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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a HR20. In preparation for the activation of the OTA, and since it is starting to get cold here in Wisconsin, I would like to install an outside antenna. Based on AntennaWeb, a medium directional antenna would work best, need one to cover the red and blue colors. Question is what manufacturers have people on this forum went with? Terk looks like they make a modestly priced one, but have read both good and bad reviews about it. I live about 25 miles from the transmitters and basically have a clear line of site except for a few trees at the edge of my subdivision.
 

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bovac97 said:
I have a HR20. In preparation for the activation of the OTA, and since it is starting to get cold here in Wisconsin, I would like to install an outside antenna. Based on AntennaWeb, a medium directional antenna would work best, need one to cover the red and blue colors. Question is what manufacturers have people on this forum went with? Terk looks like they make a modestly priced one, but have read both good and bad reviews about it. I live about 25 miles from the transmitters and basically have a clear line of site except for a few trees at the edge of my subdivision.
The HR20 and other receivers like HR10 do not need an amplified signal. I have gotten poor results using an amplified antenna. I'm trying to save you the headache. There are many good outdoor antennas available. I'm sure you will get responses from members on models. I use a $50 Radio shack model which works fine for my OTA locals with my HR10, some of the stations I'm able to get are 65 miles away from me.

Amplified works fine with a tv tuner card for a computer like the PC or MAC, but not for STB, because STB's have a built in amplifier. Usually if the tuner needs an amplifier, it will specify it in the manual or on the packaging to give you a heads up on what's best for the product.
 

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bovac97 said:
I have a HR20. In preparation for the activation of the OTA, and since it is starting to get cold here in Wisconsin, I would like to install an outside antenna. Based on AntennaWeb, a medium directional antenna would work best, need one to cover the red and blue colors. Question is what manufacturers have people on this forum went with? Terk looks like they make a modestly priced one, but have read both good and bad reviews about it. I live about 25 miles from the transmitters and basically have a clear line of site except for a few trees at the edge of my subdivision.
Check antennaweb and if all your DTV is UHF based, this should work fine for you and it is only $25 and you can get it at every radio shack.


You might even be able to go indoor (assuming you dont live in a Faraday cage) this is my favorite and it is very retro and just $15, the classic Bow Tie.


If you do need VHS and UHF, $40 and this classic should work fine.


You do not need any of those crazy space ship looking "HDTV antennas", it is all marketing, the old classics work great and they are cheap.
 

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btmoore said:
one more thing, you will need a 75 ohm to 300 ohm transformer

External


Internal; this will plug right into the back of your HR20 and you just screw in the 70 ohm inputs



Total cost ~ $5
Newer antennas already either have a 75 ohm connector already only or they come with a transformer.
 

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Home Depot has some decent antennas at a lower price point than The Shack.
 

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cybrsurfer said:
The HR20 and other receivers like HR10 do not need an amplified signal. I have gotten poor results using an amplified antenna. I'm trying to save you the headache. There are many good outdoor antennas available. I'm sure you will get responses from members on models. I use a $50 Radio shack model which works fine for my OTA locals with my HR10, some of the stations I'm able to get are 65 miles away from me.
What if you have an amplified antenna and just don't plug in the power supply for the amp? The reason I ask is because I already have such an antenna.
 

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nFavor said:
What if you have an amplified antenna and just don't plug in the power supply for the amp? The reason I ask is because I already have such an antenna.
Most setups allow you to turn off amplification if need be, I would do this if it's an option for you. Simply unplugging it should be fine.

Generally amplifiers work better for analog transmissions not digital. You obviously want to get the digital signal in, so this is why I recommend not using amplifier. Many sales people will try to push amplified to get the sale, so just use your best judgment.

Good Luck.
 

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nFavor said:
What if you have an amplified antenna and just don't plug in the power supply for the amp? The reason I ask is because I already have such an antenna.
Try it, and if you have a problem turn off the amp or bypass it. You will likely be fine
 

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Rambler said:
I'll concur with this. I got the above equivalent from Radio Shack (but not quite as large) with the pole and mounting hardware for around $40. Works great for HD and UHF. I'm about 50 miles from our transmitting stations.
I have the next larger model from Radio Shack. I got the antenna rotor (Zenith) at walmart with remote for under $75. shipped to my door.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
cybrsurfer said:
I have the next larger model from Radio Shack. I got the antenna rotor (Zenith) at walmart with remote for under $75. shipped to my door.
What was the cost of the next larger unit from Radio Shack? Your $75 figure- is that with the antenna and rotor? Does this unit say how far it will receive signals from. All my locals are from Milwaukee, but Madison is about 60 miles away. I'd like to receive their signals as well if possible.
 

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btmoore said:
Check antennaweb and if all your DTV is UHF based, this should work fine for you and it is only $25 and you can get it at every radio shack.
This is the one I have; I live ~26 miles from the towers, all my digital stations are UHF, and it works GREAT (or at least it did, when I had my HR10 up & running). It says it has up to a 75 mile range. I was able to mount it in my garage attic, so it's not exposed to wind & hail, and got great signal strength. For $25, I'm very happy with it.
btmoore said:
You might even be able to go indoor (assuming you dont live in a Faraday cage) this is my favorite and it is very retro and just $15, the classic Bow Tie.
If you go with this one, follow the instructions in this thread to help eliminate any multipath issues due to the ribbon cable that comes with it.
btmoore said:
one more thing, you will need a 75 ohm to 300 ohm transformerExternal

Total cost ~ $5
And you'll need one of these, either way, so don't forget to pick one up.
 

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bovac97 said:
What was the cost of the next larger unit from Radio Shack? Your $75 figure- is that with the antenna and rotor? Does this unit say how far it will receive signals from. All my locals are from Milwaukee, but Madison is about 60 miles away. I'd like to receive their signals as well if possible.
The rotor is good for direction changing.
 

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I have never deployed a Terk that was worth the cost of the box it came in.

At your distance, I would recommend a Channel Master CM4221 four bay bow tie. This assumes all your OTAs are UHF, or at least Ch7 or higher VHF, which you will know from having visited Antenna Web.

The 4221 costs $25 from Solid Signal, plus about $18 for an eave mount. It's small (30"x20") and very unobtrusive, but has excellent gain & backside rejection and is not overly directional. You shouldn't need an amp at 25 miles unless you have topography between you and the transmitter. Beware of over amplifying OTA signals - overloading the front end of the receiver will cause reception problems. You can tell this is happening by wild swings in the signal meter; RS sells 6dB attenuators that are useful for adjusting the signal from a fixed gain amp down to a usable level.


regards, billb....
 

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nocaster said:
All this talk about antennas makes me wish OTA was actually enabled.

Just thought I would beat on the dead horse a little. :)
less then 2 weeks away, let's hope it a national roll out and not staggered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
bbroach said:
I have never deployed a Terk that was worth the cost of the box it came in.

At your distance, I would recommend a Channel Master CM4221 four bay bow tie. This assumes all your OTAs are UHF, or at least Ch7 or higher VHF, which you will know from having visited Antenna Web.

The 4221 costs $25 from Solid Signal, plus about $18 for an eave mount. It's small (30"x20") and very unobtrusive, but has excellent gain & backside rejection and is not overly directional. You shouldn't need an amp at 25 miles unless you have topography between you and the transmitter. Beware of over amplifying OTA signals - overloading the front end of the receiver will cause reception problems. You can tell this is happening by wild swings in the signal meter; RS sells 6dB attenuators that are useful for adjusting the signal from a fixed gain amp down to a usable level.

regards, billb....
I have channels 4, 4.1, 6, 6.1 that I need to receive. How does this effect my buying decision? The rest are 10 and above. My preferred location would be in the garage attic if that makes any difference.
 

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bovac97 said:
I have channels 4, 4.1, 6, 6.1 that I need to receive. How does this effect my buying decision? The rest are 10 and above. My preferred location would be in the garage attic if that makes any difference.
Check antennaweb.org to see what you need for those stations.

http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/Address.aspx

Attic is is typically fine, stucco walls can be a problem as they contain chicken wire.
 
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