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post #196 of 2214 (permalink) Old 2010-09-11, 04:53 PM
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Toronto, East York (Greenwood & Mortimer)
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Lima,
I have a friend in Olreans (Trim Rd. up the hill area) who has asked me about an outdoor OTA antenna.

If he were to go the route you did with the tower etc. then would he have a shot at all of the following:
NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, CW, PBS?

How reliable are these channels (example: CBS and Fox are viewable 80% of the time)?

Is there a MyTV channel within Ottawa's range? I'm guessing no ION.

I anticipate my friend will probably go a more basic route such as a wall or roof mounted four-bay to start off with.

But I'm wondering what kind of real potential there is to get all the main US stations from Ottawa if one is willing to put in the effort/time/money.

Thanks!

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post #197 of 2214 (permalink) Old 2010-09-12, 09:19 AM
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Out of NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, CW, PBS, the only one that is reliable is PBS, with WNPI and WCFE. CBS and Fox, we're waiting for a re-transmitter to go up within a few days in Potsdam, NY. Otherwise, you might not get anymore channels. ION, none.

Ottawa has the most OTA local stations (with English and French stations), but not much as far as US stations.

Your results may vary, but alas not by much (unless he was to be elsewhere in town, on the 10th floor of a high-rise!). I suggest you check out tvfool.com and similar sites.

-gmd

SC: 8-Feb-02>21-Jul-09 (TFO) | EVu: 23-Jan to 03-Feb-07, back 20-Jun-09
Bell, French packages, pls! Long live OTA!
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post #198 of 2214 (permalink) Old 2010-09-13, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lima20 View Post
Pulled in NBC last night with my setup
Which NBC? WPTZ Plattsburgh, WKTV Utica, or WSTM Syracuse?
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post #199 of 2214 (permalink) Old 2010-09-16, 01:03 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 61
Looking for help in Blackburn

-Hi Guys,

I've been an active reader of the many threads on OTA here. I've done my best to learn the ins/outs and have now thrown my hands up.

I can get the Ottawa digital channels quite well (with or without amplification) on my roof (25 feet). My goal however was to get at least one PBS.

I've tried a few avenues (built a reflectorless M4, bought a CM4221 HD), tried each of those with a KITZ preamp KT100-VG-COAX (edited to add COAX). I'm using USB tuners (ATI 650HD and Hauppauge 950Q).

Based on what I read I thought I had a shot at at least one PBS but I just can't seem to get there. Unfortunately, with the ATI device the best I get is a fluctuating signal of 23-70% for both WNPI and WCFE. The Hauppauge device reads 0.

Here's my TVFOOL report
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...a362be4d4f9822

Before I go and sell some equipment, does anyone have a suggestion that might work? I'm reluctant at this point to buy a bigger antenna as I haven't seen much of a difference between the home-built and the Channel master.

Thanks in advance
Andy

Last edited by amac; 2010-09-16 at 05:31 PM.
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post #200 of 2214 (permalink) Old 2010-09-16, 04:07 PM
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Orleans, ON
Posts: 1,251
Hi amac,

Is that preamp mast-mounted and the antenna pointed at wcfe or wnpi ?
Any obstructions around blocking reception ?
Did you play with the dial to try different levels of amplification on the Kitz ?
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post #201 of 2214 (permalink) Old 2010-09-16, 04:07 PM
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amac,

Here is a free way to try to improve things: I know your Kitztech is for indoor use only. But one way to try to improve your reception would be to hook your Kitztech amp outside at mast level temporarily. You'll need to bring an extension cord up to the roof with you to plug it in.

Second: I'm suspicious of the tuner sensitivity of the Hauppauge tuners. In the last few days I've read discouraging stuff about those tuners' ability to lock-on to stations that people normally have no trouble getting when watching on their TV. I know nothing about your other TV tuner.

Do you have a friend or relative with a small ATSC enabled HDTV that you could borrow?

Do you know anyone with a digital-to-analogue converter box that you could borrow to do a channel scan at your place using a CRT TV?

Is there any way you could add a bit more height to your antenna? Maybe a friend could just hold it higher while you went and checked for improvements.

By the way, when I first got interested in OTA, I built my own four-bay antenna. It got fine results in Toronto - almost every station. But when I took it to my cottage in Kazabazua (Gatineau Hills), I got NOTHING! That was when I realized that I was not an antenna-building genious. Later I brought a ch4221hd to my cottage and got about nine channels. Finally, I settled on a cm4228hd for my cottage and got all the same channels stronger PLUS I locked-on to CBOT and CBOFT in digital from the cottage (with a preamp).

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post #202 of 2214 (permalink) Old 2010-09-16, 04:09 PM
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Location: Ottawa (Stittsville), ON, OTA (DB4e & VHF-HI folded dipole, AP-2870 pre-amp in Attic), MythTV HTPC
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amac, Hi and welcome. Are you sure you have the antenna pointed in exactly the right direction? Is there anything nearby that could be blocking the signal?

I just noticed that the CRC has a license to test on channel 38, so if they are transmitting, it could prevent you from receiving WCFE. As for WNPI, it looks like you will need an extremely good antenna to receive it, and it may not be reliable. The thing about homemade antennas is if you make a mistake in construction, they may not work as well as you are expecting. Regarding the CM-4221, it may not have enough gain to pick up WNPI.
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post #203 of 2214 (permalink) Old 2010-09-16, 04:30 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Ottawa
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Quote:
I'm suspicious of the tuner sensitivity of the Hauppauge tuners.
My HVR 1600 cards definitely have less sensitive tuners than my LG TV, but my HVR 950Q is quite good. (I have found the TV to be better at dealing with multipath though.)
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post #204 of 2214 (permalink) Old 2010-09-16, 05:05 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Flavoie,

I have the mast mounted Kitz, KT100-VG-COAX (sorry if I quoted the wrong model ).
As to obstructions, I'm in Blackburn so there are trees but I don't consider any of them as major obstructions. I'm pointing to where I believe SSE is and I've tried 15 degree variations on that where one of the 2 signals weakens.

I did play with the Kitz gain screw as I did experience some overload (or so I believe because CBC dropped from 95% without the amp to 37% with the amp ). I toned down the gain a bit (not much) until the local channels all came in at the high 90's.

Last edited by amac; 2010-09-16 at 05:22 PM.
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post #205 of 2214 (permalink) Old 2010-09-16, 05:11 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
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HWP,

Sorry for my error. I do have the COAX version (corrected my first post) of the Kitz amp. Regarding tuners, I may pick up a new tv this weekend so I will try its tuner.

Last edited by amac; 2010-09-16 at 05:32 PM.
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post #206 of 2214 (permalink) Old 2010-09-16, 05:17 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
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roger1818,
I oriented myself using Google a while back but I really need a compass to be positive. That said did try a number of other orientations that resulted in signal loss. I'm also kind of surprised that the CM4221 did not significantly outperform my homemade M4 antenna (reflectorless). I think I convinced myself that the CM4221-HD would push me over the hump for receiving the signal.

The Hauppauge tuner did indeed pick up the test channel on 38 (at 10%) so yes that might be problematic. Note my ATI tuner did not pick up that channel.

I guess I'm just asking is my configuration reasonable? I've certainly seen other OTA user's TVFool charts that had lower NM's than I do that seem to pick up the PBS signals fine. I realize that local geography has a major effect. I'm on the west side of Blackburn Hamlet which is somewhat lower that the western side. That said, playing with the height in TVFool, there are no major changes until about 80'. There might be a hydro station a few blocks away. I have to check that out.

I may just be out of luck ...

Last edited by stampeder; 2010-09-16 at 06:45 PM.
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post #207 of 2214 (permalink) Old 2010-09-16, 05:33 PM
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I would go with an M4 WITH a reflector, and dial the gain up a bit if you can. The digital stations from Camp Fortune will probably come in just fine (except perhaps for SunTV, but then they'll be gone soon, anyway), and the analog stations will all be gone within a year, anyway. This way, you'll have a better chance at WCFE. The CRC test channel is about 22 dB above WCFE. You only need to reduce that by 7-10 dB to let WCFE peek thorugh. The reflector should be able to accomplish that.

Depending on the way you make the reflector, you may get good enough reception for 9 and 13 digital next year.

You'll need a dedicated channel 6 antenna to get Global digitally next year.
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post #208 of 2214 (permalink) Old 2010-09-16, 05:47 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Ottawa
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TVlurker,
I had opted for trying the CM-4221-HD because I was having difficulty finding low cost materials for adding a reflector to my M4. If I find reflector materials and get a PBS channel, I'll sell the CM4221 (shouldn't be too hard in Ottawa given the lack of suppliers).

Is that test channel on all the time?

If I drop satellite (to go with OTA only), Global will be important because my kids like to watch Wipeout!

Last edited by stampeder; 2010-09-16 at 06:47 PM.
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post #209 of 2214 (permalink) Old 2010-09-16, 05:54 PM
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Chicken Wire?
Quote:
Is that test channel on all the time?
Not all the the time, but when it's on, it tends to be on for a few days at a time.

Last edited by stampeder; 2010-09-16 at 06:49 PM.
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post #210 of 2214 (permalink) Old 2010-09-16, 06:18 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Ottawa
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On my last trip to the hardware store they didn't even have that (Lowes). Part of the problem may be that it's fall. The other part is they seem to sell the stuff in much larger lengths than I need (or am willing to pay). The costs seem to point towards just buying the Channel Master antenna.

Last edited by stampeder; 2010-09-16 at 06:48 PM.
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