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Yaamon said:
dsspredator where is your antenna mounted on your roof with a clear view towards Grand Island and Buffalo.
Yaamon, UHF only mounted on a tower no pre amp 100 feet RG6 facing Buffalo.

Signal on Bell 6100/Dish 811:

WGRZ 75
WIVB 75-80
CBLT 80-85
WKBW 85-90
CFTO 80-85
WNLO 85-90
CBLFT 70-75
WNYB 70-75
WUTV 92-95
WNED 88-92
WNYO Solid 49
CITY Solid 49
CKXT 70-75
 

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CFTO-DT OTA problem in Welland, ON

Hi folks,

Not sure if this is a rookie question or not here, just installed my setup this weekend. I'm in Welland, ON, off of Thorold road.

I'm using a roof-mounted CM4228 with a Voom (Motorola DSR-550) tuner, and I can't seem to get CFTO 9. When I do a manual "aim" to RF 40, I get ~85% signal strength, tuner says I need 80% to lock on. But then it drops to 0 after about 2 seconds, then back in the 80s, then 0, and so on every 2 seconds or so. When I scan for local channels it won't pick up 40 (9-1) at all.

Am I doing something wrong here? I read the CFTO 9 thread where it was mapping to 40-3 but I'm not sure that was relevant.

Thanks!
 

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davejcb good job. You were able to get Cbc with your antenna pointing towards Grand Island and Buffalo ?

Wonder if with a rotor would you be able to get Cfto with a rotor.

I have read that south of the Cn Tower City is more directional pointing towards north.
 

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Had to play with it some, but I was able to get CBC while pointing more or less towards Buffalo. CFTO is weird, signal is ~85% then drops to 0 then back up.
 

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I think you did everything just fine and I agree, you need a rotor. Right now the only reason you're getting CBC from the CN Tower in Toronto is that it happens to line up perfectly with one of the CM4228's side lobes at a frequency (channel) and transmitting power that your antenna likes. Unfortunately the CTV signal from the CN Tower is at a different frequency and power that doesn't work out as well. A rotor will fix that perfectly, and I'm guessing the direction turn from Buffalo to Toronto would take about 15 seconds but the digital lock and clean picture would happen before that.
 

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davejcb said:
Here are my results, with a CM4228 (roof mount), RG6 and a Voom (Motorola DSR-550) tuner. Some are at 99% strength, most in mid 90s.

2-1 WGRZ 2
2-2
5-1 CBLT 5
7-1 WKBW 7
23-1 WNLO 23
23-3
25-1 CBLFT 25
26-1 WNYB 26
29-1 WUTV 29
29-2
29-3
43-1 WNED 17
43-2
43-2
Not bad from Welland. I'm surprised you don't see 4-1 and 4-3.

53-1 and 66-1 are too low in power, but you should be able to poick up Hamilton when it comes on the air. I think there is a low power version of CITY or SUN-TV in your area as well.
 

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Only one problem with that guys, is that I manually had the antenna pointed straight at Toronto and had the same problem. I then picked up Sun TV (15-1), but still couldn't get RF 40 to lock in, would go to 0 then up then down.

I was on the roof for a while, pretty much did the whole 360.
 

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OK that's signal strength issues with CFTO-DT then. Are you running a preamp? If not, you might want to try a low power one so that when you turn it towards Buffalo you don't overload anything. You might get 4-1 and 4-3 from Buffalo as well.
 

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No, just straight RG6 from the balun to the tuner. I'll pick one up and try it. What's weird is that the signal was ~85%, tuner said it should be strong enough to lock on then, poof, gone, then back. Is that common?

Thanks!
 

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davejcb said:
What's weird is that the signal was ~85%, tuner said it should be strong enough to lock on then, poof, gone, then back. Is that common?
Its called the cliff effect. CFTO-DT's signal seems to be at its deepest fringe right where you are, and unlike analog signal that will just fade to snow, digital signal needs to be locked by your ATSC tuner only if a certain ratio of the number of clean packets of data to unresolvable packets of data is high enough. If not, the effect is all-or-nothing. The newest ATSC tuner chipsets are better than ever at keeping that ratio low, but I suspect your Voom tuner has an older chipset. I think a preamp will do the trick. Try Nutech in St. Catharines or Hamilton for one that I'd guess should be in the 10 to 15db gain range. If you go too high you could damage your tuner. Don't confuse a common signal amp from Canadian Tire or Zellers with one of those.
 

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I live in Pickering and I have the same problem as you. I have ATI's HDWonder card and get 85% signal strength but no picture. I think others have the same problems with that station. I use to be able to get CTV if I changed the channels back and forth a few times but no more. Other HDWonder users thought it might have something to do with Windows MCE but I'm running XP Home and still have the same problem.
 

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Stampeder, I thought I was addressing the problem. I was only trying to say that it might not be an issue with his aquipment, that it might be a problem with CFTO's broadcast. I think that there might be many other tuners having problems pulling in CFTO.
 

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Davejcb needs to get his hands on a loaner ATSC receiver like a Samsung to see if it can decipher the CFTO DT signal. If so, that will indicate definitively that the problem is not signal strength.
To be clear, the problems with the ATI card don't have that symptom of high signal strength, then none. The Voom box may just indicate a valid signal differently and cycle between attempts to lock on it.
 

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johnnysmoke said:
...the problems with the ATI card don't have that symptom of high signal strength, then none. The Voom box may just indicate a valid signal differently and cycle between attempts to lock on it.
That's what I was thinking, for sure, but a preamp will still be a good investment for getting Toronto stations.
 

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That Voom ATSC tuner probably does not have a newer chipset so that might be part of the problem. It looks like a fairly modern unit though. davejcb, does it have a manufacture date on it?





I know from personal experience that the Niagara Peninsula has weird RF behaviours in some areas (I used to live in St. Catharines a long time ago) so CFTO-DT might not be carrying well where you are. There are a few other DHCers in Welland and the upper Peninsula area so lets see if they can let us know how CFTO-DT comes in for them. Here are some past results from Crispy in Welland showing that he receives it:

http://www.digitalhomecanada.com/forum/showpost.php?p=221112&postcount=114
 

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I have the same problem with CFTO from TO, when my antenna is pointing to Buffalo I can pick up CBC no problem but in order to pick up CFTO I have to rotate the antenna. Our area is serviced by the tower in the Ayr vicinity (Kitchener) channel 13 but of course there is no digital signal from that tower.
Antenna is amplified and 60 feet high. 65 miles from TO (Waterford)
 
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