Originally Posted by ChrisPC
Maybe you need to try an amp; I'm thinking about it. I live in Hermitage, on a hill facing the main towers. I use a DirecTV H10, an unamplified Winegard Sensar, and a 30" Sony widescreen HDTV.
I almost always get 5, but almost never get 8. 2 and 4 are good, but can break up in high wind. 17, 30, and 58 are usually solid. I usually even get 28 and 50 with its 5 subchannels!
I live in Hermitage too, but down in the "valley". I have a CM 4 bow-tie UHF antenna on a short pole stuck in the backyard with a home-made channel 10 (4-1) dipole strapped to the pole below it. I do use a CM7777 amp to combine the two signals and because I have a long (100') run of RG-6 into the house and the HDTivos.
I can get most of the channels pretty solid, except for channel 8. Sometimes during a weekday I can get 8.1 and now 8.2, but almost never at night. 5.1 and even 4.1 and 17.1 can drop out during the "right" conditions - but this is very rare.
The good news for Hermitage is all the stations you want are in the same general direction - antennaweb shows a 73 degree arc from my house. I chose the 4 bow CM since the 8 bow was a lot larger and more directional. The problem is that 2/8 are at one end of the arc, and 5/17/30/58 are at the other.
I am thinking of moving the antenna to the roof or maybe just adding a 2nd pole to the current one to move it up just a bit. Having the simple dipole for 4.1 lets me aim that for best signal, while the CM is aimed about mid-way in the arc.
When I first put it up, I could get 8.1 most of the time but I swear they have reduced output or something since then.
The Winegard Sensar seems like a "gimmick" antenna to me and is likely a lot more directional than the CM bow tie I have, but I really don't know much about it. Randolph and Rice sell (or sold) the CM 3021/4225 4 bow for $22-25 and they normally stock it. The CM4228 has more gain but has a lot narrower beam - it runs about $50. Do you have a rotor on your Sensar? If not, where you point it?
Since I have HDTivos I need to be able to pick all the stations all the time. If you are only watching live, then a YAGI and rotor may work a lot better for you.
The U-75r for $25 from Radio Shack seems to work pretty good from what I have read.