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What are people using now for outdoor antennas? #5352823 02/17/20 03:49 PM
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BAJA_05 Online Content OP
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My $30.00 cheap antenna I have on the pre existing DirecTV bracket on the roof died out on me yesterday after a good 5 years. Looking to replace with a HD antenna and would like some feedback from the knowledgeable folks here please on what use are using and price wise. My old antenna is on a 1 inch round aluminum pole that is 8 feet high that I cut from work scrap. Just gonna remove the old antenna & replace with a new one on that pole.



Thanks, Dale


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Re: What are people using now for outdoor antennas? [Re: BAJA_05] #5352828 02/17/20 03:59 PM
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TheLawnRanger Offline
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I made one using instructions from YouTube. It is awful looking and I only made it as something to get by until I had time to make one properly. It has done well enough that I've never made the second one. I will attach the plans for the second antenna which I was going to make from fence wire and a 2x4. The current model was made with thinner wire for hanging pictures. This is a Gray-Hoverman antenna which has a lot written about it on the internet.

Screenshot_20190722-153556_Gallery.jpg

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Re: What are people using now for outdoor antennas? [Re: BAJA_05] #5352865 02/17/20 04:41 PM
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MrMoody Offline
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I have this one: HDB91X Yagi. Works reliably up to about 50 miles through the NC rain forest, very directional.


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Re: What are people using now for outdoor antennas? [Re: BAJA_05] #5352878 02/17/20 04:53 PM
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vw7674 Online Content
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Antennas Direct had the best ones.
They have a figure eight shape, coated in plastic,
most expense but the best performance too.
You may not need the range & sensitivity where you
are at but I did & wound up with a AD antenna after trying
three cheaper ones & lots of fitting/tuning trips to the roof.
(You have to re-scan channels with every reposition of the array) : (

Re: What are people using now for outdoor antennas? [Re: BAJA_05] #5352882 02/17/20 04:57 PM
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Chris Meutsch Offline
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I have this one: https://winegard.com/products/hdtv-digital-antennas/outdoor-antennas/freevision/freevision

Watching Daytona on it right now! It works flawlessly.


2005 Honda CR-V EX, 282k and ready for the retirement home. Make me an offer!
Re: What are people using now for outdoor antennas? [Re: BAJA_05] #5352884 02/17/20 04:59 PM
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WhizkidTN Offline
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For the last two years at my new house, I have the Mohu Sky 60 mounted in the eaves of my attic (which has metal foil on the underside of the roof sheathing which kills RF, but not at the eaves, just normal OSB there). I have a separate, controllable RF amplifier that feeds a splitter for the three HDTVs in my house. Works pretty well but is directional somewhat. It would be far better if I could hoist it up another 15 feet above the peak of my house (outside, not in the attic) but my homeowners association will not have it.


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Re: What are people using now for outdoor antennas? [Re: BAJA_05] #5352887 02/17/20 05:02 PM
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CourierDriver Offline
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WE use one of those flat units https://www.walmart.com/ip/Ematic-HDTV-Antenna-and-Amplifier-50-Mile-Range-EDT201ANT/46998681

works great, gets 35 channels,,,and upstairs I just ran coaxial cable to the windows and it picks up great,,no fancy antenna there.lol


I'd still like to have my 67 Beetle back....life was easy then..imho 2 quarts of oil roughly ,lol
Re: What are people using now for outdoor antennas? [Re: BAJA_05] #5352897 02/17/20 05:10 PM
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pitzel Offline
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Assuming you're in Reading, PA or the area -- basically the only channels that are realistic to receive error-free are WPVI (ABC), WGAL (NBC), KJWP, WTVE. Mostly low-band VHF signals.
(per TVfool.com).

So you need a VHF-LO optimized antenna. For channels 2, 6, and 8. You'll probably also want an antenna-mast mounted pre-amplifier.

Re: What are people using now for outdoor antennas? [Re: BAJA_05] #5352923 02/17/20 05:33 PM
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KeithS_NW_Ohio Offline
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You need to first figure out if you need a UHF only, VHF-Hi/UHF, or a VHF/UHF antenna. In my location, I need a VHF-Hi/UHF since I have stations broadcasting on Channel 11 & 13, along with UHF.


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Re: What are people using now for outdoor antennas? [Re: BAJA_05] #5352927 02/17/20 05:36 PM
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MrHorspwer Offline
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I've been using a ClearStream 2V from Antennas Direct since 2013 with no issues. It has since been replaced by the ClearStream 2MAX and runs about $100.

Here in the Detroit area, all our broadcast antenna are located in the same ~3 sq mile area. It makes it really easy to aim an antenna and get everything. I have the antenna about 10 feet up on the back corner of the house. The broadcast antenna are about 25 miles away and reception is beautiful. As more homes were added to my neighborhood, I thought I may have to raise the antenna a bit for a better line-of-sight. No need.

Using Reading as a base, your NBC and ABC affiliate are on VHF, so you'll need a VHF dipole.

This is what I'm seeing for affiliates:

ABC (VHF) near Harrisburg (West of Reading)
CBS (UHF) near Harrisburg (West of Reading)
NBC (VHF) near York (Southwest of Reading)
Fox (UHF) near Harrisburg (West of Reading)

There are other affiliates to the north and toward Philadelphia, but being in a completely different direction makes reception challenging.

If you want your best shot at reception, I'd probably go with a ClearStream 4MAX, which is the bigger version of the 2MAX, and I'd aim it right toward Harrisburg where your UHF broadcasts are from. Dipoles are onmidirectional, so aiming them isn't as critical for VHF reception. For UHF, you want the antenna aimed right at the tower.

I've seen the 2MAX and 4 MAX for sale at Lowes if you're looking local. $100 for the 2MAX and $150 for the 4MAX. Antennas Direct also sell reflectors to focus UHF energy and grab a bit more signal for both antenna.

Re: What are people using now for outdoor antennas? [Re: BAJA_05] #5352952 02/17/20 06:13 PM
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Vern_in_IL Offline
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I do not have off the air T.V.

So how important is gain nowdays?

Since everything went up to UHF? When T.V. was still analog, we always bought the highest gain channel master antenna we could. I'm not sure if gain would really help on UHF, since it is UHF and digital, it's either signal or nothing at all.

Re: What are people using now for outdoor antennas? [Re: MrHorspwer] #5352954 02/17/20 06:15 PM
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pitzel Offline
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Originally Posted by MrHorspwer

ABC (VHF) near Harrisburg (West of Reading)
CBS (UHF) near Harrisburg (West of Reading)
NBC (VHF) near York (Southwest of Reading)
Fox (UHF) near Harrisburg (West of Reading)


Its been my experience that anything under about a 10dB noise margin, forget it, its not going to be terribly reliable receiving ATSC 1.0. Even with an amplifier and optimized antenna. So the only UHF left are at very short range (2.0mi from Reading), which definitely would not benefit at all from an optimized antenna.



Last edited by pitzel; 02/17/20 06:30 PM.
Re: What are people using now for outdoor antennas? [Re: Vern_in_IL] #5352961 02/17/20 06:22 PM
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pitzel Offline
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Originally Posted by Vern_in_IL
I do not have off the air T.V.
So how important is gain nowdays?


Gain and directionality are related. The higher gain the antenna, the more directional it tends to be. So if all of your stations are in one direction, the highest gain antenna you can buy is to your advantage, and just aim it properly.

Quote

When T.V. was still analog, we always bought the highest gain channel master antenna we could. I'm not sure if gain would really help on UHF, since it is UHF and digital, it's either signal or nothing at all.


Digital absolutely and utterly relies on a good analog antenna design. Unlike Analog which just gets fuzzy if the reception isn't good, but is mostly usable, albeit with degraded audio and picture, picture quality, sound, etc., goes downhill really, really fast (into un-watchability) when MPEG compression is involved, ie: ATSC 1.0. ATSC 3.0 is a neat technology for 4K broadcast, and has much more advanced decoding algorithms which help with things like multipath reception, etc., but that's still a few years off. ATSC 3.0 should function better with a lower noise floor.

It annoys to me to no end when lay-people say "digital antennas" or "HD antennas". The best antenna for HD reception may very well be something that your grandma on the farm stuck on her roof in the 1950s if you're watching VHF-LO. Wired to a proper receiver/decoder, of course, with good impedance matching throughout.

Re: What are people using now for outdoor antennas? [Re: BAJA_05] #5353004 02/17/20 07:13 PM
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xxch4osxx Offline
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"It annoys to me to no end when lay-people say "digital antennas" or "HD antennas". The best antenna for HD reception may very well be something that your grandma on the farm stuck on her roof in the 1950s if you're watching VHF-LO."

So very true. HD or "digital" is just marketing hype. No such thing. An antenna is an antenna.


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Re: What are people using now for outdoor antennas? [Re: BAJA_05] #5353030 02/17/20 07:48 PM
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I have a cheap Winegard that pulls in 30 some channels in crystal clear HD. No pre-amp, no distribution amp, no rotor, just the antenna and some TV's. I live in central PA. I do have it properly mounted about 25' above ground and I used good quality RG6 with compression fittings.

https://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?p=HD7694P

Last edited by jayjr1105; 02/17/20 07:51 PM.

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