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Antennas Direct/Lacrosse review


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44 replies to this topic

#26 OFFLINE   Cholly

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 11:49 AM

Now that I'm back home, I've played a bit with my antenna installation. I had some clearance problems between my LaCrosse and roof where I mounted it (above garage service door). I'd orignally mounted the antenna on the long part of the J-mount and had the short part of the mount in the base. The garage roof is low enough, with large overhang, that the antenna wasn't on a vertical mounting. Yesterday, I reversed the two, which gave me more clearance and the antenna is now on a nearly vertical mount, so that it doesn't become skewed when rotated.
At present, I get good reception on most of the stations on my bedroom TV, but am having some problems with my 55" Sony RP HDTV -- at present it won't pick u the CBS station. I'd run the feed to the Sony throught a Panamax surge supressor's "cable TV" input. I'll try without the surge supressor to see if that solves the problem. Also, I had to rotate the antenna pretty much to the North in order to get a good signal from WUNG-DT (PBS), which is at 10 degrees, while WBTV-DT is at 305 degrees.
Still a work in progress, but on the whole, I'm very satisfied. More once I get things settled.

Charlie
--------------------

Family Room: Samsung UN60F7100 60" LED 3D TV; Samsung  BD-H5900 3D Blu-Ray DVD player; Yamaha RX-V663 AVR. Paradigm speakers - Focus fronts, CC170 center, PDR-8 subwoofer, Atom surrounds, ADP rear center; TiVo Roamio Plus DVR, Toshiba HD-A3 HD DVD player.
Bedroom: Vizio 42" 3D TV, Pioneer VSX-521-K AVR, Panasonic 3D DVD player, Energy Take Classic 5.1 speakers, Roku 2 XD, TiVo Premiere, Insignia HD radio tuner, Toshiba HD DVD player


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#27 OFFLINE   geogecko

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 12:22 PM

I was planning on mounting mine on the long side of the J-mount as well, with the short end attached to the foot.

I ordered one of those superdecks, similar to the commdeck, but without the coax feedthru, and am going to use that to mount the J-mount foot to. I think it will provide a cleaner look, and also allow me to remove the antenna, if we move, without damaging the roof.

#28 OFFLINE   Cholly

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 12:42 PM

I checked my big screen TV yesterday and discovered that the OTA antenna cable wasn't fully seated (collar of connector wasn't screwed on!:( ). After much effort, I finally got the connector screwed on to the TV's antenna input. I then rescanned the digital channels, with the following results:

Antenna Type Call Sign Channel Network City State Direction Distance Frequency Signal Strength (per receiver meter)

yellow - uhf WCNC-DT 36.1 NBC CHARLOTTE NC 308° 34.2 22 76
yellow - uhf WCCB-DT 18.1 FOX CHARLOTTE NC 346° 13.2 27 95
yellow - uhf WSOC-DT 9.1 ABC CHARLOTTE NC 348° 12.7 34 98
green - uhf WBTV-DT 3.1 CBS CHARLOTTE NC 309° 35.5 23 92
red - uhf WAXN-DT 64.1 IND KANNAPOLIS NC 348° 12.7 50 95
red - vhf WTVI-DT 42.1 PBS CHARLOTTE NC 357° 14.0 11 0
blue - uhf WNSC-DT 30.1 PBS ROCK HILL SC 237° 26.7 15 0
blue - uhf WJZY-DT 46.1 UPN BELMONT NC 310° 34 47 95
blue - uhf WMYT-DT 55.1 MNT ROCK HILL SC 310° 34.0 39 95
violet - uhf WUNG-DT 58.1 PBS CONCORD NC 14° 18.9 44 95

Sorry about the formatting -- I tried copying a table from antennaweb.org and modifying it to add the signal strength info. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the table to copy properly into this message. :mad:
Of the two channels that antennaweb showed for this area that have zero sirength, one is VHF and the other is off to the rear of the antenna.

I was also able to receive two digital channels not named on the list: WFMY (chan. 2.1) in Greensboro (46 degrees, 70.9miles), with a signal strength of 78 and WXLV (chan. 45.1) in Winston-Salem (16 degrees, 90.7 miles), with a signal strength of 76.

All in all, very impressive performance!

Charlie
--------------------

Family Room: Samsung UN60F7100 60" LED 3D TV; Samsung  BD-H5900 3D Blu-Ray DVD player; Yamaha RX-V663 AVR. Paradigm speakers - Focus fronts, CC170 center, PDR-8 subwoofer, Atom surrounds, ADP rear center; TiVo Roamio Plus DVR, Toshiba HD-A3 HD DVD player.
Bedroom: Vizio 42" 3D TV, Pioneer VSX-521-K AVR, Panasonic 3D DVD player, Energy Take Classic 5.1 speakers, Roku 2 XD, TiVo Premiere, Insignia HD radio tuner, Toshiba HD DVD player


#29 OFFLINE   WolfClan Dan

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 09:59 AM

Hello, please pardon my nooob question, but what is the difference between amplified and non amplified.

I live in a valley, aproximately 36 miles from the signal in Buffalo. Lots and lots of hills around here. This antenna looks like it may earn my cash, if I can figure out which one I need.
46 and 2 are just ahead of me.

#30 OFFLINE   Jim5506

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 12:11 PM

At that distance, you better buy from a place that will allow you to return it if it does not perform satisfactorily.

This is not a stellar performer, adequate for urban use, but you are near fringe.
Tuners: Hopper 2000; Hopper w/Sling; 3 Joeys; Samsung SIR-T351; Accurian 6000;2 X HD TiVo; 2 X TiVo Series 2 Stand alone; Panasonic Showstopper 2000
Dish 1000.2 @ 110, 119, 129; dish 500 @ 61.5
Antennas - CM4228; RS U75-R; coathanger; Funke PSP.1922 (stillin the box); paperclip
Displays: Sony VPH D50Q with HD Fury HDMI input; Hitachi 57F59; Sony Bravia LCD;Sanyo 32" LCD; Panasonic 42" plasma
Sony 80GB PS3; Toshiba HD-DVD

Give me a Finco colinear array and I'll rule the world - HA-HA-HA-HA!

#31 OFFLINE   geogecko

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 02:28 PM

I had excellent performance from the amplified version, although I do not live in the rolling hills. I'm 36 miles from the towers, and about 3-4 miles from the airport. I got good enough signal quality on all channels in my area.

I'm taking mine down though...due to some conflict with HOA, and myself being too lazy to want to move it to a different location. Might be willing to make you a deal if you want mine. It's only been used for about 4 months.

#32 OFFLINE   rbgator95

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 02:04 PM

hi-

Been a while since the last post, but this seems like the most relevant thread. I have a Channel Master 7777 preamplifier, good for +20dB gain. I'm wondering if I could get away with using the non-amplified Lacrosse with the CM7777? :scratch: This would save about $50, not to mention continue using a very good amplifier. Most stations are within 30 miles of me and antennaweb.org classifies two stations as green zone and the other eight as yellow zone. I do have some multipath issues which are a problem for the CM4221 and said 7777 amp, so hopefully this will help.

Thanks!

#33 OFFLINE   Scott in FL

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 10:32 AM

I'm wondering if I could get away with using the non-amplified Lacrosse with the CM7777? I do have some multipath issues which are a problem for the CM4221 and said 7777 amp, so hopefully this will help.

Thanks!


rb, it looks to me that the Lacrosse is nothing more than a not-very directional UHF antenna (with some gain at the upper VHF range). I'm not sure what Antennas Direct mean when they say it's "based on remote sensing technology..." I don't think it's a smart antenna. If I'm correct, I think your multipath problems will be worse with this antenna.

As far as a pre-amp is concerned, when you click on the link for their 17 dB amplifier for the Lacrosse A amplified version, it describes an external 75 ohm in/75 ohm out pre-amplifier with a noise figure of 2.8 dB. This is very comparable to the CM7777. So yes, I think you could use the non-amplified version with your CM7777.

A couple of things to remember: First, the CM7777 has separate VHF and UHF inputs, so if you're trying to use the Lacrosse to receive both you'll have trouble using the CM7777.

And second, Antennas Direct says it best: "These powerful TV antenna signal amplifiers are designed to overcome signal loss related to long cable runs, splitters, and junctions. While an amplifier will not create a signal, it will increase its power..." A pre-amp may give you a higher signal reading, but it can not increase the carrier-to-noise ratio which is more important. In fact, a pre-amp can only degrade the C/N by adding noise. In other words, unless you have a long cable run to the set and/or use splitters, thereby causing your overall signal (carrier plus noise) to be too low, don't bother with the pre-amp.

#34 OFFLINE   Jim5506

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 04:59 PM

Yellow zone stations may overload the CM7777, except that the LaCross is such a mediocre antenna that it might mitigate that possibility.

Skip the pre-amp and get the best REAL antenna you can afford (CM 3600 series or Winegard HD series).

If you need a pre-amp for nearby stations, your antenna is insuffucient.

The only pre-amp I'd recommend in your case would be the Winegard HDP-269 - 12dB gain but highly resistant to overload.

I use one 2.5 miles from a channel 40 station @ 890kW - no problems
Tuners: Hopper 2000; Hopper w/Sling; 3 Joeys; Samsung SIR-T351; Accurian 6000;2 X HD TiVo; 2 X TiVo Series 2 Stand alone; Panasonic Showstopper 2000
Dish 1000.2 @ 110, 119, 129; dish 500 @ 61.5
Antennas - CM4228; RS U75-R; coathanger; Funke PSP.1922 (stillin the box); paperclip
Displays: Sony VPH D50Q with HD Fury HDMI input; Hitachi 57F59; Sony Bravia LCD;Sanyo 32" LCD; Panasonic 42" plasma
Sony 80GB PS3; Toshiba HD-DVD

Give me a Finco colinear array and I'll rule the world - HA-HA-HA-HA!

#35 OFFLINE   Cholly

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 05:53 PM

Yellow zone stations may overload the CM7777, except that the LaCross is such a mediocre antenna that it might mitigate that possibility.


I wouldn't call the LaCrosse mediocre. It is sturdily built and more than adequate for stations within the intended range (up to 40 miles) It is, however, a UHF only antenna, so is not a satisfactory solution for those areas served by a mix of VHF and UHF stations.
I bought an amplified LaCrosse because the stations I'm interested in are within the range and beam width of the LaCrosse and the antenna is unobtrusive. I have it mounted on the back wall of my garage.

Charlie
--------------------

Family Room: Samsung UN60F7100 60" LED 3D TV; Samsung  BD-H5900 3D Blu-Ray DVD player; Yamaha RX-V663 AVR. Paradigm speakers - Focus fronts, CC170 center, PDR-8 subwoofer, Atom surrounds, ADP rear center; TiVo Roamio Plus DVR, Toshiba HD-A3 HD DVD player.
Bedroom: Vizio 42" 3D TV, Pioneer VSX-521-K AVR, Panasonic 3D DVD player, Energy Take Classic 5.1 speakers, Roku 2 XD, TiVo Premiere, Insignia HD radio tuner, Toshiba HD DVD player


#36 OFFLINE   nicedeboy26

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 12:37 PM

Hi, I'm totally new to this subject. I live in Lewes, Delaware (zip 19958). Dishnetwork does not offer my local stations or distant local stations. Which antenna would work for me? I saw a cute small OTA antenna, you can just clip onto a Direct-TV dish, but I have a feeling that will not work my case. The local market closest to me, would be Salisbury, Maryland (20 +/- miles). When I upgraded to HD programming last year, the installer switched my two wire system running from the dish that was installed from a prior dishnetwork, to just one. So, I'm thinking that I could use the unused wire by plugging one end to an outside antenna and the other end directly into my HD-TV that has a digital tuner or back of the box. Does not matter at this time. I haven't been able to acess ABC, NBC, CBS, or FOX for several years. I just have no clue about how I could complete this subject. The closest installer to me is over three hours away. Which the funny thing is, that would put me in Philly, Washington DC, Baltimore, Alexandia, etc.. I am surrounded by major cities but no way to access any local TV markets. I would like to attempt this subject before calling in a professional. Any help, would be greatly appreiated. Thank you.

#37 OFFLINE   Scott in FL

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 02:19 PM

You have some things going for you. Your ABC, CBS and NBC stations are all roughly 180 degrees apart. Their predicted signal strengths are all fairly high and they're all on UHF (with no plans to switch to VHF in February). Also, your terrain is pretty flat. A good quality bi-directional UHF antenna would work well.

The bad news: in my opinion there are no good quality bi-directional UHF antennas out there. Others will disagree, but I just don't like the little, amplified antennas.

If I were you I'd try one of two things. You could buy a 4-bay bow tie antenna, like the CM4221 or Antennacraft U-4000 and try removing the reflector screen or reflector elements. This reflector provides some gain in addition to directivity, but 4 bow ties alone would be a pretty decent antenna. Or Winegard sells a bi-directional RV7020 antenna. It's nothing more than a dipole, but it's cheap.

Mount it outside and in the clear, pointed towards Avalon, NJ (ch 40) and Salisbury, MD. Hopefully your coax downlead will be less than 20' or so and you can get away without a pre-amp.

Fox appears hopeless (reception wise, I mean). :)

#38 OFFLINE   arxaw

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 02:48 PM

... the CM7777 has separate VHF and UHF inputs, so if you're trying to use the Lacrosse to receive both you'll have trouble using the CM7777...

The CM 7777 has separate VHF & UHF inputs, or combined VHF/UHF input on one coax. There is a switch inside the 7777 to switch between "separate" or "combined."

For anyone needing highband VHF and UHF reception, there are much better UHF antennas than this one for less money. I get excellent reception with a CM 4228 for UHF and VHF chs 9, 10, & 13.

#39 OFFLINE   nicedeboy26

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 08:29 PM

That is one big antenna

#40 OFFLINE   arxaw

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 07:05 AM

Not really.

#41 OFFLINE   Cholly

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 09:24 AM

Granted, the LaCrosse is pricey -- $149 for the amplified version, but it is compact and unobtrusive. Those CM antennas are much larger. Also, by the time you buy mount, mast, coax and possibly amplifier, you are up in the same price range.
My LaCrosse is mounted on the back wall of my attached garage, above the service door. I chose the amplified version because I split off after the amp to several TV receivers & TiVos. Reception is excellent from stations 30 + miles away (see my earlier post for signal strength meter readings).
I'm not necessarily a LaCrosse fan -- it just happened to fit my needs after reading Jeff McClellan's review. The J-mount included with the antenna solved a potential problem in antenna location. A conventional bowtie would have had to be roof mounted, which was out of the question for me.

Charlie
--------------------

Family Room: Samsung UN60F7100 60" LED 3D TV; Samsung  BD-H5900 3D Blu-Ray DVD player; Yamaha RX-V663 AVR. Paradigm speakers - Focus fronts, CC170 center, PDR-8 subwoofer, Atom surrounds, ADP rear center; TiVo Roamio Plus DVR, Toshiba HD-A3 HD DVD player.
Bedroom: Vizio 42" 3D TV, Pioneer VSX-521-K AVR, Panasonic 3D DVD player, Energy Take Classic 5.1 speakers, Roku 2 XD, TiVo Premiere, Insignia HD radio tuner, Toshiba HD DVD player


#42 OFFLINE   nicedeboy26

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 11:33 AM

Are there any antennas that can pickup reception over 60 miles?

#43 OFFLINE   Scott in FL

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 01:32 PM

If I were trying to pick up a digital UHF signal 60 miles away I'd use the CM4221 or 4228 and a low noise pre-amp like the CM7777. Mount it high and in the clear. 60 miles is a long way but it is do able. I used to regularly watch an ABC station out of Harrisburg, PA that was about 60 miles away (ch 27) with a good antenna and 3.5 dB NF pre-amp. The analog reception was very good and I do think a good digital tuner would receive it OK.

But looking at tvfool.com, I can't figure out what you're trying to receive. Phila and Baltimore are more like 90 miles away. That's going to be very difficult (although others have succeeded).

#44 OFFLINE   Cholly

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 11:42 AM

A few months ago, my Lacrosse amplified antenna stopped working. Last week, in reviewing the Antennas Direct site, I discovered I'd had a lifetime warranty on the antenna. I called Antennas Direct, and told them of my plight. The lady at the other end asked if I had the amplified model, and I replied that I did. She then told me that model, which had an internal amplifier, had been discontinued and replaced by one with an external amplifier (hurray!). She apologized for my having a problem, then asked for my full name and address, saying they would send a replacement (new model) antenna to me right away. I asked what I should do with the old antenna, and she told me to discard it, and again apologized for my inconvenience. I later received a confirmation email. No charge, even for shipping. Great customer service!

Charlie
--------------------

Family Room: Samsung UN60F7100 60" LED 3D TV; Samsung  BD-H5900 3D Blu-Ray DVD player; Yamaha RX-V663 AVR. Paradigm speakers - Focus fronts, CC170 center, PDR-8 subwoofer, Atom surrounds, ADP rear center; TiVo Roamio Plus DVR, Toshiba HD-A3 HD DVD player.
Bedroom: Vizio 42" 3D TV, Pioneer VSX-521-K AVR, Panasonic 3D DVD player, Energy Take Classic 5.1 speakers, Roku 2 XD, TiVo Premiere, Insignia HD radio tuner, Toshiba HD DVD player


#45 OFFLINE   Cholly

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 11:09 AM

My second LaCrosse antenna has failed for some unknown reason. I went through the process of verifying all possible failures - coax run, lightning arrester, preamp -- all to no avail. I called Antennas Direct customer service this morning, and they are replacing my LaCrosse (no longer in production) with one of their ClearStream2 antennas and a CPA-19 amplifier, all at no charge. They really mean it when they say they have a lifetime warranty on their antennas. Great outfit to do business with.
www.antennasdirect.com




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