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Help me make my antenna setup perfect

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi all,
I see there are a lot of very knowledgeable people on this forum.
Attached is http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...8d17830ad72306 my tv fool.

My current setup is an antennacraft hbu-44 with a channel master cm7777 preamp.

Believe it or not my ENE stations (11,13,41,45,50) come in with 5-10 bars of strength despite being 92 miles away and 2edge.

My WSW (and my supposed "home" locals (15,24,32,42) only manage 4-6 bars of strength despite only being 48 miles away. This might be due to a row of pine trees that sets 20 yards away.

I'd like to be able to lock into the 8 UHF stations both directions and the 2 VHF stations ENE. I know that my current antenna can be put into the VHF separate input into my channelmaster box to pick up the VHF.

So is there any way a 2-antenna setup can get me what I want? Or will I need to go with 3?

Ideally I can have my HBU-44 pointed ENE for all 5 stations and then have a separate UHF pointed WSW for my home stations. But I can't combine those with my cm7777.

Thanks for any and all of your input!
post #2 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvdigital View Post
Hi all,
I see there are a lot of very knowledgeable people on this forum.
Attached is http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...8d17830ad72306 my tv fool.
...
Is your antenna actually 100 feet above your ground level ?

I assume your antenna is currently pointed ENE ? Is that correct ?
post #3 of 25
Pretty low NMs, especially if it's not 100 feet. You could try a big 8-bay with the reflector left in the box. That would give you UHF in both directions with one input.
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeM View Post

Is your antenna actually 100 feet above your ground level ?

I assume your antenna is currently pointed ENE ? Is that correct ?

Oops, forgot to change that back to 30 feet. Chart doesn't change much.

Yes, it is currently pointed ENE.
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LithOTA View Post

Pretty low NMs, especially if it's not 100 feet. You could try a big 8-bay with the reflector left in the box. That would give you UHF in both directions with one input.

Any 8-bays you recommend? And what is the reflector?
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvdigital View Post


Any 8-bays you recommend? And what is the reflector?

Channel Master 4228
Winegard 8800
Antennas Direct DB8
Antennacraft U-800

These are the name-brand 8-bays. The reflector is a series of horizontal bars a few inches behind the 8 "bow ties". It forces the antenna to "look" forward and not behind. If you leave it off, the antenna becomes bi-directional, which is perfect for you because the 2 cities are at about 180 degrees from each other. One big plus is that it takes away most of the weight and windage, making a higher installation possible. One big minus is if you have co-channels in the 2 cities; the tuner won't be able to sort them out.
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LithOTA View Post

Channel Master 4228
Winegard 8800
Antennas Direct DB8
Antennacraft U-800

These are the name-brand 8-bays. The reflector is a series of horizontal bars a few inches behind the 8 "bow ties". It forces the antenna to "look" forward and not behind. If you leave it off, the antenna becomes bi-directional, which is perfect for you because the 2 cities are at about 180 degrees from each other. One big plus is that it takes away most of the weight and windage, making a higher installation possible. One big minus is if you have co-channels in the 2 cities; the tuner won't be able to sort them out.

HDTV primer slams the first 3 antennas listed and doesn't talk about antennacraft u-8000. With that said the cm-4228 seems like the safest bet out of those three. Since I'm impressed with antennacraft I'm interested in their model.

Looking at the photos of the u-8000 it looks to me like there are already no reflectors?
post #8 of 25
The G1483 my be another good choice since the reflectors can fold down, thus making the antenna bi-directional. Those come in 4-bay, 8-bay, and even 16-bay versions with the 16-bay possibly being the best signal grabbing uhf antenna on the market.
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvdigital View Post


Looking at the photos of the u-8000 it looks to me like there are already no reflectors?

The U-8000 has reflectors which wouldn't be easy to remove. BTW, the reflectors are the straight rods at the back of the antenna.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvdigital View Post

HDTV primer slams the first 3 antennas listed and doesn't talk about antennacraft u-8000. With that said the cm-4228 seems like the safest bet out of those three.

Yup, but they all have issues because it's difficult to design a good cross-feed between two horizontal antennas. Antennahacks.com shows photos of HDTVPrimer's redesigned feed system for the 4228, and has test data that shows it makes a big improvement. I would imagine that a similar design applied to the other 8-bays would work better also.
But even the stock ones would work fine for this poster. He needs bi-directional, but also needs a lot of gain, so there isn't another factory antenna that can do that.
A GH or M8 would work too, but you have to build those yourself.
post #11 of 25
I have the CM-4228 (the new version), and I don't think the reflector is easy to remove, but it's been about a year since I put the antenna up, so my memory is a bit fuzzy on it.
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tim58hsv View Post

The G1483 my be another good choice since the reflectors can fold down, thus making the antenna bi-directional. Those come in 4-bay, 8-bay, and even 16-bay versions with the 16-bay possibly being the best signal grabbing uhf antenna on the market.

I'll have to look into those more. Isn't the U8000 the newer model?
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LithOTA View Post

Yup, but they all have issues because it's difficult to design a good cross-feed between two horizontal antennas. Antennahacks.com shows photos of HDTVPrimer's redesigned feed system for the 4228, and has test data that shows it makes a big improvement. I would imagine that a similar design applied to the other 8-bays would work better also.
But even the stock ones would work fine for this poster. He needs bi-directional, but also needs a lot of gain, so there isn't another factory antenna that can do that.
A GH or M8 would work too, but you have to build those yourself.

So basically if I get the cm4228 I'll need to modify it to the pictures that antennahacks show?
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvdigital View Post


So basically if I get the cm4228 I'll need to modify it to the pictures that antennahacks show?

No, it will just work better if you do. Even in stock form, it does outperform the other 8-bays in several tests.
Part of the doom and gloom over the new 4228 is the fact that the old, American-made 4228 was just about perfect. They replaced it with an inferior product.
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LithOTA View Post

No, it will just work better if you do. Even in stock form, it does outperform the other 8-bays in several tests.
Part of the doom and gloom over the new 4228 is the fact that the old, American-made 4228 was just about perfect. They replaced it with an inferior product.

I saw it was stronger with channel 15 which I'd be picking up from the WSW.
post #16 of 25
Are you feeding your signal into a single tv or converter box ?
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeM View Post

Are you feeding your signal into a single tv or converter box ?

Antenna to cm7777 to single tv.
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
Update: Waiting for the cm4228hd price to fall on amazon. If it doesn't fall in a month I'll buy it by mid-June.
Will let everyone know how it goes then.
post #19 of 25
With shipping costs going up, if anything, the price will likely increase, not decrease.
http://www.amazon.com/Channel-Master...KQM/ref=sr_1_1
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvdigital View Post

Update: Waiting for the cm4228hd price to fall on amazon...

Don't they have snowstorms in PA ?

If so, the 4228 might not be such a good idea.
post #21 of 25
I've never heard of problems with a 4228 in snow storms.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeM View Post

the 4228 might not be such a good idea.

Not sure I agree.

We have old style 4228 for UHF and a YA1713 VHF. The December after I put it up NH was hit with a terrible ice storm. We, and most of the rest of the state, were without power for a week due to downed trees and power lines.

Our antenna came though with flying colors. I would think (have not modeled it) the 4228's lack of boom would make it somewhat less susceptible to wind and ice damage, assuming it is mounted on a suitable mast.
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
I've never had an issue with snow sticking to my antenna or satellite dish.
post #24 of 25
It really depends on what flavor of snow it is. Here in the midwest, Alberta Clipper snow is light and dry flakes that just keep blowing around. But Panhandle Hook snow is wet as hell, it sticks to everything and partially melts. If a cold front follows, it then freezes into ice and could take down any antenna (like in Eau Claire a few months ago).
By the time these storms get to the east coast, they turn into Noreasters, which I don't even want to know about.
post #25 of 25
2" thick ice and deep wet snows have never bothered our 4228, other than a temporary decrease in signal strength. FWIW, the Winegard 769x series antennas also hold up very well in snow & ice.
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