: ON - Ottawa, Vanier, Gloucester, Orleans - OTA
Here is a free way to try to improve things: I know your Kitztech is for indoor use only. But one way to try to improve your reception would be to hook your Kitztech amp outside at mast level temporarily. You'll need to bring an extension cord up to the roof with you to plug it in.
Second: I'm suspicious of the tuner sensitivity of the Hauppauge tuners. In the last few days I've read discouraging stuff about those tuners' ability to lock-on to stations that people normally have no trouble getting when watching on their TV. I know nothing about your other TV tuner.
Do you have a friend or relative with a small ATSC enabled HDTV that you could borrow?
Do you know anyone with a digital-to-analogue converter box that you could borrow to do a channel scan at your place using a CRT TV?
Is there any way you could add a bit more height to your antenna? Maybe a friend could just hold it higher while you went and checked for improvements.
By the way, when I first got interested in OTA, I built my own four-bay antenna. It got fine results in Toronto - almost every station. But when I took it to my cottage in Kazabazua (Gatineau Hills), I got NOTHING! That was when I realized that I was not an antenna-building genious. Later I brought a ch4221hd to my cottage and got about nine channels. Finally, I settled on a cm4228hd for my cottage and got all the same channels stronger PLUS I locked-on to CBOT and CBOFT in digital from the cottage (with a preamp).
2010-09-16, 03:09 PM
amac, Hi and welcome. Are you sure you have the antenna pointed in exactly the right direction? Is there anything nearby that could be blocking the signal?
I just noticed that the CRC has a license to test on channel 38, so if they are transmitting, it could prevent you from receiving WCFE. As for WNPI, it looks like you will need an extremely good antenna to receive it, and it may not be reliable. The thing about homemade antennas is if you make a mistake in construction, they may not work as well as you are expecting. Regarding the CM-4221, it may not have enough gain to pick up WNPI.
2010-09-16, 03:30 PM
I'm suspicious of the tuner sensitivity of the Hauppauge tuners.
My HVR 1600 cards definitely have less sensitive tuners than my LG TV, but my HVR 950Q is quite good. (I have found the TV to be better at dealing with multipath though.)
I have the mast mounted Kitz, KT100-VG-COAX (sorry if I quoted the wrong model ).
As to obstructions, I'm in Blackburn so there are trees but I don't consider any of them as major obstructions. I'm pointing to where I believe SSE is and I've tried 15 degree variations on that where one of the 2 signals weakens.
I did play with the Kitz gain screw as I did experience some overload (or so I believe because CBC dropped from 95% without the amp to 37% with the amp ). I toned down the gain a bit (not much) until the local channels all came in at the high 90's.
Sorry for my error. I do have the COAX version (corrected my first post) of the Kitz amp. Regarding tuners, I may pick up a new tv this weekend so I will try its tuner.
I oriented myself using Google a while back but I really need a compass to be positive. That said did try a number of other orientations that resulted in signal loss. I'm also kind of surprised that the CM4221 did not significantly outperform my homemade M4 antenna (reflectorless). I think I convinced myself that the CM4221-HD would push me over the hump for receiving the signal.
The Hauppauge tuner did indeed pick up the test channel on 38 (at 10%) so yes that might be problematic. Note my ATI tuner did not pick up that channel.
I guess I'm just asking is my configuration reasonable? I've certainly seen other OTA user's TVFool charts that had lower NM's than I do that seem to pick up the PBS signals fine. I realize that local geography has a major effect. I'm on the west side of Blackburn Hamlet which is somewhat lower that the western side. That said, playing with the height in TVFool, there are no major changes until about 80'. There might be a hydro station a few blocks away. I have to check that out.
I may just be out of luck ... :confused:
2010-09-16, 04:33 PM
I would go with an M4 WITH a reflector, and dial the gain up a bit if you can. The digital stations from Camp Fortune will probably come in just fine (except perhaps for SunTV, but then they'll be gone soon, anyway), and the analog stations will all be gone within a year, anyway. This way, you'll have a better chance at WCFE. The CRC test channel is about 22 dB above WCFE. You only need to reduce that by 7-10 dB to let WCFE peek thorugh. The reflector should be able to accomplish that.
Depending on the way you make the reflector, you may get good enough reception for 9 and 13 digital next year.
You'll need a dedicated channel 6 antenna to get Global digitally next year.
I had opted for trying the CM-4221-HD because I was having difficulty finding low cost materials for adding a reflector to my M4. If I find reflector materials and get a PBS channel, I'll sell the CM4221 (shouldn't be too hard in Ottawa given the lack of suppliers).
Is that test channel on all the time?
If I drop satellite (to go with OTA only), Global will be important because my kids like to watch Wipeout!:)
2010-09-16, 04:54 PM
Chicken Wire?Is that test channel on all the time?
Not all the the time, but when it's on, it tends to be on for a few days at a time.
On my last trip to the hardware store they didn't even have that (Lowes). Part of the problem may be that it's fall. The other part is they seem to sell the stuff in much larger lengths than I need (or am willing to pay). The costs seem to point towards just buying the Channel Master antenna.
2010-09-16, 05:30 PM
Factory Direct has some antennas in stock. You might want to try them.
2010-09-16, 05:31 PM
I got chicken wire at Home Hardware, but that was earlier in the summer.
2010-09-16, 06:42 PM
Out of NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, CW, PBS, the only one that is reliable is PBS, with WNPI and WCFE. CBS and FoxMy cbs and fox are solid most nights. WCFE and WNPI are always 100% everyday all day long, so that is 6 PBS channels, with 2 of them in HD. I have the cm4228 and my long range channel master that is good for 100 miles
2010-09-16, 08:33 PM
amac, regarding your mention of the lack of suppliers in Ottawa, there is at least one supplier I found which carries things in stock here in Ottawa, I posted it in the shopping forum:
Wow, wish I had seen your post earlier. I'm studying the reception results now.
Amac, keep us posted as how things to. I'm in Blackburn and get PBS (WNPI, 95% of the time, WCFE, 75% of the time) with an antenna and amp.
I've never seen CRC's loop on channel 38 (only on 46).
On a bike ride with my kids I saw a tower with a big Yagi on it pointed toward WCFE/WNPI. I'm envious if that is you.
Having re-read a few threads again, I think my next try will be to get a UVSJ and see if the KITZ amp is overloading. The signal strength seemed to fluctuate (oscillate?) consistently from 23-72% for both WNPI/WCFE.
2010-09-17, 02:59 PM
amac, I went there recently and picked up an HLSJ instead of a UVSJ.
I figured the problems would likely be from FM and vhf low, and wanted to keep vhf hi available for my 4228hd.
Hmm, that's an interesting idea. I didn't know an HLSJ existed. Of course, it wasn't too long ago that I didn't know a UVSJ existed. Did it make a difference for you?
2010-09-17, 04:49 PM
I do not know yet for myself, but an FM trap made a difference to backpackster, and he is closeby, and an HLSJ should be the equivalent of a (VHF Low + FM) trap.