Most local rules restricting the installation of an outdoor TV antenna can't be enforced.
12/5/13 With few exception a TV antenna can be mounted outdoors. The 1996 Federal ruling trumps just about any local rules that may be in place. There are a few exception such as antenna height above roof line and Historic District neighborhoods. You can read the entire outdoor antenna placement FCC ruling here. Unfortunately most people aren't aware of the Federal rule and simply accept the local rule. In an attempt to get the word out USA Today published "Yes you can put up that TV antenna".
Mast mounted TV antenna preamplifier troubleshooting.
11/25/13 Question: Denny - I've had your Stacker antenna on my roof for a few years now. The reception has been great until just recently. We have lost about half the channels we were getting on every TV in the house. I have a preamplifier from Radio Shack that is mast mounted below the antenna that feeds to the power supply and then to a 4 way signal splitter with home run lines to each TV. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Dan
11/25/13 Response: The likely cause is the preamplifier. The first thing I suggest is to unplug the preamplifier power supply from the electrical outlet. If the preamplifier is working the signals should degrade. If the reception remains the same when the amplifier is unplugged the preamplifier is likely not working. There are 3 reasons why a preamplifier fails to operate. Either the mast preamplifier or the power supply went bad or the coax cable connection between the mast preamplifier and power supply went bad.
The following steps will determine why a preamplifier isn't working.
Disconnect the coax cable coming from the mast preamplifier at the power supply/injector. In its place install a short length of coax cable. Plug the power supply into the electrical outlet. At the open end of the short cable you just installed use a volt meter to check for power on this cable. Place one probe of the meter onto the center copper wire of the cable and the other probe to the threaded connector fitting of the cable. If voltage isn't detected the power supply/injector is bad. If voltage is present reconnect the cable leading to the mast preamplifier back onto the power supply/injector. At the other end of this cable remove it from the mast mounted preamplifier. At this end of the cable at the preamplifier test for voltage in the same manner as you tested at the power supply. If voltage isn't present the coax cable is not carrying the operating voltage from the power supply/injector to the mast preamplifier. The solution is to look for a bad connection on this cable. If the connections all look good replace the cable. If voltage is present on the cable at the mast preamplifier and the preamplifier isn't working the preamplifier is likely bad.
HD Stacker antenna gain
11/29/13 Ask your HD Stacker TV antenna question: I will be installing in a Deep Fringe area and have been considering the Channel Master CM-5020 due to it's gain and published performance. I cannot find the specifications on the HD Stacker, so could you provide them so I can make a better informed decision?
11/30/13 Response: Hi Dan, Due to the various methods that can be used to test TV antenna gain and the exaggerated false claims made by some vendors we no longer publish antenna gain figures. We refuse to play this game. The truth is the only way to win is to falsify the data.
I doubt you will see much performance difference between the CM 5020 in the HD Stacker. That's the way it is with all true high gain VHF/UHF antennas on the market. The benefit of the HD Stacker antenna is it performs as good or better than any deep fringe antenna with a much smaller more stable design.
Ken Nist from HD Primer says it best. Quote "Antenna marketing is a racket in that the less honest you are, the more antennas you sell.(Nobody goes to court over a TV antenna).Gain figures published by antenna makers are mostly useless, except maybe for comparing antennas by the same maker". Source: http://www.hdtvprimer.com/antennas/comparing.html
11/20/13 Question: I have Channel Master Titan 2 7777 (gain 26db UHF, 23 dB VHF) amplifier and a Channel Master CM 3044 4 output distribution amplifier (8 dB each output), but I still do not have adequate signal strength at my Tivo Roamio (4 internal tuners) to assure recordings w/o occasional pixilation and gaps. Would you recommend an additional distribution amp between the pre-amp and 4 output distribution amp, or something else?
11/20/13 Response: The amplifiers you have should provide all signal amplification needed. Signal amplifiers can only amplify the signal provided by the TV antenna. If the antenna doesn't provide an adequate signal to the amplifier the amplifier will not fix the problem. The TV antenna must provide an adequate signal to the signal amplifier.
To me it sounds like either the source (TV antenna) is not receiving the signal adequately or one of the amplifiers is not working or the 7777 preamplifier is over driving the 3044 amplifier or the combination of the 7777 and 3044 are over driving the TV tuner.
You can check the amplifiers by unplugging them from power one at a time and see if the TV signal reception degrades when unplugged.
Try bypassing the 3044 splitter/amplifier and use a common signal splitter in place of the 3044. If the signal is being over driven this should remedy the problem.
Make sure you have the appropriate TV antenna for your location and make certain it is aimed properly.