Antenna on top of apartment building...with mystery connector in my unit! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 11-25-2007, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

My apartment building has a big antenna on the roof - I'm not sure if it's VHF or UHF, or even just an FM antenna (not likely). There's also a strange outlet cover in my apartment that I've never seen before - the attached picture shows it up close. I'm assuming that this thing can be used to connect my HDTV with an ATSC tuner to the antenna, but I'm completely clueless in that regard.

Is there any hope of being able to connect to the rooftop antenna with this connector? Do I need special wiring from Radio Shack or something? All help is appreciated!
LL
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post #2 of 15 Old 11-25-2007, 11:00 AM
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Best to check with the landlord and ask.
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post #3 of 15 Old 11-25-2007, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Best to check with the landlord and ask.

Okay, I think I figured it out - it's a 300 ohm connector. I believe Radio Shack sells 300 ohm/regular coax adapters, and there's one within walking distance from here, so I'll check that out.

I'm still looking for help if anyone would like to offer advice.
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post #4 of 15 Old 11-25-2007, 11:13 AM
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That is a twin lead antenna connection, not coax connection.

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post #5 of 15 Old 11-25-2007, 11:37 AM
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.... and may not be connected to the community antenna any longer. Best to check with the landlord.

Secondly... no one knows if it's UHF, VHF or both.
Thirdly... is it aimed properly?

And last but not least... where do you live? What's your zip code?
If it is twinlead from the antenna to multiple units and still connected, don't expect any miracles.
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post #6 of 15 Old 11-25-2007, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Just returned from Radio Shack, where I purchased a 300 ohm-to-75 ohm adapter for $5. Hooked it up to the wallplate and to my TV, and my Sharp Aquos LC32D43U is currently scanning the channels - and it appears to be finding plenty of them!
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post #7 of 15 Old 11-25-2007, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

If it is twinlead from the antenna to multiple units and still connected, don't expect any miracles.

Oh well, I expected miracles but got none.

I live in 21042, and while the roof antenna pulled in some analog stations nearly perfectly, it appears that the antenna is VHF only, as no HD stations came in, and all the local stations in Baltimore broadcast HD in UHF. At least I still have QAM from Comcast.
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post #8 of 15 Old 11-25-2007, 12:30 PM
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So you are seeing clear analog channels 2, 11 and 13? Do you see much of anything on analog channels 24, 45 or 54, or, if you do a channel scan, are any of the analog UHF channels converted to lower (edit, SP), VHF channels?

What kind of apartment is it? # of floors, # of units?
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post #9 of 15 Old 11-25-2007, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntAltMike View Post

So you are seeing clear analog channels 2, 11 and 13? Do you see much of anything on analog channels 24, 45 or 54, or, if you do a channel scan, are any of the analog UHF channels converted to lopwer, VHF channels?

What kind of apartment is it? # of floors, # of units?

It's a 3-floor unit with 12 units. I doubt any of them are connected to the antenna, but at most, only one or two would be connected. Here's what I'm seeing:

2 is okay, not great reception
11 is absolutely pristine reception but no subchannels received
13 is very good - not as clear as 11 but still good reception
45 comes in pretty good too

I did a digital/analog channel scan, and nothing but analog channels came in. What does a "lopwer" conversion of UHF to VHF mean?
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-25-2007, 01:59 PM
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I don't see how you could get analog channel 45 without also getting digital channel 46 which is also known as 45.1. You should check your setup menu to make sure your TV is set up for off-air digital channels and even 8VSB rather than QAM, if you have such a menu choice.

In highrise buildings, UHF channels are often "downconverted" to vacant VHF channels to facilitate distribution. Channel 45, for example, has a visual carrier of 657.25 MHz, which doesn't travel well through coax, but in large buildings, it is economical to electronically convert it dwon the VHF channel 6, which is at 83.25 MHz, but you won't often find that having been done in a 12 unit building.
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post #11 of 15 Old 11-25-2007, 03:02 PM
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... in other words. Check the TV's input setup options and make sure it's set to "antenna" or "air" and not "cable". Then perform a channel scan/search.

Just an observation... you're only about 12 miles from the x-mitters but antennaweb.org shows "red" for all channels. Are you in a valley or surrounded by tall(er) buildings?
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post #12 of 15 Old 11-25-2007, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntAltMike View Post

I don't see how you could get analog channel 45 without also getting digital channel 46 which is also known as 45.1. You should check your setup menu to make sure your TV is set up for off-air digital channels and even 8VSB rather than QAM, if you have such a menu choice.

In highrise buildings, UHF channels are often "downconverted" to vacant VHF channels to facilitate distribution. Channel 45, for example, has a visual carrier of 657.25 MHz, which doesn't travel well through coax, but in large buildings, it is economical to electronically convert it dwon the VHF channel 6, which is at 83.25 MHz, but you won't often find that having been done in a 12 unit building.

Oops - my mistake - I wasn't getting ch. 45 with the antenna (I had already disconnected the adapter and gone back to QAM when I typed that, so I had to go on memory). So it still appears that it's a VHF-only antenna.

There's a HUGE hill in my zipcode which could account for the red labeling for all the stations. But when I plugged my specific address into the website, all the stations showed up as yellow (see screenshot), so I should be in good shape.

Now, if I were to go out and purchase an indoor antenna, what sort would you recommend? Nearly all the stations are the same direction from my house, so a directional antenna should be fine, it seems.
LL
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post #13 of 15 Old 11-25-2007, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

... in other words. Check the TV's input setup options and make sure it's set to "antenna" or "air" and not "cable". Then perform a channel scan/search.

Just an observation... you're only about 12 miles from the x-mitters but antennaweb.org shows "red" for all channels. Are you in a valley or surrounded by tall(er) buildings?

Wow, huge mistake on my part - I was scanning on the "Digital/Cable" setting! After scanning on "Air," I'm now getting all the main broadcast analog channels, and several HD channels OTA. Nice! I'm still not getting 11.1 or 7.1 - any idea why that might be the case?
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post #14 of 15 Old 11-25-2007, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpr View Post

Wow, huge mistake on my part - I was scanning on the "Digital/Cable" setting! After scanning on "Air," I'm now getting all the main broadcast analog channels, and several HD channels OTA. Nice! I'm still not getting 11.1 or 7.1 - any idea why that might be the case?

You have a large angle between the DC and Baltimore stations. Any clue as to what the antenna setup is?

WBAL-DT NBC 11 in Baltimore is the weakest of the 5 major Baltimore stations. I can get it from Sterling, VA but it is prone to dropouts. But you are close enough that that should not be the reason. WJLA-DT ABC 7 in DC is at full power; if you get WTTG-DT 5 and WUSA-DT 9, you should be able to get WJLA-DT 7. Try another scan. If that does not work, try manually tuning to the digital broadcast channels for the 2 stations: 39.1 for WJLA-DT and 59.1 for WBAL-DT. You find out more about the DC and Baltimore stations in the Baltimore-Washington thread in the local reception forum.

PS Don't be surprised if you don't get WUTB-DT My 24 on their digital channel. The station is still operating at a very low power of 530 Watts, but should be going full power in the next few weeks.
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post #15 of 15 Old 11-25-2007, 07:15 PM
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I'm getting WUTB in McLean, Virginia, about 30 miles away, with a Winegard PR-9022... but it is on top of a 17 story building. Definitely the slickest multimarket master antenna system headend I have developed so far. I was able to perfectly equalize channels 51 from Washington and 52 from Baltimore off one antenna pointed at Baltimore, and bandpass filter them to isolate them from the other antenna input signals.
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