Question: Question About Using Large In Ground Pole Antenna for OTA

#1
Hello everyone,

I just cut the cord about three months ago with my local cable station after they raised my rates again. They promised it would only raise $20 for the next 12 months but it ended up being much more than that. Anyway, I have been doing Netflix since then and have been enjoying it but I miss current TV shows, getting the news and current events etc., so I would like to pull in OTA.

I was told about this product at work when someone suggested it: The Leaf Ultimate™ HDTV Antenna. And then I found this product which looked like it would be better: LAVA HD2605 Motorized Outdoor HDTV Antenna.

And then after thinking about it some more, I found this forum and registered and have been doing some reading and thought I would ask everyone about the antenna that I currently have on my property. I have no idea if it would work for my current situation or not, so that is probably my first question.

My grandfather had this house built over 25 years ago and he installed an in ground antenna that must be over 25-30+ feet tall I'm guessing. He was really into CB's and scanners and had quite a large setup here back in the day. It is wired into the house behind the drywall in both the living room upstairs and family room in the basement. It looks like the attachment is a little different than a regular cable attachment though. I may have attachments and cables to it boxed away in my garage but I'm not sure. If not, hopefully I will be able to find something to purchase at Radio Shack that will convert it to what I need.

I took some pictures of it later in the evening and will attach some of them to this forum post, so hopefully you will be able to see it well enough. I can take better pictures of it during the daytime and get specific areas/angles of it if anyone thinks it will help. (The pics are below. It would not let me load 2 of them but hopefully you will be able to see enough to be able to tell.) I'm wondering if anyone knows if I can use this type of antenna to bring TV signal in for my TVs?

I have always had cable and once had satellite for one year so I am a total newbie when it comes to OTA. I have never even been able or tried to bring in a signal before. I have one 42 inch LCD TV that should work and one older 37 inch console from 1994. I'm thinking that I will have to try to find a converter box somewhere to make it work with OTA. Converter boxes is something that I need to research/check into as well. I also have a 65 inch Mitsubishi projection TV bought in 2005, so I am hoping that I may be able to use it without a converter box.

To answer some of the questions needed for posting: At first, I'm hoping to not spend very much money to get it going but if I am successful, I would definitely be willing to make a larger investment 3-6 months down the road to get more stations/quality picture.

I'd like to use 2 TVs for right now that are probably about 30-40 feet away, hopefully using the current outlets in the rooms. I'm not sure if there is an amplifier installed on the system but haven't seen anything as of yet. I do not plan on using any cable services, definitely OTA for right now.

If I cannot use the big antenna that is installed right now, I was thinking that maybe I could purchase an outdoor antenna and mount it to the big antenna. Would that be a better option?

This forum is great and I am so glad to have found it. I appreciate any help and information anybody has to give. I'm interested in listening to anyone that has an opinion. Thank you!

Reg

Antenna7.jpg Antenna1.jpg Antenna2.jpg Antenna3.jpg Antenna4.jpg
 
#2
Hey Reg!

I just cut the cord about three months ago with my local cable station after they raised my rates again. They promised it would only raise $20 for the next 12 months but it ended up being much more than that
Sounds familiar. :ballchain:

Anyway, I have been doing Netflix since then and have been enjoying it [/B][/FONT][/COLOR][FONT=&]but I miss current TV shows, getting the news and current events etc., so I would like to pull in OTA.


That's what we're here for!

The Leaf Ultimate™ HDTV Antenna.
I'm not one of your top experts, but I think they will tend to steer you clear of that one, for outdoor use.

LAVA HD2605 Motorized Outdoor HDTV Antenna
Ew, no. Lava is a dirty word around here. :behindsofa: Don't be embarrassed. The antenna bidness is so shot through with hype and Bum Steers that your first three guesses are bound to be slightly whacked...

hopefully I will be able to find something to purchase at Radio Shack that will convert it to what I need.
Got half a dozen guys here rubbing their hands together right now.

The pics are below. It would not let me load 2 of them but hopefully you will be able to see enough to be able to tell.
I'm guessing it's just a per-post limit. I think the experts will want to see what, if anything, is perched on top of that lovely edifice.

I have one 42 inch LCD TV that should work and one older 37 inch console from 1994. I'm thinking that I will have to try to find a converter box somewhere to make it work with OTA.
Correct.

I also have a 65 inch Mitsubishi projection TV bought in 2005, so I am hoping that I may be able to use it without a converter box.
Hmmm, probably not. Digital transition was in 2009. Most TVs started going digital in '08.

I do not plan on using any cable services, definitely OTA for right now.
Good plan. :thumb:

If I cannot use the big antenna that is installed right now, I was thinking that maybe I could purchase an outdoor antenna and mount it to the big antenna. Would that be a better option?
Before we can make any recommendations, we'll need to see your TVFool report. Please go to this link: TV Fool and enter your complete address with antenna height of ?35? feet (just guessing). Press "Find Local Channels" then copy the link that appears toward top-of-page and paste it in a post to this thread. Your address is automatically blocked by TVF.

Good luck,
Rick
 

Jim5506

DTVUSA Member
#3
From your pictures all I see is the bottom of your tower, we need to see the antenna itself on the top of the tower.

It may be a CB or short wave antenna, but you might luck out and have a real TV antenna up there.

One red flag that I saw was the tower in the back ground. If that is an FM station you may have some harmonic interference from the FM antenna.
 
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#4
Hello,

Thank you both for your replies and help, Rickideemus and Jim5506!

Rickideemus - thank you for letting me know about Lava. I think before I buy anything or invest much money in this, I will definitely do some more reading on the forum etc. I would really like to try to get OTA to work for me as our local cable company has really screwed with everybody in our area. They have a horrible attitude and they know it. They just really don't care as they know there is no other option except for satellite dish. I've often said that someone should come in and give them some competition but for some reason it seems like there is a monopoly. I could go on and on about them but I am sure you have heard a lot of similar complaints about other companies : )

I ran the test for TV Fool. The first link is using my home address and the second one is using my coordinates.

TV Fool

TV Fool

That is a very large (huge) antenna that you see in the background Jim and there are a lot of cellular antennas or towers on it but I am not sure if it is used for FM radio but I will try to find out. I have seen lightning hit that antenna countless times and watch it crackle as it runs down the antenna to the ground. It seems that almost every major thunderstorm we have, you are bound to see lightning hit it if you watch long enough. I thought before this that it might be for AM radio. Either way it is very possible and one thing I might add is that my hardwired doorbell picks up a radio station and plays it really lightly. I usually don't hear it unless it's really quiet in the house or I am really close to the doorbell speaker. So, I am guessing that it is very possible that I am going to have trouble with TV reception/OTA.

I uploaded one other picture that I had that shows part of the top of the antenna and it's probably not enough to tell you what kind I have. I have been gone a lot lately during the daytime but hopefully I will be able to come home during the day tomorrow and then I will snap a picture of it in the afternoon and post it. Let me know if you have any other questions and I will respond as soon as possible. Thanks again for all your help!

Reg


Antenna5.jpg
 

Jim5506

DTVUSA Member
#5
That does not look like at TV antenna, elements are too long and not oriented correctly - probably is a short wave or similar antenna, would not work for TV.

BUT - That tower you have is an excellent resource for getting a real TV antenna way up there where it can find distant and weaker TV signals.

I would love to have that tower, looks like about 65 ft tall maybe more - is it leaning to the right or is that just lens distortion?
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#6
That does not look like at TV antenna, elements are too long and not oriented correctly - probably is a short wave or similar antenna, would not work for TV.

BUT - That tower you have is an excellent resource for getting a real TV antenna way up there where it can find distant and weaker TV signals.

I would love to have that tower, looks like about 65 ft tall maybe more - is it leaning to the right or is that just lens distortion?
I agree, anyone would like to have a Tower like that !

But, I don't see any Guy Wires (possibly picture quality) you MUST get that Tower secured as your project progresses !

Looking forward to seeing a clear picture of the existing Antenna !
 
#7
Hello Guys:

Sorry, I have been working some unexpected overtime and haven't had a day off for over 2+ weeks and so I have had trouble finding the time to get back on here. I should be able to get back on here in the next day or two.

I got home before it got dark today and snapped a couple pics that seem a little better than what I had. I am going to upload them tonight and then I will respond again soon. Any thoughts? Thanks again for the help!

Reg
 

Attachments

#8
I agree, anyone would like to have a Tower like that !

But, I don't see any Guy Wires (possibly picture quality) you MUST get that Tower secured as your project progresses !

Looking forward to seeing a clear picture of the existing Antenna !
Hello SWHouston: Thank you for the reply! I'm really new to OTA and this forum so I'm not sure what you mean by secured?

Maybe you meant that I should go forward with this project since I already have this antenna? I am sure it will need a little work as it is been out there for a while. However, my grandfather put it in the ground pretty good. He was one heck of a guy and really built my house well. I just wish he was still around to give me some pointers or help me with it. Thanks again and I'll check back in again soon.

Reg
 

SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#9
Reg,

You take all this at your speed, no pressure from any of us.

Your Tower looks very secure at it's base, but...
it's very tall, and you need to get some "Guy (support) Wires" on it. Those are metal wires which hold the middle and top of the tower (from three points) stable, when the wind gets up.

Here's what the Guy Wires should look like...
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#10
I arrived late to this thread, but in my opinion the "Leaning Tower of the RealEstateGuy" is number one priority to resolve. I think this tower has a (comparatively) small concrete base and either an earthquake or wind has changed this tower's original vertical orientation.

Local property zoning changes all the time, but existing structures are usually 'grandfathered-in' and that includes existing private antenna towers -- unless they are not maintained. They must be vertical and not lean, which suggests to everyone they are about to fall! IF they are tall enough to require aircraft warning lamps, those also MUST be maintained.

If it was my leaning tower or if it was my job to fix, I would establish three 'dead man' anchor points and use guy wires (and a winch) to 'persuade' the tower back to vertical. After it was back to vertical (and solidly located by guy wires) I would dig around its base to expose its original concrete 'anchor'. Rotohammer work, adding rebar and then 3-4 more cubic yards of concrete (overkill, I know, but since the mixer is there ...) Reduced liability. Once cured, the guy wires can go away and the tower will (safely) stay for the next 100 years.

Regarding the 'droopy-drawers' three element ground plane antenna, it looks very much like antennas the Seattle Police Department used in the 1970's. A (comparatively) short vertical driven element with long reflectors 'drooping' around 45 degrees. A VHF (155-156 mHz) antenna is my guess.

Jim
 
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SWHouston

Moderator
Staff member
#11
Reg,

Getting your Tower supported in very important !
Read Jim's post carefully and use my Drawing for your guide !

The Tower is built in Sections...
Measure one, and tell us that length, and how many Sections are there totally.
 
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