Xtreme Signal 8-Bay Bowtie Outdoor HDTV Antenna 65 Mile VHF/UHF (HDB8X)
- Brand: Xtreme Signal
- P\N: HDB8X
I ordered this item open box for 50$ and everything came looking new. I mounted on my roof with a VHF antenna run through an RCA amp. I pointed all the bays in parallel at my most difficult channel which was 60 miles away 1 edge. The other antenna farms were up to 90 degrees away from this compass setting and between 2-35 miles away. They all come in solid. Can't ask for more for 50$..
I liked this antenna so much I purchased a second one. After installing my first antenna I decided I needed a second one. We live exactly halfway between Green Bay and Milwaukee so all channels are around 50+ miles away. This requires a more powerful antenna. My first setup was to aim half the antenna North and the other half South. I worked ok but some of the channels especially South to Milwaukee were a challenge. My first test was to reconfigure it so both sides of the antenna aimed South. The signal improved significantly. That's when I ordered a second one, to aim North. It worked great. My signal strength in both directions improved. Many of the channels are now at 87 to 93 signal strength. My next change is going to come when my new amp arrives. The one I'm using is over 15 years old so I thought I'd update it to something with circuitry for the digital age. My configuration is both antennas on the same mast only inches apart from each other. One aimed 192 degrees south the other aimed 248 degrees north. Used equal length cables from each antenna to the combiner, then to the amp. There's about 68 feet of quad shield running from the amp on the roof to the power supply in the basement. It's then split with a four way distribution amp (also have a new model of this on order) to four TVs. The cable run to each TV averages 30 feet. We get 43 channels crystal clear. No more cable TV.
Awesome HD antenna
This antenna has a wide reception angle. I have mine mounted on my chimney. I get all of the local stations except 1 (which is directly behind the antenna). I also get both Providence RI and Manchester NH. It is spread about 210 degrees (with 180 is full parallel - flat) pointed WSW from downtown Boston. I'm very pleased for the price.
High Quality Antenna
by Pete Higgins
Performance: The HDB8X compares very favorably with other UHF antennas. I started with a Channel Master CM-4228 (not the new “HD”) and compared it to a new Antennas Direct 91XG. The 91XG showed fractions of a dB better signal quality than the older CM-4228. When I received the HDB8X I compared it to the same CM-4228 and like the 91XG, it showed fractions of a dB better signal quality. My testing showed that for UHF performance the 3 different antennas were very nearly equal. Neither the 91XG nor the 8DB8X appeared to provide any high VHF response at my location, while the CM-4228 did show a modest high VHF response. As previously recommended, I substituted two length matched 36” pieces of RG-6 between each of the HDB-8X’s BALUN's and the combiner. Worst case loss for 34” of 3C-2V coax @ 700 MHz = ~.268 dB and should be insignificant compared to RG-6 @ .217 dB. Needless to say, this test didn’t yield any measurable difference. Advertised gains for the HDB8X antenna appear overstated although its actual UHF performance matches more conventionally rated current antenna designs & brands. Construction: My HDB8X 8-Bay Bow Tie Antenna arrived double boxed in a heavy duty brown corrugated cardboard outer box and a thinner white corrugated cardboard inner box. The two 4-Bay panels were stored back-to-back in the white box with the cross beams loosely assembled and tie wrapped to them. There was also an assembly & installation manual and one rubber boot in a plastic bag. If you know how the antenna goes together assembly is straight forward, tool-less and easy. As with a lot of assembly manuals, however, the three listed steps (A, B & C) were not intuitively obvious. Fortunately, the manual listed a link to an assembly video: http://www.xtremesignal.com/hdb8x.html that can also be found on YouTube @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=BWfW1ncmOr4 (Thank you Mike!). I would strongly suggest that anybody assembling this antenna for the first time watch the video. FYI, to make mine look like the one in the manual & video I had to unscrew the combiner, rotate it 180 deg. and reattach it. Also, to have all the wing nuts on the back side of the antenna I had to reverse a number of the lower brace bolts. Fortunately, both sides of the metal mounting brackets (square tube clamps) have square cutouts to keep the plated carriage bolts from turning. I am impressed with the way this antenna is designed. First off, the 16 individual 8” elements appear to be stamped or “die-cut” from 1.66 mm (~0.065”) sheet aluminum. The phasing harnesses inter-connecting the 16 elements appear to be formed from a relatively heavy 3.88 mm (~.153”) aluminum wire. Each element is held in place and in contact with its phasing harness by a Phillips head screw into the plastic stand-off. This means that after a few years’ service when oxidation forms, unlike my Channel Master CM-4228 that has the wire elements riveted to plastic brackets, I should be able to remove the screws and clean all the contact areas. The element to harness contact area is a generous 11.12 mm (0.437”) wide. Each panels BALUN is also bolted to the harness making all pressure contact areas accessible for cleaning. The 32 round reflector tubes are 8.18 mm (0.322”) thick by ~19½“ long. They are capped at the outer ends by a curved plastic extrusion that may mask progressively longer (~1”) rods at the center of each 2-Bay panel. The square supporting frame tubes measure 18.38 mm (0.723”). There is a lot of hardware provided to build this antenna that appears to result in a relatively robust design. When fully assembled, the overall antenna is 32 1/2” tall X 47 7/8” wide X ~5 1/4” deep. Multi-directional use: It is very nice to be able to watch channels from different markets without having to wait on a rotor to turn your antenna. This can be especially important for households with multiple TV’s. I had to shorten two of the long mast attachment bolts to allow my movable panel to rotate ~123 deg. from the fixed panel. Apparently, the supplied combiner doesn’t provide enough panel-to-panel isolation allowing some of the received signal on one panel to be reradiated off the other panel. This combined with changing from an 8-Bay to a 4-Bay caused loss of almost all channels at my deep fringe location. The isolation issue was solved with the addition of amplifiers between each panel and the supplied combiner. Fortunately, the combiner passes power through each port to support this. In urban environments (where combiner re-radiation loss would be tolerable) and a 4-Bay in each direction would be more than sufficient, the HDB8X offers considerable advantage over most other fixed panel 8-Bays. It wasn’t exactly straight forward, but with a little effort I’m able to surf between LA & San Diego “deep fringe” channels without using a rotor.
great value for an 8 bay antenna
great value. I had a channel master 4221 hd and a distro amp. I changed to the HDB8X , i also added a pre amp and i got a good improvement! thanks