I got the WG 7697P up and running.
Used my laptop running Win 7 RC1 media center and the Pinnacle 800e usb tuner and a short run of coax to dial it in. Much better than running down the ladder and inside between adjustments.
I am a little disappointed, though I am not sure the antenna is doing anything wrong. I think I am in a worse area than I thought, at least as it pertains to the fringe channels I thought I would get.
In short, I think I have quite a few channels that aren't LOS, contradicting TV Fool
. The reception results that I got did not correlate with antenna alignment, at least as far as my understanding that all of my channels were available LOS at 15 feet.
The Boston CW and ION that I wanted to receive, nay, expected to receive and why I purchased a high gain antenna like this, were too weak, even pointed directly at the Boston towers.
We tried clocking the antenna at as many discrete positions as we had time for, with the rapidly fading light last night. We let Media Center run through the signal strength loop each time we moved the antenna. The best overall reception seemed to be pointing at the only real open spot out of my neighborhood, or about 300°. As a refresher I was expecting to receive the strong RI stations @ 41° and the weaker Boston stations at 28-29° while pointed at ~32°. Well, how about 300? And surprisingly I get RI CW from 83° and ION from 258°. I think I have a multipath problem, no? I did get Boston CW best as LOS I think, but "best" was only 3 out of 6 bars which I know would never be reliable enough to bother with. And Boston ION never came up over 1 or 2 bars.
Do I need to add height? An amp? Experiment more with aim? Should I have gotten the 14 foot 7698P, after all that deliberation???
I think trees and maybe some roofs of houses may be in the way, but definitely big pines.
I know the Winegard antennas suffer during shipment (and possibly manufacture) and after doing some reading I am going to take a close look at the crossover/balun box and make sure the prongs are making contact with the wires. I am also going to straighten all the elements, even the ones only slightly bent.
Overall I get more channels than before, but instead of the 24 I thought I'd get, I am down around 19 or so.