DHC OTA Members Meet: Kanata and Area - Page 2 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #16 of 331 (permalink) Old 2011-10-04, 08:50 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Kanata
Posts: 534

It seems like we need to propose a firm date to make this thing happen.

Ashtonp, it seems we would all like to take up your invitation. Can you propose another date when you could run later than 9:30 pm? To give us sufficient time to make arrangements, I think it would have to be no sooner than the week of 17th October.
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post #17 of 331 (permalink) Old 2011-10-04, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Nepean - CM4221HD, EyeTV hybrid.
Posts: 54
I will be there if I am free on the the proposed date.
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post #18 of 331 (permalink) Old 2011-10-04, 12:27 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: near Ashton, ON.
Posts: 108
A few comments and thoughts about the meet

My wife works weekdays, which is why the 9:30 cutoff. I figured that since 123Mike had proposed the Ashton pub, that we could adjourn there for wind-down discussions and possibly planning for a follow-up meet. (And my wife is fine with having a subsequent meeting here if folks want, but with the same end time.)

One reason I offered to host was that I have several antennae on-hand (CM3671, WG HD8800, AntennasDirect ClearStream2, Wade 5Y6S, an unknown UHF corner reflector yagi [update: appears to be a Radio Shack U-120 uhf antenna, part #15-1662]) and I thought folks might be interested in seeing the different designs. But sunset is now 6:38 pm and advancing, so some of these will no longer be visible. And I need to get the HD8800 and Kitztech KT200 up on the main antenna mast before the weather makes it impractical, so these too will soon not be available for examination.

I originally thought we could do this more impromptu (example: mlord posted an invitation for an OTA discussion in Nov/09, and had about 10 of us in his basement, with less than 30 hours notice... BTW, scheduled time was 7:30 to 9:45), but I can understand folks wanting to organize things a bit better before committing their time. I am not locked into Oct 13; it's just another night my wife has a meeting, so would minimize the inconvenience for her.

And I'll certainly try to make it if another venue is chosen And I'll bring along my 1996 Channel Master catalogues for perusal...

Last edited by ashtonp; 2011-10-04 at 11:50 PM. Reason: new info on previously unknown UHF cr-yagi from http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=107706&page=41
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post #19 of 331 (permalink) Old 2011-10-04, 12:49 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Kanata
Posts: 534
Ah! Now I understand, ashtonp: I interpreted your second message to mean you had another commitment after 9:30pm.

Given what you point out about fading light, can I suggest we grasp the offer of 13th October? What start time would you propose?
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post #20 of 331 (permalink) Old 2011-10-04, 01:15 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Nepean, ON
Posts: 373
just want to make an obvious point here: It's NOT a good idea to post any specific personal info (i.e. home address). Any address, directions and what not would be better off in a PM or better yet in external emails after exchanging addresses thru PMs.
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post #21 of 331 (permalink) Old 2011-10-04, 01:27 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: near Ashton, ON.
Posts: 108
Originally Posted by OTAJuncqui View Post
Any address, directions and what not would be better off in a PM or better yet in external emails after exchanging addresses thru PMs.
Absolutely. If it turns out to be here, I was planning to handle it similar to what mlord did for his open house:

Email me (xxxxx at yyyyy dot zzz) with your telephone number if you want to attend, and I'll get back to you via email (or by telephone if time is short) with my own address and number.
Substituting valid info for the redacted version above, of course.
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post #22 of 331 (permalink) Old 2011-10-06, 12:10 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: near Ashton, ON.
Posts: 108
DHC OTA Members Meeting, Kanata and Area

OK, folks, I think we're ready to move ahead with this! So, for those interested:

Date: Thursday Oct 13, 2011
Location: meeting starts at my house, adjourns to Ashton Pub at 9:30
Start Time: arrive after 6:30 pm. Meeting officially starts 7:30 pm
End Time: at my place: 9:30; at the Pub: ???
Proposed topics: see previous messages in this thread.

123Mike has generously agreed to chair the meeting, and hopefully can still bring his toddler's easel, paper, and white board!

Email me (kscales // at // primus // dot // ca) with your telephone number if you want to attend, and I'll get back to you via email (or by telephone if time is short) with my own address and number.

Note: My home is about 20 minutes from Kanata Centrum; maybe 15 minutes from Stittsville Main, and a very easy drive using either Fallowfield Rd or Hwy 7.
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post #23 of 331 (permalink) Old 2011-10-12, 03:29 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: near Ashton, ON.
Posts: 108
DHC OTA Members Meeting, Kanata and Area

Reminder: the meeting is scheduled for tomorrow night (Thursday, Oct 13).
Details in message DHC OTA Members Meet: Kanata and Area

We are especially pleased that GerryB will be joining us, and we will be able to check out the antenna pre-amplifier he has designed and built. (Reference http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/show...ghlight=GerryB)

As a special bonus, Gerry has made the following offer: "we'll do a draw of straws and I'll give away 2 completely finished pre-amps with power supply and everything."
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post #24 of 331 (permalink) Old 2011-10-12, 03:32 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Ottawa (Stittsville), ON, OTA (DB4e & VHF-HI folded dipole, AP-2870 pre-amp in Attic), MythTV HTPC
Posts: 6,248
Wish I could make it but I am stuck at home looking after the kids Thursday evenings.

Link to my TVFool results is in my profile Homepage URL. I suggest others do the same.
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post #25 of 331 (permalink) Old 2011-10-13, 04:37 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 8
I'm planning on making it ... a little early to check out the antenna ...s
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post #26 of 331 (permalink) Old 2011-10-14, 03:13 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 83
How did last night's event go?

I have not been to Digitalhome.ca for a while so forgot about the meeting. I'm interested in any future meetings that you are planning especially if they are closer to downtown (I live in Centretown). My neighbours and co-workers keep asking me about antennas so it would be great having a regular gathering that I could point them to.

On the other hand, I've been sick the last few days so maybe it was best I didn't attend.

Finally, does anyone know of a good installer who's willing to put an antenna up on a steep roof? If so, please send me a PM.
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post #27 of 331 (permalink) Old 2011-10-16, 01:15 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: near Ashton, ON.
Posts: 108
Meeting overview

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.
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post #28 of 331 (permalink) Old 2011-10-16, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 32
Meeting report

I want to thank the people attending last Thursday's meeting.
It was a lot of fun seeing everyone introduce themselves and express their enthusiasm about the subject. IMO, the atmosphere was comfortable and charged with people eager to share their experiences and views, so thing were kept a little adhoc as opposed to structured.
A special thanks to Ken for opening the doors to his home providing an excellent venue, and showing his multiple antenna setup and TV+MythTV setup. Ken lives only a few km from my place, in a most excellent area near Ashton in between Stittsville and Carleton Place.
Also a special thanks to Gerry for showing his home-brewed+built pre-amp and demonstrating how it is capable of increasing signal quality enough to pickup channels you'd otherwise wouldn't, under certain conditions. We learned how a pre-amp ought to be close to the antenna, after which you can worry less about further signal degradation due to cabling and whatnot. Gerry gave away 2 of his pre-amps, and lend out a few more to others curious to see what it can accomplish. At some point we were able to get a PBS channel holding up a $15 antenna indoors!
It was absolutely fascinating to see a group of people being so into this whole thing of antennas, pre-amps, cabling, theories, recording equipment, etc. Collectively, we clearly cover this field in pretty good detail. Hopefully there will be more opportunities to share all this knowledge and experiences among us.

Some of the topics I was hoping to cover were:
- Impedance, what is it really?
- SNR, what it is all about. Signal strength vs snr, measuring snr.
- Antenna designs, (omni) directional, combos, why when what.
- All the extras, pre-amps, splitters, joiners, filters, baluns, lightning protection, etc.

I hope there will be interest in another or more meetings where we can cover these topics and other topics people like to see covered.
There was interest in the computer end of things, like MythTV / Ubuntu / tools like azap, and whatever other software there is that can tune, record, present guides, etc. Although most people prefer Linux, there are also people that use Windows and Mac, and we should use that to see how all offerings work differently. Also, much Linux based software cross compiles for other platforms as well. All that calls for its own meeting.
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post #29 of 331 (permalink) Old 2011-10-16, 10:44 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 83
Thank you both for the detailed meeting summaries. I look forward to attending the next event.
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post #30 of 331 (permalink) Old 2011-11-02, 01:08 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Kanata
Posts: 534
Second DHC OTA Members Meet: Kanata and Area

…and the next event will be Tuesday 22nd November at the Royal Oak, 329 March Road in Kanata, starting at 7:30 pm.

I have reserved a back room for our exclusive use. I will provide a projector, screen and W7 machine for anyone who would like to show us anything that needs that (bring your own laptop if you don’t like M$!).

After (brief) introductions, I would propose that we try to follow 123Mike’s agenda that we strayed from at the first meeting

Please RSVP to this thread if you think you will be attending.

P.S. The Fortune tower can be seen from this pub
The TVFool of the pub is here: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...4bba3621b8c166

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