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fairfield victoria

Hi guys,
I'm in Victoria - fairfield region. I live in a bungalow but am at the top of a hill, about 100 feet from ground level I believe. This is my TV fool report:

TV Fool

Should I bother trying to set up an antenna? Any advice would be appreciated including which antenna to buy, indoor/outdoor, and what direction to point it.

Thanks, this thread has been super helpful for me.
 

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North Nanaimo(Bowen and Labieux)

TV Fool


I'm moving in a month or so, and attaching TV Fool report. I've been a lurker for years, but was not in a place to get enough reception. The new address looks promising, but I'm a little confused on antenna recommendations.

Would I want a general purpose Winegard HD8200P? Or should I be looking at something more specialized, such as a pair of DB8's and aim one for Vancouver and one for Bellingham? I rather suspect SeaTac is out of the question due to range.

Thanks for any help!
 

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Welcome, Calvinthesneak:

You don't need the HD8200P. It is a very large antenna that covers VHF-Low, real channels 2-6. (Yes, I see analog 5 in a different direction.) You don't even need VHF-High, real channels 7-13 because the Seattle channels are too weak, too far away (curvature of the earth), and Tropo. You could aim an antenna at Seattle, but you would only have reception during Tropospheric propagation events.

The Vancouver channels are fairly strong, a DB4e would be suitable. The Bellingham channels are weaker, so a separate antenna like the DB8e or 91XG with a preamp would be suitable.

 

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I would set up a DB8e first and point half to Vancouver and half to Bellingham to see if that works; if that doesn't work well then get something like a DB4e for Vancouver and the full DB8e for Bellingham/Seattle.
Always nicer to have just 1 coax to the tuner instead of switching.
I have a DB8e set up for Vancouver and Bellingham and it works very well.
 

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Finally moved in and settled in Sidney, and now getting back to looking at antennas. Here is my TV Fool report, assuming a 30' antenna height (essentially, sitting just above the roof peak on one end of the house, which is 25-ish feet AGL on one end, and 30-ish feet on the other).

TV Fool

I'm looking at Antennas Direct DB4e's and DB8e's as the basis for an antenna setup, they seem to provide good signal and have good recommendations. The wide spread between signals from the northeast (Seymour, etc) and southeast (Bellingham/Seattle) suggests to me that i'm either going to want two DB4e's pointing in two directions, or i'll want to spin the two halves of the DB8e in two directions... But I get the impression that doing that to a DB8e is not as effective as having two separate DB4e's. Do I really need to have two DB8e's to get a significant number of channels?

My plan was to get a DB4e and just point it around manually, and see what I can see, before spending more. Does that seem reasonable?
 

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My plan was to get a DB4e and just point it around manually, and see what I can see, before spending more. Does that seem reasonable?
That's a good idea. You have so many stations in so many directions, you will need to decide what is most important to you.



The strongest channels with a NM of 54 to 42 dB will only require a DB4e and no preamp.

The channels with a NM of 16 to 13 dB will require a DB4e and a medium gain preamp.

The channels at 144 degrees will require a DB8e with both panels aimed at them and a preamp.

But I get the impression that doing that to a DB8e is not as effective as having two separate DB4e's.
The problem with aiming the DB8e panels in different directions is that it doesn't always work because when the same signals arrive at the combining point they will interfere with each other if they are not in phase.

You would have the same problem if you combine two DB4s, aimed in different directions, with a splitter in reverse.

If you don't get all the channels after combining that you had when the two antennas were separate, it doesn't work.
 

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@rabbit73, that's great info, thanks very much. When I lived in Langley I could get all the northeast channels easily with a CM 4221. I could also get KVOS from bellingham if I spun the antenna, but I didn't bother getting a second antenna or turning the one I had... Never took the time.

I understand the problem with the DB8e and splitting the heads now. Is there a way to combine two signals with a splitter so they *don't* interfere? I'm fairly certain that i'm going to need two antennas here eventually, so planning ahead if there's anything I need to do for combining would make sense.

Another question, that I probably know the answer to but don't really want to: Can I combine the antenna signal with my existing in-house cable lines, which also carry my internet? Currently I have Shaw cable internet and TV, I plan on dropping the TV once the antenna works. I can test with discrete lines from antenna to TV, but i'm wondering if I can avoid a wiring nuisance by just hooking the antenna to the existing lines for distribution to the two TV's in the house.
 

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Is there a way to combine two signals with a splitter so they *don't* interfere?
I don't know of any way that will guarantee success when you combine two UHF antennas aimed in different directions with a splitter in reverse; you just have to try it because of so many variables. The Antennas Direct DB8e ads imply promise, but ADTech who works for Antennas Direct and gives good advice here, says that it doesn't always work. He says that it is most likely to work if the two directions are 90 degrees apart.

CATV systems use separate antennas, single channel amplifiers, attenuators to balance signal levels, and combine into a single system. That costs thousands of dollars.



Anything you do that costs less, will involve making a compromise.

There are a number of less expensive ways, but they will not give you everything you want unless you reduce your expectations and prioritize.

You can do the project in steps, with the first step the DB4e in different directions to see what is available.

Then you must make a list of the channels most important to you, which will determine the antennas, amplifiers, and directions.

Some people in your situation would use one all channel antenna and a rotator, but rotators have some disadvantages, like do you want to wait for it to swing around to another direction, do want to repair it in the middle of January, and do you want to rescan after changing direction if your TV can't add a channel after scan?

If most of your channels are in one direction, you can add a few from another direction with a custom combiner by Jan Jenca.



You can use an A/B switch to select which antenna to use, but your TV will need to rescan if it can't add a channel after scan like a Sony.

You can connect the main antenna to the antenna input of the TV and connect the second antenna to a separate tuner, with its output going to the aux input of the TV. This my favorite low cost solution.

You can have one antenna going to one TV, and have the second antenna going to another TV.

If you are into computers, you can have a network of SiliconDust HDHR tuners.

Can I combine the antenna signal with my existing in-house cable lines, which also carry my internet? Currently I have Shaw cable internet and TV.....
Not a good idea, because the cable TV signals and the OTA signals use the same frequencies. Also, there is a chance that the antenna system will radiate cable TV signals, some of which are on aircraft control frequencies. In the US, the FCC sets strict limits on radiation from cable TV systems, which is called egress (signal leakage).

However, here in the US, COX cable TV and internet service can share the same coax, so it might be possible for the same coax to share OTA and internet.
 

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Okay, it took a couple of weeks to get an antenna ordered and delivered, but i'm up and running with a DB4e and am more than happy with the results. I've got 17 channels, which is 7 more than I received when I lived in Langley, BC.

First, my TVFool Report.

What I get:

Code:
CBUT-DT  43   (2.1)  CBC
CHEK-DT  49   (6.1)
CHAN-DT  22   (8.1)  GTN
CKVU-DT  33  (10.1)  CTN
KVOS-DT  35  (12.1)  Ind
+            (12.2)  Movies
+            (12.3)  H&I
CIVI-DT  17  (17.1)
KBCB-DT  19  (24.1)  Ind
+            (24.2)  Jewelry TV
CBUF-DT  26  (26.1)  SRC
K24IC-D  24  (28.1)  PBS
+            (28.2)  NHK World
+            (28.3)  MHZ
+            (28.4)  TVW
CIVT-DT  32  (32.1)  CTV
CHNM-DT  20  (42.1)  OMN
Channels 12.2 and 12.3 seem to have lower signal strength (60-65%), but get 100% signal quality from that most of the time. They do pixelate occasionally, signal drops to 40% and quality down to 40-70% but it comes right back a few seconds later. This may also be true on 24.1 and 24.2, but one is a religious/ministry channel and the other is Jewelry TV, so I may just edit out the 24's entirely anyway. I haven't noticed the problem on the 28's, but i've only watched 28.1 for any significant time.

A note on mounting and position: I am mounted right now on the railing of my deck on the front of the house, which faces north with an unobstructed view/sky from 270 degrees true to 90 degrees true across the Victoria airport. The antenna is pointed approximately 45-50 degrees true (haven't measured exactly yet). Altitude is about 10-12' off the ground. I could definitely mount it higher on the house or the chimney, but I don't think i'd get any more channels if I did.

I tried briefly hanging the antenna off the rear eavestrough (~20' up) pointing SSE, trying to pick up anything to the south. No luck. We do have a forest behind our house though so that seriously affects line of sight... I wasn't keeping my fingers crossed.

Now to give Shaw a call with the bad news. :) I'll keep the internet, but cable can go.
 

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I just noticed last night that my pixellation issues seem to be correlated to when a double-decker bus drives past... So I can probably eliminate the problem entirely if I just mount the antenna higher on the house. :)
 

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Giving this a try as I plan to cut the cable cord (Telus Optik, which is decent but with internet is costly).

In Victoria, on Richmond near Cedar Hill X. 2nd floor of an apartment building, south-facing. South is a lane and then houses, and Mt Tolmie is looming SE.

TV Fool

To test the waters I purchased a Nexxtech DA-8000 antenna from The Source (not the most sophisticated choice but enough to try it out, plus it's currently $20, plus I can return w/in 30days). Put it on the southern exterior wall above my TV. I get the four local stations (Omni, JoyTV, CTV, and CityTV) with good quality and not a peep from anything else.

From reading this thread and other resources I see that line of sight is a big factor, plus being able to put a bigger antenna up higher, neither of which I can do anything about in my current location. Is there any likelihood of picking up other stations if I use a better indoor antenna? I've read of others having successes with various larger indoor antennas. I've also looked at the antenna chart PDF available on here, which suggests some options. That is over 2 years old though, so are there other possibilities worth looking at?
 

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Do you have a balcony and the ability to put something there? I'd suspect you'll have much better results if you can put something outside.

Personally, I've been able to pick-up the Bellingham stations with a CM4221 sitting indoors on the second floor of my house (Quadra and McKenzie area), Once the antenna was elevated to the roof I was able to pull in the key Vancouver stations as well.
 

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A new transmitter on channel 39 is unlikely to happen now, with Canada having agreed to follow the US in reallocating channels above 36 to the wireless industry.
 
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