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Hall Of Fame
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I plan on getting a new antenna soon, and I had some questions. I plan on getting a 290 power antenna, the STRONGEST one Radio Shack has. I plan on getting their biggest booster and a 5 foot extension pole for the antenna. I am installing this antenna on my 2 story house in Kokomo, Indiana about 4 or 5 miles away from Greentown. What channels would I be able to pick up with the strongest antenna and booster and an extra 5 feet? I made a list of what I was TOLD SHOULD be available by a Radio Shack guy when he gave me a price. He said nearly every single full power station in Indiana should come in. Would I be able to get Chicago stations or some in Ohio? Also, is this list ACCURATE in terms of what I would be able to get with this new setup? Or should I expect less or a bit more? Any information, would be GREATLY appreciated.


INDIANAPOLIS
WRTV 6 (ABC)
WISH 8 (CBS)
WIIH 11 (CBS weather)
WTHR 13 (NBC)
WALV 27 (NBC weather)
WXIN 59 (FOX)
WFYI 20 (PBS)
WIPB 49 (PBS)
WTBU 69 (PBS)
WTIU 30 (PBS)
WNDY 23 (UPN)
WTTK 29 (WB)
WTTV 4 (WB)
WIPX 63 (PAX)
WCLJ 42 (TBN)
WDNI 65 (A1)
WHMB 40 (religious)
WKOG 31 (religious)

OTHER CITIES
WEHT 25 (ABC - Evansville)
WPTA 21 (ABC - Fort Wayne)
WANE 15 (CBS - Fort Wayne)
WEVV 44 (CBS - Evansville)
WLFI 18 (CBS - Lafayette)
WSBT 22 (CBS - South Bend)
WTHI 10 (CBS - Terre Haute)
WFIE 14 (NBC - Evansville)
WKJG 33 (NBC - Fort Wayne)
WNDU 16 (NBC - South Bend)
WTWO 36 (NBC - Terre Haute)
WBAK 38 (FOX - Terre Haute)
WFFT 55 (FOX / UPN - Fort Wayne)
WSJV 28 (FOX - Elkhart / South Bend)
WTVW 7 (FOX - Evansville)
WFWA 39 (PBS - Fort Wayne)
WNIN 9 (PBS - Evansville)
WNIT 34 (PBS - South Bend)
WVUT 22 (PBS - Vincennes)
WYIN 56 (PBS - Gary / Chicago, IL)
WFTE 58 (UPN - Salem / Louisville, KY)
WPWR 50 (UPN - Hammond / Chicago, IL)
WINM 63 (TBN - Angola)
WKOI 43 (TBN - Richmond / Cincinnati, OH)
WSOT 57 (FamilyNet - Marion)
WHME 46 (religious - South Bend)
WIWU 51 (religious - Marion)
WJYS 62 (religious - Hammond / Chicago, IL)
 

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Hall Of Fame
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you very much Chris, but that still didn't give me much information as to what I should actually be able to receive once I get this new antenna. If I could type in my address and zip code, and say what kind of antenna I have, whether I have a booster, the power of the booster, and how high it is, and finally be brought to a list of stations I should be able to pick up, that would work.
 

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Your Neighborhood Liasion
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12,527 Posts
Ogre - I'm assuming that the antenna you're getting is both VHF and UHF, right? Most of the stations you list are UHF. Also, keep in mind that just because you put on a huge booster, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll be able to pull in weak stations. It may help, or it may not. A power booster doesn't amplify the signal power that the antenna receives, but rather it amplifies the "output" of the antenna to account for line losses and splitting from your antenna to your television. Also, typically more amplification of that signal also means more signal noise introduced into the signal which interferes with the reception you'll be able to get. The RS amplifiers typically add a lot of noise to the signal. If you're set on getting an amplifier, pick up a channel master one instead - they don't introduce nearly as much noise. The next thing to realize is that you can have too much signal to pull in a station reliably. In fact, too much signal is just as bad as not enough, so with a huge antenna (that has a high signal gain, I'm assuming) may get you too much signal for the closer stations. In which case, you'd need an attenuator to actually tune down the signal coming in. Then, I don't know what the terrain is around you in Indiana, but if you have a lot of hills or buildings around you, then you will also have multipath problems which will result in ghosting. The only way to deal with multipath is to use a directional antenna, but that would defeat the purpose of what you are trying to do.

There are a whole slew of variables that you have to deal with when using antennas, most of which your average RS person isn't going to know anything about. The only advice I have is you have to try it out and see if you get the results that you want. If not, then return it all...that's one of the nice things about RS. Good luck!
 

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Banned
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You also might wany to consider a rotator, possably instead of a booster
 

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AllStar
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78 Posts
Originally posted by DBSOgre
Yeah. My dad was saying that. I'm getting an antenna that has a 190 mile reach
A) 190 mile figure is largely fictious. It is based on range on flat priarie at dusk with summer tropo conditions.

The numbers are only good for comparison of models from same manufacturer

B) you need a rotor

C) There are better antennas than Rat Shack:- Winegard, Channel Master and Delhi come to mind

D) Regardless of brand; separate VUF and UHF antennas give better performance.

E) Preamps can overload where there are strong local signals. It causes strong analog station to eliminate or appear ontop of weaker station. In digital, it can prevent ATSC tuner from even mapping the weaker signal

RatShack preamps are garbage; Channel Master is better, Blonder Tongue is best.

In some areas where there are strong local VHF signals, a UHF only booster attached to the separate UHF antenna works well (ie - no booster on the VHF antenna)

Use RG6 cable (same as DBS)
 

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Cool Member
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11 Posts
My guess from having traveled in that area and viewed the topography is that with a good antenna you should get Indianapolis (6, 8, 13, 20, 40, and 59), Lafayette (18), Marion (23), and Kokomo (29, 48). You're not going to get any of the low power stations, except yur local one. You might get Bloomington (42) or Muncie (49) as well. Fort Wayne (15, 21, 33, and 39) or South Bend (16, 22, 28, and 34) are possible, but not likely to give a good picture. Forget about Gary, Salem, Chicago, Terre Haute, and those places more than 100+ miles away. No antenna is going to get them reliably from 25-35 feet up.

I have an antenna similar to the you may get from Radio Shack. The VHF on it is pretty decent. UHF is not so hot. It's not that well built, so after 2 years I'm missing an element and a couple are bent from the wind (you'll get that in Indiana). Winegard, Channel Master and Delhi will hold up better. If this is going to be your main source of TV, you should consider this.

Also, if you have trees in the way, UHF channels will be wekened, especially 40 and up. Make sure you get good lead-in and mounting supplies. That way, you can upgrade the antenna and amplifier if necessary.
 

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Hall Of Fame
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Hey Ogre! Before you buy an antenna make sure you run down to your nearest Best Buy and talk to a Sales ASSociate about their "Special High Definition" antenna!

Believe it or not, a guy at BB actually told me that. I had to laugh in his face and told him I've been receiving (and watching) HDTV for over a year now and that all you need is a plain ol' UHF antenna. He quickly excused himself saying he "had to go check his area of responsibility".

ROTFLMAO
 

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Banned
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11,498 Posts
Whatever you DON"T buy Radio Shack antenna they are pure junk!!
Uh, no! I love my RS antenna, VU190XR. RS is discontinuing their biggest antenna the VU210XR, $130, MSRP. Ive read on AVS that the clearence price for it is $10. If I didnt have that 190 already I would search every RS around here for a 210.
 

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955 Posts
Ogre,

In your price range I would recommend either the Winegard CS-7080 ("fringe") or CS-7082 ("deep fringe"). Much more durable than RS.

I've had a CS-7078 ("suburban") for about 13 yrs. It survived a take-down, move & reinstall to my new house a yr & 1/2 ago and still is in fine shape & works great!

You probably don't even need an amp or preamp with either of those. Try it 1st without one. Then if you want one, like everyone says, stay away from the RS ones. Winegard has better ones, too. BT is top-of-the-line.
 

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Godfather/Supporter
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286 Posts
In the last week I did a LOT of antenna experimentation. I didn't want anything too big so I got the Radio Shack U-75R. I mounted that on the same mast as my DISH Network dish and it worked out very well. I am about 40-50 miles from the antenna with some hills and trees in the way.

I tried inline amplifiers - 10db didnt do anything but the 20db helped about 3% in signal strength. I then got the 26db antenna mounted amp. It mad a huge difference on those already strong but I lost completely my weak stations. The best thing is it comes with a POT that you can adjust to set the strength. I played around with it to find the best mix of boost and found that at about half strength I could get my weak stations in as good as I could get and still get good strength from the strong stations.

The #1 thing is to get a base CLEAN signal and that means getting the best antenna, going high, and clearing out obstacles (trees etc) as best you can first. Then use the antenna mounted booster to tune your strength to a level your receiver is happy with.

Now you can also use multiple directional antennas to get different stations. I tried splicing in a simple bowtie and it worked. I tried it before the amp and after. Either way it helped me pick up a different direction but I am concerned that it added some instability to my prime signals so I took it off for now.

Lee
 

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DBS Ogre, you're my biggest hero, nest to Rex O'Herlihan. Is Cameron Diaz as nice in person as she appears on screen? The antennaweb site was adopted by the CEA a few months ago, as it appears to be the definitive place to make correct antenna decisions for consumers. The list corresponding to your zip should reach the stations listed based on the color code of the antenna. The color code is important, as it is an industry standard and the antenna manufacturer should have that info, so you can make the proper decision. A couple of notes; if digital stations listed are not at full power, they will not transmit past their primary city and full power digital signals seem to be easier to receive at greater distances, than their corresponding analog signal.
 

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3 Posts
You asked about OHIO stations. I live near Cincinnati , two days ago I had WXMI 17 Grand Rapids MICHIGAN, Ft Wayne 15 and 21, Toledo 24 and 11, Bowling Green Ohio 27 wiping out Lexington KY.
Here I regularly get WAVE 3 and WLKY 32 Louisville KY despite being 90 miles away, I see Indy 13,8,59,23 and a couple of others once or twice a week. Charleston WV 8 comes in once a month or so. Whats significant is either I am using a indoor power antenna, and rabbit ears on the other TV! With your antenna you should get Louisville, Cincinnati, Dayton and sometimes Lexington KY. Chicago and Detroit and Toledo shouldnt be that much of a problem. A rotator is important and I would recommend a mast mounted preamp, preferably low noise for weak signal UHF. Don't be surprised that sometimes you will get out really far. I have seen NASHVILLE TN 17 more than once with just rabbit ears.
Some people regularly get out 400 miles or more, there is a group of people who do this for a hobby too. EnjoY!
 
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