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I'm a reasonably handy guy and I know how to terminate RG6 cable, etc. so I thought I might tackle installing my own HDTV antenna. I've been to antennaweb, and seen many antenna reviews/comparisons, etc.


However I've had little success in finding any "how-to" guides on the web. I am very concerned about mounting it right, grounding, etc. Don't want to endanger my home or my equipment.


But paying someone $500 to install a $50 antenna seems out of whack though - so any advice or good online how-to resources? Or should I just pay the money to hire someone?


Please advise! Thanks.
 

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Once you choose an antenna, your next choice is where to mount the antenna. Most people use a chimney mount, it is the sturdiest and easiest place to install. then you need a mast, 6' or less and you should be fine, More than that and you will need some guy wires for aditional wind support. grounding is important. You can use a standard pipe ground clamp and run #8 wire, solid or stranded, from the ground clamp to the ground rod that is in the ground for your electrical service. Look for a ground wire running from your panel box to outside to find the ground rod. There is a clamp on the ground rod now for your electric service, just piggyback your wire in the same clamp.

I would run more than one rg-6 cable to the antenna, just in case. Use an antenna booster only if you are really far from the source, More than 50-60 miles, otherwise you are just going to make the signal worse with an amp.

IF you are going to split the signal from the antenna, split it as close to the antenna as possible, the less signal loss before the split the better. I would run your wire to the attic and then split from there, since splitters don't last for ever outside in the long term. Use the boot that comes with the antenna to protect your coax connection to the anntenna and put some grease around the fitting so that it won't corrode.


dave
 

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Dave,


Perhaps this is a bit off subject, but I'm also in the position to put up an antenna. I asked a professional to install and he offered to put up an RCA-type antenna that has a 100-mile radius.

What does this actually mean?

Can I put it up and get signals from 100 miles in all directions or must the antenna be pointed directly at the source.

Please advise since the professional didn't seem to think I'd need a rotor and I believe I may.


Thanks

Jay
 

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Those range figures are very inflated, don't believe 100miles - thats probably only for completely flat terrain with a broacast tower several miles up. Usually 50miles is about the maximum under normal conditions.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by ThumperBoy
Those range figures are very inflated, don't believe 100miles - thats probably only for completely flat terrain with a broacast tower several miles up. Usually 50miles is about the maximum under normal conditions.
60 miles, over hilly terrain, with an attic mount is possible though. I get 50 to 60% readings on all 4 networks out of DC and I'm about 60 miles out exactly.


I was in your boat too though root. I couldn't find squat on good instruction sets for installing outdoor antenna's, so I just spoke with an electrician friend that had done some in the past.
 

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......."But paying someone $500 to install a $50 antenna seems out of whack though "..........


Have you ever looked at the price of raw lumber vs. the price of a completely finished house?


(Actually, figure the price of the antenna, the mast, the mounting brackets, the guy wires and hardware, the baluns, the coax, the connectors, the coax clamps, the grounding block and wire, the waterproofing, plus the labor and tools needed.............it's more than any 50 dollars!)
 

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Don - This is the best explanation with diagrams I have seen about antenna grounding (and I have been searching for days). Thank you!


That's what makes these forums so wonderful!
 

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So I have a normal VHF/UHF antenna already installed which I use to watch local channels. I always just assumed that in order to get HD channels I would need a special antenna. However reading though some of the links in this tread it seems like my current antenna should do. Is this correct? All I would need then is an HD receiver right?


I live in the Bay Area and get most of my channels from either San Jose or San Francisco.
 

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If you are getting a reasonably ghost-free signal from your analog channels, and whatever ghosting there is, is stable (not varying rapidly), you should be able to get a reliable DTV signal. The 8VSB DTV signal does not have to be very strong, just fairly stable.


I was just talking to our translator guru, Kent Parsons. He is getting very good results with extremely low-power stations over paths of over 100 miles.
 

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Captian Janky,


No special antenna needed. Directional antennas of conventional design, aimed at the desired broadcast towers are best for either analog, or digital TV reception.


There is No such thing as a "HD antenna", that's marketing hype. Digital/HD OTA stations use the same VHF/UHF frequencies/channels as "old fashioned" analog TV, the digital stations just transmit on different channels in any given area than is the case with their analog counterparts. Although the signal modulation is different from analog, it doesn't matter to the antenna.


I use the same antenna for digital HD that I've been using the last 10 years+ for analog reception, it works beautifully. Receives all 21 analog(including LP), and 14 Digital/HD stations in my local area just fine, no dropouts. If you get good reception of your local analog channels, chances are good you'll get good reception of digital HD -- With some exceptions in some circumstances, as some digital stations are at low power or using directional transmitting antennas that might not favor your area, or are broadcasting from a lower height for their transmitting antenna. And also, (a little less likely), since the digitals broadcast on different frequencies than their analog counterparts, some antennas work better at certian frequencies than others, Multipath and interference issues can be "frequnecy specific/etc", so there is a bit of a possibility you might need to "upgrade" to a little better antenna/etc., depending upon what your using now. Only way to find out is to try it, no reason at all to change anything before then, though, unless you're getting poor reception(snow, ghosting/etc) of your analog stations, currently.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Nitewatchman
Captian Janky,There is No such thing as a "HD antenna", that's marketing hype. Digital/HD OTA stations use the same VHF/UHF frequencies/channels as "old fashioned" analog TV, the digital stations just transmit on different channels in any given area than is the case with their analog counterparts. Although the signal modulation is different from analog, it doesn't matter to the antenna.
Thank you!
 

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I installed a Radio Shack "stealth" looking antenna (#7325) in my attic and I'm getting great results for HDTV. The station broadcast towers here in Southern Cal. are all on Mt. Wilson which I estimate to be about 45-50 miles away. (Mt. Wilson is also 5,000+ feet high which helps)
 
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