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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was unable to get a lock on KPIX/SF for a pal last week from Portola Valley in time for the NCAA HD games. Using a CM 4228 on a 20' mast to a DTC100, the best signal acheived was about 30 - just enough to get an occaisional tease freeze frame.


The same guy is a golf nut and wants to see The Masters starting today. The house is in a serious elevated valley with huge twin water towers in the line to Sutro.


Will a preamp help? If so what model? Is it worth trying a different antenna?


Thanks in advance.


Curtis
 

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You might try a CM 7775 pre-amp. I am using one in Palo Alto and found it really helped. They are a bit hard to get. I got mine from starkelectronic.com last week. Schad Electronics in San Jose said that they have some coming in, maybe they are there now.


Can you put up a 30ft mast in the location? Might help.


There is a forum member named John Stephens who knows everything about this stuff. A national treasure.


Let us know how it turns out.
 

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Just to clarify--Portola Valley is on the San Francisco Peninsula. I don't think that the Sacramento stations are very likely sources of HDTV.


I live in Palo Alto which is nearby.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by R8der:
Do you have the 4228 on a rotor?? For a fringe area, a rotor is an absolute must have!


As another poster suggested, you should be looking for KOVR instead of KPIX. Portola Valley is in the Sierra foothills...right?


Chris
Yes, it's on a rotor. Can't see KOVR as Portola Valley in on the SF peninsula. I called Schad in SJO asking about a 7775. They have orders for 17 of them with none in stock.


They suggested trying a Wingard model 0071DSB. More gain, different specs, & in stock. Anyone know about this one?


Also many thanks for the quick replies.

 

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If starkelectronic.com has some they can get you one in two days.


I have heard some good things about the Wingard but have not tried it.


I hate to mention this but you might try Radio Shack. Their stuff is not very good BUT they will take it back if it doesn't work. It is just possible that it would help. (The Radio Shack did not help me but the CM 7775 did BTW. As I said, I live in Palo Alto.)


Can you put a 30 foot mast up? They are a pain to deal with but it might be just what is needed.


Given your time criticality, I would try the Radio Shack unit, and then buy the Wingard if the RS doesn't help.

 

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The Palo Alto Fry's has a CM Spartan 3 pre-amp in stock:
http://www.channelmaster.com/pages/ss1.htm


I picked one up but I haven't got around to installing it yet. It was $50 and probably worth a try. It is not as good as the Titan but you can pick it up easily locally. I also agree that you might want to get a taller mast if you can . . . Portola valley is pretty hilly and those water tanks sure are not helping you. Can you move the antenna placement away from the tanks at all??
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Curtis:
I called Schad in SJO asking about a 7775. They have orders for 17 of them with none in stock.
Holy smokes. I wish I could buy stock in Channel Master but it doesn't appear to be publically traded. I think UHF antenna and preamp sales are going to take off in the next few years . . . at least until many cable companies start carrying HD channels.


Regarding the Radio Shack amp, don't get the $29.95 Radio Shack 15-1115 preamp. It is a piece of sh#t. It cause more problems for me than it solved. That is by my own personal experience and this article:
http://www.projectorexpert.com/pages/preamp.htm
 

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I've been trying to obtain a CM7775 for about a month now....

They've been on backorder from CM everywhere! I've tried several Internet sites (Stark was out when I called), Schad Electronics, and local electronics stores....all with no luck. I finally found a CM distributor that has them in stock and is shipping one to me today for about $60. It's Warren Electronics at http://www.warrenelectronics.com


CM admits that they've been caught by surprise by the demand for HDTV antenna systems, and that's why the stock is low.


(BTW R8DER: You need to study your Bay Area geography! :)
 

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MDS54,


Thanks for the recommendation on the source for the 7775- just ordered one (in stock) and backordered a 4228A (next week). Tried an RS preamp- definitely very unsatisfactory!


Regards,


Jon
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Curtis:
dagman - I just picked up a Spartan 3 at Fry's. Keep your fingers crossed.
It is worth a try. Good luck! I'm pretty sure you can return it if it doesn't work for you.


I am able to pick up just about all the stations with some fine tuning with the rotor but I get periodic drop outs. The signal strengths are 60s to 80s. I'm hoping the Spartan strengthens the signal enough so there are no more drop-outs.

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
dagman


I'm in PA too, near Cubberly. All I use for an antenna is the CM Stealth sitting on a 3' tripod. Everything locks perfectly, no preamps. Using a DTC100. I'm guessing you must be up in the hills.


Curtis
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Curtis:
I'm in PA too, near Cubberly. All I use for an antenna is the CM Stealth sitting on a 3' tripod. Everything locks perfectly, no preamps. Using a DTC100. I'm guessing you must be up in the hills.
I'm at Lytton & University . . . My antenna might work fine w/o a preamp, but I still have that crappy radio shack mast-mounted amp still in place. I find the system works better w/o the power supply for the RS amp plugged into the AC. It will probably work better still when I get rid of the RS mast-mounted amp portion . . . but I'm gonna add the CM amp just in case it needs the boost. I'm getting tired of taking down & putting up the antenna. The Dish Network satellite dish installation was *much* easier than this UHF antenna Voodoo.


I really *really* hate that RS amp . . . it has wasted much of my time.
 

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Do you have the 4228 on a rotor?? For a fringe area, a rotor is an absolute must have!


As another poster suggested, you should be looking for KOVR instead of KPIX. Portola Valley is in the Sierra foothills...right?


Chris
 
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