Originally Posted by marvac
Well, I went to Radio Shack and bought the HBU33, stuck it on my roof and it did much better than the RCA ANT751, especially when I attached the RCA preamplifier that I had purchased with the RCA antenna. I can pick up about 23 channels with it lying flat on my roof. The only finicky channel left is KSTW, which I do want. The weird thing is that I tried mounting it to a 4 foot mast and attaching it to my chimney and I only got about half the channels as I did with the thing just sitting on the roof. The "sweet spot" seemed to be sitting right on top of the chimney (where I obviously can't leave it) pointed straight at a big pine tree about 200' away. Go figure.
Anyway, now I'm debating whether I should return the HBU33 and get a bigger one with a "real" amplifier just as insurance down the road. Since I know that I can receive where I am would a bigger antenna be better all around?
I'm also curious what the correct way is to connect an amplifier when there are multiple TVs. Do you put the power injector just before the splitter? In my case that would be outside, which is probably a no no.
It's a hard one to predict. Bigger is almost always better when you shooting for one direction, but you are going for three, roughly. The key is what channels are you having problems with. If it's 9, 11 or 13, than a bigger one might be in order, like the HBU 44. That one and the HBU 55 will improve those channels, but not the UHF ones, as that part of the antenna is identical on all three models. A better preamp would defintely help. Use the Channelmaster 7777. It has a separate injector for the power, so you can locate the actual power supply indoors. You just need to run a coax cable outside to the injector. As long as the injector is anywhere between the preamp and the first splitter for your TV's, it's fine. It also won't have as much signal loss through it as using a 2way power pass splitter. Be sure to seal all connections well and run a ground wire from the TV splitter for protection. A lot of times we get what I like to call mini static hits that won't take your tree down or burn up the house, but it can wipe out a preamp. Run a ground wire up to the mast as well. You get a lot of wind there, and storms come at you right up the Sound.
As for the location, try all four corners of your chimney if possible. It's surprising how many times just the one corner works. If you use your chimney, try the SW corner first and then the NW corner. The winds will help keep the smoke from trashing the antenna over time. Also, keep it at least 3ft above the chimney. If you're using chimney straps, use a third one in the middle. Yeah, overkill, but the winds will loosen it up over time, so the tighter you can keep the mast from whipping around, the better. And give it a check at least once a year. If the chimney surround is wood, use a third bracket.
It's a bit of extra work, but if you get it right, it will last many years.
Weather is going to be great for the next 4 or 5 days, which is very rare around here, so plan the project sooner than later!
Let us know what happens.