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post #76 of 2254 (permalink) Old 2010-06-25, 10:44 AM
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Location: Ottawa (Stittsville), ON, OTA (DB4e & VHF-HI folded dipole, AP-2870 pre-amp in Attic), MythTV HTPC
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Originally Posted by lima20 View Post
Thanks for this, really appreciate it. So a good VHF-LO antenna to get to couple with my CM4228 will be?
For only VHF-LO, I wouldn't recommended any of those antennas and I certainly wouldn't recommend spending that much money on an antenna that may only be useful for a little over a year.

If you do want a VHF-LO antenna, my recommendation would be an AntennaCraft Y5-2-6. The Source online has them at a very reasonable price and you can have it shipped to your local store to save on shipping. As Stampeder says there are also other good options on the antenna chart.
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post #77 of 2254 (permalink) Old 2010-06-25, 12:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by roger1818 View Post
For only VHF-LO, I wouldn't recommended any of those antennas and I certainly wouldn't recommend spending that much money on an antenna that may only be useful for a little over a year.

If you do want a VHF-LO antenna, my recommendation would be an AntennaCraft Y5-2-6. The Source online has them at a very reasonable price and you can have it shipped to your local store to save on shipping. As Stampeder says there are also other good options on the antenna chart.
Perhaps....but the thing that sold me with those antennas is that they do UHF, VHF low and high, FM and they have a range of 100miles
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post #78 of 2254 (permalink) Old 2010-06-25, 01:29 PM
 
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Here are the test results...all taken with a grain of salt as the tests are conducted over several days and weather has been highly variable (and makes a big difference).

With preamp:

-17.1 and 4.1 tend to 'peak' and MB heavily.
-It does seem to improve reception for 18.3 when antenna is pointed away from Norwood.
-It also seems to improve reception for 50.1 and 16.3 when those signals are available (ie last night).
(Not sure about these last two points as I rotated the antenna slightly and added the preamp...I will have to try one mod at a time to be sure...the pre-amp definitely gives an extra bar or two on the signal stregth meter.

Without preamp:

-CBC apparently still 'peaks' depending on the orientation of the antenna....but alot less.
-City works well even if the direction is off.
-I have to point the antenna toward norwood to get reliable daytime reception (not sure if preamp makes much difference).

I will need to do more careful tests to tell..these are the unresolved questions for me:

1. does the pre-amp improve weak signal reception (for *digital* feeds)?
2. Can the CM4228 'peak' the signal on my tuner even without the pre-amp?

I will try some more controlled experiments (ie changing one thing at a time in a short time span now that I am on holidays) and add a splitter as well. I was also thinking of adding another 5 feet section to my mast (the highest I think it would support)...but I don't know that I would get any better reception than I already have.
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post #79 of 2254 (permalink) Old 2010-06-25, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lima20 View Post
Perhaps....but the thing that sold me with those antennas is that they do UHF, VHF low and high, FM and they have a range of 100miles
Oh, I thought you were planning on keeping your CM4228. If you want to replace it, then one of those might be an option. One thing to note is the HD7697P doesn't receive VHF-LO though.

If you are planning on keeping the CM4228, and are just wanting to boost VHF reception, get a dedicated VHF or VHF-LO antenna and then combine them with a UVSJ (for a full VHF antenna) or an HLSJ (for a VHF-LO antenna) or else use the separate VHF and UHF inputs on your CM7777 (obviously requiring a full VHF antenna).

As far as those range figures, you can take those with a grain of salt as they are just marketing gibberish with little technical merit. Antennas are best rated by their gain in dBi or dBd for the channel you are wanting to receive.
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post #80 of 2254 (permalink) Old 2010-06-25, 02:20 PM
 
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Mike,

Do you get SUN from CF when pointed toward Norwood ? (South Colton is where the WNPI is and the future WNYF antenna will be for CBS/Fox)

If yes, your best option is just to point your antenna right on WNPI and hopefully get CF channels reliably with a lot lower chance of overloading your tuner. Another possibility of tuner overloading would be an FM transmitter closeby; check the Fm trap setting of your CM7777 preamp.
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post #81 of 2254 (permalink) Old 2010-06-25, 03:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike infinity View Post
That reminds me...for some reason if I point my antenna right at camp fortune I get lots of MB on CBC (unwatchable really)...when I point it 180 degrees the other way with the signal coming in the back it seems just right. I havn't tried it without the preamp though. I am assuming the bowtie side is the "front" of the antenna and the jail bars are a back reflector(?).
As flavoie mentioned, the strong signals being amplified by your CM preamp may be overloading your tuner, but I suspect it may in fact be the CM preamp itself that is being overloaded first. I've probably been looking in all the wrong places here (i.e., search terms...), but I haven't seen much mention of this.

There is a spreadsheet posted online (not sure if rules permit linking) by holl_ands that analyses preamp overload characteristics, and some are not suitable for handling very (very) strong signals (e.g., CM 7777).

This is something I've been trying to wrap my head around lately, and have been planning to put together a description of my situation for input by the gurus here.

So, aiming away from Camp Fortune may be required when you have the preamp inline.
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post #82 of 2254 (permalink) Old 2010-06-25, 09:19 PM
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So, aiming away from Camp Fortune may be required when you have the preamp inline.
Especially if you have a high gain antenna (like a CM4228), a high gain pre-amp (like a CM7777) and are reasonably close to Camp Fortune.
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post #83 of 2254 (permalink) Old 2010-06-25, 11:29 PM
 
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According to TVfool I am 12.2 miles from the CF tower. I am near the highest point in the beacon hill area as well with a roof mounted cm4228.

The first time I noticed the overload was actually with CITY TV when I point the antenna toward watertown. If the preamp isn't helping with the weaker digital signals then I don't need it.

I'll try a few more tests. I'm not getting watertown tonight like I did last night.
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post #84 of 2254 (permalink) Old 2010-06-26, 09:51 AM
 
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The preamp will help you when you split the signal for multiple tuners, and should help getting WNYF more reliably (hopefully their tower will transmit within the end of this summer). How is WNYF showing in your tvfool ? You can post the link here, your location remains anonymous.
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post #85 of 2254 (permalink) Old 2010-06-26, 10:39 AM
 
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post #86 of 2254 (permalink) Old 2010-06-26, 01:07 PM
 
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Update:

I have re-attached the preamp with splitter and two tuners and I don't seem to get any overload. The signal performance seems to be the same as with no splitter/no preamp.

I have noticed that i need to actually point my antenna toward camp fortune in order to get sunTV with no MB. CBC french and english don't have this problem.

I think I like the two-tuner config (although it was a heck of a time getting all this to work with windows media center). I can now watch and record two programs at once...and stream the recordings to any pc on my home network.

On another note I have noticed some (blank?) channels coming up on the mountain lake pbs ie 57.6, etc. There doesn't seem to be any broadcast or station ID...just a channel detection. Whats that about?
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post #87 of 2254 (permalink) Old 2010-06-26, 01:33 PM
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OTA in Barrhaven

First...wow, thanks to all for all the info and questions, feeling a little sheepish because I thought we were the only ones in Ottawa watching TV without cable or satellite...just a indoor amplifier antenna. We have been thinking about an antenna for the roof, laziness on our side, the getting up to adjust the antenna (not for every channel -but often enough) is sometimes a pain...not being permanent coach potatoes is the up side, but I can use the stairs at work to compensate :-)
...we have an old, + or - 3 foot, parabolic satelite dish in the shed...I plan on checking the AR&D forum link above to see if we can re-purpose it, but may be way off...if anyone is aware of best link please feel free to point us in the right direction. Presently we get almost all the channels identified in the "read this first" listings except the CBS and PBS...thanks again.
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post #88 of 2254 (permalink) Old 2010-06-26, 02:10 PM
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Hi, regarding satellite dishes, there is unfortunately no way that one of those will do for OTA, even at 3 feet diameter or so. It is best to build your own DIY antenna. Please read through all of the links at the bottom right of this post.--->



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post #89 of 2254 (permalink) Old 2010-06-26, 03:13 PM
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DIY Antenna

Thanks...got that about the dish on further investigation into the associated forums...have downloaded the antenna pdf and went to the tvfool site to figure what we should and could get...may even consider one of the DIY antennas given all the info...will keep an eye on recommendations here and will post if we follow thru. Thanks again, fairiequeenArch
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post #90 of 2254 (permalink) Old 2010-06-26, 09:19 PM
 
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Mike,
According to your tvfool results, you have very good chances of getting WNYF when it gets on the air. I find this by clicking "Pending applications included". Did you give WWNY - Watertown (7.1) a try ? I wonder if you picked it up when you were seeing WWTI. The 4228 is not the best for VHF, but it's still got decent gain for VHF-HI channels, and it is showing -6dB in your tvfool. I also have a windows media center setup with a splitter connecting 2 ATSC tuners, except right now it only has an indoor antenna connected to it.
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