Join Date: May 2008
Location: near Ashton, ON.
I'd hoped that one of the other attendees might have taken some notes, and would provide a summary of the meeting. But, here's a quick overview from my memory...
Folks started arriving a bit before 7pm, and eventually there were a total of 8 of us gathered in the living room. Several folks came from Kanata, one from Perth, one from central Ottawa, and a couple of us from the Ashton area. Informal discussions continued until we started the meeting at 7:30.
First item on the agenda was introductions, so we went around the room. As each person introduced himself, he would touch on something of specific interest or concern to himself, which sparked great discussion on a wide variety of topics: antenna pre-amplifiers, computers, tuners, MythTV/Linux, RF noise, audio-video PC hardware, and several other topics. High level of participation by all in the various discussions, and I think there was a pretty good breadth of knowledge represented within the group.
At 9:10, we realized that we still had 3 introductions still left to do (!!!), which sort of indicates how much discussion there was...
Finally, at about 9:25, we wrapped up the intros, and moved to what was truly the highlight of the evening: GerryB had brought some of the antenna pre-amps he designed and built, and provided a demo of how a pre-amp can improve reception under different conditions. To do this, he had brought a "knock-off" 4-bay UHF antenna and what looked to me like a basic loop antenna (something like 22 gauge (???) bare copper wire in a loop with no skeleton -- I didn't get a close look at it). First we connected the 4-bay to my Aquos TV directly, and tried to pick up a couple of the remaining analog channels (34? and 36), with the 4-bay being hand-held in the middle of my living room. Pretty snowy. Inserted the pre-amp, and got a much better (tho still snowy) picture. Repeated the preceding but trying digital channels, and the improvement in ability to receive channels with the pre-amp inline was very clear. As an acid test, Gerry connected that basic loop antenna, and with the pre-amp inline was able to pick up a digital channel through the window. Since most of the attendees were very interested in PBS reception, we took the 4-bay outside, and once I got its "view" around the corner of the house, and raised it to arms-length, we were able to pick up WNPI from Colton (TVfool NM of 1.8 dB at 10 ft.) However, we weren't able to pick up WNYF (NM of -9.5 dB)...
After the demo, Gerry drew lots, and two lucky attendees each received one of his pre-amps. I think he sold another one or two on the spot... and I think others in the group are also considering (myself included).
We finally adjourned, probably sometime after 10:00, but as far as I know, my wife hasn't contacted a lawyer yet...
I think we were all pretty exhausted by then, and no-one actually went to the Ashton Pub afterwards.
Any other attendees have more to add?
Last edited by ashtonp; 2011-10-16 at 02:18 AM.