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Normb 7-Sep-2014 6:40 AM

Living in radio free Rancho Bernardo
I live in Rancho Bernardo in north San Diego. I like to call it Radio Free RB. I have heard others call it the black hole of RF. is the URL for my report.

I can get the 20 AGL at the top of the hillside behind my home. But to get there will take a 120 ft RG6 loss penalty.

I put a 2x2 folded dipole array up there for KPBS-FM for my old tuner and it worked great. Works even better with my new receiver.

I would like to cut the cable for my viewing and am looking for advice about antennas. Given the report and my plan, can someone suggest antennas and, if I will need a preamp to over come signal loss in the 120 foot run run

Thank you

GroundUrMast 7-Sep-2014 7:41 AM

For most folks in the San Diego market, a two antenna system is ideal. Your report confirms that's the case at your location.

I'd suggest an Antennas Direct DB8E or 91XG aimed at the main group of UHF signals, at 163 per a compass. Then, an Antennacraft Y10713 would be your best option to receive the two H-VHF signals from La Jolla @ 221.

An RCA TVPRAMP1R preamp has plenty of gain, more than enough to overcome the loss in a 120' run of RG-6, and then a splitter and more cable in the house. The TVPRAMP1R has two inputs, one for UHF and the second for the VHF antenna. Like most, the preamp is powered by a unit that should be in a protected area near an outlet. This second device is only a power supply and adapter that inserts power into the coax from the mast mounted preamp unit.

The two antennas and outdoor section of the preamp can mount on a common mast provided it's tall enough to allow for adequate spacing. Try the UHF antenna at the top of the mast and the VHF antenna 3' to 4' below. It's prudent to test reception before cutting cables and drilling holes. I'd suggest using a 30' to 50' factory built cable to test one antenna at a time, connected to a single TV to test reception and fine tune aim. If you're satisfied that your antenna location is good, then add the long cable run, preamp and test with both antennas connected to the preamp.

Normb 9-Sep-2014 4:10 AM

Thank you GroundUrMast.

Hmm, there is no AC at the top of my hill. And, certainly no shelter. I could run some two wire sprinkler line for the DC supply. I doubt the IR loss would be much. Are there any preamps that have DC blocking caps at the input so you can run DC on the coax? and blocking caps for the receiver/tv end?

Thank you.

GroundUrMast 9-Sep-2014 4:28 AM

The TVPRAMP1R is like most preamps on the market today... It's supplied with a power insertion block that couples power into the coax. I use one and have roughly 125' of RG-6 between the preamp head on the mast and the power supply indoors. You should not need any additional accessories to use the remote power supply that's included with the preamp.

Normb 9-Sep-2014 5:05 AM

Living in radio free Rancho Bernardo
Thank you again.

I found the manual for the CA preamp on line and noted the DC power block. I quickly figured out what is going on. It is nice that it has the separate UHF and VHF inputs. So even though RCA is no more and this looks like someone who has bought access to the brand, it certainly fits the bill.

Antennacraft is made for/by RadioShack. At least that is what it said in once place. I may have seen that at RS makes nothing and the quality of their goods is usually quite poor based on personal experience. The Antennacraft Y10713 is certainly the right price, but I do not want to fix/replace it in a year. Is it solid choice, so to speak?

GroundUrMast 9-Sep-2014 5:51 AM

I have seen problems with some RS products in the past. I own a Y10713 and have found no reason to be critical of it. Regardless, the only other equivalent option in a cut for band H-VHF Yagi was the Winegard YA1713 which has been discontinued.

timgr 9-Sep-2014 10:18 AM


Originally Posted by GroundUrMast (Post 46401)
... I use one and have roughly 125' of RG-6 between the preamp head on the mast and the power supply indoors. ...

So you're using copper clad RG-6 with no issues?

GroundUrMast 9-Sep-2014 2:38 PM


Originally Posted by timgr (Post 46404)
So you're using copper clad RG-6 with no issues?

I'm using RG-6 with solid copper center conductor. (with no indication of problems powering the mast head preamp.) I've also installed CM-3410 distribution amplifiers in similar 'power over long run' situations. In those cases, I used the PCT MPI-1G power inserter to couple power into the coax.

Normb 15-Dec-2014 2:43 AM

Well, I put the antenna up today.

I wish I had looked carefully at TVfool signal strength data before I bought the DB8e. I suspect a DB4e would have worked fine. Next error, I put a combiner in line before the preamp to add my FM antenna signal and, after waking from a nap, realized why nothing worked. I eliminated the combiner and some problems went away along with my FM.

I decided to use a Y5713 for the VHF instead of the Y10713. Works great. I get the local CBS and ABC affiliates with very good picture quality.

The UHF does not work. Period. The auto scan on the Panasonic 55 inch plasma finds nothing. One reason, for sure, is my pointing is off a 10 -20 degrees. However, given the absence of signal on all channels, something else is amiss.

Last, what a PITA to find mast h/w these days. Home Depot? What's a mast? What is "guide wire?" No, it's guy wire. "What's guy wire?" I need a 75 to 300 ohm transformer or balun. What's an ohm? Well, it wasn't that bad...after a brief description, he said they don't have them. Go to Radio Shack across the street. I tried to convert a couple of 1.25 - 2 inch EMT ground clamps to attach the guy wire to the mast, but they were too loose for the 1.375 inch steel post. I shimmed them, but as soon as I tensioned the guy wire, it slipped off the shim.

I hope I can work on it again next weekend.

timgr 15-Dec-2014 10:36 AM

I bought my mast parts from this place - - guy wire, mast clamp, roof bracket. I just picked that store based on what they have and price - they offer a fair price for the parts and for shipping. The rest came from Home Depot - the mast is a chain link fence top rail, and the rest is standard hardware. Guy wire is just 1/8" or 3/16" steel cable - you can get that at the hardware store too, if you choose to. Look in the section with rope. RG-6 cables from Amazon.

Stereocraig 15-Dec-2014 4:06 PM


Originally Posted by Normb (Post 48195)

I tried to convert a couple of 1.25 - 2 inch EMT ground clamps to attach the guy wire to the mast, but they were too loose for the 1.375 inch steel post.

Good creativity, but some of those can be cast out of cheap metal and crack easily. They don't even give a warning by bending. They just crack.

ADTech 15-Dec-2014 4:14 PM


The UHF does not work. Period.
This assumes you didn't leave your TV set to "Cable" which will produce your exact results.

Troubleshooting steps:

1. Verify you have no splitters between the amp and its power inserter unless you have made provision for DC PASS-through. Checking with a meter, you should have somewhere from 9-15 volts DC at the end of the coax down lead where it connects to the (OUT/POWER) connector at the pre-amp.

2. Remove the preamp completely. You may leave the power inserter installed but you must unplug the power supply from the mains.

3. Test reception with the DB8e fully assembled, both panels in parallel, and aimed properly. Run your scan. No reception, go to step #4. Otherwise, got to step # 5.

4. One at a time, connect your down lead directly to each of the panels individually and repeat your channel scans. If both panels now have UHF reception, call Customer Service for a replacement combiner, otherwise proceed to step 5.

5. Verify the switch in the amp is set correctly to "separate" when using separate antennas. Set the FM trap to "On" or "In". The internal slide switches have been demonstrated to be a bit on the "cheap" side and don't often make good connections. Reconnect the amp to the recombined antennas and retest. If it still fails, the amp or something in the cabling is defective, the tuner is faulty, or there simply isn't any UHF signal there.

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