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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone,

Looking for some assistance in picking a new antenna. I currently have a "lovely" Radio Shack, VU-190 XR.


Antenna:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2103087


I not too happy with it....
It came with the house.


So, I'm looking to upgrade to something decent and with a terrific range. I have a Antenna Rotator and the antenna also has a Radio Shack Amp.


Amp:
http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2103094


Like I said, these items came with the house and I don't mind keeping them if these are the best options for me....or if there is something better out there.

My goal is to get Seattle HD and maybe Canada HD?



On a side note....if I do need a different antenna....can I use the existing antenna for a police scanner/FM Radio?


Thanks for your help everyone!


SirChaos


Attached is my TVFool Information on Distance and Direction.
 

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It would help if you could tell us which digital stations you get with the VU-190XR antenna. Are you getting any of the Seattle stations? That is a very large deep fringe but rather directional antenna, pretty good for VHF, but not great for UHF reception. Are you having to rotate the antenna a lot? One possible option might be to keep the VU-190XR for VHF and add a CM4221 4 Bay on top of the mast for UHF reception.


Another item you should explore is what stations you can get without the Radio Shack amp. You cannot turn the amp off as that results in almost no signal from the antenna, you need to bypass it - which presumably involves climbing up to the antenna.
 

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First you should decide whether you want to try for the only low-VHF station on your list that you can realistically receive, the analog Canadian station on ch 2. If you don't need low VHF, you can save a lot of size and weight.


With a setup like the one shown at the link in my sig, which uses an Antennas Direct 91XG for UHF, you can probably get some of the Canadian digital stations at least part time (no guarantees).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by afiggatt /forum/post/15422070


It would help if you could tell us which digital stations you get with the VU-190XR antenna. Are you getting any of the Seattle stations? That is a very large deep fringe but rather directional antenna, pretty good for VHF, but not great for UHF reception. Are you having to rotate the antenna a lot? One possible option might be to keep the VU-190XR for VHF and add a CM4221 4 Bay on top of the mast for UHF reception.


Another item you should explore is what stations you can get without the Radio Shack amp. You cannot turn the amp off as that results in almost no signal from the antenna, you need to bypass it - which presumably involves climbing up to the antenna.

Currently with the AMP in place and pointed south towards Seattle:


4-1, 5-1, 5-2, 7-1, 7-2, 9-1 thru 9-5 - Good

13-1, 13-2 Spotty

16-1, 16-2 Spotty to Poor

45-1, 51-1 Good


Pointing North:


12-1 Good

Analog 2 - CBUT Canadian - Spotty


Nothing else.


Another thing to add is that the coax coming from the antenna is RG59 (not RG6). Does that make a difference?


I will probably climb up on the roof later on today and see what I get without the AMP in the loop. It has always been there since we moved in.


Also, if we keep the existing antenna up there and add a CM4221, how do I combine the signal into my receiver?


Thanks for the great help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by jtbell /forum/post/15422164


First you should decide whether you want to try for the only low-VHF station on your list that you can realistically receive, the analog Canadian station on ch 2. If you don't need low VHF, you can save a lot of size and weight.


With a setup like the one shown at the link in my sig, which uses an Antennas Direct 91XG for UHF, you can probably get some of the Canadian digital stations at least part time (no guarantees).


As a FYI, I'm about 100 miles from Vancouver BC. I really would like to see if I could get Canada for hockey and curling, as Directv does not carry the CBC.


Another thing is after the digital transition, Channel 9 and 13 will be moving back to VHF High here in Seattle and remain there for DT Transmission.
 

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Assuming the radio shack antenna isn't damaged, it may suffice. There's nothing particularly wrong with Radio Shack antennas. Their amplifiers, though, don't have a good reputation. The RG-59 is probably not making the difference (particularly not with channel 2), but if you're going up on the roof anyway, replacing it with RG-6 is a good idea. Particularly since the condition of the RG-59 and connectors is unknown.


If you add a UHF antenna like the CM4221, you could also get a "UVSJ" to combine the UHF and VHF signals. Or, if you determine you need an amp, you could get an amplifier with separate UHF and VHF inputs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler /forum/post/15422743


Assuming the radio shack antenna isn't damaged, it may suffice. There's nothing particularly wrong with Radio Shack antennas. Their amplifiers, though, don't have a good reputation. The RG-59 is probably not making the difference (particularly not with channel 2), but if you're going up on the roof anyway, replacing it with RG-6 is a good idea. Particularly since the condition of the RG-59 and connectors is unknown.


If you add a UHF antenna like the CM4221, you could also get a "UVSJ" to combine the UHF and VHF signals. Or, if you determine you need an amp, you could get an amplifier with separate UHF and VHF inputs.

Back from the roof and removed the Radio Shack amp...


Getting stronger signal strength, but alas I'm not getting 13-1, 13-2 and 16-1.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirChaos /forum/post/15442713


Back from the roof and removed the Radio Shack amp...


Getting stronger signal strength, but alas I'm not getting 13-1, 13-2 and 16-1.

Sounds to me like it was a bad preamp or preamp power injector, signal should not get stronger taking it off unless it is not working or introducing a lot of noise.. Get a good Channel Master or Winegard amp and I bet you will see a world of difference....
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gjvrieze /forum/post/15443655


Sounds to me like it was a bad preamp or preamp power injector, signal should not get stronger taking it off unless it is not working or introducing a lot of noise.. Get a good Channel Master or Winegard amp and I bet you will see a world of difference....

Agree 100%. I use the RS 190 & Winegard AP 8700 to get stations 50+ miles away.


The big knock on RS outdoor antennas is build quality, not performance. My 190 has been in use 10+ years; so far so good. Knock on anodized aluminium.
 

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SirChaos,


I would replace the pre-amp with a Channel Master 7777. It is a much cleaner pre-amp than what you are presently using.


Are you close to KSER-FM?

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...(KSER-FM)&om=1


If within 5 or so miles, you may need to insert a "full band" FM trap in front of the pre-amp input.

http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_display.asp?prod=FT7500


I would also replace the RG-59 coax with RG-6. It may help with the higher UHF frequencies.


I agree that the VU-190 should provide adequate reception with your signal levels. A good, low noise pre-amp and additional FM filtering (if needed) should make quite a difference for you.


Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the help everyone! This has been some great stuff.


Digital Rules, I'm about 10 miles north from KSER-FM, so I don't think I am getting any interference. (hopefully)


I didn't bother replacing the RG-59 with RG-6 today...it started to snow a bit.



Let me ask though....when I do get a better pre-amp....what kind of real life performance should I get from it, because obviously, I didn't get it with the Radio Shack AMP...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirChaos /forum/post/15445808


Thanks for the help everyone! This has been some great stuff.


Digital Rules, I'm about 10 miles north from KSER-FM, so I don't think I am getting any interference. (hopefully)


I didn't bother replacing the RG-59 with RG-6 today...it started to snow a bit.



Let me ask though....when I do get a better pre-amp....what kind of real life performance should I get from it, because obviously, I didn't get it with the Radio Shack AMP...

It will make weak stations lock with ease, and you "may" get stations that you are not getting now. I have one antenna in one direction that was without an amp for a couple of weeks, it could weak lock on one station, with amp, it locks on 3 stations 24/7....
 

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Another suggestion to switch the cable out to RG6, preferrably quad-shield. Made a HUGE difference in my case. Quad shield has 4 shields in it instead of a single shield, which both keeps out interference coming into the cable but more importantly keeps line signal loss to an absolute minimum. This can make a huge difference in signal, especially if you are running more than 20-30 feet of antenna cable.
 

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The 7777 might be too strong for this location as the "local" signals are a bit stronger than my Mystic, CT location. I don't generally like to recommend the 7777 with green signals on the chart. I bought a notch filter to take out two green stations that were in the way of distant locals, but with several stations in the green that wouldn't be an option here.


However, a high-quality pre-amp certainly can make a world of difference. W/o the 7777 in Mystic, I'm essentially stuck with only the local PBS station, two ION stations and maybe ABC, even with good antennas (CM4228/YA1713).


I would re-run the cabling with RG6 first to see how much that helps. RG-59 loses a fair amount more signal than RG-6 over long runs, especially for UHF. Also, the connections may be corroded if it is more than a few years old and/or if the weather boots were not properly installed.
 
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