The Official AVS Antenna and Related Hardware Topic! - Page 179 - AVS Forum
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post #5341 of 16266 Old 08-24-2006, 06:47 PM
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LOL. =)

Yes, sir!
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post #5342 of 16266 Old 08-25-2006, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RommelB View Post

my problem is that i live in an apartment and i don't have space for a big antenna. I might be able to drill a smaller size to the wall but it would have to be behind the tv. Will the antenna being right behind the tv effect it's signal? I have a 62" rear projection and the antenna would be no more than a couple of feet behind it. How about those terk antennas or little ones you throw on top of a table or something?

There are only a few reports for Vista and nearby San Marcos areas found at hdtv.forsandiego.com and www.hdtvpub.com. They all use a mast mounted outdoor antenna. Other than dropouts for distant XETV-DT, reception is very good for both S.D. and L.A. with an outdoor antenna.

However, unless you are in the hills overlooking Vista, you are probably too far away to use an indoor antenna for 6.1 (XETV-DT) and may have problems with other S.D. stations, esp 8.1 and 10.1 from Mt. Soledad.

The RPTV will effect an antenna to some extent, depending on how much metal is in the frame....but mostly it's empty air and glass. You could try hiding an antenna behind it--but try to keep it as high as possible.....

The highly rated Silver Sensor antenna has insufficient gain for your location. Listed in increasing order of effectiveness, you could try one of the more effective indoor antennas such as the Radio Shack RS 15-624 Double Bow, the Antennas Direct DB-2 2-Bay or even the Winegard PR-4400 4-Bay (my favorite "indoor" antenna, which is less obtrusive than the CM-4221 or DB-4):
http://shop.willyselectronics.com/browse.cfm/4,163.htm
http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_disp...p?PROD=SPR4400

You should also use a good low noise VHF/UHF Preamp, such as the WG AP-8700 or CM-7777:
http://shop.willyselectronics.com/browse.cfm/4,73.htm
http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_disp...p?PROD=ANC7777

However, indoor reception at your distance can be very difficult, so be prepared to experiment and take advantage of liberal return policies.

A more reliable alternative would be to order "Limited Basic Cable" from Cox Cable for $12.50/mo and watch all the local HD stations via your HDTV's unencrypted QAM tuner (no CableCARD required)....at least until the missing local HD channels finally show up on Dish and DirecTV.
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post #5343 of 16266 Old 08-25-2006, 08:34 AM
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Gotta go to a meeting now, but it's already blasted hot out there. I spent a couple hours assembling the rest of the antenna, and sawing about a foot off the 5 foot mast. Then I got the ground wire attached to the tripod, cable about where it needs to go, both zip tied to the tripod.

Hopefully, when I get back, I will be able to zip tie about 15 feet of the two cables together, which will be the part running down the roof, and then depending on how hot it is, may see about mounting at least the tripod on the roof.

I think I'll have to take the tripod and antenna up as two pieces, because it would be too clumbsy to take them both up there, put together.

I'm also wondering if I got enough coax. Looks like I may have to get some more to make it...

Sorry I reported back before getting it up! Oh, yeah, I think it's funny that they tell you to try and hit the rafters with the lag screws. Yeah, right. The spacing isn't right but to hit just one rafter. I think the decking will be good enough.
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post #5344 of 16266 Old 08-25-2006, 08:47 AM
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thanks holl_ands for your post. Everyone told me my chances of getting these channels with an indoor or outdoor antenna are slim to none. I'll give it a try with the info you provided and if doesn't work out I'll just return it. Thanks for your help guys.

- I don't understand Fanboys.
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post #5345 of 16266 Old 08-25-2006, 12:11 PM
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To align, rotate mast in tripod, or antenna around mast?
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post #5346 of 16266 Old 08-25-2006, 02:07 PM
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Well, as luck would have it, guess what came in the mail today? An updated version of the "Design Guidelines and Review Procedures for Residential Modifications," i.e., HOA restrictions.

Under the heading, "Disallowed Items at ..."

Quote:


Shall include but not be limited to the following:
...
Exterior antenna of any kind with the exception of miniature satellite dishes as detailed in these Guidelines.
...

Now, before we jump the gun, and everyone posts this link (unless this is outdated):
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

There are some questions to answer.

First, what exactly does this mean?

Quote:


Q: What types of antennas are covered by the rule?

A: The rule applies to the following types of antennas:

(1) A "dish" antenna that is one meter (39.37") or less in diameter (or any size dish if located in Alaska) and is designed to receive direct broadcast satellite service, including direct-to-home satellite service, or to receive or transmit fixed wireless signals via satellite.

(2) An antenna that is one meter or less in diameter or diagonal measurement and is designed to receive video programming services via broadband radio service (wireless cable) or to receive or transmit fixed wireless signals other than via satellite.

(3) An antenna that is designed to receive local television broadcast signals. Masts higher than 12 feet above the roofline may be subject to local permitting requirements.

In addition, antennas covered by the rule may be mounted on "masts" to reach the height needed to receive or transmit an acceptable quality signal (e.g. maintain line-of-sight contact with the transmitter or view the satellite). Masts higher than 12 feet above the roofline may be subject to local permitting requirements for safety purposes. Further, masts that extend beyond an exclusive use area may not be covered by this rule.

I'm guessing that #2 is not the one that applies, but #3 (I hope)?

Because, at this point, my HD7084P is much larger than 1 meter in diameter, 131" to be exact.

Please help me understand this, before mounting the tripod. At this point, I'm stopping work. Also, if I do go ahead with this, because the FCC says that HOA cannot impose these restrictions, do I have a long battle ahead of me, or get in danger of being on the blacklist or something?
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post #5347 of 16266 Old 08-25-2006, 02:39 PM
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#3 is applicable to OTA tv. Apparently, the author of your HOA guidelines didn't do any fine tuning of the wording homework. An OTA antenna is not a "miniature satellite dish" and I don't think a reference to Alaska in necessary in Texas!
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post #5348 of 16266 Old 08-25-2006, 04:28 PM
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Quote:


I painted the dish pole brown to make it look like a tree.

Yep.... that sure looks like a Tree to Me !!...........................


maibe aftwer aphew beirs ?




Now this looks like a Tree:

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post #5349 of 16266 Old 08-25-2006, 05:49 PM
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You all are crazy.

So, do they have ground to say I can't do it, or not? I spent about 2 hours this evening, folding enough of the antenna up to be able to get it into the attic, on the tripod, and still no dice. Strangely enough, it's almost exactly like the reception of the DB-8, minus the fact that I was able to get channel 9.

So, I've now got it folded back up, out of the attic, and in the garage, awaiting an attempt tomorrow, to just put it on the roof, and see if I get any better reception. I'm going to drill the eve hole to get the coax in, set the tripod up top, with antenna, and see what my reception looks like.
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post #5350 of 16266 Old 08-25-2006, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geogecko View Post

To align, rotate mast in tripod, or antenna around mast?

This question reads like a set-up for a Polish joke.
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post #5351 of 16266 Old 08-25-2006, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geogecko View Post

...So, do they have ground to say I can't do it, or not? I spent about 2 hours this evening, folding enough of the antenna up to be able to get it into the attic, on the tripod, and still no dice.

As my father's army sargent used to say, "We can't make you do anything... but we can make you wish you did".

Restrictions that prohibit, or unreasonably delay the installation of or increase the cost of an off-air antenna installation are UNENFORCEABLE, as long as the antenna is attached to and over a surface that is under your exclusive control, the mast is no taller than 12 feet, and it is not in a Historic District. But someday you may need to enlist the support of those who oppose your antenna installation to get the HOA to pay for something that you want done...
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post #5352 of 16266 Old 08-26-2006, 08:26 AM
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Oh, well. Already too hot outside, and just got off the roof, and it won't be me installing this antenna, that's for sure. I'd need to make at least 2-3 trips to the mounting location, and as hard as it was to hang Christmas lights, I now remember why I didn't put lights on this particular peak.

I figure I've already got too many negatives going against me, I guess I'll have to live with the reception I already have, or hire someone to do it.
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post #5353 of 16266 Old 08-26-2006, 01:18 PM
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Got this a few weeks ago. It replaces a Research Communications 9250 HDTV LNA I had been using for UHF. The HDTV LNA was apparently fried by a near-strike or a power surge.

For a little background, I'm in the fringe with closest major cities 65, 70, 110, and 135 miles away. I have only one full power PBS station at around 45 miles and another full power CBS, PBS at 55, but otherwise anything around me is low power or FM.

I went back to a CM 7777 initially after the 9250 went down. Performance was obviously inferior with almost constant dropouts on a digital 30 from Knoxville 65 miles away which was really annoying. I'm not saying the 7777 isn't excellent for most, mind you, but for me it wasn't working. The 9250 had given me consistent performance and I'd gotten accustomed to it.

I really didn't want to spend the bucks for another 9250 so I took another look at the Sitco PA24 for broadband UHF. It seemed good via specs and also more robust than the 9250 so I called Sitco and bought it. It comes with a +24V power supply made by Triax (Denmark). The PA24 itself is also stamped "made in Denmark". Sitco is located in Porland, OR.

Shipment/ordering was a breeze. The first thing you notice about the PA24 is how rugged it is. This is obviously a commercial product and I'd expect high reliability. Installation was easy except I had to modify the mast clamp slightly to accept a 3/4 inch mast. It's designed for larger diameters. Initial performance was good but only slightly better than the CM 7777. I can say I was a little dissappointed. I then tried it with a front-end filter (high port of a low/hi separator) and performance improved significantly. Basically, the performance I think nearly equals that of the 9250. My channel 30 is back without dropouts. Analogs seem noticeably better with the PA24 over the 7777 and probably equivialent to the 9250.

Overall, I've had fairly extensive experience with 4 high performance UHF preamps in the last couple of years. The CM 7777, RC 9248, RC 9250, and now the Sitco PA24. I still use the RC 9248 for high band vhf. I'd rate them accordingly overall for long distance UHF performance:

RC 9250
Sitco PA24
RC 9248
CM 7777

The advantage to the Sitco for ruggedness at least on initial impressions. I guess time will tell for sure.

Sitco PA24 Broadband UHF
LL
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post #5354 of 16266 Old 08-26-2006, 01:25 PM
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LOL, now that's an antenna setup.

So you think the lower frequency UHF was causing your preamp to get saturated, therefore, not allowing your weaker frequencies to be amplified?
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post #5355 of 16266 Old 08-26-2006, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geogecko View Post

So you think the lower frequency UHF was causing your preamp to get saturated, therefore, not allowing your weaker frequencies to be amplified?

Most likely it was FM causing the problem. A high/lo separator separates high band vhf and up (including UHF) from low band. Using the high port is a very effective way of trapping FM. Basically everything below channel 7 is filtered out. The high band vhf part of the antenna system is further diplexed after that with a UHF/VHF diplexer. I also use the high port of a hi/lo separator in front of the high band amplifier.
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post #5356 of 16266 Old 08-26-2006, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpcat View Post

Got this a few weeks ago. It replaces a Research Communications 9250 HDTV LNA I had been using for UHF. The HDTV was apparently fried by a near-strike or a power surge.

For a little background, I'm in the fringe with closest major cities 65, 70, 110, and 135 miles away. I have only one full power PBS station at around 45 miles and another full power CBS, PBS at 55, but otherwise anything around me is low power or FM.

I went back to a CM 7777 initially after the 9250 went down. Performance was obviously inferior with almost constant dropouts on a digital 30 from Knoxville 65 miles away which was really annoying. I'm not saying the 7777 isn't excellent for most, mind you, but for me it wasn't working. The 9250 had given me consistent performance and I'd gotten accustomed to it.

I really didn't want to spend the bucks for another 9250 so I took another look at the Sitco PA24 for broadband UHF. It seemed good via specs and also more robust than the 9250 so I called Sitco and bought it. It comes with a +24V power supply made by Triax (Denmark). The PA24 itself is also stamped "made in Denmark". Sitco is located in Porland, OR.

Shipment/ordering was a breeze. The first thing you notice about the PA24 is how rugged it is. This is obviously a commercial product and I'd expect high reliability. Installation was easy except I had to modify the mast clamp slightly to accept a 3/4 inch mast. It's designed for larger diameters. Initial performance was good but only slightly better than the CM 7777. I can say I was a little dissappointed. I then tried it with a front-end filter (high port of a low/hi separator) and performance improved significantly. Basically, the performance I think nearly equals that of the 9250. My channel 30 is back without dropouts. Analogs seem noticeably better with the PA24 over the 7777 and probably equivialent to the 9250.

Overall, I've had fairly extensive experience with 4 high performance UHF preamps in the last couple of years. The CM 7777, RC 9248, RC 9250, and now the Sitco PA24. I still use the RC 9248 for high band vhf. I'd rate them accordingly overall for long distance UHF performance:

RC 9250
Sitco PA24
RC 9248
CM 7777

The advantage to the Sitco for ruggedness at least on initial impressions. I guess time will tell for sure.

Sitco PA24 Broadband UHF

OK,now how much was it?

I've had the 9250 back in the air for about 3 weeks,but I disconnect everything if any storms are in the area.It does work well....when it works!
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post #5357 of 16266 Old 08-26-2006, 04:47 PM
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468.00 including the power supply and 2nd day air shipping.

I looked back and I paid 163.00 sterling for the 9250 including the ps, weatherproof case and shipping.

Hopefully I'm paying for reliability. I guess I was remembering the 9250 costing more.

I may have to double check my 9250 to see if it works. I thought yours was fried too?
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post #5358 of 16266 Old 08-26-2006, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougRuss View Post

Yep.... that sure looks like a Tree to Me !!...........................


maibe aftwer aphew beirs ?




Now this looks like a Tree:


This reminds me of something I think I heard either David Brenner or Gary Shandling say in an interview. He was talking about the moose hunters wearing green clothing with irregular black lines drawn on them so that if the moose saw them, it would think they were trees, and he asked, "If a Moose came into my livingroom with a picture of a refrigerator taped to it, do you think I'd say, 'Look. There's a refrigerator!' ?"
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post #5359 of 16266 Old 08-27-2006, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpcat View Post

Most likely it was FM causing the problem. A high/lo separator separates high band vhf and up (including UHF) from low band. Using the high port is a very effective way of trapping FM. Basically everything below channel 7 is filtered out. The high band vhf part of the antenna system is further diplexed after that with a UHF/VHF diplexer. I also use the high port of a hi/lo separator in front of the high band amplifier.

While a $60 CM7777 cannot be expected to do as well as the other preamps you have, did you use the FM trap on the 7777? Also, doesn't it also have two separate amp inputs, one for VHF and the other for UHF?
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post #5360 of 16266 Old 08-27-2006, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougRuss View Post

Yep.... that sure looks like a Tree to Me !!...........................


maibe aftwer aphew beirs ?




Now this looks like a Tree:


Naw, now this one really looks like a tree.

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post #5361 of 16266 Old 08-27-2006, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st8kout View Post

While a $60 CM7777 cannot be expected to do as well as the other preamps you have, did you use the FM trap on the 7777? Also, doesn't it also have two separate amp inputs, one for VHF and the other for UHF?

It has an internal FM trap as well as separate vhf/uhf inputs. Using the uhf input and having the internal switch on "separate" engages an internal uhf/vhf diplexer so in effect it already has a front end filter. I have tried it just for kicks with an added filter and it doesn't make any difference. The internal FM trap on the CM 7777 does make a difference if using the vhf input or if it's configured for combined vhf/uhf input.

None of the other amps listed employ any front-end filtering so you have to provide your own if necessary.

The newest RC amp (9253 I think) looks to be a 9250 with an added front-end filter.

http://www.researchcomms.com/hdtv.html
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post #5362 of 16266 Old 08-28-2006, 01:45 AM
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When you are trying to process distant signals, it is always a good idea to have a spectrum analyzer available. I once serviced a master antenna system on a property adjacent to a tower which was experiencing a terrible amplifier overload. My spectrum analyzer showed that something was broadcasting at 369Mhz and, just through ingress, it was 20dB stronger than the other balanced signals. Fortunately for me, this was in a 36 channel private cable system, so I called Eagle Comtronics and they sent me half a dozen channel cable channel 42 lowpass filters (passes to 336 Mhz cleanly and has about 50dB of rejection from about 350 Mhz) and I installed one on the input side of each distribution amplifier to eliminate the overload.

Now, suppose a residential antenna system was trying to receive UHF signals in that locality. How deep and how sharp do you think the highpass edge of a UHF pre-amp's input filter is? I know from experience that I can pass enough 330 Mhz signal from a UHF remote control through the UHF side of a VHF/UHF separator/combiner for it to satisfy the input needs of a receiver, because I sometimes do that so that I can send the UHF remote control signal back to a receiver on the same coax that is furnishing a modulated channel 3 signal to a distant TV, so I doubt that the input filter of a preamp is any sharper or deeper than that. I've also sent cable channels up to about 29 or 30 (about 250 to 260Mhz) through the lowpass side of a VHF/UHF separator, so there are broadcast MMDS signals that will surely pass through the internal lowpass filter on a VHF amplifier if it is similarly contoured.

Eagle Comtronics, Microwave Filter and Communications and Energy Corp. all have off-the-shelf "tier traps" that can shore up the edges of your broadcast bands that are available off-the-shelf and can be bought in single quantities for about $20 each. A channel 13 lowpass filter and a cable channel 65 or slightly lower high pass filter will definitively eliminate a lot of possible ingress range, and will do so cheaper than paying someone a couple hundred bucks to check your reception with a spectrum analyzer, and even if you paid someone to do that test, the interfering carrier might be intermittent and not present when your spectrum was analyzed. If you know the highest UHF channel you need to pass, you might benefit from a UHF lowpass filter as well. I think Channel Vision has a cable channel 104 or 105 lowpass filter available from their retailers that passes everything up to about UHF channel 49 cleanly and you can probably live with its channel 50 and 51 performance unless they are your most distant channels.

Midband reject filters, also called A-I filters (120 -174Mhz) tend to degrade the visual carrier of channel 7 by about 5 dB or so, but my market has strong broadcast interference that lands in cable channel 20, which is just three channels below broadcast channel 7, and I doubt that consumer preamps effectively trap out midband interference, if they trap it out at all.

The insrtion loss of these cylindrical, tier traps has always measured under 1dB when I have checked it, and their RF shielding is exceptional.
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post #5363 of 16266 Old 08-28-2006, 09:03 AM
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I found I could improve the performance of my CM 4221 by running the coax and balun inside the mast. The only expense was a rubber gasket for the hole from Home Depot.

It would have been nice if the pigtails of the balun had been about 1/4 inch longer, but it does work as is, and overall works much better than it did before. I get a noticeable improvment in reception. Maybe I can find a balun with longer pigtails, or lengthen them.

I think the feedline outside the mast, no matter how I ran it, was detuning the antenna. Why didn't Channel Master think of this?

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post #5364 of 16266 Old 08-28-2006, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntAltMike View Post

This question reads like a set-up for a Polish joke.

Hey! Hey!

I resemble that remark!



(Actually, I haven't got an iota of Slav in me .)
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post #5365 of 16266 Old 08-28-2006, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Hey! Hey!

I resemble that remark!



(Actually, I haven't got an iota of Slav in me .)

LOL...yeah, I'm like 1/4th or 1/8th Polish...or something...but German...etc...
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post #5366 of 16266 Old 08-28-2006, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st8kout View Post

I found I could improve the performance of my CM 4221 by running the coax and balun inside the mast. The only expense was a rubber gasket for the hole from Home Depot.

It would have been nice if the pigtails of the balun had been about 1/4 inch longer, but it does work as is, and overall works much better than it did before. I get a noticeable improvment in reception. Maybe I can find a balun with longer pigtails, or lengthen them.

I think the feedline outside the mast, no matter how I ran it, was detuning the antenna. Why didn't Channel Master think of this?


This is something I will try on my CM4228. Thanks. Info on the HDTVprimer.com website talks about the balun taking 3db and suggests using 300ohm from antenna to a preamp accepting 300 to achieve minimal loss. Any experience with this? Thanks

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post #5367 of 16266 Old 08-28-2006, 04:49 PM
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I measured the loss on the baluns that came with CM 4248 antennas and they were about 0.5 dB at channel 50.
John
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post #5368 of 16266 Old 08-28-2006, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davinleeds View Post

This is something I will try on my CM4228. Thanks. Info on the HDTVprimer.com website talks about the balun taking 3db and suggests using 300ohm from antenna to a preamp accepting 300 to achieve minimal loss. Any experience with this? Thanks

When I was shopping for a preamp I wondered why more preamps didn't have a 300 ohm input. Everyone seemed to like the CM7777 so I went with that. Just got it this afternoon and I'm sorry to report that so far, it makes no difference, at all. Period. I went back and forth with the comparisons--no difference. My first thought was that it was not working, so I tried using just the vhf input (after throwing the switch) and it did improve my local ch 2-1 which is at the top end of the vhf spectrum, but then all the other channels were suppressed.

To add insult to injury, the one I got from Solid Signal is obviously a returned item, given the scratches of being previously mounted on a mast. I guess the former owner didn't see any difference either. This was supposed to be a new item, not an open box sale. Thanks a lot Solid Signal--NOT! You'll won't be getting any more of my money. You can stick your 15% restocking fee...sorry, I just needed to vent
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post #5369 of 16266 Old 08-28-2006, 09:07 PM
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LOL, I got my 7777 from them too, and it was missing the wall screws for the power injector! I kept reading the instructions, and it said they were inlcuded, but no matter where I looked, I couldn't find them... Not a big deal, since I didn't mount that part to a wall anyway.
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post #5370 of 16266 Old 08-29-2006, 10:14 AM
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Now that you mention it, I'm also missing the same screws. *sigh*
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Channel Master Cm 4228 8 Bay Hdtv Uhf Antenna Cm4228hd
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