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Old 19-Sep-2016, 4:50 PM   #1
sauterg
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Signals so weak, I could operate a radio telescope! Trying to reach DC.

I'm trying to research the best way to cut my ridiculously expensive satellite cord. I'm not too far from the DC market, but the topography seems to be causing some grief. I have a large old school TV antenna on my roof that doesn't seem to provide signal when pointed to the source of my desire (approx. 46 deg true). I get the closer transmitters that transmit unappealing content. I would also add the overabundance of trees! There's no avoiding them.

I reached out to Wineguard for their recommendation. Here is what they recommended based on my address:
Based on your information we recommend a HD7694P antenna for your location.
An amplifier is recommended to make up for signal loss of long runs of cable, or if splitting the antenna to multiple televisions.
Amplifier:
LNA200
My TV signal analysis results appear here: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e2cb583e5c74aa

Is their recommendation the ideal? Are there alternatives I should consider?

Thanks for your assistance. I've read a few of your other recommendations and am impressed by your knowledge.

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Old 19-Sep-2016, 5:14 PM   #2
Tigerbangs
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You aren't in bad shape if you want the D.C. stations: winegard's recommendation is valid.
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Old 20-Sep-2016, 8:47 PM   #3
rickbb
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How are you pointing the old antenna? Does it have a UHF element on it or just VHF? I used to think you pointed those the way the "arrow" shape looks, it's actually backwards. Point the "arrow" away from the direction.

Also what kind of cable is connected to the antenna? Old broken cable or the RF modulator can be bad causing no signal.

Sometimes you can bring those old systems back to life, but many times it's better to pull it all out and replace with known good, new stuff.
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Old 21-Sep-2016, 3:47 AM   #4
sauterg
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Thanks, Tigerbangs and rickbb.

I don't know much about antennas, but I believe the existing antenna has both VHF and UHF elements. They are oriented such that they form either a horizontal or vertical "V" that catches signals. That is, the open end of the "V" faces the tower azimuth.

The coax appears old and flimsy.

I think I agree that all new equipment would reduce the likelihood of whether the antenna works. I'd consider building an antenna if I wasn't under a time crunch. Perhaps I'll do this once I learn more and have time to devote to the effort.

My remaining concern is trees. Terrain is not as onerous as the really tall trees surrounding my home...
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Old 24-Sep-2016, 4:22 AM   #5
Tigerbangs
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Trees can be a seasonal issue, but a good directional antenna will minimize that issue. I suggest pulling down everything that you have, and starting fresh with a new antenna and new RG-6 coaxial cable. Aim the antenna at 45 degrees, as measured by a compass, and you'll be fine.

http://manuals.solidsignal.com/AntInstallGuide.pdf
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Old 24-Sep-2016, 12:24 PM   #6
bobsgarage
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Serious question to those offering advice.

Winegard recommended a HD7694P. Would using an HD7698P be a bad choice? The price difference is double but it might be worth it to not climb the tower again.

Would a little overkill be bad? I just wonder in situations with trees, etc, wouldn't be better to use a larger antenna? Trees rarely get smaller, plan for the future, I feel.

Thanks, Bob

Last edited by bobsgarage; 24-Sep-2016 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 24-Sep-2016, 10:05 PM   #7
GroundUrMast
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The only drawback to using the 7698 vs the 7694 is that the larger antenna is more directional. A few more dB's of gain are not going to cause trouble with the signals that the antenna is aimed at, but you may not receive as much from stations that are off to the left or right of your aim point.
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If the well is dry and you don't see rain on the horizon, you'll need to dig the hole deeper. (If the antenna can't get the job done, an amp won't fix it.)

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Old 25-Sep-2016, 12:14 PM   #8
bobsgarage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
The only drawback to using the 7698 vs the 7694 is that the larger antenna is more directional. A few more dB's of gain are not going to cause trouble with the signals that the antenna is aimed at, but you may not receive as much from stations that are off to the left or right of your aim point.

Thank you GroundUrMast for the answer, I see now. A tighter focus with the 7698.

One can learn a lot here just combing through threads and asking the occasional question.
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