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Mike

Be aware the last couple of nights were very good reception nights. Hopefully your reception will continue. Normally I get 50.1 & 50.2 (ABC & CW) half the time but I have a channel 21 (real) single cut yagi antenna. I also get 7.1 & 7.2 (CBS & Fox) most nights with a 15ft vhf antenna (cm4242). You may want to wait a couple of weeks when we may be able to get CBS & Fox regularly on channel 18 (real).

Last couple of nights the 3 sets of PBS were very strong. Channel 57 WCFE has a lot of different programming than 16 and 18 PBS. You may want your setup to get both 18 and 57 for pbs.

Last night I even pulled in 28.1 FOX (35 real) for the first time but I believe it is the same broadcast as 7.2 and 18 will have.
 

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Except that 28.1 Watertown is HD and 7.2 is SD.
28.1 Massena/South Colton on 18 will be SD.
Yup, as discussed here before!

However in my case, my short term goal is to get as many networks (preferably digital) as reliably as possible so I can finally get rid of rogers cable tv. Except for hockey games in HD, I'm happy just to get a solid digital signal!
 

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Earthquake in Ottawa/Gatineau

Anybody got damage on their antenna/equipment today from the earthquake ? I'm curious since i'm looking into a CM4228HD.
 

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Update:

It looks like it was good reception that got me the 50.1 and 50.2 as the last couple of days I have no signal. Mountain lake I can get at ~20 deg E of S from my location. The back of the 4228 receives CBC and CITY nicely at this orientation so it looks like that is the keeper position for now. Hopefully I will get the FOX and CBS feeds when they come online as discussed. I will occasionally give 50.1 and 50.2 a try but it will mean rotating my antenna.

Its only been a week for me but Norwood PBS HD (18.3?) comes in strong at just about any orientation of my antenna and regardless of weather.

Should I split my cable signal so that my media center can tune analog on the separate line of my dual tuner? Or will this attenuate the signal?

Thanks for the suggestions.
 

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Hi Mike,

Splitting the signal in 2 will attenuate the signal by 3 - 3.5 dB. Considering you have a CM preamp and an amp, usually this may not concern you. But you may have big losses from long cable runs (8 story building !?). If it works fine after splitting, you may even consider dropping the amp for test purposes if you want to try to improve your signal to noise ratio.
 

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I have an 8 story building to the south of my location (say ~200m away). I live in a single family home and the run from the roof is ~50ft (a guess as some of the cable is in the wall) antenna to tuner.

I suppose I can just try a splitter and see what happens. I'm not sure what effect 3.5dB will have on the signal (say an 80% signal on the HTPC)...or if it will drop it below a threshold for macroblocking, etc.

I noticed that the output of the CM preamp has two options: VHF separate...and then 'combined'. If some of the digital channels are VHF, then I have to run it combined and use a splitter as my tuner has separate digital and analog inputs. I still have rogers cable for a few weeks so I am running that into the analog for now of my HTPC.

I was also considering splitting the run to a second digital tuner. I will have to do some experimentation. I remember that some splitters have amplifiers...would that help?

Thanks for the input.
 

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Amplifiers or splitters with amplifiers can help for analog channels, but make it worse for digital channels. On digital, all you care is having a high enough signal to noise ratio. The digital channel tuner will need a certain minimum signal to noise ratio to display fine without pixelation or macroblocking.

Each amp you add amplifies the signal (along with the noise that is already part of this signal) and at the same time adds more noise which in the end decreases you signal to noise ratio. The amp noise figure should be in the specs of your amp. You'll notice that preamp will usually have a very low noise figure compared to a distribution amp. In your case, I'd keep the preamp but remove all other amps if it works without them.
 

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What I have is the CM0747 preamp with power supply. The pre-amp is connected at the antenna. I have no other amps. The pre-amp power supply is connected just before the tuner at the end of the line.

Should I try connecting without the preamp?

I will give it a shot since it isn't too hard and post the result back here.
 

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From your previous post #56, I thought you had a preamp and an amp.
Considering your long cable run and you wish to split the coax, i think you're better off keeping that preamp.

I am guessing CM0747 is not your preamp model, but this is your preamp power supply model instead. You'd need to go up to your antenna to lookup that preamp model. From what you were saying previously, there are seperate VHF and combined inputs which means this may be a CM7777, but you'll know for sure if you look it up. Not matter what model it is, it likely has a low noise figure and is a keeper.
 

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Your CM4228 should receive all the current DTV locals, though you will likely need to rotate it to select between CKXT (Sun TV) and the two PBS stations (the others will likely come in regardless of the direction).

The big issue is Global. It is currently analog only on ch.6 and it is highly unlikely to go digital before the analog shutdown. It is currently scheduled to stay on ch.6 after the analog shutdown, though many of us are hoping that will change. Your CM4228 will not receive it very well so an antenna for VHF-LO will be necessary. Post transition all local VHF stations will be from Camp Fortune so you could fix a small VHF antenna on it and connect it to the VHF input on your CM7777. This may make CHCH a bit fuzzy until the analog shutdown however as it is currently on 11 from Herbert's Corners. This may all become irrelevant if Global doesn't stay on 6.

To be honest though it is tough to make recommendations right now as everything will be changing in a little over a year and we don't know for sure what will be happening then.
Thanks for this, really appreciate it. So a good VHF-LO antenna to get to couple with my CM4228 will be?

Any of these

WINEGARD
HD7084P
Winegard HD7084P Long Range Outdoor Antenna
28 VHF Elements, 40 UHF Elements.
Mileage: 0 - 60 Miles*
Channels: Low & High VHF, UHF (2 - 69)

Product detail
$ 155.00


Add to Order
WINEGARD
HD7697P
Winegard HD7697P Long Range Outdoor Antenna
Powerful performance with trilinear directors.
Fringe antenna with added elements.
Mileage: 0 - 60 Miles*
Channels: High VHF, UHF (7 - 69)


$ 170.00


Add to Order
WINEGARD
HD8200U
Winegard HD8200U Long Range Outdoor Antenna
34 VHF Elements, 35 UHF Elements.
Mileage: 0 - 65 Miles*
Channels: Low & High VHF, UHF (2 - 69)

$199


Or these channel master ones

CHANNEL MASTER
CM-3020
Channel Master CM-3020 Advantage Long Range Outdoor Antenna
Reception Range: Channels 2 thru 69 up to 100 miles
Picks up UHF, VHF, FM and HD
Antenna Size: 152 x 95 x 22 in
Turning Radius: 94.4 in
Number of Elements: 50
Superior signal strength in weak signal locations

$119



CHANNEL MASTER
CM-3671
Channel Master CM-3671 Ultra-Hi Crossfire Long Range Outdoor Antenna
Reception Range: Channels 2 thru 69 up to 100 miles
Picks up UHF, VHF, FM and HD
Antenna Size: 173 x 110 x 35.4 in
Turning Radius: 95.75 in
Number of Elements: 61
Long lasting rugged double boom design
Double mounting nest for added strength

Product detail

$ 179.00
 

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Thats right...its the CM7777 preamp. I didn't realize the PS had a different part number. I tried the run without the preamp and picked up exactly the same stations as usual...I was getting lots of MB on cbc today during the rain with the preamp on but not on the other stations.

WNPI comes in at 100% with preamp and ~70% without...either way its always a perfect picture so far.

That reminds me...for some reason if I point my antenna right at camp fortune I get lots of MB on CBC (unwatchable really)...when I point it 180 degrees the other way with the signal coming in the back it seems just right. I havn't tried it without the preamp though. I am assuming the bowtie side is the "front" of the antenna and the jail bars are a back reflector(?).
 

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Looks like it was good night to rescan in Fallingbrook. Managed to get WPBS1 on 16.1, 2 and 3 at 50% and WNPI on 18.1, 2 and 3 at 35 % (not watchable) . I might start thinking of getting myself an 8 bay antenna and an extra 10 feet pole of height with these results. According to tv fool, WPBS1 is 112 miles at 186 degrees and WNPI 75 miles at 156 degrees. I am aimed roughly at 190 degrees from true north.
 

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Mike,
If you try your antenna pointed at Camp Fortune (CF) without the preamp and it gives you better results, then it's a case of the antenna picking up a strong signal and amplifying it at a high gain since it's pointing directly to it, and the preamp amplifying to a point where it overwhelms/overloads your tuner. You'd fix this using an attenuator, or splitting the signal would also attenuate it... but it will affect all channels so this is likely not a good idea to leave the antenna pointing directly to CF. Well, depends if it's the only way you're getting SUN or if you also get SUN when you turn the antenna 180degrees.

If you turn the antenna 180 degree from CF like you did and get better results for CBC, in this case you expect your antenna to pick up CBC with a lower gain, giving out a lower signal to your preamp to amply and your tuner may not overload and be fine with this.

Your WNPI results confirm your preamp is doing a fine job for digital channels. It adds a small amount of noise but makes up for the attenuation your long cable adds up all the way to your tuner.
 

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Thanks for this, really appreciate it. So a good VHF-LO antenna to get to couple with my CM4228 will be?
For only VHF-LO, I wouldn't recommended any of those antennas and I certainly wouldn't recommend spending that much money on an antenna that may only be useful for a little over a year.

If you do want a VHF-LO antenna, my recommendation would be an AntennaCraft Y5-2-6. The Source online has them at a very reasonable price and you can have it shipped to your local store to save on shipping. As Stampeder says there are also other good options on the antenna chart.
 

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For only VHF-LO, I wouldn't recommended any of those antennas and I certainly wouldn't recommend spending that much money on an antenna that may only be useful for a little over a year.

If you do want a VHF-LO antenna, my recommendation would be an AntennaCraft Y5-2-6. The Source online has them at a very reasonable price and you can have it shipped to your local store to save on shipping. As Stampeder says there are also other good options on the antenna chart.
Perhaps....but the thing that sold me with those antennas is that they do UHF, VHF low and high, FM and they have a range of 100miles
 

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Here are the test results...all taken with a grain of salt as the tests are conducted over several days and weather has been highly variable (and makes a big difference).

With preamp:

-17.1 and 4.1 tend to 'peak' and MB heavily.
-It does seem to improve reception for 18.3 when antenna is pointed away from Norwood.
-It also seems to improve reception for 50.1 and 16.3 when those signals are available (ie last night).
(Not sure about these last two points as I rotated the antenna slightly and added the preamp...I will have to try one mod at a time to be sure...the pre-amp definitely gives an extra bar or two on the signal stregth meter.

Without preamp:

-CBC apparently still 'peaks' depending on the orientation of the antenna....but alot less.
-City works well even if the direction is off.
-I have to point the antenna toward norwood to get reliable daytime reception (not sure if preamp makes much difference).

I will need to do more careful tests to tell..these are the unresolved questions for me:

1. does the pre-amp improve weak signal reception (for *digital* feeds)?
2. Can the CM4228 'peak' the signal on my tuner even without the pre-amp?

I will try some more controlled experiments (ie changing one thing at a time in a short time span now that I am on holidays) and add a splitter as well. I was also thinking of adding another 5 feet section to my mast (the highest I think it would support)...but I don't know that I would get any better reception than I already have.
 

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Perhaps....but the thing that sold me with those antennas is that they do UHF, VHF low and high, FM and they have a range of 100miles
Oh, I thought you were planning on keeping your CM4228. If you want to replace it, then one of those might be an option. One thing to note is the HD7697P doesn't receive VHF-LO though.

If you are planning on keeping the CM4228, and are just wanting to boost VHF reception, get a dedicated VHF or VHF-LO antenna and then combine them with a UVSJ (for a full VHF antenna) or an HLSJ (for a VHF-LO antenna) or else use the separate VHF and UHF inputs on your CM7777 (obviously requiring a full VHF antenna).

As far as those range figures, you can take those with a grain of salt as they are just marketing gibberish with little technical merit. Antennas are best rated by their gain in dBi or dBd for the channel you are wanting to receive.
 

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Mike,

Do you get SUN from CF when pointed toward Norwood ? (South Colton is where the WNPI is and the future WNYF antenna will be for CBS/Fox)

If yes, your best option is just to point your antenna right on WNPI and hopefully get CF channels reliably with a lot lower chance of overloading your tuner. Another possibility of tuner overloading would be an FM transmitter closeby; check the Fm trap setting of your CM7777 preamp.
 
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