: BC - City of Vancouver, North Van, West Van - OTA
I have the same tv as you and I believe it has a pedantic ATSC tuner that scoffs at decoding anything of low signal strength. It needs a little help.
With my 4228, mounted outdoors, I could not receive KBTC; however, upon connecting the pre-amp 7777, I now manage to now pull in the KBTC channels. The main channel is great for kids while MHZ is good for international programming (anyone for Gaelic sports?)
If you are a soccer fan and in French immersion, there is more fun to come in 2011: SRC will be digitally broadcasting the Montreal Impact games.
Have picked up my CM4221 at TSB in Point Roberts WA (a.k.a. Tsawassen BC) - Amazon delivers free, but doesn't sell to Canada. No biggie, 40 minutes drive.
Hate investing in electronics (it's endless), but this $45 was one of my best investments. Bright box like a toy, acronym HD and HDTV is mentioned 7 times on it - like this has something to do with antenna :) ...
My location at Clark/Broadway is terrible. 2nd floor South balcony, 10 miles to Mt Seymour but North direction is blocked by my building stucco wall. To the South I have 4-storey wooden building 60 ft away and then other buildings, and terrain ascends from me to East 33rd Ave before descending to Marine Dr and New West, so there is no LOS to Bellingham. All I have is reflected signals.
Positions tried (removed plastic clips and reversed balun, see "4221 Hack" thread):
1) Best position:
Antenna 1 ft from the deck, azimuth South-East 160 deg, boom slightly tilted back/down (i.e. antenna facing slightly up to Southern skies). Strictly plumb is worse - it doesn't clear some obstructions.
2) Antenna at the railings, facing North to the stucco wall 5 ft away. Slightly worse than #1.
3) Antenna outside the balcony railings, facing South. In theory, this should've been the best, but... When simply hung vertical on the railings it's not good. It has to be aimed a little up and turned 20 deg to the side, which requires complicated boom extending beyond the railings, so I dismissed this option.
Analog: 2, 8, 17, 26 (French), 32, 42. Signals without picture, some remote mirrors: 9 (mirror of 8), 10, 18 (mirror of 17), 43 (mirror of 42).
Digital: 2.1, 8.1, 10.1, 32.1, 42.1 with signal 50%-70% on a dry day on all channels except 42.1 (this one is always strong). If I make some channels 80%, others drop below 50%, so I've opted to have them all in 50-70 (except for 42.1 again, which is always blasting over 70%).
According to TV Fool, I should have the above channels with indoor antenna in ideal location (nothing blocking LOS). Can't complain, since my location is anything but ideal - I have no LOS to anything.
2010-09-26, 01:21 PM
Several Windows Media Centre posts have been moved to the following thread in the HTPC forum:
Today was a banner day in terms of closing the content gap with our cabal (sic) and satellite cousins. With some forgiving climatic conditions I locked onto 20 stations from North Van. The list is:
5-1 KING - DT (occasionally viewable)
5-2 KING - SD (occasionally viewable)
16-1 KONG DT (not viewable unless I hack balun)
16-2 KONG SD (not viewable unless I hack balun)
20-1 KTBW - RELIGIOUS stations
22-1 KZJO (not viewable)
22-2 Q13 FOX (not viewable unless I reposition antenna 10 degrees to west)
42-1 CHNM OMNI
All in all, a good day to see what is possible. Some modifications required like:
- balun hack
- remove one coax split
- employ a digital box with better ATSC tuner sensitivity?
I need an extra few db. Any thoughts?
2010-10-24, 11:20 PM
bpag, can you post your TV Fool results?
Hi Keithr 386:
Thanks for asking. I was not able to cut and paste from TV Fool, but here, manually, were the results:
2-1 CBC 57.1 NM
42-1 CHNM 54.7 NM
32-1 CIVT/CTV 54.1NM
10-1 CITY 52.3NM
22-1 GLOBAL 51.9NM
12-1 KVOS 50.1NM
24-1 KBCB 47.4NM
28-1 KBTC 36.5
28-2 MHZ 36.5
5-1 KING - DT -25.5NM Tropo
16-1 KONG DT -30.2 NM Tropo
20-1 KTBW -17.9 NM (1 Edge)
22-1 KZJO -21.4 NM Tropo
22-2 Q13 FOX -12.5 NM (2 Edge)
2010-10-26, 12:33 AM
Impressive. Would you be willing to post your postal code? I just want to get a better "lay of the land" from your position.
2010-10-26, 02:00 AM
bpag, just copy and paste the URL link to the report that TVFool gives you. Here is an example of a post containing a TVFool report link:
Thanks, Stampeder. Here are the results:
2010-10-27, 04:43 PM
From your post Oct19th "I need an extra few db. Any thoughts? "
bpag what is your goal with the additional db?
With your described setup can you consistantly pull in all of the LOS listed stations?
From our TVfool listings we are pretty much neighbours;
I can lock in chan 25, KJOE/FOX for several evening hours but only after a clear day.
But I do have a roof mounted SBGH that i made specifically for chan 24 KBTC.
30 meter cable and no pre-amp, and a LG70xx tv.
I recently built a DBGH Wide band my initial tests are not so promising, albeit I do need to rework the phasing lines. When I can make the time I will perform some more tests and post. (or in box ya.)
Thanks, Anglia. I can't pull in the Seattle stations with any consistency. The best I can achieve is locking on their faint channel identifier. And that is on a good day. Fox can be locked onto fairly consistently, but that requires repositioning of the antenna. I'm getting too old for that and syndicated Fox News is not worth the effort.
All other stations in Bellingham (KBTC, KVOS & shopping) are permanent fixtures on my Samsung LN550.
2010-11-09, 06:12 PM
I recently moved into a house in Marpole in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Before that I lived in a condo in downtown and used a very crude coat hanger antenna (inside the suite) to receive CBC, CTV, Global and OMNI in HD.
Now, with the coat hanger inside the house I can get one analog channel (US I think) that's not even worth turning on the TV for.
Please help me choose the best antenna and setup in order to receive the most HD channels.
I live one block east of Granville and 70th:
I can either mount an antenna out front facing West/South: view (http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s139/kurrajong/OTA/DSC_0618.jpg) or out back (preferred option), facing North/East/South: view (http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s139/kurrajong/OTA/DSC_0617.jpg)
If I mount it out back I will either attach it to the above pole or instead of this satellite dish (which I now know is useless): dish (http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s139/kurrajong/OTA/DSC_0619.jpg).
I could potentially attach an antenna to my chimney but I'd rather not as I don't know how I'd get up there to install it safely: chimney (http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s139/kurrajong/OTA/DSC_0624.jpg).
I plan to run the cable into the existing demarcation box which leads coax cables into the house so that I don't have to drill a hole in the wall or go through windows to get to my TV: demarcation box (http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s139/kurrajong/OTA/DSC_0621.jpg).
Is an SBGH antenna the best choice?
Assuming I cannot acquire 6 gauge copper wire, how thin can I go without making the construction pointless?
If I decide not to build my own antenna, is a CM4221HD my best choice?
Do I need additional equipment?
Where should I mount the antenna and in which direction should I point it (once I build/buy it of course)?
2010-11-18, 04:53 PM
I've been learning tons of useful information from this forum and I'd like to thank Stampeder and everyone else who has contributed to take the 'mystery' out of OTA TV. I've finally set up my antenna here in East Vancouver - Just off Commercial drive.
According to TVFool
I should expect to recieve all of the local channels coming off of Mt. Seymour plus a few from the Bellingham transmitters. The local channels are only ~8 miles away and have a clear line-of-sight. The Bellingham channels on the other hand proved to be more challenging for my location - more so than the TVFool report would indicate.
I picked up the Clearstream4 because of it's high gain on lower UHF frequencies (my trouble channels 19-24) also because of it's compact size and the 'wife approval factor' - (she still hates it). I then combined it with the Channel Master 7777.
A couple of hurdles to overcome: I am essentially at the foot of the hill at Clark & 12th Ave with a rise up to 33rd Ave. To complicate this further, there are some very tall fir & cherry trees blocking most of my south view. I tried moving my CS4 around my property on a ten foot pole in search of a 'sweet spot'. A couple of locations allowed me to pick up KVOS and KBCB - 'The shopping channel' but my goal was to get the PBS repeater K24IC AKA KBTC. I could pick up a very weak sporadic signal but nothing reliable or watchable. I picked up a second Clearstream4 and created a 'Clearstream8'. This helped a bit in that I could now get KBTC periodically when conditions were right.
OK Now I had to get on the roof to see what I could get with more height. I originally wanted to mount the antenna to the chimney but a huge fir tree was directly in my line-of-site. The only place clear of the trees was on the edge of my property on the side of the house. So with 24 inch stand-off brackets I attached the ten foot pole.
With the pole and the stand-off brackets attached the antenna was sitting just above my gutters, my line-of-site was just to the side of the trees but not high enough to clear the neighbours very close roof. KBTC was now coming in just above 15 SNR so it was almost watchable.
OK I've come this far one more thing to try.
I attached a second 10 foot pole and a third stand-off bracket and raised up the whole thing to get above the roof(s) ~42 feet. KVOS's SNR is above 23 and the SNR of KBTC is now between 18-20, I am getting a solid consistent signal and all the local channels are coming in very well on the backside of the CS8 - Time to lock it all down. I attached guy wires to my roof as well as created an outrigger for the third wire. BTW I did this in 60km winds and everything held together very well without the guy wires (mind you I wouldn't want to leave it that way for very long).
One odd thing to note: while every channel I could reasonable expect to receive was now coming in, I somehow nulled out the shopping channel (at 10 SNR) - not a real loss - I think I Can live without it.
Nice to have my feet back on the ground.
2010-11-19, 10:59 AM
It sounds like you may have a similar situation to me for trying to receive the Bellingham channels. My location is Port Moody and the signals are dragged over Coquitlam Ridge. I have sufficient strength, but the multi-path is bad making the quality often too poor to receive the signal. Trying to set up an antenna with this situation is very frustrating as the quality is changing and appears more like the signal level is changing.
I find the Shop NBC comes in 99.9% of the time; KVOS about 50% of the time - usually after dark and better with rain and fog; K24IC about 1% of the time. The quality level on Shop NBC has to be about 70% on my Channel Master PVR before K24IC will come in.
To save frustration, I suggest you contact Greg who is member 4DTV HD in this forum. He has a spectrum analyser and can tell you if signal quality is the problem and try to find a sweet spot.
2010-11-20, 11:51 PM
Thanks Rick Dude,
My options for antenna placement were limited in that there really was only two choices in my situation, under the trees at 10 feet or up and around. Shooting through trees, especially with such low signal strength in my area just wasn't going to work. With not enough gain on the ground I knew I was inevitably going to have to crawl onto the roof.
I did find when I stacked the two antennas, the signal was still low on the ground, but there was now much less fluctuation in levels - Could this help you?
Until I read on this forum that KBCB has added a quality sub-channel, I am happy to leave things alone (at least until spring). I am still receiving my PBS without any problems.
2010-12-01, 02:16 AM
I mounted a ClearStream 4 (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showpost.php?p=1186779&postcount=628) in the attic, pointed it south and I was amazed that it picked up KIRO, KZJO, Q13 fox, MHz WLD. Unfortunately, after running TV Fool (http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d81a35eb10f2a78) I realized that all the channels I really wanted were 90 degrees away. After aiming it due east I now get a solid lock on these channels. :
22-1 CHAN Global
24-1 KBCB NBC Shopping
28-1 K24IC-D KBTC
28-2 K24IC-D MHZ
32-1 CIVT CTV
42-1 CHNM Omni
What is really impressive is that it works after splitting the signal 8 times! K24IC-D is weak after the splits so I might get a pre-amp.
2010-12-01, 11:50 AM
After 8 splits... that's quite impressive! You won't need much preamp strength then to bump up the weakest link.
2010-12-15, 02:43 PM
First off, I hope I'm putting this post in the right place.
I'm Mike. I'm new here.
Location: West Vancouver, BC
Elevation: 60m = 200'
Antenna: 18 year old Antennacraft 39 element, VHF/UHF combo on rotator: 16 VHF elmements, UHF Reflector dipoles: 5 elements each = 10, straight piece: 13 UHF elements.
Total Height Above Ground: 35'
Current Analogue Reception:
CBUT CBC 2: Almost Perfect - very slight, closely spaced vertical lines.
CHEK 6: ^ past yr., Picture and Sound Distortion- believe severe FM interference from Vancouver radio stations.
CHAN Global 8: Almost perfect, slight background noise in audio- could be strong signal.
CKVU City: weaker, some ghosting.
CIVI-TV-2 A 17: some fine snow, weather influenced.
CBUFT 26: some snow, not as sharp a pic as CIVT CTV 32.
CIVT-TV CTV 32: Very clear, almost always high quality. Improved in past year.
CHNM-TV Omni 42: Almost always fine snow, weaker quality signal.
Prior to digital transition in the US, I received:
KVOS-12 good strength.
KBCB-24 some snow, but generally viewable.
KOMO-4 Sometimes clear, but usually with signicifcant snow.
KING-5 Occasionally strong, but usually would drop out frequently with high amount of snow.
With favourable tropospheric "bounce," I would usually in summer get other US WA state VHF channels clearly, and twice, during the summer heat, a few years ago, got KEYT-3 Santa Barbara, California- 1031 miles aaway! on VHF 3 and two other competing channels that cut in and out on VHF 3, including a Spanish one. The show looked like a Mexican soap opera followed by a current events show. When it cut in, the reception was just perfect. Also picked up a Montana one a couple times.
Possibly looking at a new antenna, I realize that, but first, after my preamble:
I'm looking at getting a digital converter box because most stations already are broadcasting in digital. Regarding digital converter boxes, many of the ones in the US have proven to be of very poor quality and are not standing up, and some of the better ones are not available in stores here. Being in West Vancouver, I know "The Source" now carries a few Zinwell ZAT-970A's, and Future Shop and Best Buy have dropped their online "Apex" converter ads that I saw a while back.
I'm wondering if you think it best to wait until closer to the Aug 31st deadline to see if stores here bring in more of a selection of Digital Converter Boxes, and if, in the meantime, the quality issues or internal heat dissipation of the boxes improves- that's what I think could be causing early unit failures, but I read about the remotes being very cheap as well- maybe it's best to wait. (Also the ones here are often significantly more expensive than in the US.) - $103 for a Zinwell (tax included) is a bit steep if it only lasts, like some have complained, a year or less.
I have a fairly good sized, chimney mounted combination VHF/UHF antenna from Radio Shack, 18 years back, that has 42 elements- it's on a rotator, and looks quite a bit like the Channel Master CM-3020, but with a slightly shorter UHF boom piece- a few elments less there- and one less each in the folding UHF dipole. I'm tempted to get a newer one but with it being 'up in the air' as to whether (Canadian) digital channels will stay UHF, or if inevitably a few will be reassigned to the VHF hi band, it would affect my antenna choice. - That, and finding a dealer here that carries high quality antennas, as I've heard some stories about shipping nightmares and damage from online ordering and Channel Master, for one, has said they have distributors anywhere near me.
I'm sure I'll get the digital channels from Mt. Seymour. The US FCC site, upon searching from my location, shows I should get KVOS 12-1 and KBCB 24-1. - I did get them both before they went digital and KVOS is broadcasting at what I think is 580kW. Sadly, I did often receive KOMO 4 and KING 5 in Seattle, but they are over 120 miles away, and I don't think one gets more than 60 to 70 miles on UHF, as the signal 'disperses' more easily.
I'd appreciate hearing what you have to say on the matters.
(I've read the forum before, and now I thought I'd join.)
2010-12-19, 02:40 PM
@Archrotor: Welcome to the forum!
I'll let people from your area comment on your reception possibilities.
In the meantime, perhaps you'd like to check out these threads on digital converter boxes.
For non-HD televisions: http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=42186
For HD televisions: http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=108740
I suspect the first link is of more interest to you than the second.
I own the Zinwell that you mention in your post and I've also seen it in action at a relative's home. Very pleased with the device — but I've had it less than a year, though …
2010-12-20, 01:58 AM
Archerotor check out this thread for several places in the Vancouver area to find DTV converter boxes:
OTA Digital Converter Boxes In Canada (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=127559)