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What should I do - the sequel

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Old 01-24-2012, 08:10 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by asgard View Post
Well I braved the elements today in an attempt to see what pre amp I had but could not see anything from below. Where on the black enclosure would it say, or do you need to open it up. If so that will be a big challenge - at this time of year.
Sorry, I don't own a CM amp and therefore do not know the answer... Anyone else wanna chime in?

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To try to understand this further , do I mount the two antenna on the rotor?
Yes, since the high vhf and uhf stations are located on multiple headings. Mounting both to the rotor allows you to maximize the number of received channels.

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As for channel 2 it is not important and 6 is CTV which should be digital by later this year.
As I understand, CTV remains ch 6 after the transition, correct? If so, you then should go with the Winegard 8200U antenna. I do not have personal experience with the 8200u but in my reading on OTA forums, the 8200U is preferred over the CM full range antennas.

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Could you tell me how to read the TV fool stuff, what does the signal power represent and why when the main networks are all shown at 65 miles and the same angle are some harder to get. It is confusing me when I get such good clear signals with my current antenna from these location I need another one. Last night I had all the channels and then later it went a bit pixelated and eventually ABC went
Have you read the tvfool faq? See: http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?opti...57#how_to_read

A very important disclaimer on the tvfool report: Please understand that this is a simulation and can only be treated as a rough approximation. Reception at your location is affected by many factors such as multipath, antenna gain, receiver sensitivity, buildings, and trees - which are not taken into account. Your mileage may vary.

The HDtvprimer discusses the above items in detail. For example, see: http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/fixes.html

.
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It would appear that you are saying antenna before bigger pre- amp. it might be that the pre- amp is good enough for the losses I have , and if i use a distributing amp for round the house that takes these losses out the mix.
I really appreciate your information and patience.
Correct, the antenna is the only factor which adds to signal strength, everything else lowers signal strength. Amplifiers only amplify the received signal. In Fringe situations, you need optimal antenna gain and a pre-amp to preserve received signals. Two edge signals can be very challenging to acquire, particularly in those areas with low signal strengths such as your CBS affiliate. The XG-91 will give you higher gain and will also reduce your potential for issues with multipath on this station.
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:08 PM   #17
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Where on the black enclosure would it say, or do you need to open it up.
Unfortunately, you have to open up the enclosure to access the 2 switches. There are 4 small phillips screws that have to be removed. (One at each corner)
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Old 01-25-2012, 02:47 PM   #18
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Well it looks like I will have to take the antenna down to access the screws - it is too far out of reach. I might just have to suffer this until better weather.

I think it is time to call a couple of companies in, with the information to hand I will be able to know if they are blowing smoke.
I will report back on what they say.
I will purchase a distribution amp and get that part sorted.
What is the best method of splitting into the TV and the converter box - standard splitter or the one that goes on the mast head - but not a diplexer.
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:33 PM   #19
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Good plan Asgard, we can help you evaluate their recommendations and see if they pass the "smell" test. Some installers are great but others make very poor recommendations to make a sale....

A pre-amp preserves more signal than a distribution amp. IMO, your better off with the right pre-amp than with a distribution amp. You clearly do not need both.

A common standard splitter is adequate for your purposes.


Good luck!
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:34 PM   #20
How can anyone watch standard def?
 

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That is good to know about the preamp and distribution amp. I can to the conclusion that the preamp made up for cable losses from antenna to point where you split to the TVs. I thought that as I currently have a splitter that says 8db on 2 outlets and 4db on one that I would defeat the purpose by leaving this amount of loss in the circuit. I therefore assumed that a distribution amp would give me full strength to the TV wall sockets. I thought about a splitter at that pint into the TV and DVD converter box - therefore limiting loss

If I want to connect my satellite dish into the circuit I need a diplexer at both ends - correct - and a separate cable onto the cable input on the TV.
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:59 AM   #21
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If I want to connect my satellite dish into the circuit I need a diplexer at both ends - correct - and a separate cable onto the cable input on the TV.
Correct, you need diplexers at each end. Diplexing with satellite is appealing on many levels BUT is not a good idea if you have some desirable weak/hard to acquire stations. Signal loss due so the diplexers varies depending on manufacturer's and quality of production. For best results, I would recommend keeping the OTA distribution completely separate from the satellite distribution. JMO.
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:22 PM   #22
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OK , I have been doing a little more R&D. I find that when the weather conditions are favorable I can get all the stations with anything from 1 bar to 8 bars of strength. I have tried this by connecting one TV at a time, if I connect 2 TVs then I loose the weakest signals ABC and CBS. This is done through a 3 way splitter with 2 used so I must have exceeded the gain of the antenna and pre amp - correct.

So if I add in an amplified distribution unit will this give me any better reception. By that I mean , when things are good I will get all the channels on the 2 TVs simultaneously, will the amp make up for the loss of gain that I had in the splitter.
I still need to split the TV line so I can use the converter box for my DVD recorder, what is the best method of splitting without loss or should this be overcome with the amp.
I have also read that you need to terminate any unused splitter outputs, how do you do this?
It is still too cold and icy to climb the mast and try to open the pre amp box, it is just out of comfortable reach and I would like to have a solid footing.
Can I eventually use the CM that I have mounted fixed and have the X91 motorized on the same mast ?
thanks again
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:45 PM   #23
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Welcome back Asgard,

Some individuals have successfully used both a pre-amp and a distribution amp. I've not done it and unsure on how to advise. As I understand it, recent tvs all have built in overload protection so the worst that could happen is you lose the station with overload conditions. You can always give it a try. Channel master makes good distribution amps (see: http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp...ifier-(CM-3414)

Remember to buy terminator(s) for any unused ports on the distribution amp...

You should be able to mount the rotor and xg-91 on the existing mast. How new is the CM pre-amp? Cost wise it is probably far cheaper to replace it with a new one rather than repair an old one. Do we know it is not working properly???
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:24 PM   #24
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OK, back on the case. I had my first chat with a local installer who put forward the 8 bay antenna as being the best. He was unaware of the XG91 and was not that interested in a CM crossfire as an alternative.
He did suggest leaving my existing CM but removing the front section, I think UHF and using the 8 bay to collect UHF . It was to go through a pre amp but did not give a number, only saying it could take both antenna. I detailed the CM Titan 2 unit and he almost agreed with that. He suggested a distribution amp to cope with the runs over 40 feet from incoming connection.
Wasn't at all impressed with anything to do with the internet as a source.

well at least a start.

Can anyone decipher what pre amp is mounted that has only 1 screw on the bottom .

Opinions welcomed.
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:40 PM   #25
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My old CM preamp has only one screw that holds the case together, like you i wonder what model CM it is ? but sense I couldnt find out what it was I just replaced it with a new one. as far as the 8 bay antenna, I have used one with very good results but it did not exceed the performance of the xg91.


I hope this helps
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Old 02-09-2012, 12:02 PM   #26
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IDRick thanks for all your replies.

I have been trawling the sites to try an come up with a staged upgrade. Maybe not the best way forward as I am thinking of retaining my existing antenna and working off that first.

I thought of using a Winegard pre amp model AP 8275 , it shows a gain of 28bd, which should allow for the cable run and some. I thought also of allowing for a Antenna Direct 1296F attenuator so I can dial back gain on the closest channel to save overload.
From there my thought was a Channel Master Cm3414 distribution amp, unsure as to whether this is needed to feed 3 tv's as the pre amp is carrying a fair gain. I estimate the longest run inside the house at 50 feet. Run from Antenna to that point is 130 feet.

I can get free from the satellite supplier the CTV and Global stations but I was searching and thought by locating the sat box centrally and using a diplexers CM 4002 IFD that would allow me to use the single wire method, as the house is all finished and only has 1 outlet per TV, however this unit is shown as discontinued by CM , could an alternative be suggested. I think this need only be at the source and not repeated at the outlets. I also came up with a number for the terminator caps made by Philips for unused outlets PH 61003 or is there a better alternative.

I still need to split 1 outlet to accommodate my DVD recorder through a converter box and wondered if I can use the same splitter to feed my FM radio antenna input. I am not at all sure as to how I get FM from the antenna - but it appears I can. As to the splitter - what is the best one.

If this works great if not I was looking at either a Winegard 8200U as a one off solution or going XG 91 and Y10. I just don't want something so directional that I am always re-aiming.

So what do you think - anyone have anymore comments on the local installers suggestion of an 8 bay. I have looked round me and I am not seeing any mounted, this tells me something.
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:50 PM   #27
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Asgard,

IMO, the AP 8275 is likely to overload with your strong channel 6. I would go with an AP 8700 which is less likely to overload and still provides sufficient gain to cover your distribution losses. IMO, a pre-amp should meet your needs without adding a distribution amplifier.

The DB-8's are very good antennas, just not a popular as the XG-91. You can find many happy users of the XG-91 antenna on the various OTA forums, fewer for the DB-8. I believe the xg-91 has a narrower beam which helps with multipath issues, may or may not be important aspect for your location.

I'm conservative and would keep FM reception away from the tv antenna. Strong nearby FM stations can impact reception of your VHF stations. Use the FM trap on your pre-amp and use a separate FM antenna for radio. There's a good discussion on this topic within this forum if you use the search function.

Sorry gotta run, have a conference call coming in....

Good luck!

Rick
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:01 PM   #28
How can anyone watch standard def?
 

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Back on the case today. I have gone about this backwards but bear with me. I was tired connecting and disconnecting the incoming TV line, if I used the splitter I had it lost too much signal strength. so today i connected in a CM3414 distribution amp with 3 outs and a terminator, it cleared the signal up and for a short time even gave me ABC - one of my problem stations, I know I need a better antenna - but that will ahve to wait..
I also contacted the satellite company and requested the free service available to us in a poor reception area. I then connected in 2 diplexers in my new circuit , it is pre-amp into distribution amp then out into a diplexers, add in sat cable then out to TV wall plate, reverse on other side via diplexers - works great. diplexers were $1.99.
Spoke to some more installers who are recommending the CM 3671 and the CM7777 they don't recon on any overload issues with CBC. I still want to look at the pre amp I have before going ahead with all the bits.
So what do you think on the antenna suggestion.
I was well pleased with the difference the distribution amp made.
So far I have saved almost 12 months sat fees, spent under 1 month fees. well ahead.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:30 PM   #29
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Latest update, I climber te mast today and got the screw out of the pre amp unit. I was hoping for 2 F type connections but found 1 F type and the other was a stripped wire and screw connection. I made up a fly lead and connected it up to a cm7777 unit that I had bought. The TV signal strength was much improved but I lost both CBS and PBS , I don't think either is a VHF station, I say that because the cm 7777 I got has 2 inputs , VHF and a UHF combined, I was using the combined. So after seeing that I would have to modify the mast unit ti fit to the cm7777 I decided to buy a cm 3761 unit. I am fortunate as there is a wholesaler beside me so no shipping cost.
I built the antenna up and boy is it big, I have it in the workshop waiting for a second person to assist in lifting it - probably Saturday.

Why would the CBS and PBS channels disappear, I got them back with the original setup but had to re-tune the TV?

So my final setup will be a C3761 with CM7777 pre-amp connected to a CM 3414 Distribution amp. I hope this works - can't see why not.
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:18 PM   #30
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Well i removed my old Cm antenna today, it was showing signs of plastic decay on the bridges and some elements fell out / broke on removing. I removed the previous pre map and it said it was a spartan model.
Reinstalled the new setup CM 3671, Cm7777 classic - 2 inputs pre amp and Cm 3414 distribution amp. My signal strength has gone up to a solid 9 bars on most channels, CBS is a solid 4 but PBS is a 3. My problem was with ABC it was either non existent or a 2 at best - it has gone to a 9.
Is there a reason that I an still seeing low CBS and PBS signals?
Last week I also got a channel 35.1 CTV in 1080, I did not get that today after finishing and doing a full re scan. I have located the antenna at 165 degrees.
Any further suggestions would be great, but all in all I am happy.
Thanks to those who helped me through this mission.
Next week I will be setting up the satellite to give me some other free channels including HD for CTV and Global. I have the diplexers all connected.

I fell a real smart
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