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So, my Mom has this antenna I'd like to hook up for her

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May 27, 2010 8:39:08 PM

Hello,

My mom lives in Kentucky near the Tennessee border. She's technically outside of the range for receiving OTA signals from Lexington or Knoxville, but the former owners of her house had this antenna mounted about 30 feet above the ground.



I'm a little hesitant to climb the 30 feet to check out the antenna fully, and I'm wondering if someone could identify what it is and what I need to hook it up so she can receive OTA HD programming on her HDTV with an ATSC receiver. (will this antenna just need co-ax cable, or is it an older antenna that may need some sort of converter to use co-ax?) I'm basically wanting to know a little more about what would be involved before I get someone over here with a bucket truck or a safety harness and lanyard to hook it up. The house was purchased about 20 years ago, so I'm not sure how old the antenna is. I'm actually able to get a couple of stations with a small indoor antenna with a booster, and that makes me confident that she should be able to get all of the Knoxville stations if I hook up the large antenna.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

More about : mom antenna hook

May 28, 2010 1:10:20 AM

DASven said:
Hello,

My mom lives in Kentucky near the Tennessee border. She's technically outside of the range for receiving OTA signals from Lexington or Knoxville, but the former owners of her house had this antenna mounted about 30 feet above the ground.

http://img34.imageshack.us/img34/7634/antennad.jpg

I'm a little hesitant to climb the 30 feet to check out the antenna fully, and I'm wondering if someone could identify what it is and what I need to hook it up so she can receive OTA HD programming on her HDTV with an ATSC receiver. (will this antenna just need co-ax cable, or is it an older antenna that may need some sort of converter to use co-ax?) I'm basically wanting to know a little more about what would be involved before I get someone over here with a bucket truck or a safety harness and lanyard to hook it up. The house was purchased about 20 years ago, so I'm not sure how old the antenna is. I'm actually able to get a couple of stations with a small indoor antenna with a booster, and that makes me confident that she should be able to get all of the Knoxville stations if I hook up the large antenna.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.


The largest VHF antenna is appropriate, the higher you mount it, the more range it has. A mast mount pre-amplifier is also appropriate. The preamp goes as close to the antenna as possible. The power supply goes at the end of the cable, at the TV. Radio Shack sells a pre amp, and there are more expensive ones too. Use RG-6 cable, not RG-59. The antenna must be pointed as accurately as possible, VHF is directional.
Lower the mast or use a telescoping mast. Mount the antenna and pre amp, then raise it back up. You don't need to climb up there.
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May 28, 2010 5:45:59 PM

^ Another suggestion is to get an antenna rotor so that you can aim or point the antenna in different directions, if there are stations in other cities that you can receive. Go to http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx and click on the Choose an Antenna link to enter your Mom's address and see what stations are available, what direction they are, and what kind of antenna works best.
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May 28, 2010 7:07:59 PM

Thanks for the suggestions.

I posted this over on the AVS forums as well, and someone possibly IDed it as a Channel Master 4251. If it is a 4251 it's apparently the most powerful consumer UHF antenna ever made. He directed me to this site.

http://www.rocketroberts.com/cm4251/cm4251.htm

It has a rotator on it, but I'm guessing the motor is shot by now and the controls are MIA. It would be pretty difficult to lower the antenna as the tower it's on is one of the triangular ones. It has 3 ten foot sections, (the lowest buried a few feet into the ground) and a nine foot top section. Right now it's pointed North, but most of the channels she'd want to pick up are towards Knoxville. (150 degrees) I'd honestly need to hire someone out here to hook it up for me as I don't have safety equipment and don't handle heights well at all.

Anyway, I assume I'd want a preamp, some quad shield RG6 cable, and a cable ground. Is there anything else I should make sure to do? Any tricks to keep that outdoor co-ax cable from having troubles? I'd rather not have an issue with it and have to hire someone to come right back out to fix it again.
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May 28, 2010 7:49:49 PM

make sure that all the connections are sealed with rubber boots or water seal putty. point the antenna while it's hooked to a tv so you know where the best signal is. Normally, the FCC will have all the stations broadcast from one area so you can point at that one central location. The radio shack pre amp works pretty good for the money you spend, I think it's about $39.
If you hire somebody make sure they have a good track record setting up MATV systems. That's master antenna television.
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