: ON - City of Toronto Metro Area <OUTDOOR Antennas Only> - OTA
2010-03-18, 12:52 AM
I live in the Beach area of the GTA. US feeds are almost due south & local (CN Tower) are a few degrees south of west.
I have a PVR (Sage TV) with a pair of Yagis in the attic, I also have a pair of TVs for live viewing. For those I have combined and split an odd combo of antennas, the 4228HD US feeds (unmodified) and a cheap 4 bay (CN Tower). Unlike the Yagi the 4228HD picks up NBC no problem but was too directional to get the CN Tower reliably, the 4 bay does the trick nicely (all indoor). I'd replace the US attic Yagi with another 4228HD but it's too large for the attic.
Just my 2c
2010-04-16, 07:55 AM
Friends: I live in North York and face south east, with direct line of sight with the CN Tower. Because of my building, I cannot get Buffalo in line of sight. For the last few months I have been able to pull in some American and Canadian channels with good resolution using a HDTV antenna. However, over the past few days I cannot get any American programming. Keeps getting "NO signal" message. I tried a new antenna and a new ARTEC DTA converter box, but same results. Any idea what's going on? Did CN Tower stop broadcasting American channels or do I need a new style antenna?Thanks for any help.
2010-04-16, 08:17 AM
The CN tower never did transmit US channels. There's something else at play.
2010-04-16, 11:28 AM
OK, before I take the plunge and spend the money, I want to get a sense from some of you guys on what real-world results I can expect.
The plan is to get a second 4221HD and perform the cap removal & balun flipping mods (as I have with my current 4221HD), then stack them together and use equal length RG-6 downleads into a UVJS, then straight down about 50 feet of RG-6 into my ATSC tuner card (in PC-PVR).
Assuming 3.5db - 4db of insertion loss on the UVJS, what real-world increase in gain can I expect at the end of my RG-6 run?
To be more specific, will it be enough to pull WIVB up from -8db SNR (which is not stable at all, with extended drop-outs or simply no lock) to something that my tuner card can lock onto reliably?
Using TSreader, I can see that my card can easily lock onto signals as low as -3db SNR...
2010-04-16, 11:46 AM
Why are you using a UVSJ? If itís to combine the two antennas, thatís not as good as a simple 2-way splitter used in reverse. If you do the hacks to both antennas, use a good quality splitter in reverse to join, I think you could be looking at a gain of 3 dbs.
-8db SNR will be tough. IMO, you should use a pre-amp- you need every bit of signal you can get.
2010-04-16, 11:55 AM
Ok..Jane/St. Clair location.
Before getting another antenna...
WKBW, WIVB are two stations have the least reception issue from Toronto. Can you vary your antenna height and aim for Buffalo channels? Any trees of building in front of your path?
From my location, I have to play around with location/height/aim on my roof to get all the channels (TO/Hamilton/Buffalo) with just one CM4221HD. You will be surprise how location/height/aim can make a difference.
2010-04-16, 12:05 PM
Why are you using a UVSJ?
I can think of 2 reasons he would be using a UVSJ.
To combine the 4221s with a VHF antenna he hasn't mentioned
To filter out a strong VHF local broadcast.
Not sure what his reason is though.
2010-04-16, 12:26 PM
WIVB and WKBW are by far the weakest Buffalo signals in my area. I have no issues with WNED, WUTV, WNYO, WGRZ and WNLO.
WIVB is hit and miss. WKBW is a bit better, but often it is those two channels that have issues simultaneously.
I'm pointed at the South Buffalo towers, which happens to be straight at (the top of) my neighbour's huge evergreen tree.
All TO channels are solid.
goforit and roger, I assumed UVSJ meant UniVersal Splitter/Joiner. I do intend to use a standard splitter/combiner.
goforit, I have considered a pre-amp, but I have read that more clean signal is better than amped dirty signal. The antenna is cheaper than an amp, too.
2010-04-16, 12:38 PM
How far is the tree from your antenna? Any possibilities of relocating your antenna so that you can 'shoot through' some gaps of the tree?
I have similar issues with my antenna with trees until I find a different location on my roof.
2010-04-16, 01:05 PM
The tree is about 25 feet from my antenna. And is only about 5 feet taller than the antenna height right now. I'd really rather keep the antenna mounted to my chimney. Maybe I should consider a taller mast. I'm currently using a steel broom handle jammed into a j-pipe (which is mounted to the side of the chimney).
2010-04-16, 02:47 PM
ok..The tree is only 5' higher than your antenna.
How about going with a 10' EMT pipe (1 1/4" I.D, Home depot) and a chimney mount kit? That would at least provide you with 7' above the chimney assuming the 3' at the bottom with mounting kit.
Will that provide you the height for your antenna above the tree?
2010-04-16, 06:27 PM
This is what I am thinking I need to do, but I think I might need to go for a 12' pipe, just to be sure. I'm going to hold off on getting more antenna for now. Maybe the height is all I need. I do think I'll get some sort of amp though. Maybe the 3410.
Thanks for your help.
2010-04-16, 08:25 PM
Do the height/aim first, unless you run out of option then consider the amp.
Also when you put the mast up, ensure it is straight (use a level). Let us know how it goes...
2010-04-17, 12:19 PM
I still haven't made a decision what to go with. I tried a dist.-amp last night and it killed every channel. I suspect overload.
I am considering a 91XG for Buffalo and the single 4221HD for TO. Is the 91XG directional enough to avoid crosstalk (or whatever it's called) between the two antennas?
I'm thinking to point the 4221HD straight at CN Tower and the 91XG straight at South Buffalo. How far apart would the antennas need to be to avoid issues?
2010-04-17, 12:53 PM
You could go with a 2-bay bowtie for the CN Tower from your close distance or just keep your CM4221HD for that, and then for Buffalo go with an 8-bay bowtie. Keep in mind that the Buffalo stations are not all aligned on the same aiming point, which would make aiming the 91XG really picky. An 8-bay bowtie would be much more forgiving.
Antenna separation distances are in Post #16 of the OTA FAQ, but just keep 25" minimum in mind for two UHF antennas.
2010-04-17, 01:29 PM
If I'm going to go with an 8-bay bowtie, then that's likely all I need from my location, since I get all of toronto easily with my 4221HD pointed at the WIVB tower.
I'm going up to the roof to do some aiming (got a little B&W analog) and see if I can get the best aim for analog channel 15 out of buffalo. I'll play with the antenna height, position and aiming.
I'll tweak that, and then based on my findings I'll buy either a higher mast or a DB-8, or both, and then sell the 4221HD to my friend.
2010-04-17, 02:49 PM
Before you decide on 8-bay vs. 91XG, you might want to hear from those who are using a 91XG- Jase88 is using one in Kitchener, peano in Guelph and they get Buffalo reliably.
2010-04-17, 06:20 PM
From where he is at Jane & St. Clair, the angle between the various Buffalo stations is much wider than it is for those who are further west and northwest of Toronto, so that's what argues against something as directional as a 91XG.
A good thing about a 91XG is its gain, but the beamwidth is very narrow, making it finicky to aim. Since he's in an area in which an 8-bay has more than enough gain, it's wider beamwidth means much higher odds of finding a single aiming point for all the Buffalo stations.
2010-04-17, 07:40 PM
OK guys, here's an update:
Due to reading several accounts of peoples' success with stacking the 4221HDs (and due to the fact that I didn't want to dish out over $100 for an 8-bay), I went to Save and Replay today and bought a second 4221HD, a splitter/joiner, and 2 equal lengths of RG-6.
I have them stacked now and the results are interesting:
1) I still don't get WIVB and WKBW solid.
2) I used TS reader to tune WGRZ with the stacked antennas and got readings fluctuating from -3.6 to -4.6 dbm and it stays solid. I removed the lead for the bottom antenna and the signal dropped to -6.8 to -9.1 dbm and there was lots of red (drops).
My goal is to get these weakest stations solid no matter what. Is that a realistic goal?
Today is a particularly bad day for reception here, but I am confident that the WGRZ results indicate that I am getting a significant gain increase from the stack. I suspect that on better days I will get WIVB and WKBW good and solid, but I think my next step is to raise the stack about 6-8 feet higher than it is now.
2010-04-17, 09:25 PM
What are you using for a tuner? Are you using USB tuner to PC or ATSC tuner in TV? If you're using a PC tuner, do you have a TV with a built in ATSC tuner that you can try? I have a variety of OTA gear and every tuner is different. For the PC tuners, some are good, some not so good. I have my stack going through CM7778 preamp and have no overload issues. I'm also not as close to the broadcast tower as you are. I'm in the west end of Mississauga close to 403/407 aimed at Buffalo and rarely have to aim towards Toronto. Reception today has been very good and ION has been solid all day. My best results are with my Sharp Aquos TV. If you get similar results with a different tuner, do you have good line of sight in the direction of Buffalo? For me I have apartment buildings to the North, but to the South I'm perfectly clear. 4-1 and 7-1 are the tallest broadcast towers in South Buffalo and should be the easiest to get.