: ON - Scarborough, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa - OTA
2011-01-14, 10:00 PM
captain_cook, just to clarify, you're in NE Toronto and you're pointing your stacked CM4221HDs directly at WGRZ, correct? At your proximity to all the Toronto stations you won't see any revealing or helpful info on your signal meter if you are checking any of those, so you need to check your signal levels only on WGRZ and the weaker Buffalo stations as you try different spacings and other ideas. Putting all your energy into improving those weak signals would be the best way to start, and hopefully you'll get all the Toronto stations just fine with the same aiming point.
2011-01-15, 01:06 AM
I don't know if I'm actually pointing directly at WGRZ. I positioned the first CM4221HD until the reception from WGRZ was the strongest and then added the second CM4221HD to see if the reception can be improved.
My concern is that no matter how I position the second CM4221HD, I don't really see any significant changes in the peak signal strength on WGRZ. The signal strengths are about the same for all the spacings that I've tried.
I'd like to know what spacings other forum members have found to be optimum.
Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.
When I first got into OTA, I started like you with my four-bay antenna at ground level, in my living room, on my front porch, hanging from the evestrough, second floor master bedroom through a metal screen, etc. WGRZ was always a station that came and went.
Once the antenna was on my roof after the proper install, WRGZ was 100% reliable.
If you're hacking and stacking, then you're letting this get to you. Consider contacting some of the installers present on this forum to get it up on the roof for you when there is a break in the weather. It was the best money I've ever spent.
I wonder whether you need two antennas. My TV Fool looks almost like yours and my neighbours and I are able to get everything with single 4221hd. Do you have a pre-amp? Read through the Toronto Outdoor thread, especially some of my posts related to my neighbours. I think a similar install might work for you. http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showpost.php?p=1166722&postcount=1306 I was at my friend's place a couple of days ago and reconfirmed his reception of every channel including the hard ones (ION, TCT, Hamilton) even in this cold weather. Notice how similar his TV Fool is to yours. His antenna is unhacked, properly grounded, aimed at or just east of WGRZ, with a 7778 pre-amp. No noticeable problems with his setup. Split to four TVs.
2011-01-15, 01:19 PM
I don't have a preamp, since I only have the one TV. I may get another TV at a later time but I'll probably try a distribution amp with that setup.
I've been up on my roof several times for other reasons, so doing my own install isn't an issue. I plan on using a 10 ft x 1-1/4in EMT, wall mounted using an 18 in CM9036. Since my indoor setup is providing good reception on most of my other stations, I can wait until April or May to do the install myself.
I'd like to have the stacked antennas properly spaced prior to securing on a mast. My main concern is to optimize the CM4221HD spacing prior to installing on any mast. I realize it can be quite time consuming to adjust this spacing on the roof, since it means taking the mast up and down several times while determining the correct spacing.
But testing the CM4221's indoors didn't really indicate an optimum spacing.
Any suggestions or advice?
2011-01-18, 06:59 PM
I decided to space the 2 antennas 10.06" apart. This corresponds to 1/2 wave of channel 33, WGRZ, which is my poorest signal.
2011-01-20, 12:37 AM
I did an install south Pickering last night. Used a CM4221HD installed on a s\west facing wall 15’ up, here are the results
another happy Rogers customer!
2011-01-20, 01:31 AM
I think you mean ex-Rogers customer!
(or soon-to-be) ;)
2011-01-20, 11:40 PM
Don't bother doing the modification or stacking if your antennas are indoor as reception signals can be very unpredictable due to interference from walls, trees etc.
Based on your location, all you need is one 4221 point in-between Toronto and Buffalo stations assuming you have mount it above the roof. Wall mount is a good approach with a 10 ft x 1-1/4in EMT. .
Assuming you have your setup up and above the roof...
Suggestions: Aim your antenna until you get just about all the channels (All TO, Buffalo) with stable reception. It is ok if WGRZ signal is at borderline. Next, add a distribution amp like Channel Master 3410. I like this amp since it saves me the hassle of playing with a pre-amp up in the roof. The distribution CM 3410 will provide boost of 15% to the signal strength which will provide a stable signal for all channels.
2011-01-21, 10:16 AM
I agree with you about stacking indoors. It doesn't indicate anything about a peak spacing.
I still want to stack the CM4221HD's, since it will result in some overall gain and I already purchased the second antenna.
I'll definitely buy the CM3410 amp, if my reception strength is poor on any of the stations.
Thanks for your suggestions.
2011-01-21, 11:17 AM
mclapp is the ideal person to ask about how spacings of stacked bowties will or will not affect reception. Please discuss it with him in here:
Bow Tie TV Antenna Designs (mclapp's M4 featured) (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=100137)
2011-01-23, 09:27 PM
I'm a newb to the OTA scene. I've been playing with the idea for a few months and yesterday I decided to give it a shot. I bought a (cheap) 4-bay for $23, strapped it to a broom handle and stuck it in the attic. "Stuck" is pretty accurate, I just haphazardly aimed it southwest-ish. I wasn't too optimistic but...I hooked it into my TV and did a channel search....19 digital channels! There are a few missing that I really want, like WUTV, ION, CHCH, and qubo.
I bought the 4-bay with the intention of replacing (or pairing) it with an 8-bay if it worked half-decent. Between that and an amplifier I'm hoping to pull in these extra channels. Now to figure out a decent PVR solution....
Here's what I actually got and my tvfool report is below.
Love the forum...Scott.
2011-01-24, 03:36 PM
I just cancelled my Rogers Cable and I must confess, it feels really good. I have read through the various forums here, but I must confess, I am not familiar with the technical speak of OTA and hence, am a bit overwhelmed. Sorry for the long post but can somebody please assist? I would greatly appreciate it. Here is my situation:
1. I live in a townhouse complex overlooking the Scarborough bluffs in Toronto. Since this is a townhouse complex, I cannot install an outdoor antenna. Hence, the indoor antenna is the only option for me. The townhouse is four floors - basement, main, and two upper floors.
2. I have two televisions in the home. I have the Samsung LN52A750 model down in my basement. I also have an older Sony model from about ten years ago. A CRT flat screen, I forget the model number but I think it's a Sony Trinatron or Wega. Bottom line, it's an older set.
3. I purchased a Terk indoor antenna to try out this past weekend.
I tried the Terk out first on the downstairs basement HDTV set. I plugged the antenna in the back and moved it around. I could get CTV and CBC, but that was about it. Even with those channels, the picute quality was not great. To add to my woes, it seemed as if I got decent reception in one antenna movement with one channel, it would be bad reception on the other and vice versa. Overall, downstairs wasn't great. CTV came in decent enough to live with I suppose. CBC was good enough if I needed a hockey fix, but again, both picture qualities could have been better. Admittedly, I wasn't hoping for much given that this is in the basement. The best reception seemed to be when I put it up on the window ledge, alas, I'm guessing that won't fly with my wife.
I then tried the upstairs TV set in the guest room. I could pick up more channels...CTV, CBC, Global, and a few more. However, the reception wasn't as good as downstairs. I'm not sure if this is because it's an older TV and if I purchased a more recent TV that the new TV/upstairs reception position would produce better results?
To summarize, I would like any suggestions people may have for products to buys/techniques to try, etc. for my predicament and situation as desribed above. As I said, I'm not terribly technical so if somebody can clarify in layman's terms, that would be great. Any suggestions will be tried and great appreciated. Thanks.
2011-01-24, 04:54 PM
Indoor-only best bet is to get the antenna as high as possible, and get as clear a view pointing south or the CN tower as possible.
An indoor antenna in the basement isn't going to do much, if anything for you, as you've found out :p
You could also use an outdoor antenna stuck in an unused window or something on the top floor. That would give the best results, but is hard to deal with mounting and living with a giant antenna blocking your window :p
If you want to go OTA the in the most inexpensive way possible, take advantage of the OTA forums here at Digital Home. Learn about it and get a digital tuner, a decent antenna, and all other necessary equipment.
If you're not very technical and aren't inclined to read-up, consider going to the "where to buy OTA" threads at Digital Home. There you can find an installer in your area that might be willing to do an indoor installation that maximizes your potential. Use the money you have saved from Rogers!
2011-01-24, 08:06 PM
Those are the three toughest channels to get in my area, maybe same for you. Have you tried moving the antenna around? What kind is it?
Robster77 it almost sounds like you are not digital ready based on your picture quality comments. Samsung LN52A750 may not be new enough to have correct tuner, check your manual.Where is your antenna pointing?
2011-01-24, 08:32 PM
The TV in the basement has a digital tuner in it, so you should be able to get free HDTV.
In the menu settings, make sure the TV is set to AIR (antenna) mode instead of cable. In cable mode, it won't be able to get any channels above RF13, and currently all HD channels are above that. That could explain why you only get 5 and 9 on that TV. Do a channel scan, from the menus, selecting to scan AIR mode, not cable.
If you've got a length of cable, try attaching it to the TERK and putting the antenna upstairs, while connected to the TV in the basement, and do the scan again. You should at least get CBC HD.
To get better results, get a CM4221HD antenna (see site sponsor Save & replay), put it in your attic, and run the cable down the cold air return to your basement TV.
2011-01-25, 01:56 AM
robster,welcome to the forums.what terk antenna are you using? as previously stated,make sure your samsung is switched to air instead of cable.you should have no problem picking up all of the toronto and western new york stations from your location,being right on the lakefront.prime location for OTA.let us know how you make out.
2011-01-25, 02:24 PM
wilspin...I'm using an ANT2084. I took my pc with a usb tuner up to the attic yesterday and tried turning it (south) but my first position worked best. It's just sitting on a broomstick so a little extra height might help, the roof is pretty high so I think another 6' is possible. Then it occurred to me last night that when I point the antenna south-west it's pointing at the roof (wood w/asphalt) but when I turn it to the south it's actually pointing directly at the backside of a brick wall, probably not ideal.:rolleyes:
I'm considering an ANT7287 mainly because it can be folded to fit through my attic hatch and I made a 4' mast out of threaded pipe from HD which I plan to mount it on as close to the peak of the roof as possible.
2011-01-25, 05:02 PM
Thanks for the replies guys:
wilspin, I believe it does have a tuner. I have rotated it around quite a bit.
x4mer, I believe it was set to AIR, but I will re-check when I play with it more. I will try running it upstairs if I can, but am proof positive it'll be a no-go with my wife. I guess I'll have to keep fiddling.
bigcam406, thanks, feels good to be here and totally cable free! I'm using Terk Technologies HDTVA Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna (Mfr# HDTVA). Yes, I agree. I was hoping I could get better reception, but am guessing that my basement is the killer. They are older townhomes and for all I know the walls are made of lead. LOL!.
I'll try your suggestions and keep at it when I get a chance and will let you know. Thanks again guys.
2011-01-25, 07:05 PM
Arden I Google’d that number. Those may not be quality antennas, you may want to avoid them. No R & D put in them just Napster like copies of real antennas, Check other forum posts for details.
A couple of years ago when I bought the Samsung TV the sales people did not know what did or did not have digital cabability. To my suprise most of the TV's did not. X4mer is correct about tuner, Good luck Robster77!