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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting ready to put up an antenna to connect to my Dish 6000 8VSB module to get digital signals and have a few questions.


First, some background information:

There are two sets of stations I want to pick up.

Local station transmitters are approx. 12 miles away on a southwest heading. I'm currently picking these stations up at around 50%-60% with a set-top Radio Shack UHF powered antenna.

The other stations broadcast from Philadelphia, and are approx. 43.5 miles away on a southern heading. The terrain between me and Philly is somewhat mountainous, with me being in one "valley" and the transmitters being in another "valley" (I use quotes because folks in the intermountain west would laugh at what we consider a valley out here in Eastern PA). I have a friend about 60 mi. west of me that is picking up two of these Philly stations with an attic antenna.


Now the questions:

I'm considering a Channel Master 4248. Will this be sufficient?

What CM pre-amp would be best to use?

Do I really need a rotor for the antenna? I'm not sure if the CM4248 is multi-directional or not. Considering the distance to my local stations and relative closeness of headings (due south vs. southwest) will I be able to pick up my local channels with the antenna pointing south? The rotors aren't cheap and if I don't need one, I don't want to buy one right now. Is it relatively easy to add one later after I've already mounted my antenna?


Thanks for any suggestions, information you can provide. Not too many people in my area are actually up on digital yet, so there's very little information to be obtained here. Actually, Radio Shack is about the only place I know of here that even sells and installs OTA antennas. Because of the terrain and distance to Philadelphia, most people have either satellite or cable (or both)
 

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Hi, Randy,


The first thing to do is verify whether you'll need to be able to receive any VHF DTV stations. There are none currently allocated for Philly but I don't know about your "locals." Go to www.antennaweb.org and get a radial map with antenna guidelines. You'll probably still have some questions but it's a good start.


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HiDefDave


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox are all broadcasting digital signals from Philadelphia. In fact, Philly was one of the first markets to go digital.


I have checked antennaweb and they say I need a medium directional antenna. However, I've noticed that antenna web doesn't have a complete list of stations, either. They don't list my local (which actually runs two digital channels) and they don't list the NBC affiliate in Philly.


However, according to the chart, they say I should be able to pick up the signals with a "red" antenna.
 

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Depending on distance and terrain a rotor might be useful. Try the antenna without one first. You can always add one later if needed. I've had good results with corner-reflector yagis like the CM you're thinking of using. A lot of guys on the forum swear by stacked bowtie relectors. They're bigger, though. You can see some examples of thesse plus the big parabolic UHF rig at www.channelmaster.com .


I've been pleased with the biggest RadioShack antennas for VHF and UHF along with their 15-1113C preamp with adjustable gain. The forum has a lot of CM and Winegard fans who believe those brands have superior performance vs. RS and probably could recommend a CM preamp to you. Folks?


I'll probably switch to a CM or Winegard myself the next time I need to replace my current RS rigs, which, given our occasional hurricane, corosion-inducing salty air and wild parrots who like to roost or mate on antenna elements, is pretty frequent.


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HiDefDave


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I am in a similiar situation in Central PA, where I want to get the Baltimore stations. I can get the Big Three in Baltimore with a CM 4228a "bowtie" antenna and a Spartan 3 UHF pre-amp, from 70+ miles away. In my case, the Ridge is 20 miles south, and doesn't seem to block the signal much.

I use a rotor because the 4228 is fairly directional, and I need to aim at three different directions to get the locals.

All the Philly stations are UHF, so a good UHF antenna would work well. An antenna like mine, might be able to get the NY stations as well as the Philly stations, but you never know until you try.


SM
 
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