Help me pick an antenna

Optical Serenity

Optical Serenity

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 4, 2006
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Marietta,GA
Help me pick an antenna, I don't want to spend too much, but here is my antennaweb chart:

(Also, is it ok to put an outdoor antenna in an attic? Or does it have to be outside?

ant.jpg
 
B

bhelms

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You have a pretty good situation. Almost all of your digital OTA channels are coming from the same direction, 145 to 156 deg., and they are all within 20 miles. All but one are UHF. (I'm assuming that last PBS listing is not on the air yet.) So a moderate stationary antenna will get most of what's available to you!

It is always PREFERABLE to mount an outside antenna outside, but you might get away with one in the attic IF there are no impediments to RF signals, like a metal roof, nearby ductwork/wiring/pipes, etc. You could try that first and if the results aren't what you want, then mount it outside.

As a minimum, I'd recommend a medium range (60-75 mile) UHF antenna and that might even get ch 10 for you. That would be the least expensive alternative. An inexpensive yagi antenna like a Radio Shack U-75 might be good choice in that category. Your best all around bet might be the Channel Master 4228 as it will certainly do a good job on all the UHF channels and almost surely get the VHF channel as well, but that one might be tough to attic-mount and it will be a good bit more expensive. Check the Channel Master and Winegard websites for more information on their selections. Antennas Direct is another possibility. If you have a local installer who will "work" with you on this, that's a good place to start as they usually have a lot of advice for local situations and will likely let you try a few things at relatively low risk or cost to you until you get something that works for you. What are your neighbors doing for OTA channels? Tap that resource as well...! I wish I had a situation as good as yours !!

Rick0725 - What say you...?

EDIT: Make that the RS U-75R antenna I mentioned (not VU-75)...
 
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Optical Serenity

Optical Serenity

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 4, 2006
330
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Marietta,GA
I was thinking of this:

http://www.radioshack.com/product/i...=UHF+antenna&kw=uhf+antenna&parentPage=search

I know, I know, stay away from Rat shack, but..eventually I will change to an AT9 dish and get Local HD's from DirecTV instead of OTA, maybe.

Anyway, thats a different story. I have a rat shack about 2 miles away and I figure if $25 will do the trick, then why not?

Here is my next question, I have a direcTV dish mast up already about 8 feet off the ground. Only thing is, 150 deg. will have this antenna pointing into the neighbors house. Is that ok? My roof is difficult to get to so I'm hoping this will work.

And I figure if that doesn't work, I'll switch to a better OTA antenna.
 
charper1

charper1

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WXIA NBC 11.1 and WGTV PBS 12.1 are both VHF High and will more than likely not be picked up with the antenna you have listed because it is rated UHF only. Since you need VHF and UHF reception and are looking at RS as your local purchase option, you need to look at the $40 Model: VU-75 XR | Catalog #: 15-2151. I would also recomend a chimney or eve mount to get the antenna as has as possible; at least at roof peak level; the higher the better.

I would look at these as options as maybe better options:

Winegard HD7080P $62
Winegard PR 5646 $60
Winegard PR 7015 $60
Terrestrial Digital V10/V15 $40/$60
Channel Master CM 3677 $90
Channel Master CM 3016 $30
Channel Master CM 5646 $29

Found @ www.solidsignal.com
 
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T

Tower Guy

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Nov 1, 2005
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For an attic installation the only antenna that is worth trying is the Channel Master 4228. It's about 30" square. Cost about $50 plus shipping. It won't get REL, i, or the second PBS. It might get channel 10, the 4228's sweet spot for VHF happens to be channel 10. If it doesn't work in the attic you may try to add a Winegard HDP-269 preamp, or just mount the 4228 outdoors. It won't need to be too high, even the side of the house might work.
 
ronjohn

ronjohn

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Feb 17, 2005
788
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You can get the 4228 for about $50 at Fry's in Duluth. They always have them in stock. I live about 65 miles away from Atlanta and can pick up WXIA which is digital channel 10 with this antenna. I have read a lot of posts where people have installed this antenna in their attics with very good results.

If you really want to get the religious channel and the Rome channel 14, you may have to install a rotor(if your attic allows). The 4228 however has some gain on the backside. It is possible that you could get them without rotating. IMHO these channels are not worth the extra effort.
 
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Optical Serenity

Optical Serenity

Thread Starter
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Jun 4, 2006
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Marietta,GA
Fantastic, Guess I'm making a trip to Fry's in the morning. I live in Marietta, so it should be just fine. And no, I have no desire to pickup the church channels...Hopefully with it about 8 feet off the ground pointing at the 150deg. angle it works well. Does it come with wire or do I need to get some? And what about a mast? is it easy to install? I wonder if I can use my old directv dish mast I no longer use?

Or should I mount it right next to my 3LNB dish?
 
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bhelms

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Like charper1 said, use an eve or chimney mount. Either of those will take a 5' mast. That should be enough to mount the antenna (which is 3' high itself) and should be high enough for good reception in your case. You might have to go with a longer mast (10'?) but this antenna is heavy and it has a good bit of wind loading, so you might need some additional support if you go higher (guy wires, etc.), Keep this antenna away from any other antennas or dishes to prevent any interraction - I'd say at least 5'. You will need a coax cable, RG-6 preferred. The antenna comes with the necessary balun and weather boot to attach the coax to the terminals. I personally prefer quad shield cable for antenna installations (less chance of problems with nearby interference or multipath) but others may disagree, and the connectors for QS are a bit more difficult to work with. You can buy a pre-made coax with the ends installed in various lengths. Use that for convenience if you don't have the equipment for installing the ends yourself. But this is a situation where you should get the best quality you can and that would include compression fittings or equivalent, not the cheaper twist-ons or crimp types. Here's a link to that antenna, fyi. It has a picture.

http://www.channelmaster.com/home.htm

Good luck with it and please report back with your results...!
 
Optical Serenity

Optical Serenity

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 4, 2006
330
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Marietta,GA
Should I be concerned that this is a UHF only antenna? What if I want UHF and VHF? I'll be heading to Fry's sometime today, thanks!
 
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bhelms

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The CM4228 reportedly does a good job picking-up high-band VHF channels (7-13) as well as the UHF channels. All the channels you listed are UHF except for WXIA NBC (actual ch 10) and the future WGTV PBS (ch 12), but you already have PBS on WPBA (ch 21). If there are other VHF channels you are interested in that you didn't list, then perhaps you need a combination antenna like one of the ones Charper1 listed. In terms of UHF performance, the CM4228 is reportedly at the top of the class, but I do not have first-hand experience with it. Again - each area/situation is unique. What works well for some may not work at all for others based on terrain or obstructions. Ask the folks at Fry's what they recommend. There is a good bit of "art" to this science...!

There is a common suggestion to make sure the grids of the 4228 are touching to improve the VHF reception by wire-tying them together. I don't know exactly what this means, but perhaps it will be obvious when you look at it, or perhaps others will chime-in.

Good luck with it...
 
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ronjohn

ronjohn

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Feb 17, 2005
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bhelms said:
There is a common suggestion to make sure the grids of the 4228 are touching to improve the VHF reception by wire-tying them together. I don't know exactly what this means, but perhaps it will be obvious when you look at it, or perhaps others will chime-in.

There are two screens behind the 4228. One on the left side and one on the right side. The can contact each other, but are not connected to each other. On the HDTVPrimer website there is an article that describes the 4228. In this article there is a chart that shows the antenna gain for VHF channels when the screens are connected and not connected. When connected the gain for some some channels(ch 10 included) increases.

http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/cm4228.html

If you want to use your antenna for channels 2, 5, and 8(analog) the 4228 will probably not work. You can pick up 2 and 5 on digital channels(39 and 27). Channel 8 is shown on your chart as being available digitally in the future. I am not aware of any other channels in Atlanta less than channel 10.
 
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bhelms

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ronjohn said:
There are two screens behind the 4228. One on the left side and one on the right side. The can contact each other, but are not connected to each other. On the HDTVPrimer website there is an article that describes the 4228. In this article there is a chart that shows the antenna gain for VHF channels when the screens are connected and not connected. When connected the gain for some some channels(ch 10 included) increases....
Tks ronjohn - I knew it was out there somewhere. The picture of the 4228 does not clearly show that it has two rear screens, they look like one piece...
 
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NightHawk

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Jan 20, 2005
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My 4228 has a single screen. My neighbors two 4228s both have a single screen. I can't speak for all of them of course.
 
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bhelms

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NightHawk said:
My 4228 has a single screen. My neighbors two 4228s both have a single screen. I can't speak for all of them of course.
Hmmm - Probably consistent with the picture in the CM site! Maybe they changed the design? I wonder if it was in response to all the folks wire-tying the screens together (lol!)...
 
Rick0725

Rick0725

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Nov 13, 2005
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usa
Camplate said:
Can I glom onto this thread? Local radio shack’s are closing (waits for cheers to die down) and they are selling outdoor antennas for 60% off. In the store the. is labeled red and I’m trying to pick up Baltimore which is 60 miles away. So even though my antenna web map lists purple, would this red antenna work?

probably not to your satisfaction.

a cm4228 would be best.
 
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