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Looking for a TV antenna - suggestions???

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by skeeljc, Apr 23, 2012.

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  1. skeeljc

    skeeljc Active Member

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    Yes, I have an omni-directional digital antenna with an amplifier that comes in handy when a storm blocks out my Dish Network. It is a horizontal round disc about 14 inches in diameter. It is mounted on a short mast off of the gable end of our garage. The antenna is probably 30 feet above the ground. It does a good job with the local stations that are 20 to 25 miles away. It will pull in some stations 50 to 60 miles away depending upon conditions.

    I don't recall the make. I got it from my Dish installer. Cost about $150.

    Jim Skeel
  2. trapperpg

    trapperpg Member

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    Check out antennaweb.org

    It will give you a rough approximation of the stations available and the antenna needed to get them. I am using a ChannelMaster CM3671 mounted in the attic with a pre-amp and it does a fair job for my location. I have some customers that, because of their location, can receive 15+ stations on a rusty coat hanger. It's all about location. Don't fall victim to the HD or DIGITAL labeling on some antennas, the antenna doesn't know the difference, and today, it's all digital.
    PG
  3. Steve W

    Steve W Active Member

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    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I have a $20 indoor antenna from Tri-Quest, it can receive 112 stations, including all the sub-stations in Los Angeles. I've tried those fancy $80 ones with amplifiers, didn't make any difference in my area.
  4. X Trap 2

    X Trap 2 TS Member

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    I am using the same antennas that I had 30+ years ago. I get over 75 channels. Now, all the TVs I had with the converter box's would not pull in all channels. I guess the tuners are just out dated. So I updated to all new LCD and LED 3D TVs except the one in one bed room. Now I can watch the old westerns in my office.Ray
  5. RunGunIPSC

    RunGunIPSC TS Member

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    Yes,thanks guys. Great information. I am 60 miles south from all the transmitters that are located together on a hill in north Missoula,MT. I get CBS,NBC,PBS very clearly but cannot get FOX/ABC that is broadcast together by one company. If it below freezing at 20-25 degrees,those two come in fine. I use a 100" UHF/VHF 35' up mounted like the one shown. Any ideas about that?
  6. halfmile

    halfmile Active Member

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    Green Bay Wisconsin
    Go to Radio Shack and get a 10 db booster. Cost around ten bucks. If you have splitters to feed various locations in the house, be awaqre that a 2 way soaks up 3.5 db and a 4 way 7.

    So if you had a 2 feeding a couple 4's you need the booster just to get back to what comes off the antenna.

    HM
  7. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

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    The old style tv antennas work the best in my opinion. I tried several of the small ones but ended up putting up a channel master antenna which came with a booster. I also use a rotary and pick up stations up to 150 miles away. Most of the time I only get 15 or 20 stations really consistent. This is at my fishing place and the closest city with a tv station is 70 miles away. I pick up several stations from Dothan and Panama City south of me which is to 150 miles and then pick up some Montgomery stations. I only got five or six stations with some of the other antennas. The antenna from Radio Shack that has what they call a 100 mile range is around $99.00 and it works pretty good as one of the guys in a camp next to me has one. Jackie B.
  8. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

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    Eddie, I have some that are like that and I can turn the rotor and point directly to them and they won't fade in and out due to lost signal. Jackie B.
  9. pyrdek

    pyrdek Active Member

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    I put up a "100 Mile Plus" UHF antenna with the lowest noise figure pre-amp I could buy. I was in a all-uhf market. There are still some places where one of the digital stations are still in the VHF band so be aware of that when you are looking at antennas.

    I can not get any reception from three of the five stations that are the closest to us. Prior to digital, four of the five were entirely watchable. The exception was the PBS station. Ironically, this was the same PBS station where I worked for several years, prior to taking my present job in a area university, as their chief transmitter engineer.

    Now, in spite of the supposedly superior antenna and pre-amp the PBS, NBC&CBS (common owner) stations are non-existent almost all of the time. The PBS is only watchable maybe four weeks out of a year. Those four weeks are when they are running membership drives. Purely coincidental I am sure ;-)

    When there is unsettled weather, the two remaining station ABC & FOX (again a common owner) may or may not be watchable.

    These stations are all located about thirty air miles away. Meanwhile I can watch Youngstown stations from about 70 miles away most of the time. Again unsettled weather does wipe them out far to often. There is also a problem with some other signals (detectable on specialized receivers) interfering with and blocking the TV signals. In my case, looking at the repeating nature of the interference I suspect a radar transmitter is the cause. There is an airport just about a mile away.

    When we had tornado warnings in the area, it was absolutely impossible to get any information from the TV stations because of the near constant loss/freezing of the signals.

    The really frustrating thing is that when the very first experiments were being done with digital TV, back in the 80s or so, the problems identified then (multi-path, weather, terrain, phasing differences in equipment, etc.) are the exact same problems that still exist today. The reasons for digital transition were not for improved technical quality! The ability to provide up to four individual channels and consequent increased ad revenues, and the legal ability to run at lower power (reducing electric, transmitter and transmission line costs) were the selling point for station owners. The government made their money by taking away the upper end of the UHF band from broadcasters and selling it (by auction) to other users. In fact, after the transition, if you had a old analog tuning TV, you could even sometimes pick up cell phone conversations. That was in the days before cell phones went to all digital transmission.

    That means that if you have the engineers making the decisions about what to buy and install at the stations and they desire to provide a high quality signal, you will probably be a satisfied viewer. If, on the other hand, the "bean counters" make the purchase decisions and you live any distance from the transmitter or main population center then you are probably screwed no matter what antenna system you install.
  10. halfmile

    halfmile Active Member

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    Green Bay Wisconsin
    All that weird stuff that happens is mind boggling. We had a guy who got the FM radio from the tower a half mile away all over his TV.

    Engineers wrapped the tuner in lead.

    Another one was when the wiring in the walls picked up a radio station, solved it with an extension cord (which changed the length of the power wiring that was pullin in that station).

    I have spent some hours on the phone with factory guys, some could help, others were just as dumb as me.

    They do make tunable channel traps which will reduce only certain signals, but they are costy.

    I like the reversing the antenna trick.

    Dayton, Ohio was a bear with channels in 3 separate vectors. We had a mishmash of electronics for that store.

    HM
  11. ljutic73

    ljutic73 Active Member

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    Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
    Channel Master is the only brand to consider....
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