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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've posted here on and off asking for advice (and giving it when it's something I've learned from experience or listening to lots of experts) about my setup before. I'm on my last legs for hoping for DTV. Everything else I've tried has failed, some of it quite dramatically. To summarize:


- I live in Rochester, MN about 75 miles from the Twin Cities and their wonderful selection of stations. One local is broadcasting HDTV (NBC) and a second is upconverting their analog (Fox.) The other two (ABC and CBS) are broadcasting from far, far away and with the equivalent of a hamster wheel's power.


- I also do not live very high up. For some odd reason, cities tend to be built near rivers, which also tend to be the lowest points of land in a general area. According to TerraServer, I'm at about 1040 above sea level. Most nearby hills do not exceed 1100 ft.


- I've tried a wide array of antennas, with my wildest experiment being a vertical stack (36") of Channel Master 4248's that was quite unstable but also failed to make a difference.


- I'm in a mature neighborhood, which means there are a lot of trees. Few would be over 60' tall.


- My current antenna is a Winegard HD7084P mounted about 17' above ground level. I have a 28db Winegard preamp attached.


I've been kicking around the idea of getting a 50' tower (much higher and the city and power company won't like me) and putting a 4228 up there with a monster preamp. I'm just concerned that my location is too poor to bridge the gap.


Recently, I visited a friend's house only a couple of miles away. TerraServer lists his elevation as 1270 or so. He gets *outstanding* UHF reception of the Cities. It's so good, he actually has minor ghosts on his screen, while I'm usually looking at a veritable snowstorm with some image peeking out from behind. On a good night, I can actually read the text on my screen.


The local antenna guy isn't promising anything and after all I've done so far, I don't blame him. He does say that putting my antenna up on a tower to clear the trees and local hills will make a big difference in reception. My only concern is, before I go and spend $1000 on this contraption, am I going to really see a difference?


I'm including a picture of my current setup - sorry it's blurry, but it should be clear enough for you to get the idea.


Advice? Comments? Wildly unfounded opinions? All are appreciated.
 

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What power are they broadcasting at?


Have you taken your digital receiver over to your friends house and seen if you get anything there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by timmy1376
What power are they broadcasting at?


Have you taken your digital receiver over to your friends house and seen if you get anything there?
The ones I'd want are at full power (1000kw.) I don't need to take the receiver over - I've seen how good analog reception has to be to match digital and he's umm.... a lot over that. When the troposphere acts up just so, I get a couple of the stations I'm after with my Samsung SIRT-151. The analogs look "okay" when the digitals lock on. His analogs look "fantastic" 24/7.
 

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I have a TelevesDat75 (a Blake21is good also). I get 100 percent recedption from stations 20 to 65 miles away. My height is 30 feet off ground or less. Have a pre-amp as well. It is all important to get a rotor and zero in on each tramsmitter. At times, a few degrees can make the difference. I would say..about 80 percent sure. ..with 2 TelevesDat75 antennas, you can bridge your problems and get good digital reception..at up to 70 miles..Over that..no way to know but try it, I guess. Each situation is somewhat different. Happy viewing.
 

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I've been thinking similarly about putting up a tower. I'm 69 to 73 miles from the various stations I want to receive. Most of the distance is over the Mississippi river bottom land, which is less than 100' above sea level. My house is about 250' ASL. But I'm in somewhat of a valley, with hills around that are about another 50-75' higher. Also have tall mature trees everywhere. I use a 4228 on a 28' mast.


As evening falls, I usually get enough non-ducting tropo help to get a decent signal from the stations with 800+kW, but not really reliable reception. And another station at 69 miles putting out around 300kW on channel 25 seldom every shows up. Only with good tropo conditions do I ever see anything from them. But I've been holding off on the tower because I'm not convinced the 30 extra feet will do me any good. Looking at a topo profile map, I would need a 400' tower for line of sight reception.
 

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I have a 64' tower and about 6' of mast for 70'. 2 Televes 75's in a vertical stack and a cm 7775 feeding good quality rg-11. (I've got a cable run of almost 200', thus the rg-11) I pick up two stations at 108 miles with around 90% consistency and one at 85 miles pretty much all the time. I even pick up one at 55 miles thats broadcasting at 300w (not kw). Like magic says ymmv but it sounds doable.
 

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I agree, you need a better antenna, and perhaps more height. I'm a big fan of the Televes too, love mine, but are all your digitals on UHF?


I've got about a 125' run of cable and RG-6 Quad works great for me. My set up is a Televes 75 on a 50' tower with a CM 77xx series pre amp. This feed my RCA dtc 100 receiver. I'm at 750' elevation. Stations 50-60 miles out hit 80 to 90 on my signal meter (all full power), even if you factor in the extra distance and the logarithmic power drop off adding 15 to 20 miles should still generate a watchable signal. But YMMMV as always...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Matt L

I agree, you need a better antenna, and perhaps more height. I'm a big fan of the Televes too, love mine, but are all your digitals on UHF?

Well, the 4248 is pretty highly rated, and a vertical stack of them should have been close to one Televes DAT75. Even so, the signal wasn't there for the having.


For the time being, all my digitals are UHF. If some of them revert to low-VHF, I'm hosed because the power company here is "broadcasting" with all of their power lines. The entire city is blanketed by interference (all the antenna installation people know about it) but oddly, the power company's equipment can't detect it. So low-VHF will never work for digital. High-VHF is okay, though, and I suspect that it's good enough for a quality lock.


Either way, I'd put a VHF antenna up there with the 4228 (or DAT75) to cover all my bases.
 
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