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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Map of my parents location:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...aead9c043796cf


Map of my Grandparents house:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...aead8f1af2b126


Both houses are about a mile or two away from each other, however my parents is a bit lower in elevation (their house is sort-of in a valley a bit).


They're interested in getting HD locals with their Dish systems - I'm assuming I'm going to need a large antenna and a rotor for both locations and am looking for some expert advice!


Please let me know if I need to provide any additonal information. They would obviously like to spend as little as possible - but they don't want reception issues.


Is it possible to get a rotor that automatically turns to the correct location when they select the channel in the Dish guide? I doubt it - as I can't see how that would work but it's worth a try!
 

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MrChambers,


The antenna height is only 5 ft for your parents home, making their difficult situation even more challenging.... Can you rerun the tvfool at a higher elevations such as 20 ft and 30 ft? It is very possible that their situation will change dramatically (NM's in TVfool will be much greater) with a higher antenna.


Would you consider two antennas if it eliminated the need for a rotor?


For your grandparents, you could use an antenna tuned for high vhf/uhf (example Winegard 7696 or 7698) and likely pick up the first five channels on their tvfool list. This antenna would be aimed at approximately 20 degrees (magnetic, measured with compass). A second antenna would be used to pick stations at approximately 130 degrees (Cedar Rapids and Waterloo). Which stations do they want from the Cedar Rapids/Waterloo market? This market includes high vhf and uhf stations. The two vhf stations are duplicates for ABC and NBC. If they don't need/want the duplicates, they could use a high gain uhf only antenna such as the XG-91.


Tell us more about the distribution system: approximate cable run (ft), number of splitters and number of tvs. It may be beneficial to add a preamp to the antenna aimed at Cedar Rapids/Waterloo market.


This is a preliminary recommendation and needs to be tweaked based on what your grandparents want. Hopefully the higher antenna mount will improve tvfool results for your parents.


HTH,


Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
IDRick,


Thank you very much for the detailed response! I thought (obviously incorrectly) that it would be better to select 5ft antenna height for my parents - again due to them being down in a small valley. Below is another TVFool link that I ran from their address @ 30ft.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...aead1536e3d79f


My parents house is brand new (they got hit by the floods last year) - and they have not yet moved in yet. I will be pulling coax and cat5 with a coworker next weekend, so the distribution is pretty much up in the air at this point.


I can tell you that my parents will have a Dish VIP722 receiver and that the OTA will need to run about 20 feet into the basement where I plan on having a coax distribution panel, and probably another 30 to get to the living room (HDTV). I'll also be running new coax from the antenna to the Dish reciever @ my grandparents house as well.


My Grandparents also have Dish (probably wouldn't be messing with OTA if Dish actually offered HD-locals in our market, but it's so small I doubt they ever will!)


They have an OLD antenna that has most of it's elements missing. I hope to at least reuse the tripod that they have. The key reason they want OTA now is they miss watching KWWL (local Waterloo news apparently). They also want the big 4 (CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX) in HD.


My parents don't care about locals - they just want the big 4 in HD.


I hope I answered all your questions - if I need to provide anything else please just let me know!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrChambers /forum/post/16923544


Is it possible to get a rotor that automatically turns to the correct location when they select the channel in the Dish guide?

This doesn't answer your question, but in case they didn't already know (at least your parents with the VIP722 DVR), if they don't subscribe to the locals from Dish, they will not get any guide information for those channels in their guide.


Also, in order for them to record from them with the DVR, they'll have to set all timers for those channels manually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski /forum/post/16923917


This doesn't answer your question, but in case they didn't already know (at least your parents with the VIP722 DVR), if they don't subscribe to the locals from Dish, they will not get any guide information for those channels in their guide.


Also, in order for them to record from them with the DVR, they'll have to set all timers for those channels manually.

Rammitinski, thank you for the reply - I actually was aware they needed to subscribe in order to get the guide information.


I also have Dish, and an antenna and I'm able to record without using manual timers - are you meaning in order to record with a rotor they'll need to use manual timers?
 

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Maybe I'm mistaken. I always thought that without the guide info, the only way you could record from the locals was by using the manual timer.


Maybe the people saying it just meant it was easier or more precise.
 

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Unfortunately, the FOX affiliate from Mason City (Rochester) is very weak in the direction of your parents and grandparents. However, Mason City has the strongest CBS station by a good margin. Cedar Rapids has all 4 on the board (pink or above), but are quite weak.


Some observations:


1) A rotor will probably be needed unless you find you can get reliable reception from Cedar Rapids.


2) If a significant number of trees are in the way, getting all of the big 4 reliable will likely be problematic, especially for the UHF stations.


3) The signals are weaker than I would like to see for a combo VHF/UHF antenna. Assuming that they aren't concerned about Low-VHF WOI, the following can be considered:

http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_disp...p?prod=HD7698P


4) Upper VHF and UHF Separates might be a better way to go. Some examples:

http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_display.asp?prod=YA1713
http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_disp...p?prod=AD-91XG


5) A pre-amp will probably be needed. Here is an example:

http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_disp...p?prod=ANC7777


A higher input (overload resistant) model may be needed for the location with stronger signals, if the antenna(s) are pointed to Mason City.


6) Cabling - new high quality RG6 cable runs will most likely be needed.


These are definitely weak signals, so you may want to try an antenna from a local store that you can return easily if it doesn't work out.


I am not familiar with Dish subscription receivers, so I am unable to help on those issues. I have a Dish DTV Pal DVR, however, which does not require a subscription.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you Falcon_77 for your insight as well - I had a feeling this was going to be a challenging process! You would be correct they do not care about Des-Moines WOI.


I currently have a Radioshack VHF/UHF combo antenna (nothing special picked it up over two years ago for $80 + $20 for a roof-top mount) - and to my surprise it picks up the big 4 for me by just pointing it Northeast. I must be in a better location (roughly 30 miles to the northwest of my parents and grandparents houses).


My TVFool report:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...582f23af08b50b


I can run new RG6 no problem - but have never installed or used a rotor or a preamp before. Thank you for your suggestions - I will continue to research this out before purchasing.
 

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Mrchambers,


Thanks for posting the revised tvfool for your parents and the tvfool for your residence. Yours is the easiest situation since the big 4 are in one general direction and have reasonable signal strengths.


My thought for your grandparents is to use the winegard 7698 and aim this at approximately 20 degrees. This will give you a CBS, 2-PBS's, NBC and ABC. You will need a Fox station to watch my Minnesota Vikings...
You can acquire a Fox by adding a XG-91 aimed at 146 degrees. Use a jointenna to add the Fox signal to the downlead from your winegard 7698. Given the relatively short cable runs and only 1 tv, I suggest using a Winegard 269 HDP preamp.


Falcon made several excellent observations in his post. In particular, he brought up the tough call: go with a combo antenna or go with separate highvhf/uhf antennas? Higher gain can be achieved with separate antennas. If you go with separates, you will probably want to put the uhf antenna on a rotor so you can acquire Fox.


HTH,


Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDRick /forum/post/16925560


Mrchambers,


Thanks for posting the revised tvfool for your parents and the tvfool for your residence. Yours is the easiest situation since the big 4 are in one general direction and have reasonable signal strengths.


My thought for your grandparents is to use the winegard 7698 and aim this at approximately 20 degrees. This will give you a CBS, 2-PBS's, NBC and ABC. You will need a Fox station to watch my Minnesota Vikings...
You can acquire a Fox by adding a XG-91 aimed at 146 degrees. Use a jointenna to add the Fox signal to the downlead from your winegard 7698. Given the relatively short cable runs and only 1 tv, I suggest using a Winegard 269 HDP preamp.


Falcon made several excellent observations in his post. In particular, he brought up the tough call: go with a combo antenna or go with separate highvhf/uhf antennas? Higher gain can be achieved with separate antennas. If you go with separates, you will probably want to put the uhf antenna on a rotor so you can acquire Fox.


HTH,


Rick

Rick,


So my grandparents (and parents both since again their houses are only a couple miles apart) are in the same boat - as far your recommendation to utilize separates (which shouldn't be a problem), and add an XG-91 to pick up the Vikings (their team as well by the way



This setup would work fine for my parents, but again my grandparents are really wanting to get access to KWWL (which I believe is the Waterloo NBC) for their local news every night. I'm assuming in order to pick this station up I would need a rotor on the VHF antenna (or yet another antenna on their roof pointed towards Waterloo)?


Can anyone link me to some good information regarding the usage of antenna rotors and how they function in regards to Dish (or DirecTV)? Is it always a manual thing - to get up and move the antenna (or use a rotor remote rather) or is it something that can be programmed to automate the process?
 

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You are correct, it would advantageous for your grandparents to have both the vhf and uhf antenna on the rotor. Here is an example of quality rotor that is frequently recommended on forums: http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_disp...?PROD=MTRTR200 Please note, the rotor is controlled by remote in the living room. It is my understanding that Dish and Direct do not interact with the rotor at all. You must have the antenna pointed in the correct location and use a manual timer to record tv programming to their dvr. That's why rotors and dvr recording do not mix well. Can work if recording is only done occasionally or if the rotor is only used for special programming (say the news and then moved back to it's normal setting). Hopefully others will join in here. I do not have personal experience with a rotor or satellite tv.
 

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KWWL is up at full power, 35kW IIRC, so they should be fairly doable at both sites and KIMT is probably indoor quality. I am in Kasson, MN, so I will try to pay attention to your thread and help were I can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So would their best bet be a Winegard 7698 with that Channel Master rotor that IDRick linked to? They could point it towards Waterloo for the KWWL news, then turn it back towards Rochester for the others? Or are you experts still recomending seperate VHF and UHF antennas?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrChambers /forum/post/16931822


So would their best bet be a Winegard 7698 with that Channel Master rotor that IDRick linked to? They could point it towards Waterloo for the KWWL news, then turn it back towards Rochester for the others? Or are you experts still recomending seperate VHF and UHF antennas?

Yes, Rick's suggested antenna setup looked good.
 

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Hey Garrett!



I offered one solution but admit separate antennas probably will have higher gain. Do you think it is worth the effort to go with separates? Looking at the tvfools, the situation is easier at the grandparents home than at the parents home. Separates advisable for the parents home?


Thanks my friend!



Rick
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by IDRick /forum/post/16932756


Hey Garrett!



I offered one solution but admit separate antennas probably will have higher gain. Do you think it is worth the effort to go with separates? Looking at the tvfools, the situation is easier at the grandparents home than at the parents home. Separates advisable for the parents home?


Thanks my friend!



Rick

The extra gain maybe the best thing for them... Thinking 91XG and YA-1713 with CM 7777 Preamp..... Higher the better, a tower at the parents house would help a LOT.
 

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Okay, looking at prices on solid signal, it's ~$20 cheaper to buy the separate antennas than the single large 7698 (antennas + shipping charges). So cost is not the critical difference. Hmmm, Mrchambers, how quick do you need to move on your decision? I'd be tempted to order an xg91and a ya 1713. Try the set on both your parent and grandparent homes. Unfortunately, the only way you really know with an antenna setup is to buy and give it a try...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Big thanks to both of you for the education thusfar! My parents used to have a tower at their house (was tore down with the old house), but I will need to check with them to see what their thoughts are - it's certainly possible they could put up another.


I'll see how the grandparents would like to proceed and we'll go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrChambers /forum/post/16932898


Big thanks to both of you for the education thusfar! My parents used to have a tower at their house (was tore down with the old house), but I will need to check with them to see what their thoughts are - it's certainly possible they could put up another.


I'll see how the grandparents would like to proceed and we'll go from there.

Well they're not crazy about having two different antenna's - but if that's the best way to proceed they're OK with it. I'll likely order the following equipment today based on your recommendations:


91XG (UHF):
http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_disp...p?PROD=AD-91XG


YA-1713 (VHF):
http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_display.asp?PROD=YA1713


Channel Master 7777 Preamp:
http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_disp...p?prod=ANC7777


Channel Master CM 9521A Complete Antenna Rotator:
http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_disp...?PROD=MTRTR200


A few questions pop into my mind about the installation - such as:


Will I be able to utilize their existing mount or if I should get something like THIS - (I'm not sure how solid it is I'll need to hop up on their roof and check it out).


Can (do) I install both antenna's to the same mount/mast?


Where to install rotor and preamp (will definitely be doing more reading on these two items since I've never messed with either before). I'm sure this will make more sense when I have the physical items in my possession though.


I did talk to a coworker who has a Dish DVR, and he's able to record through the menu - as long as his rotor has his antenna pointed at the right station of course. It's more of a remembering to set your rotor appropriately before leaving for the day thing than anything.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrChambers /forum/post/16934348


Well they're not crazy about having two different antenna's - but if that's the best way to proceed they're OK with it. I'll likely order the following equipment today based on your recommendations:


91XG (UHF):
http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_disp...p?PROD=AD-91XG


YA-1713 (VHF):
http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_display.asp?PROD=YA1713


Channel Master 7777 Preamp:
http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_disp...p?prod=ANC7777


Channel Master CM 9521A Complete Antenna Rotator:
http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_disp...?PROD=MTRTR200


A few questions pop into my mind about the installation - such as:


Will I be able to utilize their existing mount or if I should get something like THIS - (I'm not sure how solid it is I'll need to hop up on their roof and check it out).


Can (do) I install both antenna's to the same mount/mast?


Where to install rotor and preamp (will definitely be doing more reading on these two items since I've never messed with either before). I'm sure this will make more sense when I have the physical items in my possession though.


I did talk to a coworker who has a Dish DVR, and he's able to record through the menu - as long as his rotor has his antenna pointed at the right station of course. It's more of a remembering to set your rotor appropriately before leaving for the day thing than anything.

This is a good example of an install and a former install of mine: link

I would not use the support bearing (I have had bad results with the TB-105) and run 5ft of mast out of the rotator with the YA-1713 near the top of the rotator and the 91XG sticking out over the top. Put the preamp in between the two antennas and remember to leave drip loops on the cables, so water does not run into the amp or antenna baluns.

The tripod would be a good way to go. Usually on a tripod mount, I would stick the rotator on a 5ft mast so that the top antenna is 10-12ft above the roof plane.
 
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