Author Topic: OTA Antenna install issue for free TV  (Read 714 times)

Southpaw77

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 13
OTA Antenna install issue for free TV
« on: August 24, 2017, 09:16:49 AM »
Hey everyone. I've broken up with Direct TV and I'm installing an OTA antenna on my roof.  I'm trying to utilize the old DTV cable but have run into a problem.  The old DTV cable that I want to use was cut and I need to connect it to a coax cable to connect to the antenna.  The old cable is a type that has a ground wire integrated into it.  How do I utilize that ground when connecting to the new coax cable that connects to the antenna? Normally, I assume you would take that wire and ground it to the antenna but with the needed coax extension it's not possible.  Would a grounding block at that connection point work even though it's not connected directly to the antenna?  Anyway, sorry if this might be a dumb question...I'm fairly new to the DIY world :-) Thanks!! 

trammatic

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 202
  • Location: Gettysburg
Re: OTA Antenna install issue for free TV
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2017, 09:53:01 AM »
The typical small-wire grounding for outdoor antennae is to get rid of static build-up.  A grounding block hooked up to a ground will do the same thing.  You can use your house ground, or another grounding rod, or a metal water pipe, but you typically want to ground it before it the signal enters your house.

(That 18AWG wire isn't going to protect against lightning strikes at all--the dish and TV will still get fried.  Look up connectors for lightening rods for the materials used...)

One other thing: radio/tv waves penetrate wood framing fairly well, although there is some signal loss.  At my folks house near Los Angeles, they can put the antenna in the attic and still pull in all the channels they want.  Depending on how close you are to the broadcast tower, that might be an option for you, and it could hide the antenna and protect it from the weather.  I'd still ground the attic antenna.

GenXbiker

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 330
Re: OTA Antenna install issue for free TV
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2017, 11:42:03 AM »
One other thing: radio/tv waves penetrate wood framing fairly well, although there is some signal loss.  At my folks house near Los Angeles, they can put the antenna in the attic and still pull in all the channels they want.  Depending on how close you are to the broadcast tower, that might be an option for you, and it could hide the antenna and protect it from the weather.  I'd still ground the attic antenna.

This is what I'm doing for some distant VHF stations at 47 miles away (www.tvfool.com).  I cut cable TV years ago and bought a large VHF antenna and put it in the attic.  I also have a low gain distribution amplifier.  It works well most of the time, although I sometimes get temporary intermittent dropouts due bad weather as expected and sometimes get dropouts in the summer even during great weather (clear across the region.)  The vast majority of the time, it works very well.  I've been using it for years, connected to an HTPC with DVR software and have been very pleased.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5759
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: OTA Antenna install issue for free TV
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2017, 05:14:52 PM »
If you haven't already bought an antenna... first do as GenXbiker suggests.  Go to tvfool.com and see where the antennae are.

When I lived in the Dallas area, it was easy.  Every single station had their antennae all on the same high spot on the south west part of town.  Stick a directional antenna, point it that way and done.  But where I live now... they are in every single direction.  If this is the case, you'll likely have to get an omnidirectional antenna.
Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1757
Re: OTA Antenna install issue for free TV
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2017, 08:46:36 AM »
I ended up installing a tower for my antenna.  Once the digital conversion happened, indoor antennas were no longer enough (despite being only 10-15 miles from the transmitters).  I even tried putting a bigger directional antenna up in the attic space, but just didn't cut it.  Digital still kept popping in/out.  On the tower it's amazing.  I get stations reliably in a 60-ish mile radius.  On perfect weather days occasionally we get more than that.  :-)

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5759
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: OTA Antenna install issue for free TV
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2017, 09:01:03 AM »
I ended up installing a tower for my antenna.  Once the digital conversion happened, indoor antennas were no longer enough (despite being only 10-15 miles from the transmitters).  I even tried putting a bigger directional antenna up in the attic space, but just didn't cut it.  Digital still kept popping in/out.  On the tower it's amazing.  I get stations reliably in a 60-ish mile radius.  On perfect weather days occasionally we get more than that.  :-)

Mine is still in the attic.  It's fair, but not awesome.  I get fade in bad weather.  I've considered putting up a tower but havent been able to stomach the price just yet.  Usually if we miss something due to weather, we can find it online.  And usually at least one station comes in okay if there is a weather event and we want to see it live.
Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight

HipGnosis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1044
Re: OTA Antenna install issue for free TV
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2017, 06:15:12 PM »
I ended up installing a tower for my antenna.  Once the digital conversion happened, indoor antennas were no longer enough (despite being only 10-15 miles from the transmitters).  I even tried putting a bigger directional antenna up in the attic space, but just didn't cut it.  Digital still kept popping in/out.  On the tower it's amazing.  I get stations reliably in a 60-ish mile radius.  On perfect weather days occasionally we get more than that.  :-)

Mine is still in the attic.  It's fair, but not awesome.  I get fade in bad weather.  I've considered putting up a tower but havent been able to stomach the price just yet.  Usually if we miss something due to weather, we can find it online.  And usually at least one station comes in okay if there is a weather event and we want to see it live.
Try an amplifier before a tower.

Southpaw77

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: OTA Antenna install issue for free TV
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2017, 10:05:35 PM »
Thanks for the info. I live in Seattle. So, I'm not too concerned with the severe weather aspect but it does occasionally happen.  The previously installed dish appeared to just be grounded via the grounding wire that was part of the coax cable, which is only 12 awg I think. It went into the outside cable box, to a grounding type block, then via another larger grounding wire to the grounding pole.  There didn't appear to be any other kind of grounding used.  So, the ground for static discharge dissipation is to improve signal reception not some other type of safety issue...correct? I'm also thinking about just hiring a electrician to come out and make sure all is OK.
Anyway, I ended up putting the new antenna on the roof on a 7 foot pole, utilizing the ground wire setup from DTV.  I have picked up about 55 channels where I'm at.  All of the major networks come in crystal clear. I'm only about 9 miles from the antenna sites.  Overall, I'm really impressed with the quality and sticking it to the big cable company.  I just want to make sure I've not constructed a bonafide safety hazard, as it does look like a perfect lightening rod :-)  Thanks again for all of the input.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5759
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: OTA Antenna install issue for free TV
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2017, 08:19:19 AM »
I ended up installing a tower for my antenna.  Once the digital conversion happened, indoor antennas were no longer enough (despite being only 10-15 miles from the transmitters).  I even tried putting a bigger directional antenna up in the attic space, but just didn't cut it.  Digital still kept popping in/out.  On the tower it's amazing.  I get stations reliably in a 60-ish mile radius.  On perfect weather days occasionally we get more than that.  :-)

Mine is still in the attic.  It's fair, but not awesome.  I get fade in bad weather.  I've considered putting up a tower but havent been able to stomach the price just yet.  Usually if we miss something due to weather, we can find it online.  And usually at least one station comes in okay if there is a weather event and we want to see it live.
Try an amplifier before a tower.

It's already amplified.
Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1757
Re: OTA Antenna install issue for free TV
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2017, 04:42:43 PM »
It's already amplified.

I've played the amplifier game before.  My experience is that if the price seems good, it's a broadband amp that's going to pull in a lot of noise and be disappointing.  If the price is high, well, you could put that towards getting the antenna higher the air for better results.  More metal, higher in the air, is a good rule of thumb for best receiving...  :-)