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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just plugged this baby in my dtc 100 and received all Detroit area hd channels. I currently have it in my home theater in my basement, there are also lots of oak trees right in the way but this isen't a problem with this antenna, i am getting signal strengths in the 60-75 range. Analog signals are more problematic though, but i didn't purchase this antenna for analog, just thought i would mention it. I will mount the silver sensor in my attic to further improve reception and get a clearer line of sight to the towers. Thumbs up to Antiference.
 

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Thats good that you can get a decent signal underground. Never heard of that antennae before. How much was it? I'm assuming that its a multidirectional antennae.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Search the archives. This antenna is not omnidirectional at all. It is directional and resists multipath. This is why it works so well for hd signals. Keep in mind that the silver sensor is an UHF antenna. Regards
 

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Nope. For me, the Silver Sensor worked even better *outside*. I went from receiving 2 channels inside (sporadically) to all 4 Seattle HDTV stations with a very strong (70%+) signal strength. However, the antenna does come with a little stand and appears to be designed primarily for indoor use.
 

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Corey, et al, the UHF-only Silver Sensor antenna from the British Antiference company is available in the U.S. from Clark S. Herman Associates in New Jersey, [email protected] . Email him for an order form. I've had one on top of the TV for about three weeks with my DTC100 and it's definitely a keeper. It's allowing reception of 5 digital channels "looking" through two solid walls at transmitters ~40 miles away. This is 5 times more digital channels than my outdoor combo antenna would receive and lock. It's designated for indoor use. There is absolutely nothing I can see that would prevent its outdoor use, and I intend to try it tomorrow. It's basically two identical sheets of flat aluminum sheet stock, cut into the log periodic "elements" and seperted above and below by a black plastic spacer/insulator, with presumably a 300 ohm-to-75 ohm balun inside the hollow plastic spacer. The two aluminum sheets are mounted as mirror images to each other so that the corresponding right-left "wings" alternate above and below the spacer. There's a captive coaxial cable exiting the rear of the spacer with a push-on European PAL connector. RatShack sells a PAL-to-female standard "F" connector for $1.29. The Silver Sensor antenna is only about 1' long and weighs in at well under 1 lb. Since it's a log periodic design, it's very directionally sensitive, with high gain relative to its size. A coincidental benefit of its directional design is that it's highly immune to multipath. Since all my stations broadcast from the same general direction, it works well for me. If you have transmitters scattered in different directions, an outdoor mounting would benefit from a rotator. If this works outdoors as well as I'm hoping, I'll probably take some silicon sealant and calk the joint between the spacer and the two sheet aluminum "elements" as well as where the coax exits to prevent moisture entering and shorting the balun. It appears that for "permanent" mast mounting it might be possible to use two interlocked screw-type hose clamps, with electrical tape to seal/lock that push-on connector to it's PAL-to-F adaptor. If you order from Clark S. Herman, it'll come overnight FedEx unless you specify cheaper ground shipping. His order form lists "Standard", but it's really the overnight FedEx. The resulting shipping charge could be eye-popping for the unwary. According to etown, the list price is ~$12.50. With attention to shipping method it should be possible to get one for ~$20.00. Don't let its absurdly simple construction fool you. The Brits did some seriously clever design homework, and this thing, while not a universal solution, is an amazingly effective tool for many common digital reception problems. If RatShack had half a clue, they'd negotiate a manufacturing license with Antiference and sell these things nationally in the U.S. for $19.95. (And given its simple construction, they'd be making $15.00 on each one.)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by MAX HD:
Like they say,the memory"s the first thing to *go*!
Actually, my ex-wife assured me that memory's the second thing to go. I've forgotten what the first thing is... http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Appears as though many are pleased with this antenna but i have one question for Ray as to why he would want to mount his silver sensor outside to get higher signal strength. Correct me if i am wrong anyone but whether you have a HD signal in the 60's or the 90's is there any appreciable difference in picture quality, i suspect not. I am wondering if this would be useful for analog stations though, my silver sensor isen't picking up the area analog UHF stations too well. Just curious.
 

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So I can buy this for $20, seal it up, mount it outside and it will perform as well as any yagi? What about grounding?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by power:
Appears as though many are pleased with this antenna but i have one question for Ray as to why he would want to mount his silver sensor outside to get higher signal strength. Correct me if i am wrong anyone but whether you have a HD signal in the 60's or the 90's is there any appreciable difference in picture quality, i suspect not. I am wondering if this would be useful for analog stations though, my silver sensor isen't picking up the area analog UHF stations too well. Just curious.
Point well taken, Power. One annoying problem with having the Silver Sensor indoors is that everytime someone walks through the family room or the entry hall on their way to the Kitchen (a VERY heavily traveled path in this household since that's where the Suds are!), I get a brief breakup in the picture. This effect does nothing to enhance recordings in progress. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif There are, however, three stations I do not get. One of them, FOX' KTTV registers in the mid-to-high 20s with an occasional foray into the mid 30s (enough to momentarily lock). One of the others is the local UPN affiliate (KCOP), and I get abominable analog reception of StarTrek Voyager. Finally, the third unwatchable is an independent, KCAL, which broadcasts Lakers and Kings games. I'm hoping the outdoor experiment will tip the balance on these three channels in my favor. And while digital is essentially all or nothing for maximum PQ as you correctly pointed out, having reserve signal strength (Actually the numerical desigantions on the DTC100 are an inverse measure of error rate I've read, here.) might be helpful during inclement weather and the periodic wind-born dust in my area during our infamous Santa Ana "breezes" (60mph and up sometimes for days on end). You can never be too thin, too rich, or have too much signal integrity - unless it overloads the receiver's front end.

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originally posted by Joe_R:
So I can buy this for $20, seal it up, mount it outside and it will perform as well as any yagi? What about grounding?
Well, even indoors, the Silver Sensor beat the pants off the Yagi section of my outdoor combo antenna. As for grounding, basically the standard techniques still apply. If you look at the construction of a standard antenna, the only parts grounded through the mast are the boom and its directly mounted reflective and directive elements. The electrically active elements are insulated by their plastic supports from the rest of the structure. (They'd have to be for the antenna to work.) With the Silver Sensor, the same holds true, but its "boom" in this case is the plastic spacer rod. Incidentally Antiference specs that the Silver Sensor operates through some sort of capacitance coupling for further personal and equipment safety - why they'd feel compelled to go to this length for an indoor antenna is beyond me. Perhaps some obscure European Union electrical code requirement. As long as you run the RF coax cable through a properly installed ground block, your receiver, VCR, or TV is as protected as it would be with a standard antenna. Of course, you'll want to insure that the metal mast or tower is properly grounded, too, since it's an effective lightning rod.


[This message has been edited by Ray H (edited 01-09-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hey members, thus far i have only read 1 negative post on this antenna so if you all have been looking for the best indoor UHF antenna for DTV stations, i believe we have a winner here. The silver sensor is so simple in construction, looks good too and best of all it works! Yes, this post does sound like it is an endorsment and for those wondering, it is indeed. For myself and the many others that have confirmed it (search the archives), we wouldn't post such positive results if this antenna didn't produce. Just getting the word out to fellow members.
 

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Scott,


Possible but not likely, different antennas would pick up similar frequencies at different levels and tend to cancel or create additional interference. Note that the DTC 100 does have two antenna inputs so you could plug in two different antennas pointed to your stations... Also the CM 4248 YAGI UHF antenna allows you to combine only the VHF portions of a signal from a different antenna.. Again not useful if the bulk of HDTV is in the UHF band (like in DC and most other places)..


Question to others::


Could you just put a Silver Sensor in the attic and have it replace YAGIs ?




[This message has been edited by Madhav Panwar (edited 01-09-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
if anyone has any recommendations for a good VHF antenna for in the future when some of the stations switch over to VHF let us know. Some areas do indeed already have some VHF HD stations currently operating, what sort of antenna or you guys using to pick these stations up?
 

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I don't have HD equipment yet, but I can STRONGLY recommend the ChannelMaster 3614 CrossFire VHF ( at least for NTSC channels). I get a picture on a Grade B PBS station that you would swear is digital 480i if I point at that station.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
50 miles from the tower should be fine, depending on the area you live.I have read where some people got hd reception at over 50 miles but cannot confirm this. I myself am 40-50 miles and have no problems. If you have a good antenna, hd reception is no problem. The silver sensor falls into that category of good antennas and should work exceptionnally for practically anyone.


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power
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
i am not saying that this antenna is a miracle worker but as i mentionned before, i get all 5 hd channels from my basement, even with the silver sensor pointing at the wall(not through a window). What i am saying that with my situation i believed that i wouldn't be able to receive hd broadcasts due to the poor analog reception in the area with all the tall oak trees. My line of sight is cluttered to say the least just like yours and very undesireable but if you have a good antenna like the silver sensor miracles CAN occasionally happen.


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power
 
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