AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,


I wanted to get some feedback on antenna selection basics and the conflicting posts I get from different people all over. I live in south Arlington, TX which is around 20 miles (direct) from the towers here in the metroplex. (I can see them very well!)


I have been planning to grab just an OTA signal for a few months now but I think I am starting to plan too much! I have read several different posts and emailed several different companies (Channel master, Winegard etc) about a good fit for me but they all confuse me.


Antennaweb.org suggests a medium directional antenna. If I start with that basics the following companies has suggested the following antennas


Winegard: GS-2000A

Channel master: 2001

Skyvision: perfect vision antenna

Radioshack: VU90X

Antennacraft: AC9


All these antennas vary in size and shape and are not at all just medium directional. I have heard good things about the VU90 but it is 8 feet long?! Is it really necessary to mount an 8 foot antenna on your roof to capture the channels 20 miles away?


If anyone can shine some light on these things I sure would appreciate it. I have tried to dabbnle around in this and tried not to "buy and test" first but it seems like I might have to trial my way to what will work for me as well.


Thanks,


Pierre
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,390 Posts
The only sure-fire way to find the right antenna (and potentially preamp and rotator) for your location is to buy and test.


Let space considerations and mounting location be your guide. A 160" antenna is no good for you if you have no desire to have something that big above your house (or it wouldn't fit in your attic).


Having "too good an antenna" is better than having "too poor an antenna;" there's no reason not to look at some of the models a few steps up from what you've been recommended. The price difference is usually rather minimal compared to buying another one.


You'll probably want/need a preamp.


If you are planning to receive digital broadcasts, you'll probably want a rotator.


A compact VHF/UHF antenna that may suffice is the Channel Master Stealthtenna 3010. If I were in your situation, and concerned about antenna size, and didn't want the ability to explore what else I could receive at different times, I'd start with the 3010 alone, and if it works, great. If not, I'd consider adding a Channel Master 7777 preamp to it (I wouldn't use the available internal preamp for the 3010 because I'd want the flexibility to use a different antenna later, and the 7777 specs are better, too). And if that didn't work well, I'd move up to a bigger antenna.


But nobody can really give you an absolute "this will work for you." Every situation is different. That's the nature of RF. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
Unfortunately, no one can give you very much specific information without knowing the specifics of your house, the landscape, and the location of transmitters for your channels.


You will have to test till you get it right.


I have an AC9 for sale if you are interested.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,631 Posts
You say you're 20mi from the towers and can "see them". If you mean you can see them from your roof, then you are good to go. You won't need a pre-amp. If fact using one could result in tuner overload.


To add another option to you list, try the silver sensor. I think people have been getting them at sears. Do a search here and you'll see it come up alogt. This is an indoor antenna and people have lots of luck with it.


Another think you need to know is are the station all UHF or do you have one or more VHF that you'd like to get? If they are all UHF and all come from the same antenna farm (i.e. direction), then one of the small winegards would work like the CA-9065 or the channelmaster 3022.


I checked antennaweb.org using 76013 (one of the arlington zipcodes) and all the live stations are 125deg-133deg (based on that zip). This includes both Dallas and Ft. Worth. Only one (WFAA-DT) is VHF. All others are UHF. This shows small multi-directional antenna as the one of choice.


Use one of the above antennae for UHF and add a cut-to-channel for ch9 such as the taco (jerrold) 5Y9S or the winegard YA-6713 for ch7-13. Add a UHF/VHF combiner and you're good to go.


pm me if I can be of more help.


jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
648 Posts
I can offer some direct help. I live in far north Plano. Put your finger on the map where Plano, Frisco, and Allen meet and thats my house. I am farther away from the towers in question then you are. I also have more obstructions due to the taller buildings in/around Addison on the tollroad.


I have a CM 4228 on a pole attached to the side of my house. It extends 5 feet above the lower roof line, which is to say about 30 feet high. Its pointed more or less southwest. I do not have any amplifier of any type. My coaxial wire run is nearly 100 ft (Which is about the maximum you would want anyway.)


I can get all of the High Def signals that are in the 104/119 location and my signal strength runs from 100 to 66 depending on which one and if there is bad weather. I do not get very good VHF reception with this antenna but thats OK because I have local channels via DirecTV.


The CM 4228 is about $40.00 depending on where you get it. It works much better than the Terk TV-55 I had on the same pole.


Let me know if you have any other questions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
If you can see the towers, you can probably get by with a small antenna,

even an indoor antenna like the SilverSensor/Zenith or the Radio Shack double-bow-tie.


Don't bother with an amplified antenna if you have line of sight and are only 20 miles away.


A simple directional antenna (UHF probably) is what you want.


P.s. Stay away from Terk... They are way overpriced and don't perform.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
You should have no reception problems if you can see the transmitter towers and are located 20 miles from them. I would recommend the Channel Master 3016. Fry's Electronics sells Channel Master antennas and would be a good choice in the Dallas area. You should not need a pre-amplifier either. You will need a VHF/UHF antenna since you need VHF for channel 8-1 which is transmitted on physical channel 9.


I attic-installed a CM 3016 (no pre-amp) for my son who lives in Spring, TX and he receives the Houston digital TV stations just fine from a distance greater than 20 miles. I attic-installed a CM 3020 with pre-amp for my other son who lives in Allen, TX and he gets excellent reception of all DFW analog stations except channel 2. This is over 40 miles from the transmitters.


You definitely should not need a huge roof-mounted antenna for your location. You lose a lot of signal strength by placing an antenna in the attic but you should have plenty of signal strength to work with at your location.


DonP

Plano, TX
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the great info! I will take a look at all the different ones you recommended.


The Silver sensor was at one time a good choice for me, however, My house is located somewhat in a valley. When I mean a valley I dobn't mean 500 feet below sealevel but approximately 20 feet under the radar to the tower. I have had problems before using rabbit easrs in part of my house but if I get to my roof another 20 feet up it is perfect view and another 10 feet to my chimney I am good to go I believe.


I live in zipcode 76017 of a road called brenhaven. The only channel they are sending today on VHF here is ABC which I don't have too many shows I watch but it would be great to get that channel as well. I am still in the testing stage here so it is not completely critical that everything has to be perfect but as we all now we have to justify all these different products to the spouses, and sometimes it is not fun. :(


(Especially if I have to buy several antennas and she says: I can't tell a difference between HDTV and regular cable!)


I have done a search here before for the stealth antenna 3010 and it seems some people have had good results. Would this be a possible solution to get both VHF and UHF without the large antenna look?


Thanks for the input...


P.S for showard.. you noted that your cable run is 100 feet. Is there a maximum cable run not recommended for loss of signal. I have been doing some measuring and if I mount the antenna on the outside, go down the roof, in under an eav and up in my attic and then down a wall I think I would probably end up at around 75-100 feet. Is this bad?


Pierre!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,086 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by pwygant


I have done a search here before for the stealth antenna 3010 and it seems some people have had good results. Would this be a possible solution to get both VHF and UHF without the large antenna look?
With line-of-sight @ 20 miles, almost any outdoor antenna should work, even those we routinely criticize as being "worthless." But a preamp is definite no-no at that range.


As for the "I can't see the difference" problem, I don't think you have anything to fear. Just be sure to point out details on the picture, not the lack of static. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,642 Posts
100 feet of good RG6 has about 6->7 dB of loss at 400 MHz. Less at lower frequencies. At only 20 miles though you should be able to tolerate the loss without having to add an amplifier. Overcoming excessive line loss is what those pre-amps are good for if you need more than 100 feet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
648 Posts
Right. So most people say that 100 ft is pretty much the limit w/o a pre-amp. My point is that I'm running the full 100 ft with no pre-amp and my weakest channel here in the DFW area is still 66 with crappy weather.


I'll bet I could add another 50 and still not have drop outs.

Quote:
Originally posted by NightHawk
100 feet of good RG6 has about 6->7 dB of loss at 400 MHz. Less at lower frequencies. At only 20 miles though you should be able to tolerate the loss without having to add an amplifier. Overcoming excessive line loss is what those pre-amps are good for if you need more than 100 feet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,642 Posts
I definitely agree. I'm pulling in the DC stations at over 50 miles with only a CM 4228. In my opinion too many people waste their money unnecessarly on amplifiers trying to overcome poor antenna designs/installations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
I live about 10-15 miles east of SHOWARD in Lucas (NW shore of Lake Lavon). I live in a small little valley, but I do just fine with an inside the attic mounted 80" Radio Shack antenna. I would go with this one - its reletively cheap, and a little too much antenna is better then not enough. Let us know what you chose and how it worked out for you.

http://www.radioshack.com/product.as...5Fid=15%2D2152
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,273 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by sregener

With line-of-sight @ 20 miles, almost any outdoor antenna should work, even those we routinely criticize as being "worthless."
Yup. Just put the antenna where it is able to "see" the towers.


If you only need UHF, a CM 4221 (a.k.a. 3021) is a good choice; unobtrusive, cheap, works well.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top