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Antennas Direct/Lacrosse review


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44 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   SThacker

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 09:24 AM

Well, spent 2 days putting it through the grinder, so I guess the easiest way to start this would be to describe what is bad. Because in reality, their isn't anything negative I can say. Heck, even the box it came in was very sturdy, which in the past, was an issue I had sometimes with Antennas Direct.

Ok, The Lacrosse is made for folks who live within the 1- 40 mile range of towers. If you are looking to hit Chicago from Pittsburgh, it isn't going to happen. The one thing that I have always like about Antennas Direct, well 2 things, are, they are probably the most accurate at their antenna range estimates and their build quality. Assembly was simple, all screws and mounts were included and it took about 20 minutes to ensure I had everything ready for the mounting. I wanted to try in different conditions, so I had some J mounts, and cut one so I could mount this in a rotor that was on top of the house. This test was used to test for range, degree of spread and multipathing. I had a channel master 4221 up, so this was the easiest and most accurate way to make a comparison.

As you can see from their website, they have it angled up at about 60 degrees, which at the start was confusing to me. I tried it this way, then tested it again with it at facing straight forward, which worked the best, and testing it skewed to the left and right. It gives you allot of pointing options, and my daughter and 2 walkie talkies came in handy. The following is where my towers are and the wide range in spread.

red - uhf WSOC-DT 9.1 ABC CHARLOTTE NC 17° 8.4 34
* red - vhf WTVI-DT 42.1 PBS CHARLOTTE NC 25° 10.6 11
* red - uhf WUNG-DT 58.1 PBS CONCORD NC 35° 17.0 44
* red - uhf WCNC-DT 36.1 NBC CHARLOTTE NC 307° 27.3 22
* red - uhf WBTV-DT 3.1 CBS CHARLOTTE NC 309° 28.8 23
* red - uhf WCCB-DT 18.1 FOX CHARLOTTE NC 14° 8.7 27
* red - uhf WAXN-DT 64.1 IND KANNAPOLIS NC 17° 8.4 50
* blue - uhf WWWB-DT 55.1 WB ROCK HIL SC 310° 27.2 39
* blue - uhf WNSC-DT 15.1 PBS ROCK HILL SC 222° 25.7 15
* blue - uhf WJZY-DT 46.1 UPN BELMONT NC 310° 27.2 47
Note:


I used the rotor to check for signal levels and at what point I would loose certain stations as far as reception spread. As you can see, the Lacrosse claims it will also pick up digital vhf and I had a hard time trying to get it, but the end result is amusing. No matter which way I aimed. or turned it, at least I thought, really didnt make a difference. All my signal levels were 90 or above, even for stations 30 miles out. I even found one spot where I could leave it, get the towers from the rear and still keep a 90 or above signal. But still no digital vhf 11.

The one thing that amazed me was their wasn't any signal dropping. I am not talking about drop outs to zero, but that varying 4 to 6 up and down variation type. Mine pretty much remained rock solid, which told me that multipathing was not a factor. I was literally amazed, because this held true for stations close in and far out. I had copied down my signal levels of the 4221 at certain degree ranges in order to use as a comparison.It still bothered me that A.D. claimed vhf digital and one of our PBS stations, on channel 11 and I couldn't hit it..

At this point, I was ready to move it off the rooftop and down to the mount on the deck top next to my Dish 1000 for testing, but before I did, I decided to do one last thing. I had it mounted, pretty much had it just as they pictured it with it tilted up at about 60 degrees. I climbed back up and move the tilt to about 10 degrees. Pretty much just facing straight forward and skewed it about 5 degrees to the right, and BANG. My daughter called me and said channel 11 was in at 88. I was pleased.

This antenna isn't cheap, and I would urge you to get the amplified version if you decide to buy one. But it was created to blend in with your satellite installation and get away from the rooftop mounts of antennas. It is pleasing to look at, weighs around 10 lbs and I would suggest not mounting in the attic. I then brought it down to the deck and the mounting height went from about 30 feet to about 12 feet of the ground. I wasn't worried about not having the rotor, as I had found my sweet spot and the fact it did very well at picking up strong signals from the rear. I was sure my signal levels would drop, and was just concerned how much. After mounting it to the brackets that it came with, went back in the house and couldn't believe what I saw. On 5 stations, my signal had actually gotten higher. On all 5 stations I was busting 100 on the meter and this wasn't due to noise level going up. All stations were either at, or stronger than it was mounted on the roof.

I have owned, tested, thrown away, allot of antennas. Even sent back a Antennas Direct 42XG back because I felt it didn't cut the mustard for the install that it was needed for . But the Lacrosse gets a huge Thumbs up. This is the best medium distant, please remember that word, medium, antenna I have ever used. Everything they claim, is true. Like I said it isn't cheap, and just because you can blend it into a satellite installation, and the fact that is more pleasing to look at, even all that doesn't make it worth the cost. What does make it worth every penny, is performance. And it performs. My 4221 is in the shed with the rotor, to rust away. All I can say this is going to be one hot selling antenna as more try it out, but I just wanted you to know of my positive, thank goodness, experience. Antennas Direct- Thumbs up on the Lacrosse.:)




For those of you who might be interested in this antenna, antennadirect has theis antenna on sale for $50 off. The $50 is good towards the amplified and unamplfied Lacrosse antenna.

...Ads Help To Support This Site...

#22 OFFLINE   SThacker

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 04:07 PM

For those of you who might be interested in this antenna, antennadirect has theis antenna on sale for $50 off. The $50 is good towards the amplified and unamplfied Lacrosse antenna.

bump

#23 OFFLINE   Cholly

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 07:38 AM

I finally bit the bullet and ordered an amplified LaCrosse. I installed it on the back of my garage, and the current orientation is to the Northwest. I'm picking up almost all the digital channels in the Charlotte area. Currently feeding the 26" LCD in my bedroom (Accurian set top box for the receiver) and the 55 inch Sony RP LCD TV in the family room. I'm out of town at present, but when I get home I'll reorient the antenna to point to the North. at that time I'll post the stations I'm getting. Great antenna, and the sale price made it even more attractive.

Charlie
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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


#24 OFFLINE   geogecko

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Posted 26 August 2006 - 11:22 PM

Cholly.

How's your CBS channel signal strength? That's a hair over 36 miles, right? I'm interested in this antenna, after having my DB-8 up in the attic, and only getting about 80% signal strength on a station about 33 miles away, and having some kind of dropouts.

I bought a HD7084P in hopes that I'd mount it on my roof, but after getting it, messing around with it and a tripod, then crawing up on my roof and staring where I wanted to put it, I decided I wouldn't be able to do it myself, and also realized that my HOA, while they don't really have ground to stand on, says that no antennas of any kind (other than DBS) are allowed. I figure, than start a flame war with them, and possibly with my neighbors, I might look into this solution.

But, my furthest channels are 35.4 miles away. I'm thinking of mounting this outside, since I just took down an old dish that was on the house when we bought it (except for the J-mount foot!!!). It's only about 12 feet off the ground, just barely on the roof. But it should be about the perfect location. If not, I don't mind remounting it, but hopefully still just above the gutter.

I will probably get the amplified version, but just wanted to see what kind of luck you had with yours.

* yellow - uhf KUVN-DT 23.1 UNI GARLAND TX 161° 32.1 24
* yellow - vhf WFAA-DT 8.1 ABC DALLAS TX 162° 32.3 9
* yellow - uhf KXAS-DT 5.1 NBC FORT WORTH TX 161° 32.4 41
* yellow - uhf KXTX-DT 40.1 TEL DALLAS TX 161° 32.4 40
* yellow - uhf KTVT-DT 11.1 CBS FORT WORTH TX 160° 33.1 19
* yellow - uhf KFWD-DT 52.1 IND FORT WORTH TX 161° 32.2 51
* yellow - uhf KDFW-DT 4.1 FOX DALLAS TX 162° 32.3 35
* yellow - uhf KLDT-DT 55.1 IND LAKE DALLAS TX 105° 7.0 54
* green - uhf KERA-DT 13.1 PBS DALLAS TX 160° 33.1 14
* green - uhf KDAF-DT 33.1 WB DALLAS TX 161° 35.4 32
* red - uhf KSTR-DT 49.1 UNI IRVING TX 161° 35.4 48
* red - uhf KTXA-DT 21.1 UPN FORT WORTH TX 161° 35.4 18
* red - uhf KDTN-DT 2.1 DAY DENTON TX 161° 35.4 43
* red - uhf KPXD-DT 68.1 i ARLINGTON TX 161° 32.0 42
* blue - uhf KMPX-DT 30.1 DAY DECATUR TX 134° 15.5 30
* violet - uhf KDFI-DT 27.1 IND DALLAS TX 161° 35.4 36



#25 OFFLINE   geogecko

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 06:09 PM

Got the Lacrosse in the mail today. Interesting little antenna, or, rather, bigger than I expected. It's still not that big, just bigger than you would normally expect, based on pictures.

This thing is really weird. I'm really tempted to take it apart, to see what the guts look like on the inside, but will leave that for a later date...

The thing comes with about 3 copies of pictures of the thing put together, but not a single line of instructions on how to assemble it. It's not that difficult, but the orientation of a couple of things would have kept me from assembling it wrong the first time.

I'm really impressed with the adjustability of the thing. Just about any position can be reached with the thing, so you could almost mount it in any location.

Quality of the antenna itself is very good. I was surprised to see how cheap the enclosure for the power injector was, but at least it's always indoors. There are holes all over the thing, so you can actually see inside of it. I doubt there is even a printed circuit board inside, looks like just all wired components, but I could be wrong.

I hooked it up inside my house, but unfortunately, I only had a 20ft coax available, so I was still about 20 feet from my front door, which faces South. I was able to get slightly better reception than I currently get from my DB-8 up in the attic. I'm hoping, that by moving it outdoors, and up about 30 feet higher, I'll be in the 90's for most of my channels.

I took a few pictures, as it seems like they seem to be lacking on the net.

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#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


#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.




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