.3   LOS       -63.4  2Edge        -73.2  2Edge
 40  WTKR     -33.9   LOS       -64.4  2Edge        -74.0  2Edge
 42  WCVE     -62.1   LOS       -92.6  2Edge        -98.7  2Edge
 45  WNLO     -55.3   LOS       -93.4  2Edge       -101.7  2Edge
 46  WPXV     -35.4   LOS       -67.0  2Edge        -76.4  2Edge
 50  WGNT     -34.8   LOS       -69.6  1Edge        -79.3  1Edge
And this is what my SONY KDL22L5000 gave me on that particular day. The SNR should be at least 16 dB for reception:

Code:
Virtual   Real      Errors       SNR     Signal Strength     Comments
  CH       CH                    dB          

 2.1       20     0 to 6971    13 to 15      58 to 61
 3.1       40         0           25            79
 4.1        9         0           26            78
 6.1       25     0 to 3000    13 to 17         75     Signal from rear of ant
 7.1       11     0 to 3000    13 to 15      67 to 68
 8.1       22         0        17 to 20         76     Signal from rear of ant
10.1       31         0           25            78
13.1       13         0           28            79
15.1       16         0           25            79
21.1        7         0           31            79
27.1       50         0           25            79
33.1       33         0           23            78
35.1       26         0        18 to 19         76     Signal from rear of ant
43.1       29         0           25            79
45.1       45         0        22 to 23         72
49.1       46         0        25 to 26         78
   
23.1       42   Not picked up by scan;                 Signal from rear of ant
                 more comments later

Notice that some SNR numbers below 15 dB are given by the SONY TV.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 5-Dec-2012 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 5-Dec-2012, 10:32 PM   #15
samwynterhall
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Thanks Elmo and Rabbit73. I am going to try the antenna alone first, who knows. Also, if I need a pre-amp, since the TV is below where the antenna is, I'll try attaching it down there. Will keep you guys informed.

Again, thanks.

Regards
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Old 5-Dec-2012, 11:06 PM   #16
GroundUrMast
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What is the total length of cable between the antenna and TV? RG-6 has no more than 6 dB loss per 100 feet. If you have 50 feet or less, and no splitter, don't expect an amplifier to make much difference.

Amplifiers do not (can not) 'pull' signal from an antenna or out of the air. Amplifiers are best located close to the antenna because they only overcome signal loss that occurs on the output side of the amplifier. To overcome loss in the cable and splitter, an amplifier must be positioned upstream of the cable or splitter. If located at the TV, the only impairment they can help with would be poor tuner noise figure.

If you opt for a preamp, a cool closet, as close to the antenna as possible sounds like the best location.
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Old 5-Dec-2012, 11:39 PM   #17
samwynterhall
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For the next year, it'll be 25 feet for one TV. Next year at this time, when my Direct TV contract is done, I'll add 2-3 other TVs, I would guess that it'll be 100+ft. So, it sounds like I won't need an amp for a while then.

Also, I'm a little confused by the term "a cool closet"...could you explain.

Thanks
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Old 14-Dec-2012, 11:58 AM   #18
samwynterhall
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Okay, I'm done until next year about this time. The Antennas Direct DB4E in the attic works nicely for 13 channels (6 stations) and most have 4 out of 6 bars. I won't be able tell about tree inference until the spring, but for now, it's wonderful.

Final thoughts: I have to say, the size of the DB4e, about 3'x2', will make it extremely easy to move if the trees in the northeast corner of our lot interferes with the reception in the spring. Also, when I add the other TVs next year, I wonder if, instead of a pre-amp which installs on the mast, maybe getting an amp near each TV would be better so I won't have to worry about the attic heat on the pre-amp.

One last thing, do I need to ground an attic antenna?

Anyhow, thanks for all the help.
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Old 14-Dec-2012, 5:59 PM   #19
rabbit73
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Sam:

Thank you for telling us the good news that the DB4E works well for you with one TV.

An amp at each TV is not a good idea because the signals should be amplified before going through the splitters and long coax runs to the sets for best signal quality as GroundUrMast said in post #16. Just one amp, if needed, should be near the antenna, if the sets with the weakest signals are giving you a problem. The technical reason has to do with Noise Margin and the system Cascaded Noise Figure; I will not bore you with the links unless you ask for them.

When you add the other TVs you will need a 4-way splitter or two 2-way splitters, depending on the coax runs to the other TVs. Try that without an amp at first.

If you use a 4-way splitter, the four outputs will all be 7 dB down from the input. The total loss for the signal at the end of the 100 ft run will be 13 dB (7 dB for the splitter and 6 dB for the coax) that must be made up by the preamp to be back where you are now with one set. If you use two 2-way splitters in cascade, you will have three outputs, two 7 dB down and one 3.5 dB down that can be used for the 100 ft run.

Instead of a preamp, which gives a little more gain, you might also consider using a distribution amplifier like the CM34XX series. A distribution amp combines the amp and splitter in one unit. The 3414 has four outputs all of equal strength. Each output is 8 dB stronger than the input.

If you use a CM3412 you have 2 outputs that are 11.5 dB stronger than the input. One output can be connected to a 2-way splitter giving you three outputs: two 8 dB stronger than the input and one 11.5 dB stronger for the 100 ft run.

Grounding an antenna in the attic is not required by the code, but the coax should be grounded in some way for electrical safety. I have strong feelings about that as you can see from this thread:

60 miles away from broadcast tower..help
http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=12019

and in particular my posts #22 and #25 on page 2:
http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=12019&page=2

In reference to the closet, I was thinking along the same lines...the preamp would be out of sight. There is something called the WAF.....Wife Acceptance Factor. In your case, it would be the Fiancée Acceptance Factor. Women rank making it look "pretty" more important than "practical."
http://www.weddingwire.com/wedding-f...570f69ba2.html

My wife is from Birmingham, AL. She tolerates my antenna experiments because I was able to set up an OTA system for use when the cable is out or during a power failure. I'm lucky because she even bought a signal level meter for me to make antenna measurements.

Best regards,
rabbit

Last edited by rabbit73; 16-Dec-2012 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 16-Dec-2012, 2:44 PM   #20
samwynterhall
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Rabbit,

Okay, so I've looked at the 3412, and also, the 3414 Distribution Amplifiers, and I've saved the info for next year, excellent recommendation. I've also actually thought about buying another antenna and having two TVs per antenna with possibly no amps required, but haven't research enough to know if they'd interfere with each other, but regardless, the distribution amp looks like a really good option.

As for grounding the antenna, when i get a chance, I believe I saw a copper wire running up there, so I'll definitely tie the antenna to it.

Again thanks,

Regards,

Phil
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