: Antennas Direct OTA Antennas & Gear
Has anyone tested the AntennasDirect DB-8 8-Bay?
The DB-8 rates at higher gain than the CM4228 especially on channels 50+
2006-04-05, 09:20 AM
z0z0 I was looking at the DB 8 before I bought the channel master.
The DB8 is a very good antenna but it cost twice as much as the channel master.
For us that lives in the gta the db8 is a more directional antenna than the 4228, so unless you are using a rotor most people wont be happy with the performance. The 4228 is down about -3db at 15' and the db8 is down -6db.
Currently there is not much channels in our area that will benefit from the additional gain above uhf chan 50+ other than currently City and Sun. At chan uhf 60 it does have 3db more gain and that is a good amount.
When Global and Omni 1 goes online it will be broadcasted with more power than City or Sun so there is no real benefit using a db8.
If anybody is willing to spend the money on a DB8 its a nice antenna, but you would most likely need rotor to pickup the Buffalo and Toronto channels properly.
Thanks Yaamon! Great answer!
Now I feel comfortable with this as my "big" antenna choice. Now assessing stealth antennas. How does the AntennasDirect Lacrosse Amplified compare to the SquareShooter 2000?
I am in Mississauga and some people say that the SS-2000 will work for me to get Buffalo. Am wondering if the Lacrosse is any better.
Am wondering what this means "Based upon remote sensing technology, previously only available to the military"
2006-04-05, 10:48 AM
z0z0 if you have good height to mount your antenna like on a chimney and the view to Buffalo is clear the Lacrosse should work for you.
I checked on the link you provided and the antenna has a incredible coverage almost 75' of coverage, wide enough for Buffalo and signals off the Cn tower.
The gain is about the same as the square shooter but a bit better in the higher frequency.
A suggestion a 4221 still has more gain than the Lacrosse throught the UHF freq and is alot cheaper.
My suggestion if you are going to mount the antenna up high like a chimney, might as well go with a 4221 more cost effective.
If you need to keep things slealthy then the Lacrosse might be your option but it does cost a bit more money.
Thanks for the reply. Speaking about gain - I was thinking of the amplified version which has specs of 17db so this is more than the 4221.
It sounds like the Lacrosse Amplified is a better antenna than the SS-2000. More gain and wider angle. Unfortunately noone has had an opportunity to actually test it out.
Does anyone know a good place to go shopping for antennas in Buffalo? Maybe I will do a road trip and pick one up.
2006-04-18, 01:18 PM
This thread is for discussion about the entire line of Antennas Direct, foreign vendor, and other brands of OTA reception equipment, gear, and related information.
Here is a good review of the Terrestrial Digital Lacrosse
Review of Terrestrial Digital Lacrosse
Note: Antennas Direct is now called Terrestrial Digital
2006-04-18, 07:41 PM
Review of Terrestrial Digital Lacrosse...Too damned expensive for such mediocre results. ;)
I am thinking of going down to Hamburg NY to test one of these out. You might ask WHY.
Well I have been playing with with the CM4228 + CM4221 + AP 4700 which costs just as much when you put it all together.
Why am I setting up this combo? I don't want the hassle of a rotator - save time as I channel skip.
So far I have reasonable results with the SS-2000 which is also supposed to give mediocre results and the Lacrosse might be even a bit better.
Simplicity is worth the premium price to me.
... Aesthetics are nice as well.
You say "mediocre" but the guy that wrote up the review said:
"All I can say this is going to be one hot selling antenna as more try it out, but I just wanted you to know of my positive, thank goodness, experience. Antennas Direct- Thumbs up on the Lacrosse."
OK folks I did some research and had a chance to see the insides of the Terrestrial Digital Lacrosse Amplified antenna.
I now see that this baby is the best piece of marketing rather than antenna technology that I have seen in a long time.
From the Terrestrial Digital Website:Based upon remote sensing technology, previously only available to the military, the Lacrosse is the first HDTV antenna to employ state of the art signal reception capabilities with a revolutionary design that will complement even the most discerning homeowner.I thought that the military remote sensing technology sounded very interesting. The antenna costs about us$160 to us$180.
Guess what I saw on the inside:
What does this look like?
Does this look similar?
What antenna is this?
The Terrestrial Digital DB2?
Which costs us$40!
The preamp sounds like the Terrestrial Digital PA-17
So if the DB2 costs retail $40 and the preamp costs retail $55 then that means that the plastic case which makes it look so pretty costs $60 to $80!
I wonder how much the plastic case helps in the reception!
2006-05-14, 12:38 PM
I now see that this baby is the best piece of marketing rather than antenna technology that I have seen in a long time.And so we see Terrestrial Digital (nee Antennas Direct) trying to make silk purses out of sows ears. Maybe there might be some electronic voodoo being used in that little circuit board, but if so, why are the reception results not so great?I wonder how much the plastic case helps in the reception!Not a bit. A positive feature might be that if it is weather-tight then it will reduce corrosion. ...the plastic case which makes it look so pretty costs $60 to $80The plastic moulding probably doesn't cost them much to either manufacture or have made for them, so the difference in cost between the naked bowtie antenna + preamp and the Lacrosse becomes quite an insult to the consumer:
Lacrosse = $160-$180 US
DB2 Bowtie + PA-17 Preamp = $95 US
Thanks for the photographic evidence! :)
2006-05-24, 03:33 PM
I saw this discussion and I thought I may chime in
Since I helped design the antenna I may be able to lend some insight into its method of construction and performance.
Some of these points I e-mailed to Zed whom we shipped the eval unit to:
The Lacrosse shares many of the same basic principals as the DB2 in that they both use fan dipoles as their driven elements. Since the DB2 is already a good antenna, the objective for the Lacrosse was to find additional efficiencies while maintaining an aesthetic form.
What makes the Lacrosse a little different is that there have been some refinements to the geometry of the array. A proprietary antenna simulation program developed by our consulting engineers was used to automate the design process and search through millions of design variations in an effort to find configurations that out perform existing designs. Often slight changes to the geometry of the elements can yield substantial improvements in performance.
While it is the same topology as the existing DB2, the fan elements have a slightly different flair, the separation on the transmission line is different, reflector design was changed slightly and the height above the reflector is different. As a result, the geometry changes provide improved VSWR and gain in the forward direction across the frequency band. The VSWR curve is smooth and well behaved across the entire UHF spectrum.
Another advantage to this design was it provided an excellent impedance match for the enclosed baluns across the UHF band. What this means is that with improved impedance matching, we lose less signal at the transformer.
The amp on the Lacrosse A is of a different design than the PA17. (Not that there is anything wrong with the PA 17), It was just more efficient to use a design with a better impedance match (It also has a slightly better noise spec on the UHF band than the PA 17).
It is very challenging to get a high performance antenna in an aesthetic form, and we hope we have found an effective balance of size and performance. The Lacrosse represented a substantial investment in engineering as well as tooling costs and is reflected in its price.
You are right to in that it is an expensive antenna. Not only to purchase but to produce as well. Its development and manufacturing costs are about 5-10x the cost of any of our other models and exceed our initial projections, there were a number of opportunities to simplify the design which I declined since I didn't want to compromise aesthetics or performance.
The molds for the Lacrosse are comprised of 4 large interlocking pieces, in order to get the pieces to fit together tightly, it required us to use a more expensive injection molding process which does not lend itself easily to the large sections which comprise the Lacrosse enclosure.
Due to the large surface area of the molds, the resins cure at different rates the farther they get from the injection points. In order to achieve consistency in its color required an additional stage to powder coat each antenna to achieve consistent coloring.
All this collectively adds to the costs.
Each Lacrosse is hand assembled and itís most likely the most labor intensive antenna to manufacture on the market. Compared to our other models there are many times more man hours required to assemble Lacrosse. and since they ship assembled complete with mount we can only fit about 1/3 in an ocean container as compared to our other models.
I hope this gives you some indication that the Lacrosse more than a bowtie in a $10 piece of plastic. But we are aware of its price point and are searching for ways to take some of the cost out of the manufacturing process. I may have an announcement concerning this in the next 30 days.
Bottom line, the antenna does work as advertised and we feel it is one of the few aesthetic antennas that actually delivers reliable and consistent performance.
Thanks for allowing my response and I hope this info helps
Antennas Direct/Terrestrial Digital
2006-05-24, 03:37 PM
Welcome here Richard and thank you for your very informative response. You'll find eager OTA antenna geeks here! :)
2006-11-17, 04:07 PM
Yamonn set me up with a CM, but while perusing the tigerdirect site I spotted these. Pricing ain't bad. I don't know if they have them in the stores (I know of 3 stores in the GTA).
The HD8 comes up under accesories, for some reason.
2006-11-17, 04:11 PM
The CM4221 is a better antenna than a DB4 and at a similar price point.
As for the DB2, considering that it would most likely be used indoors, it is a favourite of some DHCers but for most people a Zenith Silver Sensor clone would offer comparable performance for much less $$$:
The DB-8 is no match for the CM4228 or Winegard PR-8800.
2006-11-17, 04:18 PM
The DB4 is supossed to be constructed well.
But under test they have about 2db less gain than the Channel master 4221 and cost more.
A is Channel Master 4228
B is Channel Master 4221
E is Winegard PR8800
F is Winegard PR4400
R is Antenna Direct DB4
S is Antenna Direct DB8
I is the Silver Sensor not bad at 7db gain.
2006-11-17, 07:41 PM
The DB-8 has poorer lower UHF performance and then it peaks up in the high UHF range, which is unfortunate because those are the channels likely to disappear in the years ahead (50s and 60s). The CM4228 is the best of the breed, and I'd still take a Winegard PR-8800 over a DB-8.
2006-11-20, 11:17 AM
I guess I figured that, since this is a Terrestrial Digital forum, people interested in Terrestrial Digital antennas might want to know where they can buy then at reasonable costs. For most folk, the problem is not deciding which antenna they want, its finding an antenna. Most of the people/places I went to suddenly didn't have any more in stock when I got there, or didn't have all what I wanted.
If we poo poo Terrestrial Digital antennas, why have a forum to discuss them, or anything other than ChannelMaster?
2006-11-20, 12:35 PM
Everyone is free to highlight their favourite brands to your hearts content, based on the DHC Forum rules. Nobody is stopping you.
Everyone is free to offer our experience and expertise for the benefit of others. Nobody is stopping us.
If you want to buy a Terrestrial Digital product, you are free to do so and I wish you well. I wish Terrestrial Digital well too, but they themselves acknowledge that their pricing regime is in need of work. As things now stand, their products do not offer value for the money. In your words, you are looking for a "reasonable" price. What if their entire price scale is "unreasonable" in the opinion of knowledgeable DHCers?
So, since its better for consumers to know that than to not know it, this thread in this forum will continue to offer opinions and advice even if it does not reflect well on the manufacturer.
2007-01-22, 04:35 PM
I just checked the Gain Curves (http://www.terrestrial-digital.com/pdfs/lacrosseGainCurves.pdf) for the Lacrosse Antenna and it seems to have close to an even gain over 170 degrees. For me, the two local antennas are about 85 degrees appart (and 30km away) which is difficult with one stationary antenna. Combined with my wife's resistance to have an antenna outside, this might be a good option for me.