OTA antenna suggestions - Austin, TX - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-01-2007, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I currently have Dish Network (vip622), and I want to add an OTA antenna to get local channels in HD. I would like to mount an antenna in the attic if possible. Here's my antennaweb results for DT stations (zip code 78759):

* yellow - uhf KLRU-DT 18.1 PBS AUSTIN TX 187° 7.1 22
* yellow - uhf KEYE-DT 42.1 CBS AUSTIN TX 194° 7.4 43
* yellow - uhf KXAN-DT 36.1 NBC AUSTIN TX 193° 7.1 21
* yellow - uhf KVUE-DT 24.1 ABC AUSTIN TX 194° 7.4 33
* yellow - uhf KTBC-DT 7.1 FOX AUSTIN TX 188° 8.0 56
* yellow - uhf KNVA-DT 54.1 CW AUSTIN TX 193° 7.1 49

So I'm within 8 miles, and and the towers are all within 7 degrees of each other. I have seen several recommendations for the cm4220, but do I really need a multidirectional antenna in my situation? Would a small directional be a better choice?
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-01-2007, 12:58 PM
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The 4220 or 4221 would work fine. Or....
Try this:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...entPage=search
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-01-2007, 01:01 PM
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Attic mounting will reduce your signar up to 1/2, I read on these forums, so you would want to place a larger UHF antenna there than you might think. Are your UHF stations going to stay on the UHF spectrum after 2/2009? If one or more are going to VHF, obviously a UHF-only won't due. I also read multipath problems are common in attics, and with your stations only 7 degrees separated on azimuth, it makes sense to put a very directional antenna in there. OTH, how about using a piggyback antenna mounting on your satellite mount (I think warrenelectronics.com has them) with a little 2-bay bowtie for an outdoor mount?
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-01-2007, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyromark View Post

Attic mounting will reduce your signar up to 1/2, I read on these forums, so you would want to place a larger UHF antenna there than you might think. Are your UHF stations going to stay on the UHF spectrum after 2/2009? If one or more are going to VHF, obviously a UHF-only won't due. I also read multipath problems are common in attics, and with your stations only 7 degrees separated on azimuth, it makes sense to put a very directional antenna in there. OTH, how about using a piggyback antenna mounting on your satellite mount (I think warrenelectronics.com has them) with a little 2-bay bowtie for an outdoor mount?

KTBC-DT 7 will be switching to VHF 7 after the analog shutdown in February, 2009. At such close range, the CM 4220 or 4221 is likely to get the station, but there is no guarantee of that. While the attic will reduce the signal, it is still a lot better than inside the house. Any number of antennas will likely work here. Stick a Silver Sensor UHF antenna and rabbit ear combo in the attic is likely to do the job at only 7 miles. But a CM 4220 in the attic or outside is a good choice.
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-01-2007, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afiggatt View Post

KTBC-DT 7 will be switching to VHF 7 after the analog shutdown in February, 2009. At such close range, the CM 4220 or 4221 is likely to get the station, but there is no guarantee of that. While the attic will reduce the signal, it is still a lot better than inside the house. Any number of antennas will likely work here. Stick a Silver Sensor UHF antenna and rabbit ear combo in the attic is likely to do the job at only 7 miles. But a CM 4220 in the attic or outside is a good choice.

Where do you find the information about which stations will be changing frequency after the 2009 transition? I searched around, but couldn't find a list.

I suppose I could try the 4220 in the attic, and if it doesn't work, I could piggy back it off the dish mast that's mounted to the roof.
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-01-2007, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VoodooCrayola View Post

Where do you find the information about which stations will be changing frequency after the 2009 transition? I searched around, but couldn't find a list.

Go to http://www.fcc.gov/dtv/. Look down the page for the 3rd round list (short list) posted on August 29, 2006 and the combined 1st & 2nd round list posted on May 23. Not all stations are completely set, but for Austin, TX, it shows only one station will be moving it's current digital channel and that is KTBC-DT Fox 7.
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-01-2007, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Cool, good info. So with KTBC moving to VHF in 2009, is the 4220 still a good choice? It's UHF only, right?
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-01-2007, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VoodooCrayola View Post

Cool, good info. So with KTBC moving to VHF in 2009, is the 4220 still a good choice? It's UHF only, right?

Yes, but it should have limited performance for upper VHF. It will have it's poorest gain for VHF 7 (out of the VHF 7 to 13 set), but at 8 miles, it stands a good shot at picking a VHF 7 station. Once you put up the antenna, check the picture quality for the analog Fox 7 channel. If it is pretty good, then you should be set for 2009. If it is lousy, then you can easily add a VHF dipole antenna (aka rabbit ears) with a VHF/UHF combiner (around $5 to $15) to the antenna setup.

The CM 4228 8 Bay has much better gain for upper VHF than the 2 or 4 Bay bowties because of it's twice as wide backscreen (http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/comparing.html), but the CM 4228 is a long range, heavy, and very directional antenna which you don't need.

I have a CM 4221 4 Bay in my attic and I have four stations that will be switching to upper VHF in 2009. I get good analog picture quality for the two Washington DC stations, WJLA 7 and WUSA 9, at 16 miles, but lousy for the two Baltimore stations, WBAL 11 and WJZ 13, at 43 miles. They are all currently digital on UHF and come in fine. I'm planning to put up a spare set of rabbit ears in my attic to see what that does for all 4 of the upper VHF stations. You are a lot closer and the CM 4220 is a nice compact versatile antenna that runs $20 plus shipping on-line, so give it a go.
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-01-2007, 10:48 PM
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You know, when I tried out the CM Stealthtenna just for the heck of it last fall, not only did it pick up all the UHF channels at 90 - 95%, but it was also picking up all of the analog channels from hi-VHF on up beautifully and clear as day. This was from 41 miles out, with a 75 foot coax run and using a CM7777 pre-amp, but from only 7 - 8 miles out, I'd imagine it would probably perform similarly without the amp.

It is totally bi-directional, so I don't know if it would work in his attic or particular outdoor situation, though.

But I just thought I'd mention it anyway, since you were looking for something that wasn't too large and designed to pick up both hi-VHF and UHF well.
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-02-2007, 07:27 AM
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I have a homebuilt DB-2 antenna and it is mounted indoor. I get WMVS-DT on 8 that is transmit at 25Kw at 43 miles away and I get WMSN-DT on 11 that transmit at 15 Kw at 57 miles away. My antenna is pointing due east and 8 is at NE and 11 is NW and I get lock on both 24/7. Not sure but afiggatt would know what the KTBC-DT 7 power will be at 2009 and even if it lower powered I am sure you will get it with CM 4220 with no problem. As Rammitinski has done for last few + years has done many different antenna set up even stand on a chair and hold the antenna to see if works you may laugh about it but it the only way to find out if it works and it by trail and error set up as he has 3 different market to get from and I have 4 market to get from. So the chice you have is very good to start with.

Good Luck

-Willie
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post #11 of 11 Old 06-07-2007, 06:57 AM
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I would recommend the 15-2186 from Radio Shack due to its cost and small size. I just tried it myself on the business antenna and it worked as well as a CM 4221 and beleive me, i couldn't beleive it. So much for the days of haulin the CM into customers attics. Instead i recommend this one due to the portability and small size. Plus it is only $49.95 at the Shack. Cool stuff hu? If you need any help i will be coming to Texas on the 16th of June so give me a call and we can get you rockin with HDTV over the air...For free. Cell # is 502-773-7969. Ask for Jay....Have a great day.
Plus it is easy to hook onto the dish pole. I am going to Dallas. if that helps any.
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