Antenna and Pre-Amp Recommendation

Tiki

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
Hello again. Been a few months, but I finally have the antenna installed, temporally, and DirecTV canceled. Now to improve the project. I think it might be beneficial to install a pre-amp and probably a different antenna.

TVFool

What I have now: Antennas Direct DB8 installed in attic, 8-way splitter (four connections currently in use) at antenna, three cables between 25-35 feet going to two TV's and a DVR+, one cable approx. 35 ft to closet that will split another four ways.

I'm still getting a good signal to the TV's even after the split, but some of the signal has dropped on a couple of channels - most of the time it's 92% or better. A couple of non-important channels goes in and out depending on the day, but I'm not too concerned.

One of the channels I can't get to come in at all, WNAB channel 58.1, but would really like to get it if I can. During my initial testing, it did barely come in. However, I spoke with a guy that has had an antenna for a few years and he said that that channel dropped off for him a while back and not sure why. The wife has found a new show to watch, but it comes on NBC - channel 10 (it's actually channel 4 on the TV). The antenna I have is UHF only, so I need something else. My dad purchased one of those cheap 150-mile antenna-amp combo units, it feels very cheap, but was able to pick up the NBC station so I know there is a signal at my house.

Pre-amp recommendations? I've been looking at the CM-7777. Is this a good amp? Is there something better?

Antenna - It was recommended in my other thread to just add a VHF antenna to the DB8. I'm not totally against this idea, but would rather have one antenna for both UHF/VHF and leave the DB8 for another idea I'll explain later. Space is an issue since I will be putting this in my attic. I would like something similar to the CM-4228HD, but according to their chart VHF is rated at 45 miles. I think I could get a CM-5018, and maybe CM-5020 in my attic. Any recommendations? Would it be possible to use the 4228 and a pre-amp to get that one channel, or play it safe and go with another option?

My second idea involves adding a new antenna to the DB8 and point the DB8 in the opposite direction. There is a station (WBXX channel 20) coming in from the opposite direct that is the same network, CW, of the channel 58 I can't get out of Nashville. Would be nice to get that extra channel, but its not necessary if it will be too much trouble.
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#2
I wouldn't recommend the CM-5018 or CM-5020 since they are designed to receive low VHF, and there isn't anything that you need on low VHF. Getting a channel 7-51 antenna should save space. A Winegard HD 7698P would give you about the same performance on UHF that the DB8 gives plus VHF for channels 8 and 10. It's narrower than the Channel Masters due to not having to have the long dipoles for low VHF.
 

Tiki

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#3
Wanted to update my post. I went ahead and purchased the CM-5018 and CM-7777. I read some negative comments about the newer CM-7777, which is why I asked here, but I decided to bite the bullet and try myself. I looked at other antennas, but decided to go with the CM-5018 because it would fit where I wanted to put it. The 7698P was just too long to put in the top most part of my attic. If my house was turned, or the stations to the north or south, an antenna that length would have worked.

The CM-5018 worked as I expected, it barely pulled in the one VHF channel I was looking for. It detected the Nashville PBS station, but there wasn't enough signal to watch. That's fine since I have another PBS station closer to me. It didn't pull in the WNAB station I was hoping to get, but I think it's because the signal isn't there. All-in-all, for an attic mounted antenna about 65-70 miles from the stations I'm doing pretty good. Expecting I would get drop outs on the NBC station, I figured I got the best I could without putting the antenna outside. To my surprise, on my office TV the signal was prefect at about 43-50%. Watched it for about 45 minutes with no dropouts. The main TV bleeped once, but it seemed to work but only had 4 bars. DVR+ seemed about the same. This was all done during a rainy night, hoping a clear day it will be better.

The amp seems, haven't tested it long enough yet, to help with the signal across the splitter. One of the channels would drop out, but it was working fine and seemed to have an extra bar of signal. But this was one night, I'll keep an eye on it.

I got a very good deal on these two items, which is one reason I jumped and ordered them. Bought from MCM Electronics that had a $6 shipping special and found a 15% off code.

Now I'm going to try to combine the DB8 and point it in the opposite direction.
 
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