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dsmguy7 11-Mar-2011 5:21 AM

Antenna Newbie
 
Hello everyone. I post on a few other gun and flashlight forums and have heard how good you guys are. I am sick and tired of paying outrageous directv bills (and only watching 5 channels) and have decided to try over the air and streaming netflix and other such programs through either a roku or blue ray player. I am brand new, so please take it easy on me. I am going to list my current situation, report, and my current idea of a future set up. Feel free to constructively criticize or add new ideas.

TVFOOL report: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...597912d2aa14a4

I believe that I did this right, but let me know.

My house was built in 2001 and the first owner was supposedly a home theater expert and wired every room with at least one (sometimes two) cable jacks. He supposedly used "cat5" cable. I am not sure on the splitters, but there are two lines coming into my home. I have 2 tvs (one is like 20 years old and only has a RF input and the other is like 7 years old and has RF, RCA, and component inputs). The two tvs are hooked to directtv boxes which in turn are hooked through the cable to the satellite on the roof.

My idea is to add an antenna (I know attic would be easier and look better, but I am more concerned about performance.) outside on a mast (as high as needed). I don't want to mount anything to the roof and hate guy wires. So according to some plans I found here, I was going to dig a hole 2 ft.^3 and fill it with concrete to mount the mast and then mount a bracket on the eave. This would be on the rear of my home for looks and convenient access to the cable box without being too close to power lines. Now, I have a hip style roof and the only two gables are on the front. So, the bracket will only be about 8-10 ft. off of the ground. I was going to choose a telescoping mast for ease of maintenance. From what I've read a Winegard HD7697P or HD 7698P would work well, but I want the best which is why I am asking you guys. I am not sure about preamps or distribution amps. I know that I will need converter boxes for the two tvs. My house is at the bottom of a 5 ft. hill and the houses behind me (the direction I believe that the antenna will be pointed in) are therefore setting 5 ft. higher. I haven't measured but my single story roof is about 15 ft. at the peak. There is also a privacy fence and trees behind me. There is a large water tower and an airport near by. I am hoping a 30 ft. or smaller mast will work. There is an alternative antenna sight behind a shed which is on the hill. The old owner ran cable to the shed but I'm not sure of the condition it is in; plus it is about 75 ft. from my house. I only have two tvs now but may add up to 2 tvs later.


Questions:

1.) How hard is all of this? I am pretty mechanically inclined and believe that I can do it.

2.) Can I get away with an attic mounted antenna or do I need an outside one?

3.) Which antenna?

4.) Can I use the house wiring?

5.) Should I use the existing splitter and add terminations or just get a 2 way splitter for now and get a larger one later if I add tvs?

6.) How expensive are field strength meters and are they necessary to find a good signal? Is it worth paying to have someone "probe" my yard?

7.) If I have to use the other antenna site should I trust the old wiring? It is ran underground and the idiot directtv guy cut off the ends of the cable at the box and the core is rusting.

8.) Pre amps / distribution amps needed?

9.) A few stations seem to be strong in my area. If I use a pre amp will the strong stations cause problems?

10.) From what I can tell I can get most of my stations from the mobile, gulf shores, and pensacola stations. Is there any reason to try to get the Mississippi stations? CBS is CBS right? So will I need a rotor?

11.) Do you guys give advice about media players and such?

12.) Which mast and how tall?

I'm sorry for so long of a post. I am very OCD about doing things and I want this to be right. I am trying to save money, but I don't mind paying for quality. Please let me know if you need any more info. Thank you in advance.

Brantley

Tower Guy 11-Mar-2011 1:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dsmguy7 (Post 6891)
From what I've read a Winegard HD7697P or HD 7698P would work well, but I want the best which is why I am asking you guys. I am not sure about preamps or distribution amps.

Brantley

Use the smaller antenna, as your azimuths vary from 95-102 degrees.

No need for extra efforts to get very high. A wall mount on the east of the house with the mast extending above the soffet, but lower than the top of the hip roof should work.

Use a modest gain preamp such as the AP8700.

GroundUrMast 11-Mar-2011 6:14 PM

Quote:

1.) How hard is all of this? I am pretty mechanically inclined and believe that I can do it.
There are several general guides available. This Installation Guide by Channel Master is typical, somewhat dated, but gives a good idea of the tools and skills needed. Antenna installation is well within the skill set of most do-it-yourselfers.

Quote:

2.) Can I get away with an attic mounted antenna or do I need an outside one?
You may get away with attic installation but an outdoor antenna will most certainly out-perform.

Quote:

3.) Which antenna?
I agree with TG

Quote:

4.) Can I use the house wiring?
The cables you are using for cable or satellite now, should be fine.

Quote:

5.) Should I use the existing splitter and add terminations or just get a 2 way splitter for now and get a larger one later if I add tvs?
Expect to remove or replace satellite specific parts, such as matrix switches and diplexers. Some of the satellite system parts look identical to OTA/CATV splitters but will not pass OTA signals. If you only need to split 2 ways, splitting more will reduce the available signal needlessly.

Quote:

6.) How expensive are field strength meters and are they necessary to find a good signal? Is it worth paying to have someone "probe" my yard?
TV Fool has not probed your yard but has already provided a service that is nearly as effective. Keep your money. The least expensive ATSC field metering function I have found is $300 retail. If you have consumer grade metering built in to your converter box or DTV set as most do, keep your money.

Quote:

7.) If I have to use the other antenna site should I trust the old wiring? It is ran underground and the idiot directtv guy cut off the ends of the cable at the box and the core is rusting.
Once water has been inside coax, it's done.

Quote:

8.) Pre amps / distribution amps needed?

9.) A few stations seem to be strong in my area. If I use a pre amp will the strong stations cause problems?
TG's suggestion is fine, another preamp to consider would be the HDP-269 by Winegard.

Quote:

10.) From what I can tell I can get most of my stations from the mobile, gulf shores, and pensacola stations. Is there any reason to try to get the Mississippi stations? CBS is CBS right? So will I need a rotor?
Some folks are sports fans looking to receive out of market station so they can view blacked out games. You know the answer better than we would. With two or more sets connected, a rotator can be frustrating to the people who don't get to aim the antenna.

Quote:

11.) Do you guys give advice about media players and such?
Look through the Special Topics / Reception Devices section. I use Silicondust network attached tuners and record to hard disk. For real time viewing, I've been fairly happy with the Media Center packaged with Win-7 Home Premium. I currently do all of my recording with my XP desktop PC using my own batch files and the scheduling utility native to XP. I don't have first hand experience with the standalone internet appliances, PVR boxes or internet enabled TVs. I expect that others here do though.

Quote:

12.) Which mast and how tall?
Rerun your TVF report using 30' or 35' as the antenna mounting height. If you see the path profiles change to LOS and the NM numbers increase, consider the cost versus benefit of mounting higher. It's possible that you may be able to eliminate the need for any amplifier. Rohn is a highly respected name in the tower and mast business. Their H20 - H50 series would be worth looking at. The link I've provided also shows wall brackets with various standoff. I use this type bracket and a single 10' section of mast to support a mid-sized combination antenna. In my situation there was no need to extend the mast to the ground, the lower bracket includes a brace to carry the weight of the mast and antenna. If you decide to mount higher than 8' above the top bracket you are going to need a mast or tower system designed for the purpose.

coco 11-Mar-2011 11:39 PM

It looks like you live pretty close to the Gulf of Mexico as do I .With hurricane season around the corner do you plan to take down the winegard 7697 ? More importantly do you have place to store it when you take it down because it it nearly it is nearly 13 feet long! Take a look at this antenna ,i've had mine nearly a year and very satisfied with its performance. http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=239

John Candle 12-Mar-2011 12:02 AM

Tv antennas and Tv reception
 
The hd stacker antenna restricts reception to the UHF part of the antenna because of the VHF high antenna that is directly on top of it. There is a loop wire in between the two parts of the antenna that is a phasing loop. It is held in place by plastic supports , when the plastic supports break the wire will hang down , this will effect reception. If the wire or wires break , this will effect reception. If the wire is hanging down , do not tape the wire to any metal parts as this will effect reception. If the phasing loop of wire breaks and is missing , do not connect to short wires between the two antennas , this will effect reception. . I Never Recommend the hd stacker.

dsmguy7 12-Mar-2011 5:31 AM

Thank you all for your help.

@Towerguy and Coco-You are right. I didn't realize those antennas were so big. What about the Winegard HD7696P? It's about 9 ft. long. Would that work ok? I also would rather not use a preamp unless I have to. I also would rather leave the antenna up in a storm unless I have to. Any way to make it more sturdy?

@Groundurmast--10-4 and thank you. HD7696P? Any recomendations on coverter boxes? As I mentioned I have 2 old tvs so no hd capability and if I buy new tvs later they would have the tuners built in, so I don't need anything special; right? I am not a sports fan so any other reasons for me to get the MS stations? Wow, 30 ft. does make a huge difference. Don't think that I can justify any higher though. http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...597908dbceb009 Also which azimuth should I point the antenna to (weakest channel, split the difference, etc.)?

@JohnCandle--Thanks for the advice and I am shying away from that antenna.

GroundUrMast 12-Mar-2011 6:04 AM

Regardless of which antenna you choose, you will find that extreme precision when aiming is not possible or necessary with antennas of these types. Point at about 100° per your compass to start, then pan left and right to verify you have the best signal quality. You may need someone to watch the signal indicator as you make small adjustments either way.

Looking at you 30' TVF Report, I see no need for a large antenna.

The signal levels and noise margins are such that a small antenna will serve you better than a large high gain antenna. An RCA ANT751 or Antennacraft AC9 would give you enough signal aimed east. But those antennas also tend not to block signals from the rear as much as the higher gain antennas do. The three most powerful stations to the west should be received on the back side.

Quite frankly, I would expect either of those antennas to do fairly well if you mounted at 5' above your roof peak, (20' AGL by my understanding of your OP).

I don't object to anyone overbuilding. In your case, any of the Winegard HD769X series would be slight to moderate overbuild.

I've owned a Zenith DTT901 since pre-DTV transition... I've been happy with it. I still see them available through Amazon, but at rising prices. The Zinwell ZAT-970A is also there on Amazon at a more reasonable price... the reviewers are fairly positive about it.

dsmguy7 12-Mar-2011 6:15 AM

@Groundurmast--10-4. I gave 30 ft. as an arbitrary number. I don't know if I can get that high. I want the smallest antenna/ shortest mast that I can get that will do the job. A huge mast and large antenna is an eye sore, but I live in a hole and I am willing to do whatever is necessary. I would rather not get into guying though. I am concerned with looks, but more concerned with performance. You are saying aim the antenna at 90 deg.? Converter boxes? Rotor?

GroundUrMast 12-Mar-2011 6:42 AM

Recheck my previous post... I edited it.

This combination of mast and gable bracket could put you at 7' above roof peak.

http://www.nsccom.com/dura-tubemast10x1-14x16ga.aspx

http://www.3starinc.com/telescopic_t...t_bracket.html

John Candle 13-Mar-2011 12:36 AM

Converter boxes to buy
 
http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=380

dsmguy7 13-Mar-2011 7:56 PM

@ John Candle--10-4 and thank you.

@Groundurmast--10-4 and thank you. On the links you provided I see a wall mount bracket. Can that be used on an eave or gable? Also my only gables are on the front (west south west side) of my home and I didn't really want an antenna there. Am I to assume that this 10 ft. mast will only get 7 ft. above the peak because 3 ft. has to be below the bracket for stability?

My mother in law brought over her old rabbit ears antenna (RCA unknown model vhf/uhf) and a Dish Network tuner (DTVPAL). I hooked it up for fun and was amazed to receive the following stations (including sub channels) at listed strengths (according to the tuner).

WEAR 88
WKRG 83
WLOX REGISTERS BUT POOR QUALITY
WPMI 78
WMAH 69
WMPV 83
WXXV 63
WFGX 56 (POOR)
WEIQ 76
WJTC 71
WFNA 69

I am now more excited about what all channels I will be able to get. For a 20 year old tv and free crappy antenna and dtv tuner; the picture quality is pretty darn good (better than DirecTV!).

GroundUrMast 13-Mar-2011 8:54 PM

Quote:

Am I to assume that this 10 ft. mast will only get 7 ft. above the peak because 3 ft. has to be below the bracket for stability?
Correct.

Tripods can support a 10' mast section with no guy wires. There are also self supporting masts available. etc.

There are a wide variety of mounting techniques / options. In the end, it's your home and the FCC says you can mount an antenna of reasonable dimensions without your local government or neighbors interfering.

dsmguy7 13-Mar-2011 10:04 PM

@Groundurmast--10-4 and thanks. With being able to get all of these channels with the indoor antenna, what if I replaced the Directv satellite dish with the RCA ANT751? The wiring is already there and the bracket would put the antenna about 10 ft. off of the ground (though below the roof peak). (Thinking of going a minimalist route).

GroundUrMast 13-Mar-2011 10:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dsmguy7 (Post 6961)
@Groundurmast--10-4 and thanks. With being able to get all of these channels with the indoor antenna, what if I replaced the Directv satellite dish with the RCA ANT751? The wiring is already there and the bracket would put the antenna about 10 ft. off of the ground (though below the roof peak). (Thinking of going a minimalist route).

A very reasonable idea... If you have problems with some channels you can still consider higher mounting options later.

dsmguy7 3-Apr-2011 7:31 AM

Update
 
I'm sorry that it has been so long since I have posted, but I have been very busy. I finally put the RCA ANT751 where the Directv dish was and bought a Tivax STB-12. I also bought a PS3 and I am running Netflix via an old wireless router which my dad couldn't get to work (so I got it for free). So far I am very pleased. The following are the signal strengths now according to the DTV PAL (though I forgot to account for the signal being split to two TVs).

WEAR 88 (same)
WKRG 83 (90)
WLOX REGISTERS BUT POOR QUALITY (66)
WPMI 78 (64)?
WMAH 69 (78)
WMPV 83 (76)?
WXXV 63 (58)?
WFGX 56 (POOR) (66)
WEIQ 76 (74)
WJTC 71 (74)
WFNA 69 (88)

Plus I added:

WDPM 64
WALA 69 (The one I was really after)
WSRE 76
WHBR 81

Most of these come in ok, but I am tempted to do a roof mount due to the current setup being pointed at an outbuilding that is on a hill and higher than my home. Also I found a gold RCA splitter that says 5-900MHz. This is what I am using. Should I use something else? The Tivax is nice but it has a signal strength and quality. Most of the channels are 80-100 on quality, but lower (20-30's) on strength. My wife wants me to leave well enough alone, but it is interesting to see what all you can get. Are there any other stations I should try for? Also since I didn't have a compass, I used the magnetic north setting on the compass on my iphone to point the antenna. Is this ok?

Thanks for all of your help.

John Candle 3-Apr-2011 4:22 PM

Tv Antennas and Reception
 
Here are some roof top antenna mounts , tripod mount , chimney mount , peak of the roof eave mount , http://www.3starinc.com , http://www.solidsignal.com , http://www.starkelectronic.com , http://www.amazon.com , Here are free on line Tv guides , http://www.titantv.com , http://tv.yahoo.com , http://tv.entertainment.excite.com , http://television.aol.com , http://zap2it.com , http://www.tvzap.com

dsmguy7 7-Apr-2011 8:04 AM

Thanks John. Anyone else care to answer my questions? Also, can we link pictures here? I have a weird situation with being in a hole and trees behind me (to the east) where I need to point the antenna. I'm debating on a roof mount versus a telescoping pole mast concreted into the ground and bracketed to the eave. According to the install instructions that I have read you are supposed to keep the antenna away from power lines by twice the length of the mast plus twice the length of the antenna. Is this just for distribution lines or the line coming into my house because that line is insulated. I would like to keep the antenna close to the house ground, but if I have to follow that rule a 30 ft. mast with the RCA ANT751 would have to be kept about 66 ft. away from the house ground. Can a 10 ft. roof mount mast not be guy wired? My roof peak is 15 ft. above ground so that would put me at 25 ft. If I do the roof mount how do you run the ground wire (just along the roof and off the eave with a stand off?)? I also found out that the house does not have cat 5 cable and that that is a network cable. The previous owner had said that there was cat 5 and I saw CATV on the line and thought it was cat 5. I have some sort of Comm-scope Tri-shield rg6 (model #: F677TSVV) UL CATV 18 AWG. Is this good?

John Candle 7-Apr-2011 10:04 AM

Tv Antennas and Reception
 
All the stations are being received now. The starting point and ending point. If you will like to put a antenna on the roof then put it on the roof , if you will like to put a pole on the side of the house then do that. Choices , choices and more choices. Holly smokes.

dsmguy7 7-Apr-2011 10:56 AM

here is a list of unanswered questions:

1.) Can pictures be posted here?
2.) In keeping the antenna and mast away from power lines; does that include an insulated line going into the house?
3.) Can a roof top 10 ft. mast not be guy wired?
4.) If I do the roof mount how do you run the ground wire (just along the roof and off the eave with a stand off?)?
5.) I have some sort of Comm-scope Tri-shield rg6 (model #: F677TSVV) UL CATV 18 AWG. Is this good?

GroundUrMast 7-Apr-2011 4:25 PM

Quote:

...Most of these come in ok, but...
...I used the magnetic north setting on the compass on my iphone to point the antenna...
If your antenna is not aimed well, you may be able to improve your situation without spending any more money.

If you don't own a compass, use the Interactive TV Maps tool to zoom into your location, use the Satellite or Hybrid view, put the pin/pointer on the spot where your antenna is. Below that image, set the antenna height to a realistic value and check the box labeled "Show lines pointing to each transmitter".

You should see lines radiating from your antenna location. Use the neighboring landmarks as reference points to align your antenna.

dsmguy7 8-Apr-2011 6:41 AM

@COCO-Could be buddy. Thanks for the heads up.

@GUM-Thanks man. Your posts are helpful as always. I did what you said and I have my antenna pretty close. I'm still going to get a compass. I really think it is an elevation issue and the fact that the antenna is pointed at an out building and behind that (higher too) is a privacy fence, and behind that are two large oak trees.

1.) Can pictures be posted here?
2.) In keeping the antenna and mast away from power lines; does that include an insulated line going into the house?
3.) Can a roof top 10 ft. mast not be guy wired?
4.) If I do the roof mount how do you run the ground wire (just along the roof and off the eave with a stand off?)?
5.) I have some sort of Comm-scope Tri-shield rg6 (model #: F677TSVV) UL CATV 18 AWG. Is this good?

John Candle 8-Apr-2011 8:25 AM

Tv Antennas and Reception
 
Answer to question #1. Yes pictures can be posted here. As a matter of fact recent question askers have posted pictures , look at the other question askers posts. Answer to question #5 , Comm-scope is very high quality coax. Light years higher quality then what you will buy at , home depot , lowes , walmart , radio shack. Tri-shield and quad shield is the best to do pre and post wire with because the extra shielding blocks interference and provides better signal transfer. And as for having more then one identity , this is very common all over the internet , this is known as Avatar. As a matter fact having more then one name/identity/avatar has been and is common through out the history of this planet. As for questions , 2 , 3 , 4 , ask Ground Ur Mast he keeps a close eye on this subject. Thats why he has the Avatar of Ground Ur Mast. I do my best to state the truth. I am not filled with messed up thinking and crazy ideas.

John Candle 8-Apr-2011 8:43 AM

Tv Antennas and Reception
 
Here is a idea , it is Ok to search tvfool and find answers , It is Ok to to click on Special Topics and Enthusiast's Exchange. It is Ok to to look at the top of the page at tvfool and find the word Search , click on it and type in the grounding. Here is the main reason for grounding the coax cable from the antenna , Grounding the coax with a coax grounding block diverts atmospheric static and signals that will interfer with quality Tv reception - to earth ground. The electric service ground wire is a good place to ground. An other good place to ground to a cold water pipe , the cold water pipe must be real metal pipe that goes down in to ground out to the water main or to a water well. Do Not use a hot water pipe for ground.

mtownsend 8-Apr-2011 1:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dsmguy7 (Post 7569)
1.) Can pictures be posted here?

Yes. You can attach files to post if they are under 500kB and less than 1024x1024 resolution.

If you use links to an external photo web site, that works too. However, if your post is detected as possible spam, it may take a little while for the moderators to approve the post.



Quote:

2.) In keeping the antenna and mast away from power lines; does that include an insulated line going into the house?
Avoiding electrocution is the number one concern.

A secondary concern is antenna performance. You don't want the radiation pattern of your antenna to be anywhere near obstructions and metal objects, including power lines. Objects too close to the antenna can alter its performance.

High voltage lines and transformers should be avoided at greater distances since they can give off interference.



Quote:

3.) Can a roof top 10 ft. mast not be guy wired?
It depends on the wind-resistance and weight of your antenna. I think it should work fine for a single mid-size antenna or multiple light-weight antennas as long as you have a solid mount. Just keep in mind that the stress on the mast and mount is proportional to the square of the distance from the mount point.

If using masts longer than 10 feet, I would recommend guy wires for sure.

For tornado- or hurricane-prone areas, of course, you'll need to be as short as possible.



Quote:

5.) I have some sort of Comm-scope Tri-shield rg6 (model #: F677TSVV) UL CATV 18 AWG. Is this good?
This cable is fine and has some good specs. Just note that this cable is probably a bit stiff. You'll need to limit the bend radius to avoid kinks in the cable. Do not put any sharp bends in the cable since this can interfere with proper signal propagation.

sobamaflyer 13-Apr-2011 1:47 PM

You asked early on about media center options: I have purchased a new Tivo Premier from ebay and it also supports Netflix, YouTube, WebVideos (Pandora, Rhapsody, list goes on) Been recording shows in HD beauty with it since I started this adventure. This replaced our own Directv setup and DVR, we had TiVo in the past and it's UI is unmatched.

I paired this with a new Vizio LED w/ internet apps (since I was saving a nice chunky $100/mo now :D ) and I have yet to be at a loss for tons of shows to entertain us.

I think the previous posters (and you, yourself) got your equipment nicely dialed in.

dsmguy7 14-Apr-2011 5:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sobamaflyer (Post 7693)
You asked early on about media center options: I have purchased a new Tivo Premier from ebay and it also supports Netflix, YouTube, WebVideos (Pandora, Rhapsody, list goes on) Been recording shows in HD beauty with it since I started this adventure. This replaced our own Directv setup and DVR, we had TiVo in the past and it's UI is unmatched.

I paired this with a new Vizio LED w/ internet apps (since I was saving a nice chunky $100/mo now :D ) and I have yet to be at a loss for tons of shows to entertain us.

I think the previous posters (and you, yourself) got your equipment nicely dialed in.

Sweet. Yeah, I actually went with a PS3. Like they say, "It only does everything." I have a Netflix membership and have added the apps for vudu and hulu +, but I haven't signed up yet. So far so good. I haven't given much thought to recording. Maybe soon.


As far as dialed in, not quite. During the day many stations including WALA (the one I have to have) are very weak. At night they are unwatchable. As mentioned in my message to you, I believe the problem is elevation. I will post details and pics after this.

dsmguy7 14-Apr-2011 7:40 AM

Problems with reception and questions
 
5 Attachment(s)
I have found this journey into OTA to be fun and enlightening. However, I am having reception problems with a few stations (most importantly WALA). During the day they are weak; during the night unwatchable. I believe the problem is elevation. I rechecked my antenna. It is level front to back and side to side. I checked alignment with a magnetic compass and it is pointed to 99 deg. (my iphone 4's compass app. was within 1 deg :)). According to Google terrain maps the hill behind my house is about 10 ft. higher than ground level at my house and not 5 ft. The neighbor's yard behind me also slopes uphill from there. Hopefully the following pics will help.

In the radaredit pic you can see the trajectory of the broadcast towers from Mobile/ Pensacola. They go right through the trees, fence and shed. However the south side of my home looks like the best place for the antenna because any further north makes the trajectory of the towers go through the trees more (which are larger than when that satellite photo was taken) until you get to the extremes of my yard which would add cable length and complicate grounding. (Sorry for the poor quality. I took a pic of my computer screen because I could not figure out how to save it from Google).

In the picture006edit pic you can see the antenna install and where I would like to put the roof mount tripod. You may or may not be able to make out the cable and ground wires due to the size limitations of this site.

In the picture007edit pic you can see the RCA ANT751 mounted to the old Directv mount. Hopefully I did OK.

In the picture008edit pic you can see the large hill behind my house and where the antenna is pointed.

In the picture009edit pic you can see the front of my house and the desired roof mount tripod location. These are the only 2 gables on my home and I don't want an antenna there.

In the picture011edit pic you can see the rear of my house and that the antenna is at my eye level when standing just in front of the shed. You can also see the desired roof mount tripod location.

The reason I am thinking of going roof mount is:

1. My current set up is not working.
2. From what I understand any telescoping or regular mast must be guyed 10 ft. above the last bracket and my eave would only get that bracket about 9 ft. off of the ground. I do not wish to do guy wires.

My thought is to do a tripod roof mount (3 ft. from Denny's antenna sales on-line?) with a 10 ft. mast and my RCA ANT 751.

Questions:

1. Any problems with this or better ideas to get signal?

2. The RCA splitter I mentioned earlier (no model #); is this OK or can you recommend one to replace it to be safe?

3. How do I run the cable and ground wire? After being secured to the mast do they just lay on the shingles until they get to the eave and from there through a stand off? Should they be kept together or separated?

4. What kind of acrylic sealant and/ or silicon grease should be applied to terminals and connections; and how should it be applied?

5. On the Denny's antenna sales site there is a comment stating that the 3 ft. tripod is the most common, but it also states that it will not line up with the roof trusses. Any explanations or experience with this mount? Should I get the 5 ft. model?

I have read the mentioned primers on antenna install and grounding and found no answers to these.

Thank you all in advance.

Tower Guy 14-Apr-2011 8:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dsmguy7 (Post 7750)

1. Any problems with this or better ideas to get signal?

The proposed location would aim into a big tree. Try a 10' mast mounted to the brick wall in the area where your antenna is now. If the soffit is more than 12" use the 18" model.

http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp...0Supplies&sku=

sobamaflyer 14-Apr-2011 12:06 PM

When I was having reception issues it was worst with WALA, which I too found odd because it's closer than some of the others that come in fine, fortunately for me I am near the top of a hill and probably just a few miles closer to the station than you are.

I'll caution my next statement with the immediate admission that I know nothing compared to the knowledge base on this forum but being local to you and this is what is working for me.... I put an amp on my antenna, I bought one at radio shack just to try and what was pixillated and patchy became 100% solid. I did follow up figuring the RS unit might be sub-par and ordered a Weingard unit that was recommended here, my signals all dropped by ~10% so I returned that one.

This has been working flawlessly for me w/ a sub-par antenna mounted on a pole inside my attic (admittedly clearer of other outside obstructions and elevation than your location).

Might be something to try.

dsmguy7 16-Apr-2011 4:01 AM

@mtownsend--Thank you.

@Towerguy--10-4. Thank you. I'm going to see if I can pay my neighbor to cut that tree down or back some. If so, would you do the roof mount to get maximum height or not? If not I'll either do it your way or like your way but with the mast going all the way to the ground to make it easier to run a ground wire to the house ground.

@sobamaflyer--10-4. Thank you. I'll have to check again but I believe WALA is a relatively low powered station even though it is closer than some of the others. This may be why. I may try an amp but I want to exhaust all other means first.

Anyone else care to answer my questions or give an opinion (Groundurmast etc.)?

No static at all 16-Apr-2011 12:16 PM

Did you ever try powering just 1 set off of the antenna with the splitter removed? This would provide an excellent baseline to determine how much difference an amp will make.

dsmguy7 17-Apr-2011 1:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by No static at all (Post 7785)
Did you ever try powering just 1 set off of the antenna with the splitter removed? This would provide an excellent baseline to determine how much difference an amp will make.

No, I have not. I will try that. What exactly should I be looking for? I would expect the signal level to double. Is this where the signal strength vs. signal quality on the Tivax STB-12 would come in? Also, should I rescan or just see how the levels change?

Thanks.

No static at all 17-Apr-2011 4:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dsmguy7 (Post 7791)
What exactly should I be looking for?

See if any of the problem channels improve. Go ahead & re-scan as well. The tuner may pick up more channels.

From my experience the ANT-751 doesn't really have enough umph to drive more than 1 set with signals in the yellow zone.

How many sets will be connected?

dsmguy7 17-Apr-2011 5:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by No static at all (Post 7793)
See if any of the problem channels improve. Go ahead & re-scan as well. The tuner may pick up more channels.

From my experience the ANT-751 doesn't really have enough umph to drive more than 1 set with signals in the yellow zone.

How many sets will be connected?

Ok. Hmm...well I bought the RCA ANT751 as instructed to do here. 2 sets as of now maybe up to 2 more in the distant future.

Thanks

No static at all 17-Apr-2011 12:45 PM

The antenna will be just fine, but amplification will likely be needed to improve reliability. Raising it a bit higher may also help, but still won't be enough to compensate for 3 or more outlets IMO.

dsmguy7 17-Apr-2011 1:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by No static at all (Post 7796)
The antenna will be just fine, but amplification will likely be needed to improve reliability. Raising it a bit higher may also help, but still won't be enough to compensate for 3 or more outlets IMO.

10-4. I just got off work and disconnected one set as well as rescanned. Most stations increased levels by about 1-4%. 2 went up 6-6.5% and 1 (WLOX) went up 12%. WALA only went up 3.5% (60% strength). I can list all channels if needed but the only one I was impressed with was WLOX. I really need WALA.

Thanks.

No static at all 17-Apr-2011 2:23 PM

Since the signal will eventually be split 4 times, I suggest the Channel Master 7777. I don't think you are at risk of signal overload, but let's see what others have to say.

GroundUrMast 19-Apr-2011 6:40 PM

I'd rather see you experiment with antenna elevation or location before spending more money. A four or eight port DA may be needed to distribute to multiple sets but the original TVF Report was based on 20' AGL. I'm estimating your current location offers 10' to 12' and a bore-site view of your outbuilding. WALA should be quite solid if it's really available with a 30 dB NM.

Re. RG-6 and ground wire on the roof, I don't like holes in my roof. A couple of non-penetrating options: (1) Galvanized or copper clad plumbers tape can slide under asphalt shingles without causing a lump. An 8" to 12" long piece of PT can be bent in the center to form a 3/8" to 1/2" loop. The tails slide under adjacent roofing tabs, the loop protrudes through the gap between the tabs. Run the wires through the loop in the PT. If needed, a small squirt or asphalt roof caulk can anchor the PT and tack down the shingle tabs. (2) Plastic clips for Christmas lights could be used to do the same thing, though they may raise the shingle tab more than desired.

Tower Guy 19-Apr-2011 8:08 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by No static at all (Post 7801)
Since the signal will eventually be split 4 times, I suggest the Channel Master 7777. I don't think you are at risk of signal overload, but let's see what others have to say.

The FM stations are a bit strong for a 7777. The FM trap should fix that, but why take a chance? The TV signals that dsmguy7 wants are not so weak that the highest gain preamp is necessary.

My advice on March 11 was a HD7697P and a AP8700. Unfortunately the op bought a smaller antenna, no preamp, and installed it 10' shorter than his TVfool report.

dsmguy7 20-Apr-2011 4:58 AM

@groundurmast--thanks. I agree height/ position first. Then preamplifier and last bigger antenna. As far as my first tv fool report, unless I'm missing something I left the height blank. So unless it puts 20 ft in by default I don't know. Here is my 20 ft report: *http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...8d173c0ddbe4b6
My current antenna height is just shy of 9 ft (over the soffet but less than the roof peak). And yes pointed at that shed. Here is my 8 ft report: **http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...8d172c0e4762d6

Thanks for the wiring tip. So I can assume they can be run together?
What about the splitter, sealant, and tripod questions?

@towerguy--thanks. I'm sorry I didn't listen to you. I was only trying to get a consensus. It's hard to tell who knows what on the Internet. I figured if everyone gave similar antenna suggestions then it would be good to go. As far as the original tv fool report height; see my reply to gum above.

I'm willing to try/spend whatever. However, since I already have the RCA ant751 I would like to try to make that work. If elevation and then a preamplifier won't do it, then I'll buy the bigger antenna.


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