Help me choose an antenna ; Brighton MI - AVS Forum
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Old 04-16-2010, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello everyone.

I have been on the forum for a long long time and appreciate all the great advice from the forum. However, I will humbly say that choosing an antenna is really difficult for me even after reading up on all the posts. Hopefully, I can get help from the more knowledgeable forum members.

I am looking to get either an attic or an outdoor antenna (leaning more towards outdoor for ease of installation). If mounting in attic, roof is asphalt shingles on plywood with no visual foil insulation of any sort. If mounting outside, it will be mounted on the side of the house, probably just under the roof overhang with a rod to bring it around (not keen on mounting a bracket to the roof shingles).

Preferably just one antenna but can do a separate UHF/VHF is it makes sense. Will use amplified if needed. Will plan to split to several rooms in the house either by bringing one line in to the house and then doing the split or running multiple lines near the antenna itself based on what makes sense. Home is a simple rectangular ranch just under 1000 sf so it's not big by any means.

My goal is to get all network channels from Detroit. Anything else is extra but welcomed. I currently have an indoor Terk HDTVa and can pick up some UHF channels from Detroit even though the antenna is on the far end of the house, cannot pick up VHF. Also, it drops out based on weather and needs repositioning to not have signal drops

All are clustered around 98 - 102 Azimuth and are 31 miles or less.
Fox is on VHF HI, everything else falls in the UHF range.

1) Please help with an antenna, my buddy who does installs will do the work but he only stocks Terk Square Shooters and I am not sure it will work for me. He will install any antenna I suggest, I'd rather be safe than sorry.

2) I have no current channels in the VHF-lo band but if it makes sense, I would like to "protect" for future channels and don't mind spending a bit more for the peace of mind and future insurance.

3) The location for the antenna will have a pretty clear view of the sky but there might be some light tree cover.

Thank you

Will post Tv Fool in next post.
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Old 04-16-2010, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Old 04-16-2010, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avash View Post

All are clustered around 98 - 102 Azimuth and are 31 miles or less.
Fox is on VHF HI, everything else falls in the UHF range.

Winegard HD 7694P or Antennacraft HBU-22. Pick it up at Solid Signal in Novi, MI, about 16 miles from you.
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Old 04-16-2010, 01:28 PM
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If you opt for a rotor and good preamp in addition to the antenna, you should be able to get both Detroit and Lansing TV markets.

I'd get a large directional VHF/UHF combo antenna, Channel Master IR controlled rotor, low noise / medium gain antenna preamp. Mount the antenna outdoors as high as possible.

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Old 04-17-2010, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
All are clustered around 98 - 102 Azimuth and are 31 miles or less.
Fox is on VHF HI, everything else falls in the UHF range.

Quote:
Winegard HD 7694P or Antennacraft HBU-22. Pick it up at Solid Signal in Novi, MI, about 16 miles from you.

+1 on the above antenna suggestions. Either one should work well. And solid signal is a very good dealer.
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tower Guy View Post

Winegard HD 7694P or Antennacraft HBU-22. Pick it up at Solid Signal in Novi, MI, about 16 miles from you.

Oh wow, they are just a couple of miles near my work. I will just stop by and check them out myself


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

If you opt for a rotor and good preamp in addition to the antenna, you should be able to get both Detroit and Lansing TV markets.

I'd get a large directional VHF/UHF combo antenna, Channel Master IR controlled rotor, low noise / medium gain antenna preamp. Mount the antenna outdoors as high as possible.

Thank you. Not sure if I would get the rotor but I might get it prewired to accept a rotor down the road by running the cable and just terminating it near the antenna.


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Originally Posted by arxaw View Post

+1 on the above antenna suggestions. Either one should work well. And solid signal is a very good dealer.

The Antennacraft HBU-22 is quite a bit cheaper than the Winegard HD 7694P but seems to have better range? Are there pros and cons to each one? Also, would I need a amp for the antenna? If suggested, do you have a recommendation? I'd hate to have my signal cut out when it rains or snows due to being near the threshold without an amplifier
Also, just curious how these line up with the Winegard Squareshooter SS-2000? It looks like they are optimized for UHF only so I might risk losing the VHF Hi channels (i.e. Fox Detroit)? Do you agree?



Two new questions:
Would I need an amplifier to distribute to cable lines to different rooms in the house? I think the antenna will end up having one line in to the house and then split up to the separate rooms. I guess I could try it first and if needed, I can add one? If so, any recommendations for that as well?


I think I'll get all my stuff from solid signal. I love their site, really easy to use.
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avash View Post

The Antennacraft HBU-22 is quite a bit cheaper than the Winegard HD 7694P but seems to have better range? Are there pros and cons to each one?

Also, just curious how these line up with the Winegard Squareshooter SS-2000? It looks like they are optimized for UHF only so I might risk losing the VHF Hi channels (i.e. Fox Detroit)? Do you agree?

The SS-2000 is very bad on channel 7. WJBK is on channel 7. Toss that idea aside.

Ignore the mileage "puffery" on the HBU-22. The HD7694P has better gain and F/B specs than the HBU-22. My own experience favors Antennacraft for reliability and Winegard for craftsmanship, but I didn't actually compare these exact models.
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:04 PM
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What tower guy said. Take antenna mileage ratings for what they're worth; absolutely nothing.
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Old 04-22-2010, 05:39 PM
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On the pre-amp, you'll have pretty good luck with a mast mounted pre-amp, then split to the sets in the house. I've used a Winegard pre-amp, then split to four different components without an issue. I'm just a little north and east of you in Holly, MI. WJBK definitely responds to 'hardware' (ie a good antenna) rather than amplification outdoors. Have fun, and enjoy the money you save if you get rid of cable
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Time to bump up my old thread with an update.

I called solid signal and spoke to a rep who suggested the more expensive HD7697P over the HD7694P.

The 7697P is about twice the price of the 7694P but is this going to benefit me in any way as far, such as a more reliable / stronger signal or less susceptible to rain/snow interference?

They also recommended the HDP-269 mast-mounted amp. I'm planning to run one line in to the house, then use a splitter to 3 - 4 rooms. Have not estimated the wire run length but the house is 1000sqft. I'd run the wire in to the attic, the drop down to the room I would want. Is this a good amp choice?
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avash View Post

Time to bump up my old thread with an update.

I called solid signal and spoke to a rep who suggested the more expensive HD7697P over the HD7694P.

The 7697P is about twice the price of the 7694P but is this going to benefit me in any way as far, such as a more reliable / stronger signal or less susceptible to rain/snow interference?

They also recommended the HDP-269 mast-mounted amp. I'm planning to run one line in to the house, then use a splitter to 3 - 4 rooms. Have not estimated the wire run length but the house is 1000sqft. I'd run the wire in to the attic, the drop down to the room I would want. Is this a good amp choice?

The bigger antenna is more likely to fail with ice and wind.
The smaller antenna has plenty of gain.

I'd try it without the preamp first, and if you need one the HDP-269 is the right choice.
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tower Guy View Post

The bigger antenna is more likely to fail with ice and wind.
The smaller antenna has plenty of gain.

I'd try it without the preamp first, and if you need one the HDP-269 is the right choice.

Good thing I asked. I don't know much about antennas but I assumed bigger would be better.

It sounds like the 7694P is what I should order and hold off on the amp until all jacks are wired up. If signal is weak, then throw in the amp? Since it's mast-mounted, shouldn't be too hard to add in.
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Would appreciate some confirmation as I have been reading up on the grounding requirements.

The antenna will be on a mast, outdoor. As I understand it, I would have to ground the mast and the antenna coax separately with an 8 or larger copper or aluminum wire. Is this correct?

For the mast, it's just a straight run to ground, either with a rod in the ground or using ground clamps on the power service ground.

However, I am confused as to what to do with the coaxial. Do I just use a simple grounding block like the Winegard GB-8100 or should I also put an inline lightning surge-protector like the T-II lightning surge protector? If this is the wrong type of surge protector (it doesn't mention OTA), then please advise.

FYI, I cannot ground to water lines in the house because I have a water softener so the lines are not grounded.
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Old 07-22-2010, 05:52 AM
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I use #10 copper ground wire, as do the telco, sat & cableco in our area. But check with your local codes, if concerned about wire size. Our local codes also prohibit using water pipes for reasons similar to what you mentioned.

You must ground to the electrical power ground. If you opt for a separate ground rod, that rod must also be connected to the main electrical power ground source as well. So, if the electric power ground is not far, just use that. Telco, cable, sat and antenna grounds must all be electrically bonded (connected) to your main power ground.

The Winegard type coax grounding block is fine.
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Old 08-17-2010, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Update: I installed the 7694P without an amp and aside from My20, all the channels are coming in strong.

However, I have yet to run the drops to all rooms so I will find out if I will need to add an amp. I am guessing yes.
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