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post #601 of 1149 (permalink) Old 2010-09-06, 01:08 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: North Vancouver (roof mounted 4228HD + 7777 LOS, basic satellite)
Posts: 39
Hi Michael,

I have the same tv as you and I believe it has a pedantic ATSC tuner that scoffs at decoding anything of low signal strength. It needs a little help.

With my 4228, mounted outdoors, I could not receive KBTC; however, upon connecting the pre-amp 7777, I now manage to now pull in the KBTC channels. The main channel is great for kids while MHZ is good for international programming (anyone for Gaelic sports?)

If you are a soccer fan and in French immersion, there is more fun to come in 2011: SRC will be digitally broadcasting the Montreal Impact games.


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post #602 of 1149 (permalink) Old 2010-09-19, 12:05 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: East Vancouver, BC
Posts: 33
CM 4221 (partially hacked)

Have picked up my CM4221 at TSB in Point Roberts WA (a.k.a. Tsawassen BC) - Amazon delivers free, but doesn't sell to Canada. No biggie, 40 minutes drive.

Hate investing in electronics (it's endless), but this $45 was one of my best investments. Bright box like a toy, acronym HD and HDTV is mentioned 7 times on it - like this has something to do with antenna ...

My location at Clark/Broadway is terrible. 2nd floor South balcony, 10 miles to Mt Seymour but North direction is blocked by my building stucco wall. To the South I have 4-storey wooden building 60 ft away and then other buildings, and terrain ascends from me to East 33rd Ave before descending to Marine Dr and New West, so there is no LOS to Bellingham. All I have is reflected signals.

Positions tried (removed plastic clips and reversed balun, see "4221 Hack" thread):
1) Best position:
Antenna 1 ft from the deck, azimuth South-East 160 deg, boom slightly tilted back/down (i.e. antenna facing slightly up to Southern skies). Strictly plumb is worse - it doesn't clear some obstructions.
2) Antenna at the railings, facing North to the stucco wall 5 ft away. Slightly worse than #1.
3) Antenna outside the balcony railings, facing South. In theory, this should've been the best, but... When simply hung vertical on the railings it's not good. It has to be aimed a little up and turned 20 deg to the side, which requires complicated boom extending beyond the railings, so I dismissed this option.


Analog: 2, 8, 17, 26 (French), 32, 42. Signals without picture, some remote mirrors: 9 (mirror of 8), 10, 18 (mirror of 17), 43 (mirror of 42).

Digital: 2.1, 8.1, 10.1, 32.1, 42.1 with signal 50%-70% on a dry day on all channels except 42.1 (this one is always strong). If I make some channels 80%, others drop below 50%, so I've opted to have them all in 50-70 (except for 42.1 again, which is always blasting over 70%).

According to TV Fool, I should have the above channels with indoor antenna in ideal location (nothing blocking LOS). Can't complain, since my location is anything but ideal - I have no LOS to anything.
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post #603 of 1149 (permalink) Old 2010-09-26, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
OTA Forum Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 24,878
Several Windows Media Centre posts have been moved to the following thread in the HTPC forum:

Windows Media Center OTA guide issues in Vancouver
stampeder is offline  
post #604 of 1149 (permalink) Old 2010-10-19, 01:33 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: North Vancouver (roof mounted 4228HD + 7777 LOS, basic satellite)
Posts: 39
Cool sunny surprise - 20 stations

Today was a banner day in terms of closing the content gap with our cabal (sic) and satellite cousins. With some forgiving climatic conditions I locked onto 20 stations from North Van. The list is:

2-1 CBC
5-1 KING - DT (occasionally viewable)
5-2 KING - SD (occasionally viewable)
10-1 CITY
16-1 KONG DT (not viewable unless I hack balun)
16-2 KONG SD (not viewable unless I hack balun)
20-1 KTBW - RELIGIOUS stations
22-1 KZJO (not viewable)
22-2 Q13 FOX (not viewable unless I reposition antenna 10 degrees to west)
24-1 KBCB
28-1 KBTC
28-2 MHZ

All in all, a good day to see what is possible. Some modifications required like:

- balun hack
- remove one coax split
- employ a digital box with better ATSC tuner sensitivity?

I need an extra few db. Any thoughts?
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post #605 of 1149 (permalink) Old 2010-10-24, 11:20 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Brookswood area, Langley, BC - Clearstream v1 antenna with HDHomerun DVR
Posts: 246
bpag, can you post your TV Fool results?
keithr386 is offline  
post #606 of 1149 (permalink) Old 2010-10-26, 12:25 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: North Vancouver (roof mounted 4228HD + 7777 LOS, basic satellite)
Posts: 39
Hi Keithr 386:

Thanks for asking. I was not able to cut and paste from TV Fool, but here, manually, were the results:

2-1 CBC 57.1 NM
42-1 CHNM 54.7 NM
32-1 CIVT/CTV 54.1NM
10-1 CITY 52.3NM
22-1 GLOBAL 51.9NM
12-1 KVOS 50.1NM
24-1 KBCB 47.4NM
28-1 KBTC 36.5
28-2 MHZ 36.5

5-1 KING - DT -25.5NM Tropo
16-1 KONG DT -30.2 NM Tropo
20-1 KTBW -17.9 NM (1 Edge)
22-1 KZJO -21.4 NM Tropo
22-2 Q13 FOX -12.5 NM (2 Edge)
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post #607 of 1149 (permalink) Old 2010-10-26, 12:33 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Brookswood area, Langley, BC - Clearstream v1 antenna with HDHomerun DVR
Posts: 246
Impressive. Would you be willing to post your postal code? I just want to get a better "lay of the land" from your position.
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post #608 of 1149 (permalink) Old 2010-10-26, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 24,878
bpag, just copy and paste the URL link to the report that TVFool gives you. Here is an example of a post containing a TVFool report link:

BC - City of Vancouver, North Van, West Van - OTA
stampeder is offline  
post #609 of 1149 (permalink) Old 2010-10-26, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: North Vancouver (roof mounted 4228HD + 7777 LOS, basic satellite)
Posts: 39
Thanks, Stampeder. Here are the results:

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post #610 of 1149 (permalink) Old 2010-10-27, 04:43 PM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Lynn Valley
Posts: 9
"I need an extra few db. Any thoughts?"

From your post Oct19th "I need an extra few db. Any thoughts? "

bpag what is your goal with the additional db?

With your described setup can you consistantly pull in all of the LOS listed stations?

From our TVfool listings we are pretty much neighbours;


I can lock in chan 25, KJOE/FOX for several evening hours but only after a clear day.
But I do have a roof mounted SBGH that i made specifically for chan 24 KBTC.
30 meter cable and no pre-amp, and a LG70xx tv.
I recently built a DBGH Wide band my initial tests are not so promising, albeit I do need to rework the phasing lines. When I can make the time I will perform some more tests and post. (or in box ya.)


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post #611 of 1149 (permalink) Old 2010-10-28, 11:28 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: North Vancouver (roof mounted 4228HD + 7777 LOS, basic satellite)
Posts: 39
Thanks, Anglia. I can't pull in the Seattle stations with any consistency. The best I can achieve is locking on their faint channel identifier. And that is on a good day. Fox can be locked onto fairly consistently, but that requires repositioning of the antenna. I'm getting too old for that and syndicated Fox News is not worth the effort.

All other stations in Bellingham (KBTC, KVOS & shopping) are permanent fixtures on my Samsung LN550.
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post #612 of 1149 (permalink) Old 2010-11-09, 06:12 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 3
Vancouver: Marpole

Hi all,

I recently moved into a house in Marpole in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Before that I lived in a condo in downtown and used a very crude coat hanger antenna (inside the suite) to receive CBC, CTV, Global and OMNI in HD.

Now, with the coat hanger inside the house I can get one analog channel (US I think) that's not even worth turning on the TV for.

Please help me choose the best antenna and setup in order to receive the most HD channels.

I live one block east of Granville and 70th:

I can either mount an antenna out front facing West/South: view or out back (preferred option), facing North/East/South: view

If I mount it out back I will either attach it to the above pole or instead of this satellite dish (which I now know is useless): dish.

I could potentially attach an antenna to my chimney but I'd rather not as I don't know how I'd get up there to install it safely: chimney.

I plan to run the cable into the existing demarcation box which leads coax cables into the house so that I don't have to drill a hole in the wall or go through windows to get to my TV: demarcation box.

Is an SBGH antenna the best choice?
Assuming I cannot acquire 6 gauge copper wire, how thin can I go without making the construction pointless?
If I decide not to build my own antenna, is a CM4221HD my best choice?
Do I need additional equipment?
Where should I mount the antenna and in which direction should I point it (once I build/buy it of course)?


Last edited by stampeder; 2010-11-09 at 10:26 PM. Reason: location in title
Gowrath is offline  
post #613 of 1149 (permalink) Old 2010-11-18, 04:53 PM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC Stacked Clearstream4's, CM7777
Posts: 9
Thumbs up Clearstream8 in East Vancouver

I've been learning tons of useful information from this forum and I'd like to thank Stampeder and everyone else who has contributed to take the 'mystery' out of OTA TV. I've finally set up my antenna here in East Vancouver - Just off Commercial drive.

According to TVFool


I should expect to recieve all of the local channels coming off of Mt. Seymour plus a few from the Bellingham transmitters. The local channels are only ~8 miles away and have a clear line-of-sight. The Bellingham channels on the other hand proved to be more challenging for my location - more so than the TVFool report would indicate.

I picked up the Clearstream4 because of it's high gain on lower UHF frequencies (my trouble channels 19-24) also because of it's compact size and the 'wife approval factor' - (she still hates it). I then combined it with the Channel Master 7777.

A couple of hurdles to overcome: I am essentially at the foot of the hill at Clark & 12th Ave with a rise up to 33rd Ave. To complicate this further, there are some very tall fir & cherry trees blocking most of my south view. I tried moving my CS4 around my property on a ten foot pole in search of a 'sweet spot'. A couple of locations allowed me to pick up KVOS and KBCB - 'The shopping channel' but my goal was to get the PBS repeater K24IC AKA KBTC. I could pick up a very weak sporadic signal but nothing reliable or watchable. I picked up a second Clearstream4 and created a 'Clearstream8'. This helped a bit in that I could now get KBTC periodically when conditions were right.

OK Now I had to get on the roof to see what I could get with more height. I originally wanted to mount the antenna to the chimney but a huge fir tree was directly in my line-of-site. The only place clear of the trees was on the edge of my property on the side of the house. So with 24 inch stand-off brackets I attached the ten foot pole.

With the pole and the stand-off brackets attached the antenna was sitting just above my gutters, my line-of-site was just to the side of the trees but not high enough to clear the neighbours very close roof. KBTC was now coming in just above 15 SNR so it was almost watchable.

OK I've come this far one more thing to try.

I attached a second 10 foot pole and a third stand-off bracket and raised up the whole thing to get above the roof(s) ~42 feet. KVOS's SNR is above 23 and the SNR of KBTC is now between 18-20, I am getting a solid consistent signal and all the local channels are coming in very well on the backside of the CS8 - Time to lock it all down. I attached guy wires to my roof as well as created an outrigger for the third wire. BTW I did this in 60km winds and everything held together very well without the guy wires (mind you I wouldn't want to leave it that way for very long).

One odd thing to note: while every channel I could reasonable expect to receive was now coming in, I somehow nulled out the shopping channel (at 10 SNR) - not a real loss - I think I Can live without it.

Nice to have my feet back on the ground.

Thanks All!

robHillis is offline  
post #614 of 1149 (permalink) Old 2010-11-19, 10:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Port Moody, BC
Posts: 92
Clearstream8 in East Vancouver

Hi Rob,

It sounds like you may have a similar situation to me for trying to receive the Bellingham channels. My location is Port Moody and the signals are dragged over Coquitlam Ridge. I have sufficient strength, but the multi-path is bad making the quality often too poor to receive the signal. Trying to set up an antenna with this situation is very frustrating as the quality is changing and appears more like the signal level is changing.

I find the Shop NBC comes in 99.9% of the time; KVOS about 50% of the time - usually after dark and better with rain and fog; K24IC about 1% of the time. The quality level on Shop NBC has to be about 70% on my Channel Master PVR before K24IC will come in.

To save frustration, I suggest you contact Greg who is member 4DTV HD in this forum. He has a spectrum analyser and can tell you if signal quality is the problem and try to find a sweet spot.
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post #615 of 1149 (permalink) Old 2010-11-20, 11:51 PM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC Stacked Clearstream4's, CM7777
Posts: 9
Thanks Rick Dude,

My options for antenna placement were limited in that there really was only two choices in my situation, under the trees at 10 feet or up and around. Shooting through trees, especially with such low signal strength in my area just wasn't going to work. With not enough gain on the ground I knew I was inevitably going to have to crawl onto the roof.

I did find when I stacked the two antennas, the signal was still low on the ground, but there was now much less fluctuation in levels - Could this help you?

Until I read on this forum that KBCB has added a quality sub-channel, I am happy to leave things alone (at least until spring). I am still receiving my PBS without any problems.

Last edited by stampeder; 2010-11-21 at 09:25 AM. Reason: quote removed as per rules
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