self installation of HD antenna - Sacramento - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 04-24-2002, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Has anyone installed their own off air antenna, i.e, ChannelMaster 4221, for receiving HD local channels? I am wired for such and it seems I should be able to put up this antenna myself. The local co. that does this wants to charge me $350 to do it . . . the antenna itself only costs $50. Seems like a lot of $$$$.
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post #2 of 20 Old 04-24-2002, 05:12 PM
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Many people have successfully put up their own antennae. Just be careful, it's your own neck if you fall off your roof, etc., usual disclaimers apply.

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post #3 of 20 Old 04-24-2002, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Haven't heard of any problems directing antenna for signal? I have heard it has to be very exact.
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post #4 of 20 Old 04-24-2002, 05:33 PM
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Just get a rotor...about $70 at Radio Shack or Home Depot (for the Channel Master model).

Also, check out Stark Electronic for more antenna info.

BTW, I did my own stack (see the link in my sig) and I'm FAR from being mechanically inclined! ;)
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post #5 of 20 Old 04-24-2002, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the prompt replys . . . what exactly is a rotor regarding the Channel Master antenna? Do I need a signal meter?
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post #6 of 20 Old 04-24-2002, 07:02 PM
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A rotor, or rotator, would be used to rotate the antenna on a mast in order to fine tune a station. If all of your stations are in the same area or even the same tower, a rotor would not be necessary at all.

A signal strength meter would be quite expensive so unless you know someone with one or hire a professional installer, I'd say you'd be ok.

Also, if you post more information about your location (distance from towers, general direction from towers, terrain between you and the towers and buildings/trees in your immediate vicinity), you're likely to get more specific assistance from the members up here.
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post #7 of 20 Old 04-24-2002, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks! I'm new to this . . . I'm in Elk Grove, CA . . . the dish and cable for antenna are on the south side of the house. The towers are in Walnut Grove, about 30 miles southwest from here. No major obstructions to speak of.
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post #8 of 20 Old 04-24-2002, 08:41 PM
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You should be in good shape, then, even with an attic install provided you can point the antenna in the attic toward the towers.

I'm sure someone else up here is in your general area and can correct me if I'm wrong on anything.
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post #9 of 20 Old 04-24-2002, 09:34 PM
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Yeah, with your proximity, try an indoor antenna first. All transmitters are at the same location so no need of a rotor. If a rabbit ear does not work, the least expensive outdoor antenna (VHF or UHF) will do from where you are. Unless you want to pick something up from the Bay Area.
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post #10 of 20 Old 04-25-2002, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a Terc antenna that attaches to the eliptical dish but it is not receiving any digital local signal. A local HD co. told me I needed a Channel Master antenna because my Mitsubishi HD sat. receiver required so much juice. He said there is no way to pick up the signals with my dish antenna. Any thoughts?
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post #11 of 20 Old 04-25-2002, 12:09 PM
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Ugh...that Terk is about useless. I think a coat hanger would work better and costs a lot less :)
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post #12 of 20 Old 04-25-2002, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I went to antennaweb.org and it suggested the terc that fits onto the dish. It said my reception should be so good based on where I am located in reference to the towers that anything would work. Bummer I paid 70 bucks for this thing. It does receive local analog channels well.
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post #13 of 20 Old 04-25-2002, 12:40 PM
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Example, I'm in the east bay and all it took was buying a ten foot pole at Yardbirds. I got a CM3023 from stark, attached the pole with three clamps to my back decks over hang.

No going up on the roof. I just pushed that puppy up high and clamped it down. So I'm just 20ft up from the ground and receive everything at 98% levels.

For you it's easy just aim to Walnut Grove and lock in. enjoy!

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post #14 of 20 Old 04-25-2002, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by lwelge
I went to antennaweb.org and it suggested the terc that fits onto the dish. It said my reception should be so good based on where I am located in reference to the towers that anything would work. Bummer I paid 70 bucks for this thing. It does receive local analog channels well.
If you can receive analog UHF channels well, such as Fox40 and UPN31, you should be able to get the DT stations fine.
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post #15 of 20 Old 04-25-2002, 03:09 PM
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I got a inexpensive compass ($18) and a map($1.50). Plotted my position, the position of the antenna towers. Made sure the antenna was pointed to that coordinate. Got me some HDTV........

If you build it, they will come.....
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post #16 of 20 Old 04-25-2002, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dmunn
I got a inexpensive compass ($18) and a map($1.50). Plotted my position, the position of the antenna towers. Made sure the antenna was pointed to that coordinate. Got me some HDTV........
You were way more high tech than me. I stood in the back yard like the Statue of Liberty twisting the thing around.

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post #17 of 20 Old 04-25-2002, 04:02 PM
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At 30 miles and with the flat country between Elk Grove and Walnut Grove, most any antenna is going to work. The Terks have a very poor reputation and many complaints from users on this group. If all of your stations are UHF then a simple set of dual bow tie antennas from Radio Shack or a small UHF Yagi will work fine. Decide how you are going to mount it. There are brackets for chimney mount, tripods for small roof mounts that will take a 6 foot piece of mast. I prefer the tripod mount, put some silicone rubber seal under the feet when you drill into your roof to prevent leaks. Put the tripod on the peak of the roof. Insert the mast and tighten in position. Attach the antenna and point it in the direction of all the other antennas in your neighborhood. Connect some RG-6 coax to it and plug it into your receiver. For most installations that should do it. The bow tie antennas are less sensitive to being slightly off axis since they have a reflector behind them. At 30 miles, you don't need a large antenna and with Sacramento weather you don't need the most rugged antenna like guys in the midwest with ice storms etc. With Radio Shack, you can take it back if you don't like it.

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post #18 of 20 Old 04-25-2002, 08:09 PM
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And don't forget to properly ground the antenna if exposed to the weather.
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post #19 of 20 Old 04-26-2002, 08:00 AM
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I live in El Dorado Hills and finally went to a $20 radio shack UHF only antenna and now I have great reception on the digital stations. I replaced the Terk TV55 with power injector. The Terk worked nicely but only with the injector on. I have gone through 3 injectors so I took the Terk down went with the Radio shack and Voila! From Elk grove you are only approx. 18miles as the crow flies according to my GPS mapping software. Almost anything you put up will work. I am down in a valley behind 700' hills and I get dead on reception. Point the antenna towards Lodi and you will be in good shape.
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post #20 of 20 Old 04-30-2002, 03:49 PM
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I installed an 8-bay CM antenna myself in Folsom. Easy. Got the hardware from Lowes.
Byas
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