The Official AVS Antenna and Related Hardware Topic! - Page 175 - AVS Forum
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post #5221 of 16266 Old 08-11-2006, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TotallyPreWired View Post

And, of course, it won't add a channel that it doesn't 'find'. What sucks, is without a channel being 'added', you can't view the 'signal strength'. Which means that you can't view the strength while you are trying to tune the antenna, if you couldn't successfully add the channel. Faulty logic.
....jc

Well, digital channels aren't really where the TV says they are, anyway. Even if they were: Signal "strength" meters aren't really signal strength meters, they're more signal quality meters. On analog, strength usually equates with quality, so it mostly works out. Digital is a whole different beast. I don't know as you could actually do the "turn the antenna and watch the meter" kind of a thing with digital.
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post #5222 of 16266 Old 08-11-2006, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEMIJim View Post

Well, digital channels aren't really where the TV says they are, anyway. Even if they were: Signal "strength" meters aren't really signal strength meters, they're more signal quality meters. On analog, strength usually equates with quality, so it mostly works out. Digital is a whole different beast. I don't know as you could actually do the "turn the antenna and watch the meter" kind of a thing with digital.

I do it all the time. I have a Zenith HDR230 and a Zenith TV, both with fourth-generation chipsets. I tune to the real channel (e.g. 35-1 instead of the virtual 11-1 for KARE-DT in Minneapolis) and then bring up the signal meter. Then I spin the antenna until I get the best signal on the meter. It actually registers on the meter long before it gets a lock which implies a calculated net "signal strength" - a combination of signal quality and actual dBmv.

If I were to design a meter for a STB, I'd actually make it a two-stage meter. When there was no digital lock, I'd want it to display dB. Once there was a digital lock, I'd want it to display error rates only. That way, for finding a weak signal, I could get as close as I could, but once I locked, I could emphasize signal quality - by trying to find the peak correct data location.
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post #5223 of 16266 Old 08-11-2006, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sregener View Post

I do it all the time.

Fascinating. Y'learn something new every day.
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post #5224 of 16266 Old 08-11-2006, 02:09 PM
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sregener,

I noticed in the link you posted above, that you installed a 55 foot tower. About how much does that cost? I've got a CM 4228, along with a RS VU-190 for VHF channels, both connected to a 7777 preamp. I live a good 70 miles from the nearest "Big 4" digital transmitters. The CBS affiliate for my market is probably around 75 miles, and they broadcast on RF 7 for digital. I really have had more luck with the 4228 in receiving that (a few times, on good nights) than I have with the 190. I've barely locked on to it once, and it was very pixelated. According to the coverage map for KNOE-DT, I am right outside the coverage area. I would love to get a tower, but would like to try everything else possible, before doing so. I have both antennas about 25 feet off the ground (10 feet above roofline). I also can receive KTBS-DT - ABC out of Shreveport on occasion, although I am right out of the coverage area. It seems my strongest digital is KMSS, the FOX affiliate from Shreveport, I get them after 6:30 PM every evening..and I am definitely outside their coverage area.

What do you reccomend I do about my situation? I realize I live far out, but you seemed to at least have some luck, even before your tower installation.

HD OTA From Houston, TX

KPRC 2 (NBC-HD)
KUHT 8 (PBS-HD)
KHOU 11 (CBS-HD)
KTRK 13 (ABC-HD)
KTXH 20 (MNTV-HD)
KRIV 26 (FOX-HD)
KIAH 39 (CW-HD)
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post #5225 of 16266 Old 08-11-2006, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpcat View Post

Many tuners won't do this and I know my Panny 50U won't. Neither will the 4th gen LG. Most won't in my experience. The only tuner I've had that will do this consistently is the LG LST 3510-A (3rd gen LG). Even after a channel scan is done often you can't access by the actual channel with most I've used (must use the virtual).

The 4th gen LG has a "manual channel add" that will allow it but it requires accessing a submenu, you can't simply enter the channel directly. Some won't even allow manual channel adding at all.

I think it stinks to design it this way.

Either prior to or after making a channel scan, my son's Sony GrandWega (in L.A.) and my Sylvania 6900DTE OTA STB (in San Diego) will still accept a tuning command for the REAL channel and will replace it with the VIRTUAL channel number, except for those few stations where the PSIP doesn't makes "sense".
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post #5226 of 16266 Old 08-11-2006, 02:53 PM
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Could be I'm biased by the cheaper designs in the D* receivers. I also tried the Walmart USDigital box and it didn't allow direct real/actual channel access either as I recall.
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post #5227 of 16266 Old 08-11-2006, 03:13 PM
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The ProBrand 3150 Plus at Circuit City allows direct channel access, along with a one-touch signal meter. You can then choose to add the channel by simply pushing a button on the remote. All in all, I love mine, though the signal meter will sometimes stick on 49% when the signal is actually just below the threshold to lock.

HD OTA From Houston, TX

KPRC 2 (NBC-HD)
KUHT 8 (PBS-HD)
KHOU 11 (CBS-HD)
KTRK 13 (ABC-HD)
KTXH 20 (MNTV-HD)
KRIV 26 (FOX-HD)
KIAH 39 (CW-HD)
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post #5228 of 16266 Old 08-11-2006, 05:21 PM
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Rick.

Do you think this antenna selection is good enough for my situation? I've already got the antenna installed, in my attic, but am not getting very good reception for a couple of the channels.

http://www.antennasdirect.com/DB8_HD_Antenna.html

My location is 4200 Blue Grass Court 75028.

I've recentered the map to look like this:



I have 50 feet of their RG6 cable between the antenna and the wall plate in my living room, then about another 10 feet of coax from there to my tuner. My house is single story, with a high pitch roof.

I'm mainly interested in the yellow and green channels, but realize that ABC is VHF, which I cannot receive with my current antenna (would be nice).

Fox is the one I'm having the hardest time with. Getting stuttering and pixelation on that channel. I don't know if it's my reception, or something to do with the way they are broadcasting the signal (do they ever change power levels during the day?).

I've tried using the CM-7777 with no luck. Signal level, strangely enough, stayed exactly the same level, with or without the pre-amp. (At least, for Fox, anyway.)

Fox shows a signal level of about 80 to 90% strength, or about 22-23dB.

Thanks for any assistance. If you would recommend another antenna, which would you recommend (would prefer one in my attic, versus outside the home).

What do you think of those square antennas, that look more like a patch antenna, similar in size to a Direct TV dish? I could see mounting one of those outside my house, but the coax length would be probably closer to 150-200 feet.

http://www.antennasdirect.com/lacrosse.html
http://www.winegard.com/offair/squareshooter.htm
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post #5229 of 16266 Old 08-11-2006, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithAR2002 View Post

I noticed in the link you posted above, that you installed a 55 foot tower. About how much does that cost?

What do you reccomend I do about my situation? I realize I live far out, but you seemed to at least have some luck, even before your tower installation.

I don't know exactly what it cost. The antenna dealer was removing it for another customer and basically took it down on his property and put it up on mine. I traded up on the antenna, and he charged me $900 installed, $800 if I dug the hole myself (which I didn't.) I know new setups were going for about $1700 a few years back.

For an outdoor install for UHF, I'd get an AntennasDirect 91XG. If it doesn't get the signal, then almost nothing on the market will. If you want to do everything you can, there have been posts about a very low noise (like 0.5db) preamp available from Europe that runs about $150. For your VHF station, you might do best to get a Blonder-Tongue cut-to-channel antenna for channel 7. They're expensive, but there's nothing better. A cheaper alternative is the Winegard HD8200P or the almost as good YA-1713.

You don't say what kind of tuner you've got, but that can make all the difference in the world. The new Samsung chipset looks promising, but the LG 4th generation (and probably 5th as well) chipset is the best that's out there right now.

Hope this helps.
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post #5230 of 16266 Old 08-11-2006, 06:44 PM
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I've got an LG 32LC2D 32" HDTV with the built in tuner... I've noticed it's quite a bit more sensitive than other built in tuners. I also have the ProBrand 3150 Plus, which is pretty sensitive, also. I alternate between the two.

So the 91 XG is a better performer than the 4228? I got the 4228 due to all the positive reviews on the forum. I have been looking at purchasing the 91 XG, though.
I also looked at the Blonder Tounge. I would get one of those, but KNOE is switching back to their analog channel 8, once analog is shut down. I'm curious, would a CM 3020 be a better performer than the VU-190? I'm sure the Channel Master is a lot more durable.

Also, about the tower, what kind of places install and take down towers? There is one listing under antennas in the yellow pages, but it doesnt mention anything about what services they offer.

HD OTA From Houston, TX

KPRC 2 (NBC-HD)
KUHT 8 (PBS-HD)
KHOU 11 (CBS-HD)
KTRK 13 (ABC-HD)
KTXH 20 (MNTV-HD)
KRIV 26 (FOX-HD)
KIAH 39 (CW-HD)
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post #5231 of 16266 Old 08-11-2006, 07:18 PM
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Thanks Rick. That's interesting. Are you saying the results on antennaweb don't seem right, such as the antenna to use, or just the fact that they didn't have all the channels listed. I found it strange that I moved the location about 100 feet, and it changes the results of the stations that it lists...

I may get the DB-8 outside, and see if that improves anything, but that may be a bit difficult, until I get some extra coax.

In regards to the HD7082P, is there a recommended way to install these in an attic? The DB-8 was pretty easy, I just bought an attic mount (basically a pole on a bracket that I mounted to a vertical support in the attic, but these type of antennas look like that wouldn't work.

Maybe a pole mounted on the top of a wall? I've also heard of people using fishing line to string an antenna to rafters...
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post #5232 of 16266 Old 08-11-2006, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithAR2002 View Post

What do you reccomend I do about my situation? I realize I live far out, but you seemed to at least have some luck, even before your tower installation.

If you need channels 7-69 then first pic with DAT 75's on top. The XG 91's could substitute for the DAT 75's and provide equivalent performance.

If you need channels 7-40 or so then second pic with Triax Unix 100 Band A's on top.

The bottom VHF antennae are Antennacraft Y10 7-13's.
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post #5233 of 16266 Old 08-11-2006, 09:37 PM
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Mainly asthetics. Our house is on a corner lot, on the inside, so the house is visable from basically all sides, except maybe the NE side. The only other thing, is that the installation gets more complicated. Having to find a way to bring the coax in, mounting a mast to the roof, and grounding the antenna. I'm not positive, but I'm also sure WAF would also not allow me to install it outside.

I've been doing some tests, using the Fusion signal checker software. I have both Fusion cards hooked up now, using one splitter.

I made measurements on every channel, and I'm seeing between 0-4dB loss from the last time I did this, with just one tuner, and no splitter.

Fox used to be one of the strongest stations, and still is, but I've got other stations with the same power level, that have no stuttering problems. (Interesting, that some appear to have gained power...probably due to my averaging...) I just watch the signal for a while, and then write down numbers that are in the middle of the highs and lows that I'm seeing.

One thing I don't understand exactly, is why the pre-amp does not help. Since I don't have any channels sitting at 100% or more, it leads me to believe the receiver is not being overdriven. Will a distribution amp help with this?

I think the next step, is to probably take the DB-8 outside, and see what happens. In the spreadsheet below, the highlighted yellow rows are the channels that I currently even care about having (well, except ABC).

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post #5234 of 16266 Old 08-11-2006, 10:40 PM
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Wow! That's a complex antenna system you've got. And it stays in place with just that roof eave mount? They must be stronger than I thought!

I was comparing the HD8200P and the CM 3671 earlier. The 3671 is 67.00 cheaper, I like the fact that one doesn't need a matching transformer with the HD8200P. How would these two compare with each other? I'm trying to be as effective and pennywise as possible, and I've probably gone over budget already

HD OTA From Houston, TX

KPRC 2 (NBC-HD)
KUHT 8 (PBS-HD)
KHOU 11 (CBS-HD)
KTRK 13 (ABC-HD)
KTXH 20 (MNTV-HD)
KRIV 26 (FOX-HD)
KIAH 39 (CW-HD)
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post #5235 of 16266 Old 08-12-2006, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geogecko View Post

Rick.

Do you think this antenna selection is good enough for my situation? I've already got the antenna installed, in my attic, but am not getting very good reception for a couple of the channels.

http://www.antennasdirect.com/DB8_HD_Antenna.html

My location is 4200 Blue Grass Court 75028.

I've recentered the map to look like this:



I have 50 feet of their RG6 cable between the antenna and the wall plate in my living room, then about another 10 feet of coax from there to my tuner. My house is single story, with a high pitch roof.

I'm mainly interested in the yellow and green channels, but realize that ABC is VHF, which I cannot receive with my current antenna (would be nice).

Fox is the one I'm having the hardest time with. Getting stuttering and pixelation on that channel. I don't know if it's my reception, or something to do with the way they are broadcasting the signal (do they ever change power levels during the day?).

I've tried using the CM-7777 with no luck. Signal level, strangely enough, stayed exactly the same level, with or without the pre-amp. (At least, for Fox, anyway.)

Fox shows a signal level of about 80 to 90% strength, or about 22-23dB.

Thanks for any assistance. If you would recommend another antenna, which would you recommend (would prefer one in my attic, versus outside the home).

What do you think of those square antennas, that look more like a patch antenna, similar in size to a Direct TV dish? I could see mounting one of those outside my house, but the coax length would be probably closer to 150-200 feet.

http://www.antennasdirect.com/lacrosse.html
http://www.winegard.com/offair/squareshooter.htm

The SquareShooter has very little gain and is only intended for receiving nearby stations.
And we still haven't heard much about the LaCrosse on the antenna forum....

As far as "unobtrusive" outdoor antennas go, you might consider mounting a CM4228 on the ledger board....either above or below the rain gutters. Note that the CM4228 is one of the very few UHF antennas that provides useful gain for upper VHF CH7-13.

You have two stations 7 miles away and two 15 miles away--which means the CM7777 would be overloaded.
The W-G HDP-269 VHF/UHF Preamp is a much better choice to try where there are nearby stations.
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post #5236 of 16266 Old 08-12-2006, 03:19 AM
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Geogecko- Due to odd harmonics, many UHF antennas have very useful gain on certain high band VHF frequencies. The Televes 1044/X43 is a very good antenna that draws little attention to itself and has good gain at channel 9. The 4228 does well on high band VHF channels, however it is so ugly the only place to install it is the attic.
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post #5237 of 16266 Old 08-12-2006, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithAR2002 View Post

So the 91 XG is a better performer than the 4228? I got the 4228 due to all the positive reviews on the forum. I have been looking at purchasing the 91 XG, though.

I'm curious, would a CM 3020 be a better performer than the VU-190? I'm sure the Channel Master is a lot more durable.

Also, about the tower, what kind of places install and take down towers? There is one listing under antennas in the yellow pages, but it doesnt mention anything about what services they offer.

For an outdoor install, I think the 91XG is better. But probably not a lot. However, if you're using it with a rotor, you need a rotor bearing or other support for the mast above the rotor.

Antennas of similar length perform about the same. You mentioned the 3671, and it's probably about the same as the HD8200P, though I haven't read any conclusive reviews.

Most antenna installers should do towers. If they don't, they should know who would.
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post #5238 of 16266 Old 08-12-2006, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithAR2002 View Post

Wow! That's a complex antenna system you've got. And it stays in place with just that roof eave mount? They must be stronger than I thought!

:

No, it's a ground mount, see first pic below.

Re: thrust bearing. To avoid needing a guyed thrust bearing, you must keep the lever arm above the rotator as short as possible. See the second pic.
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post #5239 of 16266 Old 08-12-2006, 11:01 AM
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Someone reccommended I get a thrust bearing for my rotor, as I have the 4228 on it, and it is heavy. Where exactly can I get one?

Well today (since it's a bit cooler, not by much) I'm going to get another tripod, and move the VU-190 on to it, which will be a few feet away from the 4228. I wanted to get the two apart, as I thought it may be causing interference, and plus there is a good opening with not as many trees, where that location is. I moved my entire setup to the highest peak of my roof, which should have put the height at 25-27 feet, and it helps with reception from Shreveport. The down side is, I'm aiming the VHF antenna right into a big tree in the new location. That won't be the case if I can move it. If that doesn't prove very successful, then I guess it'll be time to invest in a 3671, and find a tower

HD OTA From Houston, TX

KPRC 2 (NBC-HD)
KUHT 8 (PBS-HD)
KHOU 11 (CBS-HD)
KTRK 13 (ABC-HD)
KTXH 20 (MNTV-HD)
KRIV 26 (FOX-HD)
KIAH 39 (CW-HD)
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post #5240 of 16266 Old 08-12-2006, 11:06 AM
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KeithAR2002,

Maybe you should try a quad-stack, like MAX HD's in Greensburg, IN.
http://community-2.webtv.net/GregBar...TowerAntennas/ This setup is very directional but also provides a lot of gain.

My antenna setup is very similar to cpcat. I've downloaded a picture of it. It's on a steel pipe mast with a hinged base so it can be lowered quite easily. It was designed by MAX HD, Greg. I'm 3-5 miles from the Indy antenna farm, but it also provides me an opportunity to DX other DTV stations. This setup works great for channels 7-69. Here's the description.............

Triax Unix 100-UHF(2- ant. hor. stacked) @ 30 ft. w/CM 7775 preamp; Antennacraft high band VHF @ 27 ft. w/Motorola Signal Booster.

Steve
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post #5241 of 16266 Old 08-12-2006, 11:45 AM
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Both of those setups look quite advanced...I'd probably have to find someone to do that kind of job... Yours isn't on a tower, so would having a setup like that be a better alternative to having a tower?

Also, really liked your DTV DX photos.... I've started a collection myself, but I've only logged stations in the 150-175 mile range.

HD OTA From Houston, TX

KPRC 2 (NBC-HD)
KUHT 8 (PBS-HD)
KHOU 11 (CBS-HD)
KTRK 13 (ABC-HD)
KTXH 20 (MNTV-HD)
KRIV 26 (FOX-HD)
KIAH 39 (CW-HD)
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post #5242 of 16266 Old 08-12-2006, 12:14 PM
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Here is a couple photos of my current setup, in case anyone was interested. I don't like the idea of the 190 being on the same mast as the 4228, for sure...
LL
LL

HD OTA From Houston, TX

KPRC 2 (NBC-HD)
KUHT 8 (PBS-HD)
KHOU 11 (CBS-HD)
KTRK 13 (ABC-HD)
KTXH 20 (MNTV-HD)
KRIV 26 (FOX-HD)
KIAH 39 (CW-HD)
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post #5243 of 16266 Old 08-12-2006, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithAR2002 View Post

Both of those setups look quite advanced...I'd probably have to find someone to do that kind of job... Yours isn't on a tower, so would having a setup like that be a better alternative to having a tower?

.


Hard to answer that. A tower just really wasn't an option for me and additonally I live on a hill with no real obstructions around me. For me, a better antenna was probably more important.

If you have obstructions around you that you can get above with a tower that may be preferrable.

Re: the CM4228 on the rotator. It's a great antenna but it is heavy and hard on a rotator. Something like the xg91 would give you similar performance but you could mount it so the total lever arm is much shorter i.e. just long enough so the reflector is above the top of the rotator housing.

There's no problem with having the vhf below on the same mast. That's how mine was set up initiallly. 60 inches separation should do fine for high band vhf (7-13) and you can probably cheat a little even down to 48 inches. Technically that's not enough separation for low band (2-6) but it still seems to work ok in my experience.

Here's one of my earlier setup.
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post #5244 of 16266 Old 08-12-2006, 01:27 PM
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My neighborhood has a lot of trees around, that a 40 foot tower could most likely get above. The thing is, I need to find an installer, which Im sure there are some around, as I see some fairly new tower installations around town. And it seem like a big undertaking without having someone professional. In any case, The 4228 probably wouldn't fair well on a tower due to the weight, so if I was to get a tower, the XG91 would be a perfect candidate.

Actually, there is a house across the street that has a 50 foot tower up, the occupants moved a few years ago, I know them quite well and they still own the house, I thought about contacting them about the one there, but it's rusted, and has vines growing on it, so I'm sure it would be difficult to take apart. I guess I'll start calling some television service shops in the area, just to see if maybe they can tell me where to find an installer.

I think the separation between the 190 and 4228 is less than 48 inches....which could be trouble.

HD OTA From Houston, TX

KPRC 2 (NBC-HD)
KUHT 8 (PBS-HD)
KHOU 11 (CBS-HD)
KTRK 13 (ABC-HD)
KTXH 20 (MNTV-HD)
KRIV 26 (FOX-HD)
KIAH 39 (CW-HD)
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post #5245 of 16266 Old 08-13-2006, 12:07 PM
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Just an update, I moved my VHF antenna back to where I originally had it, and managed to pull in KNOE last night...could have been due to the weather, so I'll have to see again tonight...I also started receiving my new local PBS station, that I haven't been able to receieve since I moved it from that location. So far, so good, but I may end up getting a rotator, and a higher gain antenna like the 3671, since the PBS transmitter and the direction of KNOE are about 50 degrees or so apart. I get PBS with the antenna pointed toward Monroe, but the signal strength isn't all that great.

HD OTA From Houston, TX

KPRC 2 (NBC-HD)
KUHT 8 (PBS-HD)
KHOU 11 (CBS-HD)
KTRK 13 (ABC-HD)
KTXH 20 (MNTV-HD)
KRIV 26 (FOX-HD)
KIAH 39 (CW-HD)
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post #5246 of 16266 Old 08-14-2006, 10:20 AM
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Quote:


- Would rather see you spend your money on a winegard hd7082p. I usually go with a winegard hd7084p at 35 miles (you show up as yellow and would go down a size). or add a ch 7-13 vhf antenna with your db-8 to get your vhf station. But if you do that, you might as well purchase the combo (hd7082P) and have one antenna.

You said that you normally go with a HD7084P at 35 miles, but for yellow, would go down a size. Is this with an outside antenna, or inside?

If outside, would you recommend the 7084P instead of the 7082P, or something else.

It appears that my reception while at 80%, appears to be the problem. On another forum, another user gets 100% on their signals, and has stutter free video (they had problems before when it was less than 90%).

I'm just wondering if the Winegard antennas will provide better performance than the DB-8. I've tried to align the DB-8 better, but I still do not get any better results than I already have, just moving it between 180 and 130 degrees (161 degrees is the real compus number), and the results never get better.

Oh, and are the Winegard HD series antennas uni-directional, or multi-directional?
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post #5247 of 16266 Old 08-14-2006, 01:03 PM
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Anyone have experience Kathrein Scala products? I was looking at the parabolic model listed on the below page. A PDF is provided when you click on parabolic. I have no idea what these cost either, but apparently they're popular for commercial use such as cable companies picking up station's signals. I was wondering how they compared to the CM 4228/4248.

BTW, the Blonder-Tongue link in the first post is broken.

http://www.kathrein-scala.com/uhf-tv.htm
Kathrein Scala Division - professional antenna and filter products for broadcast, land mobile and wireless communication applications.
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post #5248 of 16266 Old 08-14-2006, 01:44 PM
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I have no idea what these cost.
if you have to ask the price, you cannot afford it
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post #5249 of 16266 Old 08-14-2006, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milt9 View Post

I have no idea what these cost.
if you have to ask the price, you cannot afford it

I only asked as I have not contacted Kathrein Scala myself yet. If the thing works, and the cost is even somewhere in the low 3 digits, I have no problem with that.

I was mostly interested if anyone has actually used and has experience with the antenna.
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post #5250 of 16266 Old 08-14-2006, 02:56 PM
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Do you have any reason to believe they will perform better than what you are using now? The difference between most consumer and commercial reception products is durability, not performance.

I thought that you were behind a hill, trying to get channels 40 to 50 miles away, with possible concern that a station some 15 miles away and 30 degrees offline might be complicating your amplification. Did you ever try either filtering off the likely offending signals or using a lower gain amplifier?
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