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Old 22-Jan-2014, 1:05 AM   #1
Jeepaholic
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Need help with antenna selection

Good evening folks. I gave up cable TV 6 years ago. Since then, I've been using a Radio Shack uni-directional (flying saucer) antenna with surprisingly good results. I was getting about 40 channels with pretty decent reception. Out of those 40 or so, at any given time 75% of them were coming in fine. In the last few months reception has been deteriorating to the point that I have maybe 25% at a time that are watchable. And some will come in fine now, but in an hour, not so much.
So, I'm assuming the signal amplifier (included with the antenna) is toast, or the antenna itself is. I'd kinda like to go with another non-directional antenna because I'd rather avoid the expense and complexity of a rotor if at all possible. Here's my TvFool report.
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...5b9488e2dca0dd

I figure, if the RS antenna kept me happy for 5 or 6 years, an antenna from a better manufacturer would make me happy, and last more then 5 or 6 years. What is your opinion?
I appreciate your help folks!
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Old 22-Jan-2014, 7:21 AM   #2
teleview
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I do not recommend omni directional antennas often.

However because of your past use omnidirectional antenna and you understand the limitations of a omnidirectional antenna and because of the moderate to strong signal strengths of the Tv stations in all directions around your location.

For your consideration.

I recommend Test the reception at your location with a , www.antennacraft.net ,

HD View 360 .

The HD View 360 , will receive in all directions with no rotation and the HD View 360 has the ability to rotate to aim directly at Tv transmitter for better reception.

Antennacraft says the rotation is very fast so channel surfing is easy.

And channels can be programmed in to the unit with the remote control so the antenna rotates directly to the correct aim position.

http://www.antennacraft.net/Antennas...Amplified.html

Also for your consideration , the , 5MS921 Omni-State , Omni Directional Antenna.

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No matter what antenna you choose.

Replace the outside coax with NEW Coax that has the Compression type connectors on the ends of the coax help keep weather water out of coax and outside connections , replace outside connections , even if they do not look bad.

Do not use coax that have the crimp type connectors on the ends of the new coax.

Last edited by teleview; 22-Jan-2014 at 3:10 PM. Reason: Clarify information and typos.
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Old 22-Jan-2014, 7:44 AM   #3
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Have you tried replacing the coax cable? Deteriorating reception, over some period of time suggests water is entering the coax. If so, the only solution is to replace the cable. Even if you could thoroughly dry wet cable, its' operating characteristics will have been permanently altered.

If the antenna is functional, why replace it?
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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.)

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Old 22-Jan-2014, 2:43 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info folks. When I installed the antenna I used heat-shrink tubing on the connections to keep water out. I don't know if it did the job though, won't know 'till I get up there and cut them open and have a look-see.
I'd love to have a directional antenna so I can pull stations from Detroit, but wouldn't there be lag while you wait for the rotor to spin the antenna from, say the north to the south east? That's what keeps me from a directional unit. Am I off the mark here?
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Old 22-Jan-2014, 5:38 PM   #5
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Though it's not commonly available, there are specialty types of heat shrink with heat activated sealant added to the inside wall of the tube. Given the specialized nature, limited availability and cost of the product, I wouldn't think to suggest it's use in an OTA installation. I would not expect the commonly available HST to provide a reliable seal against water/moisture.

Product such as CoaxSeal and Scotch/3M 2228 would be better suited to sealing F-type connectors.
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Old 22-Jan-2014, 7:27 PM   #6
teleview
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If you will like to receive the Detroit Tv Stations and -->Many<-- of the Digital Broadcast Tv stations in other directions.

With out a antenna rotator.

Install Above the Peak of the Roof install a , www.antennacraft.net , HBU 44 antenna aimed at about 140 degree magnetic compass direction.

Here is how to aim antennas, www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html

Use a Real and Actual magnetic compas to aim antenna.

Directional antennas such as and not limited to the HBU 44 antenna receive the best at the front of the antenna , a little less at front angles to the antenna , less at back angles to the antenna , less at the back of the antenna.

Directional antennas such as and not limited to the HBU 44 antenna receive the least amount of reception directly on the sides of the antenna.

The action to take when making antenna aim adjustments is to have the Tv stations of other directions at angles to the antenna.

Recommend Test reception without a antenna system amplifier and have only one Tv connected for the Test.

Running a New Continues length of coax from the antenna through a open door or window direct to 1 Tv.

Here are some Above the Roof antenna mounts.

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

www.ronard.com/34424560.html
Use the , ronard (4560) , eave antenna mount.

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

Buy the ronard antenna mounts at , www.ronard.com

I think you will be Suprized at the number of Tv stations and channels the are received and the reliable reception.

Digital Broadcast Tv Tuners can develop - Digital Glitches - that are not cleared out with simple channel scans.

To clear tuner do Double Rescan.

www.wchstv.com/DoubleReScanAlert.pdf.

Last edited by teleview; 23-Jan-2014 at 12:57 AM. Reason: Clarify information and typos.
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Old 22-Jan-2014, 7:51 PM   #7
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I would go with a large directional antenna for the primary, general purpose feed for day to day viewing.

A secondary antenna can be added if you want. The secondary antenna can be fixed or rotating... your choice. Some would use a large antenna, capable of DX reception, others might only want to make one particular signal reliable.

An A/B switch or auxiliary tuner makes it easy to use the secondary feed. http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=2882
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Old 22-Jan-2014, 8:26 PM   #8
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I'm considering the suggestions for both omni, and uni-directional units here, thanks. While I'm picking your collective brain, what are you thoughts on the Winegard MS-2002? 6 or so years ago when trying to decide what I wanted to go with (antenna-wise) Winegard kept coming up. Seems it's a well respected company. So, what do the educated masses think?
One issue here is the WAF (wife approval factor) and the fact that I have young kids using the tv. Any decision I make will get veto'd if there is switching that needs to be done to watch certain channels.
A little more about my setup.
Antenna is mounted about 4' above the top of my chimney (single story house). I well replace the coax cable with one continuous run when I replace the antenna. I will also raise the antenna about 6' or so.
The coax runs into eyeTV tuner card that goes into a mac mini with PVR software installed.
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Old 22-Jan-2014, 9:47 PM   #9
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All of the omni type antennas tend to leave you open to problems with multipath. But if you have had success, it's reasonable to stick with what works.

At the risk of being repetitious, start by eliminating the question of whether or not the existing coax has water damage. I would not want to replace a functional antenna due to a bad cable.
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Old 22-Jan-2014, 11:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
All of the omni type antennas tend to leave you open to problems with multipath. But if you have had success, it's reasonable to stick with what works.

At the risk of being repetitious, start by eliminating the question of whether or not the existing coax has water damage. I would not want to replace a functional antenna due to a bad cable.
I hear ya. I guess right now I'm investigating my options because, if the antenna is bad, I will know what to get right then and there. I'm not sure when I'll do it. The weather isn't really the best for scaling my house to mess with the antenna. This morning the temp was -12 F and everything it covered in ice and snow. I guess I'll give that Netflix sub a work out haha.
Am I crazy for thinking that a rotor will be a pain? I won't be able to channel surf without wicked lag, will I?
I really appreciate the help you all offered, and I hope to get more folks chiming in. The more opinion/experiences the better.
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Old 23-Jan-2014, 12:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Am I crazy for thinking that a rotor will be a pain?
I don't think you're crazy at all. Keep it simple when possible. The channel scan automation included in many TVs is not well suited to convenient OTA channel surfing.

I keep wondering if we will ever see a TV or set-top-tuner with a reliable tuner/rotator controller integration. I've also yearned for a TV design that had multiple tuners, with the intelligence to select the tuner that has a better signal to work with. Two tuners and two antennas would be a huge leap forward for most OTA situations. An option to expand up to four tuners would be fantastic.

I would think diversity receivers would make a huge improvement in OTA reception reliability.

I'm daydreaming aren't I?
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Old 23-Jan-2014, 12:53 AM   #12
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The standard Tv antenna rotator that turns a standard Tv Antenna Is Not channel surfing friendly.

Must wait for antenna to rotate and if more then 1 Tv is connected there will be domestic situations about the direction the antenna is rotated to.

As I have recommended , aim the HBU44 antenna in one direction and you will be Suprized at the number of Tv stations received on the other directions.
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