Sorry to confuse you. I'd rather keep it simple up in the attic. I use
the CM 7777 as a diplexer, with the monster VHF Winegard hooked
up to the VHF connector, and the UHF to the UHF connector. But, if I
can get 7-13 off of the 8-bay CM 4228 UHF, then I can use the
Winegard to either point northwest towards Madison, WI, or south
to pick up a station 35 miles south of me.
I agree that I think I'm doing about as well as I can, and a DB-8, from
what it sounds like, may only help marginally. But, I wanted more
opinions, in case I was missing something.
Incidentally, a friend of mine has an HDTV and the biggest Winegard
VHF/UHF combo they make on an outdoor 30' tower, about 60 miles west
southwest of Chicago. He's south of a ridge that really prevents me from
getting any DX from the south or southeast. In any case, using a 20 dB
gain preamp, he can get the higher power WTVO-DT from Rockford
which is northwest of his location by about 35 miles, but none of the
others on lower power STA's. He can, however, get channels 3 and 12
from Champaign, and all of the Quad Cities/Moline IL TV stations over
100 miles away. I coached his setup and he's doing better than I am
by a mile. Oh, to have an antenna like that on a 30' tower! But I will
stop drooling now. ;-) DXing with his setup is fun!
BTW, I use a Zenith HDV420 to pick up the stations to my lousy
TV. I get a 90% or so on WGN-DT, 70% on WLS-DT, WFLD-DT;
an 80% on WYCC-DT with 99 "whopping" KW of juice, and
80% on WPWR-DT. The others are lower power and around 50%.
As a reference, to lock a station, you need a 41% signal to see it
The hardest one besides WBBM is WCIU-DT, at 1 KW transmitter power
output and 15.1 KW ERP from Sears Tower. I can get that station
consistently about 1 day a week, otherwise it always breaks up.
But at 15 KW, I think I'm still doing good with my setup. A guy who
has a very similar setup to mine 1 mile east of me in a taller attic
using a CM 4228 UHF and CM 7777 preamp gets WCIU with 60%
consistently. His dad just retired as a chief engineer of a TV station,
so naturally I have been asking him lots of questions. He even built
*his own channel 3 antenna*, bigger and better than what you can buy,
and he gets it from his attic, also 60 miles away, essentially, and in the same low-lying area of the river valley. I'll wait until WBBM heads for
a UHF allocation, though, as I have no desire to try to build my own
monster antenna. Hey, that sounds like it could be a hit Discovery
Channel show for us HDTV and antenna weenies! :-)