Outdoor Tv antennas

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I am 60 miles east of Chicago and looking for a very good outdoor roof Tv antenna. Radio Shack has a 160" 57 element antenna for 99$. Would I benefit from a rotator and amplifier. What is the best cable to use. I know nothing about outdoor tv antennas.
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You would benefit greatly by a rotator. Perhaps not so much with a preamp. I get stations way over 60 miles away with just the antenna on the TV. RG-6/U or RG58 or RG59 but best bet would be RG6/u. You can always add a preamp later but I don't think you'll need one.
On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 19:19:49 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote:

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jappy wrote:

RG58 is 50 ohms and can cause ghosts with TV, which is 72-75 ohms.
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m Ransley wrote:

That's probably their #190, a good antenna , but $99 is the normal price, not the sale price, which is often 50% off, and some stores have closed out antennas for $5-20 (my #210 was $10).
Mount the antenna as high as possible, but secure the mast well, including with guy wires in addition to any tripod. Ground the mast to earth, with a long grounding rod if your house's ground rod isn't close by (best to bond any other rod to the house's rod0, and ground the coaxial antenna cable shield with a grounding block. Also install a lightning arrestor (Radio Shack doesn't have them any more) and ground it too. Use either RG-59, RG-6, or, best of all, RG-6QS (quad shield, blocks interference best) cable. Where the cable enters the building, let it sag at least 6" to make any water that runs down it drip off instead of run inside. All of this information is given in the instructions included with every outdoor antenna, VCR, and TV, among the precautions listed in one of the first pages.
Each kind of cable requires its own connectors, and connectors are made in both regular and waterproof types, but black electrical tape does a good job of waterproofing (don't stretch the last few turns or the tape will unravel). Do not use RG-58 cable, which is 50-ohm characteristic impedance cable and will cause ghosts with TVs, amplifiers, and antennas, all which use 75 ohms. With a high-gain antenna you may not need an amplifier, just a splitter. Any unused outlets of the splitter should be terminated with 75 ohm resistors to prevent ghosting, either at the splitter or, more conveniently, at the wall outlets (may not be a good idea if small children are around since they can unscrew them and swallow them). Amplifiers are either preamps that mount on the mast (usually best) or distribution amplifiers that go indoors. With the latter I don't like mounting powered devices inside unfinished attics, unless they're completely enclosed in steel to block fires.
You may want to paint the plastic of the antenna white to protect it against ultraviolet sunlight and ozone. Don't use any other colors since they may contain metals that can short out the signal, and other colors can make plastic get hot enough to melt or crack. Ordinary white spray enamel or lacquer works, but you may want to try Krylon Fusion, made especially for plastic.
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Radio shack is overpriced for what you get ok for quick small parts. current antennas will and do pick up hdtv signals which will all be on uhf frequences (make sure uhf section is top line if you get combo vhf and uhf) the 8 bay channel master is pretty good this link link will tell you what you need in antenna and the exact direction and distance from your house so you can determine if you need a rotor http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx
All this stuff can be ordered over the net at good savings for DIY
For wire use rg6 or for extremely long runs rg10 Belden (not belken) makes very high quality wire. http://www.belden.com / check channel master here http://www.channelmaster.com/home.htm
chanel master also makes good pre amps (make sure you get antenna mounted pre amp not one inside your house) but uou can allways mount it later if needed unless you are getting a 50 ft mast etc.
as noted before be sure both the antenna and the antenna lead in are well grounded.
On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 19:19:49 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote:

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also read from this site http://www.hdtvprimer.com /
On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 19:19:49 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote:

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On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 19:19:49 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote:

I live on a farm and the only way I can get any tv is with an antenna (unless I want to go broke with a satellite dish). I have one of the cheaper antennas from Radio Shack. My nearest city is 55 miles, the next is 70, and the last is 90. However, each one of them is a different direction. Since the antenna needs to be pointed at the station, a rotor is a MUST. Of course my first rotor was pretty silly. I ran the mast all the way to the ground, right outside a window. I had a bearing in the upper mast holder and the bottom was in a drilled hole in a timber. I left a vice grip in the mast, and when I wanted to rotate it, I just opened the window and turned the vice grip. This actually worked well, but was soft of inconvenient in freezing cold weather. Plus, winds liked to rotate it for me, at least until I used a second vice grip to lock it against a steel fence post I drove in next to it.
Anyhow, I finally got a rotor and that made life easier. You will learn (and mark with tape) the location of each channel.
I get the 55 mile starion very well. The other two are not as good, and require lots of tweaking of the antenna direction. I think a better antenna would help, but tv is not very important to me. I watch the news and weather. The rest of the time it's just there to make noise. Unless "Home Improvement" comes on....
As for the cable, just standard tv coax RG59 (I think thats the nimber, but may have it confused with CB coax). R.S. carries it. (DO NOT USE THE FLAT 300 ohm wire). To use coax cable, you need an outdoor adaptor that may or may not come with the antenna. ASK the clerk/read the box.
Amplifiers are not all they are cracked up to be. They do help a little, but very little. If you get one, be sure it covers both VHF and UHF or you wont get any UHF channels.
I do have one myself, I got it for free from a friend that switched to cable tv. It helps a tiny bit.... Probably not worth buying...
Mark
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First, check out antennaweb.org. You can put in your address, bldg height, etc and it will tell you the distance and angle to the stations in your area and give you an idea of what kind of antenna you need. You may very well not need a rotor at all, as in many areas, all the main transmitters are located close together.
I would also consider what someone previously pointed out. And that is that the existing analog broadcast system is scheduled to be shut off completely in the not too distant future. The date has been pushed out before and probably will be again, but it is the direction we are heading with the transition to digital broadcasting. If I were installing an antenna and/or rotor today, I'd be looking at something that would be capable of digital reception and at least planning on how I might migrate to that.
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On 22 Oct 2005 06:55:40 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Yeah, more useless technology just to make people spend more money and have to keep replacing things. Just like computers, they are obsolete when you buy them. As I age, the less I care about all this nonsense. As long as my 8 year old computer gets on the net, and my tv gets a picture, who gives a rats ass about all this high tech (high priced) junk. I have seen HDTV. It does look nice, but it's still the same old poor programming now on tv. Like I really care to see infomercials in HD. Maybe they should be working on better programming instead of digital crap.
I guess the older we get, the more we learn to just appreciate things the way they are, and get real tired of being forced to spend money. I got lots of vhs tapes, but now I am supposed to get dvd. Either one plays a movie and the advantage to dvd is really not all that noticable. Seems all this technology is made for the kids these days, since they seem to have the money to buy all that crap. Like IPODs. Why do people need those things? Radios cost less than $10 and can play the same songs, and even have speakers. I can not stand having earphones hanging on me.
As far as changing the broadcasting of tv, I think us old timers need to start telling these people to shove their HD, especially those of us in rural areas. Yep, I'm getting ornary. tends to be part of aging while manufacturers keep trying to spend our money, while our fixed incomes never increase. After all, it's a frikkin tv set, not a necessity of life. If I got all that money to waste, I'll spend it on a new tractor before a damn tv that is still mostly advertising.
Mark
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"Like IPODs. Why do people need those things? Radios cost less than $10 and can play the same songs, and even have speakers. I can not stand having earphones hanging on me. "
You're a real classic. First you bitch about TV not having the shows you would prefer and infomercials, then you blast people who get an iPod so they can load the commercial free music of their own choice?
" guess the older we get, the more we learn to just appreciate things the way they are, and get real tired of being forced to spend money. I got lots of vhs tapes, but now I am supposed to get dvd. Either one plays a movie and the advantage to dvd is really not all that noticable. "
No one is forcing you to do anything. You can keep right on watching your VHS, can't you? The superiority of DVD's vs VHS is very apparent when viewed on a good display with a progressive scan DVD player.
I don;t think much of this has anything to do with age. It's more an issue of just falling into a rut and failing to grow.
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people don't recognize in themself. I've heard it called the COG gene, for Crabby Old Geezer. You just have to be aware of it once it starts up, since it pretty much discredits anything that's said or written after that time --
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snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

I like the original rotor solution... :)
Your location wrt TV stations is almost identical to ours although our three (the three networks) are all in roughly the N to NW quadrant as opposed to the full compass directions as they could have been. There are no repeaters in the TX panhandle to the south within 150 mi so there's no chance in that direction.
We manage to get the two closest pretty routinely w/ one setting. The third is the farthest distance and also in the most NE'rly direction.
Biggest issue I see w/ the setup as Dad left it (using RS parts as that's the only source in town other than the even worse WallyWorld stuff) is that the sorry RS coax cable is porous enough that it gets saturated w/ water and occasionally shorts out the signal. I've replaced it once w/ what was supposed to be better, but it has developed same problem in only a couple of years.
I agree on the amplifier....the only thing that does is amplify the noise as well as the signal because it's too far down the channel so unless it's essentially a usable signal to begin with, you don't improve signal quality.
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Hi Duane,
A good, and I repeat "GOOD" low-noice, very low temperature pre-amplifer will drop down to freq range of the useable signal and only amplify the signal and not the noice. Unless ofcourse you go to Radio Shack and end up with very inferior quality. Please look into getting a Winegard See: http://www.winegard.com/offair/amplifiers.htm that is the factory link and they show many regional distributors.
I have to bring in the signal for many hotels and motor inns that are alot more distant to the signal tx source than you refer to in Texas. Winegard will get the job done. Stay away from tandy/Radio Shack and you will be very happy indeed..
Good Luck,
Ern
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

Best to use a pre-amplifier that is mounted as close to the antenna terminals as possible, one that uses an in line power supply that would be mounted indoors. These will amplify the signal before it picks up much noise induced in the transmission line.
Amplifiers that are mounted down the line somewhere are generally used to boost signal for distributing to multiple locations since each time you split a single you atenuate the signal some.
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2 words..... Dish network.
Seriously, rotators, etc are a pain. No more programmer the vcr for 2 shows unless you get a programmable rotator.
In any case, you may not need a rotator at all if all the channels are broadcast from the same direction. Only if broadcast companies are in different directions do you need to consider a rotator.
Don't forget to ground everything. The wire gets grounded near where it comes into your house with a special one time use connector. And the antenna gets its own grounding wire to the earth.
Make sure your subdivision allows antennas. Some don't.
As to who makes a good antennna, there is so little interest in them these days, I doubt anyone knows any more. Channelmaster used to be good. I would look at Lowes and Home Depot too. And amplifiers definitely help a bit. Also buy the gold coax connectors at Radio shack and not the cheap ones. They are better.... check the specs. Wire varies too in quality.
Bottom line, call Dish network and Direct TV and check their deals making sure they have local channels in your area. The quality is worth it and they will do all the work and wiring.

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Why get dishnet and pay $60.00 a year for local channels? And thats not ALL the local channels in your area. Just the big networks. You can get plenty more with an antenna. Also why have a satellite receiver on just to watch local channels. Dishnet sucks.
On Sat, 22 Oct 2005 00:55:49 GMT, "Art"

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On Sat, 22 Oct 2005 00:55:49 GMT, "Art"

Yeah, if you got LOTS OF MONEY.
Spend $200 for a good antenna, and all the goodies to install it, and never pay anything again.
*OR*
Dish Network, which will cost $200 every 4 months, and you will pay this $600 per year forever.
To me, tv is not worth the cost.

Yeah, but living in the city and driving thru rush hour is more of a pain. Living in the country is peaceful, but we pay the price when we got to adjust our rotors. At least we never have car crashes while doing it (unless the Dukes of Hazzard are on tv).

True, but they must be pretty much of a straight line

Actually the MAST is what gets grounded, (and the wire), not the antenna or it wont work.

Where? I never heard of that. I'll be sure to never live in such a place.

In the rural areas, there are still plenty of them sold.

Not for me !!!! I dont need more monthly bills. I can find much better use for $600 a year, and still buy a few movies on dvd or vhs......

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By the way with HD, theoretically the picture is either perfect or you don't get anything at all, if you are thinking of a HD antenna. And if you are not, why bother since old fashion over the air broadcast antennas won't be getting a signal one of these days.

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Art wrote: since old fashion over the air broadcast antennas won't be

I thought that you would still be able to get HDTV using a regular antenna? At least thats where I reads somewhere. As far as I know the only thing different that you will need is a converter box to convert the HDTV signal to a regular analog signal if you still have an old TV.
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People claiming that there will be a "true" "digital only" tv antenna is ludicrous.
Present day tv antennas will pick up tv signals for the next 100 years.
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