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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I'm planning on putting up a VU-190xr from Radio Shack this weekend, it's what they call a long range antenna with 160" long dual boom. IK checked with CEA and most of my stations come in under the "blue" rating. This Antenna does NOT have the blue spec, but it says if you hook up a booster that it will work. Is this antenna to big and should I exchange it for a smaller one? I went with the Radio Shack models because they are close and can return/exchange it easily. Should I try it or just get another one, if another one which model, maybe one with a 40" boom? Keep in mind I would like to stay with the R/S models as they are close by. Thanks all for any help.


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You must put up more details to be advised intelligently...distant to transmitters, line of sight?, height of antenna will be..etc.
 

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Most people can go with a top quality UHF antenna for next 5-6 years or more. Separate UHF and VHF antennas will generally do better than a combo. Buy a UHF antenna (highly directional) now (with or without a pre-amp)..when you need VHF antenna someday add it then. Just buy a pre amp now with 2 inputs..1 for UHF and 1 for VHF...such as CM 7777 (if you need a pre-amp, that is). In most cases, a rotator is a good thing to have to 'zero' in on the incoming digital signal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry about that, newbie here. The height will be between 5' to 10', distance to transmitter rnage from 15 miles with line of sight only partially hidden be some trees all the to 55 miles for the others, if I try for the LA stations I would put them at the 100 mile range. I have a wireless rotator that I'm installing with the antenna as well as hooking up a signal booster. I will be going to 1 tv and maybe at a later date to a second one. The wire run from the antenna to the TV is about 50'. I would still like to saty with the Radio Shack stuff if possible. Thanks for the help.



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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Forgot to add, this is going on a two story hose sitting on a hill so most areas are pretty clear of objects.


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With near-perfect digital reception, 50 miles is the practical limit I have found. You can receive stations from 60 miles with top equipemt and 25-35 feet above ground for antenna and a reasonable good line of sight from antenna head to transmitter towers. Of course, the power of the transmitter are very important. I would say you will not get those 100 mile distant stations. You have a short cable run and that is good. If you are going for stations 15 miles away, you will need no pre-amp of any sort. You can either go with separate UHF and VHF antennas (best way) or a combo antenna. At 15-20 miles a medium size combo should work just fine. Use 6RG Quad cable. Of course, you can give a shot at those stations 100 miles away but you will never get them..without dropouts and 'blocking' (my opinion; remember each reception situation is different). Check out RS, Winegard, and Channel Master for antennas. There are better ones around but you will not need them at 15-20 miles.
 

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There is no right antenna until you try.

With that said, I have the same antenna. Combined with the CM 7777 preamp, I get Baltimore stations located >60 miles from me. In addition, I've been picking up stations from DC, but generally at night. Oh, and I only installed half of it. Didn't use the second VHF piece.
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/joereich3/antenna.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What is the advantage of only installing half the antenna? Does it prevent less ghosting, or something else?



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No, all my HD channels are UHF so I didn't have the need for VHF plus it cuts down on the surface area to the wind so it doesn't bounce around as much plus it's more manageable to put up.
 

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If you are on top of the highest hill around you have a great shot at long range reception, as for removing the VHF portion of the antenna, I would do that as well, I hope you are doing that because you got a great price on the combo. You will probably never have a use for the VHF portion unless they license a new station in your area in the VHF band. Your location is great for long distance signal propagation so your reception possibilities may surprise you.
 

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August, go down to Kearny Mesa Western Radio store and buy a Winegard PR-4400 or PR-8800 UHF bowtie antenna. You only need UHF for the San Diego and Los Angeles digital channels. Those combo antennas are huge because of the VHF section, their UHF section is not as good and thats the part you need. You are around 30miles away from the main San Diego stations. You can add a preamp if you need it, but try without first. I am getting all the San Diego digital stations and the one over the border in TJ all with a $25 4bay bowtie/screen antenna on a 5foot mast on my back portch from Rancho Bernardo.
 

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Just for reference, I put up a CM 4228 with the same amp and had horrible results compared to the RadioShack 190XR....go figure
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dynamohum1
You will probably never have a use for the VHF portion unless they license a new station in your area in the VHF band.
What would lead you to this conclusion?


Check out paragraph 5 in the following article:

http://www.digitaltelevision.com/his...y1999-10.shtml


Anyhow, in San Diego, it looks like currently, there are VHF Analog stations broadcasting on channels 8 and 10. In LA, there are VHF analogs on Channels 2,4,5,7,9,11,13. Personally, I have 5 analog VHF locals in my area, and require analog VHF reception via an outdoor antenna as well in my location for TV's in my household which currently don't have a DTV receiver, besides, I also have a local VHF digital.


Unless you've contacted the stations which have VHF analog allocations and Digital UHF allocations or vice versa, and they've told you they have already decided which allocation they'll use after analog shutoff(if they have a choice, as some stations have only VHF analog and VHF digital allocations) --- Guys, we don't really KNOW yet that their DTV station won't be on VHF after the shut off!


I would suspect that most stations with current analog VHF allocations will most likely choose to use their VHF allocations for their digital stations after the analog shut off, probably because there is a great advantage in 1.) Cost efficency(power bills especially, it requires much, much less power for VHF than UHF to cover the same area --- Differences in the $$$$.$$ and $$$$$.$$ figure range for hi powered stations --- MONTHLY ), and for 2.) Increased coverage and ease of reception --- because of the nature of the physics of signal propagation, VHF wavelengths travel farther and more easily "bend" around hills/etc, lo-band ch 2-6 especially, and 3.) "brand recoginition" /costs and effort involved in having to create new graphics with different channel #'s etc ... Concerning the latter, does channel remapping of digital stations via PSIP ring a bell?


This will most likely include Lo-band(ch 2-6) VHF stations as well, although some stations with 2-6 allocations may choose not to use Lo-band VHF if possible(A few U.S. stations only have lo-vhf digital and analog allocations) in order to cut down on reception difficulties some viewers may encounter where impulse noise interference is involved, since channel 2-6 is is more susceptable to impulse noise, and other forms of interferece than higher frequencies are. I do know of one station that is considering using it's current DTV UHF allocation instead of it's analog Channel 3 because of this issue, but in general, I wouldn't count on this happening because of the large savings in power bills for low band VHF broadcasters.


I've heard speculation, and do understand there has been further discussion among the "powers that be" that only 7-51 will be used in the future for DTV, but it is hard for me to believe this will occur since currently there are DTV stations on the air on 2-6 in the U.S. with more coming. Not many, because the analogs usually have those channels "tied up" in any given area.


This has been went over in the past by FCC and broadcasters. I believe, at first FCC wanted UHF only for Broadcast DTV, but later decided 7-51 would be the "core" channels for DTV in the future, and then they later added 2-6 to the core channels. You never know, this might change again, but I wouldn't count on it.


Before the transistion is over, broadcasters must choose which of their 2 allocations to use for DTV broadcasting after the analog shut off. When they must choose might change depending upon when the analog shut off occurs, but the last info I had seen indicates that they must choose which allocation to use "permanantly" for their DTV station by 2005.


The only reason why there are relatively few DTV stations with VHF allocations From FCC presently is because there are so many analog stations already operating on VHF, in, or near any given area. Some stations in U.S. currently only have VHF allocations for their Digital and Analog, so one way or another, these stations are likely to stay on VHF, if not permanently then for many, many years.


Just something to keep in mind when contemplating antenna choices. All I'm saying is, don't necessarily expect that there won't be VHF stations in your area in the future just because there aren't any now.


If you currently don't need VHF, perhaps allowing for the possibility that you may need to add a antenna with VHF capabilites later on might be a good idea. Before making a choice of antennas, it might also be advantagous to check and make sure there aren't any digital stations in your area that aren't on the air yet, but presently have VHF digital allocations which would indicate they should Hopefully be on the air shortly.
 

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Good luck on your antenna. I have tried 3 different variations; RS uhf, a large 4 bowtie uhf, and currently a rs 190 with cm rotator(9521), and winegard amp(8275) at 40' height. I have 3 local stations broadcasting dtv and can receive only one. All transmitters at 9 miles distance from me and within 6 degrees of each other. Good luck, you'll need it. DTV reception very frustrating.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Nitewatchman
I also have a local VHF digital.
I used to live in Grand Rapids MI and the local CBS (out of Kalamazoo, but serves GR) analog is on channel 3 and the digital is on 2. The local NBC analog is on 8 and the digital is on 7. PBS is on 11 for DT but that was 35 analog. So here is a case of three major networks in the number 38 market using VHF now.

So all of what I snipped out that you said is coming in to play now. I would think 2 digital will go back to 3 and 7 back to 8 as people are so used to looking for those numbers, and brand recognition, like you said.

If you want confusion, you should live in northern lower Michigan like I do. The local CBS is on 9 & 10 analog, and 40 & 49 DT. NBC is 7 & 4 analog but tied up for digital by Canada of all things, ABC is 29 & 8 analog, 31 & 56 DT. See one channel is for northern lower, and the other is for eastern upper Michigan.
 

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From http://ftp.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/digitaltv.html:


"As part of the DTV transition, each existing television licensee received a paired digital channel for digital transmission, in addition to its analog channel, used for regular television service. After the transition, broadcasters will have to surrender the analog channel to the FCC for auction."


So it looks like the current intent is for the analog channels to go away, and the station to stay on whatever frequency its current DTV is being broadcast on. So if there aren't any VHF DTV stations in an area, the probably won't be after the 2006 cutover date currently established by the FCC.
 

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Joe,


I'm guessing the document you refer to is worded such as it is in the interests of simplicity. Although I agree that it seems like it, they are not actually referring to the actual, "physical" channel number which is currently in use by analog stations. Broadcasters get to choose which of their 2 current allocations(Digital or analog) to use for their digital station after the analog shutoff.


Furthermore, the frequencies to be auctioned off are not specifically the frequenices in any given area that analog channels are currently broadcasting on, instead, they are the frequenices used by TV channels 52-69.


Follows is a portion of the relavent information straight from the FCC's

"Sixth Report And Order" -- in the matter of Advanced Television Systems and Their Impact Upon the Existing Television Broadcast Service", which is a portion of a set of rules, or guidelines created for broadcasters+the DTV transistion in order to "regulate" the portion of spectrum used. (Note: NTSC=Analog, BTW) :


"84. We also will allow broadcasters, wherever feasible, to switch their DTV service to their existing NTSC channels at the end of the transition if they so desire. Such channel switches would be permitted provided that the station's existing channel is within the final DTV core spectrum. Stations, with both NTSC and DTV channels outside the core spectrum, will be assigned new channels within the core from recovered spectrum."


The entire text of the Sixth Report and order can be downloaded from here:

http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Engineeri.../fcc97115.html


Links to other FCC rulemaking relating to the DTV transistion can be found here:

http://www.fcc.gov/dtv


Note -- You'll also find info on the adoption of channels 2-51 as the DTV core channels in these documents, including the addition of channels 2-6 to the core, and why they were added, as well as info on reclaiming the add'l spectrum of channels 52-69.


--------------------------------


More pertinent info from FCC site:


Follows is From the current DTV FAQ from FCC website which is located at http://www.fcc.gov/mb/policy/dtv/ -- note that it says "one of the two channels", it doesn't specify which one:


"At the end of the transition period -- which is now scheduled for the year 2006 -- broadcasters will be required to surrender one of the two channels".


--------------------


More pertinent info on this matter, as quoted from http://ftp.fcc.gov/oet/faqs/dtvfaqs.html


"Question: What are the channel assignments for digital television?


Answer: Under the FCC spectrum plan, we have provided most existing broadcasters with access to a 6 MHz channel for digital broadcasting within a core digital TV spectrum, i.e., TV channels 2 to 51. Because of the limited availability of spectrum and the need to accommodate all existing facilities with minimal interference among stations, however, during the transition some broadcasters would be provided DTV channels outside of this core spectrum (channels 52 to 69). These broadcasters would have to move their DTV operations to a channel in the core spectrum when one became available. Broadcasters whose existing NTSC channels were in the core spectrum could move their DTV operations to their NTSC channel at some time in the future. Broadcasters whose DTV transition channel and existing NTSC channel were both outside of the core area could obtain a new DTV channel when channels in the core spectrum are recovered.

After the transition period (2006), the VHF channels (2-13) will remain available for DTV and the analog TV service will end on all channels. "


---------------------------------------------------------


Perhaps a more understandable "summary" of important issues affecting the DTV transistion can be found at the website at http://www.vrtual1.com/hdtvdtv/index.html in the "DTV LAW" section, which contains the following summary in the "Reorganizing and Reclaiming the Spectrum" subsection :


"Core TV Channels: The Commission has designated Channels 2 through 51 as the core channels. Its goal is to eventually move all television stations within this spectrum. Most stations currently have both an NTSC and a DTV channel assigned within this core. These stations will be permitted to pick which channel they wish to retain permanently; but, they must return the other channel to the FCC when the transition to digital is complete."


"Assignments Outside of the Core: Not all stations were assigned DTV allotments within the core. As a result, some stations will be required to move their DTV broadcast to a channel within the core at the end of the transition period. Twelve stations have both NTSC and DTV assignments outside the core. They will be able to move onto an available channel within the core, either during the transition or at its end, without the risk of facing a competing application."


-------------------------------


Is it as clear as mud now ?
 

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Jeff


Good info. Thanks!
 
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