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Antenna help needed for NC - Page 2

post #31 of 66
Thread Starter 





I am sorry, but I am still trying to figure out how to post photos here. I hope that either this one or the previous post has them OK.
post #32 of 66
Thread Starter 
Again I apologize. I thought they didn't post, so I did it again and now they are here twice. Again I am really sorry.
post #33 of 66
I don't think it will survive high winds, which your area no doubt gets even if on the periphery of an offshore hurricane or when they decay to Tropical Storm strength before they pass over your area. And BTW, hurricanes & tropical storms are coming more frequently, with increasing strength, due to Global Climate Change:
http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/hurrarchive.asp

You could move it more towards the center of the house, allowing the use of four guy wires radiating away from the top antenna.

In the current location, I would recommend adding three guy wires from the top antenna to each side of the house and another on the other end of the gable. Since you can't add a guy wire on the opposite side, I recommend adding a bracing pole diagonally at 60-45 degrees from the vicinity of the lower antenna to the gable.
Edited by holl_ands - 10/28/13 at 11:17am
post #34 of 66
Thread Starter 
Do others feel that it is too high also? How much should I lower it to avoid guy wires? I am using a very heavy duty mount (Winegard0012) so I thought this would be OK.
post #35 of 66
If you are combining these 2 antennas on one cable before splitting, then that can cause problems. They can interfere with each other. Must be identical lengths of cable before from each antenna before combining. Try running one cable from one antenna to one TV, no splitter. See if reception improves. And make sure the antennas are pointed the correct direction. One toward Charlotte, and one towards Greensboro. And both cities have separate antenna sites for the towers, so you will have to find a sweet spot. And you will definitely need an amp of some sort. Both Channel Master and Motorola make 4 port and 8 port distribution amps which are good choices.
post #36 of 66
Thread Starter 
Do I didn't combine them. One TV is on one antenna only. We have them faced like they were originally but (lower down) finding the sweet spot where we could pick up both Charlotte and Greensoboro and we got 41 channels then (for the last few months). Now we are getting 37 with some pixelation. I am still really unsure about which models of splitter to get. For instance the one that is #CDA4 apparently have two different models to choose from and I am unsure about what specs I need to make sure that I get. They are Antennas Direct CDA4 4-Way Output TV/CATV Distribution Amplifier AND CDA4A BiDirectional 4Way 1GHz CATV Drop Amplifier with Active Return Quad output Frankly I don't understand any of that. LOL. Thanks for your help.
post #37 of 66
What direction are the antennas aimed? The Clearstream 4s are very directional antennas and are unlikely to work well when not aimed very closely to the actual signal direction. What channels do you get with each antenna? Also what channels (networks) do you feel you need? The stronger channels come from approx 49 deg. true but don't seem to have an NBC station. The stations from about 232-254 true are a lot weaker but seem to be a more complete set of networks although PBS is a VHF channel and you might need a different antenna for it. You are trying to get stations from two different markets which is difficult.
Aiming at the 49 deg stations should get them well without a preamp but probably not any of the others. A preamp should be unnecessary, likely to overload and actually hurt reception. If fact an attenuator may be helpful with signals as strong as predicted.
Aiming at about 240 probably get the other market but whether any of the 49 deg stations work will be a crap shoot. It this case a low gain preamp would probably help.
Since you have two antennas you could try aiming them in opposite directions and combining some or all of the channels or even using a switch to get the two different markets.
The splitting and possibly distribution amp questions can be addressed after you are happy with reception on one TV.
John
post #38 of 66
One possible problem. Charlotte and Greensboro are 2 different directions, and you have both antennas pointed the same way. So you could be expected to have problems with reception from one of the markets, as the reflector can reduce or block signals from the back of the antenna. One of the antennas should be re-aimed. Which channels are you having problems with? And for Charlotte, I would place a preamp at the antenna to avoid signal loss. Some of the channels are 55 miles, such as WBTV, WCNC, WJZY. The Winegard LNA-200 may be a good choice preamp. But again, the Channel Master distribution amps are often recommended on this forum and can be found for a reasonable price.
post #39 of 66
Thread Starter 
I have them both (Clearstream4) aimed at a sweet spot between Charlotte and Greensboro and have at this point, one TV to each antenna seperately (have seven TVs to be added). And I would be happy if I got 41 channels again, although a few more like channels 16 and 17 would be great also. My main pixilation problem is with Channel 55 and sometimes 2, 3, and 8 as well. Can I use a pre-amp at the antenna (one or both of them) plus an amplified splitter where the cables go into the house or is that too much power? I do not know what my signal strengths are, nor do I know how to check them . Sorry. Sigh. And I am still unsure of the exact key wording needed for my amplfied splitter such as does it need to have a passive return path, internet AMP, internet modem signal booster, etc. ? If this helps, I have a Sony Blu-Ray with Wi-Fi on two of the TVs, but the others are without that added device and our main TV is a Smart TV, although apparently when it comes to this kind of stuff, I am not. Smart, that is. LOL. Thanks for all of your help.
post #40 of 66
If you can re aim the two antennas I could make suggestions. But if you don't want to get a Motorola BDA 4. http://www.amazon.com/Motorola-Signal-Booster-BDA-S4-Amplifier/dp/B000WPGRKK

The specs that matter in an amp for your use are noise figure, gain, and overload point. Unfortunately all three are rarely provided by the manufacture. The BDA 4 is most likely to work for you.
John
post #41 of 66
The above mentioned BDA-S4 distribution amp from Motorola is indeed a very good amp as I also mentioned previously. The design circuitry and noise figure is very good on this model. Also the Channel Master 3414 version is good also. And I would consider again re-aiming those antennas. The Charlotte and Greensboro signals come from 2 different directions, but it looks like you are trying to find a sweet spot for both markets which may not be possible for all channels, unless perhaps removing the reflector screen.
post #42 of 66
I hope you haven't given up! Unfortunately, higher up isn't always better with TV antennas. Sometimes you will find more interference that way. You said you had better luck when your antenna was down near the ground, so you may need to slide them down some, or even try turning them slightly one way or another. Those kind of antenna are VERY Directional, and the slightest movement can make big differences in the strength of the signal. Is anything in the path of the direction the antennas are facing? I have to agree with Hollands that I don't believe all that weight on the mast will survive high winds. I wish I had seen your post earlier and told you about the Winegard 8800 UHF antenna. It is very light, powerful, and at a good price. Those clearstream models to me stand out too much.
post #43 of 66
Yes that Winegard 8800 is often underrated in favor of the other 8-bay versions. And it is indeed lightweight and easy to hang from rafters in attic or install outside. Plus it can also receive HiVHF. I think the OP just needs some tweaking or modifications with her set up. And a preamp or dist amp. She should be able to receive most Charlotte and Greensboro channels. But both of her antennas should not be pointed the same direction. That may be part of the problem. Unless she can find a sweet spot between the 2 markets and remove the reflector screen.
post #44 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post

Yes that Winegard 8800 is often underrated in favor of the other 8-bay versions. And it is indeed lightweight and easy to hang from rafters in attic or install outside. Plus it can also receive HiVHF. I think the OP just needs some tweaking or modifications with her set up. And a preamp or dist amp. She should be able to receive most Charlotte and Greensboro channels. But both of her antennas should not be pointed the same direction. That may be part of the problem. Unless she can find a sweet spot between the 2 markets and remove the reflector screen.

I think I would try one of the clearstreams around 15 to 20 feet high like she had originally, and leave the other on the peak for the stations further away, and try combining them that way. Also shorten the mast on the house to keep from having wind problems. Plus swaying in the breeze can cause signal drop-outs, and may be her problem right now.
post #45 of 66
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I will be ordering our splitters shortly. Just trying to decide between the Motorola or the Channel Master.
post #46 of 66
Thread Starter 
Thanks ctdish and tylersc for the help and the info.

jspenc, I haven't given up yet, but I am frustrated :-) Thanks for your help.
post #47 of 66
Thread Starter 
tylersc, why is it a problem for them both to be placed in the same direction? Since I am hooking both up them up to different TVs, they both need to pick up both Charlotte and Greensboro, and that is the only way that I can think of to accomplish it. BTW, what and where is the reflector screen on my Clearstreams4 and would I remove both or just one of them? Again, I thank you all for your help. I had not received any emails informing me of more replys, so I didn't know that I had any. Thanks !!!!
post #48 of 66
The gray circular looking things are the active elements, and the larger wire squares behind them are the reflector screens. It is important that the antenna be pointed so that the gray elements are aimed toward the TV stations towers that you are interested in watching. You may in fact have it pointed backwards. smile.gifbiggrin.gif (if you didn't know which side was which)
post #49 of 66
Thread Starter 
Thanks jspenc, I will defintely check them. Who knew that antennas could be so complicated?
post #50 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by crystal54 View Post

tylersc, why is it a problem for them both to be placed in the same direction? Since I am hooking both up them up to different TVs, they both need to pick up both Charlotte and Greensboro, and that is the only way that I can think of to accomplish it. BTW, what and where is the reflector screen on my Clearstreams4 and would I remove both or just one of them? Again, I thank you all for your help. I had not received any emails informing me of more replys, so I didn't know that I had any. Thanks !!!!
Charlotte and Greensboro are probably in 2 different directions from your location. But it seems like you are trying to find a sweet spot to receive both markets from the front and back of the antenna. Which is why the reflector screen should be removed because it will block or interfere with the signals from the back of the antenna. And some TV tuners handle multipath signals and error correction better than others. But once you order the amplified splitters it may help stabilize the signals and prevent dropouts. The Channel Master dist amps should be less expensive and work fine. You may have better results once you add the amps. But one of those Clearstream antennas placed properly without the screen should work fine. But you would need the 8-port dist amp to properly service all 7 TVs. And have that amp near the antenna or add a preamp. Long cable runs lose signal before the amp.
post #51 of 66
Thread Starter 
We had decided to use one of the antennas for each set of TVs and not try to combine them and then split it up 7 or 8 ways. We just thought this might be a better idea. So, if I understand it correctly, I should remove the shield from one of the antennas and then use the 4-port splitter on each one. Does it matter if the shield comes off of the lower or the upper antenna since they are each going to different TVs? With the amplified splitter, I am hoping to not need a pre-amp. Hopefully anyway. smile.gif
post #52 of 66
Several of us have recommended reaming the antennas because that is the way you are most likely to get reliable reception from both of the cities that provide signals at your location. I understand that trips up a ladder or on a roof are a PIA, but that is the way to improve reception from what you are getting now. Removing the reflector from one of your antennas will make it bidirectional so could be an approach to improvement. But given that you already have two antennas, reaming and putting a preamp on the one getting the more distant stations would be my suggestion.
Splitting the signal seven ways can be accomplished without the need for two antennas each split four ways.
I have a setup that gets signals from two cities by combining two antennas pointed in different directions. Your situation is similar but has the advantage of much stronger signals so should be simpler to make work.
John
post #53 of 66
Thread Starter 
Thanks John. I do understand the recommendations, but it is really not an option for me I fear. My husband is unable to do this due to a back injury and another soon-to-be surgery, and I dare not ask the person back that so generously did this for us and on a borrowed ladder to boot. So, I guess that I will just buy the signal amplifiers and see what happens, signal or nor signal, wind or no wind. I truly appreciate all of the help and suggestions.
post #54 of 66
Point one antenna for Charlotte and another for Greensboro. Combine with equal length coax into a 2-way reverse splitter. Run one cable from the splitter into an 8-port distribution amp. Connect the amp to the 7 TVs. Or if there is a long cable run from the antenna, use a preamp. That set up should work best. It is just a matter of doing it right. Otherwise there will always be problems. You can't always just throw up any antenna and expect it to work. It must be done properly, especially with digital TV. Perhaps you can find an installer in your area to help. Good luck.
post #55 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post

Point one antenna for Charlotte and another for Greensboro. Combine with equal length coax into a 2-way reverse splitter. Run one cable from the splitter into an 8-port distribution amp. Connect the amp to the 7 TVs. Or if there is a long cable run from the antenna, use a preamp. That set up should work best. It is just a matter of doing it right. Otherwise there will always be problems. You can't always just throw up any antenna and expect it to work. It must be done properly, especially with digital TV. Perhaps you can find an installer in your area to help. Good luck.

I agree, that this method is the way to do the install. The other way I would recommend is with a rotor. I hope someone on this site is near you and will see this, and will volunteer to help you fix this up.
post #56 of 66
Thread Starter 
Thank you tylerSC and jspENC forall of your thoughtful help and encouragment. I appreciate it greatly. I will keep you all informed of any progress and I sincerely thank you all again.
post #57 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by crystal54 View Post

Thank you tylerSC and jspENC forall of your thoughtful help and encouragment. I appreciate it greatly. I will keep you all informed of any progress and I sincerely thank you all again.
Glad to try and help. I grew up in Concord so I am familiar with your location and the Charlotte and Greensboro channels. Wish I was close by and I would come over and help you out. But I hope you can get some help and get things working.
post #58 of 66
Thread Starter 
tylerSC, thank you again for all of your kind help and support . I also wanted to keep the forum up to date and to ask more questions (of course :-) I have learned alot on here, but I still need some (OK-alot-LOL) of hand-holding for the process.

I was unable to get anyone willing or able to move or change the antennas any, so they are still up high (please note the previously posted pictures) and with each one of them used as a separate antenna and then going to be split four ways. We had previously had each antenna hooked up (so far) to only one TV each and as such, had mediocre but acceptable reception and signal strength. Then over the holiday, we added one more TV to one of the antennas and as a result, suffered a major loss of signal strength and channels.

So then, today I ordered two of the Channel Master 3414 4 Outputs Distribution Amplifiers
to use with our system. Although I am hoping for some major improvement with this CM 3414, I am also preparing for the inevitable, and that is that I may need a preamp for the antennas as well.

Now here is the question---If I do need to also add a preamp for the two TV antennas, will I need to put one per antenna and then where in the process will they be located at in reference to the splitters?

Thanks again for all of your help and I hope that you all had a great and a Merry Christmas.
post #59 of 66
Those Channel Master distribution amps work very well with the proper application. Moderate gain but resistant to overload and distortion. Hopefully they will help, but your antennas will need to be placed correctly. If you do decide to order a preamp, then you will need one for each separate antenna, as you have 2 separate antenna set ups, and they are not combined. Possibly a Channel Master 7778 or a Winegard LNA-200. The Winegard is a good new design and priced better. But try the dist amps first. Hopefully they will work unless the cable run from the antenna to amp is too long, or the antennas are pointed incorrectly. Good luck.
post #60 of 66
Thread Starter 
Thank you again tylerSC. The two Channel Master 3414 are supposed to be here next week and I will let you know what happens with them. I have been looking at the Clearstream4 instructions and it doesn't seem as if they can be installed without using the reflectors, as they are the part that the antenna is bolted to. So, I am hoping for some great news with adding the amplified splitters. I will let you know.
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