TV Fool  

Go Back   TV Fool > Over The Air Services > Help With Reception

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 13-Sep-2011, 1:45 AM   #1
Croq
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 9
HBU-33 In My Attic The Right Choice?

Will an HBU-33 hooked up in my attic be the right choice for my situation? Or would I need it to be on the outside of the house? One thing that might affect the answer is that I would be shooting through a flat wall out the "end" of the attic through wood and vinyl siding, not an angled roof/shingles.

My main concern is WBBM, which is on VHF-12 as I've heard it's the most troublesome to pick up (though I've also heard that they have an application to add a low-power antenna at UHF-26, but it's been ongoing for a long time so who knows if or when it'll happen).

Here's my info:

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...8387837b6e7f50

Last edited by Croq; 13-Sep-2011 at 1:48 AM.
Croq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-Sep-2011, 2:08 AM   #2
GroundUrMast
Moderator
 
GroundUrMast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,773
The HBU-33 is a good choice. The Antennacraft HD850 would be better. A Winegard HD7082P would be a premium choice, but if you have trouble once it's in the attic, it can be difficult to fold back down if you want to move it outside. The Antennacraft is relatively easy to unlock and refold.

The 850 and 7082 would offer reception of WOCK, real channel 4 which carries several several sub-channels, including America One, a sports channel. The other sub-channels carry Korean and Spanish language programing.

Certainly try from in the attic. The construction you describe sounds favorable. The signal strength indicated on your TVFR says you should have little difficulty receiving WBBM. Unless there is some hidden metal in the roof or wall, I think the shot through the gable end will work well for you.
__________________
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.)

(Please direct account activation inquiries to 'admin')

Last edited by GroundUrMast; 13-Sep-2011 at 2:13 AM.
GroundUrMast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-Sep-2011, 3:10 AM   #3
Croq
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 9
I appreciate the other alternatives, however, I think they are a lot wider and that would make it difficult to point the direction I need to. At least in the attic. The slimmer design of the HBU-33 seems like it would work better. I'll definitely check them out though. Or am I wrong about the dimensions of the 850 and 7802?

Last edited by Croq; 13-Sep-2011 at 3:38 AM.
Croq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-Sep-2011, 3:53 AM   #4
GroundUrMast
Moderator
 
GroundUrMast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,773
Quote:
Originally Posted by Croq View Post
I appreciate the other alternatives, however, I think they are a lot wider and that would make it difficult to point the direction I need to. At least in the attic. The slimmer design of the HBU-33 seems like it would work better. I'll definitely check them out though. Or am I wrong about the dimensions of the 850 and 7802?
The 850 and 7082 are wider. Both are designed to include lower frequencies (real channel 2 through 6) which necessitates longer elements. The HBU-33 is designed to cover real channel 7 through 69.
__________________
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.)

(Please direct account activation inquiries to 'admin')
GroundUrMast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-Sep-2011, 4:00 AM   #5
Croq
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
The 850 and 7082 are wider. Both are designed to include lower frequencies (real channel 2 through 6) which necessitates longer elements. The HBU-33 is designed to cover real channel 7 through 69.
Thanks for the clarification. I really don't understand this stuff, just trying to get the right solution for my needs. If getting real channel 4 for WOCK is not important to me, then the only thing I have in VHF is WBBM. WLS has moved to 44, not sure if they have anything left on real channel 7, but it's easy enough to block that frequency.

Another option I saw was the Winegard 7694P, which from what I've read has better gain than the HBU-33. Now I'm wondering if that should be included in my deliberations or if the extra gain would really benefit me any...
Croq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-Sep-2011, 5:30 AM   #6
GroundUrMast
Moderator
 
GroundUrMast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,773
If you don't care about reception of real channel 4, the Winegard HD7694P has higher gain than the HBU-33 which would give you more signal to work with. The building penetration loss is an unknown at this point so the added gain of the 7694 is attractive.

The only con I can think of is that the Winegard can difficult to fold back down. If you get in in the attic and discover that reception is poor, it may be tough to get the Winegard back out without risk of damage.

I don't see any indication that WLS has ceased operation on real channel 7... yet. There operation on real channel 44 seams to be the goal, but they're currently operating the CH-44 transmitter under a Special Temporary Authority per the FCC. http://transition.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/tvq?facid=73226

No need to block channel 7 at the antenna, that would require a filter and offer no benefit other than a lighter wallet. If you mean exclude channel 7 from your tuner set-up, that's up to you.
__________________
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.)

(Please direct account activation inquiries to 'admin')
GroundUrMast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-Sep-2011, 1:23 PM   #7
Croq
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
No need to block channel 7 at the antenna, that would require a filter and offer no benefit other than a lighter wallet. If you mean exclude channel 7 from your tuner set-up, that's up to you.
Yes, excluding channel 7 from the tuner was what I meant. :-) Thanks again for the assistance!
Croq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-Sep-2011, 3:35 PM   #8
Croq
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 9
A couple more questions...

If I want to split the incoming signal 4-5 ways (will be likely split 4 ways and then each leg would be split in two, so does that mean 8 ways?), do you think I'll need to get a pre-amp? Or should I just hook it up and see (they are easy to retrofit later, right)?

If you do recommend a pre-amp, any guidance on which one to get would be greatly appreciated too.
Croq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-Sep-2011, 4:03 PM   #9
GroundUrMast
Moderator
 
GroundUrMast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,773
If I understand you correctly, that you have five tuners total, you're thinking correctly, at least two ports will see splitter losses equivalent to that of an 8-way split (10.5 to 14 dB).

With four or more tuners in the house, you'll likely notice one or two that are not quite as 'sensitive' as the others. You will also have some cable runs that are longer than others. You will want to feed the weaker tuners or longer runs off of the lower loss splitter outputs. Save the high loss ports for the short cable runs and/or the tuners that perform better.

I usually agree with the advice to find a splitter that has exactly the number of ports needed. I have only occasionally seen 6-way splitters offered, I don't remember ever seeing a 5-way. You are right at the point where if the attic does not cause too much attenuation, no amplifier will be needed. But, you will want to avoid the extra loss that an 8-way split would produce on all ports. I would try the install without any amplifier, using not more that two splitters total (a 4-way followed by a 2-way, not the other way around). If you prove the need for amplification, addition of a one-port DA just ahead of the first splitter would be easy. A Channel master CM-3410 would be my choice. So far as I can tell, all of the CM-341x multi-port DAs use the same 15 dB amplifier, they just incorporate a 2, 4 or 8 way splitter into the design. If it was certain that you would need a DA, I would have suggested a CM-3418 and termination resistors for all unused ports.

Attics are usually extremely hostile to active electronics (like powered amplifiers) due to the high temperature when the sun is out. The life expectancy of the antenna and cable will be fine, but a preamp may not survive the first hot day.

Avoid daisy chain cabling. That's where you cable up to the first tuner, split 2-ways... cable to the next tuner, split 2-ways and so on to the end. The tail end tuners will get far less signal than they would compared to the home run cable arrangement where a separate cable is run from each tuner back to a single distribution point where the splitter(s) would be located.
__________________
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.)

(Please direct account activation inquiries to 'admin')

Last edited by GroundUrMast; 15-Sep-2011 at 5:00 PM.
GroundUrMast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-Sep-2011, 4:21 PM   #10
Croq
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
If I understand you correctly, that you have four, maybe five tuners total, you're thinking correctly, at least two ports will see splitter losses equivalent to that of an 8-way split (10.5 to 14 dB).
I think so. Though I actually miscounted originally...

The feed from the antenna would go into a 3-way splitter. The three wires coming out of the splitter would each connect to dual-tuner devices (like a dual-tuner TV card for Media Center). So if I'm calculating correctly this time, that would make a total of 6 tuners.

I'll definitely look into your suggested amp if needed. I have a combo splitter/amplifier made by PCT that I might try first though.

Thanks again for all your help!

Last edited by Croq; 15-Sep-2011 at 4:32 PM.
Croq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-Sep-2011, 4:39 PM   #11
Croq
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 9
Interestingly, it looks like CM uses PCT equipment based on the link you provided. See the MA2 series.
Croq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-Sep-2011, 5:25 PM   #12
GroundUrMast
Moderator
 
GroundUrMast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,773
My SiliconDust HDHR tuners are equipped with two tuners each. Each HDHR has two F connectors. I use two splitter ports for each HDHR. The new HDHR3 still has two tuners but only one F connector.

The bottom line is, if you are only cabling to three F connectors, use a passive 3-way splitter. I really doubt you will need to use any amplifier.


The PCT and Channel Master are the same so far as I can tell. I have first hand experience with the PCT-MA2-M and a PCT-MA2-8P. I've not seen any hint of overloading when driven with stronger levels than shown in your TVFR.
__________________
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.)

(Please direct account activation inquiries to 'admin')
GroundUrMast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-Sep-2011, 6:10 PM   #13
Croq
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
My SiliconDust HDHR tuners are equipped with two tuners each. Each HDHR has two F connectors. I use two splitter ports for each HDHR. The new HDHR3 still has two tuners but only one F connector.

The bottom line is, if you are only cabling to three F connectors, use a passive 3-way splitter. I really doubt you will need to use any amplifier.
I have two Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 dual tuner internal cards, each with one F connector. Well, technically, it has two connectors, but the other one on each card is for FM (not interested).

The other one is an OTA connection for my satellite receiver (dual-tuner, one F connector).

So, 3 F connectors, 6 tuners. Nice to have the PCT thing in reserve though should it turn out that I need it.
Croq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-Sep-2011, 6:38 PM   #14
Croq
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 9
One final (I think) set of questions.

I went by Radio Shack and purchased the HBU33 antenna last night, but they didn't sell any poles I could use for a mast. Can I just go to Home Depot or something and find a pole of the right diameter and length and use that? I did buy some 4-inch bracket things to attach the pole to the rafters. Is that right, or is there something better?
Croq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-Sep-2011, 7:18 PM   #15
GroundUrMast
Moderator
 
GroundUrMast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,773
For attic installation, you could use chain-link fence top-rail, electrical conduit, PVC pipe... curtain rod, closet rod... so long as the antenna clamp can tighten on the rod, pipe or tube. Hung from the rafters, plastic will remain straight, mounted to the joists, expect it to bend or sag.

For an outdoor install, some creativity is OK, but obviously the wind, sun and rain are going to need to be considered. Mast product can be counted on to deal with the harsh conditions outside.

Home Depot will have something that will work well in the attic.

I'm not recommending it, but I know of antennas suspended on 1/8" cord in an attic for years. One line on the front and two at the back, the aim and tilt where adjustable. It worked...
__________________
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.)

(Please direct account activation inquiries to 'admin')

Last edited by GroundUrMast; 16-Sep-2011 at 7:24 PM.
GroundUrMast is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Go Back   TV Fool > Over The Air Services > Help With Reception


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT. The time now is 11:47 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright © TV Fool, LLC