New here, help me select fringe setup

#1
Hello, been lurking here for a couple of days. I'm currently a cable user who's preparing to cut the cord finally and go HD OTA. I'm needing to consult with you gurus in regards to my needs.

Background:
New home, 2 story, but not conducive to having a tower close or antennas on the roof. Very steep roof pitch, with wrap around porches that would limit bracketed towers to roof height. Worthless.

So, I recently purchased an older HAM tower, a Taco/Wade DMX-56 free standing tower, which I intend to put at some distance away from the house. About 200 ft to my Northwest I have a bit of a hill, not much, but about 20 ft extra elevation from my house. My intention is to put the tower there and run cable in buried conduit to the house.

My TVfool plot is such :
TV Fool

As you can see, I have a couple of main groupings one at about 45 degrees in quadrant 1, and a few at around 300 degrees in quadrant 4.
A few of them are quite strong, and quite a few are weaker. I would like to pull in as many distant stations as possible. Some of my out of market stations are desirable as I used to live in these other areas and would like to recieve the old stations for news purposes.

The other factor complicating the setup is that I *HIGHLY* desire to NOT use a rotator, both for reliability reasons and because I record everything on DVR (mythtv) which would excessively complicate things. My intention is to just put a couple of tuner cards on each antenna output. I might try to put a single non-Dvr'd antenna on a rotator just for DXing purposes. So my initial thought was to do 4228HD's or similar attached to the tower in the general directions indicated by TV fool. Which may or may not work.

the other consideration is the approximately 300ft of RG6 to get to my server closet where the tuners are. To get any distant stations, I'd need a preamp, but the local channels would probably overwhelm the preamp.

Can you kind folks help me solidify my plan?

Thanks!
Mark
 
#2
Welcome aboard.

A few observations:

You may have to readjust your expectations. It is not reasonable to expect reception from all those directions without an significant increase in complexity or from using a rotor.

You could conceivably use multiple antennas pointing towards your primary station groupings with each having one or more tuners dedicated to it.

You will need an amp to push the signals down 300' of cable. You might even consider RG11 to minimize cable loss.

Those are the high points....
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#3
:welcome: 86........,

I wish I had your smorgasbord of OTA channels available to receive here. ProjectSHO89 is spot-on about using the lowest-loss coaxial cable for your (additional) 200+ foot run (certainly not RG-59) and I suggest you reconcider using an antenna rotor, but you wrote you want to use multiple antennas: antenna combiners and antenna switches follow that choice.

On the other hand, if you used a rotor turning a Kosmic SuperQuad or an old-version CM-4228 you might receive a plethora of channels without hardly even trying ... but you would have to stay on top of where your antennas are pointing: I get your point ...

My concern is you have both VERY strong stations AND low strength stations and IF you try to use an amplifier to push their signals down the coax, the strong ones may be amplified TOoo much ... resulting in front end overload and no picture. Low power channels may be fine (Either with or without amplification).

This is interesting and I hope you keep us posted how you resolve your unique situ.

Jim
 
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#4
Thanks for the welcome!
To be clear, I am talking about multiple antennas, but NOT combining them. They would all have discrete leads and lead to tuner cards in my dvr, and the dvr would know that to record a specific channel, record ONLY on a specific tuner. My setup can easily do this. What I can't reliably do, is put a single antenna on a rotor, and both have to computer control the direction, and have to make sure that stations taping at the same time are in the same direction, or defer taping until they are. My setup cannot easily do that. I think what I need is to find a preamp that is very tolerant of overloading, and concentrate on narrow band antennas tuned off axis to the strong ones. My very strong ones are all grouped closely, so that helps. I'd particularly like to pickup detroit stations which are about 80 miles away, and off axis from the strong ones a bit. Are there antennas which fit that criteria? Also, what's the common wisdom regarding antenna spacing when there's no interconnection?
Thanks again!
 
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