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Parker, CO 80134 Antenna Question - Type, placement and feed

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I think this post makes me "that guy" but I really want to make sure I do this right.

My TVFool info:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d1ddaa874d878d7

It looks like all the channels that I would be interested in receiving can be achieved through an indoor set-top antenna, unless I am reading that wrong. I ordered a Clearstream 2 a while ago thinking I might as well install a medium range antenna outside and get as many channels as possible. I've run into a couple issues post-purchase: 1) We just moved to a new neighborhood and the HOA prohibits antennas and 2) I have no electrical experience and didn't realize the antenna would have to be grounded (I have no idea how to do this).

My original plan was to roof mount the antenna above my Comcast service box and replace the Comcast feed line with my antenna line. I don't even know if this would have worked as far as supplying TV to all outlets in the house. Anyways, I need some input. Is it worth the few extra channels using an outdoor antenna? And should I be worried about my HOA and grounding the antenna? Thanks in advance, much appreciated.
post #2 of 18
BulldogBBall:

Welcome to the forum. Your signals are very strong and in the same direction, about 300 degrees. You should try your C2 antenna indoors on one TV to see what you can get.

The C2 antenna is primarily for UHF channels 14-51, but you have 3 VHF channels on real channels 7, 9, & 13. Your C2 might also be able to pick them up. There is an antenna called the C2V that is designed to have some gain on VHF:

C2V Antenna
VHF 174 - 216 MHz (Channels 7-13)
UHF 470 - 806 MHz (Channels 14-69)
Max gain: 10.4 dBi UHF;3.1dBi VHF

C2 Antenna
Range: Up to 50 Miles
Gain of 10.2 dBi
Consistent gain through the entire UHF DTV channel spectrum

It is possible for you to connect (with a UVSJ) a simple VHF antenna to your C2 to pick up 7, 9, and 13 if your C2 doesn't get them.
Quote:
We just moved to a new neighborhood and the HOA prohibits antennas
FCC regulations override HOA regulations in many cases to allow you to have an outdoor antenna.
http://www.fcc.gov/guides/over-air-reception-devices-rule
Quote:
should I be worried about my HOA and grounding the antenna?
You should be worried that your outdoor antenna is grounded to meet NEC regulations for electrical safety and to prevent your insurance company from rejecting a claim if anything bad happens.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1333059/grounding-antenna-and-dish

If you get the channels you want indoors on one set, then use a splitter to feed the other sets, If the splitter makes the signals too weak, add a distribution amp like the CM3414.

If you don't get what you want with an indoor antenna, maybe you have an attic.

If you still don't get what you want, then you will have to put your antenna outside using one designed for UHF and VHF-high like the RCA ANT751 or the Winegard HD 7694P.
http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?mc=03&p=ANT751&d=RCA-ANT751-1080p-HDTV-Outdoor-Antenna-(ANT751)&c=TV Antennas&sku=044476064524
http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?mc=03&p=HD7694P&d=Winegard-HD-7694P-High-Definition-VHFUHF-HDHD769-Series-TV-Antenna-(HD7694P)&c=TV Antennas&sku=
Edited by rabbit73 - 2/18/13 at 4:37pm
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much for the informative reply. I hope I can pick up channels 7, 9 and 13 with the C2 because those are the channels I will probably watch most. I think I'll try the antenna indoors first, per your recommendation. I might try to install it in the unfinished area above my garage. Would I still need to ground the antenna? Where should I direct the antenna, 300 degrees?
post #4 of 18
I'm not so sure an indoor antenna will give good results. You are 27 miles away from the towers for the majority of the stations which is a lot to ask for an indoor antenna. And PBS on VHF 13 is 38 mies away. VHF is always going to be harder to get for an indoor antenna.
You can certainly test out your antenna. If the results are not good, you are going to probably have to mount it outside.
Do you live in a house, townhouse, condo? Do you have an attic? You could also try the antenna in the attic.
post #5 of 18
We do offer a C2->C2V upgrade kit on our website. Unfortunately, it's out of stock at the moment with expected availability after Easter.

Shop now > Accessories > Reflectors
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
So I may have actually purchased the UHF/VHF version of the antenna. This is the one I bought:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007RH5GZI/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I'm really hoping I can get away with mounting it in my unfinished garage. Does it still need to be grounded?
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
I live in a house and do have an attic. I haven't been in the attic yet but the primary reason I would mount it in the garage or on the roof outside the garage is that I could run it to the Comcast service box outside the garage so that it would feed all of my cable outlets in the house (correct me if I'm wrong). I don't use Comcast for Internet so there shouldn't be any interference.
post #8 of 18
Yeah, that's the correct antenna you ordered.

If you mount it in the attic or inside the garage, it does not need to be grounded. But keep in mind the higher you place the antenna, the better. So if your attic is higher than the garage, it would probably be better.
But nothing is guaranteed until you try it out. So I would try inside the garage first and go from there. If the results are not good, you probably have to put it outside. Make sure you point the antenna towards the WNW where your stations are coming from.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the help. I really appreciate it! I'm going to work on this this weekend. I'll keep you posted.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Okay one more question before I get started on the install. The Comcast line in feeds to my basement, where this splitter splits the signal to the 8 TV jacks in my house. As of right now, I'll only have 2 TVs hooked up to the antenna and only one running at a time.

http://www.amazon.com/On-Q-Legrand-VM1002-Enhanced-Splitter/dp/B000S9IRDU

Am I going to run into signal loss issues if I use this splitter?
post #11 of 18
Since there's no such thing as a free lunch, there's always a certain amount of signal power lost in cabling and splitters. The key to the puzzle is to understanding the amount of the loss and ensuring that we provide enough signal at the input of the cabling scheme so that the output, after losses, is still enough to adequate reception. Think of checking your bank balance before going shopping so you know what your spending budget is. Similarly, we do need to keep our input and loss budgets in mind. Your local signals are very strong since you're close so there aren't any concerns in that department.

The On-Q splitter you indicated probably has a maximum of around 8 dB of insertion loss. If you were to add 100' of RG6 coax total run (antenna to splitter plus longest from splitter to set), you'd have a total loss budget of approximately 14 dB. As long as the signal at the antenna terminals is 14 dB greater than the signal required at the TV, reception should work. In practice, another 10+ dB of additional margin is desirable.

Since you won't be using all of the outlets of the splitter, installing a 75 ohm F-terminator on any otherwise open outlet is strongly recommended.

One of this forums participants (rabbit73, maybe?) has, in the past, posted an illustration that shows the concept quite well.

Don't drill any holes until you've tested reception in the selected spot. I've learned that signals often don't cooperate with our choice of the easy spot.
post #12 of 18
I have always placed 75 ohm F terminators on unused outlets of splitters but often wondered if that negates the loss incurred by using a splitter with more outlets than needed. I have a feeling it does not. It would be appreciated if a member with greater engineering experience would chime in while this subject is raised.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BulldogBBall View Post

Thank you all for the help. I really appreciate it! I'm going to work on this this weekend. I'll keep you posted.

Be aware that you may have reception problems on certain channels due to multipath interference. Try different locations in your garage to find the 'sweet spot' before you lock down the antenna.
post #14 of 18
Terminators prevent undesired signal reflections in the cabling that might otherwise be caused by unterminated outlets but they don't negate the splitter's insertion loss. Using them is good practice just like wearing a seatbelt when in an auto. You don't need them until you REALLY need them.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProjectSHO89 View Post

Terminators prevent undesired signal reflections in the cabling that might otherwise be caused by unterminated outlets but they don't negate the splitter's insertion loss. Using them is good practice just like wearing a seatbelt when in an auto. You don't need them until you REALLY need them.
That is about what I thought from my prospective as a hobbiest. So, it sounds as if the OP in this thread should replace that 8 way splitter with a two way.
post #16 of 18
It probably doesn't matter, he has plenty of signal. A difference of 4 dB insertion loss isn't going to affect reception of any of his local stations.

Keeping the above shopping budget going, if you have a bigger than usual paycheck, you don't mind paying full price for that Porterhouse instead of waiting until it goes on sale at the meat department at the Piggly Wiggly.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BulldogBBall View Post

Okay one more question before I get started on the install. The Comcast line in feeds to my basement, where this splitter splits the signal to the 8 TV jacks in my house. As of right now, I'll only have 2 TVs hooked up to the antenna and only one running at a time.

http://www.amazon.com/On-Q-Legrand-VM1002-Enhanced-Splitter/dp/B000S9IRDU

Am I going to run into signal loss issues if I use this splitter?

If you are only going to have 2 TV's hooked up, I would just replace the 8 port splitter with a 2 way splitter
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Alright I have an update. Everything went great, really want to thank you all for your help.

This was a perfect first time install for a newby like myself. I was able to install the antenna above my garage and get all the channels that TVFool said I should on both TV's. It was very convenient because the feed line from Comcast ran above my garage to the splitter in the basement. I cut the feed line and put a new RG6 connector on the end to attach to the antenna. At the 8-way splitter, I used F-terminators on the outlets that I wasn't using. I considered replacing it with a 2-way splitter but I like having the option to add connectivity without buying a new splitter every time.

I purchased the antenna and J-mount (used) from an Amazon merchant. It came without the base to the mount so the antenna is temporarily installed above my garage until they send the base to me. I'll try to post pics when I get it all cleaned up.

Really appreciate the help, guys.
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