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Antenna for locals: tell me exactly what I need and how much to pay

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by metfan11, Aug 13, 2007.

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  1. metfan11

    metfan11 AllStar

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    Bakers, thanks again for your help. I live in an apartment home complex, each building is 3 floors. I am on the 3rd floor and I have my dish out on my deck. Is that where I should put the antenna, sorry for my ignorance. Nothing can go on the roof.
     
  2. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    If it can't go out on the roof, I guess the deck would be your only option.
     
  3. ajwillys

    ajwillys Godfather

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    You said you were wanting a "Red" antenna which is medium directional. The DB2 is a omnidirectional with a range of 1-30 miles. Based on the zip code you supplied, you are between 15-25 miles of the digital stations. Personally, I don't have alot of confidence that the DB2 will reach that far if you put it indoors. I have the larger brother (DB4) and scrapped it in favor of a cheaper directional antenna that I put in the attic. The directional works WAY better. Your mileage may vary on the db2.

    As far as where to put it, you want to put it in a spot that 'points' toward the towers and has the least amount of obstructions between you and the towers. Again, based on your zip code (not very accurate), almost all of your stations are at 302 degrees (Northwest) which is the direction you would want to point it.
     
  4. bakers12

    bakers12 ΔS > 0

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    The dish would have to be somewhere facing South to Southwest. Using your zip code, 08054, the Philly stations are Northwest (302 degrees). If your deck has a view to the West, you could probably angle it NW. If all you've got is a Southern view, the deck won't work.

    The problem with putting an antenna indoors gets worse now because it would be on a 45 degree angle (well, 47) so you probably can't put it too close to a wall.
     
  5. bakers12

    bakers12 ΔS > 0

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    I agree the DB2 won't do well indoors at that distance and something bigger is needed. When I double-checked antennaweb.org, it shows the NBC station will be all but impossible without the biggest outdoor antenna, so you will probably not have any luck there.

    But since it is currently transmitting on channel 67 (channel 10 is really just for identification) it will have to move by Feb. 2009. All TV transmitters on channels above 51 IIRC will have to move then.
     
  6. metfan11

    metfan11 AllStar

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    I also have another deck, and when the installer came he said it could not be used, and I think it is facing North which is good. So as long as I have the view of the towers from the other deck I should be fine?

    Ajwillys: I am going to put it outdoors. that antennaweb site showed that I should get the "red" antenna. If outdoors, would I be pushing my luck with it? if so , can you point me to a model, or post a link of the one I should get.

    Thanks again, you guys are great.
     
  7. metfan11

    metfan11 AllStar

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    Aug 3, 2007
    The antenna will deff. go outside then, I just need to know which model I need. I want the cheapest one that will get the job done.
     
  8. bakers12

    bakers12 ΔS > 0

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    The DB2 will do well. The third-floor altitude will help. Hopefully, you can avoid pointing the antenna at the neighbor's brick wall. Surf the web for a deal on Antennas Direct DB2 but Solid Signal will be competitive.
     
  9. metfan11

    metfan11 AllStar

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  10. bakers12

    bakers12 ΔS > 0

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    That would be my choice.
     
  11. metfan11

    metfan11 AllStar

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    Great, going to buy it now. Thanks again. As far as installation goes, am I going to be able to install it, or should I hire someone to do it?
     
  12. bakers12

    bakers12 ΔS > 0

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    Sorry, I missed you, but I had to leave for home. I'm not sure about how you would install it just yet. I assume the landlord doesn't want you drilling holes into the deck or railings.

    Check out something like this: http://www.hometech.com/video/satmount.html#GC-WRKS

    You said you were handy. You could probably make something like this yourself, using U bolts to hold up a mast or most any piece of pipe about 1.5" OD. The DB2 is small and does not get pushed around much by the wind, but you won't want it to wobble and damage the railings.
     
  13. bidger

    bidger Hall Of Fame

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    Actually he said he was a "terrible handyman".

    I wouldn't say I'm terrible, but an antenna install is something I'd be learning as I go. I found it easier to just ask one of the guys behind the counter of the local hardware store if he knew anyone in the area who could do an outdoor antenna install since no one was listed in the Yellow Pages. He took my name and number and someone called the next day. For the amount of work and the fact that he had a helper, the rate he charged was more than reasonable and the work was done professionally and in a timely manner. No regrets on my end.
     
  14. Firefighter

    Firefighter AllStar

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    Can you guys help me with antenna choice.

    I live in Shelbyville, IN 46176. I only need to pick up CBS Local HD channels. DirecTV carries the rest, so I just want to get CBS for the Colts games. DirecTV gave me a $50 credit to buy an antenna. Very cool of them. The one they sell, they couldn't give me because of the new HR20 I am getting.

    I tried an antenna from Radio Shack and no matter where I put it, I couldn't get CBS. I used it inside, and outside on the roof.
    Here is a link to the one I bought. I am taking it back tomorrow.
    http://www.radioshack.com/product/i...PAD/Product+Type/HDTV&fbc=1&parentPage=family

    Thanks for the help guys!!!
    Tim
     
  15. bakers12

    bakers12 ΔS > 0

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    Oops... so he did. :shrug:

    A bracket like the one in the referenced URL would work. I didn't check around for prices or other dealers, though.
     
  16. metfan11

    metfan11 AllStar

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    Aug 3, 2007
    OK, I will get someone to do the install... thanks again everyone(especially bakers12) for the help
     
  17. bakers12

    bakers12 ΔS > 0

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    Your CBS affiliate in Indianapolis is channel 8.1 but transmits on channel 9, which is in the VHF high band. The Radio Shack antenna owner's guide says it covers VHF as well as UHF, but I have my doubts about these. This one is only 4.45" wide.

    VHF antennas are larger. There's no good shortcut in this case. Lower frequencies have longer wavelengths which require longer antenna elements.

    You're also about 34 miles from the transmitters. http://www.antennaweb.org says you need a red zone antenna, which I doubt this little antenna can handle.

    I like Winegard and Channel Master antennas. I recently bought a Winegard PR-7032, which is about the smallest you could use. See http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_display.asp?main_cat=03&CAT=&PROD=SPR7032

    I'm at 22 miles from the transmitters. It handles VHF high well with a 50 mile range (Winegard claims) but only 35 miles on UHF.

    Since almost all digital TV is in the UHF band, including subchannels D* won't give you, consider http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_display.asp?PROD=ANCM3019

    Of course, you will need a tripod or chimney mount for something this large.

    Also see http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=186022 for a good forum for Indianapolis OTA info.
     
  18. Firefighter

    Firefighter AllStar

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    thanks for the info, any chance of something maybe smaller that would work ?
     
  19. bakers12

    bakers12 ΔS > 0

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    At 34 miles from a VHF transmitter, I really doubt it. :nono:

    Anything smaller will be really hit-or-miss. An amplifier can help, but it usually will just make a noisy signal worse.

    The general rules for good OTA reception are:
    - bigger is better
    - higher is better
    - outdoors is better

    You're probably going to need all three. You might be able to put one in the attic but it would have to be even bigger to make up for the loss caused by the roof itself.
     
  20. bakers12

    bakers12 ΔS > 0

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