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post #1 of 61 Old 01-08-2011, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Checking the bandwidth frequencies of these antennas they will work in the U.S.A. I have been using televes and a british unit and get good results. I saw these two antennas and would love to test and evaluate them. One model is a unique High band VHF and UHF model called the sigma combo #213202 and a rather large double 8 bay with 18.5db of gain. this model is the pu16f #217436 in the Fracarro catalog. They are "f" connector ready. If anyone has a source for this brand please post. The sixteen bay pu16f looks like an installation nightmare. Thanks again.
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post #2 of 61 Old 01-09-2011, 01:04 PM
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I have looked at Fracarro catalogs before. I never found an easy supply chain for them. I did buy a Fracarro UHF log Periodic via Amazon and I have it in my big box of antenna stuff to evaluate. It does look to be quality construction.

I have found two italian websites that seem to have prices for the entire Fracarro line. There also are some Australian retailers (Lacey's tv, etc.) but the shipping may kill you.
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post #3 of 61 Old 02-17-2011, 03:33 AM
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Ten (10) different models are available at AbilityHDTV.com
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post #4 of 61 Old 02-17-2011, 05:44 AM
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Interesting find from Italy. What happened to made in USA??

These surely appear to be a better choice than those poorly made, over rated Antennas Direct POS's from China. The big question is the quality of their materials. Also, the type of feedpoint. Is it 300 ohm or are they using some attached balun?
According to their own polar plots, their Sigma6HD ($130) is not just over priced, but a poorer performer than their next step down, the BLU920F for $42 less ($88). But, for $33 less than that the BLU420F ($55) seems to be a better bargain.

Attached are the polar plots, resized for comparison of their best UHF models. Clearly the 920F has the tighter pattern. The disadvantage is it has to be mounted at the top of the mast unlike the others that can be mounted almost anywhere below.

In the following order;
Sigma6HD, BLU920F, BLU420+, BLU420F, LP45F.
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post #5 of 61 Old 02-17-2011, 05:53 AM
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Gain plots of the same antennas except the LP45 which has a flat 11dbi gain. Note: these are stated at dbi, giving the higher reading. Typical of the consumer electronics industry showing a higher figure. I cropped the charts for only the lower portion of the UHF spectrum (700 MHz and below);
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post #6 of 61 Old 02-17-2011, 06:43 AM
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A little research into this company. Background (love the castle);
http://www.fracarro.com/internationa...=68&Itemid=188

Full line antenna catalog;
http://www.fracarro.com/internationa...80&&Itemid=250


Data Sheets (pdf's);
Sigma6HD;
http://sigma.fracarro.com/download/d...ng_extraUE.pdf

BLU series;
http://www.fracarro.com/internationa.../BLUSeries.zip

All antennas;
http://www.fracarro.com/internationa...260&Itemid=342

Questions for AbilityHDTV missing from the importer website;

1. Boom length, reflector dimensions,
2. Actual weight,
3. Balun or 300 ohm feed? If balun, what specific design,
4. Materials used including hardware. Aluminum or something else,
5. Difference between the "F" and the "Plus" series other than price and reflector)?
6. The 920's pdf shows one type of reflector, but the photo for the "F" version shows the other. Which is correct?

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post #7 of 61 Old 02-17-2011, 07:48 AM
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Data sheets on 4, 8 & 16 bay (panel) antennas similar to orginal 4228 from CM;
http://www.fracarro.com/internationa...le_panel_F.pdf
http://www.fracarro.com/internationa...ti_panel_F.pdf

Hi res photo;
http://www.fracarro.com/internationa.../foto/PU16.jpg

And these models similar to the 91XG;
http://www.fracarro.com/internationa...BDA_series.pdf
LL

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post #8 of 61 Old 02-17-2011, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbilityHDTV View Post

Ten (10) different models are available at AbilityHDTV.com

The biggest single issue on the forums continues to be viewers who purchased UHF only antennas.

The AbilityHDTV web site states:

The vast majority of FCC RF channel assignments (broadcast frequency) have changed, most VHF Low Band stations and VHF High Band channel assignments have moved to UHF Band channels.

That may have been true prior to June 2009. Today, many analog VHF stations reverted to VHF for their DTV channel.

You may want to update the advice.
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post #9 of 61 Old 02-17-2011, 08:46 AM
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Good point. They do import this combo;
http://www.abilityhdtv.com/product-i...nna-pid64.html

Datasheet;
http://www.fracarro.com/internationa...PERIODIC_F.zip

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post #10 of 61 Old 03-27-2011, 06:01 AM
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Has anyone looked into these yet?

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post #11 of 61 Old 04-04-2011, 08:41 PM
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It took me a while to read through the specs for all of these Ferraris, and they look pretty impressive. The 7-51 LPDAs look like a great deal for the money. That 16-bay might be fun, does Ability sell those too?
Some of those freaky yagis with the loop directors look like Scaramanga's laser gun on his island. Pricey, but if they can deliver that much gain at such a moderate length, might be worth it.
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post #12 of 61 Old 04-05-2011, 10:45 AM
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I have a Fracarro UHF log Periodic. I have one station (Ion) that aboout 120 degress from the bulk of the transmitters and relatively weak. so the Fracarro points there with a Jointenna. The Fracarro is much better than the
RCA Ant751 that it replaced.
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post #13 of 61 Old 09-26-2011, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Interesting find from Italy. What happened to made in USA??

These surely appear to be a better choice than those poorly made, over rated Antennas Direct POS's from China. The big question is the quality of their materials. Also, the type of feedpoint. Is it 300 ohm or are they using some attached balun?
According to their own polar plots, their Sigma6HD ($130) is not just over priced, but a poorer performer than their next step down, the BLU920F for $42 less ($88). But, for $33 less than that the BLU420F ($55) seems to be a better bargain.

Attached are the polar plots, resized for comparison of their best UHF models. Clearly the 920F has the tighter pattern. The disadvantage is it has to be mounted at the top of the mast unlike the others that can be mounted almost anywhere below.

In the following order;
Sigma6HD, BLU920F, BLU420+, BLU420F, LP45F.

From your posts on Fracarro, it looks you may know more about these antennas than most of the other AVS members. I've been considering the 91XG / YA1713 combo and your comments in this thread caught my attention. Any updates?

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post #14 of 61 Old 09-26-2011, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ota.dt.man View Post

I've been considering the 91XG / YA1713 combo and your comments in this thread caught my attention.

I'm interested in the Fracarro also. Stumbled across them when I was researching what to do for the digital transition but until this thread did not know they had a US distributor.

Currently using an old style CM 4228/YA1713 combo. Have several problems UHF channels and was thinking about trying the 91XG. The BLU920F looks like is has a little more gain and more directional which ought to help here in terrain challenged New Hampshire.
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post #15 of 61 Old 09-26-2011, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Currently using an old style CM 4228

Why would you want anything else?

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post #16 of 61 Old 09-26-2011, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Why would you want anything else?

Because several UHF stations are marginal. Curious if it will make any difference. The 91XG and 920 are somewhat more directional. May help with multipath.
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post #17 of 61 Old 09-26-2011, 07:18 PM
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Per: AbilityHDTV - "Exclusive Master Distributor of Fracarro Radioindustrie Antennas for North America"

Contact Info:

ABILITY HDTV
div/ Ability Provisioning Corporation
12745 S. Saginaw Street
Suite 806-362
Grand Blanc, MI 48439

Telephone: 888-788-9775
Fax: 810-222-5425

Email:

-

support@AbilityHDTV.com
- sales@AbilityHDTV.com

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post #18 of 61 Old 09-27-2011, 03:28 AM
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Quote:


Because several UHF stations are marginal. Curious if it will make any difference. The 91XG and 920 are somewhat more directional. May help with multipath.

Correct, but aiming is more critical.

Have you tried moving the antenna to another part of the roof?

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post #19 of 61 Old 09-27-2011, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Interesting find from Italy. What happened to made in USA??

These surely appear to be a better choice than those poorly made, over rated Antennas Direct POS's from China. The big question is the quality of their materials. Also, the type of feedpoint. Is it 300 ohm or are they using some attached balun?

According to their own polar plots, their Sigma6HD ($130) is not just over priced, but a poorer performer than their next step down, the BLU920F for $42 less ($88). But, for $33 less than that the BLU420F ($55) seems to be a better bargain.

The likely reason the Sigma6HD costs more is that it is only 3 ft long compared with the 7.75 ft 91XG or the 8 ft BLU920F. Perhaps appealing to those who are concerned with windload or who want a smaller antenna for aesthetic "curb appeal" reasons.

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post #20 of 61 Old 09-27-2011, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Have you tried moving the antenna to another part of the roof?

Antenna is gable mounted so limited ability to move it around. We use a rotor so aiming is not a problem. When I installed it even tilted the UHF antenna up about 8-degrees toward the skyline to improve reception.

I posted the details on my site so any suggestion are much appreciated.
http://www.tschmidt.com/writings/Des...%20antenna.htm
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post #21 of 61 Old 09-27-2011, 07:51 PM
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Nice detailed write up.

1. I would loose that 2nd amp for starters.
2. Go with a tripod mount at the other end of the roof, or at least the middle and run cables inside the attic (or crawl space assuming you have one).
3, Move the preamp inside. A 10-15' run (of RG11 might help) from antenna to preamp. It's inside where you can get to it.
4. What's with the 6db pad?
5. Get rid of that combiner and keep the FM signal separate.

Alot of unnecessary loss with extra fittings and passive devices.

My setup below. For the 3rd attachment, only two of those six 'sleeve' type traps are in line now after the transition and that SLM isn't used anymore.
My original setup is the last attachment.
LL
LL
LL
LL

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post #22 of 61 Old 09-28-2011, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Nice detailed write up.

1. I would loose that 2nd amp for starters.
2. Go with a tripod mount at the other end of the roof, or at least the middle and run cables inside the attic (or crawl space assuming you have one).
3, Move the preamp inside. A 10-15' run (of RG11 might help) from antenna to preamp. It's inside where you can get to it.
4. What's with the 6db pad?
5. Get rid of that combiner and keep the FM signal separate.

Thanks for taking the time to comment on my setup.

1) The initial design used a passive 8-port splitter. What I noticed on very weak signals that at those locations where the signal had to pass through a 2-way or 3-way splitter at the set reception was better without the splitter. So that meant the antenna mounted preamp did not have enough gain to overcome distribution losses, based on my calculation was a couple of dB shy. So I swapped out the passive splitter with an active one. When I did that I also removed the amp I was using for FM since now instead of an 11 dB loss through a passive splitter there was a 4 dB gain through the active one

2) The Gable mount is fixed. Relocating the mast is not an option.

3) I do not understand the purpose of that recommendation. There are no controls in the preamp. Right now it is within about 5 feet from the UHF antenna. Currently two coaxes (FM and TV) run from the surge protectors run through the roof peak (cathedral ceilings) about 30 feet to a wiring closet above one of the bedrooms. If I ever need to replace that coax will need to run it down the exterior wall and into into the basement.

4) When I replaced the passive splitter with an active one was concerned about possibility of overload so I put the attenuator before the distribution amp. Do not need the extra gain. Made no difference in or out when I tested it. But figured it can't hurt in winter with stronger signals.

5) One of the design goals of the new system was to combine FM and TV. When I built the house installed separate distribution for FM and TV. Unfortunately I did not wire every drop with both TV and FM so FM was not available in some rooms. The FM combiner works fine, TV reception is identical with it connected or eliminated.
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post #23 of 61 Old 09-28-2011, 06:36 PM
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Quote:


2) The Gable mount is fixed. Relocating the mast is not an option.

Why not??
Quote:


3) I do not understand the purpose of that recommendation.

Simple as stated, it is accessible out of the weather where it can be removed for any reason.

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post #24 of 61 Old 09-29-2011, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Why not??

Antenna is currently mounted on the West facing gable. If I move it to the the East gable:

1) I need to run new coax and rotor cables. Currently they run through the peak of the roof. If I relocate the antenna they need to run down the East exterior wall and into the basement. Then either relocate the electronics that is currently located on the 2nd floor to the basement or bring the cables up to the 2nd floor.
2) Need to install another ground rod.
3) The skyline off the East side of the house is much more obscured by trees then the West.
4) Aesthetics, there are three antennas on the mast and a weather station. Having them on the West side minimizes visual impact.
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post #25 of 61 Old 09-30-2011, 10:25 PM
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"Diplotop - product comparison - gathers FRACARRO SIGMA 6 HD users reviews, tests and opinions.
With a data base of unprecedented wealth, 18 reviews for the FRACARRO SIGMA 6 HD, Diplotop compares the FRACARRO SIGMA 6 HD with its competitors in order to find the best. "

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Fracarro Sigma 6 HD pdf brochure

Prime impressioni antenna Fracarro Sigma 6HD - Google translated from Italian

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post #27 of 61 Old 10-04-2011, 06:09 AM
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From The Official AVS Antenna Topic! thread:


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post #28 of 61 Old 12-15-2011, 10:35 PM
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2 Amazon Reviews by M. Morales and Steve Inglett.
Steve's review compares the BLV6F to the similar Winegard, Antennas Direct, and Antenna Craft models.

Steve Inglett also has a blog where he discusses his OTA antenna experiments. The BLV6F is discussed in the August 2010 and January 2011 installments of his blog.

BLV6F pdf data sheet

Fracarro pdf catalog page - BLV6F

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post #29 of 61 Old 12-16-2011, 05:26 AM
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Quote:


The directors are installed with brittle plastic clips that need to snapped into place when you assemble the antenna. I think this is a poor design choice. I broke one of the clips when I was snapping it into place!

Looks like these might be just another Antennas Direct.

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post #30 of 61 Old 12-16-2011, 10:10 AM
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We should not assume the "brittle plastic clips" issue of the BLV6F pertains to all Fracarro antenna models.

For example, the brochure for the Sigma6HD UHF antenna states:

Quote:


A quality patented aerial

Quote:


Functionality
Sigma aerials are pre-assembled and can be
installed easily and quickly without any
tools (the director elements, mast clamp,
reflector support and driven element rail are
already fixed). The driven element is inserted
onto the rail with a simple movement, the
reflectors are also inserted easily to the preassembled
support and then secured in
position with a pre-fixed wing bolt.

Quote:


Robustness
Its shape and materials makes Sigma
very robust. The rectangular boom
and the plastic parts (enhanced with
fibre glass) guarantee the maximum
robustness, even in severe weather
conditions and stress.

Perhaps a Simga6HD or the less expensive BLU920F with a Winegard YA-1713 would be a good combination?

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