: ON - Scarborough, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa - OTA
2010-01-10, 08:57 PM
Read the manual again, saw that I’d misread the screen setting for cable vs. antenna on the set, so had been scanning cable channels. Interesting that this scan picked up channels 5 and 9, (how did that work?).
To answer this part, "cable" channels are the same frequencies as antenna for 1-13, then they continue from there on. (not exactly the same in the sense that channel 7=channel 7, but in that there is overlap)
antenna frequencies jump over some bands and start up again in UHF in the 470mhz-ish area.
54-88, 175-215, 470-806
(but when it gets up to the UHF range, the channel ranges are "out of sync", e.g. instead of 470-476 like in UHF, the closest cable channel is 469-474. So, when it's on 'cable' it can't decode the higher channels properly)
See more details here:
Obviously when on analog 'cable' mode, it won't be looking for ATSC channels, so that's why those didn't show up.
2010-01-12, 01:02 PM
Guys, I just can't figure this one out. For the third day in a row I haven't been able to tune in WNED 17.1 (PBS) and I can't figure out what the issue could be. Almost all other channels are coming in as strong as they've ever been.
I am in a bit of a low spot, but I've raised my antenna 10 ft above my roof. My equipment: CM 4221, CM 7777, Tivax tuner.
CH Strength %
Grand Island channels
south of Buffalo channels
CN Tower Toronto & Hamilton channels
My last adjustment to the antenna brought in all these improved numbers. I think that was about a week ago. At that time WNED 17.1 was coming in around 45% for a few days. Just about three days ago it disappeared. No other channels were affected. (Just to note: FOX 29.1 was 0 and has been very weak for many weeks now; it used to always be strong for me.)
I am mystified. And out of ideas.
(I tested whether I was over-amplifying. I put on a splitter, another 10ft of cable, hooked up a VCR, and on the other line I added an attenuator before going into the tuner ... signal strength remained similar to above results, no affect on 17.1)
2010-01-12, 03:20 PM
It's got to be atmospheric. FOX 29 is one of my weaker stations, usually running about 50%, but lately it's been down to 30%. South BUFs are also a little weaker, but WNLO and WNED are always 100%- I'm pretty close to them.
2010-01-12, 04:17 PM
Thanks to DdDave, bigcam406 and recneps77 for your informative answers and welcome to the forum. I will post my results when I get around to trying my antenna outside or facing out my south window. That's a first experiment before buying a better antenna.
WRT WNED reception, just tried it a few minutes ago (about 3:10pm), and got nothing at all. It was working fine last night, and strength has been in the 60% to 75% zone lately. I don't know whether this is a clue, but WLNO has always been above 90% for me, and just now it was down to 55 to 70%.
2010-01-12, 06:21 PM
I found an old piece of cable lying around, enough to move my antenna from right next to the TV to about 60% of the way to my south window. On hooking it up, I immediately noted a great improvement. Just had time to check a few channels:
5.1 92% - best ever
9.1 63% - best ever - usually not coming in at all lately
17.1 79% - best ever, I think
23.1 91 % - back up from the 70% (lowest ever) earlier today
57.1 35% - fluctuating above and below, breaks up when much below 35, but haven't been able to get it all lately with antenna where it was.
Unfortunately, I can't say whether 17.1 came back because I moved the antenna, because I didn't check it right before the move.
2010-01-12, 10:34 PM
Hi everyone, this looks like a fantastic forum full of information. I am looking into OTA setup. Not sure what I will need but would like to get Buffalo and Toronto stations available. Can someone let me know suggested antenna models? ATSC Tuner? and if I need a pre-amp? and possibly how and what channels I can expect to receive? Do I need a two antenna setup?
2010-01-13, 10:49 AM
Do you have line of sight? How many DB is your attenuator and have you tried it before your pre-amp yet?
2010-01-13, 01:04 PM
Since Christmas I too been having trouble with many of my US stations, especially WNED 17.x and ION 51.x both of which basically stopped coming in completely.
My (abbreviated) setup WAS a CM4221 pointed at Buffalo over 100' of RG6. This worked fine until Christmas, but with winter comes poorer reception.
I ordered a Kitztech preamp which arrived yesterday - felt like a kid at Christmas! :p:p. Since the roof has snow on it I've hooked it up at the "wrong end" for now, just before the cable feeds into the tuner.
Even hooked up incorrectly - all of my US stations are now fine. WNED 17.x is 6/6 bars, ION 51.x is varies between 4/6 and 5/6, not perfect, but I don't see any pixilations.
I checked to see if it brought in any of the Rochester stations haha, but apparently as good as the Kitztech is, it can't actually spin straw into gold. At least when hooked up at the wrong end.;)
CaptainKen, the scoop over on the preamp thread (a tough read I warn you) is that the Kitzteck is a lower noise preamp then the ChannelMaster. I don't have sufficient understanding to know if this would address your issue.
2010-01-13, 01:18 PM
Thanks everyone. It's warming up today... I'll see what happens.
2010-01-13, 02:15 PM
Too cold for trying anything before the pre-amp.... At this point I'm testing the cold outside - atmospheric theory. When it warms up a bit this weekend, I'll check to see if WNED 17.1 (PBS) comes back.
I do find it odd because if anything my Toronto & Hamilton stations have improved with the cold weather. Usually CIII 41.1 (Global) pixelates on me and I have to revert to analog 41, but lately it's been solid. And CHCH 11.1 usually comes and goes for me, often with passing interference, but lately it's been solid. Does anyone else find that 11.1 takes a longer time to tune in? What I mean is on my Tivax if I type 9.1, the channel starts coming up in basically a second. But when I type 11.1, it takes a few seconds and the signal strength "revs up" to 40 - 0 to 5, 0 to 10, 5 to 20, 15 to 30, 20 to 40, 40! Just found that odd, it tunes much slower and much more sporadically than any other channel.
2010-01-13, 10:17 PM
I think you better try a different tuner before you adjust your antenna again. I once set up a Tivax and a CM7000 in 2 different rooms on the same install. The client made me take the tivax back and get him another CM7000.
But why not get an HDTV with built in tuner? New tuners do way better than converter boxes.
PBS is my strongest buffalo station, always has been.
You could also try to re-set your tuner. Do a complete scan with no antenna hooked up so that it erases all remembered stations. Re-boot, then hook up the antenna and try a new scan.
2010-01-14, 09:25 AM
byebye: just wondering if you experimented with the gain control on the kitztech.i was thinking of trying it for a passive indoor antenna (rca cant 1650),i like the idea of the gain control,fun to experiment with.
2010-01-14, 01:29 PM
When you open the box FIRST THING you see is a piece of paper telling u 2 be careful with the gain control lol. So I didn't touch it, since it's hooked up on the wrong end already just seemed to be tempting fate.
Some pixilation issues on ION 51.x today :(
2010-01-14, 02:15 PM
Thanks, Tom. I was thinking along those lines too. I did a bit of research online to see if the Tivax ST8 has issues with tuning adjacent channels (44.1 is strong so could it be interfering with the weaker 43.1=17.1?)
I really should upgrade my TV, just haven't got the money together yet to do so. Maybe I'll try to borrow an HDTV just to see if the Tivax is the issue here.
2010-01-14, 02:42 PM
I'm using an indoor antenna, presently about 5m from my south window, details of my situation, channels, antenna, TV etc. in my initial post #998.
After moving my antenna much closer to the south window, my reception improved on most channels, and I received 4.1 and 7.1 for the first time. I'll be moving the antenna right up to the window as soon as I can buy the right length of rg6 cable. I want to get it in white, because it is going to snake around the room following the white baseboard. It turns out the 50' length is just a bit too short, and I don't want to go to 100', so I'm looking for the rarer length of 75', though 60' to 65' would be ideal.
How much transmission loss is there if I used 100' instead of 60' to 75'? Is there a recommended place to buy the cable where I could get it shortened to the best length? Should I get the quad shielding? I notice that this cable comes in various qualities. Is there a benefit from the higher qualities for indoor use?
Now to the strange reception. In spite of my generally improved reception after moving the antenna closer to the south window (more and stronger digital channels), two days in a row analog channels 19, 41 and 47, which had been good during the day, dropped out in the evening. They were gone last night, and still gone when I checked at 3:30AM. However, they're back today, quite strong. So if they go out again tonight, I'm thinking this is a day/night phenomenon. Or is it not day/night per se, but just that it's usually colder at night? During the reception problems with these analog channels I didn't notice any deterioration in signal strength on my digital channels.
Reorienting the antenna and fiddling with the gain control on its amplification had no effect on 19, 41 and 47, which are usually quite clear (19 sometimes ghosts). When they're gone there's not even a very snowy image, just nothing but image-free snow.
Thanks for any info on these matters.
2010-01-14, 02:47 PM
100' of RG6 costs you 6dB of signal. See this thread for answers to your other coax cable questions:
OTA Cabling: RG-6, RG-59, RG-11, Twin-Lead, Crimping, Other Tips (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=104308)
And have you read the OTA FAQ posts on amplification/attenuation? They help you to understand and predict signal levels.
2010-01-14, 04:18 PM
I've just finished reading the thread on cables etc., and calculate that the loss will be 2.4dB if I use 100' of rg6 as opposed to the 60' I actually need. My relative loss will be .9dB if I can get a 75' cable.
This actually raises an interesting question, which I assume can only be answered by experiment in a specific situation:
Will the presumed signal gain obtained by getting the antenna closer to the south window be offset or more by the loss from the additional cable length? I plan to do the experiment and report back.
Right now, the cable length to the antenna is about 15' and the antenna is about the same distance from the window. Because of snaking around the room to keep the cable out of sight and out of the way, the extra needed is about 45'. Now that I think of it, I should buy a shorter piece as well, about 30' to 35' total to test the reception with the cable going directly across the room to the window. I can't leave it there permanently, but could hook it up in an "emergency" situation when just getting that extra little bit of signal strength (about 2dB comparing 30' with 60' of cable) could bring in a channel.
Actually, I have no intuitive feel for what 2dB means in practical terms, i.e., the difference between a channel breaking up or not when it's "on the edge."
2010-01-14, 05:42 PM
2dB is indeed relative - it isn't noticeable on an already strong station, but in many cases there are OTA addicts who would give their kids away for that critical 2 more dB on an iffy station that they love. :D
There is a great combined-loss calculator spreadsheet linked in Post #1 of this thread:
Signal Amplifiers (Amps, Preamps, Distro Amps) - See Chart in Post #1 (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=42426)
2010-01-14, 09:22 PM
cardano,you should take advantage of the weather this evening.im picking up all of western new york stations with my rca cant 1650 with a booster.great signal strength tonite from the southwest.
2010-01-14, 11:17 PM
I really should upgrade my TV, just haven't got the money together yet to do so.
My main TV is a 20 year old Sony Trinatron, very good for it's time but basically worthless now. However, it's hooked up to a HTPC with 3 tuner cards, a 1TB of disk space and two antenna's. :p
For me, the ability to record (numerous shows at one time including HD) & watch when it suits me & blast thru commericals at will by far outweighs the the gain in resolution that I'd get with a new TV.
I'm sure eventually I'll move to new TV, but I've been less then impressed with the strobe-like movement & motion blur. Maybe you already have an HTPC - I don't know - but I'd put my money into that WAY before I'd buy a new TV.