: ON - City of Toronto Metro Area <OUTDOOR Antennas Only> - OTA
It makes a difference. I assumed you had build a uhf-only antenna. Thanks for pointing out your antenna's VHF capabilities.
If your antenna is high-vhf-capable, you might want to consider a rotator as well as the low-gain pre-amp. With 9dBi gain on vhf-high you have a shot at CHCH in Hamilton as well as WBBZ in Buffalo.
Your WBBZ TVFool score is much higher than mine, and I'm still getting WBBZ into November at my place. It does require close aim at times, though.
Since you have gone to the trouble to actually build this complex antenna, you may also want to attempt to witness its full potential. This would mean needing to aim your antenna at times in slightly different directions. East for WPXJ (ION's three channels), South for WBBZ's four channels, and Southsouthwest for CHCH. CHCH and WBBZ are both high-vhf.
If you get only one thing now, get the pre-amp. Later consider adding a used rotator if you find you need it.
You do have a chance of getting WBBZ with exact aim and still getting ION and CHCH with a pre-amp.
I can't wait to hear how you make out with this!
2011-11-04, 12:33 AM
You may have missed it, but I'm getting the Hamilton stations (CHCH and CITS) at min. 70% signal strength as antenna is aimed now (more or less at ABC).
CHCH & CITS are either coming in off the side or perhaps with a bounce off the aluminum siding on the gable - pictures in my album. Antenna is mounted on wall behind and about 3 ft to the left (west) of the mast shown attached to planter trellis. Mast (to top antenna) extends about 13 ft above the wall. Picture of CN tower is taken with camera 6 ft above top of trellis (me standing on top of it - knees shaking).
If you have to direct your antenna further east to get ION WPXJ, then you might see Hamilton drop-out on you.
I'd love to see what a pre-amp would do in terms of adding to your channel total.
I'm pretty much assuming that the mild pre-amp would solidify your weaker main channels.
2011-11-04, 05:26 PM
Re-aimed antenna East at ION with encouraging result:
Toronto channels: all remained at 100% signal strength.
2.1/2 NBC dropped to 87%
4.1 CBS dropped to 65%
7.1 ABC increased to 55% :)
17.1 PBS increased to 80% (perhaps an aberation)
17.2/3 came in at 65%
23.1 CW dropped a bit to 73%
26.1/2/3/4 TCT remained at 55-60%
29.1/2 FOX dropped to 50-55%
49.1 MyN increased, but only to 20-30%
49.1 CoolTV increased, but only to 30%
11.1 CHCH increased to 82% (I'll take it!)
36.1 CITS increased to 90% (another head-scratcher - I'll take that, too!)
Re-scanned the channels after the re-aim, but ION didn't register -would have been surprised if it did.
So... I've ordered the Winegard HDP-269 (from Amazon.ca $57.25 new, shipping included - compare at $74.99 from forum sponsor).
Would have purchased from saveandreplay, but that's too big a price difference - having already spent about two or three times the cost of a good commercial antenna for materials and new tools to build mine. Though I've wanted those tools anyway. ;)
2011-11-04, 09:29 PM
I went to Save & Replay today and got an antenna. When they saw how many trees I had across my property, they cautioned me about not buying anything but the antenna itself (no grounding rod, copper wire, pole, grounding block, amplifier, etc) until I see how my basic reception is. How many retailers would do that?
They were a wealth of knowledge and I am definitely going back to them to buy the rest of the stuff. Yeah maybe I could save $10-$20 going somewhere else or online but if I need to save that kinda money instead of getting top quality advice then I probably should get a new job.
2011-11-05, 01:24 AM
I don't have a job so I can't change to make money non-imporrtant. Thought I received top quality advice thru this form (based on the info I provided), so wasn't looking for any from a retailer. Believe the advice I got from HWP regarding a pre-amp was sound, coraborated by Stamper's pre-amp chart.
As far as I'm concerned, that's all external input I need, and price became the deciding factor. You may feel different based on your circumstances.
No offence intened, but feel, what I construe as critisism, is misplaced.
2011-11-05, 12:10 PM
Misconstrued, sorry. I felt your post made it look like Save and Replay was over-charging. My point was that retailers like Save and Replay are not gouging and do provide value for people, not that peope who don't need it or can't afford it shouldn't find the lowest cost option.
2011-11-05, 02:17 PM
Guess I over-reacted last night - diplomacy not my strong suit. No hard feelings.
El Gran Chico
2011-11-05, 05:13 PM
I had SandR's install team of Tom and Dan stop by earlier today. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned the windstorm had changed something in my setup. They re-aimed my DB-8 just slightly eastward and wow, what a difference.
- First Canadian Place transmitters plus Global went from too weak to lock to about 70 on my Aquos's scale
- Other Toronto transmitters came in slightly stronger.
- Grand Island transmitters came in more or less the same
- South Buffalo transmitters came in slightly weaker but still very strong except for WNYO which went way stronger -(looks like that's no longer my problem station :D)
- I lost WNYB
- WPXJ made a brief appearance before fading out (first time I'm seen that in weeks)
- CHCH is slight weaker (73 vs. 71 prior) and CITS is a little more weaker (now pixilates on my TiVo)
All in all a major improvement :cool:
2011-11-05, 11:11 PM
We should compare setups el gran chico. From your location you are probably a stones throw from my street.
I recently moved my cm4228 to the high peak of the roof. Before it was on a lower side roof. Reception went up for the most part but oddly TVO is now flakey
2011-11-06, 01:49 PM
Was so eager to see the results of re-aiming my GH6n3 at ION that I forgot to remove the aluminum ladder I used (to get up in front of antenna with the compass) before going inside to check signal strengths. :eek:
Reported those (ladder-enhanced?) results in Post#1964
With ladder now removed, here are the readings I got about an hour ago:
Toronto channels: all 100% signal strength.
2.1/2 NBC 87% (same as before)
4.1 CBS increased from 65% to 79%
7.1 ABC 40-55% (about same – marginal)
17.1 PBS dropped from 80% to 70-75% (still OK)
17.2/3 about 72% (slightly better)
23.1 CW increased from 73% to 80-100%
26.1/2/3/4 TCT dropped from 55-60% to 45-50%
29.1/2 FOX increased from 50-55% to 65%
49.1 MyN now 0% (not broadcasting?)
49.1 CoolTV now 0% (not broadcasting?)
11.1 CHCH 78% (slight drop – still OK)
36.1 CITS increased to 100% (WOW!)
Conclusion: Big metal object in front of antenna has unpredictable impact on reception – or perhaps differences are due to changes in the troposphere, or… both? Confusion reigns.
Perhaps the Winegard HDP-269 pre-amp I ordered will solve all problems. :D
El Gran Chico
2011-11-07, 12:24 PM
JJMoney, not sure if this is feasible for you, but this is what I'm building for my in-laws attic setup.
a) build a channel 11 folder dipole as described as the Matthews design in this post http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showpost.php?p=1042358&postcount=10 Instead of twin lead, I used a piece of solid-core household electrical wiring, straightened and made right angles the way DHCer hkaye describes in this post http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showpost.php?p=1099707&postcount=2
b) bought a UVSJ to merge the feeds from their original 4221 and the folded dipole
I've tested it on the ground and it works great (nearly literally "on the ground" from my location the folder dipole receives CHCH strongly just 4 feet above ground level not even pointing at Stoney Creek, while my old 4221 could barely lock it pointing right at Stoney Creek 15 feet above ground level) :eek:
Just need to find a mutually convenient time to move it up to their attic.
Update to post 1656. I was finally able to get my homemade folded dipole into the in-laws' attic this weekend. I bought an Antennas Direct EU385-CF UVSJ and when everything was hooked up, the result was spectacular!
Both CHCH and CFTO are now stronger for them than the CN Tower UHF stations received on their original 4221. So it appears there is more than enough CHCH signal in Toronto (or at least Etobicoke) if you have a PROPER VHF antenna (they were getting nothing with the 4221).
2011-11-07, 01:52 PM
I did a preliminary set up of my antenna. Here are the results:
Location: North Rosedale, Toronto (tons of 75' oak trees south of my house with half the leaves still on right now)
Antenna: Channel Master 4221HD (no amp)
Antenna Height: about 27'. I attached the antenna to a 6' pole and leaned it against the chimney and pointed it in the general S-SW direction. The cable from the antenna is about 60' long.
For all the stations that I was able to receive I noted the signal meter strength displayed by my HDTV. I italicized the stations that I cannot get (but might be able to if I had a rotor, etc). It turns out I don't want them anyway. I bolded the stations I would actually watch. I also noted the whether the station is HD or SD and which ones are transmitted from the US.
2.1 NBC HD (US) - 92%
2.2 Universal Sports (US) - 69%
3.1 CKVR CTV2
4.1 CBS HD (US) - 92%
5.1 CBC HD - 100%
7.1 ABC HD (US) - 71%
9.1 CTV HD - 100%
11.1 CHCH SD
17.1 PBS HD (US) - 60%
17.2 PBS SD (US) - 56%
17.3 PBS Think Bright SD (US) - 55%
19.1 TVOntario SD - 100%
22 CHEX-TV CBC - faint and drifts in and out with no audio
23.1 CW HD (US) - 100%
25.1 Rad-Can - 100%
27 CIII-TV - Global (same feed as 41.1) - faint with audio
29.1 Fox HD (US) - 92%
29.2 The Country Network SD (US) - 92%
41.1 Global HD - 100%
41.2 Global SD - 100%
47.1 Omni 1 HD - 100%
49.1 WYNO HD MyTV (US) - 63%
49.2 Cool TV SD (US) - 63%
51.1 ION (US)
51.2 qubo (US)
51.3 ION Life (US)
57.1 CityTV HD - 100%
67.1 WBBZ (US)
67.2 ThisTV (US)
67.3 MeTV (US)
67.4 Daystar (US)
69.1 Omni 2 HD - 100%
With higher and better directional aiming of the antenna I should be able to get ever better reception. But, all the stations are acceptable to me right now without even doing that. I guess then I don't need an amplifier. My only concern now is how the reception will be in the summer when the trees are full of leaves rather than them being half gone now.
Thanks for everyone's help in getting me this far (especially HWP). Any comments/suggestions are appreciated!
El Gran Chico
2011-11-07, 02:19 PM
Attach, I ran this TVfool report for St. Clair and Mt. Pleasant (43.690,-79.383, I assume you aren't too far from there). Looks like you should aim about 30 degrees EAST of due South to optimize Buffalo.
2011-11-07, 02:45 PM
Thanks! Yes I am close to there. I was amazed by what I could get by just aiming it in the general direction. I'll run that report from my exact co-ordinates and aim the antenna properly once I get the mounting hardware, etc. from Save and Replay this week
2011-11-07, 04:59 PM
I am trying to figure out what the best course of action is for me to better receive Fox 29.1 and PBS 17.1, as nothing I've done so far has helped me get reliable reception from these 2 stations. I am now trying to decide whether adding an antenna preamp will help me get these problem stations reliably. I get all the local Toronto stations fine without one (I'm within 5 miles of the CN Tower & 1st Canadian Place; tvfool report: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...60b59569296fb4 (http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d60b59569296fb4)), and NBC 2.1, CBS 4.1 and 23.1 are all fairly reliable except in bad weather (I'd still like to improve reception for these as well). But Fox and PBS only work maybe 25% of the time. I'm worried that because their transmitters are pretty much directly in line with the CN tower that the local signals from there are overloading my receiver when trying to receive these 2 channels (both Fox and PBS's transmitters are in fairly close proximity on Grand Island).
My antenna is a CM4228HD roof mounted. Running about 50' of RG6 to my splitter, however I have trouble with these channels even when I connect my USB tuner stick directly to the antenna with a short 6' RG6 cable. Will adding something like a CM7777 or CM7778 help or hurt in my situation? Thanks for any input.
I've attached a screengrab that shows the path from the Fox transmitter to my antenna (red line). As you can see it is practically directly behind the CN tower. I would think this is an advantage as I can point my antenna directly at both transmitters but maybe it's working against me...
You have a challenging location with Buffalo being straight behind the CN Tower. The weaker Buffalo stations are possibly being overwhelmed by the strong Toronto TV and radio signals.
If you want to try a pre-amp, look at Stampeder's Pre-Amp chart. If you're going to try one, you'll probably want one with low noise and low gain such as the Winegard 269.
You might want to try some other things before ordering the pre-amp, though. If you have some extra splitters around (ie a splitter that splits your antenna wire to four or eight TV's), you could try weakening the strong Toronto signals a bit and see if perhaps your NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, and PBS improve somewhat.
You might also read through recent posts in this thread. Another member here just bought a Winegard 269 (almost a neighbour of yours, I'd bet). Maybe get in touch with each other and see if you can maybe both try the Winegard 269. No sense in having both of you purchase and later discover it doesn't work. Share the risk.
Anyway, There is a solution for you but you'll have to really experiment and puzzle about it. You could try a lower gain antenna like a 4221hd or even a 4220hd. You could experiment with aiming your 4228hd off to the side .
Those American signals are pretty strong so they may end up working for you eventually.
Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
2011-11-07, 11:55 PM
Believe HWP is referring to me. See Posts#1956-1964.
My alignment is almost the same as yours – you’re probably just NW of me. My distance to CN Tower is 4.3 miles.
I have a homebrew antenna (GH6n3) that I just finished building and mounting. Received the Winegard HDP-269 I bought, based on HWP’s suggestion, this afternoon and will mount it asap. I’ll be happy to let you try it, just send me a PM (private message) thru the Forum with your contact info.
2011-11-08, 12:45 PM
Update to post 1656. I was finally able to get my homemade folded dipole into the in-laws' attic this weekend.
El Gran Chico, I put this on the backburner for awhile but I'm still interested in trying it - it would be great to reacquire CHCH and I may have some time shortly to try this out. The instructions still seem a little fuzzy to me though - do you have any pictures of the finished antenna to help clarify things? Also did you actually solder the twin-lead conductors as mentioned in the matthews dipole link? This may be a large obstacle for me if it's necessary. Thanks.
El Gran Chico
2011-11-08, 01:21 PM
JJMoney, since I didn't use twinlead, no soldering was required. I just used bare wire (like this stuff http://www.homedepot.ca/product/14-3-cu-nmwu-w-g-csa-30m/908333 about $4 a meter IIRC - one piece is bare already, the other pieces can also be used if you strip off the insulation) cut to the length I needed, straightened it (see the post in the antenna research forum by hkaye on how to do this easily with a drill), and then bent it into the same shape as the twinlead would be (I left about 1 cm between the top and the bottom). Note that my design doesn't have twinlead for "To TV" either - that's handle by a balun and RG6 and actually goes to the UVSJ (not the tv directly)
As for length of the bare wire, for channel 11 you'll see the half wavelength is about 62.5 cm, so I would use 126 cm of wire (126 = 30.75 + 1 + 62.5 + 1 + 30.75) which gives you a 1 cm gap at the balun. All bends are 90°. I used a small piece of duct tape to attach the top part to the mast (actually a light piece of wood) just above the balun. Hope this makes sense.