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HDTV Antenna

 
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UncleWill



Joined: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 399
Location: WashDC area, ViennaVA

TV/Projector: Electrohome 8500


PostLink    Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:36 pm    Post subject: HDTV Antenna Reply with quote


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Having a huge problem configuring my HDTV antenna off a balcony, 3rd floor. One direction it gets more, the other it picks up others but loses others. Jeez!

Not running an amplifier, cable is under 50ft but I have a longer one. How much a difference does an amplifier make with reception? Any recommended amplifiers?
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AnalogRocks
Forum Moderator


Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 25148
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

TV/Projector: Sony 1252Q, AMPRO 4000G


PostLink    Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:09 am    Post subject: Re: HDTV Antenna Reply with quote

UncleWill wrote:
Having a huge problem configuring my HDTV antenna off a balcony, 3rd floor. One direction it gets more, the other it picks up others but loses others. Jeez!

Not running an amplifier, cable is under 50ft but I have a longer one. How much a difference does an amplifier make with reception? Any recommended amplifiers?


I have set up dozens of antennas.
First which model antenna is it?

Second how do you have it mounted?

Third what kind of cable are you using? CCS, RG59, RG6, RG6 Quad Shield?
Cable makes a huge difference especialy without an amp. I recommend RG6 copper Quad Shield better than CCS which is Copper Clad Steel.

Lastly; the amp depends. I have had amplifiers here 5 pieces identical where 3 blocked the signal completly and 2 boosted it giving me more channels. It's sort of hit or miss sometimes. One I have used with good sucsess is the RadioShack: Catalog #: 1500473

https://www.radioshack.com/products/radioshack-1-in-4-out-bidirectional-3ghz-cable-tv-amplifier

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UncleWill



Joined: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 399
Location: WashDC area, ViennaVA

TV/Projector: Electrohome 8500


PostLink    Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

THis one: GE Compact Outdoor Antenna, Receiving Only, 30741
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fitm%2FGE-Compact-Outdoor-Antenna-Receiving-Only-30741%2F263469278291%3FssPageName%3DSTRK%253AMEBIDX%253AIT%26var%3D562498644779%26_trksid%3Dp2057872.m2749.l2649&campid=5336652980&toolid=20008

It's not a special cable. Just what I had around. Tested two cables. One was 100ft, the other about 30ft.

The mounting is on a balcony. There's another apartment across the street and some other buildings. I'll try and get some pictures.

We're frat boying it through a small window.

The zip is 22207: https://www.antennasdirect.com/transmitter-locator.html
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AnalogRocks
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Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 25148
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

TV/Projector: Sony 1252Q, AMPRO 4000G


PostLink    Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which way does the balcony face? Is the other building in line with the TV broadcast towers? If so that makes it a little more difficult to get all the channels ( obviously ).

The antenna looks OK, I've never had hands on with that exact antenna but it looks allot like the small Yagi's I've installed. They do benefit from an amp and RG6 Quad Shield. Keep the run from the antenna to the amp short. Say just long enough to make it inside; 5-6 feet. Then your longer run from the amp to the TV.
Go for the copper RG6 QS stuff on eBay. Decent deal.

The odd thing when there is a building in the way is you can sometimes get a better signal by bouncing off the other building.

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UncleWill



Joined: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 399
Location: WashDC area, ViennaVA

TV/Projector: Electrohome 8500


PostLink    Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Balcony looks like this. The easiest way to mount seems to be on the lattice.

You can see the other complex directly across.



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UncleWill



Joined: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 399
Location: WashDC area, ViennaVA

TV/Projector: Electrohome 8500


PostLink    Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pic #2


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UncleWill



Joined: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 399
Location: WashDC area, ViennaVA

TV/Projector: Electrohome 8500


PostLink    Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the antenna range from where we are. The balcony faces south or southeast.


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UncleWill



Joined: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 399
Location: WashDC area, ViennaVA

TV/Projector: Electrohome 8500


PostLink    Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Feeling silly now. Just used a short cabled indoor antenna. Seems to pick up most of the local channels (NBC, FOX, ABC) that I really wanted. It has a power port to amplify this signal. If I can find it, this may be the easiest solution. Durp durp.
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AnalogRocks
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Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 25148
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

TV/Projector: Sony 1252Q, AMPRO 4000G


PostLink    Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Antenna reception is a fun experimental thing. I tried 20-30 antennas back in 2008-2009 to see what was best for where I am. Some of the small ones are pretty decent. What's the small model you picked up?

Looks like all the stations except one are north of you. Too bad, BUT again, try bouncing the signal off the building infront of you. Experiment.

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UncleWill



Joined: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 399
Location: WashDC area, ViennaVA

TV/Projector: Electrohome 8500


PostLink    Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How long should the RG6 QS coaxial cable ideally be? I know were talking the shorter the better here. Was thinking about 50ft to be sure.
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AnalogRocks
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Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 25148
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

TV/Projector: Sony 1252Q, AMPRO 4000G


PostLink    Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UncleWill wrote:
How long should the RG6 QS coaxial cable ideally be? I know were talking the shorter the better here. Was thinking about 50ft to be sure.


Yep, keep it short, amp close to the antenna and use quality, quad shield co-ax.

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UncleWill



Joined: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 399
Location: WashDC area, ViennaVA

TV/Projector: Electrohome 8500


PostLink    Posted: Sun May 20, 2018 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I bought the 50ft quad shielded cable. Set it up going to the outside balcony. Slightly better reception (I thought). The one channel I cannot which I cannot get is Fox 5 or its affiliates.

In a moment of curiosity, I pulled out my DTV box from the digital switcherover - the kind you hook up to really old TVs. Wow! The little guy picked up almost all of the channels. My guess is that since my HDTV receiver is older, it might not be strong enough to pick everything up?? Strange cause it is a much nicer unit, outputs RGBHV, etc.
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AnalogRocks
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Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 25148
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

TV/Projector: Sony 1252Q, AMPRO 4000G


PostLink    Posted: Mon May 21, 2018 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are many different generations of tuners. They all tune ATSC but some are way better than others.
I picked up a Memorex 19" TV that gets more channels than my $200 Samsung ATSC tuner from 2009 which has HDMI component etc...

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Bostom



Joined: 11 Nov 2018
Posts: 1
Location: North Bergen


PostLink    Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went through a lot of this years ago and my setup's still working great.

Started at tvfool (don't see a mention of it here so thought I'd add it in).

I went with a nice roof-mount antenna but a lot of the attic ones are excellent. From there, ran the cable in to 3 silicondust homeruns (so 6 ota tuners) which are plugged into my switch. Took the cable lead coming into the house and connected it to an hdhomerunprime (the cablecard is something like $3/month), also plugged into the switch. The homeruns are all ip-addressable tuners so everything in the house with a computer, xbox, etc attached to it gets all OTA and cable channels.

As long as you have SOME signal, an amplifier can help a lot. The other thing that helps is to limit the number of splits. Going with a homerun might be a good option for you as you won't split your line but still have access to 2 tuners. If you are going to split the line, do it as far down the line as possible.
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