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Old 2012-03-01, 05:34 PM   #946
Jase88
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^^^
Save and Replay sells them at their retail store in Mississauga.
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Old 2012-03-02, 08:33 AM   #947
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Vanhalen26

Not really sure what exactly commercial installers use to aim antennas.

But I will give some ideas on what I have done / what I have heard from others:

1. Magnetic Compass - Yes I've used one for a rough aim. But remember they work on magnetic north (as opposed to true north) and there is usually a difference of several degrees - maybe 5 or 8 degrees - depends on your location on earth. If using a magnetic compass, use the magnetic column numbers of degrees direction on TV Fool rather than the True column.
( 5 or 8 degrees aiming difference is not usually a big difference for most antennas ... but may make a difference )

2. Land Reference points. Using TV Fool, satelite view, zoom in, lines to transmitter feature - complex to do - but once you figure it out, it works really well. Would take long for me to explain the whole process here in writing.

3. Trial and Error with "general knowledge" of the aiming direction needed. Looking at the signal meter of the TV as you make aiming adjustments on the antenna.
Or have someone else looking at the signal meter inside, talking with you remotely on a cell phone or walkie talkie / GMRS mini talkers - as you make the antenna adjustments.

4. Stand alone portable signal meter / spectrum analyser.
One member on the forum mentioned they have a portable spectrum analyser. I think they said it was a "Sencor" model. With a unit like that, you can move the meter around and look at a live graph of the signal level over a specific channel's "band" and try to find the best quality and best power for the signal(s) of interest.

Complex technical meter ... maybe some professional installers have one, or serious hobbyists, or techs who work / have worked before in broadcasting.


Number 3, Trial and Error, looking at the TV meter - for your average OTA person, usually works well enough.
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Old 2012-03-04, 12:25 PM   #948
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Quote:
1. Magnetic Compass
Many of the new smart phones have orientation sensors (electronic compass + 2 inclinometers). Some GPS devices have an electronic compass as well. These devices, while sensing magnetic north, can easily be configured to display true north.
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Old 2012-03-04, 03:10 PM   #949
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There's also an iPhone app which will tell you the station's angles around you based on your GPS current coordinates, based off the FCC database of US and Canadian channels (not always accurate for Canada but mostly ok). You can then use the iPhone's compass app to aim.
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Old 2012-03-05, 03:45 PM   #950
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I wouldn't trust a smart phone compass as they won't be accurate enough. The magnetic sensors are only going to give a rough approximation when stationary and the GPS can only determine direction when moving (the faster and further you move the more accurate it is). When installing an antenna, you hopefully aren't moving that fast.
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Old 2012-03-06, 09:05 AM   #951
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Default Trans Canada TV Antenna

Trans Canada TV Antenna - possible OTA antenna and accessories supplier


website: http://transcanadatvantenna.com/

From a post by Member: tdibro

Post seen In thread: OTA Reception Results / ON - Kanata, Barrhaven, Nepean, West of Greenbelt - OTA

(post #829, pg 56 of the thread)

Posted on date: Feb 11, 2012


Link to post: http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/show...&postcount=829

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdipro
all of the antenna gear came from Trans Canada TV Antenna - they deliver for free in the Ottawa/Gatineau area.
Looks like they have a fair selection of Channel Master antennas (indoor and outdoor) and other accessories on their website.
Looks like they are located in Kemptville, Ontario - about 30 / 40 min. south of Ottawa on hwy 416.
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Old 2012-03-06, 09:04 PM   #952
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Quote:
I wouldn't trust a smart phone compass as they won't be accurate enough
On the contrary they can be surprising good for pointing. Within a degree or two. The trouble is sighting them consistently. But given the large screen surface they are easier to read (and lock) than an analog compass.
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Old 2012-03-10, 09:17 AM   #953
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I know someone else asked here already...does anyone know of an installer in Ottawa / Gatineau that can help take down a tower install?

Also.....Do any of you in Kingston, ON know of good installers in that neck of the woods?

We are moving soon and I plan to take my tower and antennas with me
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Old 2012-03-11, 10:04 AM   #954
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Thanks for all the feedback. As a result, I remain a bit disappointed with my installer - but I will re-aim as the weather warms up. He did a good job mounting and wiring, just wish he spent time aiming. He pointed in the general direction, saw most channels were coming, and declared success. My tv has no signal meter, and I know cool TV is just a few degrees from the rest of the US majors - so I think if he worked at it a little he could have pulled it in. I pulled it in when I was testing on my own before the antenna was professionally mounted. I will update on my success after trying on my own over the next few weeks!
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Old 2012-03-13, 06:16 PM   #955
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Default An Ottawa Vendor

Good selection of quality and oddly enough non-quality antennas and ancilliaries at FTAtronix in Ottawa. check ftatronix.com
They're just around the corner from me but I found them from the Google adds on this forum that monitor my searches.
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Old 2012-03-13, 11:30 PM   #956
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Default Ottawa OTA supplies available at FTAtronix

I was in FTAtronix on Carling at Broadview in Ottawa earlier today. They have some Antennas Direct UHF/VHF combiners for about 20 bucks.

As for the digi-c-r-a-p that they have for sale, they will admit that they are not high quality, so don't worry about them steering you wrong. They also sell Channel Master, Antennas Direct, and Winegard antennas, as well as Wade telescoping masts. I also saw an AntennaCraft rotor there.
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Old 2012-03-24, 09:31 AM   #957
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For those in the Ottawa area looking for antenna installation and sales, I used Gary from GR Tech. Search for ad ID 298003993 on Kijiji, or email garyrichards221 [at] rogers.com.

He's a former Rogers tech who has his own company doing satellite & OTA installs. He guarantees his work and says he's fully insured.

We spent about 2 hours trying to get an attic setup that received all of the Ottawa channels, but in the end, Global proved to be too much of a problem for me in NW Kanata near Carp. I could get Global and the other Camp Fortune stations with my old FM/VHF/UHF attic antenna, but when adding a second antenna to get the Manotick stations we could never get Global and the Manotick stations regardless of what combiner / amplifier / preamp / FM-trap we tried. Global is just too weak and finicky.

In the end I left just the Winegard 8800 that he installed connected - it's getting everything except global. We'll see if we miss Global, and if so, maybe get a high-gain antenna tuned just for VHF CH-6 added to the mix, or go with an outdoor setup rather than in the attic. I sure wish Global would improve their transmitter or switch to another frequency.
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Old 2012-03-28, 01:02 PM   #958
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I noticed that Newark Electronics sells some Antennacraft and Channel Master stuff (do a search as it is scattered under strange categories). Prices while not amazing, don't seem too bad and I believe they will ship from a Canadian address, avoiding brokerage (needs to be confirmed though).
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Old 2012-03-29, 10:22 PM   #959
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Was pleasantly surprised to find Research Electronics on Frobisher Drive in Waterloo today. More importantly, they are probably the only local retail location to sell Antennas Direct products. They also carry Channel Master and brands which shall not be discussed here.

Good service, and decent pricing.
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Old 2012-04-05, 06:42 AM   #960
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Being ill at ease climbing a ladder to my roof, I'm looking for an installer (or volunteer) to work with me on revamping my chimney mount antenna installation (mast and mount are 15 years old), middle Toronto. I have the ladder but not the nerve!

My chimney mount currently has a 4221HD 4-bay UHF antenna which is not as good as I'd ideally like (but not sure if an 8-bay is the answer) and a 2 foot FM yagi (and I have a 10 footer to replace it to get PBS-FM-HD from Buffalo better).

Problem for me in working with an installer are I can't say now what I need to replace on the roof at this point so I need a kind of exploratory visit or flexible hourly billing or something open-ended with an authentically knowledgeable person.

And needless to add, I'm too much of a do-it-yourselfer to feel good about parting with $300 for an hours' work.

Any guidance and suggestions appreciated. Thanks.

Ben
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