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post #15601 of 15625 Old 02-05-2017, 01:47 PM
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Well, today's Indiana / Wisconsin game, the CBS NCAA feed on local channel 17.1, proved me, um,... optimistic? about the 5.1 sound on broadcast sports feeds.

I was hearing something odd in the crowd sound, so finally just dropped the center channel out. The remaining 4.1 sound was... interesting. But not in a good way. The crowd sound was amazingly compressed, and using a poorly set up compressor. The result made the crowd sound seem to "breath" up and down. It was especially odd when the home team made a basket -- the crowd sound would jump up with lots of clapping and shouting -- which the compressor dutifully stomped the crap out of, but only after half a second or so -- so you got a wave of clapping that suddenly dropped off, and by that I mean way off, close to silence.

This wasn't easy to hear with the center channel active since they had the arena sound so low in the mix, but it did manage to make a sell-out sound like a bunch of empty seats. The crowd sounds were actually down around the level of the sneaker squeeks and ball bounce sounds, and underneath what happens when the ball hits the rim, which was ridiculously loud in comparison to the other sounds in the mix.

And today's game was a marked improvement over the sound from the Pitt / Duke game on... Thursday? The "take the arena PA announcer out" trick just destroyed the crowd sound there. Yucko. I've been to games at Cameron, it's small and loud, nothing like what they gave us.

Ah well. I upgraded to 5.1 for blu-rays and Netfilx, not for broadcast. I shouldn't be so disappointed. But the broadcasters should be -- they can do a lot better.
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post #15602 of 15625 Old 02-23-2017, 12:05 PM
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So what's the deal with the new channel relocation I've been hearing about moving everything below 36 that will be happening in the foreseeable future? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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post #15603 of 15625 Old 03-01-2017, 07:07 PM
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So what's the deal with the new channel relocation I've been hearing about moving everything below 36 that will be happening in the foreseeable future? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
There's some discussion about it in the HDTV Technical forum.

AVS Official Topic - The FCC & Broadcast Spectrum

It really only affects OTA viewers, because it affects the "real frequency" RF channels, not the "virtual" channel numbers that the stations are known by. For example WRAL is known as (and will continue to be known as) Channel 5, even though it has been broadcasting on RF 48 for quite a few years now. When the "repack" happens, WRAL will get a new RF channel number in the range from 2 to 36. The repack should not have much impact on OTA viewers unless a station winds up on VHF (RF 2 through 13), which could require the viewer to get a different kind of antenna.
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post #15604 of 15625 Old 03-02-2017, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by veedon View Post
There's some discussion about it in the HDTV Technical forum.

AVS Official Topic - The FCC & Broadcast Spectrum

It really only affects OTA viewers, because it affects the "real frequency" RF channels, not the "virtual" channel numbers that the stations are known by. For example WRAL is known as (and will continue to be known as) Channel 5, even though it has been broadcasting on RF 48 for quite a few years now. When the "repack" happens, WRAL will get a new RF channel number in the range from 2 to 36. The repack should not have much impact on OTA viewers unless a station winds up on VHF (RF 2 through 13), which could require the viewer to get a different kind of antenna.
Thanks for the info. As for antennas, I have continued to use the old large UHF/VHF rooftop antenna with a rotor like I have always used.

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post #15605 of 15625 Old 03-02-2017, 07:53 AM
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Thanks for the info. As for antennas, I have continued to use the old large UHF/VHF rooftop antenna with a rotor like I have always used.
Then you should be in good shape regardless of how the repack plays out. I have not heard that any of the stations in this market chose to give up their licenses in exchange for auction money, so stations may change RF channels, but they'll still be around.
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post #15606 of 15625 Old 03-19-2017, 03:22 PM
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Help with RCA VH226F Antenna Rotator

Purchased the RCA VH226F Remote Antenna Rotator from Home Depot and was looking through the manual to see where it stopped in rotation. I know the Channel Masters used to stop at North,but I can't see anywhere in the documents that shows it or is it all controlled by the control unit inside?
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post #15607 of 15625 Old 04-13-2017, 04:42 PM
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post #15608 of 15625 Old 04-14-2017, 06:23 AM
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Any chance WTVD goes to UHF with these changes? It's the only channel I can't reliably pull in with my current antenna.
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post #15609 of 15625 Old 04-14-2017, 06:25 AM
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WTVD is moving from 11 to 9, still on high-VHF. They will be joined by WNCN on 8.

- Trip

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post #15610 of 15625 Old 04-14-2017, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by morpheus647 View Post
Any chance WTVD goes to UHF with these changes? It's the only channel I can't reliably pull in with my current antenna.
If you do not have a VHF hi band antenna, get one. Stellar labs makes an excellent one that I just put up myself... WTVD is not very strong. I could point my UHF antenna at Raleigh and get the UHF channels during the night, but WTVD has never shown itself for me since installing the VHF and pointing at their tower.
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post #15611 of 15625 Old 04-14-2017, 07:30 AM
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If you do not have a VHF hi band antenna, get one. Stellar labs makes an excellent one that I just put up myself... WTVD is not very strong. I could point my UHF antenna at Raleigh and get the UHF channels during the night, but WTVD has never shown itself for me since installing the VHF and pointing at their tower.
Stellar Labs makes 2 High VHF antennas sold by MCM. There is a large and small size and both are reportedly made very well. If you are in the fringe or a problem area, then I would suggest the larger version. And perhaps a low noise preamp. And some local poster previously stated he got better results with the antenna placed sideways or tilted upward because of the circular polarity from WTVD. But you would have to experiment there.
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post #15612 of 15625 Old 04-14-2017, 09:14 AM
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That was me. I've got mine oriented vertically to null out WNCT on RF10, who is horizontally polarized. Otherwise their signal overloads my receivers and wipes out WTVD.

I'm very close (line of sight; I can see the tower beacons) to WNCT though. It might not be necessary further from their tower.
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post #15613 of 15625 Old 04-16-2017, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post
WTVD is moving from 11 to 9, still on high-VHF. They will be joined by WNCN on 8.
I have to ask: if there's not another station taking over channel 11, why is WTVD moving to 9? Or is there someone else actually moving to 11? And if so, why aren't they moving to 9 and WTVD staying where it is?

It probably makes perfectly good sense, but since I don't understand it it's looking a little like musical chairs to me right now.
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post #15614 of 15625 Old 04-16-2017, 03:41 PM
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I have to ask: if there's not another station taking over channel 11, why is WTVD moving to 9? Or is there someone else actually moving to 11? And if so, why aren't they moving to 9 and WTVD staying where it is?

It probably makes perfectly good sense, but since I don't understand it it's looking a little like musical chairs to me right now.
There's a station in Florida that won a bid to move to high-VHF. It creates a ripple effect all the way up the east coast, especially when you add in WNCN moving to high-VHF as well. 11 will be used by WHMC, which pushes WTVD off 11 and onto 9, WHMC's old channel. That, in turn, forces WSKY off 9 and onto 13, which forces WVEC of 13 and onto 11, etc.

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post #15615 of 15625 Old 04-16-2017, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post
There's a station in Florida that won a bid to move to high-VHF. It creates a ripple effect all the way up the east coast, especially when you add in WNCN moving to high-VHF as well. 11 will be used by WHMC, which pushes WTVD off 11 and onto 9, WHMC's old channel. That, in turn, forces WSKY off 9 and onto 13, which forces WVEC of 13 and onto 11, etc.
Thanks, that makes sufficient sense for me. Broadcast physics.
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post #15616 of 15625 Old 05-30-2017, 05:04 AM
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Has anything happened to WRAL/WRAZ (NBC/FOX) antenna? Over the last month I've had more and more drop outs of their OTA signal. I went away on vacation and now the two channels are unwatchable. I haven't noticed a problem with any other local channels; CBS, ABC, CW are not affected.
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post #15617 of 15625 Old 06-09-2017, 08:52 PM
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I live about 1 mile south of downtown Cary, NC. Here's my TV Fool report:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e6a454b28eefd9

I currently have an Antennas Direct Clearstream 2V antenna (UHF + VHF) mounted in my attic.
I removed the reflector to make the antenna more bidirectional.

On the image below, I've marked in red the stations that I'm primarily interested in.
I have a lot of trouble with channel 25 (WUNC PBS) and 11 (WTVD ABC).
Everything else I'm interested in comes in pretty good. There's a few stations farther away that are sometimes watchable depending on weather conditions. It would be nice to have them come in better, but if that's not possible, I wouldn't be heartbroken.

I added a Winegard LNA-200 Boost XT Digital HDTV Preamplifier at the antenna and it helped some, but depending on the time of day and the weather conditions, I still get a lot of blocks and garbled audio. Channel 25 is definitely the worse of the two problem channels.

I suspect the problem is the elevation of my home. I'm one of the lowest homes in my cul-de-sac and there's also a lot of trees surrounding me. Also, having the antenna in the attic doesn't help.

My first thought was to try a higher gain antenna that is designed to be multi-directional. It looks like the Antennas Direct Clearstream 4MAX might be an option. Its gain and range is a little higher than my current antenna, and I'm sure my antenna is probably gimped somewhat because I removed the reflector. Also, it's designed for VHF, which is good.

Another possible antenna choice might be the Antennas Direct DB8e this has MUCH higher gain than my current antenna or the 4MAX but I worry that I won't be able to get channel 11 at all since it's not designed for VHF. Additionally, that station will be moving to channel 9 whenever the FCC repack happens (supposedly in 2019) which would make it even harder to get. Is there some way to add a VHF antenna kit on it like you can with older Clearstream antennas?

There's probably other (better?) antenna choices on the market too.

A second possible course of action would be to put an antenna on a pole attached to my chimney, either my current antenna or a new one. Getting it out of the attic and another 10-15 feet higher in the air would probably help.

Suggestions welcome. Thanks.


Last edited by krick; 06-09-2017 at 10:14 PM.
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post #15618 of 15625 Old 06-10-2017, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by krick View Post
I live about 1 mile south of downtown Cary, NC. Here's my TV Fool report:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e6a454b28eefd9

I currently have an Antennas Direct Clearstream 2V antenna (UHF + VHF) mounted in my attic.
I removed the reflector to make the antenna more bidirectional.

On the image below, I've marked in red the stations that I'm primarily interested in.
I have a lot of trouble with channel 25 (WUNC PBS) and 11 (WTVD ABC).
Everything else I'm interested in comes in pretty good. There's a few stations farther away that are sometimes watchable depending on weather conditions. It would be nice to have them come in better, but if that's not possible, I wouldn't be heartbroken.

I added a Winegard LNA-200 Boost XT Digital HDTV Preamplifier at the antenna and it helped some, but depending on the time of day and the weather conditions, I still get a lot of blocks and garbled audio. Channel 25 is definitely the worse of the two problem channels.

I suspect the problem is the elevation of my home. I'm one of the lowest homes in my cul-de-sac and there's also a lot of trees surrounding me. Also, having the antenna in the attic doesn't help.

My first thought was to try a higher gain antenna that is designed to be multi-directional. It looks like the Antennas Direct Clearstream 4MAX might be an option. Its gain and range is a little higher than my current antenna, and I'm sure my antenna is probably gimped somewhat because I removed the reflector. Also, it's designed for VHF, which is good.

Another possible antenna choice might be the Antennas Direct DB8e this has MUCH higher gain than my current antenna or the 4MAX but I worry that I won't be able to get channel 11 at all since it's not designed for VHF. Additionally, that station will be moving to channel 9 whenever the FCC repack happens (supposedly in 2019) which would make it even harder to get. Is there some way to add a VHF antenna kit on it like you can with older Clearstream antennas?

There's probably other (better?) antenna choices on the market too.

A second possible course of action would be to put an antenna on a pole attached to my chimney, either my current antenna or a new one. Getting it out of the attic and another 10-15 feet higher in the air would probably help.

Suggestions welcome. Thanks.

I have a CM-4228HD in the attic combined with an hour-glass loop VHF antenna I built ( see http://imageevent.com/holl_ands/loop...fhourglassloop ) I built the 7-reflector rod version. Both are in the attic, side-by-side, about three feet apart.
If I were to do it again I might use two CM-4228HD antennas instead of building the loop. The CM-4228HD does have appreciable gain in the High-VHF and building & mounting the hourglass wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.

If you go with the 4228 antenna there are some modifications that will improve its performance.
http://imageevent.com/holl_ands/mult...dshorizharness
Here are some notes from the author:

Image #30 contains the detailed Dimensions of the HHH, which replaces the factory Horizontal Harness. Simply cut two (preferably Aluminum) wires to the requisite Length, bend the ends into a Hook to fit around the existing connection screws, make two bends per diagram and tweak to fit (routing of the ends isn't all that critical). If you REPLACE the PCB Balun (which is difficult to remove anyway) with a standard cylindrical 300:75-ohm Balun, the Hi-VHF performance of the CM4228HD can be restored to what the 4nec2 Simulation Results reveal (such as it is)....it MIGHT bring in Ch7-13...but only if your signals are strong enough to overcome Excessive SWR issues.

I haven't tried it myself.
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post #15619 of 15625 Unread 06-14-2017, 08:07 AM
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I suspect the problem is the elevation of my home. I'm one of the lowest homes in my cul-de-sac and there's also a lot of trees surrounding me. Also, having the antenna in the attic doesn't help.
I'm in Raleigh near Meredith College. So the opposite, I'm on a high spot. I'm using a CM-4220HD, and a Eagle Aspen ROTR100 rotator. All on the roof strapped to the chimney and about 2m above my fairly flat roof. It's been working OK (I'm less than 13 miles away from the Garner antenna farm, so no surprise there). I can typically turn it to face UNC's xmitter and pick up their programming OK (TVfool says I'm around 28 miles out), but with some dropouts in bad weather. Greensboro is hit or miss depending on the weather.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krick View Post
My first thought was to try a higher gain antenna that is designed to be multi-directional. It looks like the Antennas Direct Clearstream 4MAX might be an option. Its gain and range is a little higher than my current antenna, and I'm sure my antenna is probably gimped somewhat because I removed the reflector. Also, it's designed for VHF, which is good.

Another possible antenna choice might be the Antennas Direct DB8e this has MUCH higher gain than my current antenna or the 4MAX but I worry that I won't be able to get channel 11 at all since it's not designed for VHF. Additionally, that station will be moving to channel 9 whenever the FCC repack happens (supposedly in 2019) which would make it even harder to get. Is there some way to add a VHF antenna kit on it like you can with older Clearstream antennas?
I'm actually looking at a CM-2018, which should pick up mid-high VHF as well as the truncated UHF that the repacking is going to give us. I've had good luck with the Channel Master antennas in the past, just sayin'.

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A second possible course of action would be to put an antenna on a pole attached to my chimney, either my current antenna or a new one. Getting it out of the attic and another 10-15 feet higher in the air would probably help.
Yes. Height is your friend. I had to get at least 2m up above my roof to minimize multipath due to roof bounce. Higher is better, but to get above the trees takes a tower and that's not likely going to happen. Make sure it's properly grounded of course.
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post #15620 of 15625 Unread 06-14-2017, 09:39 AM
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Yes. Height is your friend. I had to get at least 2m up above my roof to minimize multipath due to roof bounce. Higher is better, but to get above the trees takes a tower and that's not likely going to happen. Make sure it's properly grounded of course.
There's definitely no way I'd be able to get over the trees either. I'd need a 75 ft tower. My house was built in 1971 and it is surrounded by very tall mature trees.

I'm honestly shocked at how well my current Clearstream 2V antenna performs inside my attic. Most of the watchable channels are between 50 and 80 on the signal strength meter in my TiVo (note that I am also using a preamp). I can actually get WCWG (20.1) and WFMY (2.1) and a few other stations from the Greensboro market but the signal strength really depends a lot on the weather and the time of day. WUVC (40.1) in Fayetteville is always kind of sketchy because it's 90 degrees off from where my antenna is aimed. I think the only reason I get it at all is because it's really close. I might be picking up a reflected signal or something. I think with a more directional antenna, I wouldn't get it at all.

I think I'm going to order a Clearstream 4MAX and give that a try. It's basically 2 of what I have now. I can't see it being any worse. I want to try moving it around inside my attic. I think I'm going to try to rig up something where I attach it to a piece of plywood that I can move around more easily to find the best spot. I've heard that sometimes moving the antenna a few feet one way or the other can make a big difference.

If having it in the attic still doesn't cut it, then I'll try putting it on a pole attached to my chimney. I just don't feel like dealing with running new longer cables and all the hassle that entails unless I absolutely have to. I have more money than time at this point in my life.
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post #15621 of 15625 Unread 06-14-2017, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by krick View Post
I live about 1 mile south of downtown Cary, NC. Here's my TV Fool report:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e6a454b28eefd9

I currently have an Antennas Direct Clearstream 2V antenna (UHF + VHF) mounted in my attic.
I removed the reflector to make the antenna more bidirectional.

On the image below, I've marked in red the stations that I'm primarily interested in.
I have a lot of trouble with channel 25 (WUNC PBS) and 11 (WTVD ABC).
Everything else I'm interested in comes in pretty good. There's a few stations farther away that are sometimes watchable depending on weather conditions. It would be nice to have them come in better, but if that's not possible, I wouldn't be heartbroken.


Are you ever able to receive WUNC via its RF 30 translator located at the same antenna farm as most of the Raleigh stations? The RF 30 signal might not be quite strong enough for you to receive it at your location, but the coverage map at rabbitears.info suggests that some Cary residents can receive RF 30.
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post #15622 of 15625 Unread 06-14-2017, 06:28 PM
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Are you ever able to receive WUNC via its RF 30 translator located at the same antenna farm as most of the Raleigh stations? The RF 30 signal might not be quite strong enough for you to receive it at your location, but the coverage map at rabbitears.info suggests that some Cary residents can receive RF 30.
I don't think I was ever able to get that. I originally tried my Clearstream 2V with the reflector on but I removed it so that I could get WUNC from the back side of the antenna.

TV Fool has that one listed as "2Edge". Is that because the transmitter is smaller or low power or something? As you point out, it appears to be the same distance from me as the other Raleigh towers.
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post #15623 of 15625 Unread 06-15-2017, 04:34 PM
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I don't think I was ever able to get that. I originally tried my Clearstream 2V with the reflector on but I removed it so that I could get WUNC from the back side of the antenna.

TV Fool has that one listed as "2Edge". Is that because the transmitter is smaller or low power or something? As you point out, it appears to be the same distance from me as the other Raleigh towers.
It's only 0.5 kW.

Here's a link to the coverage map at rabbitears.info

http://rabbitears.info/contour.php?appid=1434223&site=1
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post #15624 of 15625 Unread Yesterday, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
I'm in Raleigh near Meredith College. So the opposite, I'm on a high spot. I'm using a CM-4220HD, and a Eagle Aspen ROTR100 rotator. All on the roof strapped to the chimney and about 2m above my fairly flat roof. It's been working OK
I just installed a Clearstream 4MAX (plus a JUICE preamp) in my attic and while it pulls in some stations better than the Clearstream 2V, it's still not as good as I'd like it to be. I think being in the attic compounded with the low elevation of my house compared to the surrounding houses is really hurting me.

My strongest station, CW 22-1 peaks at 92 (using the signal strength meter in my TiVo). Another station that I think should be stronger, CBS 17-1, peaks at 69 on the signal meter.

Additionally, some stations that are coming in otherwise strong, like FOX 50-1, has something happens where the image and sound just drops for a fraction of a second every so often. There's a few channels where this happens. It's not the typical freezing and blocks that you see when the signal isn't strong enough. I'm not sure what that's about. I don't remember it happening with my old antenna and preamp (Winegard LNA-200).

At this point, I'm seriously thinking about putting it on a mast attached to my chimney. Some questions:

1) At what height would it require guy wires?
2) How stable should I expect it to be in the wind?
3) Would a 10ft length of 1-1/4 in. galvanized EMT Conduit make an acceptable mast, or would a 10ft length of 1-3/8 in 17-Gauge Galvanized Top Rail (for a chain-link fence) be better? I think the EMT conduit might be 16 gauge, which is thicker but the pipe is a smaller diameter.
4) Is there a specific brand + model of chimney mount that is recommended? I think I want the kind that straps around the chimney as I don't really want to drill holes in the chimney.
5) Is it worth paying more for a stainless steel chimney mount over galvanized?
6) For an outdoor antenna installation, which preamp is recommended, the Winegard LNA-200 or the Antennas Direct JUICE? It looks like the Juice might be more weather resistant.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krick View Post
I just installed a Clearstream 4MAX (plus a JUICE preamp) in my attic and while it pulls in some stations better than the Clearstream 2V, it's still not as good as I'd like it to be. I think being in the attic compounded with the low elevation of my house compared to the surrounding houses is really hurting me.
Only because it is. Height is your friend when it comes to antenna positioning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krick View Post
1) At what height would it require guy wires?
I've got no idea. Maybe 5m? Certainly by 10m. Rule of thumb is if your mast has a guy ring, you should probably be using guy wires. And you attach them like this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krick View Post
2) How stable should I expect it to be in the wind?
A short mast, say a couple of 1.5m (5') sections, is fairly stable, even in winds up to 60 kph or so. Much depends on your antenna and the drag associated with it -- this creates a wind load, which is the force it applies in a given wind speed to the mast, which in turn tells you have much the system will deflect. It's not an exact thing, and it doesn't need to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krick View Post
3) Would a 10ft length of 1-1/4 in. galvanized EMT Conduit make an acceptable mast, or would a 10ft length of 1-3/8 in 17-Gauge Galvanized Top Rail (for a chain-link fence) be better? I think the EMT conduit might be 16 gauge, which is thicker but the pipe is a smaller diameter.
Use actual antenna masts. It'll save you trouble later. IMHO if you are using telescoping masts, you need something more than a chimney mount. A full tripod mount is called for, with guy wires. Again, IMHO. Clearly YMMV.

My advice is to try a couple of 5' sections of non-telescoping mast first. You'll need them even if you go to a taller telescoping mast, because it's the diameter that antenna's and rotators expect to attache to. But if you can get away with just that, there's no real need to go higher.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krick View Post
4) Is there a specific brand + model of chimney mount that is recommended? I think I want the kind that straps around the chimney as I don't really want to drill holes in the chimney.
You'll want one of these I think. And here's how to install it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krick View Post
5) Is it worth paying more for a stainless steel chimney mount over galvanized?
Yes. Stainless is your friend, especially out in the weather.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krick View Post
6) For an outdoor antenna installation, which preamp is recommended, the Winegard LNA-200 or the Antennas Direct JUICE? It looks like the Juice might be more weather resistant.
No idea. I've never needed to use an amplifier.

Don't forget to ground your antenna. It's always a good idea to meet your local electrical code, or have a competent electrician do it for you. Just sayin'.
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