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Los Angeles, CA - OTA - Page 2

post #31 of 9442
Mario --

The problem with trying to put the 4228 in an attic is that it won't fit through the access hole. It is about 4 feet square.

Actually, the 4-bay version, the 4221, works just as good for me. I'm helping my neighbor get setup and I ordered him a 4221. When I got it I did some comparison tests and it had virtually the same numbers as the 4228, both with a 7775 preamp. Just to verify that the 1171 would perform equally as well, I tried it with both the 4221 and the 4228 and the numbers were exactly the same.

The problem with CM and WG is you can't find any of their stuff locally, which really frustrates me. I'm normally the poster-child for impulse buyers so ordering anything online or over the phone is extremely hard for me. The reason I found the 1171 is because I have literally tried every single amplifier I could get my hands on, trying to find one locally that works as well as the 7775. You can imagine my glee when I found out how well the 1171 performs!

I haven't found a place in our local area where the RS 2160 with an amp didn't work just as well as the 4221 or the 4228. One of our local members has a 2160 in his attic and he gets "pegged" numbers across the board. If you don't want to go the Internet route, I'd give this antenna, along with the 1171 a shot.

-- Gary
post #32 of 9442
Well I ended up going with a CM 4308. Had it installed on the 23rd. I am not using a preamp and I am getting about 80% strength on most channels. Some higher and some a bit lower. I have not installed a preamp as of yet. Strange thing though I am still seeing some digital uglies which I assume are caused by drop out. I would not expect to see this at 80% strength. Debating now if I should add a preamp.

Antenna is outdoors and I went with it because the neighbor was having success with his.
post #33 of 9442
I went out to RS and bought the 1171 amp and the 2160 antenna. I installed the antenna in the attic today and no luck. The numbers are better with the Double Bow Tie. I couldn't get any locks with the 2160 (25-35 range). With the DBT I could get between 35-60.

I don't know if I should try the CM 4 or 8 bay antennas. Maybe I should just abandon the idea of putting it in the attic and go for the external option. Does anybody know how much an installer charge for putting up an external antenna? Any installer recommendations for S. Orange County?

Any ideas/suggestions are welcomed...

Mario C.
post #34 of 9442
Attic installations are tricky. Sometimes just moving a foot in either direction can make a huge difference. The problem is that there may be metal in the roofing material.

Just to get a benchmark, try taking the antenna outside and see what kind of numbers you get.

Where are you in south OC?

-- Gary
post #35 of 9442
I live in Rancho Santa Margarita, not direct line of sight 50 miles south of mount wilson, slightly below and south of a ridge line, mounted a CM4248 hi gain yagi to the side of the chimney on my roof coupled to a CM7775 uhf-only preamp, aimed at a low point in the ridge to the north, which comprise the high point in mission viejo across the oneil regional park barranca. The antenna is not too azimuth sensitive, and not at all sensitive to slight up or down aim vs level. So far as I can determine, I receive all the LA stations (13 digital plus all the spanish, korean, and japanese analogs) with good to excellent signal strength on a samsung t165 STB. No dropouts ever, and excellent hi-band reception (CBS, etc). koce-dt is broadcasting in low power for now, and I receive it with some noise in the picture. other than KOCE-DT,chan 38 and 39 (low power religious stations which I receive, but with noise) all the pictures are rock solid. You can get the CM4248 shipped to you in a few days from consumerdirect.com, less than $50 bucks, but it's got an 8 foot boom, reflector end is about 3 foot in vertical dimension. Keep in mind all the STB's have their idiosyncrasies too. Some may be more sensitive than others, even within a specific manufacturer and model. Maybe I was lucky. rgds, John Shulze
post #36 of 9442
Thread Starter 
Local terrain makes all the difference here in south O.C. since we're 50+ miles from the transmitters. If you don't have line-of-sight, antenna elevation makes a big difference.

A comment for Mario and his "no luck" attic installation: I considered an attic install myself, but changed my mind because the antenna would have aimed through a stucco attic wall. Stucco has steel mesh within its initial layer, which really cuts UHF signal levels. In our neighborhood, some attic antennas would aim through a tile roof, not quite as bad, but still far worse than a roof-mounted antenna.

I mounted a Winegard DS-3000 J-pipe mount to the fascia below my tile roof. I used machine bolts and nuts to through-bolt it to the 1" thick fascia. The pipe was cut to the needed length. This is basically the same mount that is supplied with Dish Network SATV dishes...

Stark Electronics carries them for a good price.

I still haven't had an opportunity to mount my Televes DAT-75. Since it's significantly larger than the RS yagi it's replacing, I decided to relocate the antenna mount to the back side of the house where it will be less visible. This presents a new set of challenges since access is more difficult.

ALso interesting to read that KOCE-DT is now operating from Mt. Wilson at low power levels. I can't wait to see if I can get their signal...

post #37 of 9442
Gary, I live in Rancho Sta. Margarita, my cross-streets would be Las Flores and Buena Suerte. I am not sure but I think I live close to John Shulze since his description of the terrain sounds awfully familiar. I am actually going to go over the manual to make sure I assembled the antenna correctly. I am planning in bringing the antenna down today and see what kind of signal I can get outside.

For those of you who live around here, how did you deal with the associations bylaws for putting up an external antenna. I contacted the assoc. offices and they told me they want a display/map of where the antenna is going to be, I need the signature of two neighbors, and that is just the application! They would then need to approve it. This is the main reason I wanted to put the antenna in the attic.

John, if you don't mind, who did the installation of the antenna for you? I think I read in a previous post you had a professional do it. I might have to go the same way as you.

GaryJC, I do have a tile roof. Since I had decent numbers with the RS Double Bow Tie I thought that a Yagi might be a bit better. I will try to play with it some more today.

Thanks for the support,

post #38 of 9442
Mario --

Before giving up on the attic installation, try moving it around a bit. Member Paul E has the same antenna in his attic in Mission Viejo and gets "pegged" numbers and his has to "point" at a large hill within about 50 feet of his place. He had said that moving it even a foot or two makes a huge difference.

Re: associations - It depends. If you have an unattached house you can tell your HOA to kiss-off. If you are in a "court" home, with a shared wall with a neighbor, the whole roof is considered common so you need their permission.

-- Gary
post #39 of 9442
Thread Starter 

When it comes to Association rules, Gary is referring to the FCC rule that supercedes all local antenna restrictions (for single family residences). If you Search the HDTV Local Reception Forum for "FCC" you'll find links to threads that talk about it, and links to the FCC page that discusses it.

Basically them FCC exempts all antennas and all dishes less than 3 foot diameter. stating that they cannot be disallowed or their mounting location legislated if such location adversely affects your reception, or increases your installation cost or serviceability. Period. Most association rules are just a lot of empty sabre rattling.

post #40 of 9442
I also live in Ranch Santa Margarita, in the very norhtern part of the city not too far from Melinda and Rancho Santa Margarita Parkway. I didn't ask for permission from the HOA, I just had an installer put the antenna up on my roof. Nobody at the HOA has complained, I do think they know they can't do anything about outdoor antennas.

I have a Weingard 9095 (UHF only, I think 39 elements) and it generally does a good job. It is mounted to a vent pipe and is at the height of the peak of my roof.

If anybody wants the name of the antenna installer, please private mail me and I will give you his name and number. He has done a lot of antenna installations and does know what he is doing.

post #41 of 9442
To mcastlejr:
Installed the antenna myself. Sorry, dont know any installers, but will be happy to describe to you how to go about it if you want to stop by the house, or private e-mail me. Rgds, John shulze
post #42 of 9442
I'm very new to Dt/HD and have a Mits ws65896 . I installed a RS2160 and a RS1170 to the dt plug and roof mounted the ant. I get nothing!! How the heck are people within 4 miles of me able to receive the sigs and not me? I moved the ant S/W/E/N with no real difference. I live a stone's throw from cook's corner and about 500 ft higher in elevation. I use the mits memorize feature on DT and I get no hits at all. When I switich to Ant B (analog) I get about 10 stations all with a lot of snow. Any advice. I'm going nuts trying to figure out what to do now.

post #43 of 9442
Thread Starter 

Seems unusual that you get zero results.

The RS 2160 antenna is very sensitive to direction. It should be pointed to a compass bearing of 330 degrees or so, for our area. For me, even small adjustments had a big effect on reception, both signal level and number of stations. If you have ridges in the way, you might have to try other antenna locations or directions. I jammed a wooden dowel in the rear-facing tube of that antenna and clamped the dowel to the top of a 6 foot ladder. I was able to use the ladder as a tripod while I tried other locations and directions. Also moving the legs inward from the locked position gave me a way to vary the elevation angle.

If you look at post #4 in the thread, the poster said this antenna might give better results pointed substantially off-axis, due to a lobe in its sensitivity pattern.

If your line-of-sight is blocked by a ridge, you might have to try other locations to find one that's not in a "null". I remember that a poster in Irvine reported that he walked around his yard with the antenna while his wife watched the TV in the house, reporting the results. After a frustrating half hour, he tossed the antenna to the ground, against the wood fence, in disgust. Suddenly his wife yelled out, "Hey honey, don't change a thing! Perfect reception on all channels!" So, don't give up yet...

Gary Goodrum says the RS1170 pre-amp performs poorly, while the cheaper 1171 performs well. You might want to looks at his other posts to see the comparison testing he's done. Also Gary mentioned that the local people experimenting with DTV reception might get together to compare results. You might want to PM (private message) him so he can let you know if this happens.

Unfortunately this is all trial and error, unless you have a neighbor who has already done the experiments. Look for the roof-mounted antenna that was probably mounted in the dark or when no one was around :-)

If you continue to get zero results, I'd start wondering about the receiver. While unlikely, it's not impossible.

Good luck,

PS I am often frustrated when posting at this forum. Although I'm logged in, when I go to post the message, it says "You are not logged in." From experience, I've learned to go back one page and copy the message text I've composed, because the new log-in never goes back to the Reply page. Well, it happened again, and I had to retype this reply because my Copy didn't work for some reason! It ALWAYS happens with this forum, but not with other forums using the same message board software. I'm beginning to think that AVS has an extremely short no-activity time-out, at which point they log you out automatically. Unfortunately it takes time to type messages and replies. I wonder if I'm the only one with this problem...
post #44 of 9442
Gary --

He did PM me and I'm trying to help him out. If we can't the RS 2160 to work, we may have found a home for that "extra" DAT-75!

Haven't had the same timeout problem lately, but I have seen it before. Maybe I'm just typing faster these days.

Still hoping to host a get-together soon. I'll let everybody know. For those that have expressed interest, please PM me with your email address so I can send out one message with all the details, etc.

-- Gary
post #45 of 9442
Well I think robhair has sorted out most of his problems now. It turns out he had a couple of "issues". First of all, Saddleback is in a direct LOS to Mt. Wilson from his location so that limits his options. As it turns out, he's on a pretty good sized hill so the SD stations are do-able.

I gave him the DAT-75 to try out and he called back to report he was getting reception now on most of the SD stations and he hasn't actually mounted it yet. It is laying on top of a patio cover.

-- Gary
post #46 of 9442
Gary and the guys,

I'm in HD heaven now. I watched the CBS football telecast today and can't be happier! Gary's right I can't get anything through Mt. Wilson, My neighbor used a GPS and Mt. Wil is blocked by the peak on saddleback. I am getting stations from San Diego ABC (superbowl YA!) CBS comes in fine. I get Fox with some dropouts. I had NBC but have since lost it. ABC 1000kw CBS 1000kw are at Mt. Solidad. Fox is Mexico. NBC and WB are at Mt. San Miguel and I still have the DAT 75 on the patio cover with no preamp. Monday I'll try the preamp and roof mount. I would like to give a big thanks to all of you that responded.
GGoodrum "Your Da Man", You made my day. I can't wait until the "experts at RS, Goodguys, Reeltime hear that we did the impossible.

Thanks again,
post #47 of 9442
Try for KPBS-HD on channel 30 from Mt. Miguel - its the most powerful digital HD station in San Diego. KGTV-DT(ABC) is 300KW and KFMB-DT(CBS) is 700KW.
post #48 of 9442
Thread Starter 
That's great news. I'm glad to hear the DAT-75 made a difference in overcoming your challenging terrain. Halfway decent results without a pre-amp! That must be a 75 mile distance. I wonder if you can hit all the SD stations without a rotator?

Again it's almost random luck that you can receive even the SD stations. Few people considered terrestrial TV reception when they bought their houses. The people in your neighborhood that are further down toward El Toro Road are probably blocked for both L.A. and S.D. DTV reception!

I have the twin brother to your DAT-75 - They are often ordered two at a time from the U.K. since the shipping costs are the same for 1 or 2. If you don't need a rotator, you might consider the Winegard DS-3000 J-pipe mount I mentioned earlier in this thread. It's about $20 from Stark Electronics.

I just finished modifying my mount so I can freely rotate the DAT-75, then clamp it down at the optimum azimuth setting. I have two roof mounting options, neither is ideal. I can mount my DAT-75 on the front side of the house (easy access for mounting and maintenance, but an eyesore) or on the back side of the house, aimed toward the street (reached only by a long extension ladder, but almost invisible from out front). The RS 2160 is presently out front, but the DAT-75 is gigantic by comparison and those orange plastic spreaders shout, "Hey, look at me!" to the world. I'll probably deal with mounting in the back of the house this week, which would be more satisfying in the long run.

post #49 of 9442

Yes mounting and aesthetics are now my main concern. I am getting kpbs (two stations 15.1-15.2). fox goes in and out. Abc great Cbs great.Wb goes in and out also. I have the DAT-75 Temp Taped to a air pipe on the roof. I do have a fireplace type mount from rs that I might use. The guys in the neighborhood think the ant. looks OK. The women just shake their heads and give me the "man thing" look. I'll let you know what happens next.

post #50 of 9442
Thread Starter 
Hopefully the pre-amp will give you consistently good signal levels.

Regarding mounts: In this area, a solid mount is nice to have whenever those Santa Ana winds threaten to relocate your $100 antenna to a different area code. A chimney mount should do the trick!

I am ever amazed at all the posts regarding satellite dishes out of whack after the winds kick up. There's something to be said for being able to readjust it yourself without waiting/paying for someone else to do it.

Good luck...
post #51 of 9442
I used to live in Porter Ranch and it blew there pretty constant from about October to March! I never had a problem with leaves, however. They ended up in Encino.

When I moved down here, I thought I was done with the 70 mph SAs but this last episode hit here with a vengence. I had a 4228 mounted on a 15-foot mast, attached to an upstairs deck. the wind snapped the mast in half and slammed the antenna, and 7775 preamp, to ground. Both are goners.

What I've replaced it with is a a pair of RS 2160s in a horizontal stack (38" apart...), mounted in the wind-protected corner of the deck using some heavy-duty 1-1/4 PVC pipe. I have this combo feeding my Sony HD200 via a RS 1171 amp and Im now getting the highest "numbers" I've ever seen at my location (all 12 channels well into the "Good" section...). The nice thing about this setup is that it is cheap and everything is readily available at pretty much any Radio Shack. Both antennas and all the PVC "tinker toys" cost less than the amp, which is about $50. Anyway, I'm very and haven't had a dropout yet. I'll post some pictures tomorrow.

-- Gary
post #52 of 9442
Two Gary's,

OK-now-- no LOL with this story. I've been perplexed for the last few days about how bad my sense of direction have been about E/W/S/N. I always thought I had a clue as to what general direction I was headed. When this whole issue about ant. adjustment came up, I kept hearing about Saddleback being in the way of Mt. Wilson. I always thought of Saddleback as northeast of me. I went to all the local experts RS, Goodguys, Reeltime, etc. and they all pretty much said the same thing. Today while driving to work and visually observing the mountain ranges I came to the conclusion that I had totally lost my mind and have no sense of direction at all. In order to confirm that fact I went back to my neighbors and asked him if I could look at his flight map that he used in helping me out. When he started pointing out where we were in relation to Saddleback It became obvious that I had at the very least a shot at Wilson.
Well fellas, he thought I had said Mt Palamar since I had been discussing San Diego DT stations with him. Well to make a long story short I climbed back up to the roof and swung that DT-75 aboout 180 d. around and tried again. I LOL when KCBS-KNBC-KTLA and about 5 spanish DT's turned on. LA Stations all over the place. To beat that I still got CBS San Diego from the wrong end of that DAT-75. I played with it about an hour and the signal at this time still seems stronger from San Diego. I want ABC for the game and could'nt find it in L.A. Can you beat that, I start out thinking I might not get any OTA DT and wind up with stations to the west of me and stations to the south. Please control your laughter.

post #53 of 9442

I'm so pleased I found this thread - it's provided me with a lot to think about. I took delivery of my MyHD last weekend, along with a Silver Sensor from DC (FYI it's less than 30 bucks, not 50 as mentioned earlier in this thread).

My problem is that I live in Aliso Viejo, near the top of the hill. However I'm on the wrong side of the hill for Mt. Wilson and with the SS indoors I can't see a single LA station. I managed to get the San Diego ABC and CBS stations reasonably well with the SS indoors.

As I have a hill directly in front of me does anyone have an opinion about whether-or-not I have a hope of getting the LA stations if I buy a better antenna? I don't want to spend a bunch of money on an antenna and getting it installed (not to mention my neighbors - there isn't a single other OTA antenna in my neigborhood) if it's not going to work.

My current thought is that I should consider an RS 15-2160 on a chimney-mount, and feed that into an RS 15-1170. I'm worried about multipath issues with the pre-amp though, because of the hill.

I'd appreciate thoughts/advice. Also - can someone tell me more about this local user-group I see mentioned here?

post #54 of 9442
Thread Starter 
Welcome to the thread!

Probably most of us are the HDTV pioneers in our neighborhoods. There's a saying, "The pioneers get all the arrows."

While association CC&Rs cannot prohibit roof antennas, most people are unaware of it, so the possibility of complaints is real. Quoting from the FCC web page, "The rule prohibits most restrictions that: (1) unreasonably delay or prevent installation, maintenance or use; (2) unreasonably increase the cost of installation, maintenance or use; or (3) preclude reception of an acceptable quality signal."

Tthe wording is subject to interpretation, but it's clear that roof antennas cannot be prohibited altogether. While satellite dish size can be limited to 3' maximum diameter, there are no similar size restrictions on VHF/UHF antennas.

Gary Goodrum has performed extensive testing. The RS 15-1171 pre-amp gives better results than the 1170 and costs less. Gary reports that it's comparable to the Channel Master UHF-only pre-amp.

The RS 15-2160 antenna is not large. It certainly is an inexpensive first test. Better yet - First try the Silver Sensor outside as a predictor of results. Get a long RG-6 coax from RS and even try the SS on the roof, if you can jury-rig a temporary mount.

You can expect a significant improvement once your antenna is outside, and then antenna elevation becomes the important factor. You have many antenna choices unfortunately (as the entire thread indicates. No telling what will work for you unless your neighbors have already done the experiments.

You bought your Siver Sensor antenna at "DC". What is DC?

Good luck,
post #55 of 9442

Thanks for the info. DC = Digital Connection.

I do understand that I am allowed to erect an antenna. I just don't want to upset my neighbors (even though I'm "legally" right). Hopefully there won't be any such problem but I'd like to investigate alternatives as long as I don't lose too much reception-wise.

Can you enlighten me on this local user-group?

post #56 of 9442
Thread Starter 
I understand your sensitivity to neighborhood concerns. I delayed deployment of my larger DAT-75 antenna while I pondered mounting alternatives. I have a convenient location on the front of the roof (where my RS 15-2160 was mounted), and a new location towards the back of the roof that is accessible at risk to life and limb (tall extension ladder, with base of ladder on top of my patio cover!). I finally concluded that both mounting options are clearly visible, just to different neighbors. I don't have a hidden location anywhere, unless I'm willing to seriously compromise signal reception. Like you, I'm behind a ridge. So, the DAT-75 goes up tomorrow in the original RS 15-2160 location!

I don't know much about the local user's group. I suspect people's interest is high until their own equipment is working. Once they get good reception, DTV antenna issues are no longer on their personal radar screens! Gary Goodrum seems to be an exception. He continues to test different setups even after his own equipment is working well. Gary said there might be a local gathering sometime soon. I suggest you PM (private mail) him to get on the list if a meeting is planned.

Meanwhile, feel free to post interim results here and ask questions as you run your own tests. If you want to borrow my RS 15-2160 for testing, it's available. Just PM me.

post #57 of 9442

Try taking your SS outside and see if you can pick up anthing outside. I had an SS and could not get a any signal inside. I took it outside and was able to get somewhat decent signal. I am in North OC so you might not have any luck, but thought I would throw my two cents in.

I ended with a channel master (cant remember the model) UHF only and I am very happy with mine. Works great and it is Chimney mounted and low so it should not bother too many people.

post #58 of 9442
Hi Andy --

The "local user-group" is basically this thread, plus a couple of others. A few of us "early members" met once and our next meeting is long overdue! I had hoped to host it last month but I haven't been able to due to various conflicts. I have two kids in high school and my wife frowns on doing anything on a "school night" and we've been busy every weekend. If somebody else wants to step up and host the next get together, I promise to do a future one, when school isn't an issue.

Now for your antenna problem, one thing I'd try first is what Gary suggests, and take the SS outside but point it up the hill, towards Mt. Wilson. Do a scan with the MyHD software but check the reception on the analog UHF stations. Chances are, if you get anything, it will be very snowy with heavy ghosting (i.e. -- multiple images...). The ghosting is multipath and multipath is the biggest problem digital tuners have to contend with in trying to lock onto the real signal. Anyway, if you do get some sort of analog reception on the analog UHF LA stations, no matter how bad, there is probably a solution we can come up with that will work.

I'm guessing that the multipath is bad enough that you'll need two antennas in a horizontally stacked configuration (see member Glenn_L's excellent website at www.atechfabrication.com for more info about stacking...). You might try a couple of 2160s, like I did, which won't set you back much. GaryJC is right, don't bother with the 1170 amp. The 1171 is the only one in the RS catalog that actually has a low enough noise factor to work well. If the 2160s won't work you can try a couple of larger yagis. Worst case you might have to use a couple of monster DAT-75s (!).

-- Gary
post #59 of 9442

Thank you for the input. I got the urge to buy something today, so I ended up with a ChannelMaster 3017 (VHF/UHF) - it's way too big for outside use but I'm going to try it in the attic. I only ended up with this because I couldn't find a UHF-only antenna - RS were sold-out of the 2160s

I bought two line amps - a Leviton 25db Amp (48210-VA) and the recommended RS 15-1171. I tried them both tonight with the SS and the results seemed less than stellar (the SS was still inside). Signals were hardly increased from San Diego over no amp, but the Leviton unit seemed to have a higher gain (as per specs). I still was unable to get any LA channels (even analog) from indoors.

Questions -
1. Does anyone know about this CM 3017 antenna? Is it better than the RS 2160? I suspect I should try and get hold of a couple of 2160 as mentioned above and stack them. . .
2. Anyone have any opinions on the Leviton amp, and why I got such a lacklustre response from the RS amp?

post #60 of 9442
You are going to have to get the antenna outside. Even the attic is not going to be optimum because of metal used in the roofing. The UHF portion of the 3017 is similar to the 3022 UHF-only, which is similar in size, a least, to the RS 2160.

The amps will increase the signal-to-noise ratio but the problem is that indoors at your location the combination of severe multipath and weak receptionis keeping the receiver from being able to lock onto the actual signal.

Take the 3017 outside and hold it, or get somebody to hold it, so that you can move it around to see if it makes a difference. Use the 1171 only, for now, to get a baseline. Try pointing it towards Mt Wilson and change the vertical/elevation angle and also try different horizontal/azimuth angles as well. Repeat this process from different locations in the yard and then have sombody read off how many "bars" you get on the MyHD signal strength readout. I used my cell phone so I could talk to my wife without yelling back and forth.

Re: 2160 availability, you can have your local RS check their computer to see what other stores in your area might have them in stock. They cost about $22.

As I said, I am using two 2160s stacked horizontaly (using PVC...) into a 1171 amplifier and I have dropout-free reception of all 12 LA stations. Here"s a couple of pics:

-- Gary
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