: ON - Belleville, Kingston, Smiths Falls, Brockville - OTA
2011-10-04, 08:43 AM
PrinceLH, the cheese factory in Harrowsmith is gone, it was flattened a few years ago and the parent company moved its production to the Trenton area. There is still a cheese factory in Wilton however, which IMHO is really excellent.
mrvanwinkles, I'm not really interested in FTA. Looking at the channel lineups lately, there are only a handful of what I would consider interesting channels and a lot of junk to wade through. With a slight improvement to my OTA setup to stabilize it/make it more reliable, I should be able to get pretty much everything I would want, with the exception of an NBC affiliate. We only watch a few hours of tv per week, and I have a media center pc for playback of shows via the network's websites if there is something I really want to see but can't get.
Thanks for your input though.
2011-10-04, 09:59 AM
My father-in-law lives on Murvale road, he can get NBC from Syracuse pretty much most of the time. Watertown and Belleville (TVO digital) are solid. He has poor setup compared to you.
For Watertown, he can get 7 at 100% (VIP302SR), and 50, 16 and 28 at around 80% on a 4221 clone. He has a CM 7778 with FM trap on and the inputs separated for VHF and UHF.
He also gets TVO 26 all the time as well.
2011-10-04, 06:21 PM
I am located behind the Catarqui Town Centre in Kingston and here is my TVFool report:
I currently have a 48' tower with about another 6' of mast above the top bearing, a rotor and an el-cheepo Factory Direct CM4221 clone antenna connected through RG6 double shielded cable through a grounding block and to my Vizo tv. I have purchased a CM 7777 booster but have not yet installed it and am slowly building a GH10n3 from these designs: http://clients.teksavvy.com/~nickm/gh_n3_uV/gh10n3_9V7_15u0.html
My current issue is that Watertown is sold, as are my analog locals, but Syracuse becomes marginal with poor weather. I am getting discouraged with the complexity of building the GH10n3 as I cannot find parts locally to build the frame; but I do have the copper elements and top hats built and have almost completed the reflectors and narods by scavaging parts from an old VHF/UHF antenna. I am considering a 91XG instead and am interested in other members thoughts. At some point in the future I may also add a Diamond X500 dual band 2m/70cm amateur omni-direction antenna to the very top.
I am unsure if possible, but I would love to be able to get CBC hi-def out of Ottawa until CKWS gets their chit together.
Welcome to the forum!!!
Good on you for pursuing a home built antenna. Keep up the good work.
As for what you should do with your awesome tower. I recommend this:
It is the top-of-the-line antenna for your top-of-the-line tower. The Winegard HD8200U all-channel antenna with the CM7777 that you currently have along with a rotator (perhaps searching for an old used one might be your best bet) would be the best combination to achieve your maximum potential.
This tower is also tops on Stampeder's Antennas Chart
I think this antenna is best for you because your best bet for reliable reception of Global TV is on Channel 2 and CTV on Channel 6. I know you'll be hoping for Global and CTV and CBC in digital so you'll be making efforts to capture those stations on other frequencies, but for reliable daily reception, you're going to need an antenna that is designed to do the job on VHF-low, specifically channels 2 and 6.
The 8200U is also an excellent antenna for UHF.
The 91xg is a good antenna, but I have read that its greatest strength is at the top end of the channels 14 - 69 spectrum. Those are channels none of us need anymore. I have read that there are other antennas that have better gain scores than the xg-91 in the lower end of the UHF spectrum -- antennas such as the DB8 likely outperform the xg91 in the channels 14 - 25 range.
But if you have a need for reception of VHF-low (ch 2 -6), VHF-high (ch 7 - 13), and UHF(ch 14 - 51), why make things complicated by purchasing and mounting multiple antennas? The 8200U is in my opinion the right way to go for you.
Oh yeah...upgrade your RG6 to tri-shield. It might help. And spring for quality connector ends. I use Thomas & Betts compression connectors. Invest $20 or so in the two tools you need (stripper and crimper). It would be a shame to have such a great 48' tower and quality antenna have its reception ruined by cheap cable and poor quality ends.
Also, you might want some kind of filter for Channel 11 to atennuate its strong signal. You'll want the pre-amp for many reasons, but the pre-amp may introduce overload into your system when pointing your antenna through the CKWS transmitter toward your US stations. You can research here on Digital Home threads what to do (I'm not an expert here) but there are things you can do to filter out your strong analog channel (CKWS won't disappear even if you filter it strongly). Maybe ask Wilspin (DH member). He seems to know a lot about filtering strong signals to make magic happen with hard-to-get stations.
With the right choices and not a horrible amount of expense, you could have the best setup in town. Invite the neighbours over to see your results once you get things right.
Bythe way, CBOT Ottawa HD virtual channel 4.1 is on real channel 25. You have a PBS channel WCNY also coming in on real channel 25 (rf25 = radio frequency 25). The PBS channel is not particularly weak and the CBC channel is pretty weak -- basically it's out-of-range. CBOT is not so out-of-range that you should completely give up on it especially on warm summer nights - like during the Stanley Cup finals. But if you want to try to fight to get it, you need the best antenna possible AND you need to be able to aim (rotator).
If you think my suggestion is overkill (I don't think so), then here are compromises I suggest in order:
1) Winegard hd8200U (my choice if I had your tower)
2) Antennacraft HBU55 or Winegard hd7698p
3) Channel Master 4228hd (UHF-only antenna that is known to have some high-vhf gain)
4) Antennas Direct DB8
5) Antennas Direct 91xg (I wouldn't. You put yourself at risk of losing WWNY CBS HD & WNYF Fox HD on real channel 7)
Please report back here your progress.
2011-10-05, 11:38 AM
No advise on the setup I think it's been covered very well. However CKWS is doing something in January. I don't know if anyone else saw the ad in one of the flyer packs delivered in the mail but it basically said there was something special coming in January.
I'm hoping it means they are switching their OTA broadcast over to digital HD in January
2011-10-05, 01:00 PM
CKWS has just recently started distributing HD over Cogeco channel 702, so maybe the transmitter is coming next? That would be great for NHL games that my girlfriend likes so much. :)
2011-10-05, 01:28 PM
HWP, thank you for your fantastic advice and welcome.
I currently have an older analog rotor with brake up there with a manual Crown controller (Radio Shack unit I think). My old flat rotor wire was beat so I replaced it with 18/3 LVT security system wire (hope the insulation can handle the UV). I just took a second look and the coax is RG6U Quad cable with Ideal compression F connectors. All of the cables are new as I only finished my initial installation a couple of weeks ago; I had to build a jin-pole to get the top section on.
I really like the looks of the HD8200U. Since I would likely order it from the site sponsor, the cost plus shipping from Mississaugua is going to add up. I think I will spend a little more time trying to figure out how to finish my GH10n3 first, before the snow flies that is. ;)
I had been reading about frontend overload using the CM7777 and was wondering about how CKWS would affect me. I have never used notch filters before but I will give them a look.
I was playing around with some channel scans last night I can tune in TVO-DT from Belleville easily. Anyone know when they may go HD?
Here is a picture of my current setup:
You make passionate OTAers very envious with that tower and rotator. Please get a good antenna for it. Your rotator is laughing at your antenna. ;>)
2011-10-06, 11:52 PM
8200U is a massive antenna. Although HWP recommends it, I personally I would shy away from it. HAM radio friend has an Winegard hd7697p, likes it (lives in Picton, get Rochester solid) and gets great VHF low reception too with it (2 and 6).
If you go with an amp, my father in law has a 7778 (works well, not as strong as a 7777), he gets NBC pretty much all the time (its his best Syracuse) and that is the only one needed not available out of Watertown. Remember those amps take separate VHF and UHF antennas so if you wanted an XG91, you could add a VHF antenna as well. Note, FOX HD should be on channel 28-1 (real 35).
I have a Winegard hd7697p on my 30' tower and I love it. My rotator is going up tomorrow finally. It's a late '70's Channel Master.
I wonder if/when those low-vhf channels in your area finally go digital, maybe they'll stay on low-vhf (witness Global Ottawa and other Globals gone digital on rf6). If they go digital and stay on low-vhf, you might be really happy you went with the 8200u. If those stations go digital on low-vhf, they'll probably end up very underpowered. Besides, your tower and rotator can handle that big antenna.
I might have chosen a different pre-amp as well, but since you have a 7777 already, you may as well give it a try. If you find you can't steer away from your overload issues with use of the rotator, you might have to get a lower gain pre-amp.
2011-10-07, 10:56 PM
Channel 2 is slotted to go into 8 when it converts. 49 is supposed to go to 49 when it switches, but I can see it being left on 6. I have a couple of channel 6 joiners just in case of such an issue.
A channel 11 filter would be great to have. I would wait and see if they lower power if they go digital.
Check this tv fool out....
My father in laws tv fool. He is fed up of sat. Anyways, from the TV Fool, I thought he was out of luck.
But he plugged in some ancient RCA plastic UHF antenna with a built in booster. From that he gets fox, CBS, CBC, TVO, PBS 57 and 18, CTV 13.1 and more. I was shocked!
Problem is he has to rotate it, but it doesn't stop and there is no way to know which way it is pointed. I suggested a cm7777 and a cm4048? I was hopeing he was close enough to get the us channels off the back and the Ottawa channels off the front.
He could do a rotator I suppose, or perhaps combine 2 cm4221s? Any other ideas?
2011-10-10, 11:40 PM
Oops, above should be Channel 6 is supposed to go to 49.
2011-10-11, 09:46 AM
Wing, Looking at your Father-In-Law's TVFool report, I would say he is in a good position to receive most of the broadcasts from Ottawa, Montreal and most of the US networks (if he is a hockey fan he may be able to chose between Ottawa, Montreal or Toronto games). His biggest issue will be co-channel interference so I would recommend an antenna that is quite directional with a high front-back ratio. This will mean using a rotor however.
If it were me, I would forget about trying to receive CIII-DT-6 from Ottawa as he should be able to receive Global Montreal (CKMI-DT-1). Given that assumption, I would recommend a Wingard HD7698P (http://www.winegard.com/kbase/upload/HD7698P.pdf) VHF-HI/UHF antenna.
Edit: Is this in the right thread? It looks like he is somewhere in Eastern Ontario near Cornwall.
I agree with Roger1818.
I'd get either the Winegard hd7698p or Antennacraft HBU55. In installed an HBU55 last weekend on a tower in a fringe location and I wished that I had chosen the HBU55 for my house over the one I ended up choosing for my place. Either way, both antennas are good and I have no complaints about my house's TV reception.
And I'd get a pre-amp. Channel Master 7777 or 7778. Either will proably work great.
And I'd get a rotator. If he has a rotator that still works, then consider replacing the ground level control box with a new one if that is a source of the problem.
Look at my antenna set-up. It is very similar to what I'm recommending.
I also agree with Roger1818 about not bothering trying to pull in Global on rf6. If you really want to go for it, though, then swap out the antennas we're recommending with the Winegard 8200u.
2011-11-08, 07:29 PM
Just picked up my new HDTV and looking forward to watching OTA.
In Kingston (K7m8k5) and would like advice on antenna, direction that will work for me and be cost effective and easy to set up.
2011-11-09, 08:23 AM
Unfortunately Kingston was not considered a mandatory market for digital conversion so all the Canadian stations near you are still broadcasting in analog. You will be able to receive some of the American broadcasts however. To best determine what you can receive, we will need to see your TVFool (http://www.tvfool.com) report.
2011-11-09, 10:57 AM
Thanks, lot's of things to know. This is my profile...
I was thinking of trying a "Factory Direct" discount brand antenna.
I have a S/E clear view about 40 ft. roof mount.
Is this a good start.
Also I understand that the quality of HDTV is better than cable or sat.
Is this true?
2011-11-09, 12:18 PM
I recommend staying away from discount antennas like the ones they sell at "Factory Direct." You certainly get what you pay for.
You are correct that the picture quality of DTV OTA is better than that from cable or sat. How much so depends on the cable or sat provider in question.
Could you provide a TVFool report that uses your exact location and estimated antenna height (above ground)? The one you provided will give us a rough estimate as to the direction of the signals, but won't give us a very good indication of the signal strength. Don't worry about privacy as it won't publish your exact location.
Also, are you only interested in the DTV broadcasts or are you also interested in the analog ones?
2011-11-09, 02:05 PM
Will be in Toronto area for the weekend, any suggestions for an antenna.
Only need digital reception since, for some reason, cogeco cable for my internet also gives me all the analog stations even though I do not pay for cable tv.
Also, is Ottawa reception a posibility?