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New to OTA - Vimont

Hi

I've recently cut all TV and I've been reading and researching OTA.

Here is my tvfool report.

TV Fool

What I'd like to get is all local english and french channels. Getting the US channels; NBC, CBS, FOX, ABC, would be a bonus and a nice to have.

I still have an old Bell dish and cable mounted on my chimney, which I would like to reuse the existing mount, if possible.
Also, I''ve been looking at the tvfool report and I was wondering whether I would be better off with a directional antenna to get local and US stations, they seem to be very closely aligned.

Ultimately, once I have the HD antenna set up, I'm planning to get HDHomeRun as a TV tuner feeding my Kodi/OpenElec setup.

Thanks.
 

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The Canadian stuff should be easy as pie. PBS shouldn't be too bad either. CBS and NBC would be easier than ABC or FOX. Since you need both VHF and UHF, and everything is in the same direction, an Antennacraft HBU55 or a Wineguard 769XP are recommended by the Stampeder's chart if you want to try for the US stuff. If you consider the American stuff a bonus, then almost anything will do as long it can pick up VHF and UHF

The trouble is that those are both pretty expensive antennas (~$200). If you can find a retailer with a really good return policy you can give one of them a try, but it seems like a lot of work for something that may not give you the results you are hoping for.

If you look a few posts above yours, Harleyvh got some amazing results using a massive homebuilt antenna. If you are handy enough to duplicate his work, you might get some amazing results too.
 

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OTA Reception Vimont Laval

MagnuM2K,

Forget those 2 antennas mentionned in the preceding post and go with the Channel Master CM4228HD antenna. I know that CM antenna, I've installed a few of them and it performs well.

You'll also need a pre-amplifier to get a some American channels.
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I suggested those big monsters in case he wanted to try for ABC on VHF 13. It may not come in anyway. I'll defer to your knowledge and agree about he cm4228.
 

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Thanks Bouval, smallmj

Would a directional antenna work in my case? Something like the RCA model.. Or the Antennas Direct Clearstream 2 or 4 models.

I'm looking for something with a small footprint to install on my existing satellite pole.

I know you will all scream at this suggestion, but are any of the Esky/supersonic directional antennas any good?

Do I need VHF mainly.. or would I need VHF/UHF?

Thanks
 

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MagnuM2K,

Forget a directional antenna and as for the Supersonic, it's got a bad amplifier and it's flimsy, it's more of a toy than anything else.

You don't need a VHF antenna to get channels 10 and 12 from Montreal.

The best antenna that has a small footprint in your situation would be the Channel Master CM4221HD or we can try one of my builds that has about the same size and performs better.

If you're interested, simply private message me.
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OTA Receiption Set-Up in Duvernay

Hi Everyone,
I'm a first time poster and I hope I did this properly.
I live in the Duvernay Laval area and I've just completed the installation of my CM4228HD antenna that feeds into a CM 4-port signal distribution amplifier (CM3414) that delivers the signal into my 4 TVs in my home. With my present set-up, I'm able to catch Virtual channels: 2, 5.1 - 5.3, 6, 10, 12, 15.1, 15.2, 17, 29, 33.1- 33.4, 35, 44 (is caught but sometimes it pixels), 47, 57.1 -57.3 (is caught only on cold days with pixeling), 62.

My Fools Tv Report can be found at: TV Fool

I've been doing a lot of reading in this forum and the CM4224 hack forum to see if I can improve my set-up:
  • to be able to catch CBS (3.1, 3.2) (even though it is hidden by virtual channel 6)
  • to be able to catch ABC (22)
  • to improve the signal strength of Fox (44) so no pixeling occurs
I've tried adding an RCA TVPRAMP1R pre-amplifier (22 db gain) to my set-up; but, I think it is over amplifying the signal since I lose many of the channels I was able catch. Note: I did this with the pre-amplifier going through the distribution amplifier and by passing it.
Now, I was leaning toward the CM4224 hack that Bouval describes in the CM4228HD Hardware Hack forum but not sure if it is the way to go.
So if anyone could provide me with some guidance as to what would be the best option for me to be able to catch CBS (3.1, 3.2) and ABC (22) and to improve the signal strength of Fox (44) so no pixeling occurs or if what I want to do will not be possible given my location.

Thanks
erudmuc
 

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OTA Reception Duvernay Laval

Erudmuc,

You're lucky to get some American channels having Mount-Royal in the path. In your case, the CM4228HD hack will not do any better.

What you should try to get CBS and FOX is to aim your antenna West of Mt-Royal, like 175 to 180 degrees magnetic with a compass. As for ABC, forget it.
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Hi Bouval,

Thanks for your response.

I will try reaming my antenna West of Mt-Royal by 175 to 180 degrees as you stated to see if it will help me with CBS and Fox reception and let you know the results as soon as I get chance.
As for the ABC, I am curious as to why you said forget about it. Is it because the VHF gain (5 db) of the CM4228HD is not enough for me to be able to catch ABC?
If that is the case is there a VHF antenna that I could use that would allow me to catch ABC?

Note: I know that some of the ABC shows are broadcasted on the Canadian stations so there no a big need to catch ABC; but, I really enjoyed setting up my antenna that it has become like a hobby and I would like to see if I could find a way to catch ABC.

Thanks
Erudmuc
 

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Erudmuc,

You'll lose your time trying to get ABC, that station has a weak transmitter and then again having Mt-Royal in the path.

If you would have no obstruction in the way it would be worthed building a channel cut Yagi antenna for RF 13.

Remember that you're lucky with what you get now being in Duvernay.
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Saint-Colomban, QC

Greetings,

Now that people have had a lot more experience with the db8e, what can I expect if I were to replace my db8 (from 2013) with the db8e ?

Located north of Montreal, I have local stations at 30 miles and I am able to pull most US channels LOS from Vermont at 106 miles (I only get UHF 22 occasionally).
Antenna is generally headed toward Mount Mansfield in Vermont and I get the locals at 18 degrees.
Here's my TVFool: TV Fool

Antenna is about 35' above ground (10' mast on a 5' tripod on 2-story roof), mast mounted CM-7777 pre-amp (new gen), driving a CM-3218 8-way splitter (several TVs and multiple HDHomeruns).
I have 2 VHF channels of interest, 12 (rock solid) and 10 (generally good).

I would like to improve my reception of UHF 13 and 43, without losing VHF 10 and 12.

Cheers,
'nose
 

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Erudmuc, what height is your antenna at? It's not listed in the TVfool, so it's proably defaulting to 20 feet.
At that height, ABC on channel 13 would be impossible to get reliably even with a purpose-built antenna when channel 12 is off the air. With Channel 12 on the air, it will be impossible - I don't know of any tuners that can handle a 66 dB difference between adjacent channels.

You're lucky to get any Mount Mansfield stations, with Mount Royal in your path.
 

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'nose,

I'd expect a bit of an improvement on both UHF and high VHF with the DB8e vs. the DB8. Probably about a +2 dB in mid-UHF based on the relative peak boresite gains. I would recommend treating your VHF 13 (there's no "UHF 13") separately if that station is within your sights. Based on experiments I did a number of years ago with semi-local VHF 12 and 8, the only VHF stations within a reasonable driving distance, I estimated the forward gain of the Db8 on ch 12 at around -15 dBd. It received VHF 12 considerably better off the back but I do not recall any of those specifics. Back in April of this year, I visited that same location with a number of antennas including a DB8e (but not the DB8) and ran the antennas through a battery of tests including video recording the spectrum analyzer screen while running the antenna through a 360° rotation using a rotor. Based on those recordings, I can comment that peak VHF reception with the DB8e on ch 12 was extremely "wobbly" - very myopic straight ahead but that peak reception occurred between 40 and 55° LEFT of the antenna's aiming direction. Therefore, if you're currently getting WVNY with the DB8, you'd very likely lose it with a DB8e unless you can skew the aiming enough to compensate for that anomaly without damaging your UHF reception of the weak signals.

I would also STRONGLY recommend eliminating the CM7777 amp in favor of either its lower gain relative, the CM7778 or our Juice, when it becomes available again (see below).

FankZ,

The Juice will be back in stock "Very soon"! Our shipment is somewhere between the Port of Long Beach (docked on the 27th) and our warehouse in St Louis. I'd have to go aggravate our logistics specialist to pinpoint it more precisely, but she'd probably throw something at me (just kidding). Probably a week or two. Please note, we are not set up to ship directly to anything other than US addresses through our own system, so we cannot fulfill orders to Canada.

It would be my opinion that the Juice may well help as I've been unable to overload one with live signals so far (and I've tried!). I'd also recommend a variable attenuator and an FM filter AFTER the amp for you, something I've only rarely done.
 

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Hi Bouval,

Once again thanks for your feedback regarding the channel cut Yagi antenna for RF 13.
Might try to built it even thought the results might not be positive when I get a chance. Will give me some practice on building antennas :)

Hi tvlurker,

My antenna is connected on my chimney and is at about 27 feet high.

BTW on my tuner (Access HD Model: DTA 1030D) when I'm on channel 13 I have a signal strength of about 15% and sometimes 27% but it is not stable with my current setup.

Thanks
Erudmuc
 

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I would also STRONGLY recommend eliminating the CM7777 amp in favor of either its lower gain relative, the CM7778 or our Juice, when it becomes available again (see below).
Thank you ADTech !
However, I did choose that 26dB preamp because I hit an 8-way passive splitter and no distribution amps. Obviously, the few unused outputs are terminated properly !

Your concern with the CM-7777 is related to preamp input overload or TV input overload ?

Cheers.
 

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'nose,

The "new" 7777 is 30 dB gain, the old two-port version was in the low 20s for UHF.

With calculated LOS signals in the low -40 dBm range and a "real" antenna gain approaching 15 dB up in the cell phone bands, I would would estimate that would put your strong UHF signals into the -25 to -30 dBm range. The mfr specs the 7777 as being capable of withstanding a max input level of 15 dBmV, about -34 dBm, and that's before converting from average to peak powers and calculating the cumulative effects of ALL the RF energy coming into the amp's input. Ch 22 should be "easy" with that calculated signal level (assuming it's a true representation, probably should be considered an 'idealized' estimate). Since you're having difficulties with it, it's highly likely that amp is either in compression or is producing spurious interference internally that's falling into that particular channel. Please note, I did not perform actual calculations on this assessment, it's only generalized.

An 8-port splitter should exhibit about 11-12 dB of insertion loss at the highest frequencies, RG6 about 5-6 dB/100', a typical tuner has anywhere anywhere from 5-7 dB NF. Those are good enough numbers for most system planning.

I would seriously consider backing off that pre-amp to a medium gain unit and, if you find that too much signal is actually getting lost in distribution, install a distribution amp in cascade, perhaps with a modest (or variable) attenuator at its input. You could either use a single port line amp in front of the passive splitter or just use a DA with an integral 8-way splitter like our CDA8 or similar.
 

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Hi Magnum2k. (Might be a bit late with my comments :) )...
Looking at your TVfool it kinda looks similar to mine. If you can try one of those 2 monster antennas as per smallmj without a preamp and see if you can get FOX and ABC why not.. (As long as you can return them :) )

I also agree with Bouval's recommendation on the CM-4228HD (but then forget ABC). However I would be cautious with the use of a preamp as your Mtl stations are coming in strong. I had to use an HDP-269 after having tried the AP-2870, AP-8700, CM-7778 which were making my situation worst due to overload. Not sure about the newer preamps, maybe they handle overload a bit better...

I changed my CM-4228HD to an Antenna Direct DB8e which has a better gain, and narrower beamwidth, in other words its more directionnal than the CM-4228HD. Was it worth paying twice as much of the 4228HD? For me yes for others maybe not :)...

For ABC I'm using a separate antenna (10Y13s). You will notice that most of my gear except the db8e is discontinued.
I also have a Tin-lee band pass filter for ABC ($$$)...Definitely improves reliability from 50 to 95% but expensive...
 

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Hi
I would like to setup an OTA antenna, my last place really just needed an indoor one. Here is my TVFool report with the Height on top of my roof, this time it will be another story. I'm quite literally in the wood.
TV Fool

What would someone recommend for the complete setup (antenna, pole height, amplifier, FMtrap, rotor)?
Would a rotor be needed if I position the antenna toward Montréal and would like to received US chanel?

Thanks
 

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J0V 1K0 is a huge rural postal code. Please rerun your TVFool using the online maps feature to place your antenna location precisely. The exact coordinates will be masked/rounded in the display.
 
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