: BC - City of Vancouver, North Van, West Van - OTA
2006-12-21, 04:08 AM
Thanks for answering my questions. Thought I'd post an update on my experience with setting up OTA so far.
South Vancouver, near E. 49th Ave & Knight Street
Channel Master 4221 antenna (no preamp) mounted on a 10 ft mast attached to my roof eave. It is quite an eyesore that towers above my satellite dishes. I plan to reduce the mast length based on further signal tests that I plan to do in the coming days (when it doesn't rain so much!)
Antenna is mounted on south side of my house (back yard) with a general line of sight to Mt. Seymour except for some tall trees in the distance. As I tend to be in a high part of Vancouver, there is a general line of sight south. According to Google Earth, I am at elevation 87 m and a distance of 17 km to the CBC tower on Mt. Seymour.
Panasonic TH-50PX60U with ATSC tuner. Connected to the antenna via a 70 ft RG6 cable.
When I assembled the antenna inside downstairs, I tried to see what I could get inside. D2.1 CBUT-DT gave me 30%. Still watchable. I found that any reading 30% on the Panasonic ATSC tuner is quite watchable.
2 CBUT CBC (snowy, not watchable)
6 CHEK Global (snowy, not watchable)
8 CHAN Global
10 CKVU CityTV
13 KCPQ Fox (unwatchable)
12 KVOS Ind
17 CIVI-TV2 A-Channel
24 KBCB Multicultural (unwatchable)
26 CBUFT CBC-SRC
32 CIVT CTV
42 CHNM Channel M
Digital with CM 4221 facing north
2.1 CBUT-DT - 98%
32.1 CIVT-DT - mid 70s to low 80s - peaked at 88%
Digital with CM 4221 facing south
2.1 CBUT-DT - 30-42% (pleasantly surprised I picked this up)
7.1, 7.2 KIRO (CBS) - 55-60% (peak to 80% at one point)
9.1, 9.3, 9.5 KCTS (PBS) - 35-45%
11.1 KSTW - 48-62%
13.1 KCPQ (Fox) - 55-65%
24.1 KBCB - 60%
I was a little disappointed I could not lock into D5.1 KING (NBC) as I could only get 15% at most at the few locations I tried. It would freeze up and the tuner would lose the signal. And, I could not pick up D4.1 KOMO (ABC) at all, as some said this is a difficult station to get.
Still, pretty happy with my results. Now I'm thinking about a rotator. Man, tweaking every last bit to get a few % points is an obsession!!
2006-12-21, 01:34 PM
Nice to see that CBC-DT was coming in through the antenna's back door (rear lobe) and if CTV-DT only had a realistic power level you'd be getting it too. It seems to be that without preamplification the SeaTac digitals are available only with a CM4228 in most parts of the Lower Mainland. I'd suggest a good preamp like a CM7778 will bring in what you are not locking onto now and may even boost the rear lobe for CTV-DT too. A CM7777 or Winegard AP-8275 might be too strong and thus have multipath interference problems, given your urban location.
2006-12-23, 03:10 AM
Thanks for the explanation, stampeder.
I finally secured my antenna in the final location today given that the weather finally cooperated. To my surprise, I picked up D4.1 KOMO and D5.1, 5.2 KING!! I got about 40% on KOMO and 65% on KING. I even got a signal albeit weak for D16.1 at 15% (no picture)! I guess the reception is quite sensitive to location. D2.1 CBC came in very strong at 70% and D7.1 KIRO increased to 88%. This location, however, dropped my other digital channels 9.1, 11.1 and 13.1 about 15% lower, to a point where the 9.1 PBS stations were not watchable. I guess this is where a pre-amp would come in. I've already ordered the CM7778 thanks to your suggestion!
2006-12-23, 02:06 PM
There aren't many people who've reported getting 16.1 (KONG-DT remapped from 31.1) on a regular basis in our area so that'll be interesting to see too. I think you've found the sweet spot. :)
2006-12-24, 12:20 AM
Now I've lost ABC and NBC again. ABC registers 0% and NBC is 15%. I didn't changed my antenna location or orientation when they registered 40% and 65% respectively. Do you know why the big drastic drop? Weather related?
2006-12-24, 03:12 PM
Yes, I would assume it is weather related since UHF signals over very long distances can be attenuated by atmospheric moisture and dust. A preamp has worked well for people in your area so I think you'll be fine.
I still shake my head about the fellow down on SE Marine who gets almost all the SeaTac stations OTA with a CM4228 and preamp. He's almost down at sea level beside the Fraser River! :)
2007-01-02, 05:54 PM
American Television stations from Broadway St.?
If i were to buy the smaller but powerful 'Stealth' antenna and put it outside on my balcony, facing south from Broadway and Spruce - is there any chance of picking up the american stations?
2007-01-02, 06:22 PM
Downtown 19th Floor High Rise, line of sight to Mount Seymour towers.
Samsung Silver Sensor Clone + Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-950
2.1 CBC - 60-70%
32.1 CTV - 50-60%
Since I got my Silver Sensor clone I have a solid picture on both CBC and CTV. CBC does seem to "freeze" for a split second sometimes while watching hockey. Even with the lowish signal strength, pixelation or any other issues are very rare. I watched 2 hours straight without any problems.
Antenna positioning seems to be very critical though, and it needs to be elevated, in my solarium which has the clear line of sight. My livingroom is next to the solarium and while it probably has some hot spots where I can recieve CBC, I think CTV is hopeless. I haven't tried pointing it south to the the US channels, but I don't think I'd have much luck.
2007-01-06, 03:23 PM
Using my DB2 antenna hooked into a Samsung LN-S3251D I'm getting a solid CBC and CTV HD signal.
I do have a north facing view, but there is no line-of-sight to the towers on Seymour.
2007-01-06, 03:58 PM
That's great - does your TV display signal strength numbers or bars?
2007-01-06, 08:38 PM
I live at the bottom of Lonsdale and Esplanade, on the 2nd floor, facing east. I wasn't hopeful that I'd be able to pick up a signal, given 2 factors:
1) Because I live in an apartment, an outdoor antenna is out of the question. We don't even have a balcony.
2) In order to maintain the WAF, I'd need to keep the antenna tucked away behind the TV in the living room (about 10 ft from the east-facing window). Our apartment is just too small to have a big antenna sticking in the window (plus I'm sure there would something in the strata bylaws too)
3) There is a couple of 4-5 story buildings directly across the street, blocking Mt. Seymour.
Despite these factors, I thought that I'd give it a shot. I picked up a Terk HDTVi from London Drugs and a model 1501880 Radio Shack knock-off from the Source. Unfortunately, neither of them would give my Dell w3207c an ATSC signal for CBC or CTV. I didn't have enough cable to run the 10ft to the window, just to check the signal from there, but even if I did, it wouldn't meet the WAF specs.
So I'm disappointed! If we ever move out of our condo (especially higher up the hill), I'll have to give it another shot.
2007-01-15, 06:45 PM
I am new here but been reading this forum a lot. I just got the Zenith Silver Sensor for my Sony 42" Sony XBR Screen with ATSC Tuner.
I am able to pick up a moderate quality CBC signal here in Vancouver. However, I am surprised to see that the signal is similar if I disconnect the coax cable from the antenna.
I understand that the coax cable acts like an antenna and thus I receive a moderate quality signal. But why does it not improve the signal reception once the other side of the coax cable is connected to the antenna?
2007-01-15, 07:30 PM
You definitely have a problem if there is no difference when you disconnect the antenna.Check the cable,balun and be sure your using the right antenna input.
2007-01-15, 08:30 PM
I just noticed that in the package there should be a 75 Ohm, gold-plated "F" connector for antenna inputs...however this ebay dude sent me a silvered colour "F" connector for antenna inputs...
Could this be a problem? How can i check?
I don't think it matters a lot if it is silver of gold as long as it fits and the resistance (Ohm) is the same.
2007-01-16, 01:51 PM
NewAlf, don't worry about the F-connectors not being the same colour. Once we know exactly where you are we can give better advice. Its likely that there is nothing wrong with your gear except for the aim.
2007-01-18, 12:50 AM
Just an update on my experience with a preamp CM 7778 on my 4221 antenna. Unfortunately, I haven't been satisfied with my results. Initial results bumped up my signal strength about 15-20% but went back down to non amped levels a couple of hours later. Over the last couple of weeks, there has only been an instance or two where my signal strengths were noticeably stronger. I wonder if the current winter weather is also a problem....
2007-01-18, 01:07 PM
klawman19 - it looks like maybe the only trick left for you is higher antenna altitude if possible.
A few weeks ago I was able to lock onto CIVT-DT for the first time ever, which made me think they raised the signal strength, but was not able to confirm it, as when you call CTV, they are not allowed to transfer calls to engineering for questions, just to programming.
I tried moving the antenna numerous times before looking for CTVHD signal but no luck; signal strength never exceeded 5%, when I tried taking antenna out the window towards Mt Seymour 0%, now I found a spot inside the apartment where is locks at around 55%; if I only move the antenna up, down, left-right for just 2cm, it goes to zero %.
The only down side is that the spot is almost right in front of my TV's screen. (ok, I do use my PC to view HDTV, but I also tend to watch cable tv on the 'Cube' tv most of the time)
Also, direction is a little different then for CBCHD (which I have to point antenna to a spot between mount Grouse and Cypress, there is nothing if I point it directly towards Seymour. For CTV, I point antenna directly towards Seymour, looks to me.
It's just a little weird that the signal strength is the same as for CBC (for CBUT-DT upto 59%)
I am downtown facing directly north (no clear view of mountains though due to buildings all around).
2007-01-24, 11:56 AM
I'm pretty sure that's a signal reflection you're finding for CTV. Too bad the sweet spot for it is right in front of the TV screen! :D