: Winegard & Terk/Audiovox OTA Antennas and Gear
2005-12-07, 03:31 PM
Does anyone have any experience with the Winegard PR8800 8-Bay ?Its a very reputable, well built antenna that I would not hesitate to buy if a CM4228 wasn't available, but in side-by-side tests the Channel Master 4228 has higher gain all across the UHF frequency spectrum. Still, Winegard is an excellent brand.
To me the $$$ difference isn't the deciding factor, its the reception.
Note to all: pay no attention to marketers and advertisers - do what DaveyJ did and ask here for the real info. :)
2005-12-17, 07:27 PM
Check this link out.
It has more information on antennas than most will ever need.
2005-12-17, 08:04 PM
http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ISSUES/erecting_antenna.htmlYep that's true, it is a great source indeed, and early in the Outdoor Antennas thread is a link to a different part of that site's antenna advice.
I thought I would pass along my experience installing a Winegard Squareshooter SS-2000. I ended up installing it in my attic and will post my results in the proper forum as I live in Whitby. However, not totally satisfied with my signal strength and having a couple of extra EVU 18" dishes kicking around, I tried mounting a dish behind and above the SS angled down to perhaps capture and deflect signal into the back of the SS. Too close degraded the signal and too far away was ineffectual, but finding the sweet spot raised the signal on my weakest stations (which was my focus-pun intended) by about 5%. I haven't tested to see if this in fact degrades the signals from towers off 90 degrees as I am happy with the results thus far and am sick of climbing up into the attic. Keep in mind that the towers I am shooting for are approx 90 miles away if the sat map link on this site is correct and I live by Lake Ontario so I don't have a lot of elevation.
2006-01-24, 12:22 PM
Hi vmpv, I've moved your post to its own thread because I want to nip some things at the bud asap about the Winegard SS-2000 Square Shooter because we are getting plenty of newcomers here who need to understand a bit about that product and the better options out there. I think its neat that you found a trick with a satellite dish by the way :) but lets get clear about that antenna.
If you want to drive really fast in a good looking car you buy a Porsche. If you want to safely drive 30 kids to soccer practice you buy a School Bus.
Similarly with antennas you need to buy the right one for the right job. The Winegard SS-2000 Square Shooter is plain-and-simply a local UHF/VHF antenna for metro/urban and near suburban use, and when they designed it they got the VHF polarity wrong so its really only a UHF! Any web site advertisement or suggestion that it is a good long distance antenna is outrageous and should be laughed or sneered at.
If I had an indoor antenna that was unsatisfactory and I lived within 10 or 20km of the broadcast tower and wanted to put an antenna outdoors for the UHF stations I would consider a Square Shooter. Anything beyond that calls for a proper antenna.
Folks, download the Antenna comparison PDF chart in the READ THIS... thread and do your homework. I hate to see people waste their money when for the same or similar price they can get complete antenna satisfaction that will last for many years.
Again vmpv this is for the newcomers, and don't get me started about attic mounting!! ;)
I agree Stampeder and thanks. I tried to do a lot of research on this antenna and couldn't find a whole lot of practical info. The SS-2000 was rated for 50 miles UHF but had read it was successfully used at up to 90 miles for HDTV which is all I'm really concerned with so I decided to take a chance as I didn't really want an outside mounted antenna. According to the link on this site I am about 90 miles away from the furthest tower in the south part of Buffalo. I live about 1/2 mile north of Lake Ontario with a bunch of houses between me and the lake. I quickly found out the number 1 rule of higher being better so I initially tried mounting the antenna in the attic. Not entirely pleased I used a tripod to temporarily move it outside to a lower roof over the family room. The SS ended up being about 5 ft lower than the attic mount but outside and I found no gain whatsover in signal strength. I'm sure if I could work up the courage to mount it outside over the peak of the roof I would see a better signal and may in fact hire someone to do this if signal strength falls off due to changing seasons etc. (I'm a total newbe at this). As it stands, perhaps due solely to my location, I am having moderate success. The worst Buffalo station (WGRZ) has been consistantly around 70% or better the past week according to my Evu 9200. I have the antenna pointed directly at Buffalo South but pick up CityHD consistantly at 72% with the worst being CKXT Sun TV at 66%. Sunday night in fact all the levels were 80% or better for all the Buffalo stations. Reading some of the other posts for GTA antennas, I don't think I'm doing too bad. Would I recommend this antenna to someone else? Hey isn't that what testing is about? If you want safe dependable and sure then go with your local antenna specialist's recommendations. All my guy would say is that he had sold 2 and they hadn't been returned. So if you want to try out some newer technology and you don't mind spending $170 or so for testing then the more info we have, the better choices we can make. I want to monitor the signal strength during a storm and also want to look at channels on a non-astc tuner as well before posting results. Stampeder, feel free to edit or delete any of my posts as you see fit as you are right in perhaps wrongly influencing people into making a wrong choice.
2006-01-24, 07:57 PM
The worst Buffalo station (WGRZ) has been consistantly around 70% or better the past week according to my Evu 9200.
If you are getting 70 + for WGRZ at 90 miles in your attic, that is excellent.
Last night was the first night there was clear weather from Whitby right through to Buffalo. The WGRZ signal flucuated between 70% down to 63% occasionally dropping out altogether. WKBW, although with a steady 72% signal had occasional pixilation on the screen. Guess I might rethink this attic mount and try moving it outside. As well, I had time to hook up to a regular tv and find a lot of ghosting on the clearer channels. If I understand this correctly I must be experiencing multipath no doubt made worse by the attic mount. I am really only concerned with the HD channels though. Isn't testing fun?
2006-02-05, 02:55 AM
The icy and windy weather today will be a good test for your antenna pole.
2006-02-05, 11:37 AM
Sure is. Not sure on the km/h of the winds but my backyard is wide open and the wind are really whipping back there right now. The top of the mast is swaying a few inches at most so I think it should be ok (the top 9' or so are unsupported). Without those supports, it would be moving around quite a bit I think - not good for reception:cool:
2006-03-05, 03:56 PM
[EDIT - split off from another thread]
BlakeW, George, and all, I do not recommend the Winegard Sharp Shooter. The Zenith Silver Sensor and its clones/rebrands are considered better indoor antennas by almost everyone who has compared them. If the Sharp Shooter is what BlakeW ordered, it will be interesting to see the results.
Perhaps you are referring to the Winegard Square Shooter outdoor stealth antenna, which I endorse only for local use in my Downloadable Antenna Chart. I can guarantee that the Square Shooter will outperform the indoor Sharp Shooter any day of the week for local installations. Don't get them mixed up, whatever you do!!!
Folks, I've repeated the following over and over again, so many times: don't pay attention to web site marketing claims. The DHC OTA Forum exists with its great knowledge base in order to protect people from making regrettable equipment purchases.
2006-03-06, 08:44 PM
I don't see how such a claim can be made against something so new to the market, and with so few Canadians in possession of one. But in any regard, I'm here to say that the Sharpshooter is great. Now don't get me wrong, my silver sensor is great too, but this Sharpshooter has bettered it, by a little. The instruction guide is a little tricky to understand, as it comes with many wires of different types for you to connect to and from the pre-amp. Hooked it up, turned on the TV... I was worried that I spent good money for something worse than what I already had. I unplugged the pre-amp, and voila, the highest signal strength I've ever seen on my set for both CTV-DT and CBC-DT stations.
With the silver sensor pointed towards Mt.Seymour but at a 60 degree pitch, I got around 78% and 85% respectivly. With the sharpshooter, I'm getting 92-95% for CTV and 95% rock solid for CBC. Both stations come in with a SNRs of 28-30dB. As for analog, Global is as good as cable. A-channel is as good as it was with silver sensor (which was also as good as cable). I can pick up a watchable, but static filled KVOS (pretty good for facing north, I'd say). And can only get audio for CityTV...darn.
For $100US was it worth the little increase in signal strength? No. But at least it delivers better VHF and stronger DT signals. Does it look like a marine radar beacon? Yes. But it's still pretty small, I have it perched up on a CD tower. Is the reflector a little gimicky? Yes. I'll be giving my silver sensor to a friend... with pride that I won't be handing down junk.
2006-03-07, 12:14 PM
That's great to hear that you are satisfied with the Sharp Shooter, and I always delight in reading when someone gets good reception, even if its just a little. BTW the Sharp Shooter has been around for almost 3 years so there has been informative feedback on it on the web.
I have to say that with all due respect your results don't change my mind about the relative value of the product, but as I say, I'm glad for your success and I appreciate your feedback. Its also okay to disagree with me. ;)
2006-03-19, 01:55 PM
All my recommendations can be found by clicking on the links in my signature, but briefly I advise the following for Deepest Fringe UHF DXing:
2 Channel Master 4228s in stacked configuration (mounted one atop the other in exact aim, with equal spacing of the bowties) feeding into a preamp over equal lengths of RG-6.
You mention directionality and the stacked CM4228s are great for that. Also you mentioned rear signal rejection, but in DXing that isn't a big issue if you're in a rural area. If you're in or near a big city TV area there aren't many DX solutions that will do better anyways, but if rear signal and/or multipath is a problem then a pair of Winegard PR-9032 yagis can be stacked but the spacing of the booms is really challenging to get right. Which part of Ohio are you in?
For certain uses I endorse the Winegard PR9032 due to its great bang for the buck, but the stacked CM4228s are a known go-to solution for excellent DXing and Deepest Fringe reception. If the Antennas Direct 91XG is priced anything like their other products, you won't be getting higher value for the higher cost.
The Wade 307 VHF/FM you bought is a real gem - great purchase! The CM7777 preamp is also good, but if you need just a bit more dB go for the Winegard AP-8275.
One other thing: with that big bad 307 up there with any stacked antennas you need to look at a HAM-quality rotor like a Yaesu or Hy-Gain model and probably not a common TV model. You mentioned that your mast might be limited in size and strength so everything I've mentioned in this post might be too heavy... still, its nice to look at what the top solution is.
Keep in touch with your DXing results - we love that stuff here! :)
2006-03-19, 03:36 PM
Let me give you some more information about my current set-up and my location.
Was using the "good old" CM 3610 and CM 4257 antennas until mother nature decided to have her way and sent me a bolt of ligtening to kill the CM4257. I decided to replace the 3610 because I would already have someone going up the tower and it is 15 years old. Actually, the CM3610 will give the big bad 307 a good run for its money.
I am not in a real rural area. Approximately 20 miles from the Toledo transmitters, thus a pre-amplifer with a high input microvolt capacity is a necessity. I was using the CM 7777 and there was a slight overload, nothing major. Winegard pre-amps are noted to have a higher overload tolerance than the CM's. The Winegard AP-8275 has only one input for VHF & UHF connections, so if you use two antennas, you would want to use the Winegaurd AP2870, for dual input and a "high input tolerance".
Yes, you have raised some good points about the rotators. Having these kinds of massive antennas on a tower will give the rotor a work-out and may even bend your tower over.
I guess the big question for you is:
1) If I am only intested in Digital Television (DT), why should I even bother with purchasing the 307, and just concentrate on the UHF?
2) If I decide to stack, do you have any detailed info for this procedure. As I know it is complex and sometimes you can actually go backwards if they are not phased correctly.
This is where all the action is nowadays and it will give me more room on the mask to stack a pair of antennas if I do not install a VHF antenna.
So, if the answer to question 1 is YES, then I would probably stack a pair of Winegard 9032's or the 4228's. However, I believe the 9032's will do better for my application, since I am not in a very rural area. The 9032's should reject signals better than the 4228. Then again, the 4228 has a tendency to capture more signal as UHF signal is more scattered and the 4228 has more surface area catching the signal.
Again, I am looking at Deep Fringe to capture the Detroit Digital Sations, as my previous set-up listed above, was unable to pull these channels (all the time). I will not have to penetrate thru the Toledo transmitters to capture the Detroit stations. (Thanks goodness). This is a 78 mile pull to the transmitters.
Awaiting your response....
2006-03-19, 04:42 PM
I am not in a real rural area. Approximately 20 miles from the Toledo transmitters, thus a pre-amplifer with a high input microvolt capacity is a necessity.You get some really massive tropo from the midwest in the high summer, that's for sure!1) If I am only intested in Digital Television (DT), why should I even bother with purchasing the 307, and just concentrate on the UHF?Keep in mind that VHF High band has/will have some DT stations. If you check the FCC database I believe some will be in Northern Michigan, so you might be able to DX those. I only recommend VHF/FM if that's what a person is interested in.2) If I decide to stack, do you have any detailed info for this procedure. As I know it is complex and sometimes you can actually go backwards if they are not phased correctly.Yup, phase is critical, but the good thing is that you get a 50/50 chance at getting it right the first time! :D
Here in the OTA Forum there are threads about the CM4228 that contain info on stacking, as well as in other threads here. If you stack a pair of PR9032 Yagis I'd really, really be interested in what spacing of the booms you find to be best, because I've wondered about that for a long time and haven't found much info. There's a DHCer from Vancouver Island who has a Yagi side-by-side pair for killing multipath, but that's a different scenario than straight DX-stacking. The CM4228 stack is a known quantity, while the Yagi stack doesn't seem to be.
2006-04-18, 12:51 PM
This thread is for discussion about the entire line of Winegard and Terk OTA reception equipment, gear, and related information.
Mike, a Winegard Square Shooter is an urban antenna suitable for within 50-60km at the most. Buy a CM4221 or CM4228. This is just a quick note of advice so you don't waste your money.
I did a test today with two setups.
Location = Mississauga = Dixe + Burnhamthorpe area
Setup 1 = Winegard SS2000
Setup 2 = CM 4228 + AP4700 preamp (point to Buffalo + CM 4221 (point to CN Tower)
Here are my results
- - - SS2000 4228
02-1 - 50 - 50
02-2 - 50 - 50
04-1 - 85 - 0
04-3 - 85 - 0
05-1 - 85 - 90
07-1 - 90 - 70
09-1 - 90 - 90
23-1 - 85 - 90
23-3 - 85 - 90
25-1 - 45 - 75
29-1 - 95 - 90
29-2 - 95 - 90
43-1 - 90 - 75
43-2 - 90 - 75
43-3 - 90 - 75
53-1 - 60 - 25
66-1 - 45 - 30
Results are in percent
Using RCA ATSC11 HDTV receiver
Conclusion: The Winegard SS2000 provides a better overall result.
These results show that the Winegard SS2000 is good enough for the Mississauga area!
I find it curious that I get wider angle reception with the SS2000 - see SunTV + CityTV
Couple this with the fact that Channel 4 did not even come in with the 4228 + 4221.
Maybe my 4221 and 4228 were not aligned properly
Maybe the cables were not the right length
But if I have to work that hard to get things right with those two antennas then maybe it is not worth having this two antennas set up in Mississauga.
Couple the fact that the SS2000 is smaller that the ther setup then the SS2000 is clearly the winner.
Thoughts? Has anyone else run a comparison such as this?
Any reason that I don't know why the 4221+4228 setup did not work better?
Note: I don't know what rainy day results would be like.
Maybe the ChannelMaster setup would be better under adverse conditions.
2006-04-19, 03:00 PM
First, z0z0, thanks for doing a lot of work and sharing your results with us. Much appreciated.
Any reason that I don't know why the 4221+4228 setup did not work better?
I wonder if the problem is the interaction of the two antennas? As I understand it, both the 4221 and 4228 have fairly wide reception patterns. Can you (easily?) reconfigure to receive with just one and then the other antenna? If you added two more columns to your chart, 4221 alone and 4228 alone, possibly you would see that you're getting weaker results where both parts of your dual are receiving the same signal? (IE, causing multi-path or even just overdriving your receiver.)
Another possibility, could you get your antenna supplier to bring a signal strength meter to your location and really measure what is available for reception?
My test rig got blown over in the wind last night. The CM 4228 got bent up a bit and I found it to be a pain in the arse and the benefits of the 4228+4221 in my area were not big enough to use and so I will stay with the SS-2000 - which is much simpler to setup and use.