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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey guys-

need advice on an antenna.

i live in deerfield, IL about 26 miles from the tower.


i have an RCA 38310 with a indoor xmas tree antenna. the antenna pulls in pbs & abc consistently and nbc occasionally. never cbs, not even now.

it wasn't much of a bother, because i also have a direct tv dual tuner tivo- so most of what i watch is from that. but i do want to get all the ota now.


i realize i need to ditch the indoor one. trouble is = i'm not handy & i'm afraid of heights. :(


i need a recommendation for where to go and what to get , and who can provide installation. or is this really cost-prohibitive? i've searched and seen some posts with costs of about $600 bucks- is this correct?


i live in a 2 story brick house.

i've checked out antenna web and it shows 'yellow' for all the stations for me.


thanks so much!

ed
 

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Why not try an attic install? I'd suggest the $22 uhf only yagi antenna from Radio Shack.
 

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My experience has been that nothing beats that old timey antenna and enough height is the key. It's probably not too expensive to hire someone to install it for you.


However I found a fascinating site the other day and I plan to give it a whirl. Since you are very uncomfortable with an outdoor antenna why not consider it first?

http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ (click on "erect an antenna")


of note:
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/silver.html


Another forum member showed me this site:

www.antennaweb.org
 

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Keep in mind, you need an antenna setup with VHF capabilities for CBS Chicago, which is on VHF Channel 3, and UHF for most of the rest of your area stations. An outdoor antenna would probably be a good idea.


On the $600 installation fee, that's not unreasonable if they do a good job. Sure, you might be do it yourself from anywhere between ~$75-200 or so, but, it's hard for them to make money on installs, and, once the antenna is installed and you're getting good reception, it will last for decades barring disaster ... Also, with a pro install, they'll be the ones (hopefully) fixing any reception problems you might have,(hopefully), you won't have to mess with it -- They also (hopefully) will have the use of expensive diagnostic equipment(i.e. Spectrum analyzer - and the knowledge of how to use it) to diagnose problems, which is something you wouldn't have if you turn out to have problems.


Anyhow, there is some great info on Antennas+Reception here :

http://www.kyes.com/antenna/antennadex.html


and here:

http://www.projectorexpert.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
gregf and nitewatchman-- thanks for the quick responses...

i'll check out those sites- and great advice on the VHF considerations- i would have missed that!

i'm going to stop at radio shack and see what i can learn there. i also got advice to move my silver sensor to a window-- running the cable may be tough but it beats the roof!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
stopped at radio shack-- here's what they told me i need:


vu - 190 antenna - $99.99

chimney mount - 19.99

RG6QS 100' - 39.99

Mast - 8.49

Grounding block - 9.99

grounding wire - 4.99

installation - 219.99


and if i want a rotor-- another 69.99 and extra for this installation


that's over $400 (not counting the rotor)

sounds like a lot to me-- the installations a killer- but i can't do it - and if i get into a friend type thing then i have to worry about liability!

any ideas/comments??
 

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eddieras...

I do not disagree with some of the other recommendations, but here's my $.02.


That is the antenna I was referring.


Now... here's a plan:

Why not give this antenna a whirl in your attic (it can always be returned)?


No need for a mast, mount, ground, etc. Although gounding is a good thing, it's not a must for an attic install.


Get 100' of RG6 at Home depot (~$16 for 100') and a 300/75 ohm balun (R/S is overpriced for wire/cable).


I have my antenna clamped to a 1x2 board between the floor and ceiling joists.


Temporarily run the coax the easiest way from the antenna to the TV for your test. If you can get good reception from all of the digitals (except the 1 VHF) channel, at least you know what you have to deal with. Then all you need to do is add a VHF antenna or exchange the UHF for a combo antenna (although, I would lean towards a separate VHF antenna) and run the coax to a permanent route.


You have nothing to lose (except the cost of the RG6, balun and perhaps a few hours of time and sweat!).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks ratman-- RS told me the antenna's not returnable! but she may only be referring to the larger one she quoted me- the VU 190 - i'll have to check on the policy for the one you recommended-

i like your suggestion (pending its returnable) = even i can probably do that!

lets assume it works - what antenna do you recommend to get the VHF channel 2??


also- would either of these antenna's work with FM reception?
 

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R/S will accept a return on anything! I'd talk to another salesperson. Sounds fishy to me that they would accept returns on radios, TV's, amps, etc.... but won't accept a hunk of aluminum? C'mon!


I can't recommend a VHF antenna for you, but I'd suggest to start with baby steps and see what you get with the UHF only.


A VHF antenna will work for FM (which is broadcast between TV channel 6 and 7).


Back to the Channel 2 thing.... you may be able to get it with a pair of 'rabbit ears' up in the attic!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks again ratman-- she said she couldn't take back the big antenna, because once it's opened it locks into place
 

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She's wrong about not being able to close the antenna once it's been open. I have unlocked mine twice with no problem. See if they have a unit with a minor defect (ie. shipping damage). I got one with a bent element (which I was able to straighten) for $25.00.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
wow- the vu 190?? for $25

good deal!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
couple of questions-- i'm going to try and stick with the indoor first-- before the roof bit-- i got a longer cable for my SS and the reception was fantastic as i moved it closer to my window.


is RG6 fine, or do i need something else- i've seen 59, shielded- i wasn't sure which to get-- it'll be about a 40 foot run-- all indoors tho...


and while shopping i saw a ''digital" splitter- i'll need a splitter, but do i need a 'digital' one-- it was all gold plated - does that matter?


and what about those twist on connectors-- no good? if i don't use them, which type of connectors do you recommend and how do i get them on?


thanks again for all your help!
 

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Stick with RG6.

The "digital" splitter is probably either gimmick or poorly advertised. But it probably means that it's bandwidth is rated to pass digital cable/broadband frequencies.


IMO, as long a you don't have either, then go with a 'plain old' 2-way splitter.


As for "twist-on" connectors... they are not the best, but for the sake of convenience, they work fine. These types are not as secure as the using 'crimp' type connectors. This will require you to either:

a) by pre-made lengths with connectors attached

b) find a friend with a crimper

c) buy a crimper

d) bribe the next cable guy you see on your street


Word of advise: Don't go thinking you can just use a pair of pliers or vice-grips to crimp the connectors... you are better off using the twist on! ;)
 

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Just to add to the converstation. I've been using a Radio Shack 15-1171 Digital Cable Amplifier. I am able to pull in several stations that I could not otherwise get. At $50 its a bit pricey, but it had a good repuation here at AVS. Try it out, if it doesn't help, then return it.
 
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