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Old 03-03-2019, 07:38 PM   #1  
How can anyone watch standard def?
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Default suburban chicago antenna recommendations

I sorry about the repetitive newbie questions BUT being an electrician and person who at one time back in the day had a 60ft. tower with a moonraker 4 in the yard I am way over thinking this.

My intensions are to install an antenna in the attic and install 2 RG-6 cables to the first floor a 50ft run and 80ft run. Also would like to install 4 more RG-6 cables to the bedrooms on the second floor. we will never be utilizing all the monitors at the same time, I see maybe 2-4 at once, 2 average.My goals are to capture channels CBS, NBC, ABC, WGN, FOX-32. the one I'm mostly concerned about is CBS not because I use that channel but for my teenager who watch sports games.

Im in the Chicago suburbs about 25 mile as the crow flies.

here is my tv fool link:
OOPS! I NEED 5 POSTS!!!!!!

My question is which antenna should I use? I want the BEST reception!!! I have searched all over the net now I'm confused.
These are what I have looked at
HD7698P
HD7694P
HD8200u
DB4-E
Lava 8008
clear stream 4max
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Old 03-04-2019, 01:07 PM   #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8ter View Post
I am way over thinking this.
Hello, sk8ter; welcome to the forum. A little thinking ahead of time is a good idea.
Quote:
My intensions are to install an antenna in the attic and install 2 RG-6 cables to the first floor a 50ft run and 80ft run. Also would like to install 4 more RG-6 cables to the bedrooms on the second floor. we will never be utilizing all the monitors at the same time, I see maybe 2-4 at once, 2 average.
First you get all the signals you want on just one TV, then you can split. Once the splitter is installed, it doesn't matter if the other TVs are on or not; the splitter has already weakened the signals. It's not like adding an appliance to a branch circuit which increases the load. You can add a distribution amp to compensate for the splitting loss, if necessary.

Quote:
My goals are to capture channels CBS, NBC, ABC, WGN, FOX-32. the one I'm mostly concerned about is CBS not because I use that channel but for my teenager who watch sports games.

Im in the Chicago suburbs about 25 mile as the crow flies.
We will not be able to tell you about an antenna for CBS until we see your TVFool signal report. Putting the antenna in the attic will make the signals weaker.

If you give us the short form for your report link we can make an active link. You can do a report here:
http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?opti...pper&Itemid=29

a short link would look like this:
?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3de6a46686a80de c

Don't let it bother you if there is a space between the last two characters.
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Old 03-04-2019, 01:36 PM   #3  
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Post #3

Last edited by sk8ter; 03-04-2019 at 01:39 PM..
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Old 03-04-2019, 01:38 PM   #4  
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Post #4 for the sake of posting a report
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Old 03-04-2019, 01:40 PM   #5  
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Old 03-04-2019, 01:58 PM   #6  
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Here ya go. I just wanted to say doing this is bringing back memories of Dx’ing. Been reading for a couple days now and appreciate all of the help. Dan.
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...9038893d709566
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Old 03-04-2019, 06:22 PM   #7  
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First of all, if at all possible put the antenna on the roof out in free air. That will probably double the signal hitting the antenna.

What materials (asphalt shingles, roofing planks or plywood, etc.) are between the proposed attic location ant the Chicago stations? Some materials drastically attenuate signal, especially aluminum siding, stucco , concrete, etc.

All the Chicago stations are line-of-sight (LOS) and fairly strong. Only one of your "wants" is VHF, that being WBBM which broadcasts on channel 12.

If you must do an attic install, you want the largest antenna that will fit in your attic with the business end pointed at 141 degrees magnetic.

Best case would probably be a separate antenna for channel 12 - a VHF high band only antenna combined with the best UHF antenna you can get, sometimes this combo is even less expensive than a huge VHF/UHF combo. If you do not want channels 4 and 6 (WOCK and WRME) you don't need the HD8200u, it is 14 ft long with a turning radius of 8 1/3 ft, the longest elements span over 9 ft. (ya' got a really big attic?)

The HD7698P is the same length as the HD8200, just not as wide because it does not have the VHF low band elements. Winegard has specifications for its antennas in pdf format on their website.

If you can manage separate UHF and VHF antennas Amazon has a traditional looking VHF only antenna for about $40.00 - the Stellar Labs 30-2475 or the 30-2476, a deep fringe VHF only antenna for around $50 on eBay. Combine it with a good 8 bay bow tire type antenna like the Winegard PR-8800 or the Channel Master 4228 and it should work fine possible even with a 4 way splitter.

If some of your TV's have reception problems augment it with a 4 way amplified splitter or a pre-amp near the junction of the antennas.

Hope I haven't sown too much confusion.
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:32 PM   #8  
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Thank You jim5506 for your detailed response. I checked out both of those vhf antennas you have recommended and they will fit in the attic.

I do have asphalt shingles, vinyl siding with plywood and wood frame construction. I am not interested in channels 4 & 6. Only interested in the major networks coming out of Chicago. I do have a large attic and can fit a large antenna. I will not need a rotor because I’m not going for Milwaukee.

Which UHF-VHF coupler do you recommend if I go the 2 antenna route?

There was a delay in the posting of this thread and I ended up speaking with antennas direct earlier this morning. I was really surprised when they recommended the clear stream 2max antenna. I told them because of the small size I would be able to mount it on the chimney at about 28 ft. They said it should work out just fine for what I want to achieve.

I still want to move forward in this thread I just did not want to abandon this thread because things may or may not work out the way I want as far as signal strength and if bad weather will have negative effects.

Soooo I shall see in a couple of days if all is good and channel 2 will come in. If not I will move forward on one of the VHF and UHF antennas you recommend to me.

I was asking the tech on the phone “so I’m not going to need one of those cool looking antennas like the 8200, DB4E or the 4228? The tech said looking at the report you will not need those antennas. The tech also added I should be good with CH 2 as well!

I did ask again and they would have been happy to sell me a yagi but again said it will not be necessary. I did not want the yagi outside anyway. It would have gone in the attic.

I will follow up as soon as things are up and running with 1 TV with the clear stream 2max. Antennas direct also sold me a 8 way distribution amp (CD-A8) that I will need for the future RG-6 cables to be added later on.

Last edited by sk8ter; 03-05-2019 at 08:05 AM..
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Old 03-06-2019, 08:35 PM   #9  
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Thank you Antenna’s Direct and Alex for recommending the Clearstream 2Max indoor outdoor antenna. I received the antenna today. (2 days as promised)

I went out to the shed and grabbed a 75’ RG-6 cable I had laying around. Temporarily installed the antenna between the blind and 2nd floor window and wired the other end to to TV down stairs.

At first the tv did not immediately recognize the antenna then broadcast highlighted in the Samsung setup menu. 56 channels later as it loaded. I was like no way. The first channel that came up when the picture appeared was CH 2!!!!! I could not believe it crystal clear reception and for the first time I was looking at a uncompressed HD signal it looked very sharp.

Flipping through cbs abc nbc Wttw wgn fox32 Me tv I was so happy. No pixelation just a clear picture and the audio was synced with my receiver with out touching anything. Btw for you audio heads you will also get Dolby digital sound from the HD broadcast.

I still need to put the Clearstream 2max antenna on the chimney another 10 ft. higher and point it in the proper direction. This antenna gets the job done here in the North West Suburbs of Chicago. (25 miles as the crow flies)

I will report back after installing the 6 RG-6 cable on the 8 way distribution amp. (Splitter)
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:03 PM   #10  
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Installed the Antenna on the chimney around 28 ft. and now have more useless channels. 76 total. I also have 2 tv’s running on a passive splitter. Still need to finish wiring and install the 8 way splitter.
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Old 03-10-2019, 12:23 PM   #11  
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And dont forget to properly ground the system, all important step some forget to do on an outdoor system.
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:52 PM   #12  
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Thank you Terry I will install a 6 gauge wire and 1 or 2 ground rods.

Something interesting happened tonight. My system has been temped in for about a week. I decided my signal could be better. any way i made it worse moving the antenna. I could not get it back where it was. So I started moving wires around behind the tv and bam the signal shot up. I was using old cable that is not rg-6. Im only temped in with coupler installed at where my dish use to be going into a passive splitter. Any way I just wanted to warn others about using inferior cable. it will matter in the end and isolating the cable from electrical cords and rabbit ear antennas could make the difference as well as the proper terminated connectors at the end of cables. just because its factory cable does not mean they are good. In the end I was able to make the signal better than what it was but it was not because of antenna tuning it was cable management and junk cables. I need to get this permanent install done with the proper cable and shortest lengths possible. I will report back.
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Old 03-17-2019, 11:03 PM   #13  
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Previous posts summary: I installed the Clearstream 2max antenna on the chimney at about 28 ft. Using info obtained from tvfool.com for direction tuned the antenna for the best signal on channel 2 with 1 TV (No amplifier) then tweeked signal making fine adjustments using the signal meter on the TV. Signal was very strong. I'm 26 miles as crow flies from the Sears Tower where the signals come from. During this time I noticed signal was effected from power cords and other wires near by. I was coupled onto existing rg-59. I realized the importance of quality cable.

I finally found time this weekend to finish the permanent install.

I installed about 400' of rg-6 quad shield cabler antenna signal and 500' of cat-6 for internet.

I had 3 access points for routing cable between floors. The crawlspace the garage attic and the 2nd floor attic. The 8 port TP link AX-6000 router located on the 1st floor and the antennas direct CD-A8 distribution amp located at 2nd floor attic.

Yes it was a long Saturday 9am to midnight.

After drilling many holes and a lot of back and forth all cables were installed to 4 bedrooms at 2nd floor location and 2 locations on the first floor. Each location received 1 rg-6 and 1 cat-6. I cut in beauty plates for access below the TV at electrical outlet height and another just under the TV wall bracket. This way I will not have to see wires hanging down from TV and if the room needs another cat-6 to another device a switch can be added to the room at a later time.

I terminated all RG-6 cable with Ideal rg-6 rg-6 quad "F" connectors (92-651) using the Ideal compression tool (30-693) and stripped all cables with a Data Shark stripper. (do not rush this make sure your connectors are done RIGHT) The Cat-6 required a RJ-45 connectors and the Ideal ratchet tool (3J-896). I also had to install a electrical outlet at an existing splice box for power to the distribution amplifier's power supply.

Ok so all wire and connectors are terminated and labeled! The moment of truth. First I wanted to see what signal I had before plugging the power supply into the distribution amp. I tested the 2 TV's that were the closest and furthest away. The results were channel 2 was pulling 16.8 db and had a decent picture with no pixelation at about 30% signal at both locations. Back up to the attic and I plugged in the power supply to the distribution amp. Bam!!! 97% with 32.7 db - 33.10 db which was the same signal I had with just one TV originally hooked up to the antenna from the very beginning 3 weeks ago. I did feel the need to adjust the picture setting from where they previously were before adding the new wire and amp. The TV's looks beautiful.

Today I hooked up 2 other TV's and then broadcasted all 4 at the same time on the same channel monitoring the signal strength. They were all very strong in the 31-33db range. There was no change in signal on any individual TV whether it was the only one on or if all 4 were on. I liked that! I also had a small TV that I took to all 6 locations and tested for signal differences. All 6 locations generated 97% and from the shortest run of cable to the longest there was a difference of 1db using the same TV to eliminate any variables or differences between TV's for the sake of comparing numbers. I liked that too!

Some TV's wound up with 67 channels and others 71,76 and the oldest of the bunch pulled in 80 channels. I'm only interested in 9 or 10 of them.

The only thing left to do is GROUND the antenna fill holes with fire chalking.

Im glad I wound up with the small 2Max antenna outside but I really wanted the Winegard HD8200U 14ft. antenna in my attic. So we shall see how long this little antenna lasts and then maybe get the big boy one day or maybe not.
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Last edited by sk8ter; 03-17-2019 at 11:24 PM..
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:16 AM   #14  
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Default Great Thread and follow up

Hey, thanks for your very detailed report. So many come on and ask for help and disappear. Your follow up was great.
Rabbit and the rest here have GREAT ADVICE!

I am in the Chicago Market also, but on the 49 mile fringe of Milwaukee. So, I try for both signals, I ended up with 90+ channels but could have more but combining losses got me.

Rabbit and the crew here and on TV Fool gave me some great advice, but I strayed and over complicated my system. (more is always better right?) I'm currently going for simplification.

MY Point is that this forum and TV Fool have some GREAT ADVICE and you followed it, with great success.

What town are you in?

I'm north on the lake by ILL Beach State Park.

Last edited by Chiwaukee OTA; 03-25-2019 at 08:27 AM..
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:22 AM   #15  
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Originally Posted by Chiwaukee OTA View Post
What town are you in? .
The TVFool report posted earlier states:
Buffalo Grove, Ill.
Zip 60089

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