Need help choosing/ setting up antenna in rural town

onwisconsin

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
First post.
Was wondering if anyone could guide me with a new (from scratch) antenna set up.

[HR][/HR]
What is your primary objective (check the line applicable) :
I don’t want to spend much, just want a few Local Stations:___.
I want as many as I can reasonably get: X (but cost is still an object).
I want the best system I can, to replace my Cable/Satellite Service:___.
I want to get EVERYTHING I can, cost is NO object:___.

Main Assembly:
What kind of Terrestrial Antenna do you presently have:
(Make/Model/None): small set top bunny ear-UHF loop combo.

Is the Antenna to be/or installed:
On top of your TV (same Room), Attic, Rooftop or Pole: Pole .

If in Attic, Roof or outside separate Mast/Pole:
How high above ground is your Antenna installed/proposed:
. 20 ish ft.

Do you have an Antenna Rotator:
(Make/Model/None): No.

Are you presently using a Pre-Amplifier:
(Make/Model/None): No.

Interior:

How many TV sets will be/are presently being used, on this system:
3-4.

Additional Information:
Are you/do you plan to integrate Cable or Satellite Services with this system:
Yes/No No.

Is there anything else you would like to provide concerning construction, obstructions or geographical issues? The location is moderately hilly. Avoiding roof or attic mounting is also a main goal, but open to pole mounting.

Do you have a current Chart for the Free Local TV Channels in your Area? - Sure: http://www.tvfool.com/modeling/tmp/e1c6/f9b/59e705d/Radar-All.png
[HR][/HR]
I am currently able to receive WEUX (FOX) and WHWC (PBS) with the bunny ear combo. The local cable provider doesn't offer any sort of local channel only package so it would be nice to receive something other then FOX/ PBS.

Pulling in a channel (or more) from the Twin Cities (KARE, WCCO, KSTP, KMSP, etc.) would be considered a major success with this project.

P.S. The house was set up for cable when it was built and has no existing outdoor reception equipment.

Any antenna selection and set up help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
 
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#2
Here's the real Fool Report link: TV Fool

:welcome: fellow Wisconsonite,

Please redo your TV Fool Report with an antenna height of 20'. It could make a difference. Copy the link right under "If you would like to share these results with others, this page can be referenced as:". This works better, cause there are links to the terrain maps, which could be important in your case. (No links in a .png file. :( )

You have a pretty tough situation, but I notice PBS, Fox and ABC are duplicated at 291 degrees magnetic, so you might be able to get by with one, strong UHF/hi-VHF antenna. Main question becomes: can you aim the outdoor antenna at 291 degrees? And, Are there any other obstacles nearby, like trees or buildings in that direction? If you can get a clear path in that direction, there's a fair chance you can get ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS, CW, MyN and ION, which is a pretty nice lineup!

If you also need to keep the three stations from the north and northeast, then I see two antennas in your future.

Rick
 

onwisconsin

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#3
Thanks for the response.
Here is the real link: TV Fool
EDIT
I should add back in the day other people in my neighborhood used get WCCO (CBS), KARE (NBC), and KMSP (FOX) very clearly with little static.
 
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#4
Thanks. Just out of curiosity, you might want to try it at 30 feet as well. From the terrain maps, it really looks like the north and NE stations might get line-of-sight with more height. Unfortunately not so for Minneapolis. Frustrating -- so close, yet so far away.

I had some relatives that came from Chippewa Falls (now deceased). We used to razz them hicks "from the sticks." :rolleyes:

Rick
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#5
I am currently able to receive WEUX (FOX) and WHWC (PBS) with the bunny ear combo. The local cable provider doesn't offer any sort of local channel only package so it would be nice to receive something other then FOX/ PBS.
Who is your cable provider? I thought that cable providers were required by the FCC to offer such a basic package. Comcast offers one here - but it's $25 a month before fees and taxes, and it includes a few cable - only channels like History.
 
G

Guest

Guest
#7
TV Fool
The stations from the ENE are already receivable from my tiny indoor antenna, the main point of this endeavor would be to receive KARE (NBC) and WCCO (CBS). The two ABC (KSTP & WQOW) stations are take it or leave it situations.
 

onwisconsin

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#8
TV Fool
The stations from the NE are already receivable from my tiny indoor antenna, the main point of this endeavor would be to receive KARE (NBC) and WCCO (CBS). KSTP & WQOW are take it or leave it situations.
 
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#9
Thanks for the Fool reports. The extra 15' didn't make as much difference as I hoped, so it's debatable whether it's worth the effort and hazards to go that high.

The stations from the NE are already receivable from my tiny indoor antenna,
See, those are from a different direction so you can't do them with the same antenna. Combining two antennas will require an A/B switch or a second tuner, so I recommend you start out with just the WNW stations, then add your tiny indoor later if desired.

the main point of this endeavor would be to receive KARE (NBC) and WCCO (CBS). KSTP & WQOW are take it or leave it situations.
I would go with a Winegard HD7697P mounted as high as possible on that pole. It's an 11 foot antenna, so it's a pretty big project. There are smaller alternatives, but I don't think they can give you the gain needed plus a little cushion for bad weather.

Alternatives are anything from the HD769XP line, or an AntennaCraft HBU44 or HBU55, or the Stellar Labs 30-2440. But I''d go with the HD7697P. It has to be grounded and pointed at 299 degrees magnetic. If you plan to split to more than one receiver, you'll probably need a pre-amplifier. If not, I wouldn't amplify, since that's the first thing likely to break in a storm.

Winegard HD7697 High Definition VHF/UHF Series TV Antenna (HD7697P) from Solid Signal

Don't worry about the 50 mile range quoted -- they just want you to look at something even bigger and pri$ier. The important thing is the gain figures for that antenna match what the Fool Report says you need.

Now, I want to be clear: If there's a forest or a big building in the way, that puts the kibosh on this whole idea. You're already dealing with 2 edge signals, so you can't deal with any more refraction. In fact, it would be a good idea to get someone out there with a signal meter to take some readings, before you start climbing any poles.

Please wait a couple days for more feedback. I'm not an expert on tough outdoor installations like this, and the pros might have valuable ideas to contribute.

Rick
 
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MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#10
I only gave it a quick look, but it looks like you may get Fox 9 and PBS 23 from the NW along with the major networks with a large UHF/VHF combo antenna, so I would try it first. Then if you have problems with fox, pbs, or abc you can add a second small antenna pointed NNE.
 

onwisconsin

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#11
Just an update: I recently purchased an HBU-55 which I placed on a 15 ft metal conduit pole in the backyard. Using that and the RCA TVPRAMP1R preamplifier, I was able to pull in WEAU (rf 38) very clearly and the rest of the Eau Claire stations as well (WHWC, WEUX, and WQOW). WHWC is stable no matter what direction the antenna is facing, WQOW is almost the same way as well.

KMSP and KARE (both hi-VHF) are the only Twin Cities stations that come in at all and no CBS is receivable whatsoever in the current (temporary) location, however.

Question does anyone have some suggestions for catching CBS programming with the HBU-55?

Updated tv fool: TV Fool
 

Antennafreak

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#12
Are you able to pick up wcco at all with the hbu-55 15 feet up pointed at 298? Wcco is a max power uhf channel with good HAAT. so if that isn't coming in then that's weird. If leaving it pointed at 298 isn't best for you, maybe a rotor would work for you to change its directions???
 
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#13
I don't think it's weird at all to have difficulty receiving a 2Edge signal that has a NM of-1.5 at your location. You have chosen one of the best single antenna amplifier combinations currently available. Antenna aiming and placement will be critical. Higher is normally better. You will need to experiment with antenna placement 2Edge signals can be tricky. The most convenient location for you may not be the location where a signal is found. No one here can tell you a guaranteed method to receive a CBS signal at your location. If you have trees or nearby buildings they can easily block such a low level signal. VHF signals do better than UHF when there are trees and hills involved.
Steve
 

Antennafreak

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#14
True, it's not that strange. I just ment how Kmsp and Kare from 298 come in fine at lower power on vhf vs higher power uhf wcco. I might think the antenna uhf section isn't as good. More height should help I would guess. If not the antennas uhf gain isn't enough.
 

onwisconsin

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#16
Update II: Just did a midday rescan using an old yard sale DigitalStream CECB and it picked up KSTP's (rf 35) PSIP info but no a/v.

CBS is still a no go, but with today's (10-16) CBS All-Access launch it may not be as pressing as before. WCCO is viewable on that platform at my location (but the video quality is shaky).
 
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onwisconsin

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#17
UPDATE II 1/2: I should also note that WEAU (rf 38) comes in at 70+% on the TV's signal meter. This signal is being caught through multiple trees and a over neighbor's roof! (Never mind the tree covered 800ft bluff in the distance.) TVFool shows real 38 as having a -19 NM with a very weak signal.
 
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MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#18
My first suggestion is to move the antenna around - up/down, and N/S/E/W to try to find a "sweet spot" for CBS. It sounds counter-intuitive, but often lowering an antenna can actually improve reception when dealing with edge signals.
Failing that, a fringe UHF antenna on a separate cable with an "A/B" switch may work for you.

I've looked into the CBS offering. Right now it's only available on tablets and computers. Apps for set-top boxes will be realesed, but there is no timetable. Given that it's $6 a month, spending up to $100 to get CBS OTA has a payback time of about a year and a half. $6 a month doesn't seem like a lot, but over 10 years it's over $700! I would be looking to find an Antennacraft MXU59 or Antennas Direct 91xg from a source that would allow an easy return, and give it a shot. If it doesn't work, you've lost nothing but your time.
 
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onwisconsin

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#19
Thanks for the advice! While I wouldn't mind adding another one, the others living in the house would roast me over an open fire if I dared to bring home/ order another antenna.

UPDATE III: So I moved the HBU-55 up another foot or so and... WKBT- CBS (rf 8) was found using the yard sale special CECB. It is not stable and breaks up constantly but it gives me hope and something of a starting point. :)

Also, KARE (rf 11) is occasionally coming in off of the back end.
 
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MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#20
By "the others living in the house", I assume you are referring to one significant other who is concerned about the appearance of the home. Yea, we get that, it happens a lot. I fixed that problem by treating the aesthetic objector to several months worth of the money we had saved by not having to pay for TV. That may not work for you, but...

If possible, try a few more different locations for your antenna. There is also the possibility that you could get CBS with a second antenna in a discrete location - lower on the roof, in the back of the house, etc, possibly even in the attic.
 
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