antenna question

hddave2

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
hello..im new and look forward to learning about the dtv change and how i can get the most out of it..im in kentucky and im going to be honest, i know nothing about this stuff.. what i do know is i have a 12yr old roof antenna uhf/vhs . it was here when we bought the house and it has alwas in the past picked up most all my locals (4 channels) now i have a converter box hooked to it and i dont get but 1 channel(fox).. i have searched around trying to find a new powerfull outside antenna that will pick up the most channels im able to get..so heres one i found on ebay..New HDTV Amplified Rotor Antenna HD TV VHF UHF Outdoor - eBay (item 250442999802 end time Jul-11-09 22:58:55 PDT) .. it clames to pick up all channels within a 100miles and be used anywhere no mater what the trerain is..anyone know anything about these antenna or know if there are others like it that are the real deal...thanks guys
 
#2
What kind of wiring was installed on it? Twin lead? Coax? Is it aimed in the right direction? You can try replacing it with some RG6 and seeing if any of the elements are broken off, and try re-aiming. You'll need a compass for that and look at the orientations on tvfool for your address.

TV Fool
 

hddave2

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#4
What kind of wiring was installed on it? Twin lead? Coax? Is it aimed in the right direction? You can try replacing it with some RG6 and seeing if any of the elements are broken off, and try re-aiming. You'll need a compass for that and look at the orientations on tvfool for your address.

TV Fool
well the wiring is i know at liest 12yrs and the antenna is also 12yrs old..now it could be older. it has been here since i've owned the house and it does show some wear.. looks like 2 of the long bars are broke off so im thinking im just gonna replace everything and start over..i see that little antenna on ebay and it says 100 mile range so unless someone can give me a reason not to buy it or know of a better antenna that will work in a very rural area please let me know..what ever i buy will be installed outside about 25 to 30 ft in the air..thanks for the advice
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#5
well the wiring is i know at liest 12yrs and the antenna is also 12yrs old..now it could be older. it has been here since i've owned the house and it does show some wear.. looks like 2 of the long bars are broke off so im thinking im just gonna replace everything and start over..i see that little antenna on ebay and it says 100 mile range so unless someone can give me a reason not to buy it or know of a better antenna that will work in a very rural area please let me know..what ever i buy will be installed outside about 25 to 30 ft in the air..thanks for the advice
Yes you need a new antenna, but not that one. That is not a good antenna to begin with and horrible in a rural setting.

With the biggest best antenna a person can buy with a preamp and 50 ft tower, in most locations in the US, the limit of analog is about 80 miles. Digital is less.

Antenna 10 times it size have trouble at 100 miles.

Ratting an antenna in miles is like saying my car will go 120 mph because the speedometer goes that high. Antenna companies should not be allowed to use miles.

If you go to here Google Maps Latitude, Longitude Popup and move the map to your location, then once very close zoom in satellite mode, you can find your property or house. click the map there so a red ballon show up on your house. Then take the coordinates it gives you and put them in this web site.
TV Fool by clicking the cooriginates.

Also put in the height you plan to mount an antenna.

It will give you a link at the top of the page to share back here.

Post that back here then we can go from there to recommend an antenna system.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#7
i think this is it....... TV Fool ......i hope..lol..
You live in a very tough situation. While when you put in your coordinates, TVFool is dead on your house, it rounds on display. But that was close enough to see the river valley with mountains on all sides, at least toward TV stations.

You need a very large antenna, rotor and pre-amp, and then signals are weak enough it's a gamble what would actually come in.

Two choices one is Cowboys Deep Fringe Prescription

Antennas Direct 91XG UHF Antenna for uhf Digital stations mounted 4 ft over a Winegard YA1713 VHF Antenna. Channel Master Titan 7777 preamp to combine the two antennas signals it has one vhf and one uhf input and one output. a Channel Master 9521a rotor about 20 to 30'+ antenna height from the ground. http://www.dtvusaforum.com/dtv-reception/1088-cowboys-deep-fringe-prescription.html#post5128

Solution two is a single Winegard 7698P antenna with the same Channel Master Titan 7777 preamp and a Channel Master 9521a Rotor. Also 25 to 30 ft above the ground.

All of the above are available at SolidSignal.com

If you do it yourself you need coax jumpers from the antenna(s) to the pre-amp. Coax to get inside and rotor control wire to the rotor.

You could about double your chances with a 50 ft triangular tower or higher.

But one thing to be sure to understand, is your TVFool numbers are low enough it is not abosoutely certain what you will pick up and at what time of day.

If you start at the top of the TVFool list your chances to receive end at WBNA starting from the top of the list with the green channels plus
the first couple of reds/pink how ever you see that color.

I am positive the Lava would never have worked now, not that it helps to know that now.
 

hddave2

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#8
well just let you know..when i 1st hooked my tv to the converter box and hooked it to my very old and broken antenna i just picked up fox 56.1 now after posting my 1st thread here on the forum i went out and turned the antenna just a little. now i get fox, abc, nbc,cbs and some kind of channel cw 34.1 and to boot it is raining hard here this morning and im still getting the channels..now this is happening with 12yr old antenna and old cable thats about 50ft long..when i check my signal strength im at about 14 to 16 on all channels i get..now that we know this would a brand new long range antenna with a amp and 50ft of the best cable help with a better signal and maybe even more channels?ok i have to ask after looking at my situation why do you think the lava antenna wont work..im just trying to understand and to make sure i dont buy somthing that is junk..thanks
 

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#9
well just let you know..when i 1st hooked my tv to the converter box and hooked it to my very old and broken antenna i just picked up fox 56.1 now after posting my 1st thread here on the forum i went out and turned the antenna just a little. now i get fox, abc, nbc,cbs and some kind of channel cw 34.1 and to boot it is raining hard here this morning and im still getting the channels..now this is happening with 12yr old antenna and old cable thats about 50ft long..when i check my signal strength im at about 14 to 16 on all channels i get..now that we know this would a brand new long range antenna with a amp and 50ft of the best cable help with a better signal and maybe even more channels?ok i have to ask after looking at my situation why do you think the lava antenna wont work..im just trying to understand and to make sure i dont buy somthing that is junk..thanks
In whatever case, if you do choose to buy a new antenna, get one you can return, just in case it doesn't work out. That's kind of been the mantra here at the forum. :welcome:
 
#10
New HDTV Amplified Rotor Antenna HD TV VHF UHF Outdoor - eBay (item 250442999802 end time Jul-11-09 22:58:55 PDT) .. it clames to pick up all channels within a 100miles and be used anywhere no mater what the trerain is..anyone know anything about these antenna or know if there are others like it that are the real deal...thanks guys
I ordered a similar one. Those photos they use on the site look like stock photos.The one you posted has pictures hosted from a former car dealership site. There is a Chinese photo there (the picture of a HD TV with baketball game on it has a Chinese watermark on it.

This one that I ordered says "not made in China" so I bought one. NEW! AMPLIFIED ROTOR ANTENNA HDTV HD TV VHF UHF OUTDOOR - eBay (item 390048771272 end time Jun-30-09 15:49:16 PDT)
It's my third antenna I bought on eBay.

My first one was the EZ-Dish antenna seen here, third one down: Dish King - Local TV Antennas Worked great for full-power stations. It's still sitting in the attic.

Second one is the Chinese A-Neutronics antenna which worked fine for full power stations but will NOT pick up weak VHF DTV stations. UHF only!:
AMPLIFIED VHF UHF FM OUTDOOR HDTV HD ROTOR TV ANTENNA - eBay (item 350213715339 end time Jun-25-09 09:00:00 PDT)


I will test the one I got "apartment style" first, meaning connected in the room, at 5 feet off the ground.
 

hddave2

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#11
yea if you could test the 3rd one you bought and post your finding that would be great..again i know nothing about this stuff other than bolt it to a pole outside and turn the darn thing till it picks up somthing..i seen that one on ebay and i thought it would be the cats meow for my situation but i may be wrong it say 100 miles and no color codes meaning it picks up anywhere...lol..i dunno..i hate the thought of spending $300 bucks on 10 channels but i would hate to spend $50 bucks on junk...
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#12
well just let you know..when i 1st hooked my tv to the converter box and hooked it to my very old and broken antenna i just picked up fox 56.1 now after posting my 1st thread here on the forum i went out and turned the antenna just a little. now i get fox, abc, nbc,cbs and some kind of channel cw 34.1 and to boot it is raining hard here this morning and im still getting the channels..now this is happening with 12yr old antenna and old cable thats about 50ft long..when i check my signal strength im at about 14 to 16 on all channels i get..now that we know this would a brand new long range antenna with a amp and 50ft of the best cable help with a better signal and maybe even more channels?ok i have to ask after looking at my situation why do you think the lava antenna wont work..im just trying to understand and to make sure i don't buy something that is junk..thanks
That is a good sign and exactly what TVFool predicts is possible.

If I were you I would buy a Channel Master CM7777 Titan Pre-Amp. Channel Master CM 7777 Titan2 VHF/UHF Antenna Preamplifier with Power Supply (CM7777) | CM7777 [Channel Master] and new coax. Then see if you have enough signal.

Most likely the elements broken on the antenna are the big long ones toward the end, that are for channels not used in your area. So if those are the broken parts it makes little difference.

Plus you can then see how well that does. And if you want to replace the antenna. They do age over time, and 15 years is about the end of life of most antennas exposed to sunlight and the elements.

======

Why I don't think the Lava is your choice. The antenna probably works fine for suburban use where one doesn't need much of an antenna.

I would take a small book to go over how antennas work and the background to understand all of it.

Ken Nist wrote a nice site, and this is a good page to start Erecting an Antenna , but maybe more specific is this article Antenna Basics

But to keep a short list here is why it's an over rated antenna (Lava)

1) not enough aluminum in the air. too small. You can't adjust the laws of physics and find something smaller in antennas that do the same job. Advances are made in antennas, but it seldom changes the overall size of the antenna by much.

Maybe some analogies are trying to get good bass sounds in a stereo out of a 2 inch tweeter. Or trying to make a sail boat go as fast with sails that are a 1/4 of the size of fast boat. Or small windmills 10 ft across that put out several kilowatts in a light wind.

2) You can not make up for lack of antenna with an amp. A lot of people have been lead to believe by antenna companies that say you have a 10 db gain antenna, and a 29 db amp, one DOESN'T have 39db antenna system, you still have only a 10 db, because all reception gain is in the antenna, not the amp.

2a) An amp doesn't "boost" the signal. What the antenna picks up is it. An amp insures that what the antenna picks up is not lost in the feedline to your TV. Plus another factor a little harder to grasp. Noise factor or figure. Good amps like the CM7777 have very low noise figures, under 3 db. Most TVs and CECBs have a noise figure slightly higher. Now this is the weird part without understanding details of TV reception so just follow it. If the amp is at the antenna, it sets the noise figure for the entire system, meaning the coax going in and the TV. Even though the TV alone has a higher noise figure, the amp overrides it.

So now with a really good amp you have a system that looses nothing from the antenna because it grabs all the signal the antenna give it and also if good lowers the amount of noise in the system. For example if the noise figure of the TV is 6db, and amp is 3db, it lowers the system to 3db of noise. Now in common terms that means you just doubled the signal getting to the TV without a bigger antenna, and why amps tend to make people think its the gain that does it.

All the gain does in an amp is over come the loss in the cable and splitters going to the TV or TVs in a house, nothing else. It doesn't help in the actual reception.

So when they say
LAVA 2605 UHF/VHF/FM HDTV Terrestrial Antenna with Built-In Rotor IR Remote Control HD Antenna UHF VHF FM with Low Noise High-Gain Amplifier Digital Local TV High Definition Reception, Outdoor Aerial System, LIGHT GREEN ZONE, Part # A-2605, A2605: Oa
The antenna has 30 some db gain at VHF an UHF, they are adding the amplifier gain.
That guy on ebay saying it has more gain than a typical "tower antenna" is flat out false advertising.

3) Brings me to three, they have a reason to exagerate advertising to the point of lying and I have no financial gain. I could be sitting watching TV instead of typing to you from my 30 plus years of experience in the field.

That pretty much sums it up.

This amp would also be a good one. Winegard AP8700 Chromstar 2000 Series VHF/UHF Pre Amplifier (AP-8700) | AP-8700 [Winegard]

The one disadvantage to it is if you decide to put up separate VHF and UHF antennas it's not the right amp, where as the CM7777 will work with one antenna or two. So it's not as flexible in installation.

But a good amp and new coax will not only tell you a lot more about your reception but might preclude buying a new antenna.

Recently a Suzzie near me added a CM7777 and increased her channels a lot.

Don't even bother buying on you put in the house, those amps can actually make things worse as they have high noise figures and add more noise to the system.
 
#13
This one that I ordered says "not made in China" so I bought one.
Error, it says "not Cheap Chinese junk", it's the LAVA A2805, with some improvements over the 2605. Still made in China, but the site has a warranty which what I went for. If it didn't pull in the 4 missing channels, I'll ask for a refund.

I also wanted to edit and add:
(the 60 minute post modification limit had passed)

Bug me for link updates!

(Note original "Not Made in china" comment was removed as I found it on AliBaba China wholesaler website: Outdoor TV Antenna with Remote Control WA-2805 Antenna CN;GUA products Page has pics of MANY other antennas - some are laughably silly. A TV antenna with a clock in it?!?? )
 
Last edited:

hddave2

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#14
lol..dang.. $250-$300 bucks for 10 free channels...i guess we have to pay to play huh..i thank you for all your advice and i guess you talked me out of the lava antenna..i have been reading also about building antennas, should i stay away from that or is it an option..
 
#15
lol..dang.. $250-$300 bucks for 10 free channels...i guess we have to pay to play huh..i thank you for all your advice and i guess you talked me out of the lava antenna..i have been reading also about building antennas, should i stay away from that or is it an option..
don't give up on the Lava, sure the sellers elaborate a bit on the claims, but always go fo those with a warranty.

You can build an antenna, sure, a few are on youtube, this one is better looking:

[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWQhlmJTMzw[/YOUTUBE]
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#17
lol..i think i've seen that one the other day..i dont think it will reach very far outside on a pole...but i might try it..
If you put a reflector on that homemade antenna it become about 10 to 12 db of gain, and not shabby for a UHF antenna.

The big problem he has a channel 13 (says 27.1 on the dial but it's on RF13).

WKYT-DT (Digital)
Channel: 13 (27.1)
Network: CBS
Maximum ERP: 30.000 kW

Effective ERP: 5.167 kW (Adjusted according to your location)
Distance: 36.2 miles Azimuth: 62 degrees Compass: 67 degrees

As you can see he is an a null of the pattern only getting about 5KW ERP. And NM of 11.6 db. No UHF antenna is going to pick up that station, it's plain too weak.

You need about $60 for a good preamp. $35 or so for new coax, a 6 ft jumper and a 50 ft run into the house from the amp. and a 6 ft run from the amps power supply to the TV.

A good antenna or pair of antennas can be from $100 to $150.

So total replacement could be $250.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#18
don't give up on the Lava, sure the sellers elaborate a bit on the claims, but always go fo those with a warranty.
The Lava is fine for someone in the suburbs. So is the EZ-HD TV Antenna EZ-HD TV Antenna.

Both of these are suburban not fringe antennas much less deep fringe.

To be blunt, he needs to give up on the anything but a deep fringe antenna system.

yes, there is a lot exaggerations of claims, but so many are looking for that new "state of the art" antenna you can't see, all in one, etc etc etc.

Sorry, the simple physics of how antennas work has not changed.

Even the Gray-Hover man antenna The Gray-Hoverman Antenna For UHF Television Reception - Digital Home Canada is a re-hash of a very old antenna design.
 

hddave2

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#19
right now after turning the antenna i get 27.1, 27.2, 27.3, 36.1, 36.2, 36.3.34.1 and 56.1, 18.1..some are coming in better than others but i found out today my neighbor get those channels and bout 4 more..he says if he turns his antenna he can pickup Cincinnati, Nashville.for a total of about 16 or so channels...i looked at his antenna and it looks like the one made by winegard but its a radioshack brand and is about 15yrs old with no preamp. so im going to look at some antenna at radio shack and the ones recommended here in this thread...wish me luck and thanks to everyone for all the good advice..keep em coming
 

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