: ON - City of Toronto Metro Area <OUTDOOR Antennas Only> - OTA
2010-04-19, 11:24 AM
Yes, tilting the antenna is another way to get better signals... Glad that you figured that one out!
Now, You can enjoy the Buffalo channels...
2010-04-20, 09:24 AM
I'm thinking of trying a pre-amp to stabilize some of my weaker (remote) channels, but I've been warned that I will risk overloading due to my proximity to the local RF source.
The thing is, my antenna is aimed at very distant RF sources and as such it only just barely catches my local RF source on the edge of a side lobe.
The result is that the dbm reading for local stations (via TS Reader) is on average about the same as the dbm readings for the remote stations. The weakest remote station averages at about -3dbm and the strongest local station averages about +4dbm. On average though, most local and remote stations are in the -1dbm to +1dbm range, and all of these are quite reliable. This is ideal aiming, in my humble opinion.
My plan is to try the Antennas Direct PA-18. Make sense?
Could I realistically expect to see all channels in the +6 to +12 dbm range?
Would the Winegard HDP-269 be better? Worse? Why? Any other recommendations for a pre-amp in this particular situation?
2010-04-20, 10:57 AM
let's see, how to begin? I started with a 4221HD and was only receiving most station at 40 to 50 % of the local station. I then added a 4228HD below it to see if it would help, what a difference. added a pre-amp, some improvement but not enough to get 15 station local. took the whole thing down, stack 2 4228HD far apart, got worse. so I stack them with equal length of cable to splitter, to the amp, then 75 feet of RG-6 cables down to the pre-amp. then to the tv. the signal are now between 50 to 78% for the most of the station. I do not get 41.1 for some odd reason, but I get 2.1 at 66%. at different time during the day and evening their seems to be some local interference that is disturbing my setup. I am only 12 km in road distance for the CN tower. what is wrong with my setup. or how to determine the problem. I get everything else that is available for someone whom is at lakeshore and kipling in etobicoke. the antennas are touching each other on the black end caps. the are both facing the same directions. south east. I tried stacking a 4221HD with an 4228HD did not work well. so the 2 antennas currently stack together are 4228HD. 16 bowtie setup. it look like one huge massive antennas when you look up at it.
what do I do next?
2010-04-20, 11:42 AM
ok...I'll give it a try...
Can you post your TVFOOL result? Any obstruction, how height is your antenna?
2010-04-20, 12:08 PM
Identical antennas- as close as possible.
Different antennas – 25” or more apart.
Cable lengths need to be exactly the same.
Need to use good quality splitter to join antennas.
Need to see you TV fool report.
Need to know if there are any obstructions in your area.
4228HD is terrible for high UHF (see Global 41.1, 65.1 RF)
2010-04-20, 07:08 PM
The CPA19 from AD is far better in overload resistance than is the PA18. The PA18 is best used in locations well removed from strong signal sources.
That said, I'm using a PA18 with a 91XG and have a magawatter channel 14 about 10 miles away that is about 30° off boresight. I can see a bit of distortion on the "shoulders" of the channel 14 on the spectrum analyzer that wasn't there when I previoulsy tried the CPA19. Still, the PA18 is doing the job although I suspect it would go crazy with distortion if I pointed the 91XG directly at that station.
2010-04-20, 08:26 PM
here is the link of tvfool with my postal code in it. http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d9c6bbab22a148d
no line of sight thou, but I am receiving everything else, just difficulty with 2.1, 41.1, 64.1 but sometimes 2.1 comes in only at 40 to 50 % or 55% I am thinking that it might be a cable issue, since sometime when I touch the cable problems come and go. maybe it is me who can not make a proper cable connection. I am using a spartan pre-amp with 75 foot of cable... right now I am trying to be a perfectionist at it when I am just a rookie but somewhat a tech of electronics. the 2 antenna 4228 hd are connected with equal length of cable to a good splitter of 3.5 db loss on each side, to the spartan, then one line to the amp, and a short cable of 2 feet to the antenna. the antenna is mounted on my balcony which is the fourth or fifth floor, and on a 10 foot pole above the rail. I almost clear the roof line. I have line of sight to the lake. my antennas are facing south east. I am just getting frustrated with this. but it is free. I am also thinking that it might be local interference. if a turn my antenna one way I loss 2.1 and gain 41.1 so it is me to chose or can I have the two antenna slightly off from each other but facing relatively the same direction?
2010-04-20, 11:13 PM
yes, you can have the antennas facing different directions- but you might also have to adjust the spacing of them since you would be ganging instead of stacking.
2010-04-21, 09:04 AM
You said "Antenna facing S-E", do you have LOS to both CN tower and Buffalo?
If you you do, then just point one antenna to CN tower and fine tune all Toronto channels at peak level. Do the same for second antenna for Buffalo.
Join the two antennas via two cables, then pre-amp.
Let us know how it goes.
2010-04-21, 09:27 AM
Thanks for your feedback. I saw the CPA19 as well, but my budget doesn't stretch that far.
I've ordered the PA-18 for $39 CAD (Save and Replay want $89!) and I'll see how it goes.
Unrelated but still on the topic of pre-amps; I was talking to a co-worker yesterday who couldn't say enough about the importance of a pre-amp. He's got a DB-2 in a 1st floor apartment in North York. Without a pre-amp he gets a couple of channels. With a pre-amp he gets all of Toronto and almost all of Buffalo. His pre-amp is a POS, $26 Digi**** with 26db gain and 5db NF. Nevertheless, his results speak for themselves.
EDIT: Holy crap! I ordered the PA-18 less than 24 hours ago and it was delivered to my office by 10:30am today. Can't wait to try it!!!
2010-04-21, 11:04 AM
I never got reliable signals with two antennas pointed 90d apart and joined with a decent splitter.
What did work was I built a two tuner DVR and run SageTV. Each antenna goes to one tuner and all is well and much better than watching live TV IMO.
2010-04-21, 11:21 AM
Duesouth, stacking two such powerful antennas as CM4228s would never have been my suggestion to you. For years I've only ever recommended stacking 8-bays in Deepest Fringe areas (i.e. rural and/or very far). By stacking 2 CM4228HDs you ended up with a rig that has wonderful forward gain but unfortunately too tight and narrow a beam pattern in both the vertical and horizontal planes. :eek: That's precisely why you've been having troubles with stations that should be booming in.
From your location at Lakeshore and Kipling a solution might even be a 2-bay bowtie for the CN Tower and a CM4221HD or better for the Buffalo stations.I never got reliable signals with two antennas pointed 90d apart and joined with a decent splitter.90° rarely works with ganged antennas since there are often nulls in their patterns there. A right angle will work if each antenna feeds its own independent tuner and the antennas are properly spaced. Just keep in mind that aiming ganged antennas can be quite counter-intuitive and time consuming to get right! :eek:
2010-04-21, 11:34 AM
As I said, not ganging them and keeping them a few feet away from each other they work like a charm. It's a pair of attic mounted Yagis.
I also have a live TV feed for the bedroom and use exactly the solution you mentioned "2-bay bowtie for the CN Tower and a CM4221HD" it works very well and NBC comes in great, BUT CityTV breaks up on occasion. It seems to be room placement plus both antennas are mounted indoors (it's a wife thing).
2010-04-21, 12:35 PM
I wish duesouth was here (digital home site) earlier so that he would have to invest on dual 4228...We will try our best to help him out with his equipment for now...
2010-04-21, 03:41 PM
well I start with just one 4221HD and got only local station. the problem I might be having is that I near the HIGH power voltage line of the TTC streetcar.
4221HD only gave me local and Hamilton, no sight of buffalo on my TV. even with the 4221 HD some local did not even come in. so then I stack 2 4221HD to see if anything change. some improvement but not enough to get a picture on some local station and Hamilton. tried it with a pre-amp a spartan. some improvement. 10 to 20% increase in signal. finally getting about 16 station. so I decided to experiment. I stack a 4221hd with a 4228hd at total different aiming position. not so good results. so now I got another 4228HD. stack far apart and point for 2 different signals. some what alright. but had problems. so I read that they should be a close as possible in the forum and the black plastic caps touching each other and pointing the same direction.
I am currently getting everything between 56% to 50 for 2.1, 79% for 188.8.131.52
the only station I am having difficulty with is with 41.1 but I see it very good in analog 41. sometimes during the day station 64.1 and 66.1 comes and goes. so I am thinking it is local interference, the Fire hall down the street, TTC power line, and the huge cell phone tower near me.
msut of the station are coming in at 56 to 75 % which is perfect to me. anything above 50 or 55 is good, but anything below 50 is choppy
must of the night I get some tropo station in. which is nice but must are just repeats. mostly at night of weekends. 8.1, 21.1,
I want to get 41.1, 64.1 66.1 I am thinking that the issue is with my wires. poor connections that I had made.
I am thinking of leave the top one lock in place and adjust the bottom one only to fine tune for Toronto. and to change the preamp to a 7777.
I end up spending a lot of money. no return.
the setup is only for one tv. 75 feet away.
2010-04-21, 06:39 PM
With the pre-amp installed and powered up, my dbm readings in TS Reader drop by 5 db accross the board.
2010-04-21, 07:15 PM
What about your actual reception (without regard to TRreader's reported numbers)? Did you loose channels, especially close-in ones?
If would also help if you post your TVFool data so we have an idea of your local conditions.
I've searched high and low (experiments) and have been unable to find a situation where an amp makes a significant difference on an indoors antenna. The opportunity for improvement is such a small margin...unless the tuner has a particularly sucky noise figure. Signal amplitude that can be corrected by a pre-amp is rarely the problem indoors
2010-04-21, 07:24 PM
interesting, sounds like ur seeing more interference, or ur overload theory came true? Are you using multiple feeds off the downlead? Mine (AP-8700 pre-amp) is split three ways so far to three receivers, and seems pretty stable. Of course like anything sure my setup could be improved though. I have a nearby FM transmitter to deal with here, so I try to aim my antenna (SBGH no reflectors) perpindicular to it. Seems to be the best spot for pickin up both Canadian stations and ION from Batavia here in Buffalo for me (i.e as opposed to aiming for the CN Tower, or Batavia)
Curious what ATSC tuner ur using with TsReader? Mine (Evga inDtube ATSC Tuner) is a USB BDA device, and yields signal reports of C/N from 15 - 27db, with nothing below 15 dB C/N obtaining a Lock. I posted it's C/N vs "Quality %" a while ago here someplace. 15dB being 50% and basically every 1/2 dB of C/N represented like 2% in quality.
2010-04-21, 07:36 PM
My setup is two 4221HDs stacked on a 10ft mast on my chimney (about 35ft total, I guess) and pointed at Buffalo from Jane and St. Clair area of Toronto. The two antennas are connected via identical length RG-6 into a high quality splitter and goes straight down about 50-60 ft of cable right into a PCI tuner card (Kworld 120).
I normally get all of Toronto and most of Buffalo solid with this, except WIVB and WKBW are iffy during sunset and sometimes even WRGZ drops out.
When I installed the pre-amp, I lost all the "iffy" channels immediately and only the strongest local stations could be tuned. it was like I installed an attenuator.
2010-04-21, 08:24 PM
Wonder what ur results would be like straight in, or 2-Way Split in to ur regular TV Tuner just for quick comparison?
Didn't see ur pre-amp in the pre-amp chart but checking the mfr's site it says like 15 dB UHF gain, 1.8 dB N.F. No mention of max input signal.
So, is large signal the issue?
From A.D. site
•18.6 dB VHF/15.4 dB UHF gain
•75 ohm F connector input
•75 ohm F connector output
•1.8 dB noise figure
•All weather design
•Kit includes power inserter and 2 coax cables
•Frequency range 40-862 MHz
Edit: on a side note, see posts #1, then #14 and #15 below for a comment / observation
regarding WIVB & WKBW.