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Old 06-04-2009, 10:04 AM   #1  
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Default OTA - Roof Top Suggestions

Hi guys -

I stumbled around a few other sites before discovering this site and I would like to hear your suggestions for my appliaction. My TVFool report is attached based on actual address and post June 12 digital only channels. We are having a new roof installed (asphalt shingles) within the next month or so at which time we will pitch the Dish and install a 3 ft tri-pod mount. Estimated height from the ground is around 22 ft. The cable run from the antenna into the house will be 50 ft then into a 3-way splitter; each home-run will be 50 ft to three Sony digital TV's. I have 110 ac power supply near the point of entry to power either a pre-amp and/or dist amp.

I have determined my directional aims are around 329 +/-11 degrees (Flint/Saginaw or North) and 173 +/- 8 degrees (Detroit -South). Not certain how long PBS #28 will be on the air as the station is for sale as the UofM regents are to cease funding. The only high VHF of concern is Fox #7 out of Detroit, but I could pick-up Fox #16 from the North. No interest in low VHF or analog signals.

My first thought was to install two HBU22's using a joiner to capture both markets as I was not keen on installing a rotor or an A/B switch. After reading several posts here I am not so sure both markets will be fully capturable using two antenna without causing problems in addition to requiring a large footprint of an antenna(s). I had communication with a few mfg's and one retailer and here are their recommendations:

Anntennas Direct - install a DB-8 aimed to the North and a C4 aimed to the South. Mount on a single mast and combine with a joiner.

Winegard - go for one market (Detroit) using either a HD7697P or HD7698P with an AP8700 pre-amp and I should get all from the South and perhaps a few channels from the North. Advised against stacking and felt a 3 foot tri-pod and 5 ft mast would be suitable as well as robust to weather the elements. These two antennas were also the selection when I used Winegards on-line antenna selector.

Solid Signal - suggested a DB-8 or a CM4228 and aim to Detroit and the channels from the North would be captured on the backside of the antenna. (no low VHF)

Just for kicks, I bought and subsequently returned a Terk HDTVa antenna from a local "big-box" retailer just to see how the picture compared to Dish and I was impressed with the improvement. I placed the antenna outside on top of a 6 ft ladder and pulled in channels from both markets. I did notice ABC (WXYZ 1000KW) had a strong signal and the sound would cancel out until I turned off the amplifier.

Aiming towards Detroit only, Anntenaweb returned three channels in the violet range (#14, 43 & 44).


Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:32 AM   #2  
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You have pretty strong signals in your area. You MAY need a rotor due to the fact that some of your staions are in the opposite direction. Tower Guy will suggest an antenna for you. If your NOT doing the install yourself make sure you have the antenna BEFORE hand!! In order to make more money a installar may not put up the BEST antenna to save them money. Then be careful they will charge you for EVERYTHING!! Have them gurantee you at least 95% of signals for the channels you will be watching!!


Chris
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:55 AM   #3  
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I am thinking that a DB4/HD4221 aimed at 160ish would be the way to go. The screen should weaken the signals from 320s a bit and make them all level... I wish that you had LOS to the 320s, that would make it a sure thing, but I truly think it could work, based on installs that I have with multi-markets and multi-aims... As for a pre-amp a CM-7777 may work, but a Winegard AP8275 is a safer choice... I do not think FM overload would be a concern with a VHF-HI/UHF antenna with the closest 25+kW station nearly 20 miles away... We can also see if Tower Guy agrees with my thought, or thinks that a 7698P with rotator is the way to go...
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:43 PM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick_D View Post
My first thought was to install two HBU22's using a joiner to capture both markets as I was not keen on installing a rotor or an A/B switch.
You have the right idea. The Winegard would also work fine, but be careful about going too big, there is a 33 degree variation in directions. The HD7698P doesn't do that. A smaller antenna would actually get more signal from the edges of the pattern.

Those who suggest UHF only antennas fail to consider the channel 7 at 162 and channel 12 at 312.

Both the Antennas Direct and Solid Signal recommendation ignore high band VHF.

Start out with one HBU-22, establish a baseline in one direction, then temporarily re-aim to the other, and work from there.

Consider (an) eave mount(s) or (a) wall mount(s) below the eave instead of a tripod. They avoid holes in the roof.
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:53 PM   #5  
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Originally Posted by Tower Guy View Post
You have the right idea. The Winegard would also work fine, but be careful about going too big, there is a 33 degree variation in directions. The HD7698P doesn't do that. A smaller antenna would actually get more signal from the edges of the pattern.

Those who suggest UHF only antennas fail to consider the channel 7 at 162 and channel 12 at 312.
Opps, I completely forgot about the VHF-HIs... (runs off to corner to be dumb for the day:-)
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Old 06-05-2009, 11:08 AM   #6  
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Thanks to all and to TowerGuy for the wall mount; I really liked this idea of not driving lag bolts through a brand new 50yr shingle. A few more questions.

1) What is the recommended mast length with a wall mount. The mount I am considering is the Ronard 530 Commercial Heavy Duty Adjustable Wall Mount for Up To 30". The stand-off length from the house (T-111 wood siding) will be about 8" to clear the roof overhang.

2) Would a CM-4228HD be worth a try?

3) Should I start with a pre-amp? If so, which one?


Thanks again.
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Old 06-05-2009, 01:59 PM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick_D View Post
Thanks to all and to TowerGuy for the wall mount; I really liked this idea of not driving lag bolts through a brand new 50yr shingle. A few more questions.

1) What is the recommended mast length with a wall mount. The mount I am considering is the Ronard 530 Commercial Heavy Duty Adjustable Wall Mount for Up To 30". The stand-off length from the house (T-111 wood siding) will be about 8" to clear the roof overhang.

2) Would a CM-4228HD be worth a try?

3) Should I start with a pre-amp? If so, which one?


Thanks again.
I have two 12" wall mounts each with a full 5' mast. They have been up 25 years. I put a 2X6 in the attic to make sure that the lag bolts have something to grab onto.

The 4228HD doesn't do channels 7 or 12 very well. http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/comparing.html

The antenna(s) should work without a preamp until you get down to about WNEM on your TV fool report. You'll need a preamp to watch Hockey Night in Canada.
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:24 PM   #8  
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I like Towerguy's advice.

I would mount the rotor 1 to 3 feet above the roof and then the antenna 4 feet above that.

Most rotor manufacturers tell you to mount the rotor as close to the antenna as possible.

The good rotors has brakes inside of them that parks the rotor in one place when it stops. The higher up you go the more the antenna will rock in the wind.

6 feet is a nice round number above the roof. Think about it like this, even if you climb up on the main roof to work on the antenna - wouldn't you want the antenna above your head so you wouldn't have to crouch down to work on it. Most antenna manufacturers recommend that you install the antenna 10 feet above the roof to avoid local interference.

I would use either a Channel Master CM 0264DBS UHF/VHF Spartan 3 Mast Mounted Pre Amplifier and a Channel Master CM 3671 Ultra Hi-Crossfire Double-Boom HDTV Antenna.

Or I would use a Channel Master CM 7777 amplifier and a Winegard 8200U antenna - if you can find a 7777 amplifier. Most places they are on back order.

I would also use 2 inch galvanized electrical conduit as opposed to the junk antenna mast pipe that they sell in the stores.
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Old 06-07-2009, 01:37 PM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tower Guy View Post
You have the right idea. The Winegard would also work fine, but be careful about going too big, there is a 33 degree variation in directions. The HD7698P doesn't do that. A smaller antenna would actually get more signal from the edges of the pattern.
If I go with Winegard HD series, which size should I consider? HD 7694, 7695 or 7696? As far as mounting, I am seriously considering using a 20 ft telescoping mast mounted along the
south side of the back of our house with the highest stand-off under the eave and the mast extending no more than 10 ft from the last stand-off. This will get me 4 ft above the roof peak about 10 ft to the north.

This mounting configuration would also shorten the lengths of my cable runs in half.

Last edited by Patrick_D; 06-07-2009 at 04:50 PM..
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Old 06-07-2009, 01:48 PM   #10  
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if i go with winegard hd series, which size should i consider?
7694
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Old 06-07-2009, 04:53 PM   #11  
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Thanks again Tower Guy. I should be ordering within the next week.
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:55 AM   #12  
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Default 7694 is on order

Winegard 7694 and or other items I ordered on 6/19 are on "back-order" but should be available within the next week or so. Last week I received a DB-4 I had ordered for "testing" purposes. I mounted the DB-4 on a a 10 ft piece of 1-1/2" OD conduit and is 8 ft off the ground. Direct 25 ft run with no amplification or splits. When pointed around 170 degrees, I am getting all UHF channels from that direction plus 3 channels from the North off the backside. Plenty of signal strength on channels rec'd with. Tried over several in various weather conditions with great results.

Buyer Beware - We received 1-1/2" of rain Saturday night and the next day I noticed nearly every weld on the painted steel reflector showed minor oxidation (red rust). No noticeable effect on performance today but only time will on the longevity.
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Old 07-06-2009, 04:29 PM   #13  
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Default Pre-amp selection

I installed an HD 7694 at a neighbors house and will need a pre-amp but need to know which one to order; HD-269, AP-8700 or ??

Chimney mount 25 ft AGL using 35 ft of RG-6 quad to the point of entry / grounding block, then 3 ft into the house into a three-way splitter then 50 ft runs to 3 TV sets and/or converter boxes. Same type of brand new cable inside which was ordered to length with compression fittings from the good folks at Solid-Signal.

Good signal at the point of entry but experiencing fall-out or no signal found (WDIV) after additional 50 ft run(s).

Still waiting for the roof to be replaced to install my own HD 7694 and will presume I will need the same pre-amp as the installations are similar.

Thanks again!
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:20 PM   #14  
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Quote:
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Good signal at the point of entry but experiencing fall-out or no signal found (WDIV) after additional 50 ft run(s).
There's plenty of signal available from WDIV. Look for something wrong. Is the antenna aimed properly? Is the center conductor making contact? Are you aiming through a taller building? Is the splitter faulty? Is there a tree in the way?

In any event, the HDP-269 is plenty of amplifier for you and your neighbor.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:38 PM   #15  
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Have mature Maple and Oak trees in the line of sight to contend with. I may have not tested properly as one of the ports from the splitter was not connected or terminated. Maybe this was part of something wrong? Will try again tomorrow with a terminating end screwed onto the open port to see what happens.

At home today I "test" mounted a DB4 onto an old tri-pod that I converted into a sprinkler. Placed this on roof and ran 45 ft direct run to a DTV and there was plenty of signal from the Detroit locals. WDIV strength ranged from 97 to 100 on a scale of 0 to 100. Also picking up the strongest channel from the North or backside (WFUM), have a few others that lock in and out. I suspect the backside pick-ups may improve once the leaves drop in the fall.
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