Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums banner

1341 - 1360 of 1411 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Hi All from Calgary AB. I'm using a DBe4 from Antenna's Direct that's in my attic. I've been having a terrible time picking up 4.1 reliably - it will drop out and stay away for periods of time. I've got it connected to my PC (100' foot away) using a Hauppauge dual ATSC tuner card. I do pick up all the local stations in Calgary, but 4.1 is giving me constant grief. I've got the antenna aimed at the tower broadcasting CBC (9.1) and it's 3 miles away (that's 189 degrees true). Station 4.1 and 32.1 (CTS) is coming from the same tower at 157 degrees true and is 3.6 miles away. I rarely have difficulty with 32.1. The other stations 2.1, 5.1, and 38.1 are at 225 degrees true and that tower is about 3.5 miles away. I'm not sure what to do now. I can probably shorten the cable down to 50 feet, but is there anything else I can do short of getting a second antenna aimed at the 4.1 tower and use a combiner? Ideas anyone?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
228 Posts
Hi Karen,

That close to the towers you shouldn't have any trouble even if you aimed your antennas to China. First thing I would do is try another tuner. Plug the coax cable into a modern TV and do a channel search. See how 4-1 works on the TV (many of them come with signal meters built in).

What media software are you using? Windows Media Centre looks at data to see what channels it should be finding, but you have to force it to just scan for new channels. When I recently setup my OTA equipment in Cochrane both 4-1 and 9-1 were non-existant. A channel scan fixed that. They changed broadcast frequency at some point and Media Centre had the wrong data.

So:

1) Try a different tuner

2) If it works well with that tuner, try a channel scan in your media software

3) Because you've got towers in multiple directions around you, you may be better off with a less directional antenna. The 4-bay antennas are high gain but much more directional than a 2 bay or other antenna design (dipole or monopole)
 

·
OTA Forum Moderator
Joined
·
24,867 Posts
KarenK I suspect it is a matter of overload, not weak signal. See Post #13 in the OTA FAQ for info on "attenuation". I would try a simple addition of an attenuator (a splitter can be used in a pinch) to see if the situation on that one channel improves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Hi Stampeder,

Sorry for the delay, I took off to the Okanagan for a little break. I never thought about having a signal that's too strong. I tried your suggestion and added a 2-way splitter without getting a positive result. Then, I tried adding an additional 50 feet of cable with the splitter. Still nothing. Finally I added a 4 way splitter and the 2 way splitter with a total of 60 feet of additional cable. No difference. Do you have other thoughts for this issue?

I do note that the signals are definitely strong. WMC shows all channels except 4.1 at a full 6 green bars (whatever that means). I do have a copy of WINTV7 and it's signal meter shows numbers labeled SN, which admittedly I'm not sure I understand what they mean, only that higher is stronger. They indicate channel 2.1 = 30, 4.1 = 24 (when working), 5.1 = 30, 9.1 = 30, and 38.1 = 30. The meter indicates 30 as full strength. Now when 4.1 isn't working the SN is 0, almost like it's not even there.

Both WINTV7 and WMC have the same issue with 4.1.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Hi Poutanen,

Thank you for the reply. LOL at pointing the antennas at China! That made my day :)

I connected the attic antenna to my Bravia downstairs by adding an additional 60 feet of cable. It doesn't have any trouble with 4.1. But that being said, I normally use a 4 bowtie coat hanger antenna downstairs and it works just fine with the Bravia (the basement is concrete with small windows). A lot to be said for the Sony tuner which I'm sure is much better than anything I can find for my computer. Someday I hope to use the attic antenna for both my PC and Bravia but that's another story :)

I've channel scanned with WMC several times of the course of investigating this issue. When all is working well I get the 6 local Calgary channels. Other times I have to scan a couple of times if 4.1 is giving me grief and doesn't show up.

Investing in another antenna might be a consideration, but would be a last resort. See my reply to Stampeder with additional information.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
I get all Calgary OTA channels with a home made antenna. My home made antenna does not even have the reflector at the back - two 6" copper wire soldered to a coax cable. (Essentially, it is pointing everywhere including China. lol) It is located next to my TV with a few feet of coax cable. The 100' cable may be the problem. If it is not too much trouble, take the antenna out of attic and test it with a few feet of cable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
HI TechGuy8,

Unfortunately taking the antenna out of the attic isn't an easy task for me. I had my home renovation contractor drag it up there and it's over 30 feet into the attic (at the far end of the gable end of the house). I can walk in heels, but I'm not willing to walk across trusses covered in fiberglass insulation :)

So that not being possible I did hook the PC up to another one of my coat hanger antennas in the basement and received similar results. Channel 4.1 occasionally missing in action. Also missing was 32.1 (YESTV). Interestingly both of these channels are from the same tower. I did note that 5.1 reception was also worse for wear. Im not sure what that means but it's kind of pointing away from the antenna...

I'm starting to think that it might be the tuner which isn't that old. Only problem is that I don't have a test for the Hauppauge HVR-2250. Suggestions?
 

·
OTA Forum Moderator
Joined
·
24,867 Posts
KarenK please post your TVFool report so we can see if there is a geographical issue.

  1. go to TV Fool
  2. use your proper address and put both your city and province into the city field, OR
  3. enter your exact map coordinates at the TVFool site and wait for your results page to load
  4. your proper address will be kept secret - it will not show up to anyone else on your completed report
  5. after it loads, copy-and-paste the URL of your personal TVFool report into a new post here so that we can help you better
 

·
OTA Forum Moderator
Joined
·
24,867 Posts
There should be absolutely no problems in your area, that's for sure! Your db4e is possibly subject to some sort of odd problem within the attic itself. I have always considered attic-mounts as a very last resort to an outdoor mount, but if it must remain inside, so be it. All that is left is to try to reposition it in the attic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,190 Posts
I've decided to give OTA a shot as it really doesn't make sense for me to be paying $65/month for programming + STB rental, when most of my shows can be watched on local networks.

I'm in NE Calgary (Marlborough), and am trying to determine what kind of antenna I should need to get CBC, CTV, CITY, & Global.

TV FOOL Report

(Note, I am in the basement, so that may impact signal a bit. I'm hoping to not have to spend too much on an antenna to get good results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
931 Posts
Try to find a cheap UHF loop or bowtie antenna and put it as high as possible to get above ground level. If it doesn't work you are only out ten bucks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,700 Posts
Those are really decent signals - mine are almost identical to yours (I live in Tuxedo). When testing the OTA a few years ago, I could capture all the digital channels on my TV with a UHF loop antenna just lying on the ground in my basement. After I built my 4 tuner PVR, I found that the signal from the UHF loop wasn't strong enough to split four ways, so I ended up getting a rooftop antenna and mounted it on the pole from the Bell satellite dish. I tried a silver zenith for a while, and while I could get all the channels most of the time, sometimes one channel would flake out so I got the small rooftop antenna. It was easy for me because I just had to take off the Bell dish and the coax was already run down to the TV. No fuss, no muss. Haven't looked back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,190 Posts
Awesome! I'll see where to track down a UHF loop antenna (goes to browse other sections of the forums).

Sent from my LG-H812 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Copperfield (Deep SE Calgary)

hi,

I am using a rabbit ears type indoor antenna. Most of the time the signals are ok. Daytime channel 5 ( 49-1 ) cuts out on me. I have limited options for antenna placement unless I climb up into the attic. I live in a condo so my options are only indoor or attic mount. Is it a matter of positioning or signal strength that is cutting my signal out? I have been eyeing the antenna direct db2e. will this improve my signal sufficiently? I am wanting to do a single strong antenna to hook up to cable feed splitting throughout the house. Will amplifying signal help? I am afraid it will make my stronger channels too strong. Those tend to have 85-100 signal. I dont want to have to do the antenna position adjustment dance to get 1 or 2 signals out of alignment with antenna. I know there is a range of 8 degrees between the 3 towers. other than a rotor for antenna what is my best options?

galaxysurfer
 

·
OTA Forum Moderator
Joined
·
24,867 Posts
Given that your indoor antenna is just a bit shy of giving solid reception on all your channels you will definitely benefit from a DB2e in your attic, and you won't require a rotor since the antenna's receiving pattern will easily cover the small difference in direction to the stations. :)
galaxysurfer said:
I am wanting to do a single strong antenna to hook up to cable feed splitting throughout the house
Cable TV and OTA cannot exist on the same cabling system so if you want to still use Cable TV you'd need to separately string them. I think you'll do just fine without having to use any preamp but if you intend to do a bunch of internal splits to several TVs and other devices you will probably need a distribution amp to keep all the levels up nice and high.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
No cable tv here. I just wanted to repurpose the existing cable run. i only want to have to tinker with adding connection for new antenna mounted in attic, no digging & rebuild walls. So is the signal truly stronger with db2e? I had previously tried the clearstream c1 with nil signal. i got better results with rabbit ears & plain old uvh loop. do i need to add a preamp to the mix?

can you recommend a calgary retailer servicing? my only other option is saveandreplay.com or amazon to source the needed equipment. prefer not to do the online dance esp if it doesnt work out & need to return.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
NW Calgary - Hamptons

Thinking to cut my Bell ExpressVu subscription if I can get local TV channels using an OTA antenna. Their skinny basic package includes the local channels only. Why do I want to pay $25/month if I can get them for free?

I have read through the Welcome and OTA FAQ & Knowledge Base threads. I have also searched this thread and didn't find any posts for the Hamptons neighborhood.

My question is what antenna do I need to get at least Global, CBC and CTV. Here is the link to my tvfool results:
TV Fool

I plan to keep my satellite system intact so that I can use the PVR functions of my 9242 receiver and watch free preview channels. I want to add the OTA antenna on the same mounting mast as my satellite dish. I may use diplexers to combine the satellite and antenna signals onto the two existing cables that go through the wall to my living room. Another option is run a new cable to the distribution center in my basement.

The tvfool report indicates 2Edge paths for all 6 local channels. My house is located in the lower part of Hamptons, facing Shaganappi Trail. My nearest intersection is Shaganappi Tr. & Hidden Valley Dr. The 2Edge paths may be due to the higher part behind my house blocking LOS. If I change the antenna height to 150 ft, tvfool gives LOS for all stations. I don't think my house is in the shadow of Nose Hill.

I tried an indoor antenna, Jensen TV621 (rabbit ear + UHF loop). It picked nothing.

Will a two-bay bow tie UHF antenna like DB2e be good enough if mounted outdoor? Or a larger outdoor antenna may be needed? I want the antenna to be as small as possible because I want it to share the same mounting J-mast with my satellite dish. The antenna will be facing some big trees 10+ meters away in my backyard.

I appreciate any advice you may have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
228 Posts
I've got a few spare 4-bay antennas you can try for free if you want. I wouldn't combine sat and antenna signals on one line, keep everything separate.

The more gain an antenna has, the more the aim is critical, so figure out exactly where the transmitters are in relation to you, and point the antenna at the source. Best for testing is a modern TV, with a short piece of coax cable, and whatever antenna you plan to use.

If you want one of my antennas I take a 6 pack of Cowbell (Wildrose) as a donation lol :devil
 
1341 - 1360 of 1411 Posts
Top