Newbie looking for antenna set up

poolecw

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
Hi guys, I've lurked on these boards for quiet some time but this is my first post. I'm looking through DISH to the curb and plan on using a combo of Roku and antenna for local channels. I'm in north west GA but am close to Chattanooga. I'll put a link to my TV fool report below. I currently have a Clearstream 2V Long range antenna (from Best Buy) mounted in the attic. I get decent reception with a couple of stations out of Chattanooga. However, I can't seem to pick up all of them. I would like to get a better antenna to mount in the attic. However, I'm not afraid to go to the roof if need be.

TV Fool

If I can pick up the following, I would be satisfied. With the current Clearstream antenna, I can pick up WDEF and WRCB. It doesn't make sence because the TV fool report shows all of these at near the same distance and direction.

WDEF CBS VHF HI
WTVC ABC VHF HI
WRCB NBC VHF HI
WSDI FOX UHF

Thanks guys!
 

poolecw

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#3
Ok, my wires were crossed on a couple of things...the antenna that I have currently is the Clearstream 2 not the V2. It appears that I can only pick up channels in the UHF bands....which makes sense b/c the Clearstream 2 is only UHF.

So I guess my revised question would be should I get the Clearstream V2 which is VHF/UHF at a price of $85 or are there better choices for this price or less? The Lava HD-2605 looks nice and can be had for $50. It even comes with a motor and remote.

Thanks!
 
#4
You can add the VHF reflector kit to the CS2 for $20.
Antennas Direct | Antenna Accessories
Probably won't solve all of your problems, but would be a big step in the right direction. The Lava antenna would be big step backward.
Getting the antenna outside would be a big help. Trying different locations in the attic might work after you add the VHF assembly. On trying a different antenna I would suggest.
Winegard HD 7694P High Definition VHF/UHF HD769 Series TV Antenna (HD7694P) from Solid Signal, or Stellar Labs VHF/UHF HDTV 60 Mile Fringe Yagi Antenna | 30-2440 (302440) | Stellar Labs
Steve
 
#5
The Lava HD-2605 looks nice and can be had for $50. It even comes with a motor and remote.
Did you see the reviews on Amazon for that turkey? Well, deserved, BTW. Amazon.com: Lava HD-2605 UHF/VHF HDTV Antenna with Remote Control: Home Improvement ... "Will not last long in a wind storm that poorly made." ... "No way to know what direction it is pointing, or even what direction it's moving." ... "It's made of cheap plastic and very thin aluminum to let you know."

Actually, we have a ways to go before we would recommend an amplifier or a rotor for you. Most of the time they don't make sense for people. An amplifier often does more harm than good. And those inscrutable Chinese won't provide any noise figures for their miracurous Lava amps. :eyes:

The wild card in your situation is the attic. We can never know what's in your roof or walls blocking signal. So I'd take Steve's suggestions one by one, from the cheapest to most expensive, and check in with us at each stage to see what's what. Worse comes to worst, you might have to go up on the roof, but one way or another, I see a bang up lineup in your future.

Rick
 

poolecw

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#6
Thanks guys. I appreciate the opinions. I think that the best plan of action for me is to get the VHF assembly and add it to my current CS 2. I think this makes sense b/c the only channel I can get at the moment is a UHF channel. This UHF station is at near the same distance and direction as the VHF stations out of Chattanooga.

If this doesn't work, then I will head to the roof. By the way, I don't have much in the attic...hot water heater and an air handler. I have asphalt shingles and closed cell spray foam insluation incapsulating the attic.

I can't read much into the Terrain maps of the TV Fool report. Can you guys see if this may be a potential issue to be able to reach the stations due north of me and at around 30 miles? These are the Chattanooga stations.
 
#7
I don't have much in the attic...hot water heater and an air handler. I have asphalt shingles and closed cell spray foam insluation incapsulating the attic.
The shingles are definitely a red flag. Before I thought you were getting several UHF stations, but now you say only one?

I can't read much into the Terrain maps of the TV Fool report. Can you guys see if this may be a potential issue to be able to reach the stations due north of me and at around 30 miles? These are the Chattanooga stations.
The Fool Report says you should be getting at least 6 UHF stations (=s about 15 channels and subchannels) with any halfway decent antenna. And with the C2, you should get 8 or more UHF stations, after some careful pointing. If you only get one consistently, and lacking a thick forest or buildings on your north side, I'd blame the shingles. It's a common problem.

Still might be worthwhile to try a few different positions in your attic. There might be a path for the RF waves to dodge the shingles. The good news is the C2-V is still a logical choice for you, even on the roof. It has a nice wide beam width to help catch WELF, which is plenty strong, but would be in a null for a directional Yagi pointed at 0 magnetic.

With the VHF attahcment, TV Fool thinks you should be swimming in signals -- the first 10 stations (circa 25 channels) are all LOS (line-of sight) and in easy reach of the C2-V (why would you want a rotor?). Of course, TV Fool doesn't know about any shingles! It just knows terrain, nothing man-made.

Rick
 

poolecw

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#8
Sorry about the conflicting stories. I'm out of town for mother's day and I'm going by memory. I installed the antenna several months ago and haven't messed with it in a while.

I do have a thick forrest behind the house to the north that has a steady upslope.

I will report back once I get the VHF assembly in and installed. I ordered it last night so I should be GTG by the weekend.

Thanks,

The shingles are definitely a red flag. Before I thought you were getting several UHF stations, but now you say only one?



The Fool Report says you should be getting at least 6 UHF stations (=s about 15 channels and subchannels) with any halfway decent antenna. And with the C2, you should get 8 or more UHF stations, after some careful pointing. If you only get one consistently, and lacking a thick forest or buildings on your north side, I'd blame the shingles. It's a common problem.

Still might be worthwhile to try a few different positions in your attic. There might be a path for the RF waves to dodge the shingles. The good news is the C2-V is still a logical choice for you, even on the roof. It has a nice wide beam width to help catch WELF, which is plenty strong, but would be in a null for a directional Yagi pointed at 0 magnetic.

With the VHF attahcment, TV Fool thinks you should be swimming in signals -- the first 10 stations (circa 25 channels) are all LOS (line-of sight) and in easy reach of the C2-V (why would you want a rotor?). Of course, TV Fool doesn't know about any shingles! It just knows terrain, nothing man-made.

Rick
 
#9
I do have a thick forrest behind the house to the north that has a steady upslope.
Between the attic location and these two newly revealed factors, I can pretty much tell you that anything we tell you will far short of a SWAG.

While TVFool can estimate signal power for the area, it cannot calculate (or even guess) as to the attenuation factor of the attic, the closeness to the down-slope of your hill, and worst of all the often deleterious effects of the tree cover which is usually most severe on UHF.

Do get the VHF kit installed on the C2, it will offer something of a hope for the channels operating on 9, 12, & 13.
 
#10
While TVFool can estimate signal power for the area, it cannot calculate (or even guess) as to the attenuation factor of the attic,
Check.

the closeness to the down-slope of your hill,
What? Surely, that's what the terrain model is supposed to do. If you input exact coordinates for the antenna, the Fool Report should have something better than a SWAG for distance to that hill, right?

and worst of all the often deleterious effects of the tree cover which is usually most severe on UHF.
Check. And that depends on the height of those trees in relation to the transmitters. SOSO -- line-of-sight.

Do get the VHF kit installed on the C2, it will offer something of a hope for the channels operating on 9, 12, & 13.
I think there's plenty of room for hope. We know he gets at least ONE station through the shingles and past the trees. If he gets the C2-V up on the rood, I'd give him a better than 50/50 shot at those 10 green stations at 0 magnetic. If I could see the forest from here in Wisconsin, that would improve my SWAG (and my swagger).

Rick
 
#11
What? Surely, that's what the terrain model is supposed to do. If you input exact coordinates for the antenna, the Fool Report should have something better than a SWAG for distance to that hill, right?
The terrain model has resolution limitations that, when working with 1) rapidly changing terrain or 2) changing small increments of elevation when in the zone of #1, make it inaccurate when working within those zones.

The STRM database uses 3 arc-second resolution which has the practical effect of averaging a 90m by 90m square of terrain into a single elevation data point for use in the LRI path profile calculation. If your coordinates are within 90 meters of the back side of the hill, that hill and your location might be either in adjacent cells or might be within the same one, both of which will be an average of that particular cell's boundaries. In either situation, the Friis equations' result won't be anywhere accurate enough for certainty in one's estimates.

If one as to look up from the mounting location, that usually means that the signal must bend or diffract over the obstacle in order to reach the antenna location. If one is too close to the back side of the terrain and is too low, the signal will not diffract fast enough and will leave a shadowed area in the area immediately behind the hill with the shadow diminishing the further one moves from the crest of the obstacle.
 
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#12
The STRM database uses 3 arc-second resolution which has the practical effect of averaging a 90m by 90m square of terrain into a single elevation data point for use in the LRI path profile calculation.
I think you are copying another expert's typo. The SRTM (note the spelling) database is published to a resolution of 1 arc-second in the U.S., or about 30 meters. That's only 100 feet -- less than one-fifth of a city block. Errors in the data are smaller than 30 meters (circular relative geolocation error of less than 15 m). From NASA's official SRTM support site http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/srtm/SRTM_paper.pdf

NASA said:
The SRTM objective
was to acquire a digital elevation model of all land between about 60° north latitude and 56° south
latitude, about 80 percent of Earth's land surface. In quantitative terms, the cartographic products
derived from the SRTM data were to be sampled over a grid of 1 arc-second by 1 arc-second
(approximately 30 m by 30 m), with linear vertical absolute height error of less than 16 m, linear vertical
relative height error of less than 10 m, circular absolute geolocation error of less than 20 m, and circular
relative geolocation error of less than 15 m. The relative height error of the X-band SRTM data was to
be less than 6 m. All quoted errors are at 90% confidence level, consistent with National Map Accuracy
Standards (NMAS). These specifications are similar to those of the 30 m DEMs produced by the US
Geological Survey as part of the National Elevation Dataset (NED; Gesch et al., 2002). NED was
produced by photogrammetric reduction of stereo air photographs yielding generally a representation of
the elevations of the ground surface even beneath vegetation canopies. As discussed later, the SRTM
radars were unable to sense the surface beneath vegetation canopies and so produced elevation
measurements from near the top of the canopies. [emphasis added]
So if OP's forest is thick, and the Fool reports LOS for exact coordinates, there's an excellent chance (better than a WAG) that it really is LOS.

According to Andy (Janitor at TVF), 3D visualization (using Google Earth) of OTA transmitting locations! - Page 4

Andy said:
My radar plots, on the other hand, are computed using the full resolution of the terrain data. [emphasis added]
Andy has stated the terrain maps are much less accurate (~1000 meters), but the signal analysis tool is "much more accurate."

A general article on the SRTM:
Shuttle Radar Topography Mission - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rick
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#13
Ok, my wires were crossed on a couple of things...the antenna that I have currently is the Clearstream 2 not the V2. It appears that I can only pick up channels in the UHF bands....which makes sense b/c the Clearstream 2 is only UHF.

So I guess my revised question would be should I get the Clearstream V2 which is VHF/UHF at a price of $85 or are there better choices for this price or less? The Lava HD-2605 looks nice and can be had for $50. It even comes with a motor and remote.

Thanks!
Now it makes sense! Order the VHF kit. And stay away from the LAVA antenna - cheap junk, if it does work it will fall apart within a year.
 

poolecw

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#14
Good grief guys. I need to be shot. I finally was able to get up to the attic and get the CS 2 hooked back up to a bedroom TV. I did the auto-search and I can get 12, 13, and 16. Signal strength was around 40% on most of them. The first two channels are hi VHF and 16 is UHF. I was surprised that I wasn't able to pick up 40. My ultimate goal would to be able to pick up channels 9, 12, 13, 40, and 42. The VHF kit should help with channel 9. I didn't have time to play with the direction, but I bet I can move it a little more north and pick up 40 and 42.

Thanks...and still waiting on the kit to come in.
 
#15
I finally was able to get up to the attic and get the CS 2 hooked back up to a bedroom TV. I did the auto-search and I can get 12, 13, and 16.
Just those three? I think your object should be to get 16, 42, 12, 9, 29, 13, 40, 44 and 18. I'll stop there mostly cause the direction changes, and I don't see much below that that looks interesting. Definitely play with directions, and it might be worthwhile to try something lower than the attic. (How low do the shingles go?)

Keep us posted!

R.
 

poolecw

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#16
Well there are sub channels that I get as well.

The antenna is located up against the back side of the roof. I may be able to relocate the antenna to point out a gable end rather than through the roof. If I do this, I could eliminate the shingles, but I don't think I will be able to point it any more north than around 340. Its worth playing with.
 
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