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post #151 of 1737
Geoff,

The FCC's OTARD Rule allows members of neighborhood associations to put up outside antennas for reception of broadcast TV signals as long as those antennas are not located in common areas and are no more than 12 feet in height. Not having read the ruling, my assumption is that this means the mast cannot be more than 12 feet higher than the roofline.

With a four foot mast on my roof the total height of the installation should be about 20-21 feet from the ground. I'm expecting this to be sufficient.

Are the bylaws in Colonial Gables silent on aerial antenna installations?

Regards,

Dan
post #152 of 1737
News flash! My HOA may actually be planning to give me an official OK to install a rooftop antenna!

I didn't expect this. On 11/2 the HOA denied my petition to install a roof antenna. After a couple days of trying, I spoke with our HOA's President personally and made my case. Our development, VillageWalk, is still under construction by DiVosta, so they ARE the HOA. We had a nice chat. It turns out he didn't really read my petition, just dismissed it out of hand because I wanted to mount an antenna more than three feet high. Why is it that everyone thinks exclusively in terms of satellite antennas? Anyhow, I educated him a little on DTV and how I had to have line of sight, just like a satellite user. It's interesting...he knew about OTARD but didn't want to have to admit he had no choice but to let me install an antenna. The good news is that he's going to save face by re-examining my petition and reviewing it with DiVosta's general counsel. Corporate types. You would think I wanted to install a missile silo. Since the Architectural Control Committee (ACC) is three DiVosta guys and a quorum is only two members, I believe I'll get my official OK from the HOA.

Just to give myself some insurance, I submitted an appeal of the ACC ruling to the Board of Directors of the HOA (again, all DiVosta VPs). I sent them the FCC Fact Sheet on OTARD and a copy of the Lubiner and Galvin Petition for Declaratory Ruling to FCC. This ruling is a proxy for my request. The Memorandum Opinion and Order of the FCC ruled in favor of the petitioners.

I called the FCC the other day to see if there are any teeth in the OTARD Rule. After examining the FACT SHEET and a number of Petitions for Declaratory Rulings, I haven't seen anything that speaks to penalties an HOA would be facing if they continued to deny an antenna installation request or attempted to fine or place a lien on a propertyholder who installed an antenna. No one called back. Does anyone have insight into this facet of the law?

For those of you happy to see me jumping over the cliff, I've made an appointment to have the antenna mounted this week. Sound Advice came back with an installation charge double their previous estimate; probably because I didn't buy the antenna from them. I called High Tech Electronics and spoke with Ken. Since they no longer do installations, he referred me to a highly recommended tradesman, Dominick Jaroszynski. Ken couldn't say enough good things about him. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Say, is WTSP-DT still transmitting? I did a review of available stations for my location at checkhd.com and they show this CBS affiliate as NTSC-only.

Regards to all,

Dan
post #153 of 1737
Dan:

Congratulations!!! It sounds like you have now set a standard for your community. I'll be anxious to hear about your signal reception results once you get your antenna up.

Yes, WTSP-DT is transmitting. I sometimes get their signal before it falls off. However, I have no plans to raise my antenna above its current height.

Good luck,
post #154 of 1737
Dan,
Congratulations on the soon coming install, you will love it and I hope you get CBS.

I have no idea about our bylaws as no one enforces them. The only ones I know about are keeping a junk yard in your front yard. Know what I mean?

Keep us posted on how your install goes and if you get CBS.

By the way Ken is person that installed my antenna, a really nice guy.

GeoffQ
post #155 of 1737
Ron,

Thanks. I hope it comes to pass. The HOA President seemed most concerned about 1) my location on the street and how visible the antenna would be to others and 2) the potential for additional requests.

I guess I passed the first test by explaining my backyard is not on the walkway that runs along many of the lakes and that my rear-facing neighbors are on the other side of a lake from my home. The closest neigbor to the antenna is a good friend who really doesn't care. I think I diffused the second issue by explaining the hurdles someone must get over in order to receive OTA DTV. HDTV-ready sets aren't cheap, ATSC tuners are at least $250, the antenna is $100 and installation work can be $150. And how many people will fight with the HOA? Little does he know that a friend of mine three doors down is ready to lift a mast as soon as the dust clears.

The installer will probably be here tomorrow. I'll go with his recommendations, but I really want to avoid going higher than four feet above the roof. This is what I submitted to the HOA. With luck, I'll be able to mount it even lower.

Take care,

Dan
post #156 of 1737
Quote:


Originally posted by GeoffQ
Dan,
Congratulations on the soon coming install, you will love it and I hope you get CBS.

Thanks, Geoff. Yes, grabbing CBS is my objective. If we have difficulty tomorrow, I guess I'll have to remain open to adding a rotor, as Ron did.

Ken is a nice guy, isn't he? In a prior call I spoke with Al, and he was helpful and friendly, too.

I'll keep you posted.

Dan
post #157 of 1737
Dan,

Sounds like you're getting there.

I'm not a laywer, but it seems to me the only legal way for your Homeowner's association to deny your request in the face of federal law would be if they went through the trouble of installing a central antenna system for the entire complex. In that case as long as the central antenna worked you wouldn't have a problem anyway.

If they are really against you installing an antenna I expect they'll resort to
social pressure from your neighbors, since they don't have any legal foothold.

By the way, I have friends who live in VillageWalk. Very nice place and I imagine very comforting to live there during hurricanes since everything is constructed of reinforced concrete.

Larry
post #158 of 1737
Quote:


Originally posted by djmorris
If we have difficulty tomorrow, I guess I'll have to remain open to adding a rotor, as Ron did.
Dan

The Channel Master rotor is cheap (<$100 from Starke) and maybe necessary if you plan to pull in Ft. Myers. If it were me having the installation done, I would put the rotor in during the initial installation.

Just my 2 cents.
post #159 of 1737
Quote:


Originally posted by Ron Tobin
I would put the rotor in during the initial installation.

Hi, Ron.

I don't know. Maybe I'm being penny wise and pound foolish and should install the rotor. The issue for me is whether it is really needed given my objective of reaching WTSP-DT. I'm confident all the other stations north of here will come in OK since most of them are at 21 to 24 degrees north. WTSP is at 349 degrees north which makes me think I may need a rotor to get it. The only way to find out is to try, and as you imply, I may be putting up a rotor later. I'm concerned that 30 degrees of difference and an additional 25 miles in distance may make it tough to get. Perhaps if the antenna is aimed at WTSP I can still pull the other stations because they are closer.

Ft. Myers only has allure if WTSP is unreachable and I have to bide my time for WINK to go digital.

What's your opinion?

Dan
post #160 of 1737
Quote:


Originally posted by LarryChanin
Dan,

Sounds like you're getting there.

Hi, Larry.

A central antenna would be wonderful. In the HOA's mind, they have effectively done that by making the Comcast analog station package (2-70) available as part of the homeowner association fees. Everybody gets the package, whether they want it or not. I'm sure this was done to dissuade anyone from wanting to put up an antenna. One of the CC&Rs goes so far as to say that an antenna is not allowed if a home is equipped with cable.
Too bad they're not piping DTV over that cable. Then we'd have something.

Thanks for the complement on VillageWalk. Poured concrete walls with reinforcing steel sure does sound good. I just pray that we never have to put it to the test!

My neighbors are pretty benign. And like most places, people are finding ways to bend or break the Covenants, Codes and Restrictions. One neighbor had a contractor put in a pool and cage without bothering to get approval. He basically killed the irrigation system for half a block as a result. He made a lot of friends. Another neighbor parks his commercial vehicle in front of his home every evening; another no-no. And he's the elected neighborhood representative to the HOA!

The real complaint against antennas is that they are unsightly. Well, everything is relative. I find big, black solar pool panels on a roof far more unsightly. So as far as I'm concerned, the HOA has established a precedent for a level of acceptable uglyness and I'm way below it.

Dan
post #161 of 1737
Dan, sounds like you are making progress. As you might recall I am in Englewood and have my antenna temporarily on my lanai roof and am getting all the Fort Myers stations. A little pixeling on PBS but others are great. Have not tried for CBS Tampa yet but don't have a lot of hope. Will give it a try soon.

I am not an attorney but I believe their attempt at a remedy, should you proceed, is strictly civil and so is yours.

Well before the current FCC law when the deed restrictions on antennas were enforceable, our community went after a resident who installed a 10' dish. Took him to court and won. Got a court order for him to take it down and a judgment for all the legal fees. Had to wait till a few years ago when he sold to get the money through a lien.

In your case you have the law on your side. They might continue to give you a hard time and I think your only resort is to either spend the money first and get a ruling or just put it up and put the ball in their court. The latter is what I would do. If you are defined as a condo, all dispute resolution is covered by Florida law. It must first go to medication before proceeding to court. If it comes to that it would seem you could go through the mediation step without spending a dime and represent yourself and let them get an attorney and waste their money(of course it is some of yours too).

Good luck.
post #162 of 1737
Quote:


Originally posted by djmorris
What's your opinion?


I never really took signal strength readings of the other Tampa stations with the antenna pointed toward WTSP-DT. Keep in mind the digital 7 and digital 12 (NBC and FOX) are in the VHF band, and is a little tougher to pull in strongly than the other UHF stations.

My experience with the attic antenna was that I needed to actually get my very best signal for the previously mentioned VHF stations, and everything else fell into place.

Best thing is that in a short period of time, you'll actually be able to try it and see what happens.

Good luck.
post #163 of 1737
Quote:


Originally posted by Ron Tobin
My experience with the attic antenna was that I needed to actually get my very best signal for the previously mentioned VHF stations, and everything else fell into place.

Ron,

Thanks for your thoughts and experience. We'll see what happens tomorrow. If WTSP proves elusive, the installer may have a rotor in the truck :-)

Dan
post #164 of 1737
What's the current status with WB-38 HD in Tampa? The standard definition programming works fine, but when an HD program is going to show, it goes black and the signal goes away too.

Does anyone know what's going on over at that station?
post #165 of 1737
Quote:


Originally posted by djmorris

A central antenna would be wonderful. In the HOA's mind, they have effectively done that by making the Comcast analog station package (2-70) available as part of the homeowner association fees. Everybody gets the package, whether they want it or not. I'm sure this was done to dissuade anyone from wanting to put up an antenna. One of the CC&Rs goes so far as to say that an antenna is not allowed if a home is equipped with cable.
Too bad they're not piping DTV over that cable. Then we'd have something.

Hi Dan,

That's an interesting point. I haven't studied the regulation recently, but it probably doesn't stipulate your absolute right to receive local DTV signals. It's possible that so long as your central antenna delivers local standard definition stations the intent of the law may be satisfied.

Larry
post #166 of 1737
Quote:


Originally posted by LarryChanin
I haven't studied the regulation recently, but it probably doesn't stipulate your absolute right to receive local DTV signals. It's possible that so long as your central antenna delivers local standard definition stations the intent of the law may be satisfied.

Larry,

Don't scare me like that! The good thing is that you've forced me to do my homework.

My interpretation of the Rule, as presented in the OTARD Fact Sheet, is that the current NTSC cable connection to the house provided by the HOA does not constitute a valid restriction on an individual antenna. Assuming that the basic cable connection constitutes a central antenna, HOA restrictions would be permissible if:

1) I received the video programming I desired. The system does not provide HDTV programming.
2) I could choose my service provider. Comcast is the service provider and there is no other choice.
3) The signal quality is as good or better than the individual antenna. We all know that digital ATSC signals are superior to analog NTSC signals.
4) The costs of a central antenna service are not greater than the costs of an individual installation. I'll concede this point because I don't know what the current costs are to me for basic cable from Comcast provided as part of HOA dues.
5) Use of a central antenna did not delay my ability to receive programming. The current NTSC central antenna delays my ability to receive DTV and HDTV programming.

I'm no lawyer either, but I think the HOA's central antenna approach, if they choose to use it, will not satisfy the conditions required to be acceptable restrictions under the Rule.
post #167 of 1737
Dan,
I have my antenna pointed to ch 10 and I receive all the other stations just fine. I did that with Ken because he recommended it and has worked great so far.

Hope everything is going well today, keep us posted.

GeoffQ
post #168 of 1737
Quote:


Originally posted by GeoffQ
Hope everything is going well today, keep us posted.
GeoffQ

Well, today didn't turn out as I expected. The installer arrived and told me he would not be able to mount the antenna on the roof. He suggested mounting it on a pole against the pool privacy wall. This wall is a concrete extension of the west side of the house. It effectively shields the pool area from our neighbor on that side and is used as a base for the pool cage on the west side. It's about 8 feet high and 20 feet long.

It would be possible to attach an adjustable mast to the end of the privacy wall closest to the house proper and jack the mast up until an acceptable signal is gained. But there are two problems:

1) I'm in a zero-lot-line single family home. The CC&Rs clearly stipulate that neither I or my adjacent neighbor can do anything to the privacy wall. Not even paint it. If I attach a mast with brackets to it I could be in violation of the CC&R. Pretty weird considering that the wall is on my property. Anyway, I called the HOA President to discuss the installation location change. He may buy it because there won't be anything on the roof and the installation location will be less visible.

2) I'm not sure I want to use this installer. When I questioned him about how he intended to ground the antenna, it became apparent that he did not plan to use a coax surge suppressor on the lead before it entered the house. I'm no electrician, but I know that the National Electrical Code calls for such a device. The installer was going to rely on the surge suppressor I have for the TV and its associated ground plug. He also came unprepared to do the work. He brought no poles, brackets or coax. What was he thinking? On top of it all, he dissed my antenna choice.

I called Alex at Satellite TV Service as an installation back-up. He'll come by on Monday to scope out the job. He also told me that an installation on the roof would not work.

If I don't hear from the HOA by then, I'll entertain the idea of installing a pole along one of the northern support beams of the pool cage. This would put the antenna another 20 feet from the tuner and would certainly make it more visible.

Hoping for better luck,

Dan
post #169 of 1737
Hey, Everyone. I had my antenna installed today and it appears to be working pretty well. And miracle of miracles, I'm getting 10.1. The Winegard Sensar II is mounted on a 20 foot telescoping mast attached to the pool privacy wall behind my house. I estimate the antenna is 19 feet in the air because about a foot of the pole is buried in the ground. I'm using a Samsung SIR-T451 terrestrial receiver.

Here's the rundown on reception strength:
3.1, 3.2, 3.5 100%
8.1,8.2,8.3 90%
10.1 80%
13.1 100%
16.1,16.2,16.3,16.4 60%**
20.1,20.2 60%*
22.1 90%
28.1 100%
32.1 100%
38.1 80%
44.1 100%
50.1 100%
66.1,66.2,66.3,66.4 100%

* Appeared at 8 PM when I rescanned for stations.
** Popped-up after a 10 PM scan. Pixelated at first, then stabilized.

I'm amazed that I pulled 10.1 at such a low elevation. My expectation was that I'd have to go about another six feet up to pull it in. The only station of interest that I can't get is 40.1.

On the HOA front, our president is not returning my calls. I submitted a second written request for an antenna installation to the ACC based on what was installed today. The current installation hides the mast and antenna well. The only neighbor who may have a beef is my next door neighbor who is adjacent to the pool privacy wall. Although I worked hard to hide the mast behind a downspout and there is some cooperating landscape, there is no doubt that he now has some additional scenery when he looks toward our property line.

I went with Satellite Television Services on 2663 Wood Street, Sarasota for the installation. It's a workmanlike job but I had to demand that they bond the mast and antenna discharge unit for the lead-in cable to the grounding electrode system. Even so, I'll probably have an electrician check their work to make sure it satisfies the National Electrical Code. I guess you could say that I'm not ready to recommend them. For the $215 they charged I expected a more professional approach to my safety concerns.

I'm looking forward to watching some Thanksgiving football with the family in HD!

Dan
post #170 of 1737
Dan:
Congratulations on getting your antenna installed.

As for 40.1, they are not running at full power, even though their transmitter is located in Parrish. They are marginal here.

Wondering when you did your scan to lock in 10.1? Atmospheric conditions play a huge part in the ability of one to pull in that station. For instance, I was getting them last night, but if I were to try now, I'd get probably nothing. My HD Tivo's receiver is not as friendly to weak stations as my E86. Your Samsung seems like it is forgiving as well.

Since you're only about 2-3 feet higher than me, and almost in the same location, our results, from day to day, should be very comparable. Keep checking 10.1 and see how stable they remain.

BTW, not receiving 40.1 digital is no great loss. Since the Tampa ABC station (28.1) is rock solid, and they broadcast in 5.1 audio, which 40.1 does not, you're not missing any of the ABC HD broadcasts.
post #171 of 1737
Has anyone else in Tampa lost channel 8.1 NBC and 28.1 ABC today. Both channels are completely dead no signal at all, I mean they do not register anything on the strength meter. I usually get those channels in at 95+ on my meter. All my other OTA channels are fine/full strength, so I am not thinking it has to do with my antenna.
post #172 of 1737
Hello, Baja.

I've lost both channels, too. I guess it's not your antenna.

Dan
post #173 of 1737
Just a guess, but maybe they share a tower, and there's some problems at that tower.

Dan -- you still getting 10.1 at 80% strength?
post #174 of 1737
Ron,

You're probably right about them sharing a tower. I just placed a call to WFLA's newsroom and asked if their DT station was out. They didn't know and transferred me to an engineer. I left a message for Mark Schaeffer letting him know that the three of us were experiencing the same problem.

Signal strength on 10.1 right now is a solid 60%.

Dan
post #175 of 1737
Dan:

At "solid 60%" you're on the edge. Atmospheric conditions will cause the signal to vary and you will pop in and out and not maintain a locked signal. That's because the darn tower is about 70 miles away from us. The only thing that might help you is if your receiver somehow has a low signal requirement.

Have you watched much of 10.1 and experienced consistent audio and video?
post #176 of 1737
Ron,

I have been so amazed at getting 10.1 that I've been leaving it on! I'm no soap fan, but I was watching One Life to Live because its HD. I didn't experience any audio or video problems.

By the way, 8.1 and 28.1 are back. Someone at the tower probably had to reboot a Microsoft computer :-)

Dan
post #177 of 1737
Just checked and both channels are now back up full strength. I guess something must of happened, that they fixed on the transmission end. Either that or someone was out at Fri happy hour for lunch..lol
post #178 of 1737
WWSB-DT is only running 930 watts ERP from thier transmitter in Parrish, so coverage is very poor.

WWSB has a new Chief Engineer, Jack Dillon, formerly the Chief at Ch 62 in Tampa (Venice) so I think you will see quite a few improvements in the months to come.
post #179 of 1737
They were working on the channel 8/28 tower yesterday and had to turn off the Digitals to protect the tower crew from RFR.

That one tower is home to channels 7, 8, 28, 29, 38, 47, 50 & 57.
post #180 of 1737
This deals with an OTA channel but concerns DirecTV. For those of you who don't have an antenna or have rooms that don't use one and you can't see the Devil Rays on PAX66 because DirecTV doesn't carry it in your locals package. Well you guys and gals will be happy now because DirecTV now carries PAX 66 via the satellite on channel 66 labeled TA66.

This was one of my very small pet peeves that I had with DirecTV always having to watch the Devil Rays in the living room when I would rather watch it in bed.
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