: OTA Mounts, Towers, Rigging Hardware
2007-01-15, 01:52 AM
I combined my antennas and it works, but combining 2 different types, is hard, and an omni i wouldn't recommend.
Read the last week on tips & tricks, Kevin hasn't had good luck.
Rotor maybe better.
2007-01-15, 11:16 AM
Interesting solution. Instead of using a light switch you could use some sort of wireless appliance module (such as X10) to turn the preamp on and off.
The place that you bought your 4228 should be able to order a Jointenna as it also is made by ChannelMaster. I am not sure if a Jointenna can be tuned to inject 3 channels instead of 1, but you can ask. Alternately Tinlee sells various filters and signal combiners that might be more configurable.
2007-01-15, 11:58 AM
For the cost of a splitter/combiner you might as well give it a try as it won't cost you much. The other inexpensive option would be to connect them to an A/B switch.
2007-01-15, 12:24 PM
The more I read about jointennas, the more I am leary of whether or not they will work for me due to the lack of "tightness" when isolating a channel. I have channels directly adjacent to 33 that I want to keep. Both my antennas recieve these channels though so that may compensate for any attenuation on those wanted channels.
So either a remote operated switch (whether light switch, AB switch or other) may be more likely options...
2007-01-15, 12:43 PM
Since 32, 33 and 34 are all from Buffalo, you could use the same antenna for all three and have the signal combiner (Jointenna or other) tuned to insert all three of them instead of just 33. The adjacent channels would then be 31 and 35.
Thanks for the welcome. From CM4228 photos, it seems the 'wiremesh' part is welded together. The bowties and the frame they attach to looks detachable, but to me it looks like that the vertical and horizontal 'rods' that make up the mesh come as a single unit. I assume that this part is the largest component that make up the 36'' X40'' dimension and cannot be disassembled. Since it is not bendable as well, I don't think I can pass it thru a 30'' trapdoor.
I am looking at Winegard directional yagi models now.
2007-01-16, 01:35 PM
ffs, others have put CM4228s into attics by removing the reflector mesh rivets with a drill and then reinstalling the reflector with metal screws.
2007-01-16, 02:10 PM
From what I have read, the wire mesh is in 2 slightly overlapping pieces that are loosely touching each other (not welded together). Some have theorized that you can get more reliable VHF-HI reception by zip-tying them together so that they make better contact with each other.
If you are looking for an easier 8 bay antenna to put in your attic, look at the DB8 (http://www.antennasdirect.com/DB8_assembly.html) by Antennas Direct. It comes disassembled so you can do the final assembly in the attic. It isn't as good as a CM 4228 though. Has anyone tried putting one large screen on a DB8 instead of the 4 small screens to try and make it closer to a CM4228?
2007-01-16, 02:28 PM
Yes, the reflector is in two pieces. The antenna is actually two 4221's mated together.
Thanks for the information. Any number of CM4221's would have passed through the door easily. :D
2007-01-16, 05:59 PM
^^^ then put a 16 panel array up there!! look forward to seeing your reception results for that!
So either a remote operated switch (whether light switch, not sure this would be a good idea in terms of signal strenght, and especially since it would require 3 baluns and I don't know how you could fit it all in a standard receptical box. If you go this route take a picture and post it please.
2007-01-16, 06:31 PM
99gecko - I was referring to the use of either a remote operated standard light switch (turning off a standard outlet for the preamp to be plugged into) or a remote operated AB switch between antennas. Only the two baluns on the existing antennas would be used. Signal strength would be sacraficed a bit, but in general the 4228 overpowers the 1483 so much that it doesn't matter - signals were still locked and steady from the 4228 with the 1483 feeding through an unplugged preamp and combined with the 4228.
I have called the three local shops here and none are familiar with the Jointenna, nor are they interested in ordering one in. I have an email in to Tinlee to see what they have to offer, but it sounds like these devices interfere too much with adjacent channels to make it work for my situation. I am also pretty sure they won't make it for a wider range, as all the jointenna info states you have to specify a specifc channel.
The more I think about it, I think I may finally give up and get a remote rotator as it will make the whole system more flexible in the end. I'm not keen on waiting for it to rotate 180', or having the ugly remote box in my entertainment centre, but it's not the end of the world either. That will have to wait for the nicer weather though. Snow on the roof is one thing, after this ice storm - I think I will wait it out this time! :o
2007-01-19, 06:03 PM
I am going to be installing a rotator on my 4228 this weekend hopefully (if I can find someone with a 9521a in stock). I was originally going to install the rotator at the top of the 10' pole and then put another pipe for the antenna to gain me another 2-3 feet, but I think this will be too high without guy wires and probably would be too top heavy. Thoughts?
If I mount the rotator low, how much mast can the rotator support?
I am currently using a 1.25" pipe - should I step up to 1.5"? It sways a touch in the wind now (maybe an inch or so) with the 4228 mounted at the very top of a 10' pole on a 3' tripod.
2007-01-19, 06:07 PM
If you can't find a CM in stock have a look at the Rotors thread for the new Wade remote controlled model - someone in St. Catharines stocks it now.
Physics teaches us that in a vertical position the greatest stresses on a pole are at and near the very bottom of it, so we definitely don't want the rotor holding up a really long mast. The smaller & thinner you can make the pipe above the rotor, and the longer & thicker you can make it below, the better. The life of the rotor will be much longer due to less wear and tear. For a CM4228 I'd use a 4 foot extruded steel pole above the rotor so that there's room for mounting the preamp below it as needed.
Regarding diameter, the rotor will have u-brackets that acommodate both of those sizes.
2007-01-19, 06:27 PM
Also Kevin, I typically don't even consider guy wires until we're looking at about 20 feet of mast or more, as long as the base is very solid. If you dig an anchoring hole beside the house, drop the pole into it a few feet, check that its perfectly vertical with a bubble-level and plumb, fill up the hole with concrete, and attach a good bracing bracket from the highest soffit on the side of the house to the new pole, you should be able to safely go about 20 feet above that bracket without guy wires. With a typical split-level house's roof peak being about 20 feet above ground itself, that means an antenna about 40 feet high without guy wires. :)
A proper antenna tower would be best, but I've seen it done with solidly joined or welded poles, but the drawback was how to get up there to the antenna afterwards to fix something.
Wade-Delhi used to sell telescopic monopoles and probably still do, but you have to guy-wire them even below 20 feet. HAM radio buffs have come up with some really ingenious jack-knife monopoles that allow the pole to be tilted downwards for maintenance and repair. Also lousy materials will give lousy results, and could even result in death, or at least nuke your credit rating...
2007-01-19, 06:40 PM
20' huh? Don't you get the mast swaying quite a bit in the wind? I think I will go with a 10' 1.5" diameter pole, mount the rotator, then a 3-4' mast for the antenna (I won't/can't use a pre-amp due to the close proximity of the Grand Island stations [11mi]). I'd like to stick with my already installed tripod - I can't really do an install like you mention as I have a sloped roof on all four corners so there is no soffit to attach to and the eavestrough wouldn't be nearly strong enough.
I'm not fond of the Wade unit simply for asthetic reasons. It looks like it sprung out of 1975 ;) (not that the CM is a great looking unit either, but slightly more modern)
There are three stores in St. Catharines that sell the CM unit - checked one today but he wasn't getting any in until Tues. The prices vary a fair amount though ($40) and the cheapest guy is a bear to get a hold of in store to buy something. I'll see if I can catch him tomorrow.
2007-01-19, 06:59 PM
Yup, that's what I meant by "lousy materials will give lousy results" :)
A person would want sturdy steel pipe for going that high, such as 3.5" pipe commonly used for clothesline poles, with extruded tubing only above the rotor. The bracket into the soffit would also have to be strong, and the lag screws would have to be large and definitely seated well into the roof's rim joist. As I say, I've seen it done.
The standard length of non-galvanized 3.5" pole is 22 feet and I've seen them in scrap steel yards for $20 to $25 per pole. A coating of rust paint and they're as good as new. The only trouble is getting them home... ;)
If a person can weld, they can join a couple of the 22 footers together and tack foot pegs up the sides from above the roof line or higher than their ladder can go. Then its a matter of getting the thing vertical for dropping into the hole and bracketing to the soffit. With 4 feet into the hole, that leaves 40 feet above ground, plus rotor and 4 foot extruded steel antenna pole = 44 feet to the top.
With time, guy wires could be added if needed, and they can be ordered from The Source or any Wade-Delhi/CM/Winegard dealer.
2007-01-21, 04:31 PM
Thanks again guys, I've now redone my setup which now consists of:
10' 1.5" main mast
9521a remote controlled rotator
CM4228 mounted on 4' 1.25" mast
I also ran the coax and rotator cable through the roof vent since this is on top of an attached garage - this makes for a cleaner install as only the ground is seen running down the roofline now (which somewhat blends into the shingles a little better). Hopefully this will be the end of my roof climbing for a while!
2007-01-21, 06:11 PM
Kevin S that's dedication in this weather. Did you do the install by yourself?
Did the wife said are you crazy there snow on the roof. I see you cleared the section you were working on.
So what is your results now hopefully you are a happy camper. ;)
The only thing looks like you have great height on the roof. How come you used the full 10' of the main pole. Kavin that is a lot of weight and load on the top end.
On my setup I cut the main pole down to 5' and used a 4' length on the top of the rotor. At my location I do have good elevation.
2007-01-21, 06:29 PM
Yes, I did the install myself - I can be a little "overly-dedicated" when I am in the middle of a project. Hopefully salt isn't bad for shingles! ;) And yes, the gf was telling me I am nuts - she said she knew I was ok as long as she still heard footsteps on the roof!:o
The results are about the same really, but now I don't have to use a switch or try to combine two antennas which I could not get to work for the life of me. This also adds a ton of versatility for the future, and no more going outside to reaim the antenna.
You have touched on the one thing I am a touch leary about - the full 10' of the main pole. I did upgrade to a 1.5" pole though for more stability. The picture is kind of decieving as I don't have great elevation (roofline is 20 or so I would guess), and I am on the lower (garage) roof - the main roof would have gained me another 10' or so, but I didn't want to risk leaks in the house. The good news is this main roof sheilds the main wind a bit from the mast. I wanted to try it to see if it helped my TO reception (which it has slightly) since this is an added 4' over what I had before - but like you say it is heavy. After redoing all the work yesterday (it was darn cold! had to come in a few times to thaw numb limbs), I was pretty tired and lifting the antenna into the mast is obviously the last thing you have to do - I could hardly do it at the end of the day. I had to take it down today to rewire (yes, triple check those rotator wires!) it, and it didn't feel near as bad. but with a good wind I would be a touch worried.
A couple more things I want to do. Add a cross support under the third leg (far left on rearview) since it was the only one I couldn't hit a stud with. The other is possibly cut down the main pole 4-5' since it isn't really gaining me much. This will also decrease any swaying which may cause dropouts on even very high signals as we all know.