: ON - City of Toronto Metro Area <OUTDOOR Antennas Only> - OTA
2011-10-17, 10:48 PM
Get that ground rod hammered into the ground before the frost and snow comes. You don't want frozen ground.
HWP - thanks for your help!! The 7778 works quite well for me. I figured that since I was 2 miles away from you (further from the CN Tower) I would benefit from it. I still find WGRZ more stable, but signal level still low.
2011-10-18, 11:29 AM
So reporting back my test data and test setup.
6ft cable with 1.5inches copper core exposed outside, using one of those flat cables to get through the door then connected to a 4-way splitter then connected to HDHomeRun device.
Null signal direction towards Buffalo/Grand Island and BMO due to building/suite layout.
1am ET 18/10/2011
CFTO 95% Signal, 97% Quality
WUTV 54% Signal, 55% Quality
CICA 75% Signal, 75% Quality
CBLT 95% Signal, 94% Quality
CBLFT 95% Signal, 97% Quality
WNLO 69% Signal, 75% Quality - Unstable
CITS 68% Signal, 65% Quality
CIII 95% Signal, 97% Quality
CITY, OMNI1, OMNI2 Signal not detected/too low to lock (expected until they move)
10:30am ET 18/10/2011
CFTO 95% Signal, 97% Quality
WUTV 44% Signal, 29% Quality - Unable to lock
CICA 81% Signal, 68% Quality
CBLT 95% Signal, 100% Quality
CBLFT 95% Signal, 100% Quality
WNLO 61% Signal, 72% Quality - More stable this morning
CITS 61% Signal, 67% Quality
CIII 95% Signal, 97% Quality
CITY, OMNI1, OMNI2 Signal not detected/unstable/too low to lock (expected until they move)
So maybe I don't need an antenna after all? My next question would be, is there a proper length of copper I should have exposed or anything else I should consider before making this perm?
Another antenna I was thinking could be a whip antenna that I use for my scanner installed in my car though this method is cheaper...
El Gran Chico
2011-10-18, 11:36 AM
Update to post 1851:
I made a post given the pros and cons to each - I think it was sometime in 2010 but can't remember which thread If you can't find it using "search", I'll see if I can find it.
Last post of this thread: http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?p=1104453#post1104453
2011-10-18, 12:07 PM
Which pre-amp? CM7778 or Winegard 269?
DB8 combined with y5 713 on a Chimney mast.
Here's the TV FOOL story
Also regarding grounding; Would a re-bar spiked 5 feet into the ground do the job?
The rebar would probably work just fine as long as you are able to make a very solid contact between the grounding wire and the rebar. Ground rods have a convenient way to attach the wire.
Given the TV Fool report, I think you could go with the 7778 as long as you keep the antenna pointed at Buffalo. If the antenna points at Toronto expect some overload. The 7778 has an FM Trap so make sure it's set to "in." The 269 has no trap.
I'm glad you did that experiment with the exposed coax cable. It shows you were dealing with major overload with the giant 8-bay and the amplified antenna. Your condo is less than 1KM from the CN Tower so you really don't need much to make OTA work for you -- the 1.5 inch of exposed coax demonstrated that.
But I think you'd get better results with a real antenna. It is worth it.
I suggest a two-bay McLapp Antenna without reflectors. McLapp is a Digital Home member.
It is extremely minimal and would be invisible even to a nearby neighbour. The bonus is you'd still get all your Toronto channels but you'd also have much increased chances to get a selection of American channels. In my opinion, this tiny antenna is perfect for downtown condo owners that live in the shadow of the CN Tower and that aren't allowed to have antennas outside. Virtually invisible.
2011-10-18, 02:27 PM
just wanted to tap into the expertise/experience on the forum re: pre-amps.
I've had my antenna up for almost 4 years now, and a short while after I initially installed it, I had a CM7778 up and working pretty well (I thought!) - I was always worried about overload from the VHF Analogs (CBLT 5, CFTO 9) however and I had 10dB attenuators inline before my TV and TiVo.
A couple of years after I put the antenna in I was having issues with breakup WUTV on RF14 and a couple of others, so I went up and disconnected the CM7778. My problems disappeared, so I pulled the CM7778 and stuck it in storage. I chalked the issues up to overload from the amp, because the issues with WUTV have not re-occurred to this day.
Now that the old VHF 'flamethrowers' are gone, and we're solidly into the post-analog world here in Toronto, I've been considering re-installing the CM7778. I have marginal reception on WNYO and the hope is that the pre-amp would let me fix that. My CHCH and CITS reception are also close to the edge. I've pretty much never received WPXJ, but I'd really like to.
Here's my TVFool (http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d60b5242f7e7bb9) - as you can see, the CN Tower and Buffalo are pretty much in a straight line from me. I have a classic CM4228, and a cable run of about 60 feet before a 2-way splitter. The 2 feeds split to 2 rooms about 20 or 30 feet, and are split 2 ways again in those rooms.
And here's what I get currently, as reported by the Sony TV:
Channel Level(x/100) SNR(dB) AGC(%)
2-1 50 23 76
4-1 62 25.2 73
5-1 100 34.3 45
7-1 78 28.1 73
9-1 100 32.5 55
11-1 39 20.6 76
17-1 95 31.3 68
19-1 100 32.5 48
23-1 95 31.3 57
25-1 100 34.3 46
26-1 0 0 0
29-1 92 30.8 72
36-1 43 21.9 74
41-1 95 31.3 49
47-1 89 30.3 68
49-1 6 15.1 84
51-1 0 0 0
57-1 48 22.5 73
66-1 74 27.5 74
69-1 71 26.9 72
Do I go up to the roof and slap the CM7778 back into the mix?
I'd give it a shot. You might have to re-aim your antenna farther south to catch Toronto off the side to avoid direct aim. Please report back what happens. Be careful up there.
2011-10-18, 03:15 PM
I will think about it though I should make it clear that I'm using two separate antenna's systems intentionally connected to 2 x HDHomerun units (4 Tuners) which is integrated nicely into Windows Media Center. Each channel is assigned to the corresponding tuner pair so CTV would connect to the appropriate device. The problem with the 4-bay isn't that it's overloading which I'm aware, it's the location. It's practically aiming at WIVB but with part of a roof in my way then lake (which also adds more multipath from CN Tower). I'm not on high enough floor.
**Edit: I actually have a 4-bay at this location and don't know why I keep getting confused with the antenna at my parents place.
Hmm. I guess I don't fully understand your situation. I hope I've helped somewhat. Best of luck!
2011-10-18, 03:54 PM
You were a big help! I wasn't looking forward to spending more money on just getting a small outdoor antenna but it looks like that 2-bay antenna is a great price and i could stick it in the big flower pot I have :D
2011-10-18, 09:20 PM
HWP , yes it is an outdoor antena DB8 and I am trying to get ION channels , but I also have a rotator so when I point antenna away from CN tower I should not be overloading the pre amp.Even when I point at CHCH way away from CN tower the buffalo stations are weaker and no CHCH. I will try replacing it , if that will not work I will wait for next summer and try something else , maybe different antenna.
2011-10-18, 09:21 PM
Make sure the 7778 is set to the right mode for your setup. There is a VHF/UHF split mode and a combined mode.
2011-10-18, 09:27 PM
I have it set to combined mode , should that be set to split mode ? I have only one DB8 antenna.
hmmm. Maybe it is a dud. Could be a wiring issue. Are all the the connections good quality connections? Sorry to ask, but can you confirm that the device is plugged in?
2011-10-18, 09:53 PM
Also, on combined mode make sure you plugged into the UHF, not the VHF
2011-10-18, 10:15 PM
Wiring is good , everything works well with my distributor amp , I think I will try replacing 7778 preamp tomorrow and try testing it again on saturday when the weather should be nicer.
2011-10-18, 11:07 PM
What does overload on a digital channel look like? Speckles or something similar when looking at the TV?
2011-10-19, 03:28 PM
It is hard to tell with digital when overload is happening. Unlike analogue where the effects were visible.
I do find however that if a digital signal is really strong the analogue channels on either side of it (adjacent channels) become "darkened". This is even evident even when no channel is present... just the snow is darkened.
2011-10-19, 04:06 PM
Anyone else getting unexplained improved reception of WGRZ for the past month? For me in the past, I'd get inconsistent but watchable daytime reception of WGRZ during the warm summer months then it would disappear completely once the cooler weather hit. This year I'm still receiving WGRZ as the weather is cooling. Any word on whether WGRZ has elevated their transmitter or increased their power?