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I’m located in Hammonds Plains and have had an RCA ANT 751 up in my attic for about 3 years. CTV and CBC always come in at 97%. Global is a much weaker signal but is usually watchable and in the 30-40% range. But for the last month Global has been unwatchable (about 15-20%) so I’ve been thinking about a pre-amp. Would this put Global in a more reliable range? Would it overload the CTV and CBC signals and if so what happens when there is overloading?

FWIW, the pre-amp I’m looking at is the RCA TVPRAMP1R
 

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Shane, if there is overloading with an amp it means you would lose the CTV/CBC signal or signals completely.Depends how close you are to the CTV/CBC transmitters.If your close try a 20db or below.Anything more is a for sure overload imo.

Just my 2 cents.good luck.
 

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I doubt a preamp would help you with reception issues on a relatively low power VHF station with an attic antenna.
Your issues are possibly due to electrical noise within the house, which a preamp is likely to make worse.
I would go with a higher gain VHF antenna, or put the existing antenna outside the house.
 

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I installed he RCA preamp about a week ago and it boosted my Global signal from the 15-20 I was getting that day up to a steady 40%. It hasn't pixelated once in the last week and CBC and CTV remain unchanged at 97-98%. The Global signal for me is lowest during the summer, I'm assuming because of the leaves so I'm expecting a higher signal once Fall comes.
 

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My reception results are whopping awesome tonight here in Southern Nova Scotia. Rotated the antenna to the South... here's what I'm getting tonight pretty strongly...

WGBH
WBZ
WCVB
WHDH
WFXT
WSBK
WGBX
CJCH (Analog, both on ch. 6 and 40)
CIHF
WLVI
WMFP
WUTF
Ion (Boston)

along with the whole slew of sub channels. In total, my TV is pulling in 33 channels tonight. Gotta love summer reception haha
 

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Picked up 44 stations tonight, aside from the 3 locals (two CTV and one Global) rest were from Boston. Turns out they have a crap ton of Ion channels down there. Definitely not regretting that 8200U though haha.

The main ones that come in reliably though are WGBH, WBZ and Cozi TV on WMFP. Too bad I never aimed the antenna this direction earlier in the summer, these suckers are travelling nearly 500KM to get here. For the life of me though I have never gotten Maine like ta guy, and 9 and 12 from St. John remain hard to get (only come in occasionally).
 

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I would love to be able to get CBC, but sadly they shut it down where I live in 2012. Turns out we're not included in CBC's mandate to cover everyone any more :/
 

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Dartmouth OTA Newbie

Hi Guys!

I have a Vizio Smart TV that u bought at Christmas and decided to scan to see if I could get any channels. I don't have anything plugged into the antenna in the back.

The channels I'm getting are RF 3-20 black screen at 480i, RF 13-20 French radio, RF 26-20 radio, RF36-4089 viceland comes in at 1080i 5.1, 70 which is just an off air channel with the rainbow bars, RF 72-6 which appears to be a channel advertising movies, RF 72-24 which is ABC, 76-21 which is radio, RF 76-22 radio, 78-13 is just a black screen 480, 125-1308 is a channel called stingray comes in at 720i...

I'm wondering why I would get these channels and not the ones available to me, ie, ctv global and cbc? I'm guessing the TV has a built in tuner if I'm getting these channels. Do I need an additional antenna to get it to work?

Thanks so much!!
 

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Hi, those are CATV channels (if you are on Eastlink they are mostly audio-only Clear QAM channels) so make sure the TV's input is set to Antenna before scanning. You may or may not pick up OTA stations without an antenna, but start with the OTA FAQ to see what you'll need to do if you want to partially or fully cut the cord. :)
 

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Truro, NS newbie

Hey everyone,

I'm looking for a bit of help finding the right antenna for us. We cut the cord over a year ago, but still had a number of channels from just plugging a coaxial cable into the tvs. Of course, now we're down to one analog channel (Global) and it's time to try to get some of the local stations for news, etc.

Here's our report, what would you recommend?
TV Fool

Many thanks, and thanks for putting this site together!
 

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Well, the bad news is that with an antenna, you'll get 2 whole channels.... Digital global, and analog CTV.

The good news is that a cheap set top antenna will probably suffice unless you have a lot of metal in your house. Go to Canadian Tire or The Source and pick up a UHF/VHF combo antenna for $15. There are big hills between you and Halifax, so I don't think that you are likely to get CBC or digital CTV, even with a really fancy setup.
 

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I just wondering if something happened to the ctv ota signal. I live close to the Halifax airport I was able to get ctv and cbc on a indoor antenna but for over a week I haven't been able to find ctv. Any help would appreciated.
 

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Bedford, NS

Hey Guys, I've been mulling over the idea of cutting the cable for a year or so and now I'm putting some serious thought into it. Here's my TV Fool result:
TV Fool

I have two displays to feed - a small Samsung TV in the dining room and a Panasonic projector in my basement home theatre (I would get a Channel Master DVR for the HT, as I'll need a tuner to go with the projector). As you can see, I'm less than 6 miles from the CBC, CTV and Global transmitters. I'm also near the top of a fairly high hill, so one would think that I should get great reception. The complicating factors are that my house is of brick construction and there are a few maple trees around the house. When I experimented with a cheap set of rabbit ears I could only get reception if I put the rabbit ears in the dining room window. Then, I got good reception from CBC and CTV, but mediocre results from Global. I can't recall the actual signal strength, as this was a few months ago. I didn't intend to go with rabbit ears as a permanent setup; I just wanted to see what kind of reception I could get with them.

My wife doesn't want to have an antenna on the side of the house, so I'm wondering if a CM2016 would work well in my attic. One of my roof gables faces the transmitters and is sided with plywood, so I wouldn't have the brick issue, but the trees are still there. I'd be looking at about 50 feet of RG6 to go from the attic to the basement and about 25 - 30 feet to the dining room. Would those cable lengths and a splitter degrade the signal significantly? I just don't want to invest in anything that will be inadequate, but I don't want to blow extra cash on vast overkill either.

Any suggestions on how I should move forward? And, I'm curious about the future of OTA broadcasts. I did some googling, but I didn't find anything definitive.

Thanks!
 

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Reception Report for Pictou County, Nova Scotia (homemade SBGH antenna)

I started searching web forums a week ago looking for some first hand info on how well a homemade Gray-Hoverman worked here in our tower deprived corner of north coast Nova Scotia. I didn't find any relevant reports but I dove in with wild hacker abandon anyway and wired up a couple quick test antenna just to see what I could catch. Since this thread looks like a fine spot to collect such esoteric data, here's the lowdown on my results as of October 2016 for the next person on a signal quest in the area. Questions and comments welcome although my answers might be wildly inaccurate and comical.

My setup is simple. A Windows 7 box with an elderly Hauppage 1250 single tuner but it gets the job done. Viewing is with the WinTV application (v.7.0.30038) that came with the tuner. Results using my LG brand LCD's built-in tuner were nearly identical. Audio is full 7.1 surround via my PC's sound subsystem. It beats the heck out of my screen's speakers and sounds great with digital signal coming in from the antenna.

Single bay design mostly as described in the specs (as found on this forum) made with scraps laying around the house in a very "antenna rookie" fashion. Not precise enough for experts but precise enough to work. Solid 10AWG copper wire for the elements with bends at 180mm intervals as detailed. "Standard" element spacing at 44mm with about 40' of RG-6 coax for the feed line. Indoor mounted in a west facing window at ground level. At least until the cats decide to knock it down again. At 4am when I was fast asleep. Key word there being 'was'.

For curious locals, before advancing to the SBGH design I first made the most basic single folded dipole "coat hanger" antenna and easily got our nearby Global TV signal. That's a great proof-of-concept you can try in mere minutes, probably for free if you have a well stocked odds and ends drawer, but I think you'd be pretty lucky to catch the distant PEI signals this way. At least that test will tell you if the hulking aluminum and lead barn next door is going to give you any real troubles. Think of it like the silly little plastic spoon of ice cream they give you to taste before buying three full scoops in a waffle cone.

Now the good news. With even my hurriedly fashioned SBGH I can get all three national network digital stations (plus a few duplicates and analogs) available to us according to TVFool, even the two long distance stations from PEI. The quick breakdown is:

Global TV @ 34.1, distance 15 miles, SE
CTV @ 8.1, distance 49 miles, NW
CBC @ 13.1, distance 52 miles, NW

As you can see our towers are in opposite directions but the closest is strong enough that I can point the antenna towards Charlottetown for their two weaker signals and still get the third from the back side, albeit at diminished strength. Still plenty for a solid digital connection.

While it wasn't absolutely necessary, I improvised a small centre wire reflector at three-inch standoff spacing using the oval rack out of a turkey roasting pan because it was literally within reach while I was testing like a mad scientist in the middle of the night. I'm not entirely sure why this orientation helped (see photos on my blog) but it made the two distant signals more stable with only a slightly higher 'correctable error' count than without the grid in place. When you're doing weird yoga stretching poses while juggling seriously pokey wires and need a third hand you don't argue with results.

Quick tests with a makeshift solid foil reflector (two sides gapped at 10mm) scuppered the multi-directional action so much that I lost our one strong local tower. Similarly a 'full size' mesh reflector (also gapped in the middle) gave more signal errors than my TV card could handle and I again lost the channel lock. At least for me, the middle bowl of porridge was just right.

The hardest signal to get was of course CBC but I'm in a particularly low spot in the county east of Durham. Looking at the topo map I think people in New Glasgow, Westville, and the town of Pictou proper should have no worries. Stellarton might need some attic/roof placement to get the signals from PEI but all are certainly attainable without extreme measures or particularly precise construction I suspect.

My only other hiccups in getting that picky CBC signal from 50+ miles were some indoor obstructions solved by better west wall placement and stripping the wire bare after a first test (I already owned a spool of insulated wire). All signals are in the green and giving a Signal-to-Noise reading (from WinTV signal monitor) of 20+. They seem consistent enough day to night and warm to cold.

The wood was scrap and the washers a mixed bag of leftovers but they work. I prototyped the reflector with plastic clamps but will tighten up the whole build next chance I get to run to the hardware store. It seems someone has borrowed my tub of zip ties. A photo of the antenna and reception screen caps can be found with a quick search of the blog linked in my profile. Good cookie and pizza recipes there too.

So there you go Pictou County. Get to bending wire and have no fear that you can get those channels in perfectly clear digital high-def. Once you have our three national networks, do you really need to pay even a basic cable bill any longer? Free is always the best price I say. Good luck!
 

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I just don't want to invest in anything that will be inadequate, but I don't want to blow extra cash on vast overkill either.
If you're still on the fence, make your own antenna I say.

With the big three networks having towers practically in your back yard, I'd make a quick DIY rig before spending any coin just to see what you get. That close and I'll bet a one-coat-hanger folded dipole you can make in minutes will catch lots of signal near a window as a test then move it to the attic as you describe to keep the wife happy. Worst case upgrading to a SBGH should get you plenty and be less than $10 in parts.

As for your runs, I'm using a 45' feed of good shielded coax with no problems. Think about two (cheap DIY) antennas for your two different locations as well. Might be cheaper/easier/better than a splitter.

Good luck.
 

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Reception Report for Pictou County, Nova Scotia (update: Stealth Hawk)

Update: (a few days later) During a big windstorm yesterday we lost power out here in the sticks and I found myself heading to a friend's house in town (New Glasgow) who begged me to bring her an antenna after hearing me rant about the first build. In the dark before I left I quickly bent up the top half of a Stealth Hawk optimized for UHF & VHF-Hi per nikiml's pages (version SHn ch.7-52, Thanks nikiml!) and headed east by a handful of kilometres. I took the copper to finish the build but didn't seem to need it to get plenty of signal from our two opposing tower headings.

When the storm cleared I tested both out here in the County and in town. Outside mounting helped plenty of course but even inside window mounting at ground level gave me plenty of pretty green bars in WinTV. Considering the SH was a bit easier and smaller by half, I can recommend that simple build to locals who want to get our whopping three digital channels. I used a popsicle stick spacer and a few blobs of hot glue all mounted on a deluxe stick. There was some duct tape in there too because it is of course the "Handyman's Secret Weapon". I'm sure I'm making the antenna pros in here cringe but hey, they work which is the goal.

My channels are ticking over at about 23+ SNR now as reported by WinTV Signal Monitor but it will be interesting to watch during our next rainstorm. I left my "SBGH Mark One" at the friend's house but warned I could repo it at any time. Perhaps if I finished the bottom half of the Stealth Hawk it would race ahead even more but I've had enough antenna tweaking for this week. I have a poor old apple tree that blew down begging for attention instead. Point is, Pictou people, all of these designs are working well in the area and even rookies like me can succeed, no matter how ugly they are when you slap them together. Happy bending!
 
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