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Home       TV Antennas       Preamplifiers       Rotors       Antenna recommendations Michigan       Store

 

TV Antenna Reception Vandalia, MI 49095

Hello Denny,

I have a couple questions. First, I'm very interested in your HD Stacker antenna.

I have done a lot of review reading on many antennas and learned that bigger is not always better. If it's not tuned to receive the proper frequencies it's not going to work very well. I really like the test page for the antennas. If they were all tested with the same meter the results should be accurate and a couple of the antennas I'm looking at are on there. I like the Stacker design and I think it will reach out and pull in all the signal that's out there and it's NOT 10 or 12 foot long. It's kind of like the old days when you needed a separate VHF & UHF antenna, you just combined them. Does the HD Stacker really test that well compared to the other antennas?

I live at _______________________ Vandalia, MI 49095. Right now I'm going to put it 20ft above the roof and use guy wires for the winter and next summer I will be putting up a 50ft tower. I'm done with the pay TV! The idea is I want to buy the best equipment so I only do this once. What signal booster would you recommend with the HD Stacker for me? I would like to get stations out of Chicago, Lansing & Jackson if possible. Many years ago we did from this location but I'm not sure if that's possible anymore. You tell me what you think?

The next thing is Rotors. I have a brand new Channel Master CM-9521A right now that didn't work out of the box. Getting it warrantied is a joke. It's been over a week and I can't get a warranty authorization number from them. Do you have a recommendation? A US made manufacturer.

And because this is what you do, do you have a TV tower manufacturer you would recommend. I have checked out a couple but maybe you know of someone I don't know about.

One more quick question. RG6 or RG11 coax? Can you tell the difference between shielded RG6 coax and RG6 quad shield coax? Will RG11 coax provide enough signal over RG6 that it would be noticed if under 100ft?

Thanks for the Help,

Doug

 

Hi Doug,
 
The HD Stacker antenna tested as shown on the test page.
 
According to the data the channels available are from Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and South Bend. The Lansing and Chicago channels will likely not be received and if they are they probably won't be reliable.
 
We have had very little problems with the Channel Master rotor. You should be able to get it warranted through Channel Master if the dealer won't. Who is the dealer that sold you the rotor? Contact techsupport@channelmaster.com
 
There was a bad batch of these rotors awhile back and some dealers did not return the bad rotors and continue to sell them. Maybe you got one from the past. Unfortunately there are no USA made rotors and Channel Master is currently the best available.
 
Have you checked out American Tower Company. http://www.amertower.com/
 
Quad RG 6 has more shielding but doesn't carry the signal any better than standard RG 6. The only time quad may be a benefit is if the cable will run near to something that is producing a lot of interference. If RG 6 solid copper cable is in use I doubt RG 11 will produce a better signal.

If you have any questions or if I can assist you further please don't hesitate to contact me.
 
Best Regards,
Denny Duplessis

 

Good Morning Denny,

The Channel Master rotor was purchased directly from Channel Master, that's part of my frustration, it's been a week and I can't get a warranty replacement number from them. I can see customer service ends at the sale. I have been in contact with techsupport@channelmaster.com. They just don't seem to be in any hurry do to anything. Do you have a CM-9521A in stock? I should have just purchased everything from you and I would be done by now. I'll know better next time. If I don't get a warranty replacement number today I'm going to change it to a refund and just order one from you so I can get this project finished before it gets cold.

Thanks for the info on the RG6 cable and what you said is what I was thinking. I have RG6 quad shield and compression fittings so thats what I'll use.

I think I'm going to get the HD Stacker on the way in a day or 2, Shipping is only 1 day so I'm not in a hurry because I don't have a rotor. What  preamplifier works best with the HD Stacker? I'm only going to be running 1 TV off the antenna for now. I learned something I didn't know reading thru some of the questions, would a distribution amplifier work just as well? You seem to like the MODEL AP 8700, is the MODEL AP 8275 to much? Sometimes more isn't always better so I have to ask.

Thank you for the help,

Doug

 

Doug,

We do have the rotor in stock. Hard to believe Channel Master is not more customer service oriented.
 
When supplying 1 TV the AP 8700 is more suitable. However, the AP 8700 is discontinued and has been replaced by the Winegard LNA 200 preamplifier. The AP 8275 will likely overdrive the signal.
 
A distribution amplifier may work but I think the reception will be best with the LNA 200.
 
Denny

 

Denny,

Thanks again for all the help. I do have 2 TV's but only one at a time is on. I thought the AP 8275 was to much that's why I asked. I finally did get a return number from Channel Master but I will still be ordering the Stacker shortly.

Doug

 

Doug,

Hurray for Channel Master.
 
Since a signal splitter will be inline I would go with the AP 8780 preamplifier. It doesn't matter if the TVs are on the division of the signal at the splitter is what reduces the signal strength. The AP 8780 has more UHF signal gain. UHF signals require more amplification than VHF signals.
 
Denny

 

Hi Denny,

That's something else I didn't know, man you've been helpful. So what splitter do I need to go with all this? Or are they all the same?

AP 8780 preamplifier

HD Double stacker

Need a splitter for 2 TV's

BTW, right now I have a 30 year old antenna at 20ft. That's almost 5ft above the peak of the house. I get channels 3, 8, 16, 17, 22, 25, 28, 34, 41, 46, 52, 54, 57, 64 & 69. That's with no preamp, I was very surprised. I get more stations than my dad does and his antenna is only a few years old and he lives about 250ft from me. That shows me not all antennas are created equal and that digital antennas are a gimmick. I'm hoping with the HD Stacker 25ft higher than the peak with the right equipment, reception will only get better. If it does then I know a tower will only help. The idea here is to tell DirecTV what they can do with their $80.00 a month bill :-). I'll enjoy that.

I'll also take a look at http://www.amertower.com/ and see what they have to offer.

You've been very helpful and told me more about what works best together than anyone I've talked to. Thank you for taking the time to help.

Doug

 

Doug,
 
A splitter is a splitter and no particular splitter works better than another. We offer two lines of splitters standard and pro grade. The only difference is the pro grade is better suited for outdoor use because it has a solid cast housing. I cringe when I see splitters online claiming to be high performance splitters selling for 20 to 30 dollars.
 
Digital/HDTV antennas are a gimmick. However, a properly designed antenna that is tuned for the broadcast signal frequencies in use will work better for reception. When the TV signals switched from analog to digital the channels 52 - 69 were dropped from the TV broadcast frequency spectrum. Your channels 52, 54, 57, 64 & 69 no longer broadcast on the channel they display. For an example channel 52 now broadcasts on channel 5 and 64 is now broadcast frequency 45. The TV tuner receives the channel 52 signal on channel 5 and a code within the signal tells the TV to display the channel as 52. Since broadcast channels 52 - 69 no longer exist it only makes sense to tune and design the antenna to receive channels through 51. By properly tuning an antenna to the current signal frequencies signal gain can be increased.
 
A lot of people are telling pay TV providers what they can do with the monthly bill. The cost of pay TV has gotten out of hand. It's ridicules to spend $1,000 or more a year on TV. The biggest problem for pay TV providers is every time someone drops the service those still subscribing have to pay more for the service so more drop the service. Someone has to cover the overhead of operating the service.
 
Let me know if you have any further questions.
 
Denny

 

Hi Denny,

I just placed my order with Denny's TV that included the Channel Master Rotor. I don't feel like waiting around. Please test it before you send it, I'll just put the other one on the shelf in case I need one later.

Order# xxxxxxx is my order.

Thank You,

Doug

 

Doug,
 
I'll have the rotor tested before we ship.
 
Thank you for doing business with us.
 
If you need anything else just let me know.
 
Take Care,
Denny

 

Doug,
 
I misspoke in my previous email when I said we would test the rotor. I didn't realize that the order was already packaged and UPS pick it up about an hour ago.
 
We haven't had a bad rotor for a long, long time so you should be good.
 
Sorry I didn't realize the order was already shipped.
 
Denny

 

Denny,

I guess you folks don't mess around. The bad part is I received a bad one 2 weeks ago. We'll just hope for the best and if there is a problem you are a lot closer and I'm sure faster than Channel Master.

Doug

 

Doug,

My wife Rhonda runs the shipping/receiving and inventory and she does an excellent job getting the product in and out.
 
If you receive a bad unit from us this is what we do. We immediately send a replacement with a prepaid return label for the bad unit. The slip inside of the rotor says to contact Channel Master if you have issues. Don't do that contact us.
 
Denny

 

Denny,

Well tell her thank you and she does a great job. I didn't expect the order to ship so quickly. Sounds like it was being shipped a couple hours after I placed the order. What's really funny is what you said about returning the rotor if there is something wrong is exactly what I told Channel Master. I'll just bet when I get the replacement from Channel Master it will be a refurbished one and not the new one I paid for.

Anyway, I have an important question, where is the best place to put the ground block? I would think on the pole after the antenna and before the preamp? The idea of the ground block is to prevent a lightning strike from getting thru the system and cooking the TV, correct? Or to be safe should I put one before the splitter also? Don't worry Denny, I know you can't put anything in the line from the power block to the preamp. I much rather cook a &70.00 preamp than a $2500.00 TV. Where to place the ground block is something I'm just not sure about but I do want to protect my equipment.

I really like all the information on your site too. The idea of using a funnel to make an umbrella for the rotor was a great idea. I was going to make one from sheet metal, I've been a machinist all my life so I'm good at making stuff, but the funnel will be a lot easier and do a great job.

Thank You,

Doug

 

Doug,
 
I will thank Rhonda for you. Every employee here (6) is a family member with one daughter in-law to be. I thank them nearly everyday. I remind them that we are a small business in a big business world and the only way we can compete with big business is with outstanding service.
 
The ground block should be installed inline just before the coax cable enters your home. The ground block CAN be installed inline between the preamplifier power supply and mast preamplifier. It will pass low voltage electricity. The idea of the ground block is to direct a large power surge from entering the house. If the ground block were installed before the preamplifier there would be a lot of exposed cable and the preamplifier where lightning could strike without any protection between the strike point and the TV etc...
 
More power surge damage is caused by lightning strikes that cause power surges through the electrical service than by striking the antenna. A good surge protector is a very good idea used on all expensive equipment. Some surge protectors have coax cable connections where the coax cable can feed and and out that will provide additional protection to the TV.
 
Take care, and if you have any questions just ask.
 
Denny

 

Denny,

Received my order yesterday and tested the rotor, all is good. I also assembled the antenna, I was surprised at the construction and it was a little more robust than I expected. Not the same noodle like antenna I’ve looked at from others. By Saturday afternoon I’ll be able to tell you what I think.

Besides me you have another customer now, he’s looking at doing the same thing I am for the same reason. He told me to make sure I kept your web site handy so he could get it from me.

Doug

 

Doug,

Happy to hear the rotor worked!!!
 
Yes, the antenna is constructed well especially compared to today's standards. I'll be away until Sunday afternoon but am looking forward to your report.
 
Be safe! Always watch for overhead power lines.
 
Denny

 

Hi Denny,

It takes a lot to impress me and I'm impressed. Things didn't go very well but I finally got the antenna up and just cobbled things up to see how it worked. Boy does this antenna pull in some channels! I have so many I can't remember exactly which ones, I'll make a list of what I receive with a solid signal. I was pulling in channel 15 out of Fort Wayne, IN last night.

I'm going to buy another Stacker antenna as soon as I get a refund from Channel Master. A question about your coax, is it UV protected and rated for outdoor use?

Doug

 

That's great news Doug. Very happy to hear the reception is good.
 
The coax cable we offer is very good. It is U/V protected and manufactured for outdoor use. The manufacturer claims a 25 year outdoor life expectancy. I'm sure that varies with climate but I have installs here locally that I did over 20 years ago and the cable is still good.
 
Denny