Clear Stream 5

Piggie

Super Moderator
#2
It's well known design of a full wavelength loop in front of a reflector. Much here has been written on it. It has the advantage of being a loop and not a dipole design, so it receives the magnetic component of the EM wave we call the OTA signal. This reduces the pickup of man made and natural interference that is electrical in nature. I have used loop antenna for 35 years and have seen them work very well.

It's biggest limitation is it only has so much gain, if you live in a deep fringe area where you need a larger antenna. To me also I feel it's a little pricy for the gain, but I don't own one to say how it would work say against a 3 element yagi design. I would love to have one to test against my 3 element VHF yagi, as on paper they should have about the same amount of gain.
 

Don_M

DTVUSA Member
#3
The C5's unique, less obtrusive form factor (a classy way of saying, "it's not as ugly as a traditional Yagi") makes it attractive to a lot of people. But please take that 65-mile range claim with a large ration of salt: This antenna needs to be A) 30 feet above ground and B) capturing line-of-sight signals to get anywhere close to that kind of performance.
 

JoeM

DTVUSA Member
#4
Thank you everyone for the help, if this is a repeat thread than I apologize I didn't look to far into this topic. I've got a friend who is looking for an antenna that will work to get basic reception. He's in a valley, almost a dead zone, and hasn't found a setup that works with a converter box. I saw this online and thought it might work, but it probably won't if there's a range limit.
 

Don_M

DTVUSA Member
#5
It's not a repeat, Joe, so no apology is necessary. Speaking very generally, deep valleys are tough places for DTV, and the C5 you mentioned in the OP is best described as a medium-gain antenna. To have any chance at consistent reception, one frequently needs two separate, high-gain antennas -- the first for VHF (channels 2-13 or 7-13, depending on market), and another for UHF (channels 14-52); a low-noise antenna pre-amplifier; and as much height above ground as is possible, both practically and financially.

We'd be happy to provide advice, but we'd need a location-specific TVFool report to offer anything more than very general suggestions. (These reports never include specific address information to protect privacy.)
 
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JoeM

DTVUSA Member
#6
Gotcha, thank you for all of the information. I'll have to dig up the exact address and then fill out the form for you so I get get the info. Thanks for the quick response!
 

FOX TV

Contributor
#7
I have tested a C5 courtesy of Antennas Direct, but my problem is that I only have one channel in my area (13) in the VHF range of the antenna, and I was able to pick it up everywhere I tried it during extreme signal strength tests done for my employer last year. This antenna has the advantage over other designs of being light weight, and has very little wind loading due to its compact design when compared to conventional VHF high designs.

The backplane reflector type of antenna has proven its signal gain and multi path rejection characteristics time and time again on different bands for many years. It is a difficult design to incorporate into a VHF antenna due to the wave length of the high VHF channels, and it seems to me that the C5 is a very good choice if you have channels in its receive range that you need a dedicated VHF high antenna to receive. The C5 is a great performer on channel 13, but as stated above, I do not have enough VHF high channels in my area to give it any type of difficult test. I did receive channel 13 at almost 70 miles out with the antenna at 20 feet with no problem at all.
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#8
Hey FOX I would be willing to test it for you out here. :D

We have 7,8,11,13 and I have received a sliver of 10 (WTNH) from time to time.
 

JoeM

DTVUSA Member
#9
It's not a repeat, Joe, so no apology is necessary. Speaking very generally, deep valleys are tough places for DTV, and the C5 you mentioned in the OP is best described as a medium-gain antenna. To have any chance at consistent reception, one frequently needs two separate, high-gain antennas -- the first for VHF (channels 2-13 or 7-13, depending on market), and another for UHF (channels 14-52); a low-noise antenna pre-amplifier; and as much height above ground as is possible, both practically and financially.

We'd be happy to provide advice, but we'd need a location-specific TVFool report to offer anything more than very general suggestions. (These reports never include specific address information to protect privacy.)
Hi Don, thanks again for the help. Here's the link to the report that was generated when I put through the exact address and such.

TV Fool
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#10
The C5's unique, less obtrusive form factor (a classy way of saying, "it's not as ugly as a traditional Yagi") makes it attractive to a lot of people.
Ok, you know well Don, I just have to jump in and say I can't figure for the life of me how the human eye sees the difference in one antenna design over another as pretty or ugly. Then again I am one of those types that thinks a huge array of long boom yagis are a work of art! :) :mad:)
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#11
I have tested a C5 courtesy of Antennas Direct, but my problem is that I only have one channel in my area (13) in the VHF range of the antenna, and I was able to pick it up everywhere I tried it during extreme signal strength tests done for my employer last year. This antenna has the advantage over other designs of being light weight, and has very little wind loading due to its compact design when compared to conventional VHF high designs.

The backplane reflector type of antenna has proven its signal gain and multi path rejection characteristics time and time again on different bands for many years. It is a difficult design to incorporate into a VHF antenna due to the wave length of the high VHF channels, and it seems to me that the C5 is a very good choice if you have channels in its receive range that you need a dedicated VHF high antenna to receive. The C5 is a great performer on channel 13, but as stated above, I do not have enough VHF high channels in my area to give it any type of difficult test. I did receive channel 13 at almost 70 miles out with the antenna at 20 feet with no problem at all.
I think better reflectors will sooner or later become more and more important to antenna manufactures. My biggest problem on VHF is not only do I need a lot of gain, but more so front to back rejection. When I point at Jacksonville (as I have stated a bunch), Tampa stations love to come in from the rear during even modest tropo skip conditions. What I need to try to do to my YA1713s is the same type of reflector scheme someone posted here he had done to an Y10-7-13, with multiple reflector elements stacked vertically above and below the factory reflector. I would guess the two antennas are so similar his dimensions might be "close enough" to work on a YA1713.

Also wondering always hearing the C5 has less wind loading, does anyone know the actually square footage of its wind load? And I wonder which conventional yagi design would be fair to compare it against. A loop in front of a reflector has about the same gain as a 3 element yagi, maybe 4. I know that probably doesn't compare on front to back rejection, but I think we could only compare to a yagi of the same gain, since none I know are made for TV with reflector elements added above and below the plane of the antenna. (though Cushcraft 30 years ago did sell 2 meter ham radio yagi with reflectors above and below the plane of the other elements. I owned one and it had a DEEP rear null. )
 

Don_M

DTVUSA Member
#12
Numbers like that suggest it's a very deep valley, indeed. The signal-strength numbers are just strong enough that the combination antenna suggested below should do the job... but it may not matter since the separate antennas mentioned next would be a bit less expensive than the single combo -- maybe $30 or so.

In making these suggestions, I'm assuming your pal just needs to pull down the Rochester stations reliably. Consistent reception of signals from Syracuse would likely be quite a bit more challenging on average; going for both markets means installing a rotor, which will add more than $100 to the cost.

Combination antenna: Winegard HD-7698P

Separate antennas:
VHF: AntennaCraft Y10-7-13, or Winegard YA-1713
UHF: Winegard HD-8800

Pre-amplifier: Channel Master Titan 7777, for low noise plus separate antenna inputs for VHF and UHF signals (it can be used with a single, all-channel antenna as well)

Cost of acquiring this equipment online, plus tripod or chimney mount, mast, coaxial cable, grounding equipment and sundries, would be $300 - $450, contractor installation not included.

Please note the mention of grounding equipment: This is the most important part of an outdoor installation. Without it, the antenna is a great big lightning rod whose only route to ground is through the coax downlead! See "Grounding outdoor antennas" about three-quarters of the way down this page for a primer on doing this the right way.
 
#13
And I wonder which conventional yagi design would be fair to compare it against.
I'd suggest it's just a tiny (maybe 1 dB difference) bit lower than the 5-element AntennaCraft or the 6-element Winegard in terms of net gain.

I've had the chance to play with one a considerable amount although I don't have a competing antenna to compare it to. Compounding that, I only have one local VHF station, a low power analog on RF-7. I've currently got it in my garage hooked up to my 30-year old Pioneer receiver as an FM antenna. I've also found it does a fair job on UHF, roughly approximating an omni on those frequencies.

Last summer, I caught a morning with a fair amount of tropo and was able to get KOMU-8 (Columbia, MO), KRCG-12 (Jeff City), KOLR-10 (Springfield, MO), and WSIU-8 Carbondale, IL just by rotating the antenna. This was from a site about 20 miles west of St Louis along I-44 with the antenna only 10' AGL. Bit of a rare occurrence for this neck of the woods...
 

re_nelson

DTVUSA Member
#14
Has anyone out there had a chance to use this? It seems to be a good product for boosting VHS band reception. Anyone know if there are any downsides to this item?
I'm using a C5 in combo with a 91XG through a CM-7777 preamp with excellent results. The C5 sits on an attic floor of a single story home located 40 miles north of the Cedar Hill (Dallas) antenna farm and 61 miles south of Madill (KXII), OK.

With the C5, I get a total of 4 high-VHF facilities on channels 8, 9, 11 and 12. Most remarkably, KXII (RF-12) comes in well on the backside since the frontmost loop is aimed at 196 degrees and KXII is at 359 degrees. On the ATSC tuner, all three Dallas-Ft. Worth facilities (WFAA/8, KFWD/9 and KTVT/11) read full scale. The out-of-market Sherman-Denison-Ada station (KXII) is an invariant 77% modulo tropo-induced QRM.

Here's the obligatory TV Fool analysis for my site (with the caveat that KTVT on RF-11 no longer appears in the database but is indeed still on the air):

TV Fool
 
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