Zinwell ZAT-970A? - Page 9 - AVS Forum
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post #241 of 1146 Old 09-16-2008, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eatougrm View Post

With regard to your #3, have you had a chance yet to test whether or not the clock remains stable when you set it manually? PSIP will always be wrong in my broadcast area. Thanks for your help!

Not yet. Maybe this weekend . . .
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post #242 of 1146 Old 09-16-2008, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eatougrm View Post

With regard to your #3, have you had a chance yet to test whether or not the clock remains stable when you set it manually? PSIP will always be wrong in my broadcast area. Thanks for your help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post

I tested the Zinwell ZAT and it worked flawlessly. The clock lost about 20 seconds over two weeks time, but that's still a lot more accurate than how my DTVpal operates (randomly gaining or losing an hour).

I set the time on mine manually about a week ago, and it hasn't drifted more than 10-20 seconds. I've gotten used to having to reset the clock on my VCR about once per month, and it looks like that should work for the Zinwell as well.
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post #243 of 1146 Old 09-17-2008, 04:12 PM
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The 970A manual time runs 2 seconds slow per day. It has NOT jumped 5 minutes like my TR-40. Received the TR-40 and 970A last week. Sleep time is set to OFF

I like the 24 hour time. It eliminates my occasional AM/PM errors.

I wish it had a MON - FRI setting option instead of MONTHLY. I'm using 5 of the 8 timers to implement MON - FRI. I'll probably switch to DAILY and turn them OFF and ON each weekend.
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post #244 of 1146 Old 09-17-2008, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rf008 View Post

I like the 24 hour time. It eliminates my occasional AM/PM errors.

For all we know, maybe that's the reason why they decided to do it.

I know I've made the mistake you speak of plenty of times when setting manual timers.
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post #245 of 1146 Old 09-17-2008, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rf008 View Post

I wish it had a MON - FRI setting option instead of MONTHLY. I'm using 5 of the 8 timers to implement MON - FRI. I'll probably switch to DAILY and turn them OFF and ON each weekend.

Unless there's a conflicting event on Saturday or Sunday, set it to DAILY and leave it.  Then set the VCR to record only Monday through Friday, or if this is for real-time watching rather than for recording, just don't turn the TV on during that time on weekends.
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post #246 of 1146 Old 09-18-2008, 05:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dattier View Post

Unless there's a conflicting event on Saturday or Sunday, set it to DAILY and leave it.* Then set the VCR to record only Monday through Friday, or if this is for real-time watching rather than for recording, just don't turn the TV on during that time on weekends.

I hoped someone had figured out a way to emulate a MON - FRI timer so I could use DAILY and not have to kill it on weekends. I record football games. Does anyone use a MONTHLY timer?
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post #247 of 1146 Old 09-18-2008, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rf008 View Post

I like the 24 hour time. It eliminates my occasional AM/PM errors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

For all we know, maybe that's the reason why they decided to do it.

I think that's a case of rationalizing. A box manufacturer shouldn't make that decision for you, especially if it's not an advertised feature. They just didn't bother to fully adapt the box for the American market. While 24 hour time is a perfectly legitimate feature which I've seen on many devices, it should always be an option you can turn on or off.

While I agree about the AM/PM errors, I think the 24 hour time would be a bigger source of errors for me. I want to be able to transcribe the data from the TV listings into the box without having to do any mathematical conversion. That would be more of a source of errors than the AM/PM thing.
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post #248 of 1146 Old 09-19-2008, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rperlberg View Post

While I agree about the AM/PM errors, I think the 24 hour time would be a bigger source of errors for me. I want to be able to transcribe the data from the TV listings into the box without having to do any mathematical conversion. That would be more of a source of errors than the AM/PM thing.

If it were between that and the Pal/TR-40, I wouldn't let that stop me - I'd get used to it. It wouldn't be that hard.
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post #249 of 1146 Old 09-19-2008, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

If it were between that and the Pal/TR-40, I wouldn't let that stop me - I'd get used to it. It wouldn't be that hard.

I honestly loved my Zinwell and was a little bummed out to have to put it back in the box after it worked so well for all those weeks while my DTVPal was down. However, after spending money and time to get the DTVPal exchanged, I kinda had to put it back up.

I'm thinking about picking up a VCR for cheap off Craigslist or something for my upstairs bedroom and if so I'll definately hook my Zat970A up to it.

The Zat has its quirks, but what CECB doesnt. Like the Zenith, I think they can be easily overlooked.
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post #250 of 1146 Old 09-19-2008, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwiser View Post

I honestly loved my Zinwell and was a little bummed out to have to put it back in the box after it worked so well for all those weeks while my DTVPal was down. However, after spending money and time to get the DTVPal exchanged, I kinda had to put it back up.

I'm thinking about picking up a VCR for cheap off Craigslist or something for my upstairs bedroom and if so I'll definately hook my Zat970A up to it.

The Zat has its quirks, but what CECB doesnt. Like the Zenith, I think they can be easily overlooked.

so you have the 106 version of the dtvpal and you like it better than the zat? i'm wondering if the tr40s will have the updated version.
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post #251 of 1146 Old 09-19-2008, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwiser View Post

The Zat has its quirks, but what CECB doesnt. Like the Zenith, I think they can be easily overlooked.

Even though I've never actually seen the PQ of the Zinwell myself, I already know that even if all the bugs were completely worked out in the Pal/TR-40, I couldn't live with it's PQ. The only real use I'd have for it is to convert the TVGOS data.

Do you notice much of a difference? What's your take on the Zinwell's PQ compared to the Pal, or even the Zenith if you have one (and how big is the TV screen you're comparing them on)? I think there's only been one comparison that I know of so far that puts the Zinwell close to the Zenith, but that's only one person's opinion, so I don't know what to make of it (could've even been your opinion - I don't recall).

This could be really important info for some people, but I never see much in the way of comments on the PQ by people who have actually compared it to any other boxes head-to-head. At least very thoroughly. Thanks.
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post #252 of 1146 Old 09-19-2008, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Do you notice much of a difference? What's your take on the Zinwell's PQ compared to the Pal, or even the Zenith if you have one (and how big is the TV screen you're comparing them on)? I think there's only been one comparison that I know of so far that puts the Zinwell close to the Zenith, but that's only one person's opinion, so I don't know what to make of it (could've even been your opinion - I don't recall).

This could be really important info for some people, but I never see much in the way of comments on the PQ by people who have actually compared it to any other boxes head-to-head. At least very thoroughly. Thanks.

here's a comparison to the zenith...golinux provided it upon my request
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post14644527

i don't know how it compares to the tr40 though...i think im going to probably avoid the tr40 even if it is free.
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post #253 of 1146 Old 09-19-2008, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

This could be really important info for some people, but I never see much in the way of comments on the PQ by people who have actually compared it to any other boxes head-to-head. At least very thoroughly. Thanks.

I rewired my boxes last night so I could do just this comparison. I had a Zenith and the Zinwell coming off the same splitter and on an A/B switch to a 19" 4:3 CRT TV. Flipping back and forth, I am happy to report that the picture area shown in both these boxes is identical. The ZInwell PQ held up quite well to the Zenith. I could see a slight difference up close - Zinwell is a bit softer - but at a 5-6' distance they were pretty much the same.

This weekend I'm going to set the time manually (there is still one station off by 6 min.) and several timers. Will report on the results.
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post #254 of 1146 Old 09-19-2008, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheaplikeafox View Post

so you have the 106 version of the dtvpal and you like it better than the zat? i'm wondering if the tr40s will have the updated version.

ehh...thats not really what I said. The DTVPal has the nice EPG and lets you do M-F timers...but otherwise I'd say I like it about the same.

At some point, I'm sure they'll fold new software into the boxes, but since the TR-40 is supposed to be a limited production and F103 seems to have working timers it will likely be in the later made DTVPals and DTVPal pluses.


As far as PQ of the Zat vs the pal, I dont remember doing a side by side comparison(try searching earlier posts in this thread in case I did and just forgot). As far as I can tell though, its not as good of a picture as the Zenith, but no worse if not a bit better than the Pal. My TV is only 21" and its 20 years old, but it still has S-video...pretty cutting edge for its time.

cheap...if you can find a TR-40 in a B&M store for free (as in no shipping), I'd say take it and run (not literally...use the $40 coupon). If it turns out it has major bugs, which I havent heard of (the timer problem was a major bug...the VBI and PSIP issues are broadcaster related), you can likely exchange it for a non buggy one, or sell it for a few bucks on Craigslist and be none the worse off.
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post #255 of 1146 Old 09-20-2008, 09:40 AM
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I'm using both a ZAT-970A and a CM-7000 on my 34" Sony XBR CRT (I primarily use a Tivo Series 3). The Zat goes to a VCR, so what I see includes both. The CM is used for PIP. Both boxes are connected via RF. I find it difficult to distinguish between the two, and both are close to the PQ of the Tivo in HD, althoug the Tivo color rendition is less spectacular. These statements are based on an 8-10' viewing distance, and no real attempt at careful comparison, just general viewing.

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post #256 of 1146 Old 09-20-2008, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwiser View Post

ehh...thats not really what I said. The DTVPal has the nice EPG and lets you do M-F timers...but otherwise I'd say I like it about the same.

At some point, I'm sure they'll fold new software into the boxes, but since the TR-40 is supposed to be a limited production and F103 seems to have working timers it will likely be in the later made DTVPals and DTVPal pluses.


As far as PQ of the Zat vs the pal, I dont remember doing a side by side comparison(try searching earlier posts in this thread in case I did and just forgot). As far as I can tell though, its not as good of a picture as the Zenith, but no worse if not a bit better than the Pal. My TV is only 21" and its 20 years old, but it still has S-video...pretty cutting edge for its time.

cheap...if you can find a TR-40 in a B&M store for free (as in no shipping), I'd say take it and run (not literally...use the $40 coupon). If it turns out it has major bugs, which I havent heard of (the timer problem was a major bug...the VBI and PSIP issues are broadcaster related), you can likely exchange it for a non buggy one, or sell it for a few bucks on Craigslist and be none the worse off.

thanks for the advice nwiser. I think I'm going to take my chances and get the tr40 and the zat. It only costs $3 more to get the tr40 along with the zat because of shipping and I guess it is worth it. I guess I better act soon if the tr40cras are supposedly a limited supply.
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post #257 of 1146 Old 09-20-2008, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Even though I've never actually seen the PQ of the Zinwell myself, I already know that even if all the bugs were completely worked out in the Pal/TR-40, I couldn't live with it's PQ. The only real use I'd have for it is to convert the TVGOS data.

Do you notice much of a difference? What's your take on the Zinwell's PQ compared to the Pal, or even the Zenith if you have one (and how big is the TV screen you're comparing them on)? I think there's only been one comparison that I know of so far that puts the Zinwell close to the Zenith, but that's only one person's opinion, so I don't know what to make of it (could've even been your opinion - I don't recall).

This could be really important info for some people, but I never see much in the way of comments on the PQ by people who have actually compared it to any other boxes head-to-head. At least very thoroughly. Thanks.



I used a 4-input composite switch connected to a composite channel of my 27" Sony WEGA to compare the PQ of the Zinwell 970A, the TR40, and Directv local channels. Also compared to TV's analog picture. Comparison is subjective and complicated by the 2 second delay between the analog and CECB output and the 5 second delay between the analog and Directv local channels.

All sources produced a good, acceptable picture except the low signal strength channel 36. The analog signal was best for this channel because it was viewable with overall random video noise. Both CECB's pictures were unwatchable because of pixelation. The PQ of both CECB's was the same. The PQ of the Directv local channel was slightly better than the CECB's. The analog TV was the best because of the sharpness of edges (better frequency response from greater bandwidth), lack of artifacts, and infinite colors.

data:

channel---signal strength------ Signal quality
-----------TR40-----970A------970A

--10.1-----70 to 85---85-------100

--12.1-----78 to 93---85-------100

--36.1-----58 to 64---61------ 4 to 24

--64.1-----69 to 73---70------36 to 45

--69.1-----74 to 78---85------59 to 61

The Zinwell signal quality indicatior doesn't make sense to me. If it is a function of bit error rate (BER), I would expect channel 64.1 to be near 100. Could it be a function of the quality (HQ, SP, SPP, EP, XP) of the encoded signal it is receiving from the station? I had an "EP" quality picture with a signal quality of 10.
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post #258 of 1146 Old 09-20-2008, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by rf008 View Post

The analog TV was the best because of the sharpness of edges (better frequency response from greater bandwidth), lack of artifacts, and infinite colors.

(Sarcasm) So why are we going through this transition to digital?
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post #259 of 1146 Old 09-21-2008, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

(Sarcasm) So why are we going through this transition to digital?

(sarcasm)
Surely not because:
-- The Gov is making billions auctioning the bandwidth.
-- The Cable and satellite bunch will get millions of new "local channel" customers.
-- OTA stations will get more ad revenue.
-- The OEM's will sell lots of new TV's and recorders.

(not sarcasm)
Because the digital format has the potential to deliver better quality and gives the OTA stations more options for delivery of program content to all but "deep fringe" areas.
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post #260 of 1146 Old 09-21-2008, 01:14 PM
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"Potential" - at least you're being honest.
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post #261 of 1146 Old 09-21-2008, 03:45 PM
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Agreed, the HD channels can't be beat. I doubt I'd be watching TV on a 46" set if it weren't for HD. The SD channels are another thing. I've never seen a digital SD channel that has the quality of a old analog channel. The pixelazation drives me nuts when they try and cram multiple SD channels on one channel. Same goes when their is one HD channel and one SD channel. The SD one looks terrible and even the HD one loses quality.
Unfortunately theirs the temptation to cram more channels into one channel.
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post #262 of 1146 Old 09-21-2008, 05:37 PM
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I've never seen a digital SD channel that has the quality of a old analog channel. The pixelazation drives me nuts when they try and cram multiple SD channels on one channel.

I'm glad to see someone else who feels this way. For most people who have HDTV's and/or live well within the reception area, the mandated transition is like the first time your parents took you to get ice cream (assuming you're not lactose intolerant). For most of those who have old old analog sets and/or live on the far outer edges of reception range, it's like the first time your parents took you to the dentist (and you had a cavity).

The good thing is that those who are having trouble maintaining a solid signal or even getting a signal at all, arent going to be hung out to dry (supposedly). Based on what they observed with the Wilmington transition, the gvt is looking into ways to help people out. Of course the solution wont come at no cost, it might require the consumer to buy a special and possibly expensive antenna...but its something. Maybe they'll issue $40 coupons for antennas next.
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post #263 of 1146 Old 09-21-2008, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

(Sarcasm) So why are we going through this transition to digital?

Money, power and control.

"A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WILL SMELL AS SWEET. BUT IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT WHATEVER WE CHOOSE TO CALL A ROSE WILL POSSESS THE ROSE'S FRAGRANCE."

--Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1917)
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post #264 of 1146 Old 09-21-2008, 09:28 PM
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After installing a CM pre-amp, I'm now able to get WMAR, WBAL, WNUV, WFFB, & WUTB 80% to 100% of the time now. This is in addition to WJZ, WJAL, WVPY, WWPB, & WWPX which I was already getting 100%. I still need to check the Altoona, DC, Harrisburg, & York/Lancaster directions.

I'm also looking to replace the rivets in the elements of my aerial, due to rust. I'll be replacing them with aluminum bolts. As soon as I can come up with a 50' tower, I'll be able to get the aerial above 26'. I'm hoping both of these will help with the drop-outs.

Hopefully, I can get the rivets replaced before my ZAT-970A arrives, by the end of the week. What a lot of work, when you're recpetion is a 76 mile, double-edge diffraction. I believe it will also get better, when the digital transmitters go full power and the analog stations shut down, producing less interference.
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post #265 of 1146 Old 09-22-2008, 03:02 PM
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Made my first VCR recording using the Zin after I went to be last night. Flawlessly recorded, and box turned itself off after.

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post #266 of 1146 Old 09-22-2008, 06:01 PM
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Does anyone know where the best deal is to purchase the ZAT-970A (price + shipping)? Thanks!
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post #267 of 1146 Old 09-22-2008, 06:30 PM
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I've had a single timer set up on my ZAT for about the past month to record a program on Sundays. The first three weeks it fired correctly and there were no issues. However, this week the timer turned the ZAT on, but failed to change the channel. I didn't discover this until I watched the tape. I went to the timer menu and found that the channel setting for this particular timer was BLANK. I haven't really played around with the ZAT since I set up this timer, so I don't know what caused the timer channel to disappear.
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post #268 of 1146 Old 09-22-2008, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visualsensation View Post

I've had a single timer set up on my ZAT for about the past month to record a program on Sundays. The first three weeks it fired correctly and there were no issues. However, this week the timer turned the ZAT on, but failed to change the channel. I didn't discover this until I watched the tape. I went to the timer menu and found that the channel setting for this particular timer was BLANK. I haven't really played around with the ZAT since I set up this timer, so I don't know what caused the timer channel to disappear.

Maybe the signal dropped out at the appointed time?
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post #269 of 1146 Old 09-22-2008, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

After installing a CM pre-amp, I'm now able to get WMAR, WBAL, WNUV, WFFB, & WUTB 80% to 100% of the time now. This is in addition to WJZ, WJAL, WVPY, WWPB, & WWPX which I was already getting 100%. I still need to check the Altoona, DC, Harrisburg, & York/Lancaster directions.

I'm also looking to replace the rivets in the elements of my aerial, due to rust. I'll be replacing them with aluminum bolts. As soon as I can come up with a 50' tower, I'll be able to get the aerial above 26'. I'm hoping both of these will help with the drop-outs.

Hopefully, I can get the rivets replaced before my ZAT-970A arrives, by the end of the week. What a lot of work, when you're recpetion is a 76 mile, double-edge diffraction. I believe it will also get better, when the digital transmitters go full power and the analog stations shut down, producing less interference.

Just my first impression, I would go with a new antenna. There is too much unknown about repairing the antenna itself. The antenna can't be that expensive compared to getting up on that 50 ft. tower. One weak point could be the 300 ohm to 75 ohm coax transformer. Replace that and make sure it covers the UHF bands.
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post #270 of 1146 Old 09-22-2008, 10:03 PM
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Don't have the tower yet. Deep Fringe antennas are not that cheap. The one I have was $100.00 discounted. There isn't any balun, due to the fact that the pre-amp has seperate VHF & UHF 300 Ohm inputs with a 75 Ohm output (I've seperated and isolated the VHF & UHF sections of the antenna). I'm also using satellite grade coax with high perormance compression fittings. It then feeds a 25dB distribution amp, after 118' of coax.

Since the antenna is on a 5' mast section, it's very easy to remove.

I should get my ZAT-970A and RCA DTA800B1 tomorrow. It would have been nice to have had the unit last night when Dancing with the Stars, Sarah Conner, Two & A Half Men, Heros (x2), & Big Bang were all on.
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