old antenna giant tower

#1
we just bought a lake house. I don't want to pay for cable since we don't watch much tv there, but we do want it occasionally. The house came with a 75' (yea, its the tallest thing around!) and an old antenna. We are located in Claypool IN (about 35 miles from South Bend and 38 from Ft. Wayne) The neighbors tell me the previous owners used to get Indy (90 miles) stations. Not sure I believe that.
Here's the problem. I can't get an ABC affilate station.
Here's my question...it's an ancient antenna but we put a signal booster on it. Are there better antennas out there. How far away should I be able to pick up channels given such a tall antenna?
One more question...Do I need to worry about it being a lightening rod?
Thanks
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#2
You have a simple solution at your lake house. I used downtown Claypool IN as a reference point. Your results may vary from that spot but things look pretty good over all.


TV Fool

Look in the column "PATH". Probably everything listed as LOS is possible.

WPTA appears to be the only ABC Affiliate you have in range. Evidently South Bend doesn't have an ABC but Fort Wayne does (WPTA).

Notice also there are two strong clusters of stations at 94 and 334 degrees. This is too big of a spread to pick without a rotor.

Currently there are no VHF stations in your area, but that doesn't mean in the next year or two there maybe one.

------

So if you want to replace the antenna this is what I would buy.

7696P or a 7698P antenna by Winegard
CM7777 preamp by Channel Master
It's a toss up what rotor is best, but some kind of heavy duty rotor.

Then for a ground rod.

Antenna Basics
Scroll down to "Grounding outdoor antennas" and it shows you the National Electrical code.

Any questions post back.
 
#4
Do you think I can just add that pre-amp without changing the antenna, that will do any good? I'm not even sure I can find someone to climb that thing to install a new antenna.
The old antenna looks like it has a rotor, but there is no control to move it. Seems like I should be able to get more stations.
BTW There is a South Bend ABC affilate, but they are such a low power station they will not be required to go digital. I used to get it, I may have to try another TV that has analog capabilites.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#5
Do you think I can just add that pre-amp without changing the antenna, that will do any good? I'm not even sure I can find someone to climb that thing to install a new antenna.
The old antenna looks like it has a rotor, but there is no control to move it. Seems like I should be able to get more stations.
BTW There is a South Bend ABC affilate, but they are such a low power station they will not be required to go digital. I used to get it, I may have to try another TV that has analog capabilites.
If the rotor is broken and not pointing at Fort Wayne could be why you don't get ABC.

Also adding an amp downstairs is not likely to help, but you can try something like a 10db amp at the bottom.

Another question, if the system now has an amp at the top there should be a part at the bottom that the coax plugs into then goes to the TV and has a power cord on it. If that is missing that would explain why you don't get more channels also.
 
#7
put then preamp below the antenna as close as possible, if you have to do that I would replace everything so you don't have to find someone to climb agian. my suggestion is this 91-xg antenna direct for UHF wineguard YA-1713 for VHF Channel Master 7777 pre amp to combine the two antennas . place the UHF 4ft over the Vhf place the pre map under the bottom antenna and run coax from both antennas to the preamp has separate inputs for each antenna then out put to house one run of quad shield coax. PLace the rotator inside the tower below the thrust bearing or the plates the mast will go through at the top this will keep the tork from wind off the rotator. channel master 9521a rotator recommended best I have used. this is how I would proceed antennas have a life span of about 10-15 years then they start to loose signal gathering capabilities from corrosion, bent elements etc.. all can be had from solidsignal.com
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#8
Yes, if you do get someone to climb up there, replace everything.

It often costs as much to get someone to climb as the hardware you replace.

If something as simple and inexpensive as a $5 balun fails, it can cost hundreds in labor to replace it later.
 
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