Winegard Square Shooter OTA Antenna (1 Viewer)

charlesrshell

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OK, here is a try on installing a pic
 

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red hazard

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I LIVE 2 MILES NORTH of O'FALLON IL

I wish I saw this thread earlier. I would have tried to talk you into using the amplified Digital Terrestrial Lacrosse amplified. It works great in the attic and even picks up channel 24.1, 46.1 AND 8.1.2.3.4 Carbondale (50 miles).
 

charlesrshell

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I am picking all those channels up now. All in the mid to high 80% except 46-1 which runs around 65%. I only have this OTA antenna for the black out backup to satellite. And if this fails me I can throw the A/B switch in the basement and pick up basic Charter Cable. Having DishTV installed this Thursday. How do you like your DishTV?
 

red hazard

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Dish and OTA

I have Dish Network (E*) in lieu of Charter because of Charter's higher rates, unreliable service (FYI the head-end where I live is Marysville - - not Belleville), lower picture quality, and because I have a background and interest in SATCOM (I installed my own satellite systems). I do use Charter as an ISP because I cannot get DSL where I live (just north of the blinking traffic light on the Scott Troy road). I have a friend who has Charter in O'Fallon and he wants me to install an OTA system for him (I have a spare ATSC STB) because of cable outages.

The only down side of E* service are the disruptions during intense thunder storms. Of course their short duration is miniscule compared to cable.

I am curious, what are you using to get your OTA signal strength readings since your E* system has not been installed yet? Most folks in this forum use their E* STB and since those readings are relative, they probably cannot be used as a direct comparison to other sources.

I am surpised that you can receive Carbondale since your antenna is fairly directional; though I cannot find a diagram for the DB4 which is a short coming of the manufacturer IMO. Hope you enjoy your E* system.:up
 

texasbrit

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Here's the DB-4 link

It's a good antenna but IMHO the CM4221 is as good an antenna at a lower price. link

Checking antennaweb, all the digital stations in st louis are UHF and as far as I can see they are all staying on UHF after the digital transition in 2009, so either the CM4221 or the DB4 look like they would be a good choice.

The Lacrosse is a decent antenna but not at the price.......why is it that all the antennas that don't look like antennas are so expensive? The DB4 has a better performance spec and it is half the price. The CM4221 is a quarter of the price of the Lacrosse....
 

charlesrshell

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Red hazard & texasbrit, thanks for your inputs. Red, I used for info AntennaWeb as texasbrit mentioned to help me figure out the OTA antenna to install. I don’t know why I am picking up 8.1 from Carbondale, but it is the worst one. Right now it is down to 40% and getting some pixeling. All other channels are running hi 80s. All the readings stay about the same with or without the preamp. The antenna lead goes to a three way splitter. Of the three leads to the TV locations the longest is 110 feet (antenna to receiver). I am taking a chance that when the all digital comes around that St. Louis will stay all UHF and not use VHF. I only want UHF for the main channels as this antenna will only be used for the thunderstorm disruptions. Plus, I am getting excellent CBS HD. Charter does not provide CBS HD now. I am using my Panasonic HDTV built-in a signal strength meter for sighting in the OTA antenna. I am going to stay with Charter for the ISP. Charter has been pretty good here in O’Fallon. It is their DVRs that I am tired of dealing with. Also going to keep Charter’s basic service that will go to an A/B switch at the head end in the basement. The other half of the switch will be for the modulated signal coming from a 625 and two 722s. The cable basic service will only cost about $5.00 if you figure in the discounted price for the internet service if you have internet and cable TV service from Charter. This way there will be a back-up to the OTA antenna. I am new to satellite and don’t want to deal with the thunderstorm disruption stuff.

I am glad you like your DishTV. Hope I do too. I have done all the additional wiring, (including the dish leads) changed out the 1g barrels, got the head end ready, all wall jacks ready, installed additional Ethernet switches, phone jacks, etc, etc for a satellite install this Thursday. I do that kinda work as a hobby. Plus I have learned bunches about satellite stuff from folks like texasbrit in this forum. Dr. Video the local authorized Dish retailer/installer is going to do the install. He is located in O’Fallon by Sams. I am really excited. He is going to install a 1000+ and a 500 for 61.5. What dishes did you install? I hope to learn bunches on sighting in them there birds from Dr. Video.

Hope your OTA antenna job for your friend goes good. Check out that antennweb site for some good info. If you wish to come see my OTA antenna, send me a PM or email. I live by the Urgi Care center in O’Fallon off of Greenmount Rd.

Thanks again for yall’s help. Be on the lookout for a new thread under Technical Discussions about hooking up OTA and modulated to satellite receivers. Maybe yall can help me. I am not up to speed yet on satellite receivers. Good lord, can’t wait to tackle the remotes!
 

red hazard

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And Now - - - The Rest of the Story

"The DB4 has a better performance spec and it is half the price."

Charles indicated that he has long coax runs in his house and therefore he wisely purchased a pre-amp. The LaCrosse I mentioned was the model with the built in preamp which I got on-line ~$115 including S&H. Add the cost of the pre-amp, which is visible in the pictures he attached, and the cost savings go out the window.

"Better" is relative to one's needs. I wanted an antenna that received the Carbondale station along with the St Louis stations. The LaCrosse looses only ~ 1 dB in the 113 degree differential between the aiming azimuths of KNLC (the most difficult STL station) and WSIU. The loss with the more directional DB4 in these conditions using the HDTV Primer graph is about 15 dB. So much for the ~ 2 dB "better performance" of the DB4 in these conditions. Charles must be getting a reflection from one of the 3 water towers in town for WSIU.
 

charlesrshell

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I would say you are correct on the reflections red hazard because 8.1 signal fluctuates bunches. I posted that new thread. I bet you can help me on it. Thanks again.
 

red hazard

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Answers to your thread.

Too bad we did not meet on this forum earlier as I could have given you all the Belden 7915A RG6 that you needed and it’s one of the best RG6 cables out there - - slightly better than most, if not all, quad shields for shielding and among those with the lowest losses. I also have several brands of compression connectors and the E* approved 3 GHz barrel connectors and other items.

I guess Dr Video is getting a real good deal since it sounds like 99% of the install has been completed. I’ll respond to your comments and questions below:

“All the readings stay about the same with or without the preamp.” The readings are not just signal strength. They are BER (Bit Error Rate) which is directly related to carrier to noise (C/N) ratio. Here is a good link with other links if you can stand the pain of the techno babble: http://www.trainingdept.com/files/TIPS/MAR_Tip.pdf
Also note that the highest UHF channel will be 52 by Feb 2009. That means KMOV (channel 56 frequency) will have to change. It also means that UHF antennas should be peaked for lower frequencies than they are currently.

“I am taking a chance that when the all digital comes around that St. Louis will stay all UHF and not use VHF.” NO YOU ARE NOT. See http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf for the “final” FCC frequency assignments. I reluctantly note that WSIU will be going to VHF channel 8 again.

“Right now it is down to 40% and getting some pixeling.” As I stated before, these readings are relative to only the type of Set Top Box (STB) or TV one is using. My 622 generally pixelates at 59%. It will not even register a reading of 40%. Assuming the 722 has the same chip set as the 622 (it probably does), posting those readings later will have more meaning.

“What dishes did you install?” I have a 500 for 110 and 119 birds and a Winegard 24” circular (~twice the gain of an 18”) for 61.5. I very seldom get rain fade on HDTV 61.5. I also have two 30 inch dishes for other Ku band services (FTA).

Later…..
 
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texasbrit

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"The DB4 has a better performance spec and it is half the price."

Charles indicated that he has long coax runs in his house and therefore he wisely purchased a pre-amp. The LaCrosse I mentioned was the model with the built in preamp which I got on-line ~$115 including S&H. Add the cost of the pre-amp, which is visible in the pictures he attached, and the cost savings go out the window.

"Better" is relative to one's needs. I wanted an antenna that received the Carbondale station along with the St Louis stations. The LaCrosse looses only ~ 1 dB in the 113 degree differential between the aiming azimuths of KNLC (the most difficult STL station) and WSIU. The loss with the more directional DB4 in these conditions using the HDTV Primer graph is about 15 dB. So much for the ~ 2 dB "better performance" of the DB4 in these conditions. Charles must be getting a reflection from one of the 3 water towers in town for WSIU.

I agree with you the LaCrosse is less directional than the other antennas but I suggest not to the extent you mention. The only polar diagram I have seen for the LaCrosse may be the one you are basing your numbers on http://www.solidsignal.com/manuals/lacross_gain_curve.pdf But even if it is correct, if you look at the "fine print" you will see it is at channel 50. Othe LacRosse users have suggested that the beamwidth drops off significantly as you move down the UHF band. The UHF performance also seems to be optimized for the higher channels. . So if your channels are in the lower part of the UHF band, you may not see the suggested advantages of the LaCrosse design. Additionally, the wider beamwidth of the LaCrosse makes it much more susceptible to multipath issues - the bowtie designs as you say have narrower beamwidth and better multipath performance, although to really tame multipath you need a Yagi design like the 43XG and 91XG which are very directional.

Additionally, WSIU is going back to channel 8 in the VHF-hi band after the digital transition in 2009 so the LaCrosse will almost certainly not get good reception on that channel, even the manufacturer does not claim any performance at VHF. The CM4221 is a UHF antenna but has some reception on VHF-hi, the CM4228 which is the CM4221's "big brother" has decent VHF-hi reception and would be a better choice from that perspective. Although of course it has a narrower beamwidth and so might force you into a rotator to get all the channels.

There's no "one size fits all" for this problem, the LaCrosse is an intriguing design although no-one has run a scientific test which is strange - all the test have been subjective with no measurements.
 

red hazard

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Conjecture Walks - - Empirical Evidence Talks

"Othe LacRosse users have suggested that the beamwidth drops off significantly as you move down the UHF band."

I would like to see your source. There is no reason to expect the beam width response to vary significantly at different frequencies. The LaCrosse has no director or reflector elements that focus the beam width. It uses broad side phased array technology. There's nothing similar on the market to compare it to.

"all the test have been subjective with no measurements."

The fact of the matter is the signal strength readings this morning from a 622for one of the worse worse case azimuth scenarios, ch 8.1 Carbondale and ch 11.1 (frequency ch 26...toward the lower UHF band) St Louis WITH 134 DEGREE DIFFERENT AZIMUTH HEADINGS was 93-95 and 92-94 respectively which is typical and quite good.

While the gain for channel 8.1 will significantly lower when WSIU DT reverts to VHF, something I disclosed in my previous thread after your initial comment, the best ATSC propagation conditions occur in the VHF upper band - - and yes I have a source. The empirical evidence suggests I will get an acceptable signal as the WSIU channel 8 NTSC signal is only slightly noisey. I can move the antenna to the roof if ~3 dB additional fade margin is desirable.

Frankly I don't understand how someone who does not even own the LaCrosse-A and has no empirical experience with it can make accurate comments concerning its use. You even state: "...no-one has run a scientific test which is strange - all the test have been subjective with no measurements"

P.S. What makes you think this area has significant multipath issues? My comment to Charles concerning the LaCrosse was based on the fact that it doesn't.
 

charlesrshell

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Both of you are way above my head. LOL I wish yall would help me with my new thread under Technical Discussion titled OTA/Modulated Receiver Hook-up. Nobody is helping me or responding at all. Maybe it is a dumb question or I am not wording right, or something. Thanks
 

red hazard

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Dr Video

Charles,

Make Dr Video earn his money and give you a recommendation. With all the prewiring you have done, he is going to make a tidy sum from Dish Network unless he does not charge for the in-house cabling you have already done. :rolleyes:
 
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charlesrshell

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OK, but that is why I am kinda asking how other folks do it. He says he likes to run the OTA wire to the receiver and the modulated in wire to the TV. That is why I have ran four wires to each TV location that has a receiver. (SAT, Mod in, Mod out, and OTA). But, the receiver guides says to run the OTA and Mod in combined to the ant in on the receiver. That is why I am asking how other folks do it. I would imagine that both ways work.
 

texasbrit

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"Othe LacRosse users have suggested that the beamwidth drops off significantly as you move down the UHF band."

I would like to see your source. There is no reason to expect the beam width response to vary significantly at different frequencies. The LaCrosse has no director or reflector elements that focus the beam width. It uses broad side phased array technology. There's nothing similar on the market to compare it to.

"all the test have been subjective with no measurements."

The fact of the matter is the signal strength readings this morning from a 622for one of the worse worse case azimuth scenarios, ch 8.1 Carbondale and ch 11.1 (frequency ch 26...toward the lower UHF band) St Louis WITH 134 DEGREE DIFFERENT AZIMUTH HEADINGS was 93-95 and 92-94 respectively which is typical and quite good.

While the gain for channel 8.1 will significantly lower when WSIU DT reverts to VHF, something I disclosed in my previous thread after your initial comment, the best ATSC propagation conditions occur in the VHF upper band - - and yes I have a source. The empirical evidence suggests I will get an acceptable signal as the WSIU channel 8 NTSC signal is only slightly noisey. I can move the antenna to the roof if ~3 dB additional fade margin is desirable.

Frankly I don't understand how someone who does not even own the LaCrosse-A and has no empirical experience with it can make accurate comments concerning its use. You even state: "...no-one has run a scientific test which is strange - all the test have been subjective with no measurements"

P.S. What makes you think this area has significant multipath issues? My comment to Charles concerning the LaCrosse was based on the fact that it doesn't.

If it works for you, that's fine. It may be a great antenna. All my comments come from non-scientific, empirical sources as well. My concern is that just about all the references I see to the LaCrosse are not much more than "advertorials", or people saying it works well for them, no-one seems to have actually measured anything in a test environment where they can compare it with other antenna designs. If I am wrong, show me where I can see the test results. I will gladly admit my scepticism is misplaced. And unfortunately Terrestrial Digital while producing great antennas (the 91 XG is one of the best two UHF fringe antennas on the market) have a reputation for exaggeration - only they would describe the DB8 as a "multidirectional antenna with a wide beam width of 100 degrees" (it's really a directional antenna with more like 20 degrees at the 3db point) or that the 91XG and DB8 were the "strongest antennas on the market" without mentioning that this would only apply for UHF stations above channel 52, which will be going away in 2009 anyway.
 

discreet29483

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Red I noticed your "PRO" feelings about the Lacrosse. I've been looking at Antennas Direct website and the difference in price between DB4 bundle and the Lacrosse A is only $9. Now my question to you is based on your knowledge of the Lacrosse which antenna would be better for me. All stations are 30 miles from my house with only a 2 degree separation. Also I plan on a roof install with about a 25 ft run to the junction box in my garage where the signal would be split to 4 rooms. Where would be the best place to put the inline amp plug in before the box or after the box in one of the rooms?
 

red hazard

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Red I noticed your "PRO" feelings about the Lacrosse. I've been looking at Antennas Direct website and the difference in price between DB4 bundle and the Lacrosse A is only $9. Now my question to you is based on your knowledge of the Lacrosse which antenna would be better for me. All stations are 30 miles from my house with only a 2 degree separation. Also I plan on a roof install with about a 25 ft run to the junction box in my garage where the signal would be split to 4 rooms. Where would be the best place to put the inline amp plug in before the box or after the box in one of the rooms?

Probably the best advice someone can give you is to make sure you can return the antenna if it does not do the trick for you. I'm not hung-up on Antenna Direct products. Other brands work too.

Generally pre-amps are required on longer cable runs and/or when spliters are used. If your area is prone to multipath (large buildings, high hills, etc.) then you may want to consider a more directional antenna. I previously used a Winegard GS-2200, one of the least directional antennas, but it worked well for me except for one weak station at 40 miles. If I wasn't so lazy, I would just send you mine.

The recommendation to use the Channel Master or Winegard brands instead of the Antennas Direct ones based on cost should also be considered. At 30 miles for all your stations, you should be able to get by with a smaller antenna. If you have more info, aesthetic desires, etc, add a thread. Studying the graphs at HDTV primer is helpful.

BTW, I have a CM 4248 on a rotor that I also fool with too. :)
 

ucladave

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I live in los angeles (zip 90064) and have until recently been with Directv. I just bought a HD samsung TV and am wanting to get away from the monthly fees, so Im going OTA.

I am in a pretty good location. While I am 26 miles from the antenna farm on mt wilson, it is up on a mountain and I have an unobstructed view of it from my apt unit. I live on the top floor of a 4 story building. I currently have two sets of coax coming into the unit for the two TV's I have, both going to the roof into the directv dish.

My goal is to find a reasonably small antenna that I can put on the roof, and send the signal down those two cables to each TV. I had looked at the winegard square shooter but I really have no idea what Im looking at other than size.

Other info of note: While digital stations are all UHF now, in 2009 channels 7-13 will be using their VHF frequencies to transmit. 2-5 will remain on their UHF.


Questions:

1) What antenna should I get? Would the square shooter work?

2) Will I need some sort of a splitter to service two lines? And if so, will the signal still be strong enough?
 

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