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Old 27-Aug-2014, 3:24 PM   #1
KevinTMC
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 17
AntennaWeb very wrong; TV Fool very helpful [Antenna now up!]

When I finally dropped satellite TV earlier this year, I switched to Aereo for my broadcast-television needs. Then the Supreme Court ended that experiment. So I was done with live TV--or so I thought, since the AntennaWeb tool had told me that in my location, east of Atlanta, I shouldn't expect to pick up anything with any conceivable antenna.

(Which baffled me, because when I was growing up out West, signals carried a good long way, and translator stations were everywhere. You could live in a town much smaller than the one I live in now, twice as far away from the big city, and still count on getting the full set of local stations with just rabbit ears. But I digress.)

I'm glad I stumbled across this site, because if I'm understanding the signal analysis results correctly, there is in fact hope for me.

I followed the instructions in the pinned post for using the Interactive Maps feature, zeroing in on my chimney (where an outdoor antenna would be mounted). Not knowing the precise height an antenna would wind up at, I ran reports for 15' and 25' antenna heights.

15': http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...ec2f0beadcd046

25': http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...ec2f0ddd0b8bc2

The important channels to me would be the nearest ABC/CBS/NBC/FOX/Uni/PBS affiliates. Looks like WXIA (NBC) would be the toughest of those to pull in. It wouldn't hurt to get more channels, but I don't think I'd miss any of the others if they weren't there either.

I've also uploaded a screenshot of the satellite view, with the green lines pointing towards the transmitters, in case that's helpful. It's the Deep South, there's plenty of trees everywhere; but at least I've got a bit of a gap to the west, the direction of most of the stations. A chimney-mounted antenna should clear my immediate neighbor's roof, and maybe the roof after that; but the terrain does rise a bit heading west, so by the time we reach the left edge of this picture, my antenna might not even be above ground level.

Finally, I should mention that I have a friend who is a homebuilder, who has researched going OTA a bit himself, and who would be happy to help with the actual installation. So my hope is that once I've decided if the experiment is worth trying--and if so, what equipment to purchase--the hard part might actually be done.
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File Type: jpg Satellite view.jpg (115.1 KB, 588 views)

Last edited by KevinTMC; 15-Sep-2014 at 4:35 AM. Reason: Job complete
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Old 27-Aug-2014, 3:36 PM   #2
Tower Guy
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The simplest and easiest would be a Winegard HD7698P with a TVPRAMP-1R preamp. Aim the antenna at 264 degrees and expect to receive down to about 5 db NM.
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Old 27-Aug-2014, 5:34 PM   #3
teleview
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-->MANY<-- Digital Broadcast Tv Stations/Channels Will Be Received.

The Main Group of Digital Broadcast Tv Stations/Channels are to the , West , West North West.

Above the Peak of the Roof in such a manner that reception is not , obstructed , impeded , blocked , by the , attic , roof , building.

Install a.

http://www.antennacraft.net.

HBU44 antenna.

-------------

Install a.

http://www.antennacraft.net.

10G201 preamplifier.

-------------

For 1 Tv connected use No splitter.

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

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

For 4 Tv's connected use a , Holland Electronics , HFS-4D , 4 way splitter.

http://www.hollandelectronics.com , or , http://www.amazon.com.

-------------

Aim the HBU44 antenna at about 280 degree magnetic compass direction.

Here is how to aim antennas.

http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html.

Use a Real and Actual magnetic compass to aim antenna , do not trust a , cell phone , tablet and etc. compass.

To assist the best reception , Most Digital Tv's have a Signal Strength Meter and some Digital Tv's also have a Signal Quality Meter.

As always , antenna aim and location can be adjusted for best reception.

--------------------------

Here are some Above the Peak of the Roof antenna mounts.

http://www.ronard.com/909911.html. Install the , ronard(911) , 5 foot tripod antenna mount.

http://www.ronard.com/712.html. Install the , ronard(712-50-10) , 10 foot tripod antenna mount.

http://www.ronard.com/ychim.html. Measure around the chimney and install a , ronard(2212) , ronard(2218) , ronard(2224) .

http://www.ronard.com.

------

Home Depot has , 10 foot 6 inch lengths - 1 and 3/8 inch diameter , TOP RAIL , chain link fence , PIPE , that makes excellent antenna mast/pipe.
The price is low at about 12 dollars.

------

If installing a tripod antenna mount , Do Not bolt the tripod antenna mount in place until a good reception location is found.

-------------------------

Avoid aiming the antenna in to trees and other obstructions in the directions of reception.

Antenna height is one and not the only way to avoid aiming the antenna in to trees and other obstructions.

Another way is to locate the antenna where trees and other obstructions are further away from the antenna in the directions of reception.

As always , antenna aim and location can be adjusted for best reception.

__________________________________________

Antenna Web is conservative to the point of being defective.

The owner of antenna web Knows it is Defective and does nothing to fix it.

This is the way much of the Internet is , the money continues to flow in from the sponsors and no needed change happens.

The sponsors do not care.

It is not about the correct information , it is about ego and money.

Last edited by teleview; 28-Aug-2014 at 4:02 PM. Reason: Clarify information and typos.
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Old 27-Aug-2014, 7:04 PM   #4
emartz91
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 18
270 degree magnetic compass direction

Minimum 25' AGL

HBU-44 Antenna

Pre-Amp: Yes, same one already mentioned

You will recieve at least one of each tv network.

Antennaweb is way too conservative. I don't like that site. I recieve violet color code with strong signal stregnths indoors with a small bowtie or similar.

Aim away from obstructions. However, if there is one at the direction, move the antenna back a little bit or move around for best reception.
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Old 28-Aug-2014, 6:14 PM   #5
KevinTMC
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Thanks for the helpful replies. These antennas look a bit bigger than I was expecting...I'll have to double-check the neighborhood covenants to make sure I wouldn't be violating some rule by having one nice and high on the roof.

Looks like for antennas, I've got one recommendation for the Winegard HD7698P and two for the Antennacraft HBU44; and I'll need a pre-amp, either the RCA TVPRAMP-1R or Antennacraft 10G201. I trust that in each case, either unit would be fine.

Add antenna mounting equipment (I'll talk to my friend about making sure it's grounded) and a bunch of coax cable (unless I just cannibalize the cable left over from the previous satellite install), and I think my shopping list will be just about together.

Then I'll need to decide whether to complete the old-school experience by just plugging the coax from the pre-amp straight into my television (looks like I could still have audio routed through my receiver via the digital audio out port), or look into a DVR/channel guide box. That new TiVo Roamio looks really appealing...except for the $15 per month subscription fee part.

(I used to get lifeline cable service for that amount, a decade or so ago. Picture was crummy but at least it was cheap. I wonder if that sort of thing even exists anymore.)
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Old 28-Aug-2014, 6:33 PM   #6
stvcmty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinTMC View Post
Thanks for the helpful replies. These antennas look a bit bigger than I was expecting...I'll have to double-check the neighborhood covenants to make sure I wouldn't be violating some rule by having one nice and high on the roof.
As long as you do not rent and you do not live in a historic structure, no one can keep you from putting up an antenna. (If a property is a rental, there could be limitations with regards to drilling holes in a structure).

For safety reasons, an antenna more than 12’ above your roof may be subject to local laws.

http://www.fcc.gov/guides/over-air-r...n-devices-rule

At the same time, there are conditions the neighborhood covenants could impose (preference for back/side of the house for example), but ultimately they cannot stop you from putting up an antenna to reliably receive signal.
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Old 28-Aug-2014, 8:04 PM   #7
KevinTMC
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Thank you, stvcmty, that's a real help, and great to know.

Considering the equipment recommendations I'm getting, I'm guessing that it wouldn't be possible for me to put an antenna either in the attic, or on the roof but situated low enough to be hidden from the street, without "substantially degraded" performance. In which case I'm indeed good to go.

The statement that the "rule does not apply to television antennas used to receive a distant signal" threw me for a moment, but apparently this does not apply since I'm definitely within the Atlanta market.
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Old 28-Aug-2014, 8:15 PM   #8
stvcmty
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I would not put an antenna in an attic. My father in law lives on higher ground than I do nearby and has an antenna with 3db more gain than I do. His in his attic about 15’ up. Mine was on a pole in the back yard about 10’ up. I got twice the stations he does. Attics kill reception.

Your predicted NM’s are better at 25’ than they are at 15’, but there are more co-channel flags at 25’, so the best height may take some trial and error. It is best to try the antenna in a variety of places at a variety of heights before drilling any holes or screwing anything down permanently. Maybe the best location from a reception standpoint is low enough to be hidden from the street, maybe not, it wouldn’t hurt to try.

In my experience height is your friend. I had some marginal stations at 10’. At 20’ they became rock solid. So just because the antenna works down low, try up high because things may improve. Also, an antenna up higher will probably have less problems with leaves in the summer. My 10’ antenna had seasonal dependence on what stations it got when the leaves came in.
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Old 8-Sep-2014, 4:51 PM   #9
KevinTMC
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Thanks again for all the help in this thread.

I will be ordering the HBU44 antenna and TVPRAMP-1R pre-amp, since each is considerably cheaper right now than the HD7698P and 10G201 respectively, and I don't get the impression that the extra expense would be necessary. (Reading all the 1-star reviews of the RCA pre-amp on Amazon does make a person nervous...but lots of people here seem to like it, and it's less than half the price of the other right now.)

We'll make sure the antenna is grounded; and the APC Back-UPS unit that I'm using in the family room has coaxial connectors, so I plan to run the line through there after the pre-amp in hopes of getting some extra protection.

Looking forward to seeing how this works. (And to seeing how good the picture looks compared to satellite. I know digital broadcast signals are still compressed, but satellite and cable are compressed more, yes?)

Last edited by KevinTMC; 8-Sep-2014 at 8:20 PM.
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Old 12-Sep-2014, 9:49 PM   #10
KevinTMC
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Okay, the equipment arrived, and I'm getting ready to install tomorrow.

I am a little puzzled by the settings on the RCA TVPRAMP-1R...and I seem to remember reading (in the Amazon reviews, perhaps) people talking about the settings being backwards.

The instructions that came in the box said that the device comes from the factory with FM Trap set to On and VHF/UHF set to Common. But the accompanying illustration seemed to show the exact opposite of what I found when I took at look at my unit. (See http://voxrightnow.custhelp.com/app/...R3SGUybQ%3D%3D for an online version of the instructions.)

I've attached a picture of what the settings presently look like on my unit. Something is obviously backwards: either the factory settings are the reverse of what the instructions state, or the illustration in the instructions is backwards, or I'm misunderstanding what I'm seeing here. Could someone experienced with this unit please take a look and advise what to do?
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File Type: jpg Pre-Amp.jpg (122.4 KB, 620 views)

Last edited by KevinTMC; 12-Sep-2014 at 9:51 PM.
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Old 13-Sep-2014, 12:17 AM   #11
ds514
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The factory settings of the switches on my PRAMP1R were the opposite of how they should have been according to the manual too. Just switch them to the way you want.
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Old 14-Sep-2014, 2:26 AM   #12
KevinTMC
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I have a good progress report, as well as questions related to grounding.

My friend and I got started on the installation project this morning, but then thunderstorms came into the area and we had to quit for the day with it half-done. At that point, the antenna was assembled but sitting on the porch.

After the weather cleared, and with a highly important football game starting on CBS, I decided I would test out the components on the ground. I set the antenna in the driveway, pointed it in the approximate direction of Atlanta, hooked it up to the pre-amp and connected to the coax cable already running into the house (we're re-using cable and cable runs that DirecTV left behind), and...voila! I had a football game. Signal strength ran from 45-55 most of the time, broke up on a few occasions, but it worked.

(For kicks and giggles, here's a plot of the driveway location, with elevation set at 5', the lowest number that produced minimally-goofy results: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...d2433b3ddda6ae.)

I even tried cutting the pre-amp out of the loop, to see what would happen and verify that it was working correctly. CBS 46 didn't come in anymore, but NBC 11 still did...signal quality loss looked to be around 15 points.

At any rate, I'm delighted, because if it worked on the ground, reception will surely be quite excellent up on the roof. I'm also going to stop fretting about re-using random lengths of coax.

I am a bit unsure about the proper grounding procedure though. [Edit: We got it figured out.]

Last edited by KevinTMC; 15-Sep-2014 at 3:15 AM. Reason: Unnecessary questions and descriptions deleted
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Old 15-Sep-2014, 4:22 AM   #13
KevinTMC
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After-action report:

We got the antenna mounted to the chimney and grounded with #8 copper wire running to the house's ground rod (we got a grounding block connected to the ground rod as well). Somewhere around 100' of cable brings the signal to the television, using an assortment of coax cable, cable runs, grounding blocks, and connectors left behind by a cavalcade of predecessors. (Over the years the house appears to have been connected to the cable company and both satellite providers, and there are signs of a previous rooftop antenna from even farther back.)

I've got all the channels I wanted, and they look beautiful on my 4-year-old Panasonic plasma. Sunday night football on NBC was eye-poppingly gorgeous; and even an afternoon game on Fox, which seems to have lower standards, looked really good. Heck, even some of the 480i multiplex channels looked impressive for what they were--the best of them looked more like upconverted DVDs than like the lousy standard-def channels on satellite.

I watched the TV's signal strength meter fluctuate between 92 and 100 for ABC and PBS; The CW ran from 86-92; CBS and Uni from 73-84; NBC and Fox from 66-73. I hope that means I've got the antenna decently aimed, and that they'll all continue to come in, under pretty much any conditions, for some time to come.

To compare to the signal analysis, here's the plot I ran for 15' again (I don't know the precise height the antenna wound up at, but it's surely much closer to 15' than to 25'):

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...ec2f0beadcd046

All the channels down to 11.0 NM(dB) come in, except for those four that are located close to due north, or about 90 degrees off from the direction the antenna is pointed. (The weakest one I receive--WGGD-LD, right at 11.0 dB--has a signal strength that runs from about 44-51. Luckily there's nothing I want to watch that far down on the meter, since the TV appears to lose channels altogether at around 40.)

Thanks so much to those here who provided helpful information and advice. You may see my friend who helped with the install (or rather, did most of it...he's the homebuilder after all) show up here in the near future, as I think he's got the OTA bug now.

Last edited by KevinTMC; 15-Sep-2014 at 5:00 AM.
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