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HDTV Technical > The Official AVS Antenna and Related Hardware Topic!
holl_ands's Avatar holl_ands 02:55 PM 04-15-2012
YIKES!!!! Without discount coupon (good luck finding one after 48-hrs), Clear Cast Digital Antenna is $68
(plus optional $5 for 2-year warranty) and $9.95 shipping, for a total of $77.95 or $82.95:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/attac...5&d=1334498965
https://www.clear-cast.com
No specs...other than claiming a wildly optimistic 50-mile range.....

Given Dr Argy Petros's (aka Chatzipetros) background, it might be something other than a simple Bowtie:
http://www.thinkwireless.com/argypetros.html

300ohm's Avatar 300ohm 04:03 PM 04-15-2012
And they didn't even spring for UV resistant plastic at that price.
OTAhead's Avatar OTAhead 04:58 AM 04-16-2012
And the ad appears in the Houston Chronicle today...

I would think that the ad wound constitute false advertising. It lists "77" as one of the Zip prefixes (the Beaumont/Port Arthur DMA). It shold be noted that we have: no ION affiliate, no THIS TV affiliate, no PBS affiliate, no Univision, no Telemundo, no 24/7 weather, Universal, COOL TV, Country, nor HSN.

I think there was a similar "deal" for converter boxes in the papers leading up to the transition...

The ad is misleading, at best.
newbo1's Avatar newbo1 08:57 PM 04-16-2012
Hi typical newbie q:

I am planning to go OTA HDTV, and can install an outdoor antenna 40 ft AGL if necessary (but no attic). I dont need every last channel, but good reception for 'usual' (eg PBS, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, etc) is a must. What sort of antenna would you recommend?

Here is my TV signal info per TVFOOL (sorry cannot post full URL yet)
tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d3616f91581944c

thanks!
Larry Kenney's Avatar Larry Kenney 12:20 AM 04-17-2012
Newbo1...

Hey, my family used to live in your area near Washington Street.

You've got lots of strong signals available to you there. You should be able to get all of the stations shown in the green area of your TVFool report with a small antenna. A cheap indoor antenna from Radio Shack would probably give you most of them, but then people moving around near the antenna might cause reflections and break up, so an outdoor antenna would be better.

I would recommend something like the RCA ANT751:
http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp...u=044476064524
It should work just fine for you and it's good for both VHF and UHF stations.

Larry
SF
(formerly from NH)
arxaw's Avatar arxaw 08:19 AM 04-17-2012
+1 on the ANT751. No need to go 40' in the air. Just install it using the included (sat dish style) J-mount and aim it to the West. Then run a scan on your TV for digital antenna channels.
Also available here with free shipping:
http://www.amazon.com/RCA-ANT751R-Ou...B5C/ref=sr_1_1

If needed, your signals are strong enough to split to more than one TV, without using a distribution amp.
holl_ands's Avatar holl_ands 02:42 PM 04-17-2012
FYI: In San Diego, CA, our PARADE didn't even carry the add....
newbo1's Avatar newbo1 07:00 PM 04-17-2012
Larry and Arxaw:
Thanks much. Thats v helpful! Ordered.
See The Light's Avatar See The Light 02:11 PM 04-22-2012
My antenna is in the attic of my flat roof home.

I went up in the attic yesterday afternoon when it was 72°F and sunny outside. I was shocked that the temperature difference --- it was 106°F in that attic, a difference of 34 degrees from the outside temperature ! !

So, I waited until this morning, before 8am, when the outside temp. was 55°F, and I was nicely surprsied to find the temperture in the attic only 60°F, just a 5 degree difference.

The Moral of the Story is, if you need to go into your attic to adjust an antenna (or for any other reason...) the only part of the day when temperature is not oppressive, is the early morning hours.

I just did not realize until yesterday, that the temperature difference in the daytime, on a Spring afternoon, would be 34 degrees !!
300ohm's Avatar 300ohm 10:12 AM 04-23-2012
Yep. And temps of over 150F degrees are not uncommon in the summer. Thats why good attic ventilation and a powered attic fan can save a lot on A/C cooling costs.
retiredengineer's Avatar retiredengineer 11:42 AM 04-23-2012
Another reason to keep the attic cool is that preamplifiers don't enjoy working in hot environments. Causes early failure.
zebrafetish2000's Avatar zebrafetish2000 12:03 PM 04-23-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by 300ohm View Post

Yep. And temps of over 150F degrees are not uncommon in the summer. Thats why good attic ventilation and a powered attic fan can save a lot on A/C cooling costs.

Indeed. In fact, if you have windows in the attic, it's probably wise to keep a fan going on low all the time in June/July/August and in my case, keep a window on the far side of the attic cracked open as well to allow for some ventilation.

I put the fan in "backwards" and suck the air across the room. This is good when it's raining because I'm less likely to get a lot of water in the partially finished part of my attic.
OTAhead's Avatar OTAhead 02:02 PM 04-23-2012
What I have done is install the pre-amps/distribution amps in the central air closet. I run the coax through the attic, but drop it down and make all my connections in the a/c closet, then make my runs to the different rooms. The closet is usually just about as cool as the house.
stevesr0's Avatar stevesr0 01:52 PM 04-24-2012
I just posted on the EV thread on this forum, seeking advice/recommendation on an antenna to get OTA DHDTV reception to my home.

Then I saw this thread and after reading a bit, noted that people posted such requests to this thread also.

Is it considered more appropriate to post these requests to this thread or the EV one?

Thanks in advance.

Steve
300ohm's Avatar 300ohm 02:49 PM 04-24-2012
Post here and post your TVFool image.
fireflimoon's Avatar fireflimoon 06:48 AM 04-28-2012
Hi,

Been reading this forum - I like it! Wondering if anyone has any feedback regarding masts.
I don't want to install a tower at a location yet - maybe in the future but a mast might be the ticket. Wanted to check on people's experiences wit them. I'm at post 485 or thereabouts so I apologize if this has been covered ...
I am thinking of getting a mast (AN CM1640) to install at a site with this tvfool:

Ok, wasn't able to post my tvfool yet (only 1st post)

The problem is that the house is small and not suitable to put an antenna on it because of nearby hydro electric lines and trees surrounding the house.

But there are a few other locations where I could put a mast that would have a clear shot through openings in the tree walls. The distance from the mast location could vary from about 120 feet to 50 from the entrance to the house.

tvfool doesn't indicate much of a difference for the signal strength when the height is modified for 20, 30 or 40 feet so I am wondering how much I can rely on those figures.

Any opinions on masts - I only mentioned the channel master becase it is available / well known? I'd like to be able to move the location of the mast from place to place on occaision. Would this be feasible?
fireflimoon's Avatar fireflimoon 07:03 AM 04-28-2012
...

This is the tvfool - I know it's a crapshoot but want to try and get Mount Mansfield channels (Fox, PBS, CBS, NBC)


LL
Calaveras's Avatar Calaveras 09:29 AM 04-28-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflimoon View Post

...

This is the tvfool - I know it's a crapshoot but want to try and get Mount Mansfield channels (Fox, PBS, CBS, NBC)

It's going to be difficult to get those. At 112 miles and a 2 edge path I can virtually guarantee that there will be a large variation in signal strength.
Even if you do receive them it won't be 100% of the time. Your best chance will be a very good UHF antenna and mount it clear of the local ground clutter; i.e. trees and buildings. Once you've done that a little change in height isn't going to make a difference in most cases. Since you don't have any really strong TV stations you should be able to use a preamp. Watch out for any local FM stations.

Rohn is the best known name in towers and masts. They've made them for at least 50 years. Used to be you could buy them at Radio Shack or any electronic store that sold antennas and they were cheap. Now they're fairly expensive plus there's expensive shipping.

Chuck
fireflimoon's Avatar fireflimoon 10:54 AM 04-28-2012
Hey, Thanks Calaveras

If I get lucky, I'll post...
rabbit73's Avatar rabbit73 01:14 PM 04-28-2012
fireflimoon:

Welcome to the forum.

I agree, it will be difficult.

Your best chance will be with these:
WCAX CBS CH22 -78.0 dBm NM 12.8 dB
WPTZ NBC CH14 -83.7 dBm NM 7.1 dB
WETK PBS CH32 -87.8 dBm NM 3.0 dB

These will be more difficult:
WFFF Fox CH43 -91.3 dBm NM -0.5 dB
WVNY ABC CH13 -94.9 dBm NM -4.1 dB

WVNY will be especially difficult because you will need a high gain VHF antenna for it, and you will have to deal with co-channel interference from CKTM that is also on CH13.

DHC member balm has been trying all kinds of antennas to get reliable reception of WVNY.
www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=128429
300ohm's Avatar 300ohm 01:22 PM 04-28-2012
Quote:


But there are a few other locations where I could put a mast that would have a clear shot through openings in the tree walls. The distance from the mast location could vary from about 120 feet to 50 from the entrance to the house.

Thats where I would put the mast then. Of course, youll need a quality preamp to make up for the coax losses.
OTAhead's Avatar OTAhead 07:00 PM 04-28-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by 300ohm View Post

Thats where I would put the mast then. Of course, youll need a quality preamp to make up for the coax losses.

The rule of thumb that I follow is 1 dB loss for every 18 feet (6 meters +/-) of coax and every 3 dB of loss is half your signal...
givmedew's Avatar givmedew 09:54 PM 04-28-2012
Hi, I am about to get an antenna and tuner for the first time ever because we just can't afford to pay for cable anymore plus Comcast has finally come off the high horse and offered $30 for 15mbit Internet and although I can't stand them for good reasons they are my only choice for true high speed at this address. Right now I'm using clear for only $20/m unlimited plus every couple months I get a free month because of some horrible outage but that's just it I can't stand these daily/weekly outages and that I can barely watch Netflix on the lowest setting because of the throttling.

Anyways my questions are this can anyone recommend to me the following 4 things

an inexpensive tuner preferably with excellent tuning ability no more than $60 hd would be nice but a great tuner is more important and if hd component is preferred since I'm out of hdmi on my receiver but it has up conversion so it will convert the signal to

3 antenna of different types an indoor antenna, an outdoor omni and a very compact outdoor directional. Also what I may expect in differences

I am on the 2nd story in my line of site is a 2 story house but I seem to be above it antenna web says I am 7 to 8 miles from a mess of channels in Chicago I used a compass to give me an idea of where and it looks like no problem to put the antenna on my balcony railing and point it in that direction.

Again price is important I'd like to stay below $60.

But.... Being realistic my max budget would be $200 shipped with all mounting hardware. Summitscource or Fry's electronics would be the places I prefer. I hate Fry's customer service which is why I quit as a manager but I am willing to purchase from them because of how close they are and the prices.

Thanks
fireflimoon's Avatar fireflimoon 09:56 PM 04-28-2012
Thanks for the tips...

Which preamp would you suggest for the location? One antenna for both UHF and VHF..

Thanks again for the help
fireflimoon's Avatar fireflimoon 10:11 PM 04-28-2012
givmedew


not sure if you are only asking about tv tuners ... I have a hauppauge hvr 1950 which is ok... but has analog as well as atsc/cable so you may not want that

something easy to build and quasi omnidirectional is a stealth hawk antenna. it may work for you seeing that the channels are close by. I am mentioning it because I had some luck with it and all you need is a little length of aluminum or copper and an hour to build it when you have the balun and coax ready. I pasted mine in the window and it picked up many channels at my location...
arxaw's Avatar arxaw 06:41 AM 04-29-2012
givmedew,
TVs sold in the last few years all have built in digital OTA tuners. How old is yours? You may not need a tuner.

For antenna suggestions, please post a link to your TVFool results for your specific address, or save the image of it and attach that to a post. Your address will not display.
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29
arxaw's Avatar arxaw 06:48 AM 04-29-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflimoon View Post

Which preamp would you suggest for the location?

If they still have them, get an old model of the CM7777 VHF/UHF preamp. AFAIK, they are still available here. I have tried the new model in a weak signal situation and it can't hold a candle to the performance of the older model.

They're easy to tell apart. The old model has two inputs and the new one only has a single combo input. (The old model ships with the default input as "combo," which can be changed inside the amp via a switch)
fireflimoon's Avatar fireflimoon 09:05 AM 04-29-2012
Arxaw,

If I can't get one of those "older" versions of the 7777, I was thinking of the next alternative(s). The Wingard AP8780 (high amplication figures) and the CPA19 (because of the low noise figure) seemed possible.

Do you (or anyone else) have any thoughts or experience with these.

Thanks for your replies...
Calaveras's Avatar Calaveras 09:17 AM 04-29-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflimoon View Post

Arxaw,

If I can't get one of those "older" versions of the 7777, I was thinking of the next alternative(s). The Wingard AP8780 (high amplication figures) and the CPA19 (because of the low noise figure) seemed possible.

Do you (or anyone else) have any thoughts or experience with these.

Thanks for your replies...

You might be better off with the AP 8700 if your total coax run doesn't exceed 150'. You can also use RG11 for the main run of coax to cut down on the loss a little. You need to be careful with high gain preamps because they can get overloaded. Use just enough gain to do the job.

Chuck
Calaveras's Avatar Calaveras 09:23 AM 04-29-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by arxaw View Post

I have tried the new model in a weak signal situation and it can't hold a candle to the performance of the older model.

It would be nice to be able to quantify this but I can't find any specs on the new versions besides gain. Something must be terribly wrong to be as bad as you describe. Maybe a call to CM would shed some light on this.

Chuck

Edit: I found the noise figure for the new CM preamps - 2.8 dB. That's 0.8 dB worse on the UHF than the old CM7777 and the same on VHF. There's also 4 dB more gain on UHF. Those changes alone would not be noticeable to anyone under real life reception conditions. There must be another issue. Overload from an out-of-band signal that's not being rejected by the new model? It would be interesting to figure out what's going on. Shame on CM for marketing these as "improved" when they seem to be only replacements for the old models.
Tags: Channel Master Cm 4228 8 Bay Hdtv Uhf Antenna Cm4228hd
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