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Old 17-Jul-2014, 9:12 PM   #1
DTesch357
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Help a Newbie with Chicago Reception!

Hi everyone,

I've perused a number of posts here regarding reception help in Chicago, but I wanted to just ask the experts before I went ahead and purchased anything.

I cut the cord to Comcast in January, and want to get a proper antenna setup before football season starts. I need to make sure that whatever antenna I get is able to pull in CBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX at the very least. My little crummy indoor antenna I picked up at Best Buy works well enough to pull in ABC/NBC/FOX, but no luck on CBS; I know this is because CBS in Chicago is on Hi-VHF as opposed to UHF frequencies.

Here is my TV Fool report:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e1c6de218b3f9e

What antenna should I look at getting? If possible, as a nice to have, I wouldn't mind also getting an antenna that I could rotate towards the west to pick up signals from Rockford, for no other reason than "because I can."

The antenna would be either attic or roof mounted, and would feed 4 TV's.

Thank you!
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Old 21-Jul-2014, 3:10 AM   #2
DTesch357
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I'm not feeling the love.
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Old 21-Jul-2014, 1:58 PM   #3
StephanieS
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Hello DTesch,

Apologies for no one getting to you.

For your situation you need UHF and high VHF support. If I were installing, I'd go with a Antennacraft HBU44 (http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=hbu44 mounted to your chimney if possible and orientated to magnetic 110 (ESE). Make sure you are clear of obstructions if possible. This includes trees and power lines.

Good mounting poles can be find at super hardware stores with 10' chain link fence top.

You could likely use a smaller antenna and serve one or two TVs. Feeding 4 TVs, using a stronger more gain driven antenna will give you better chances at distributing the signal.

Now, 4 TVs can be handled a couple ways. First, how long will your coax run be to a splitter and then how far will your most distant TV be from the antenna? Your signals are on the lower side so distribution amp may be a good idea. These are sold by channel master and are offered in 4 port versions. These overcome losses of splitters and long runs.

http://www.channelmasterstore.com/TV...fiers_s/40.htm

In setting your system up though, first step after you have the antenna aimed and the coax drop into your home, run a single non-split coax into ONE TV and test reception. If reliable and of good signal, add splitter/distribution amp and test with other tvs. This will help you determine where to focus should one TV have reception issues.

I would expect you will see the vast majority of Chicago broadcasts reliably.

Cheers.

Edit: Rockford isn't nearly as favorable as Chicago. You have a chance at WQRF and WTVO. WREX is just below the bleeding edge of reception and may drop in and out at best. To have a chance at Rockford you'd need a more aggressive antenna than the HBU44. Likely, a sepearate antenna system comprised of a Antennas Direct DB8e for UHF and a Antennacraft Y10713 for VHF is what Rockford would require.

These separate systems would operate off a A/B switch in the house which would allow you to toggle between markets.

Last edited by StephanieS; 21-Jul-2014 at 5:31 PM. Reason: Rockford info...
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Old 22-Jul-2014, 7:38 PM   #4
DTesch357
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Thank you for the feedback.

One quick question - do you have any experience with this antenna?

http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp...u=615798398491

We regularly can get wind gusts that reach 70, 80, or even 90+ miles per hour during spring storms - I'm out past civilization so there's no big buildings to break up the wind - is that a concern with a 'standard' antenna? Should I consider the heavy duty one?
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Old 23-Jul-2014, 3:21 AM   #5
StephanieS
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The winegards are respected antennas. Many here sing their praises.

With windload tolerance, I have no experience so I'll let those who have more experience with durability jump in.
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Old 23-Jul-2014, 4:28 AM   #6
GroundUrMast
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The only reason to consider the HD8200U in your application is if you want to try to receive WGWG (real CH-6) and WOCK (real CH-4). Both are quite weak... especially given the added noise present at those frequencies. You'd be 'at the edge' based on the signal report you've posted.

The long elements at the rear of the 8200 (and equivalent antennas from other manufacturers) are there to provide Low-VHF (real CH-2 through 6) reception. Those elements are the most vulnerable to wind and ice damage.

So, it boils down to, 'what's most important to you?'

1) Less wind load
2) A chance at reception of one or both weak L-VHF signals.

The HBU-44 (or HBU-55) suggested by StephanieS is a very good option. If you want to shop the competition, the Winegard HD7698P is a direct competitor to the larger HBU series antennas.

For lower wind load profile, I'd lean toward the DB8E + Y10713 combination. This is based only on my non-scientific assessment of the antennas, the manufacturers don't provide any wind loading data.
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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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