Antennacraft CS600 antenna

dave73

DTVUSA Member
#1
Since I'm staying at my current residence longer than planned, I'm already getting new antennas, & I have my UHF antennas purchased (2 Winegard HD9032 antennas). I however haven't fully decided on a VHF antenna. Since all antenna manufacturers overall focused on VHF-Hi only antennas & VHF/UHF antennas, Antennacraft CS600 is the only current choice available. Does anyone on this board use this antenna? How well does it work for those who have it? The only station I need VHF-Lo is WOCK-CD on RF 4 from Chicago. This is my TV Fool chart. The only subchannel on WOCK-CD I would watch is America One for a few shows. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother with VHF-Lo, since they're the only station on VHF-Lo that's digital. WLFM-LP on analog RF 6 has a CP to flash-cut to digital on RF 6 at the same wattage of 3kw, but they're waiting until the end of 2015, because they're operating as an FM station rather than an actual TV station, & can't do that once they do digital. So when they have to go digital, they have to be a real TV station, & not sure what they'd air on the channel. For VHF, WBBM-TV on RF 12 & WLS-TV on RF 7 (they're operating on RF 44 from the Sears Tower, but their signal drops out on me since returning to the Sears Tower on RF 44, but didn't do so on the John Hancock) otherwise are the only stations I need, but want WOCK-CD for America One. If this antenna isn't recommended, what should I get? The only other choice I could make is get separate VHF-Lo & VHF-Hi antennas (Antennacraft Y5-2-6 & Y5-7-13).
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#2
Dave,

I'm not sure why you're wanting so many antennas ?
If you were to put something like a HD7015 on your 335° Azimuth, you'd pick up all three Bands since it's a 2-69+FM Combo.
But, where did you intend to point the other two Antennas... 188° 100° 35°, and all three of those locations are UHF only.

PS:
The HD9032 is a VHFhi/UHF 65mile/114" boom.
The most distant Tower you can reasonably receive is just 27 miles away.
 
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dave73

DTVUSA Member
#3
Dave,

I'm not sure why you're wanting so many antennas ?
If you were to put something like a HD7015 on your 335° Azimuth, you'd pick up all three Bands since it's a 2-69+FM Combo.
But, where did you intend to point the other two Antennas... 188° 100° 35°, and all three of those locations are UHF only.

PS:
The HD9032 is a VHFhi/UHF 65mile/114" boom.
The most distant Tower you can reasonably receive is just 27 miles away.
The reason I'm going with separate band antennas is because most combo antennas still focus heavily on VHF, but not as much on UHF (Channelmaster CM-3020 is an exception, but the way that antenna is mounted on a pole puts way too weight on the UHF side). Also, I'm looking to get South Bend stations, as I already get with my current combo antenna (pointed at Chicago), WSBT RF 22 from South Bend most nights, with pre-amp. So I'm looking to get WSBT on RF 22 better, & even try for WSJV on RF 28, WNIT on RF 35, & WNDU on RF 42, all around the 85° & 86° direction.

Now for Chicago, I need addional gain for those low power stations, because my current combo antenna doesn't pick them up as well. Without a pre-amp, I can't get WWME-LD at all on RF 39. As I stated before, since WCIU's power increase involved a pattern change, their signal is actually weaker in my direction, since they want their station, WCWW-LD (also on RF 27) in South Bend to have 15kw non-directional. So WCIU now requires a pre-amp in order to get. Weigel is aware of the problem, but claim it shouldn't have affected me in Gary, but it does. They stated that they turned off some of their analog low power stations in South Bend, & that may have affected my ability to receive WCIU. It only happened after they changed their pattern, weakening it toward Indiana, while sending more of it toward Racine Wisconsin, & toward Rockford, IL.

Overall, the stations I'm looking to get with the 3 new antennas will be around the 330° - 332° for Chicago (VHF & UHF) & 85° - 86° direction for South Bend (UHF only). Since I'm keeping the Winegard HD-1080 antenna, I have to figure out where I'm mounting that antenna, as I need that antenna for WYIN on RF 17, in the 184° direction. Since I live in the area, I know what I'm talking about, that my combo antenna pointed at Chicago won't lock onto WYIN's signal without it dropping out. For the record, I never had a pre-amp on my antenna when I lost their signal. Once I added the Winegard HD-1080 antenna & pointed it south, hooked to the Winegard CC7870 coupler, the signal locked in (the HD-1080 antenna is not amplified). I added the pre-amp about a year ago, & only used on the combo antenna. That was when I was able to get WOCK-CD as well (can't get them otherwise with their now 810 watt signal unless I have the pre-amp).

Before I forget, the Winegard HD9032 antenna IS NOT a VHF-Hi/UHF antenna at all. You might be mistaking that for the HD8800 8 bay antenna. Even so, I refuse to use a UHF only antenna for VHF, because results vary. I'd rather have an antenna that's actually made for VHF. My Winegard HD-1080 is one example where I can't get WBBM-TV (CBS) on RF 12, despite having 2 sets of dipoles on it to get VHF-Hi stations, but got WLS-TV on RF 7 with that antenna. I'm going with VHF-Lo only because of WOCK-CD on RF 4, as they have America One, & I do watch that from time to time. Since WLFM-LP on analog RF 6 will eventually have to become a real TV station (they currently operate as an FM station on 87.7), I need VHF-Lo for that station eventually, but not sure what might go on that station.
 

dave73

DTVUSA Member
#5
I was planning to skip buying this antenna, & get both the Antennacraft Y5-2-6 & Y5-7-13, because the Y5-2-6 antenna looked bigger. I also was going to order the antennas from radioshack.com, because they're offering free shipping. Since the Y5-7-13 antenna is out of stock, I decided to chance it, & order the Antennacraft CS600 antenna, but ordered it from summitsource.com for approximately the same cost as radioshack.com. I based it on location, since summitsource is in Fort Wayne, IN, & I live in Gary, IN, while radioshack most likely ships out of Texas. I ordered 2 Winegard HD9032 antennas, & I got those within 2-5 days (first one shipped out of Columbus, OH, & the other from Grand Rapids, MI) from Black River Distributing, who has a few locations in Michigan & Ohio under different names. Once I get the CS600, I post my results after all my antennas are installed, as to what i get with it, & hope I get WOCK-CD with it.
 

dave73

DTVUSA Member
#7
Pictures too please ! :thumb:
Don't worry. I'll have pictures of the antennas. Compared to the Winegard HD9032 (around 10 feet fully assembled, & under 6 feet without the extended boom, but very light), the Antennacraft CS600 is a lot smaller. I ordered the Antennacraft CS600 from summitsource.com Thursday, & arrived the next day. I however don't like that summitsorce opens all the boxes (at least was the case with my antenna), & inserts 50 feet of RG59 cable in the boxes. I have no desire to use the included cable, due to the fact that it's RG59 & not RG6. Luckily, the antenna wasn't damaged adding the cable to the box. Also, looking at the build quality, this Antennacraft antenna looks very similar to the Radio Shack VU series. Also after looking at the radio shack website in the careers section, they have Antennacraft listed as an employer in their careers section. It makes me believe it's a subsidiary of Radio Shack, & made the Archer & other proprietary brands for Radio Shack (now discontinued), & Antennacraft to the general market. The Antennacraft should help me get WLFM-LP on RF 6 whenever they go digital, as they have a CP to flashcut to digital at the same 3kw, but will have to be a real TV station instead of an FM station on a TV channel. WOCK-CD on RF 4 is still questionable, due to the size, & only operating at 810 watts. I might have to order a second CS600 if I can't get WOCK-CD, in order to get additional gain.
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#8
Yea, several of the suppliers are doing/have done that. When we switched over to 6, it seems that there was a lot of 59 left over, and it must "pump" their sales for them to be able to say "Coax Included", just to make you think you're getting something extra.
Ha, Belden probably gave that stuff to them ! :(
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#9
... it must "pump" their sales for them to be able to say "Coax Included", just to make you think you're getting something extra.
In my opinion it's a smart marketing plan. Although I don't offer it in my ads, whenever I sell an antenna on Craigslist I offer the buyer free (used/good) RG-59 coax I've removed from other antenna installations - BUT - I always recommend RG-6 and I explain the 'half-as-much-signal-loss' advantage.

Jim
 

dave73

DTVUSA Member
#10
Antennacraft CS600 antenna **Update**

After being delayedat installing the new antennas last weekend, due to my mother wanting to go shopping on Black Friday, & having to work Saturday & Sunday. The new antenna array is up & the TV picture is brighter. I get WBBM-TV with the new VHF antenna, & believe it or not, WOCK-CD comes in with this antenna (thought it wouldn't,due to the lack of VHF-Lo elements). The Winegard HD9032 antennas get the stations I got before from Chicago, but didn't add any new ones. I however lost W25DW-D on RF 25 & WESV-LD on RF 40. I still don't get WCHU-LD on RF 33, nor do I not get WPVN-CD on RF 20 from their Schaumburg, IL site (maybe when they broadcast from the Trump Tower). For now, I don't get South Bend stations, but not giving up on that yet. I just have to try something different
to see if I can get them in better. Anyway, these are the pictures I included:

Antennacraft CS600
Antennacraft_CS600_2.jpg

Winegard HD9032 with extended boom
Winegard_HD9032.jpg

Winegard HD9032 without boom
Winegard_HD9032_2.jpg

Lastly, the new antenna array
New_Antenna_Array.jpg

Anyway, the antenna pointing upward in the last picture is the old antenna. Turns out it was a good thing I did buy new antennas. The U-Bolts on the Philips antenna snapped as I turned the nuts. That tells me that the antenna was going to crash down at anytime. While I still would have wanted an Antennas Direct 91XG antenna for UHF, I'm doing alright with what I have. I eventually will replace the pre-amplifier with the Channelmaster CM-7777. I still need the pre-amplifier for WWME-LD & WCIU for UHF & WOCK-CD on VHF. My pre-amp is now set to amplify separate VHF & UHF antennas, where before, it was set to combo, & only hooked to the UHF/Combo side.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#11
Dave,

If possible, I suggest you install other masts or a much taller mast to get some distance between your antennas. Being so close together they will interact and that reduces their performance.

I ran the math a few years ago and an antenna for Channel 35 (599 mHz center) needs to be a minimum of 36" away from other antennas. The lower the channel (frequency) the larger the distance that is required. A VHF antenna for channel 7 should be spaced about 5 feet away from UHF antennas to avoid this interaction and even further apart from low-band VHF antennas.

Jim

PS Thanks for the photos!
 
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dave73

DTVUSA Member
#12
Dave,

If possible, I suggest you install other masts or a much taller mast to get some distance between your antennas. Being so close together they will interact and that reduces their performance.

I ran the math a few years ago and an antenna for Channel 35 (599 mHz center) needs to be a minimum of 36" away from other antennas. The lower the channel (frequency) the larger the distance that is required. A VHF antenna for channel 7 should be spaced about 5 feet away from UHF antennas to avoid this interaction and even further apart from low-band VHF antennas.

Jim

PS Thanks for the photos!
I plan to move the UHF antennas up higher & bring the VHF antenna down to a lower point. I however can't space them out too much more, because I'm not able to make room for all the antennas. I also can't extend the pole, because it's more than 12 feet above the roof line (I already added an aditional 6 inches to the pole). The 2 UHF yagi antennas are already spaced 3 ft apart. So those can't get spaced too much more. Management live next door to me, & they're already bitching about me having too many antennas up on the pole already. There's no room to locate another pole nearby to move an antenna or 2. So I'm limited at what I can do with the antennas on the existing pole.
 
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