I received my Research Communications 9254 pre-amp in about 10 business days. It arrived without triggering any handling fees, duty or GST/PST
. I finally had it installed at my cottage on a 40’ tower with an original CM 4228. It replaced a CM 7777. I am located in the extreme deep fringe (Toronto – 110 km, Buffalo – 170-210 km, Batavia – 160 km).
Prior to the switch, I was receiving WPXJ, WGRZ, WIVB, WKBW, WNLO, WNYO from Batavia (ION) and Buffalo plus the local analog channels: CBC, CTV, Global, TVO and A-Channel. On only a few occasions have I been able to receive CBC from Toronto but no other channels (nothing like watching my Leafs lose in HD on a Saturday night). However, the Batavia and Buffalo channels are only watchable during good tropo conditions otherwise there is no signal or severe pixelation and freezing. The Buffalo signals also seem better at night than during the day.
I was hoping that the RC 9254 would reduce the amount of pixelation on the Buffalo channels and would allow me to receive the closer Toronto channels. My TV does not have a signal meter so my observations are purely subjective. With respect to the analog channels, there seems to be some minor improvement – the picture appears to be a bit sharper. There also appears to be some minor reduction in the amount of pixelation on the Batavia and Buffalo channels, especially ION (WPXJ), however, during none-tropo conditions, the picture was still not watchable – no miracle here. Most disappointing is my continued inability to receive Toronto channels
. I was hoping to see similar results to mlord who in post 928 in this thread reported “pulling in WNPI-DT out of nearly nothing”. Perhaps I am simply too far out to receive Toronto channels since they are much lower powered than Buffalo channels. Too bad I can’t locate another original CM 4228 to stack.
In summary, was in worth it? The difference between the CM 7777 and the RC 9254 was hardly profound. However, I will reserve final judgment until I can test it under all conditions. Let’s see what happens when the leaves fall and the weather turns a bit colder. I think that in order to see a real difference between the RC and the CM, it probably depends on your location. In my case, and in others in this thread, it didn’t make a huge difference. However, in mlord’s location, it did. If I had to do it all over again, would I have replaced the CM 7777 with a RC 9254? Based on what I have seen so far, no, however that may change depending on whether or not I can pull in Hockey Night in Canada in HD from Toronto this winter!
The CM 7777 will soon be powering my DB4 in Toronto.