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antenna recommendation for Cape Cod

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Old 08-17-2012, 02:36 PM   #1
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Default antenna recommendation for Cape Cod

Hello,

First post here. I'm finding myself needing an antenna setup for my parent's home in Cape Cod. Address is 55 Webster Rd. 02673.

The TV Fool report ID is: 3d9900cc293e559e

I doubt I can mount it above 20 feet.

My main goal is to reach Boston channels but may also need ones from Providence if the Boston major networks are too far . I don't mind using a rotor to tweak things initially or periodically but I don't want to constantly use one just to get channels - meaning I can give up Providence for Boston.

Only one TV and no splitters will be used. Cable run will be quite short, about 20 feet.

Thanks for your help!

-Art
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Old 08-18-2012, 08:38 AM   #2
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http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...9900319d94896b

Its hard to give advice to someone when they start out by saying - I don't want, I don't want, I don't want.

Reception for anything other then line of sight is all or nothing.
Either you aim the antenna at the strongest part of the signal, or some days you have no reception.

Either you place the antenna 10' above everything else in the neighborhood, or else, there will be days where you will have nothing.

Anything 3 or more stories high, can and will block your reception...

Thank you for the street level address.

Fortunately all of your channels seems to be from almost one point of aim, with the exception of 26 and 17.....

Both of them are ION stations...

a antenna rotor would help to make reception more reliable, but you have bigger fish to fry..

With channel 12 and 13 being high VHF - you are going to need to use some type of multi antenna such as the Winegard 7698P.

The two stations 5 miles away is going to negate the use of a good pre amplifier...
The problem will be, it would help the distant stations, while the over load would kill the local stations.

I would suggest you use the best coax you can purchase - RG 11 would probably work best and get the antenna up about 36' above ground to get the signals 55 - 68 miles away..

I don't know of anything else that you could do easily besides use some type of attenuator for the two local channels and use the pre amp for all the rest, to combat the loss in the coax...

The pre amp cannot fabricate a signal which is not present, which is the reason why we use as large of a antenna as possible.

Most people who waits several years after the DTV conversion, that their problem is profound or severe and the reason why they ask for help is because a simple solution does not suffice to solve their problem.
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Last edited by JB Antennaman; 08-18-2012 at 08:45 AM..
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Old 08-19-2012, 09:08 AM   #3
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Thanks JB for your detailed reply!

"...I don't want, I don't want, I don't want": I didn't say that, I simply said I'm willing to give up one city for another by not wanting to deal with a rotor. That is not exactly whining like a hapless, antenna-deficient schoolgirl! .

To get up to 20-25 feet I'm looking at mounting it up a tree. So, I would install a rotor so I can tweak direction. Any model you would recommend? The tree of choice is a scraggly pine type common to the Cape. I can mount on one major branch but there's another on the rear side of the antenna. To be clear does the antenna need to be clear of the tree on every side? Or just the rear and or sides?

I'm willing to give up 16 and 27 for the Boston channels, the main point of aim.

The two stations 5 miles away is going to negate the use of a good pre amplifier I'm willing to give up these two channels. Can I use a preamp and simply not tune to these two, thus avoiding any overload issues?

Thanks again.
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:09 PM   #4
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You can't have your cake and eat it too.
The over load from the one channel would affect the rest.
There is ways to filter out the strong signal - so you could use a pre amplifier, but it is going to be expensive.

You cannot use a tree as a mast, relliable reception depends upon a rock solid steady mount, and the sway of the tree would kill most reliable reception to a station 65 miles away...

What I am trying to explain is that your situation is tough and you have to dot the Eyes and cross the Tee's if you want reliable reception, even though they are all one aim.

I am trying to take this on a positive note....

Reliable reception is Line Of Sight, when the signal gets two edge, and you want to watch it more then occassionally, and the signal is 65 miles away, it is a lot tougher to do then if it is only 20 - 40 miles away...
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:08 PM   #5
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Art,

Tinlee, an excellent engineering firm in Canada, sells custom built filters but they are expensive. You would need one for real channel 40 and one for real channel 33. Their URL is: www.tinlee.com

Spend the bucks for a stable mount and build a 30 foot tower. Mounting the antenna to a tree will not work well over time... The cost of the tower and filters may make the job cost prohibitive. However, these steps appear necessary for reliable reception.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:21 PM   #6
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You have 2 digital stations 5.6 miles NW of you.

This presents a problem as far as adding an amplifier to pull in distant stations.

Providence is 55 miles away (one edge) and Boston is 67 miles (2 edge), so Providence will be less difficult, but your best friend with picking up distant channels is altitude - get the antenna as high up as possible.

CBS and FOX are VHF high on 13 and 12, while NBC is on 51 and ABC on 49 is the weakest.

I would use an Antennas Direct 91-XG for UHF and a Winegard YA-7-13 for VHF joined with a UVSJ (UHF/VHF signal combiner) then amplified with a Winegard HDP-269 (12 dB amplification and made for urban amplification where overload may be a problem).

I use the Winegard HDP-269 with a UHF full power 2.5 miles @ 90 degrees from my antenna direction and your strongest atation is about 62dB - add 12 from the preamp, and the 74 is getting pretty high, but hopefully the Winegard pre-amp can handle that - maybe you won't have to remove it. Try to buy one from a place that will allow you to return it.

It might be possible to run the line through the backside of a couple of jointennas, if you can find them, (terminators on the channel input to prevent corrosion), one for channel 33 and one for 40 and filter out those channels before amplification, if it works, you can use a stronger pre-amp than the HDP-269.

As you have probably surmised, this is not an easy fix.
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:05 PM   #7
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Artm69:

Assuming you are not necessarily interested in WWDP-10, a home shopping channel (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWDP), then you can use a dedicated fixed-aim VHF-high antenna, such as the suggested Winegard YA-1713 or the Antennacraft Y10-7-13 (which is said to have a bit more gain due to being 20" longer), aimed directly at 287 degrees true for WNAC-12 and WPRI-13 from Providence. Put that VHF-high antenna on a mast attached directly to your house/chimney.

For UHF, the best antenna is often said to be the previously-suggested Antennas Direct 91XG. Since the Providence and Boston stations are at 287 and 312 degrees true, respectively, the long distances to those stations (55 and 68 miles) may require precise aiming with a rotator. One possibility would be to first test a 91XG on your UHF stations without a rotator, aiming at around 300-ish degrees, to see how both the Boston and Providence stations come in, relative to testing directly at 287 and 312 degrees. That will tell you if you need to add a rotator at the top of the first mast above the VHF-high antenna for the 91XG only.

I'd try without any amplifier first and see how the reception is, so that you do not have to sacrifice the two nearby stations. If you do end up needing an amplifier to reliably receive from Boston and/or Providence, you will probably have to filter out the two nearby stations. Of these, WDPX-40 would be easy to filter (and you still have the Boston ION station available). But WMPX-33 would be difficult to filter (perhaps it can be done with a TinLee filter, at some significant cost) because you're trying to receive adjacent channels WBPX on 32 and WFXT on 31.

As previously suggested, the tree mount is not a good plan. Try a gable or chimney mount instead. The UHF and VHF-high antennas would be joined up at the mast using two short (3-4-foot) coax lines into a UVSJ, then a single coax line from the UVSJ down to your tv.

Hope this is helpful - good luck!

http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=YA1713
http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=Y10-7-13
http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=91XG
http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=UVSJ
http://www.tinlee.com/index.php
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:49 AM   #8
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ATM'

I have first hand experience with attempting to pull in Boston channels out on the Cape (House is at North Chatham - 02650). I tried two different antennas with no luck 4882 and an older largest model UHF only Radio shack antenna with a separate VHF fed into a CM7777. No luck - I'm not sure if the broadcast antennas are more directional or not but if so, it looks like they aren't covering the Cape very well at all. After the digital switchover, we ended up having dish. Those 2 local channels are worthless. Back in the analog days, I could pull in Providence much easier than Boston but those are now gone too - Providence ABC came in the best at my house. Good thing the tree line is lower than being inland a ways but you'll still probably have to get above it. Good luck.
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vssman View Post
ATM'

I have first hand experience with attempting to pull in Boston channels out on the Cape (House is at North Chatham - 02650). I tried two different antennas with no luck 4882 and an older largest model UHF only Radio shack antenna with a separate VHF fed into a CM7777. No luck - I'm not sure if the broadcast antennas are more directional or not but if so, it looks like they aren't covering the Cape very well at all. After the digital switchover, we ended up having dish. Those 2 local channels are worthless. Back in the analog days, I could pull in Providence much easier than Boston but those are now gone too - Providence ABC came in the best at my house. Good thing the tree line is lower than being inland a ways but you'll still probably have to get above it. Good luck.
The Radio Shack VU 190 antenna was rated at 90 - 120 miles VHF - Line of Sight / while their UHF antenna was rated for 40 miles maximum - which is also LOS.

Longer wavelengths diffracts further over the horizon, while shorter wavelengths are strictly line of sight, unless there is something in the atmosphere - such as a inversion layer, or a geomagnetic storm - line of sight is as far as it will go..
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:34 AM   #10
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Guys,

Thank you very much for your intensive input. I haven't been getting instant email alerts to you posts, which explains my lack of reply - it has not been because of indifference.

I need to post a few more to post link so...
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:35 AM   #11
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...

Cape season is over for now, so I have the luxury now of researching this to death. I hope to be able to try out a system without a mast and see how it goes. If a mast is required then that's a bigger problem, as not everyone in the household approves. On that note, I recently came across an excellent aluminum, telescoping mast - must have been 30-40 feet, 4-5 inches diameter - at a local auction and, of course, passed on it. It went for only $100! I could sure use it now.

...
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:38 AM   #12
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...

I've been chatting with a local reseller who suggests this model:

(next post)

I wanted to get this to you for an opinion to compare with the other models suggested.
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:51 AM   #13
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http://www.abestvalueincapecodma.com/18.html
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:56 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by artm69 View Post
That looks to me, like an older antenna that has VHF low.
Not only would you probably not need it, but it increases wind load, too.

Personally, I would stick with what was previously recommended, or one of the Winegard 769x models.Probably a 7698P. A rotor may help, too.

Just as in the case of medications.
You don't ask advice of the people that sell them, you ask your doctor. Many people in retail, have very limited knowledge on the installation and use of the products that they sell.

Try not to be one of those people that doesn't want to spend the money to do it right, but doesn't mind spending the money to do it twice.
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:26 AM   #15
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Art,

I agree with Stereocraig. The antenna appears to be a full range antenna which is not needed at your location. The longer elements are at greater risk for breakage due to higher wind, ice and/or snow loads. A red flag is the no return policy due to being an import. A company that stands behind their antennas will allow you to return if the one purchased does not meet your needs and will provide assistance if damage occurs during the warranty period.

While it appears to be a great deal, the better options for your situation are to use a Winegard 7698 antenna or the two antenna solution.
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