: ON - City of Toronto Metro Area <OUTDOOR Antennas Only> - OTA
2007-06-14, 10:32 AM
Use Google Earth and see what it say's the elivation is where your building is located
The 320 + 10 stories is the elevation i got from Google earth. I guess that wasn't really clear from what I wrote. I'm 320 feet above sea level and 10 stories up -- so, about 450 feet and change, i suppose.
2007-06-14, 12:54 PM
timmy1's weather question and replies have been split off to here:
2007-06-27, 10:31 PM
After finally installing my equipment last weekend and many channel scans since, I'm unable to get decent signal strengths on all digital channels. The only channels which remain consistently strong are the local Toronto ones...
5.1 CBC 90%
9.1 CFTO 90%
25.1 CBLFT 90%
57.1 CITY 90%
66.1 SUN 90%
Everything out of Buffalo is between 40 - 60%, if my tuner even gets a lock at all. I've rotated my antenna and ran channel scans at 5 degree increments between the headings of 110 & 170 without success, best results being around 125 degrees.
Many have posted more than decent signal stregths for all 20 or so digital channels. My question is what do I need to do to improve signal strength on the remaining channels.
Any help will be appreciated.
CM 4228, 9521, 7777, Sharp Aquos LC-32D62U & 100' run of RG6
2007-06-27, 11:34 PM
At a 100' run you need a preamp for the Buffalo stations. You may also need a 3 and 6db attenuator for the local stations using the preamp.
2007-06-28, 07:05 AM
I've listed the equipment I'm using at the bottom of my first post. I'm using a Channel Master 7777 preamp.
2007-06-28, 09:28 AM
Sorry :D it was late when I responded and did not see what you had listed.
The low signal strength can be cause by a few issues, low elevation, no clear view towards Buffalo, was the cable stripped and connectors installed properly
Where did you mount your antenna and is the view towards Buffalo clear ?
If your south towards Buffalo is clear it's most likely a install issue, if so I would check when you stripped the RG6 cable you did not strip off the braided ground wire. You should folded it back before installing the connectors.
2007-06-28, 09:34 AM
Are there any tall buildings or other obstructions between you and Buffalo? Google Earth's measure tool can be useful for seeing what is between you and the transmission towers.
Also double check your connections, especially between the antenna and the pre-amp. Finger tight isn't usually tight enough unless you have really strong fingers. I wouldn't torque it to death either though as you may break something. If you made your own cables, double check that they are terminated well. Also make sure you are using reasonable quality cables (not dollar store or Canadian Tire specials). I also once read of someone having a bad balun so you might want to try replacing it.
2007-06-28, 10:29 AM
My antenna is mounted on my chimney, 28' of the ground. There is nothing directly in my line of sight. As far as further away, I will look at Google Earth to get an idea.
As far as my connections, cable was bought at Rona, Belden I believe, and compression fittings were used, and are tight. I can definitely say that the braided ground wire was not stripped off, however, I did not bend it back before installing the connectors. Could that dramaticallly affect the signal strength?
Once again, any suggestions on what I should be checking is appreciated.
2007-06-28, 11:04 AM
I can definitely say that the braided ground wire was not stripped off, however, I did not bend it back before installing the connectors. Could that dramaticallly affect the signal strength?
If one of the braided wires is touching the centre core, which can easily happen if you don't bend the braided wire back (heck it can easily happen even if you do bend it back and miss a wire), then you will see a dramatic affect on the signal. If you have an ohm meter, try measuring the resistance between the centre wire and the outer shield when the wire is disconnected at both ends. You should see an open circuit. If you are able to measure something, you have a problem with the wire. The problem could be either with one of the terminations or it could have been kinked somewhere (coax is permanently damaged when kinked).
2007-06-28, 12:51 PM
I will ohm out all the cables today. I'll let you know how it goes.
Thanks for the help.
2007-06-28, 01:40 PM
Are you north or south of the 401? Are you in a single story house?
What makes me wonder is that the CN Tower is clearly visble from the Wilson Height/401 area - .... as long as you can see over the 401.
The reason I am asking is because with a pre-amp and a clear LOS to the CN tower your Toronto stations should be screaming in at 100%.
Edit: Your headings for Toronto and Buffalo should be very close
Secondly, you stated that your best reception was at 125 degrees, but using a 4228 which is more directional than the 4221 your reception should (theoretically) max out somewhere between 140 and 170 degrees. Of course theory is just that when aiming antennas, but combining the two pieces of info
makes me wonder what is actually in the path between you and the transmitters - Toronto and Buffalo.
Edit: I'm wondering if you are somehow getting reflected signals
Any chance you could post some pics of the view (as your antenna sees them), indicating direction? If you are able to, also indicate whether your compass bearings take magnetic declination into account or not.
How to use 2150.com to show OTA channels in your area (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=49907), which discusses magnetic declination
2007-06-28, 08:42 PM
Performed a visual and measured resistance on all cables, unable to find any fault. I even substituted my satellite cable for the antenna cable, but no improvement.
Balun was replaced but made no difference. Pre-amp was bypassed then reattached to confirm that its working. There's a 20 point jump in signal strength with it attached so I'm pretty sure it's working.
As far as my location, I'm in a bungalow, south of 401. I should mention that I cannot see the CN Tower from my roof. I've attached a couple of poor quality pics that should give you an idea of the view the antenna has.
The heading shown in these pics is as read off my compass. I've included a view of 125 degrees because it's where I've had the best results, even though the aiming guide I used told me to use 166, corrected for magnetic deviation. Btw, CN Tower and Grand Island are both at 166 degrees from my lat/long as per Google Earth and a heading finder.
I'm starting to think that maybe my elevation, or lack of, is the reason I can't get a decent lock on those channels.
2007-06-28, 10:03 PM
I now understand your problem it is your low elevation and also the direction towards Buffalo it is blocked by trees.
155-165' is where you need to be pointed and you have trees in your way.
To the east off 166 where you have your line and the house with the green roof in the back ground there is a tree too, this tell sme your elevation is low.
Normally when Iam on a roof and looking towards the Cn tower or Buffalo there is nothing lookign straight out other than clear sky.
You are able to get the local stations properly cause the Cn tower is so high and close by.
I figure you would need a tower or atleast another 20' in height.
2007-06-29, 03:04 AM
you would need a tower or atleast another 20' in heightAgreed manolid, you would see a big difference with more altitude. Thanks for the photos - there were very helpful. Its good that you checked all your gear, so now its a matter of clearing those tree tops.
2007-06-29, 10:02 AM
What are my options as far as getting more height. I realize that a tower is probably what I need, but is there anything available in terms of roof mount?
Also, would a second antenna make any difference?
Ty all for the help. I would have probably misdiagnosed the problem without it.
2007-06-29, 11:54 AM
manolid, a second antenna would not help in your situation, your view is being blocked by the trees so it does not matter where you point the second antenna.
Iam afraid there is no way a roof or chimney mount could be extended another 20' in height safely. There would be too much stress and load during the winter especially if there is a ice build up or high winds.
Sorry the only solution I would recommend is a tower, not a cheap option.
2007-06-29, 02:59 PM
I bet one of you neighbours has a tower they are no longer using and probably willing to give it to you for the labour you put in to remove it.
This is one thing I considered when I got into OTA.
There are posts in this thread about reused (and reused) towers, see posts #68 to #75:
Ontario OTA Parts/Sales/Service/Installers (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=23984)
2007-06-30, 10:03 AM
manolid, From your photos it also looks like there are power lines in the way. If they happen to be aligned directly between the transmitting antenna and your antenna, could also cause major problems. I agree with the others conclusions that you need more altitude.
The only other option to a tower is a swaged antenna with guye wires. It won't be as stable as a tower and I don't know how well it will stand up to the ice and snow (the only experience I have with one is out west where that was not an issue) so I am not recommending it. I am just letting you know another option that is out there.
2007-07-02, 10:11 PM
Thanks for the input.
That seller on ebay (http://cgi.********/Brand-New-TV-Antenna-Tower-Sections-Satellite-Radio_W0QQitemZ280119565474QQihZ018QQcategoryZ4672QQcmdZView Item) is still selling those tower section and top pieces. If I can't find a used tower locally, I will probably purchase from him.
My question is, taking into account reception and safety, how high should I go?
GM PARTS GUY
2007-07-03, 08:12 AM
If you want to buy a tower at a retail store check "The Source" used to be Radio shack. Check their online catalog first then check store locations on line. I was going to buy a tower from them but if you can find a neighbor that dosn't want theirs anymore its a little work but well worth it.:p