: ON - Scarborough, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa - OTA
2009-03-13, 03:55 PM
I suggest tweaking a little bit.
Fox is due south of us in Whitby/Brooklin (by the compass needle, I didn't bother with declination correction)
So aim your antenna in that direction, with a slight angle towards T.O. and you should be good. (might take a few nudges to get things just right)
If you want CH/CTS reliably, you'll want a rotor. I've only ever seen CTS once, and it was an unusually good reception day for not being close to summer, and nothing on the DX forecast :p
2009-03-15, 09:02 PM
Hello. I currently use one of those monster vhf/uhf/fm antennas 16 feet long and 8 feet wide with a rotor on a tower. I can get anything within 100 miles if I can aim it. The problem is it blows rotor motors more often than I change the oil in my car. I'm changing it to 2 cm4221 side by side with one pointed at Toronto and one pointed at buffalo with no rotor. I plan on using google earth to aim it. I'm not sure how to mount it but I picked up a wire fence gate at home depot. The wire was all tangled and they gave it to me for $20.
with some welding and bracing I'll attach it to a mast. This should hold the 2 cm4221 rock solid.Has anyone tried something like this? The 4221 is rated at 45 miles. Would 2 be 90 miles? or somewhere in between. I'm 2 city blocks from the lake in oshawa, nothing higher than my tower in the Toronto/Buffalo zone. Mostly line of sight over water. Opinions welcome. working on the mounting this week and when I'm done it will be installed by Able in Whitby.
2009-03-15, 10:10 PM
porkside, a couple of things:
pay no attention to supposed reception mileage claims - they mean nothing. As it is, you'll do fine with the CM4221 in a pair with one towards Toronto and one towards Buffalo, and you can confirm that by reading through this thread and others that cover areas near you
you cannot simply mount them side-by-side. See Post #16 in the OTA FAQ for critical info about co-mounting them
2009-03-15, 11:50 PM
My original setup was a 4228 aimed to get buffalo and pick up toronto on a side lobe. No matter how hard i tried to aim, i'd either lose WGRZ or CITY. The compromise didn't work near as well as I'd hoped.
I tried a preamp and it worked well on good days but made things worse on bad days.
Try a good pre-amp it might help. I got a second antenna, combined them and got much better results.
Two 4221's combined, should do it. I would put one above the other, the higher one for buffalo, and leave 3 ft in-between.
2009-03-16, 03:50 PM
Thanks for the replys. Everyone seems to agree that the cm4221 should be stacked. I've read all the links I have been referred to. I've noticed that channel 29 is not as strong since Feb. 17/09. The idea of side by side on a frame will put both antennas 3 feet higher. From what I can understand the antennas reflect out front of them. If the antennas are side by side and pointed away from each other by 120 degrees there should be no interference. However if they are pointing towards each other the reflections would cross. In other words don't use the most northerly antenna for Buffalo and the most southerly for Toronto. I'm thinking that using a frame or fence gate mounted on a mast on top of a tower gives me the ability to rotate the frame as well as the antennas. Something like a carnival ride. By orienting the frame properly and pointing the antennas just right, the line of sight lines will cross behind the antennas instead of in front. Does any of this make any sense to anyone? I have alot of my own welding equipment so making stuff is easy.
2009-03-16, 04:01 PM
Your thinking intuitively, but RF fields don't always match that so you'll need to check some of your assumptions at the door. ;)
If you go with a side-by-side rig you will still need to keep those antennas apart by at least one Channel 14 wavelength (15 inches) but Tom.F.1's suggestion of 3 feet (more than 2 full wavelengths) is excellent if you can do it. That's why he suggested stacking them since its so much easier than building a crossbar that big, with all that added weight up there.
2009-03-16, 06:06 PM
I'm not using the rotator. It weighs 9.51 lbs. The 1 1/4 galvanized fence gate frame weighs 6 lbs. and these new cm4221 are much lighter than the
16 x 8 foot deepest fringe monster I now use. Rogers cable has a tower about 200 feet high with a deepest fringe antenna on top in Courtice on highway 2. I think that's where they get some of the stuff they sell. Wind hasn't harmed that antenna. I mounted the 2 cm 4221 to the gate frame in my living room using a work mate. I set the antennas to the proper angles for Buffalo and Toronto. The measurement between is 28 inches. Center to center is 45 inches. Lighter, higher, more aiming capabilities and less wind load. Besides that, where's the fun in putting up a straight pole? I'm not doing any of the wiring or installing myself. I'm just making the structural part with my feet on the ground. Whatever happens it's got to be better than a cm rotator. Later
Thanks for all the input
2009-03-16, 06:32 PM
cheers, and let us know how your signals turn out. :)
2009-03-16, 07:10 PM
I will let you know and if possible I will post a picture. A few weeks from now. The guy with the legs is going on vacation. Until then my antenna is pounted at Rochester. I still get all the analog but only the US digital.
2009-03-18, 03:19 PM
Great info, I've been reading up as much as I can. I think it's time to go the OTA route. Here are my questions, any help would be appreciated.
My bungalow faces south with a clear view except for a maple tree 50' south of my house. It's bare now but gets pretty puffy once spring arrives. I was thinking of mounting a Channel Master antenna on a ten foot pole on the chimney facing south. It will clear all the roofs but that tree will be in the way. I would like to receive all the Buffalo channels and hopefully Toronto channels as well. I will be using about 50' of RG6 cables and grounding everything.
Which antenna would be more appropriate for me, the CM 4221HD or the more popular CM 4228? I'm not thinking of a pre-amp right now and I only have one HDTV with integrated tuner.
I know it has been discussed before, but would two CM 4221 HD perform better than say one CM 4228? One pointed at the CN Tower, the other at Buffalo? The phasing should be the same right?
Thanks in advance.
2009-03-18, 05:01 PM
I was in the same boat.
I first tried two 4221HDs, one pointed to TO and one to BUF. It brought in a lot of stations, except wutv and wnyo. These stations can be finicky (they are southern directional). Even with a pre-amp I couldn't get these channels to lock. I then went with a 4228 HD, rotor, and pre-amp CM7777- this gets me all the BUF and TO channels rock solid- unless there is some crazy dxing going on.
I used the two 4221HDs for a second (wife) TV; she doesn't care for FOX.
Needless to say 2 4221s might work in your area; but when you combine the 2 antennas there will be signal loss.
2009-03-19, 11:19 AM
From my understanding when ganging two identical antennas they need to be at least 25" apart to reduce interference or something. So would that also mean the farther apart they are the less signal loss will occur? This is all so new to me.
I guess it does not matter as long as the channels come in clear. I suppose the proper thing to do would be to install one antenna first to see where I am before adding a second one to the mix.
Thanks for your help.
2009-03-19, 01:29 PM
firechkn, read through the OTA FAQ for instructions on running 2 or more antennas :) --------------------------->
2009-03-20, 10:26 AM
Recently when my antenna service guy was messing with my antenna up on the tower, we found that wutv/fox 29 would be lost if the antenna was lowered by 3 feet and would come back when we raised it again. The signal can be very strong in one spot and totally gone a short distance away, Generally higher is better no matter where you live and the angle between Toronto and Buffalo is different from town to town. I've used an antenna on a tower since 1973 in 2 different locations. What I've learned, higher is better, a powered amp is neccesary and all the OTA broadcast in the Golden Horseshoe can be captured in High definition and surround sound. Everyone lives in a different location so what works for one person may not work for another. TV antenna XXrotors are junk. When using a 1080P television the OTA live sports has better resolution than blue ray movies. I also learned that not paying for cable over the years has saved me somehere between 15 and 20 thousand dollars or more. So it well worth it to experiment with different setups. Food for thought - I have a Samsung 40" LCD 1080p TV. My neighbor beside me has the exact same TV. He pays $70 per month for cable. He recieves 202 stations that look the same as my tv when I play my VCR and the sound is mono. The stuff he watchs is available OTA and the rest he calls junk fillers. There is approx 20 high definitions stations currently available. Most stations have multicasting. OTA broadcasting licenses for the entire range channel 14 to 69 has been applied for. Since cable buys some specialty programming from some local broadcasters, It is feasable that with OTA multicasting, some programs currently available only on cable may be available OTA over the next few years. Possible example- The discovery channel is a production of CTV. Over the Air equipment cost is very inexpensive. A complete OTA setup including a tower installed can be had for less than $1000. Analog was easier to capture. Digital requires more precise aiming. If the new setup I"m trying isn't satisfactory, I'll add a section to the tower. If it still isn't good enough, I'll use my old antenna with a ham radio rotator. Experimentation is the key but working with an experienced antenna installer is a must. have a nice day.
2009-03-20, 12:26 PM
Well put, porkside, and congratulations on getting it sorted out! :)
2009-03-23, 01:19 PM
Thanks for the help.
I know it is not obvious in the FAQ pages (at least to me anyways), but some research has yielded me great results. I managed to stack 2 identical 4221HD antennas on my chimney pointed at such an angle and away from each other so not to cross the beams thus yielding 17 HD channels all with great reception.
Some image links attached, the third pic shows the south view from the 4221HD point of view. I hope my pics can help someone wanting to do a similar setup.
2009-03-23, 01:44 PM
Nice work firechkn, and if that photo site has a time limit you can post them here at our site and not worry about it:
Also if Post #16 in the FAQ wasn't helpful to you with the topic of combining antennas please PM me with your thoughts as I'm always looking to improve the FAQ.
2009-03-24, 09:54 AM
Hey Stampeder. I think Firechkn is thinking intuitively too. His beams don't cross either. Firechkn you have the stacked setup I wanted to go with but my low location would require another tower section. The beam has to clear a small section of the bluffs. I have my fence gate all welded with braces. Sandblasting and paint coming up. Now I have to repaint the Owl for the top, it's like a bird sanctuary here.
2009-03-24, 12:09 PM
Height is very important, currently the bottom 4221HD is height challenged. The lower bows sit below the roof line pointed towards TO. Overall signals are good above 80% with City HD the weakest at 60%.
With some tweaking and the add-on of a quality distribution amp like the CM 3414 it should improve slightly.
2009-03-24, 07:30 PM
Nice setup, good photos, I like the one that shows antenna view. It looks like the top antenna pointing towards Buffalo, is just in between the those trees hopefully when the leaves fill in they won’t effect your signal to much. I have a similar setup, CM4228 & 4221 + rotor, but I am basically a hole in the ground and not only have to deal with trees leaves when they fill in, but also evergreen trees all year round.
The lower bows sit below the roof line pointed towards TO
Have you tried to raise the lower antenna above the roof line closer to the upper antenna? If you have, did you encounter (at what distance) any interference between antennas?
I'm just curious what stations aren't you able to receive, I would assume they are the US stations? I just want to get real idea of just how fall the new 4221HD will reach.