Antenna recommendations?

Reception, channel detection, network issues, CableCARD setup, etc.
leopheard
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:35 pm

Antenna recommendations?

Postby leopheard » Fri May 10, 2019 5:42 pm

Hi all,

I have installed the Cablecutter Max Silicondust antenna as recommended by SD for the HDHR box. I am at a loss as in clear weather, the picture still breaks up despite the antenna being 40+ feet off the ground. I've been asking, just how high and large does the antenna have to be to get a decent signal even in good weather?

Can anyone recommend a good directional antenna, I'm willing to spend around $300 to fix this issue. I'm surprised that the antenna doesn't work well enough for a solid signal most of the time, but I figured I might as well give another antenna a try, a better one and one which I can direct more precisely.

ebo
Posts: 526
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:58 pm
Device ID: 1016F746, 101C8CF9, 1041F134, 10532394

Re: Antenna recommendations?

Postby ebo » Sat May 11, 2019 1:42 am

It's impossible to recommend an antenna without knowing anything about your location and the stations you're trying to receive. Enter your location at TV Fool, make a radar plot, then post a link to that page. That will help others here to recommend an antenna.

Some Amazon reviews of the antenna you bought say the wires break easily. You might check that. If the balun (the device that connects the antenna to the coax) isn't secured to anything the wires would probably break free in the first high wind.

The ads say it works for UHF and VHF but they don't distinguish between high and low VHF. I doubt that it does well on low VHF channels (2-6) since they call for a larger antenna than the higher channels do. It looks small even for high VHF.

I've seen lots of bogus claims in antenna ads but this is a new one to me: "DISCLAIMER: Does not work on TVs manufactured prior to 2006." That makes no sense. Granted, very old TVs had screw terminals for twin lead instead of F connectors for coax, and some had separate inputs for VHF and UHF, but that was all long before 2006. And no antenna will work on an analog-only TV if there are no analog signals to receive. But an antenna is an antenna is an antenna.

ACraigo
Posts: 464
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:32 pm
Device ID: 1062E8EE
Location: Deep Canyon in WV (by God)

Re: Antenna recommendations?

Postby ACraigo » Sat May 11, 2019 5:47 am

Hi all,

I have installed the Cablecutter Max Silicondust antenna as recommended by SD for the HDHR box...
That is a piece of junk and furthermore, it's an expensive piece of junk.
It is nothing more than a coat hanger. You can build a good antenna with a good coat hanger - but that's not how you do it.
The ads say it works for UHF and VHF but they don't distinguish between high and low VHF.
Well, to be fair, if that antenna is receiving signals it's so close to the transmitter it won't matter what band the VHF is on.

What's your zip code?
Armed with that info I can recommend a real antenna.

ExtremeSkiBum
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:15 am

Re: Antenna recommendations?

Postby ExtremeSkiBum » Mon May 13, 2019 5:49 pm

I ended up purchasing this one: https://antopusa.com/product/amplified- ... -pl-414bg/ I don't have any complaints yet, (I didn't pay that price but you get the idea).

ACraigo
Posts: 464
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:32 pm
Device ID: 1062E8EE
Location: Deep Canyon in WV (by God)

Re: Antenna recommendations?

Postby ACraigo » Tue May 14, 2019 1:38 am

I ended up purchasing this one: https://antopusa.com/product/amplified- ... -pl-414bg/ I don't have any complaints yet, (I didn't pay that price but you get the idea).
Image
...........................................$100.....................................................................................................$0.10

lol

ExtremeSkiBum
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:15 am

Re: Antenna recommendations?

Postby ExtremeSkiBum » Tue May 14, 2019 1:55 pm

I ended up purchasing this one: https://antopusa.com/product/amplified- ... -pl-414bg/ I don't have any complaints yet, (I didn't pay that price but you get the idea).
Image
...........................................$100.....................................................................................................$0.10

lol
I tried your $0.10 hanger idea but it didn't work very well.

leopheard
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:35 pm

Re: Antenna recommendations?

Postby leopheard » Wed May 15, 2019 5:22 pm

It's impossible to recommend an antenna without knowing anything about your location and the stations you're trying to receive.
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapp ... ba13d7d950

Thanks. And yeah, I think these antennas are pretty crappy for the price paid etc. Seems strange that they advertise it with the HDHR box. People are going to get sick of the poor signal and go back to cable if they associate themselves with a crappy product. You can make the best networked TV box on earth, but if you recommend people use a weak link...

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jasonl
Silicondust
Posts: 13513
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:23 pm

Re: Antenna recommendations?

Postby jasonl » Wed May 15, 2019 6:18 pm

The antenna is fine for a lot of locations, but like most, the mileage rating doesn't necessarily reflect real-world conditions. At least it's not as bad as some where they would claim it to be a 100 mile antenna (50 off the front and 50 off the back). My own opinion is that I wouldn't even consider a nondirectional antenna past 35 miles. I'd expect at 38 miles from Raleigh you'd get OK but not great reception of the UHF stations, assuming the antenna is pointed correctly, installed outdoors, is above any nearby obstructions, and there isn't a hardware problem like a bad balun or coax cable. At nearly 50 from Greensboro, those are unlikely to come in with any kind of reliability on that antenna.

If it was me I'd put up a Winegard HD7698p pointed at Raleigh (63°), maybe shaded a bit to the left a bit to get PBS since UNC decided to put their transmitter near Chapel Hill instead of with the rest of the stations in the market. That adjustment may or may not be needed since it is one of the strongest stations you would receive (not on the TVFool report because TVFool's data is a mess), and that might be enough to overcome the antenna being pointed away from it.

ACraigo
Posts: 464
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:32 pm
Device ID: 1062E8EE
Location: Deep Canyon in WV (by God)

Re: Antenna recommendations?

Postby ACraigo » Thu May 16, 2019 2:45 am

...And yeah, I think these antennas are pretty crappy for the price paid etc. Seems strange that they advertise it with the HDHR box. People are going to get sick of the poor signal and go back to cable if they associate themselves with a crappy product. You can make the best networked TV box on earth, but if you recommend people use a weak link...
That's what I find strange.

SD isn't doing themselves any favors recommending overpriced junk. The good stuff is expensive enough, but you get what you pay for. They should be recommending top of the line gear of traditional, proven design, by trusted manufacturers so the novice customer has the absolute best chance at 1st time success.

Anybody that knows anything about antennae can spot junk from a mile away. Recommend the good stuff. Leave the junk to be sold on YouTube and Late Night Infomercials - with all the other junk.


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