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Since that big storm rolled in on Saturday I have lost 65% of my channels. I can usually scan in 60 channels, 30 of those have never gone out and were high signals the others were probably coming in because of Tropo. Today I can only scan in 14 stations all are high signals and only from Watertown area and CKWS in Kingston. Anyone else around the Kingston area having the same issues?
 

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What you are seeing now is more typical of Winter reception (no tropo).
Summer is tropo to some degree almost everyday.
Syracuse will be very difficult to get reliably all the time.
 

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Thanks for the response Brightonian. Being new to OTA it is kind of deceiving getting X amount of channels at one point only to find out in reality I will only get Y amount of channels reliably. I new about the effects of Tropo before I got into OTA (about 3 weeks now) and have reliably received approx 31 channels every day and on a good day could scan in 60. I thought the extra channels after the 31 were from Tropo but it looks like in reality (without Tropo) I will only receive approx 14. I thought the ClearStream 4V (rated for 70+ miles) was doing amazingly well picking up Syracuse but I see now that it was because of the Tropo. Not sure if I am ready to cut the cord yet but we will see how the winter plays out :)
 

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Pretty much the same in Belleville. The VHF's seem to work better, then the UHF's, when there is no tropo. WWNY is usually very reliable, in the Belleville area, being 82 miles from my antenna and the transmitter. WWTI and WPBS is also very reliable. However, the LP RF35 is not an option, 98% of the time. Syracuse can be hit and miss and Rochester is only slightly better. I do get better reception from RF10 and 13 and the UHF RF28 is fairly reliable. Buffalo is allot like Syracuse. Great in the summer, but often MIA in the winter. What really irks me, is no CBC transmitter any more in this area. Why are we paying for this white elephant with our tax dollars? Just missing HNIC!
 

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Just NW of North Augusta

My TV Fool Report TV Fool

This is a great site and have been doing a lot of reading, however before I spend some money I would really appreciate some opinions.

The towers I am interested in reaching are the two Ottawa towers to the north, as well I want to get the tower to the west which is channel 26 and the SW which is channel 23/18.1 I am not worried about the other towers.

I do not want to go with a rotor as I will be hooking up a dvr. But have no objections to two antennas.

What I am thinking about putting up is a Antenna Direct DB8E. My thought is I could aim half of it at the Ottawa Towers as from my location there is approx. 25 degrees between the two, and the other half aim SW sort of between the two towers and get them both, they are 38 degrees apart.

Would really appreciate any input. Thanks
 

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Your plan isn't bad, but in pointing the two halves in different directions, you are in effect combining two antennas. This sometimes works satisfactorily (but never great), but often not well at all. If the latter, then you would need to use two separate antennas and an A-B switch to select one or the other.

I would suggest getting two CM 4221 antennas (less expensive and just about as good as the AD DB4e), joining them with a regular splitter / combiner and seeing what the result is. If it's not good, then simply run a second coax down to an A-B switch by the TV. If you fail with the DB8e, then you have the complication of splitting the feed from the two halves (but I don't know how they are joined, so it might be relatively easy).
 

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Thanks DXer, appreciate the input, once you mentioned it I do remember reading something that if using two antennas to space them apart some. Just when I saw the DB8e, I thought it would be perfect solution, wasn't thinking about interference between the two. (if that's what you call it.)

I did read on here that some have used the CM4228 pointed at Ottawa and been able to pick up stations that were behind them. ???

So with the two CM4221 what would you suggest putting one a couple of feet higher than the other, about three feet. ?
 

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If you really want to see what the effect is of "bending" an 8-bay, look on Antennas Direct site for a document that has gain plot for the BD8-e at different angles.

Bear in mind that you have channels a 0, 45, and 180 degrees.
If you want to get analog channel 26, you may get ghosting if you combine or bifurcate antennas. However, since channel 26 is the same as digital channel 11, and substantially the same as CTV Ottawa 13, you may do well with a VHF Hi antenna pointed midway between Watertown and Wolf Island in order to get both 7 and 11, or do without 7 and 11 altogether. (Although 7.1 and 7.2 are also on 28.1/28.2 (real 18 in South Colton), so your southeast facing antenna should get that one)
 

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There is no need for any specific spacing between two UHF antennas when used in the way we're talking about. It only applies when you're either pointing two identical antennas in exactly the same direction (aka stacking), or using multiple antennas covering different bands (e.g. a VHF and a UHF - which would apply to you if you follow tvlurker's suggestion). In the latter situation, you would ideally want about 4 feet vertically between the centres of the antennas, assuming they're both on the same mast.

Another approach, which may or may not work, would be to use a bi-directional antenna (such as a bowtie antenna with the reflector grid removed) with a fairly broad beam pattern to receive Ottawa from one side and South Colton (chs 18 & 23) from the other. You would need to optimize the pointing of it as the two locations are not 180 degrees apart, and you may find ch 26 would not come in well, but it would eliminate the negative effect that come from combining two antennas pointing in different directions on one cable.

By the way, I'm assuming you got east and west reversed in your original posting? Channel 26 is to the east of you and channels 18 & 23 are to the south-east.
 

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Thanks tvlurker, I don't think I found the exact article you were referring to, but I did find enough to explain what you were saying. As well an article that said the DB8e did not work well when the two towers were at 180 to each other. I am no much of a tv watcher, trying to do all this so I can quit paying for a dish and still keep the wife happy. I will get her to check the channel line ups, thanks for the advice.
 

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Yes Dxer, you are correct I did mix up east & west in the first post my mistake. Fist one this year, Ha Ha
Going to sit her down and see what stations are the priority, I imagine Ottawa will be the main ones. But will cover tvlurkers suggestion, that might change the whole plan.

So what I am thinking now is going with one aimed at Ottawa, like you said a CM4221 and see what I get. Do you think there would be any advantage going with a CM4228?

I might try what you said about removing the grid, if I can do it in such away that I can put it back on if it doesn't work out.

Then if I have to I will put in a second one aimed SE, and if needed run a second lead in with a switch like you suggested.

Thanks for your help
 

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Do you think there would be any advantage going with a CM4228?

I might try what you said about removing the grid, if I can do it in such away that I can put it back on if it doesn't work out.
Using a 4228 wouldn't cause any problems unless you took the reflector off (and I don't know whether that's even possible). It's is too directional to hit both Ottawa and South Colton well (as they are not 180 degrees from each other). I would get a 4221 from a place that would take it back if it doesn't work well (but I think it will).
 

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Okay here is an update, should have done this at the start. I went through all the shows that she watches and on what networks. So now I only have to go the south as long as I can get CTV from somewhere.

I would prefer to use a bow tie type antenna as I am in a very open area and get some real good winds. So I am thinking either a CM4228 or a CM4221, and Channel Master says ?? either one covers 180 degrees.

The loss numbers, and degrees are from TV Fool

To my SE I have channel 26 at 91.4 degrees which would give me CTV – it is analog not sure if this is a problem. ?? loss is 34.7db
Also to the SE I have channel 23 at 129.4 degrees would give me PBS, loss is 29.3
As well I Have channel 18 at 129.4 degrees which would give me channel 7 Watertown CBS, loss is 19.8
To SW I have channel 21 at 192.8 degrees which would give me ABC. Now this is main one that she wants, and what concerns me it shows a loss of 3.6, would one of these antennas draw it in.
 

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The position and "loss" values you give don't match with your posted TVFool (from post 885). Have you done a more accurate one? If so, please post it. Any analysis done from an incorrect TVFool is potentially worthless! In quoting directions, it's more helpful to give the true bearing (because terms like 'south-east' are generally taken to be relative to true north).

The figures you quote as "loss" are correctly termed Noise Margin. In practical terms, to have a chance of receiving a station reliably, it has to have a noise margin greater than zero. The larger this number, the stronger the signal!

The analog channel 26 will not give you a high definition picture, and only a 4:3 aspect ratio. Looking at this on a flatscreen TV will give you black bars on either side. If that doesn't bother you, no worries.

To get channel 21 reliably, you would need something like a CM 4228 pointed directly at it, and use a suitable pre-amplifier. It's unlikely that an antenna pointed at ch 21 (Watertown) would also pick up channels 18 and 23 (South Colton), nor channel 26. High-gain antennas are highly directional - I don't think Channel Master are really saying their antennas have a beamwidth of 180 degrees: that would be really false marketing! You would need a second, lower gain UHF like the CM 4221 pointed at 116 degrees true to get those. We've already discussed the potential difficulties of combining two antennas.
 

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I was looking at the TV Fool actual map for my location, when I hit on make a radar plot it uses my postal code as the center, not a big difference but some I should have stayed with the radar numbers sorry for the confusion.

This is off Channel Masters page "The EXTREMEtenna is an 8-Bay, phased array, multi-directional outdoor antenna that receives high definition and digital signals from a span of 180 degrees. This antenna has a reception range of up to 80 miles." but after reading what tvlurker mentioned I can see where the problem is, only real strong part is in the center of the arc.

From what I understand about a pre amp and I could be wrong, is that it will bring in you weak signals but will over amplify the strong ones. ?

So I think I will go with your earlier suggestion and pick up a CM4211 put it up and play with it and see what we get. Then maybe down the road if required look at a second one if we still want any of the US channels.

Thanks for all your help, will let you know how it turns out, but won't be for a little while.
 

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If you are just going for the transmitters to the east and south-east, you probably don't need a pre-amp, but you will if you later try to get channel 21.

People who live in strong signal areas (which you don't) can easily overload a pre-amp and / or the tuner, if the choice of pre-amp is not made wisely. For gettting the best from weak signals in your location, you need the lowest-noise pre-amp available (not ignoring other factors, however). A suitable one for you would be the Kitztech KT-200.

Good luck with your endeavours!
 

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Hopefully I haven't worn out your patience, cause now that I have learned more from you guys I have another thought.

TV Fool TV Fool

The main objective is to get CTV, PBS, and ABC, anything else is a plus. So thinking back to what tvlurker said I can get all those between Watertown & Kingston on Channels 41,21, 11 and 7 would be a bonus.

So if changed my antenna selection to something like a CM5020, and a pre amp like the one you suggested, and pointed it a Wolf Island between the towers, best guess how do you think it would work out.

Thanks again.
 

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The Watertown/Carthage channels 21 and 41 are weak, so you need the best UHF antenna available to bring them in reliably, pointed straight at them. Channel 11 is also weak, so you would need the best VHF-Hi antenna, pointed straight at Wolfe Island to receive that reliably. Fortunately, channel 7 should come in well with that alignment as VHF-Hi antennas have a fairly broad polar response.

If you can get channels 7 and 41, you won't need channels 18 or 23.

Be aware that, according to a friend of mine in Kingston, CKWS (channels 11 and 26) is a hybrid of CTV and Global, so you may not get some CTV shows you desire.

The CM 5020 antenna is an all-band antenna that covers the VHF-Lo band as well as the others, which makes it very broad (nearly 9 feet wide). You don't need VHF-Lo, plus I don't think that one would have sufficent gain at UHF to bring in 21 and 41 reliably.

You best solution would be the CM 4228 or AD DB8e, and an MCM 30-2476 (here - the only high-gain VHF-Hi-only antenna on the market at the moment), coupled with a UHF-VHF Splitter-Joiner (UVSJ), plus the Kitztech pre-amp sited just after the UVSJ near the antennas.
 

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Okay thanks again DXer, I am going to start of with a CM4228 and the pre amp, and see if I can get ABC channel 21 out of Watertown. If that works then will look at adding the MCM 30-2476. If it doesn't work then may end up pointing to Ottawa, will give her CTV and a bunch of other stuff.

She did check Kingston, CKWS and all her programs are there, thanks.

Have to pick up a tower first, but have a line on a good used one. Will put the CM4228 on the tower, now for the MCM 30-2476 would I be better to mount it above the CM4228, or I could mount it up to 10 feet away on the peak of the roof which is 25 feet high on a separate mast.

Do the wires from each antenna to the joiner have to be the same length.?

Thanks
 

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Okay thanks again DXer, I am going to start of with a CM4228 and the pre amp, and see if I can get ABC channel 21 out of Watertown. If that works then will look at adding the MCM 30-2476. If it doesn't work then may end up pointing to Ottawa, will give her CTV and a bunch of other stuff.

She did check Kingston, CKWS and all her programs are there, thanks.

Have to pick up a tower first, but have a line on a good used one. Will put the CM4228 on the tower, now for the MCM 30-2476 would I be better to mount it above the CM4228, or I could mount it up to 10 feet away on the peak of the roof which is 25 feet high on a separate mast.

Do the wires from each antenna to the joiner have to be the same length.?

Thanks
I would mount the CM 4228 at the top, and the MCM 4 feet below (centre-to-centre). The wires do not have to be the same length.
 
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