CM4149 - EA DTV2B - CS2 - RS Budget Antennas

Piggie

Super Moderator
#1
A couple of antennas I have seen that work well indoors.

One surprisingly is the Radio Shack Budget Antenna.
Most RS antennas IMHO are to be avoided bar two, and this one is good.
Rabbit Ear with a loop.

Another one is an old Radio Shack design (designed for them, they never designed anything) now built again by Channel Master.
Originally it was sold by Radio Shack as the RS 15-623.


Channel Master 4149
Channel Master 4149 Indoor UHF HD Antenna Digital Bow Tie TV Aerial CM4149 Allegro Local Signal Television Reception, Gold Reflector Screen with Balun Transformer, Part # CM4149: Oak Entertainment Centers and Home Office Furniture, TV Antennas, Audio

Two very important notes.

1) This is a UHF antenna. Many stations that are even digital now are on UHF but will go back to VHF on June 13th. So check TVFool.com to see what happens in your town after transition.

2) This antenna can be greatly improved with a simple mod. Take a drill and drill out the rivets that hold on the twin lead. Take two bolts and nuts better with washers and attache the balun directy to the antenna. Then just run coax to your TV or CECB.

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To me this second one is the ultimate test antenna


It has no amp, so it can't overload if you are too close to a tower. I might just work the way it is. Or you can see how close you come to pulling in a channel. Unless you live in a trailer or building with metal walls, pretty much if you are going to pull in a signal on a local station with a big outdoor antenna, you will at least see it on this thing.
Budget TV Antenna - RadioShack.com
Buy an extra 5 to 10 ft of RG6 coax and a female to female barrel so you can add some cable to it. This way you can try by different windows and more places in the room for reception. More than one person I know has replaced their $70 amplified fancy indoor antenna with this and seen higher signals because they were too close to the towers to need an amp.

If it's not what you need, return it!

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Another good one is the Eagle Aspen 2 bay, but it doesn't have anyway to make it stand up. So you would need to build a stand. It will out perform 4149 above and if you dont like it inside try it outside.

But warned this is UHF only and will not work very well at all for VHF. A lot of stations will be going back to VHF on June 13th that now are on UHF for their digital transmission.

Eagle Aspen DTV2BUHF DIRECTV 2 Bay UHF Antenna Digital HDTV


Eagle Aspen DTV2BUHF DIRECTV 2 Bay UHF Antenna Digital HDTV Terrestrial Bowtie Outdoor Roof Top Local Signal Bow Tie Aerial, RED ZONE, Part # DTV2B-UHF: Oak Entertainment Centers and Home Office Furniture, TV Antennas, Audio/Video, Satellite, Cable,

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One last antenna that to me is way over priced, doesn't have a stand as it's sold as an outdoor antenna but doesn't work that well outside. It's UHF only.

It want an outdoor antenna, this is a very very poor choice. With that money you can buy something many times better, including VHF reception.

ClearStream2

Antennas Direct C2 ClearStream2 Outdoor Digital HD TV Antenna (C2) | C2 [Antennas Direct]

It's one saving grace is there are no whiskers that could hurt kids or adults. But then again neither does the CM 4149.

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I can't stress enough, unless you live well within the contour of your local stations there is no substitute for putting up an outdoor antenna.
 
Last edited:

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#2
A couple of antennas I have seen that work well indoors.

One surprisingly is the Radio Shack Budget Antenna.
Most RS antennas IMHO are to be avoided bar two, and this one is good.
Rabbit Ear with a loop.

Another one is an old Radio Shack design (designed for them, they never designed anything) now built again by Channel Master.


Channel Master 4149
Channel Master 4149 Indoor UHF HD Antenna Digital Bow Tie TV Aerial CM4149 Allegro Local Signal Television Reception, Gold Reflector Screen with Balun Transformer, Part # CM4149: Oak Entertainment Centers and Home Office Furniture, TV Antennas, Audio

Two very important notes.

1) This is a UHF antenna. Many stations that are even digital now are on UHF but will go back to VHF on June 13th. So check TVFool.com to see what happens in your town after transition.

2) This antenna can be greatly improved with a simple mod. Take a drill and drill out the rivets that hold on the twin lead. Take two bolts and nuts better with washers and attache the balun directy to the antenna. Then just run coax to your TV or CECB.
That's the one that Tim58HSV has talked about too I think...can't find the post. It's not designed for VHF but it'll still pick up those signals if their within 10-15 miles won't it?
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#4
That's the one that Tim58HSV has talked about too I think...can't find the post. It's not designed for VHF but it'll still pick up those signals if their within 10-15 miles won't it?
Depends on terrain, transmit antenna height, transmit power, construction materials of the dwelling, and channel (meaning low or high band VHF).

If forced to a yes or no answer, I would be safe and say no, it won't. It does seem to work better than a loop on the mid to upper channels. Note that the length of the elements are shorter than most whisker type antennas. If most of my channels were in the low 20's and teens (UHF), and my readings were less than 50 NM (db) [a scale Andy Lee uses on his TVFool.com website] I would try it but also try the Radio Shack Budget Antenna.

One or more of the rabbit ears with loop unamplified cheapies you can remove the UHF loop to give you just rabbit ears. Just rabbit ears are hard to find.

This CM 4149 might work well if combined with just rabbit ears for VHF, then sent into a UVSJ (UHF/VHF Splitter/Joiner) then feed to the receiver. One of the best one's on the market is the Pico Macom UVSJ. Even with shipping it's less than $10. Pico Macom UVSJ UHF VHF Band Separator/Combiner for Antenna (UVSJ) | UVSJ [Pico Macom]

I don't know any one doing it with that antenna, but several have done it with a Sliver Sensor combined with Rabbit Ears.

One thing to be aware of is you can be fooled by receiving UHF indoors and assume VHF will be just as easy. If you go to TVFool and your NM numbers are 50 or more, you can probably use indoor antennas, putting in 3 ft for elevation. However I have seen people in mobile homes that had no trouble with UHF, but could not receive a VHF station that was rated at 53 NM for their location. Radio waves won't penetrate metal walls. UHF will "sneak" in through windows and often very well. Windows are too small of an aperture in the metal wall to transverse the window to the inside of the house.

Metal studs used in a lot of apt and modern construction are just as bad on killing indoor signals. A metal roof will seal the case.

My cell phone went from 3 bars to 1 maybe when I put a metal roof on my mobile home that has metal walls outside.
 

Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#5
That's the one that Tim58HSV has talked about too I think...can't find the post. It's not designed for VHF but it'll still pick up those signals if their within 10-15 miles won't it?
From my experience, that's the king of indoor antennas. Put it up to in an attic at 20'-25' and it can pick up 2 edge UHF signals (2 edge according to tvfool) from 40 to 55 miles away.
It also picked up WCPO ch. 9 for a couple of weeks (WCPO broadcast their dtv signal on the ch. 10 frequency but they have since cut their power back down again) and that station's over 40 miles away.

Under the same circumstances, the Antenna Craft U-4000 is a bit better but not by much.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#6
From my experience, that's the king of indoor antennas. Put it up to in an attic at 20'-25' and it can pick up 2 edge UHF signals (2 edge according to tvfool) from 40 to 55 miles away.
It also picked up WCPO ch. 9 for a couple of weeks (WCPO broadcast their dtv signal on the ch. 10 frequency but they have since cut their power back down again) and that station's over 40 miles away.

Under the same circumstances, the Antenna Craft U-4000 is a bit better but not by much.
Better than I would expect from that antenna, that is great! Attics can be weird. Typically they reduce signals by 3 to 10 db, but then sometimes you will find a hot spot, or a hill on the 2 edge at the right distance for knife edge that hits right in your attic at 25 ft. Either way , don't fix what is working.

The U-4000 probably only has 3 to 5 db better gain. I don't know the real gain of a U-4000, only what the AntennaCraft says.

What would be really interesting to me is compare the CM 4149 to an Eagle Aspen 2 bay. In theory the Eagle Aspen should win, by just a hair. I would love to know the results of that. Since they are about the same price. But the CM 4149 has a stand, no whiskers to poke out an eye, which says a lot.

Some people that have lower UHF channels have fashioned aluminum foil to the ends of the bowties maintaining the same shape, so they are about an inch longer.

Most important, did you take off the twin lead and hook your balun directly to the antenna?
 

Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#7
Better than I would expect from that antenna, that is great! Attics can be weird. Typically they reduce signals by 3 to 10 db, but then sometimes you will find a hot spot, or a hill on the 2 edge at the right distance for knife edge that hits right in your attic at 25 ft. Either way , don't fix what is working.

The U-4000 probably only has 3 to 5 db better gain. I don't know the real gain of a U-4000, only what the AntennaCraft says.
The 2-bay sits unused on the top of the basement landing since the two Antenna Craft 4-bays work better in the attic. Gotta' say the 3 to 5 db gain for them sounds right. They're an improvement but not by much.

What would be really interesting to me is compare the CM 4149 to an Eagle Aspen 2 bay. In theory the Eagle Aspen should win, by just a hair. I would love to know the results of that. Since they are about the same price. But the CM 4149 has a stand, no whiskers to poke out an eye, which says a lot.
I've read reviews that said the Eagle Aspen is better too. It makes me wonder.

Most important, did you take off the twin lead and hook your balun directly to the antenna?
Oh yea. :)
I cut the U fittings off the end of the balun and soldered it's wires directly to the rivets on the 4149 antenna.
 
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