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Old 8-Oct-2012, 3:13 PM   #1
tdew2
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Antenna advice - Triad NC

Like seemingly everyone, I'm dying to cut the cable cord. I built the infamous coat hanger antenna and mounted in my attic, and was able to pull in stations from both the greensboro (240-245 degrees) and raleigh (125 degrees) azimuth (at the same time without rotating the antenna).

Unfortunately though, some of the signals just weren't reliable enough, especially when trying to pull in NBC. I also built a grey hovermann antenna, and had very similar results - able to pull in stations, but not reliably. I did not use a reflector as from what I understand, that would make the antennas more directional. I used an amp, which helped a bit, but still not reliable enough.

I am willing to buy an antenna, but want to make sure I get the "right" one. I have two HDhomerun tuners with two tuners in each, so the signal will be split accordingly.

My ideal requirements:

Attic Mounted
No rotor
25' coax run from antenna to tuners
Able to pull in all major networks, regardless of market



I've been tempted to pull the trigger on the DB4e, but would like some more experienced advice first. Another thought is waiting on the DB8e: http://blog.solidsignal.com/content....as-Direct-DB8e

Ultimately though, I just want something that will work, as reliably as possible. The wife loves to DVR her favorite shows (we will use Windows Media Center), and if I cut the cable without a reliable substitute, I'm in BIG trouble lol! Thank you in advance!!!

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Old 8-Oct-2012, 5:12 PM   #2
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The following recommendation will receive the Digital Tv stations/channels in the Green and Yellow reception zones of the tvfool radar reports channels list and that is - a lot - of channels.

For reception of the most number of Digital Tv stations/channels , to the , north west , west , south east , and that is - a lot - of digital Tv stations/channels.

Above the Roof , install a Antennas Direct Clear Stream 4 UHF antenna aimed at about 280 degree magnetic compass direction with the -> reflector screens removed <- and the CS4 will receive Digital Tv stations/channels to the , north west , west , south east. At the front and back of the CS4 because the reflector screens are removed.

Above the Roof , Also install a Antenna Craft CS600 VHF antenna aimed at about 335 degree magnetic compass direction for reception of the Digital VHF stations/channels to the , north west and south east.

Combine the the CS4 and CS600 antennas with a Pico Macom , UVSJ = UHF/VHF Separator/Joiner.

Connect CS4 to the UHF connection , connect the CS600 to the VHF connection and the third connection is a single coax down lead.

The UVSJ , passes power through the third connection and the VHF connection , Install a Antennas Direct CPA-19 preamp unit in between the CS600 antenna and the VHF connection of the UVSJ.

The power injector and power supply of the CPA-19 preamp can be in the house because the UVSJ passes power through the third connection and VHF connection of the UVSJ. The preamp unit that is in between the CS600 and VHF connection of the UVSJ will amplify the weaker VHF channels.

Buy the UVSJ at solidsignal by typing the letters uvsj in the solidsignal search box.

For 1 Tv connection use no splitter.

For 2 connections use a , HFS-2D , 2 way splitter.

For 3 connections use a , HFS-3D , 3 way splitter.

For 4 connections use a , HFS-4D , 4 way splitter.

Buy the HFS splitter at , http://www.hollandelectronics.com , or , http://www.solidsignal.com.
____________

Here are some antenna mounts , http://www.ronard.com/909911.html , http://www.ronard.com/34424560.html , http://www.ronard.com/ychim.html , http://www.ronard.com.

Buy the ronard antenna mounts at solidsignal by typing the word ronard in the solidsignal search box.

Here are some places to buy antennas and etc. , http://www.solidsignal.com , http://www.amazon.com , http://www.antennacraft.net.

As always , trees and tree leaves do a real fine job of reducing or blocking Tv reception and so do buildings and other obstructions.

It is best to install antennas at a location that has the least amount to no amount of obstructions of any type or kind in the directions of reception.

The Tv's / tuning devices must channel scan for the Digital Broadcast Tv Channels , sometimes named the 'Air Channels' or 'Antenna Channels' in the Tv setup menu because the Tv transmissions travel through the air from the transmitting antenna to the receiving antenna.

DO NOT channel scan for cable tv channels.

Last edited by teleview; 10-Oct-2012 at 3:24 PM.
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Old 8-Oct-2012, 5:15 PM   #3
GroundUrMast
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If you don't get reliable reception in the attic, are you willing to mount outdoors?

How many traditional TVs will be connected?

What model HDHR do you have? (The newer HDHR3-US with single antenna connector or the older dual input HDHR-US?)

Have you read http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=820?
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Old 9-Oct-2012, 12:49 AM   #4
tdew2
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Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
If you don't get reliable reception in the attic, are you willing to mount outdoors?

How many traditional TVs will be connected?

What model HDHR do you have? (The newer HDHR3-US with single antenna connector or the older dual input HDHR-US?)

Have you read http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=820?
I will actually connect one traditional TV, and two HDHR's. I have two different HDHR models - one older, one newer (links below).

http://www.amazon.com/SiliconDust-HD...ords=hdhomerun

http://www.amazon.com/SiliconDust-HD...ords=hdhomerun

I'd really prefer to stick to one antenna, if possible. I checked the other thread regarding HDHR, sounds like he has multiple antennas, but has to switch between HDHR's depending on which channels he's watching. I live in a development in which the hoa won't allow antennas to be posted on the roof.

Is there one antenna that could be aimed to the southeast between 240-285 degrees and pick up all the major networks and PBS? I'd be willing to give up the other markets, as long as I could get those networks.

Thank you for the advice!!!

Last edited by tdew2; 9-Oct-2012 at 2:19 AM.
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Old 9-Oct-2012, 1:35 AM   #5
tdew2
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Originally Posted by teleview View Post
Please note that the tvfool radar plot report is resolved to street level only.

Based on the street level report.

The following recommendation will receive the Digital Tv stations/channels in the Green and Yellow reception zones of the tvfool radar reports channels list and that is - a lot - of channels.

For reception of the most number of Digital Tv stations/channels , to the , north west , west , south east , and that is - a lot - of digital Tv stations/channels.

Above the roof , install a Antennas Direct Clear Stream 4 UHF antenna aimed at about 280 degree magnetic compass direction with the reflector screens removed and the CS4 will receive Digital Tv stations/channels to the , north west , west , south east. At the front and back of the CS4 because the reflector screens are removed.

Also install a Antenna Craft CS600 VHF antenna aimed at about 335 degree magnetic compass direction for reception of the Digital VHF stations/channels to the , north west and south east.

I am researching reception information I will return.

Here are some above the roof antenna mounts , http://www.ronard.com/909911.html , http://www.ronard.com/34424560.html , http://www.ronard.com/ychim.html http://www.ronard.com.

Buy the ronard antenna mounts at solidsignal by typing the word ronard in the solidsignal search box.

Here are places to buy antennas and etc. , http://www.solidsignal.com , http://www.amazon.com , http://www.winegarddirect.com.

I am researching reception information I will return.
I'm guessing my address isn't in their database, however I'm assuming street level is fine. I live on a small street in a small town.

I live in a development where the hoa doesn't approve of roof mounted antennas. Think I'm out of luck?

Antenna's direct emailed me today with the below recommendation:

I'd suggest a DB4e with option VHF add-on (see attachment) plus a rotor. Because of the spreads and distances involved, it's unlikely you'll readily find a single aiming direction that will outperform an antenna that is accurately aimed. Here is the VHF add on: http://www.antennasdirect.com/store/...-Assembly.html

Again though, I'd like to avoid having to use a rotor. I could see having a VHF/UHF combo (I assume I would use a combiner).

Is there an antenna that I could point between the Greensboro (Southwest) market (245) and 285 to pick up all the major networks, reliably?

Also, what stations would be VHF? I think I may be reading the report incorrectly, but thought that VHF would be 2-13 "real" channel?

Thank you again!!!

Last edited by tdew2; 9-Oct-2012 at 2:18 AM.
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Old 9-Oct-2012, 2:28 AM   #6
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A TV Fool report based on your actual location would be best. To generate a report when the address look up fails, use the Interactive TV Maps tool as a start. Enter your ZIP code, then move the onscreen pointer to your exact location. You can then click on the "Make Radar Plot" button.

An attic mounted antenna has a nearly indefinite life expectancy. So if you get reliable reception with that option, it's quite advantageous. Some attics are not satisfactory receptions sites though.

If you need to mount outside, there's good news. The HOA rules are preempted by FCC rules. You have a protected right to install and maintain an antenna for reception of OTA TV signals. http://www.fcc.gov/guides/over-air-r...n-devices-rule

FWIW: Windows-7 Media Center can be configured to use multiple HDHR tuners and you can configure each tuner as preferred sources of select stations. The user does not need to even know which tuner is used once the system is setup.

Because you have at least one traditional TV, we need to suggest an antenna or combination of antennas that can provide a 'complete' lineup on one coax if possible. Based on your first TVFR, a DB4e facing due west should give you a reliable NBC along with the other major networks. If that's not true in the attic, it suggests the attic construction includes undesirable materials that absorb or reflect RF.
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Old 9-Oct-2012, 3:02 AM   #7
tdew2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
A TV Fool report based on your actual location would be best. To generate a report when the address look up fails, use the Interactive TV Maps tool as a start. Enter your ZIP code, then move the onscreen pointer to your exact location. You can then click on the "Make Radar Plot" button.

An attic mounted antenna has a nearly indefinite life expectancy. So if you get reliable reception with that option, it's quite advantageous. Some attics are not satisfactory receptions sites though.

If you need to mount outside, there's good news. The HOA rules are preempted by FCC rules. You have a protected right to install and maintain an antenna for reception of OTA TV signals. http://www.fcc.gov/guides/over-air-r...n-devices-rule

FWIW: Windows-7 Media Center can be configured to use multiple HDHR tuners and you can configure each tuner as preferred sources of select stations. The user does not need to even know which tuner is used once the system is setup.

Because you have at least one traditional TV, we need to suggest an antenna or combination of antennas that can provide a 'complete' lineup on one coax if possible. Based on your first TVFR, a DB4e facing due west should give you a reliable NBC along with the other major networks. If that's not true in the attic, it suggests the attic construction includes undesirable materials that absorb or reflect RF.
here is the updated tvfool report:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...2df901b4311416

thank you again for your advice. i'm hoping that a 'real' antenna (as opposed to my homemade ones) combined with a reflector will make a difference!
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Old 9-Oct-2012, 4:12 AM   #8
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There's not a great deal of difference between the first and second TVFR, but thanks.

The high gain & wide beam-width of the DB4e makes it my choice for going after the signals to the NW and SW. Try this with no amplifier. If you try an amplifier, it needs to be able to handle fairly strong signals. The Channel Master CM341x series distribution amplifiers fit that criteria.

Try it in the attic, but if it fails to do well there, at least 'test' it outside. I think you'll be able to see a marked improvement in signal quality if you mount outside.

Last edited by GroundUrMast; 9-Oct-2012 at 4:15 AM.
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Old 9-Oct-2012, 5:41 AM   #9
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Ok I now have provided the information for reception.
________________________________

Installing a DB4e with the reflector screen in place as suggested by an other advisor here , will limit reception at the back of the DB4e. Antennas Direct takes great pride in there advertisement of the ability of the BD4e to reject signals at the back of the DB4e antenna with the reflector screen in place.

____________________________

I do not recommend the DB4e , I recommend the CS4 with the reflector screens removed , The UHF Tv transmissions are strong at your location and the CS4 with the reflector screens removed will do a good job of receiving the UHF channels with the CS4 mounted above the roof.

And the CS600 will do a good job of receiving with the antenna mounted above the roof.

There are Many receivable Tv stations/channels to the , north west , west , south east.

Last edited by teleview; 9-Oct-2012 at 5:47 AM.
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Old 9-Oct-2012, 8:21 PM   #10
tdew2
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Db8

First, Thank you both -- This info in extremely helpful!!!

I'm assuming the CS4 with the reflector would pull in signals from the SW and NW just as well as the DB4e? If that is the case, I suppose the best option would be to go with the CS4 and try without the reflector first, just to see what I can pull in.

If I'm not getting reliable enough preformance (I strongly prefer quality over quantity, as long as I get all the major networks), I'll try the CS4 with the reflector, pointed due West.

Bummer that the CS4 costs almosts double on Amazon, but the savings from cutting cable will cover either one Before I order, I may just test out both of my homemade jobs (4bay Coat Hanger tyep and Hoverman) WITH a reflector, pointed due West.

Out of curiousity, do either of you have any thoughts about the upcoming DB8e?

http://blog.solidsignal.com/content....as-Direct-DB8e

Thank you again!!!!

Last edited by tdew2; 9-Oct-2012 at 8:23 PM.
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Old 9-Oct-2012, 11:54 PM   #11
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Some comments about the DB8e here:
http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/show...=41076&page=35
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Old 10-Oct-2012, 1:51 AM   #12
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DB8e . Having 2 antennas of the same type aimed in the same direction to increase gain and connected correctly with the same length of coax and the 300 ohm connections connected correctly from each antenna to a coupler is Ok it has been done for many years.

Antenna stacking.

________________________________________________________________________________ ___

However having 2 antennas of the same type connected together and aimed in other directions , Will have problems with antenna cross talk and the phase timing deference of the two antennas receiving signals out of phase from the Tv stations in other directions. And a Looong list of other Well Known problems of reception.

Antennas Direct will have to Clearly State how the reception problems have been solved.

I know how to partly solve some of the problems , use directional couplers , however the directional couplers introduce some problems.

Last edited by teleview; 10-Oct-2012 at 3:19 PM.
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Old 10-Oct-2012, 2:08 AM   #13
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The differences are not great

Without modification (removal of the reflector screen) the CS4 has a narrower forward beam and lower gain (about 2 dB less) when compared to the DB4e. The wider forward beam of the DB4e is the result of the design, four elements stacked vertically. The CS4 forward beam is narrower as the result of the horizontal stack of two dual elements. Removal of the screen of either antenna lowers the forward gain significantly, though I know of no specific documentation of this modification.

If you want to try for bi-directional reception, removal of the reflector is a logical approach. Simply keep the hardware in case you need or want to restore factory designed performance. I simply don't know which antenna will perform best if modified. If anyone has documented either antenna with the reflector screen removed, please share the results in the Antennas forum. It's asking a lot, but I'd be quite curious to see what happens to the SWR when the reflector screen is removed.

The DB4e is the best antenna of the two if your goal is reliable reception of the UHF signals to the SW & NW. I say 'best', because the beam-width of the DB4e is wide enough to 'see' both groups of stations and the the antenna has additional gain.

So, the points are,

1. You've been offered several valid ideas. Each has it's merit and to say the other is 'wrong' is being overly negative.

2. One thing we all seem to agree on is, outdoor mounting is ideal. That may well be a far more significant factor than a few DB gain or degrees of forward beam-width.
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Old 10-Oct-2012, 4:55 AM   #14
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Feels like Christmas morning...

So since I've got the fever, I decided to go up and grab the old coat hanger antenna that I had mentioned in my first post out of the attic, and looked around the house to see what I could use as a reflector. Aluminum foil seemed like an easy choice to experiment with.

I hooked up the antenna (no reflector), aimed it due west, and ran a scan. No luck with NBC - not even a weak pixelated picture - nothing. I ripped off two sheets of aluminum fool, taped them loosely to a 1x3 and held about 8" behind the antenna, and ran another scan. Not only got the NBC station (12.1), but got a two stations from Roanoke VA as well!

I taped the aluminum foil to some cardboard and screwed the 'reflectors' to the 1x3, headed up to the attic with some long screws, and screwed the antenna and reflector roughly into place, roughly due West.

Re-scanned channels - got 43 channels (including the sub channels), including some from Raleigh which I did not expect due to the reflector. Nearly all are solid. I've yet to run through the splitter to hook up the HDHR's though and don't know how reliably they will come in over time (especially since it's night time now), but I'm pretty excited. Here is what I'm getting:

2.1 CBS
4.1 PBS
5.1 CBS
7.1 CBS
8.1 FOX
10.1 NBC
12.1 NBC
16.1 ION
20.1 CW
26.1 PBS
28.1 MyN
43.1 TCT
45.1 ABC
47.1 ION
48.1 MyN
50.1 FOX

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...2df901b4311416

Hope it holds up... but even if it doesn't, it makes me pretty confident that the DB4e will do the trick.

Thank you all for the info and advice!

Last edited by tdew2; 10-Oct-2012 at 4:57 AM.
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Old 11-Oct-2012, 4:24 AM   #15
tdew2
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Originally Posted by teleview View Post

For 1 Tv connection use no splitter.

For 2 connections use a , HFS-2D , 2 way splitter.

For 3 connections use a , HFS-3D , 3 way splitter.

For 4 connections use a , HFS-4D , 4 way splitter.

Buy the HFS splitter at , http://www.hollandelectronics.com , or , http://www.solidsignal.com.
____________
Are the HFS splitters ref'd above satellite dish splitters? Will they work to split OTA antenna signal?

I have tried a 3way splitter and have great results still, but need a 4way.

Also, does anyone know if the newer dual HDHomerun (with single input) has signal loss when the signal is split inside the unit?

I hooked an amp (Electroline EDA-2100) up near the antenna, and am sending the signal over a 35 ft coax now. To be split four ways to:
TV
HDhomerun dual (dual coax input)
HDhomerun dual (single coax input)


Thx again!!
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Old 11-Oct-2012, 4:36 AM   #16
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The HFS splitters work with OTA = Over The Air Broadcast Tv with a Tv antenna. and Satellite ,

The HFS splitters are power passing splitters for use with OTA preamps.

And the HFS splitters have a add benefit passing DC power one way , preventing back feeding of DC preamp power into other circuits.

And prices are low.

Last edited by teleview; 12-Oct-2012 at 4:14 AM.
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Old 29-Jan-2013, 5:31 AM   #17
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Quote:
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I live in a development in which the hoa won't allow antennas to be posted on the roof.
HOAs and town councils, etc. are not allowed to block the installation of TV antennas. This article has a decent explanation:

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/...nna/54582432/1

The same holds true in California for solar panels. They may not want them, but they don't have the right to block them.
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Old 29-Jan-2013, 5:41 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdew2 View Post
...

Also, does anyone know if the newer dual HDHomerun (with single input) has signal loss when the signal is split inside the unit?

I hooked an amp (Electroline EDA-2100) up near the antenna, and am sending the signal over a 35 ft coax now. To be split four ways to:
TV
HDhomerun dual (dual coax input)
HDhomerun dual (single coax input)


Thx again!!
I own both types of the HDHR. I have not seen any measurable difference in signal levels when connected to the same 8-port distribution amplifier. I've not attempted to open the HDHR3-US to see if there is a passive splitter in there or not.
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