High Def Forum - Your High Definition Community & High Definition Resource

Go Back   High Def Forum - Your High Definition Community & High Definition Resource >
Rules HDTV Forum Gallery LINK TO US! RSS - High Def Forum AddThis Feed Button AddThis Social Bookmark Button Groups

Local HDTV Info and Reception Learn about your local HDTV stations, availability, reception issues, OTA antennas and any other local issues.

Don't Ignore the Radio Shack U75R OTA Antenna

Reply
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-11-2006, 11:52 PM   #1  
I'd rather be sailing!
Thread Starter
 
k8dxx's Avatar
 

Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Detroit suburbs
Age: 68
Posts: 114
Default Don't Ignore the Radio Shack U75R OTA Antenna

Several weeks ago after having been disappointed a 2nd time by seeing PBS' great series on the history of computer gaming pixelate and fade into "Searching for signal... " I became determined to replace the (what I thought was a crummy) non-dorectional OTA supplied by DirecTV with a UHF antenna offering both gain and directivity. I looked at one model for $39 + outrageous shipping and another for $59 + outrageous shipping and somehow got talked into at least browsing the Shack site for this antenna that must be light, small, directional and cheap!

I discovered their Catalog Number 15-2160 or U75R to really fit the bill for only $24.95 and available locally. Assembly took about 30 minutes. All the parts were there, and then some! Construction looked acceptable. Weight was light. I have not seen data on F/B, F/S ratios, beam width and the like but this antenna seems to have a lot more of the stuff that makes antennas work than the more costly models. It has 17 yagi style elements along a 40 inch square boom; that's more elements over more inches than the competition at $59. It also boasts a good sized corner reflector at the back of the unit, thus bringing more gain and directivity.

This afternoon using the DirecTV supplied flying saucer antenna (actually a Winegard 2000) my station by station signal readings were Ch2-1 35-48 and pixelating; Ch4-1 "0-15-30 and in general searching for signal." Ch 7-1 "searching', 20-1 '64', 50-1 'searching', 56-1 viewable at 48 and 62-1 "searching". Mounting, connecting and aiming that antenna in the general direction of Southfield brought '100' signals on most of the channels and their multiple sub-channels. The few remaining sluggards are between 92 and 94.

With most of our broadcasters in Southfield, only WADL is to our east. It was curious as to whether the directional characteristics of this economy antenna would reduce WADL's Jewelery 24 X 7 signal from is '85' with the unidirectional DTV antenna. Sure enough, it's signals read in the mid 60s; certainly watchable but aside from this minor technical feat, who cares!.

This antenna claims UHF reception out to 75 miles. For those wanting to know of a small outdoor antenna would improve their local HD reception (perhaps, even if placed in an attic), I think that this U75R is worth more than a look see. If it doesn't solve your problem, you're out just $25 and half a Saturday.

Cheers.
k8dxx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2006, 09:02 AM   #2  
High Definition is the definition of life.
 
djmattyb's Avatar
 

Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Age: 42
Posts: 133
Default

I do not get OTA HD, but a piece of advice for people who shop antennas would be to make sure that you buy one from somewhere with a good return policy. The antenna that works great for your neighbor next to you may not work at all for you. I have heard of people going through 3 or 4 to find one that works, and most of the time it's not the $300 one, it's the sub $100 that pulls the best signal. In this case, k8dxx, you got lucky. Enjoy your HD!
djmattyb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2006, 07:09 PM   #3  
I'd rather be sailing!
Thread Starter
 
k8dxx's Avatar
 

Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Detroit suburbs
Age: 68
Posts: 114
Default Not sure it's all just dumb luck...

The economical RS antenna I just installed works because it has sufficient gain and directivity, the latter apparently being important for minimizing multipath which must play havoc with digital TV reception. Because it was designed and built for a known amount of gain and directivity, it probably would work reliably for close by neighbors and most users within (I estimate) 50 miles of Detroit's TV transmitters (which with one exception, are located in Southfield, Michigan). People with OTA reception problems may be well advised to put up with a little "ugliness" and go with a small more conventional antenna. This litttle RS antenna probably has enough gain to perform OK from within an attic. It may even be small enough that if necessary, it could be rotated inside an attic in order to pick up stations in multiple directions.

Regards,
k8dxx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2006, 11:10 AM   #4  
How can anyone watch standard def?
 

Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 27
Default My story

Hello!

I am one of those who has been buying and returning antenna's which don't work for me for the past few weeks in an attempt to not put up a traditional yagi on the roof. I want to pick up both VHF and UHF analog and digital signals.

In the past I have tried the Terk HDTVi, TV5 and HDTVs with success on all detroit digital signals except for NBC (4.1, or 45.3). I then ordered the Winegard GS1100 with HDP-269 preamp (11 dB) from solid signal, but that did not work for NBC either.

My latest antenna is the RCA ANT2020x - an omni-directional 21" round UHF/VHF antenna with 20dB built in gain. Just placing the antenna inside my home from my bedroom above the garage facing detroit from windsor and running coax to the TV , I was able to pick up NBC for the first time. The signal is tuned on channel 45.3 ??? strength is at 78%. My next move is to try this in my attic and then if necessary on the roof to improve both Analog and digital signals.

My problem is this: My TV is a Sony KDF-E50A10 the one with a built in ATSC tuner. I can watch all the digital stations I want, but I will only be able to record a program in analog format.

The only way I can see to record the digital signals would be to buy an external tuner and feed that into my HDD/DVD burner, and then to the TV for playback.

Anyone else see another solution ?

Because of this fact I will probably have to get a better antenna (as tigerbangs has suggested several) that will tune in the analog stations clearly so that when I record them I can watch them back as clearly as possible.

I am in Canada and am only looking to get OTA stations for the moment. DirecTV is not an option for those in Canada. Hopefully they will realize what a market there is for them in Canada, but there will probably be/already are some laws that will forever prohibit that from happening

Thanks for you help!
jclove2ski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2006, 03:58 PM   #5  
High Definition is the definition of life.
 
daleb's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Clovis, CA
Posts: 7,654
Default

I would like to offer the Zenith Silver Sensor (UHF) as a great indoor ant. Certainly surpasses any Terk powered types I've had in the past.
Online you can find them for around $17. I think Sears still sells them for 40.
I use two about 160 deg. apart mounted on top of a CD rack.
I use a standard coax splitter to join them. I get 90% of all locals, and more importantly, all the ones broadcasting a digital signal and I never have to reposition them. Location is everything, especially with respect to an antenna.
Have heard good things about the simple UHF bow-tie & screen offered at RS too.
daleb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2006, 08:38 PM   #6  
Antennas by Committee
 

Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Clay, New York
Posts: 1,564
Default

I tried the silver sensor this weekend. Found one at a local store (going out of business liqidation). Got it for 70% off...$11.99. Worked pretty good.

Using it for a decoration now though. Sticking with my outdoor antenna!

Jclove??? you still screwing around with antennas? Its been over a month.
Rick0725 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2006, 12:07 AM   #7  
How can anyone watch standard def?
 

Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 27
Default yes I am...

The RCA ANT2020x I ordered online is working well for me for my digital signals, but as I mentioned in my previous post the analog stations are not fantastic and if I want to record to a HDD/DVD unit (not yet purchased, but my Dad has one Pioneer 533H-S, and it is great!) then I will only be able to record the analog stations since the ATSC tuner is built in to the TV and the RF input will be the feed to the HDD unit.

This is where I am at right now.

I can now receive all of the major network broadcasts in HD (Fox, NBC, ABC, WB, UPN, PBS and CBS) I also pick up some local stations (analog CBC and WI) This is fine for live viewing but if I want to record anything to watch later I will only be able to record in analog and that signal is not very good.

Should I bother getting another antenna (crossfire or winegard fringe/deep fringe models as suggested by Tiger) to pick up a very strong signal from detroit analog and digital broadcasts and couple it with a rotator to be able to pick up toledo and other tower locations increasing my digital station count and allowing me to record clear analog transmissions on a HDD/DVD unit. ?

IF I decide to get satellite with PVR then I don't have to add any more antenna's or change anything else and just record the digital sat feed and play that back when I want to. I can get by using my Xbox as the DVD player for now as I don't really burn any DVD's.

I am just getting into my new home and have not had tons of time to dedicate to getting this antenna thing figured out so it is taking me a little longer than I hoped, but I am getting closer.

I know that if I put the crossfire on the roof then that will work beautifully, but if I can avoid going on the roof I would prefer that.

I may put the crossfire in the attic (hung upside down from the rafters with/without a rotator since I have the space) who knows...

The current setup with the RCA built in 20dB amplification gives a good signal. Would a preamp only be to amplifiy this signal for the losses I will encounter splitting it down the line ?

Thanks again for your attention.
jclove2ski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2006, 03:59 PM   #8  
WD4JCM in KY
 

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Georgetown, KY
Posts: 982
Default

a lot of confusion has been generated by the FCC allowing broadcasters to use both VHF and UHF frequencies for DTV. Most of the antennas sold as HDTV antennas are UHF. For channels 13 or lower you will need a VHF TV antenna.

I agree the little rat-shack UHF outdoor yagi is great for the price. It even gets a decent signal on our CBS broadcaster who is on channel 13, a VHF frequency. It does not get the local Fox affiliate on a much lower VHF frequency.

This all takes me back to the 60's and 70's when huge outdoor VHF/UHF antennas sprouted from every rooftop, mine included.

I have even ordered a Channel Master rotor to position my outdoor antenna.......nothing is new, we just keep re-inventing the wheel.
m_vanmeter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 08:16 AM   #9  
High Definition is the definition of life.
 

Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 32
Default

just signed up for this forum I have been struggling now thru 2 home/locations according to tvfool i should be getting all baltimore and washington dc channels i live about 60 miles from both i can only get 1 baltimore channel with regularly 38.2 and no dc channels unles weather is bad then i seem to get a few more. i have a 4228 channel master on chimmney mount with rotor and 7777 amp. im about to get a yaggi winegard 7968 or something else. 2 questions does anyone have any experience in the 17225 zip area and recomendations and what other antenna i might try or am i just stuck with poor reception i have clean shot to all areas however we do have a mountain range approx halfway betwen baltimore and dc.I do have a cell tower about 500yds in the general direction also if that makes any difference. Also the last house was 37 feet lower in elevation but did get a few more channels ?
tunamike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 10:19 AM   #10  
No Static At All
 
hoopitup2000's Avatar
 

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Chantilly Va
Posts: 851
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tunamike View Post
just signed up for this forum I have been struggling now thru 2 home/locations according to tvfool i should be getting all baltimore and washington dc channels i live about 60 miles from both i can only get 1 baltimore channel with regularly 38.2 and no dc channels unles weather is bad then i seem to get a few more. i have a 4228 channel master on chimmney mount with rotor and 7777 amp. im about to get a yaggi winegard 7968 or something else. 2 questions does anyone have any experience in the 17225 zip area and recomendations and what other antenna i might try or am i just stuck with poor reception i have clean shot to all areas however we do have a mountain range approx halfway betwen baltimore and dc.I do have a cell tower about 500yds in the general direction also if that makes any difference. Also the last house was 37 feet lower in elevation but did get a few more channels ?
Have you tried entering your address or exact coordinates into TV FOOL? It usually give an excellent interpretation of what you can realistically expect at your location. Just looking at your zip code results are not very promising; except for the stations coming from Clear Spring, MD, Harrisburg, PA, & Martinsburg, WV.
hoopitup2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2008, 08:20 AM   #11  
High Definition is the definition of life.
 

Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 32
Default

yes I have but you seem to be getting stations up here I would think I should be geting those back in youre direction if you were me and could get any equip ant filter amps etc to try what would you suggest I am going to get a cherry picker to go up a bit higher and also check for so called hot spots. I have had a tv engineer do the intial install he kept saying I was getting a interference signal and whipping my signals out could this explain a more stable but less stations when I removed the CM7777 amp. Also could it be the tower close by in the clear spring area. If so is there such a thing as an amf and a filter to remove that stations power and pick up more baltimore/dc stations there are people in the area within a 1/4 mile or so doing much better with the dc area??
tunamike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2008, 05:11 PM   #12  
No Static At All
 
hoopitup2000's Avatar
 

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Chantilly Va
Posts: 851
Default

The stations that I get from your area are all come in at around -100 to-110 dbm signal strength. Anything weaker than -120dbm is generally not reliable without the aid of tropo. You will need at least this much signal strength to get a somewhat reliable picture. I believe there are 3 mountain ridges that separate our 2 areas. Can you provide an address, coordinates, or post your TV FOOL results so we can get a better idea of what you can realistically expect from your location? I put up a CM 4228, & 7777 at a friends house in a mountaious area west of here(Madison, Va) with great results. His signal levels show up as -100 to -120dbm, but there are no close by TV or FM stations.

Last edited by hoopitup2000; 08-02-2008 at 05:19 PM..
hoopitup2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2009, 08:46 PM   #13  
Free TV is Priceless !
 
Small Engine's Avatar
 

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Searching the Curves of the Earth
Posts: 384
Default Two Thumbs Up

When I first bought my U-75R and hooked it up to my old amplifier and wiring (with no 300ohm to 75ohm transformer) I thought I had bought a lemmon , but...when I hooked it up to a new RS 15-2507 HDTV ready 30db amplifier with a 300ohm to 75ohm transformer at the antenna connection... I am now watching a digital signal that transmits from over 77 miles away with a 40% signal ..Its clear as a bell.. 100% pure... Free Digital...and now I have great respect for my lil 75r
That 75r with a little help is an Awesome antenna IMHO.

Mike
Small Engine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2009, 11:23 PM   #14  
How can anyone watch standard def?
 

Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 21
Default

Engine:

Glad to hear you got your system "up and running".

Let us know just how reliable KTAL is with the amplifier!

And if you get any DX (start checking analog channels 2 and 3 about a month from now, especially after dinner!)
itsmultipath! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2009, 04:41 AM   #15  
High Definition is the definition of life.
 

Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,311
Default

To k8dxx,

After looking at your generic address TV fool report, its hard to be especially impressed with the 75R. I think I counted 13 channels in your green area and another 10 in the red area. But its sure easy to be totally unimpressed by the real over rated junk the 75R replaced. Its hard to believe since you have many channels coming in from just a few miles away, you would think a rusty hairpin would be enough.

But out of curiosity, how far away is the most distant station that the 75 R picks up without amplification?

And why would you consider an inside the attic mounting when any building material loses some signal?
NonMcTubber is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Go Back   High Def Forum - Your High Definition Community & High Definition Resource >
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:51 AM.



Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004 - 2018, MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands