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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased my Hitachi HDTV a week ago a Sunday. I hooked it up the the antenna I was using for local stations, an older Radio Shack roof top antenna. I have line of site to the Broadcast transmitter but my antenna was blocked by a tree a couple backyards over. Works ok for analogue and got some signal for High Def. I purhased an rca indoor amplified antenna and was getting signal strengths from 60% to 85% but thought I could do better. I went to the Shack and picked up their so called high def stealth antenna which is supposed to be amplified (15-2185). I bought pipe vent mounts brackets so I could install the new antenna without any obstructions with a new 5 foot mast. I'm on a hill and with line of site I was really excited. I buy a new 50foot quad shielded cable and hook everything up and bypass the splitter I was using for my old antenna. So what did I get, pretty much a weak signal that was unwatchable. I moved the brackets to another location and tried again,no luck. Finally, I took this antenna to the far corner of the roof and simply held it in place and got signal strengths from 10-40%. So I packed everything up and plan on taking it back today. Hooked the rca antenna back up and decided to quit while i'm kind of ahead. I can't believe this antenna was such a failure, especially when I could see the tower high up on a mountain in the middle of San Francisco with virtually nothing between this massive transmitter and my location
 

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Most people have great success with the Radio Shack UHF Only 15-2160. Works great for me (in an attic).
 

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Probably far too much signal for anything with an amplifier. One of our stations' (KOIT) engineers called me once with a problem of ingress on his boss' cable TV. There is just so much RF (not just TV, but FM, cell, 2-way, etc) in a big city, it was almost impossible to get rid of. Try any type of passive (non-amplified) antenna.
 

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The Radio Shack 15-2185 is working very well for me. Mine is mounted in my attic, and I get 85-90% signal strength on most of my channels. I'm 40 miles from the broadcast towers too. Do you have the power injector in-line close to the antenna? The antenna won't work if you aren't using the power injector, and I believe the manual states any devices (splitters, etc.) must be connected between the power injector and the receiver (or TV), not between the power injector and antenna. When I first hooked mine up, the red light on the power injector did not come on. I swapped to another coax cable between the power injector and the antenna and the light came on. If the light on your power injector isn't on, the antenna won't work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
the power light was on and I had it connected to a short coax cable to the tv,

I used a brand new quad shielded cable with the new stealth antenna. I tried it in 3 positions on the roof, side to side and up and down while my wife laughed inside the living room at the pathetic signal. At this point, I went back to the original RCA ant 1030 that's amplified and pulls in the best signal on most channels in one position. My signal strenth on my Hitachi signal strenth meter, varies from the low 60's to the high 70's. I even tried my old radio shack uhf,vhf antenna on the roof in a new position with direct line of site to the huge sutro tower. When I say line of site, I mean I can clearly view the antenna and the warning lights blinking on the tower. This is the last thing I expected to have problems with being within 8-10 miles of the tower. I can't believe the relatively poorly positioned interior antenna(or so it seemed) is pulling in what the expensive amplified stealth antenna couldn't
 

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Having too much amplification is as bad as not having enough signal. In your situation, you want a "passive", non-amplified antenna - not one of those "high tech" looking ampolified antenna. That Radio Shack double bowtie should be all that you need for UHF stations, and quite possibly for some higher VHF (say, channel 12/13). If that isn't quite enough, then get a NON- Radio Shack pre-amp - a channelmaster / winegard are much higher regarded for DTV.
 

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Give the Silver Sensor a try it is highly directional and has decent gain. I use two in a combined configuration and run their combined inputs into a variable high gain 30 db pre-amp to increase gain further.


Now you dont have to use an elaborate setup like mine one will work fine for most setups. I happen to want to pick up stations that are 55 + miles away and have to deal with some multipath issues in the process.


I am able to tweak the setup here and there like a poor mans phased array. I have great success with this setup I have enclosed a pic of the setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
wward, thanks, nice photo, I didn't know you could combine antennas , but it does seem like a good way to get a stronger signal rather than having to continually move the antenna. What do you use to combine the signals, there seems to be a simple splitter with an amplifier? Is it that simple just to reverse an antenna splitter with the input from two antennas and go straight to the HDTV receiver or add an amp?
 

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keithhr,

The stealth antenna works for some, but it is usually a poor choice. If you can see the transmitters, you probably don't need a stronger signal, which explains why the cheap little indoor antenna works better than your rooftop antenna.


George Molnar,

Search the forums for square shooter (or squareshooter?). Some of the people on this board who install antennas for a living say the can not recommend that antenna. It is trying to compete with TERK, based on looks (for the WAF market) - not the actual performance market.
 

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Who sells the Squareshooter "HDTV2" and how much? We may test one here.
 

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WWard,

I also have a horizontally stacked SS "array" in my attic. I have to use it to watch our Nexstar-owned, low power 480i NBC affiliate (KARK-DT ~4kw on a short stick). Most of the time though, I have the A/B switch set to my roof antenna. I seldom watch NBC, especially since we only get it in 480i.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
since I'm really new to all of this, excuse the uninformed(dumb)question. What is used to combine signals from two antennas? I have an exterior vhv-uhf antenna and it got half the signal strength of my indoor amplified rca 1230 model. I've tried an interior amplified phlips and radio shack model and got half the strength.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by keithhr
wward, thanks, nice photo, I didn't know you could combine antennas , but it does seem like a good way to get a stronger signal rather than having to continually move the antenna. What do you use to combine the signals, there seems to be a simple splitter with an amplifier? Is it that simple just to reverse an antenna splitter with the input from two antennas and go straight to the HDTV receiver or add an amp?
I use a combiner/splitter like this one Cat # 15-1237 http://www.radioshack.com/category.a...1%5F000&Page=2 and then run equal lengths (4 1/2') RG6 cable to the combiner and then a 6" peice of RG6 to the pre-amp.


The pre-amp is about two years old Radio Shack does not carry it anymore. IMO it was one of their best pre-amps they carried. I may upgrade to one of the others (Channel master etc...) with a slightly better nosie spec, but for my purposes for now the amp is fine.


From there is to the back of the HD receiver.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by arxaw
WWard,

I also have a horizontally stacked SS "array" in my attic. I have to use it to watch our Nexstar-owned, low power 480i NBC affiliate (KARK-DT ~4kw on a short stick). Most of the time though, I have the A/B switch set to my roof antenna. I seldom watch NBC, especially since we only get it in 480i.
Nice setup; I'll tell you, this actually started out as an experiment of sorts and evolved into a nice working setup. I actually saw a real elaborate one on the southern califormia threads a while back and that kind of sparked the idea and I ran with it from there.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by wward
Nice setup; I'll tell you, this actually started out as an experiment of sorts and evolved into a nice working setup. I actually saw a real elaborate one on the southern califormia threads a while back and that kind of sparked the idea and I ran with it from there.
It's obvious from your photo that you don't have small children in your house. That setup would last about 30 seconds in my house. :)


Nifty bit of improvised engineering, though.


-T.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by keithhr
since I'm really new to all of this, excuse the uninformed(dumb)question. What is used to combine signals from two antennas? I have an exterior vhv-uhf antenna and it got half the signal strength of my indoor amplified rca 1230 model. I've tried an interior amplified phlips and radio shack model and got half the strength.
In principle combining antennas can be tricky and as stated already I am experimenting with different setups etc... Having said that you need to have two or more "like" antennas if you are combining antennas to increas gain.


In addition you need equal lengths of coax coming from the antennas going to the combiner. There are established formulas (I have a spreadsheet with all of that stuff somewhere) that state the amount of gain for a give frequency for a given antenna size etc...


If you are trying to combine a VHF and UHF antenna to aviod purchasing a combo (UHF/VHF) antenna thats a different story and requires a different approach. I am guess that you are talking about the former not the latter.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by tremor_f
It's obvious from your photo that you don't have small children in your house. That setup would last about 30 seconds in my house. :)


Nifty bit of improvised engineering, though.


-T.
Only a five year old and she stays away from all of the electroncs and stuff. Truth be told its the old lady I have to worry about :)
 

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I put the Silver Sensor on top of a bookshelf in Palo Alto, aimed it at Sutro, and was done. Everything came in great, and no amplifier to get overloaded. You're lucky to have all the DT transmitters in one location. (NBC was on a subchannel of the Telemundo channel.)
 
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