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Problems with NBC Buffalo in Richmond Hill - preamp needed?

Hi, I installed my outdoor antenna (Terk 32, a clone of Winegard 4 bowtie) two weeks ago on the second floor balcony and connected it with 75ft RG6 cable to my SIR-T351 tuner. I have a good signal on all channels except NBC Buffalo. I can get ABC with no problems althoug it has a weaker transmitter
and is located close to NBC.
It jumps from 0 to 3 bars and sometimes I could see picture for several seconds. I was pretty good a week ago but now signal is very unstable.
Does anybody else experience problems with NBC? Is this because my antenna
is just 4 bowtie and is not high enough? Will preamplifier help in this case?
Thanks very much. ( I live notrh of Toronto in Richmond Hill)
 

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Yaamon, do you think you will be able to get NBC without preamp?
Or to put it another way, will it help me if I buy preamp? I think if my signal
on NBC drops to 0, pre-amp will probably not help.
 

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gg22 said:
Does anybody else experience problems with NBC? Is this because my antenna is just 4 bowtie and is not high enough? Will preamplifier help in this case?
People in Markham and Unionville are doing great with Buffalo reception so you should also be fine in Richmond Hill. Are you actually using all 75 feet of that RG-6 cable? The less cable the better. I would measure where to cut it to its shortest possible length to reach the receiver and then add an extra foot for flex, then crimp it there with proper crimping tools.

Your Terk 32 actually might be a Winegard PR-4400 since Terk and Winegard seem to be in some sort of commercial deal these days. If so, its a good antenna and it seems to be working fine for you since only one distant station doesn't come in well. I would try the cable shortening and crimping first, and if that doesn't help then I would try a medium power preamp. If that is not sufficient, it may be time to change to an 8-bay bowtie reflector like a Channel Master 4228.
 

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If you view is clear and you are pointing towards Nbc then a preamp might help.

To be honest you should be able to pull in Nbc stronger than that.

Even though Nbc went to 480Kwatts it seems to have made a difference for a month or so, but like I noticed recently the signal is not as strong as it was a month ago.

I think Nbc may have reduced the coverage towards us recently. Maybe someone can send the tech department a email to confirm.

From the Avs board another board got a previous reply from Nbc and they said even though they had a increase in power they limited the signal being broadcasted north because there was a Toronto HDTV repeater to be installed and operational in Barrie summer of 2006 using the same frequency.

We dont need another repeater in Barrie and trust me the local residents north is surely not interested in HDTV.

Because of the elevation in Markham north of Hwy 7 Nbc comes in at 94 to 98% at my parents on there Sony 42A10
 

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Just tried it with shorter cable 15' - still no luck with WGRZ. The same with CBS - can only get it on 23-1 and not on 4-1. When it was warm I was able to pull it with indoor Silver Sensor. I also live on a hill
so I don't know if raising the antenna on the roof will help. (currently it's
on the second floor balcony).
Is there any place in Toronto where I can buy pre-amp and return it if it does not help?
Thanks everybody for help.
 

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Woodbridge ON (Weston/Rutherford) very initial results

Hi guys..lime many people if it wasnt for this forum I wouldnt have got into OTA.

So I want to report back my findings.

Anyways, I am located in Woodbridge (Weston/Rutherford).

I got a Samsung T160 from ebay, hooked it right now to old set of dusty rabbit antenna (and thats at the back of the house - north) and I'm getting 3 Toronto digital stations; CBC English & French and CTV! Not bad.

Next I will read about antennas, I would like to pick up buffalo stations, it will have to be an attic install.

Thanks!
 

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Sorry...Woodbridge in is 905 & GTA.

Ok, how about that for a report:

Woodbridge with Rabbit ears:
- 0/7 Buffalo DTV stations.
- 3/4 Toronto DTV stations

Better? :)
 

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Not getting WNED in Richmond Hill

Hi, all. For the last few months,I've been using a a Hughes E86 receiver with a Terk TV44 for getting local OTA channels, but about a week ago I replaced it with a CM 4221 I purchased from Yaamon's place. While the weather was still decent, I mounted it to the south side of my two-story house using a satellite dish mount; I jam-fit a piece of 1 1/4" ID galvanized pipe into the mast and mounted the 4221 to that after using a level to make sure the pipe was vertical. The pipe extends perhaps 38" from the end of the satellite dish mast for a total length of about 5 feet..... the top of the antenna is about 6" under my eaves.

Yesterday, I aimed the CM 4221 towards the southeast and did a scan with the receiver. All the Toronto digital channels come in 100 bars of signal stength, so I will skip that part (it doesn't seem to matter where I aim it towards the South, I get full strength on all of them...heh-heh!). Previously, I was unable to get any Buffalo channels, but lo and behold I got the following:

2-1 WGRZ-HD 58-72 bars
2-2 WGRZ-SD 58-72 bars

23-1 WIVB-HD 72-79 bars
23-3 WNLO-SD 72-79 bars

29-1 WUTV-HD 37-51 bars
29-2 WUTV-SD 37-51 bars
29-3 WUTV-EN 37-51 bars

39-1 WIVB (?) 24-30 bars (no image)
39-3 WIVB (?) 24-30 bars (no image)

43-1 WNED 15 bars (no image)


I guess what puzzles me most is why PBS digital isn't coming in at all. I see some signal strength there, but so far I have been unable to peak it enough to get a picture - yet signals from much further away like WGRZ and WIVB are coming in fine .....(at least the 2-1 HD and 2-2 weather channel are fine, 39-1 and 39-3 are breaking up...)


Do you think this is because:

a) the Buffalo PBS signal is directed from Grand Island towards Buffalo, i.e. away from Richmond Hill/Toronto?
b) the PBS transmitting signal is 156 kW vs 480 kW for WGRZ?
c) my antenna isn't projecting beyond my roofline, even though I still have an unobstructed view to the South with the current setup?

Oh, yeah: I am located in the 16th Avenue and Bathurst area. Thanks.... ;)
 

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Glad that you are getting better reception.

I would say that is very good signal for under the eves. I would try and move it up another 4 to 5 ' if you can.

Weird that you can get Fox but no Pbs and its from the same location and much stronger than Fox.

39/4 Wivb is normally a very good signal.

I would have to say that you need more elevation if you are having problem with so many stations.
 

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bete_noir, looks like we have a similar set up.
I'm also located in the 16th & Bathurst area, have a similar 4 bow-tie antenna (Winegard 4400) and it's also mounted on the south wall a few inches below eaves. I have no problems with 43-WNED and 38-WKBW, but can't get
WGRZ and WIVB. As I understood from previous posts our options are:
1. mount antenna on the roof
2. Use 7777 CM preamp
3. Buy a bigger antenna (like cm4228 or Winegard 8800)

I hope I don't have to do all three, as each option will cost me around $100,
so now I'm thinking what to start with.

What's your exact location? (I'm at Coltrane & Pleasant Ridge in Thornhill Woods).
 

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bete_noir and gg22, if its a $$$ issue I would try raising the antenna first. If you want to test what difference a higher mount would be before committing to buying a roof mount, buy a 10 or 12 foot length of the cheapest 2x2 pine at Rona and mount your antenna on that as a test rig. Get an assistant to go up on the roof with that test rig and aim it in the same direction the antenna originally was in, while you go inside and scan all your channels again. If you get better results and you're satisfied, buy a proper roof mount and be happy. If your results aren't satisfactory, go with a proper roof mount but also proceed to the preamp option, saving the bigger antenna option for last. Sounds like you folks are neighbours, so you might think about doing this same test at each house.

Of course if you want to try a preamp from where the antennas already are mounted I'd be curious to see if that fixes the problems too. It might help, but then again sometimes all you are amplifying is poor signal so the results end up poor. The trouble with getting a bigger antenna is what to do with the one you've already got, unless you get a trade-in credit.
 

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gg22 said:
bete_noir, looks like we have a similar set up.
I'm also located in the 16th & Bathurst area...
Hey, gg22 - we're neighbours. I'm about 5 kms away from you, North East direction...just up Bathurst and East on Weldrick, just before the lights at the school. ;)

Yeah, this is the first decent antenna I've put up - not including sat dishes - so it is a learning process all the way. The pre-amp suggestion has occurred to me, but I don't wanna over-drive my receiver by amping up the powerful local signals from the CN Tower. Elevating the antenna is the most practical solution, although it may require a chimney mount since I cannot clear the eaves with a wall mount....you would have to stand off about two feet from the wall on my house and I'm not sure where I can purchase the necessary hardware. Didn't see it at Home Depot, that's for sure....

:(

Don't think the bigger antenna would necessarily help, considering Yaamon has indicated from his tests that a lot of people are happier with the performance of the 4221. Later....
 

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bete_noir said:
Hey, gg22 - we're neighbours. I'm about 5 kms away from you, North East direction...
I think Yaamon can help you with the proper wall mount (even two feet from the wall). There is one more way to see if additional height will help... If you drive East on 16 Ave, after you pass Dufferin you will see house with roof mounted Winegard 4400 antenna. I always wanted to stop at this house and ask owner about his reception ... Maybe he is a member of this forum and can share his OTA results?
 

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With the proper height a 4221 should pull in the Buffalo stations.

If you drive by 18th and Woodbine south west corner you will see a 4221 that is mounted on the roof. I helped a friend with his install.

I brought my Samsung 451 for the install and pulled in 8 out of 10 on his Buffalo and 10 on the Toronto stations, after realising he had bad connectors. His cable run was not that long maybe 40 to 50'.

He is waiting to see my Jvc as he is interested in buying a 61FH96 with a atsc tuner built in.

At my new office location as of Dec 12th, 300 Steelcase Road W I will be setting up a 4221 as I will now have a clear view south. No more Monte Carlo Motel blocking my view.

I just bought from my local distributor a the Winegard AP4700 UHF preamp that has 19db of boost so it wont over drive some tuners. Its also about 20% cheaper than the Channel master 7775 preamp.

I was thinking of testing it out at the new location.
 

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update on my CM 4221

Someone asked me for an update on the reception issue so here it is: haven't really had much improvement by rotating more towards the South East....did manage to scan in channel 7-1 WKBW-HD but not very good reception. Stilll just seeing a few bars on 43-1 (PBS digital), so it looks as though I'm going to hafta go for more altitude as Yaamon suggested....perhaps an eave mount.

Mind you, in the current position it pulls all the local (Toronto) digital channels perfectly as well as getting the VHF stuff nicely...I was a little surprised by that but Global analog and TVO come in nice and clear! I guess my advice to anyone considering a similar setup (satellite dish mast and jam-fit 1 1/4" I.D. galvanized pipe) would be to go as high up as you can.....

Of course, you probably already knew that.... ;)
 

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bete if you need I have stock of the wall mounts that extends out 12 or 18" from the wall.

By the way once you get a goos strong signal from Nbc from our Gta location Nbc is located south east. To get anything from Grand Island you need to be more west of Nbc. That is where Cbs/Upn (23), Fox and Pbs is being broadcasted from.

Tune for a good signal from Nbc and then swing the antenna slowly more west till Nbc slightly drops is signal and then check the Grand Island stations for signal.

Definately with more height and signal, the antenna position is not as critical as you getting a overall stronger signal.
 

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When I first put up my CM4228, I was getting 4-1 consistently, along with 7-1, 23-1, 29-1, and 43-1 with 2-1 rather spotty.

However since 2-1 increased their power, 2-1 has been quite solid, but in the past few weeks, I've been unable to get 4-1.

Anybody else have this problem with 4-1?

I didn't mention 5-1, 9-1, 53-1 and 66-1 since they are local and solid.
 

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bete_noir said:
Someone asked me for an update on the reception issue so here it is: haven't really had much improvement by rotating more towards the South East....did manage to scan in channel 7-1 WKBW-HD but not very good reception. Stilll just seeing a few bars on 43-1 (PBS digital), so it looks as though I'm going to hafta go for more altitude as Yaamon suggested....perhaps an eave mount.

Mind you, in the current position it pulls all the local (Toronto) digital channels perfectly as well as getting the VHF stuff nicely...I was a little surprised by that but Global analog and TVO come in nice and clear! I guess my advice to anyone considering a similar setup (satellite dish mast and jam-fit 1 1/4" I.D. galvanized pipe) would be to go as high up as you can.....

Of course, you probably already knew that.... ;)
The 4221 has an average 10 dB gain across the band, while the 4228 has an average 12 dB gain. Not much difference, but the beamwidth is a bit tighter with the 4228, which will give you a better signal from a further distance. On the CM web page, the 4221 is listed at 45 miles while the 4228 is listed at 60 miles. (Your results may vary!)

I'm using a chimney mount, and the instructions say a max of 10 ft. I wish I could go a a bit higher. The CM antenna would'nt fit on a thicker mast than 1 1/4".
 
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