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Yaguy 25-Dec-2010 8:28 AM

Finding Appropriate Outdoor Antenna
Hi Everyone

I read a few answers to posts and I can see there are some very knowledgeable people here.

I'm in West Vancouver, BC, Canada. My elevation is 200 feet above sea level. I currently have a chimney mounted Vee Type VHF/UHF 39 Element Antenna on a rotator (35' height), similar to betwen a Channel Master 3018 and CM-3020. It might be from Antennacraft. It is not on any amp. I bought it at Radio Shack 18 years ago. Channel 6, non digital, is getting interferred with from FM radio stations in Vancouver- can hear the audio and the picture is affected too. I know the FM radio band is right there between VHF 6 and 7. I do think that it could also be the coax is degrading, as I happened to use RG59 that the cable company had put on the house, before I learned that it typically isn't as well shielded as RG6. The run is about 50' - 60'.

VHF channels 2 and 8 are very clear and strong. Channel 10 has slight ghosting, great sound; UHF-wise channel 32 is usually very clear and 17, 26, have some light snow, which is weather dependant. Channel 42 might be lower power, but usually is weaker. I did receive VHF Channel 12 KVOS in Bellingham clearly and KBCB, UHF 24, before the digital transition. Also did on occasion have KOMO 4 and KING 5 in Seattle come in. And when the antenna was new, during two summers on a very hot day, KEYT-3 in Santa Barbara, California, 1035 miles away! - That's why OTA is fun. :)

I'm on the same side of a mountain as the transmittor 10 miles northeast of me, and about 48 miles from KVOS-DT in the US.

My UHF part of the antenna has 5 elements on each dipole 'wing' and 12 directors and 1 driven element on the Yagi part. I think it was rated, when new, for UHF 45 miles.

So there's some distance to the US, and locally I'm about 10 miles from a transmittor on Mt. Seymour, and 38 miles from CHEK 6 on Saturna Island, due south of me, and somewhere in between for CKVU 10 in Vancouver.

My TV fool report is:

What setups or antennas should best work with me? I know that Corner reflector Yagis are currently optimized for channel 69. And that channels 52 to 69 are going to be reassigned; so should I wait until Winegard and Channel Master optimize a new one for Channel 51, for an overall better gain for me in the channels I'll be watching, or look at a Bowtie type 4 or 8 bay?

I really would like to try a digital converter box before I pull down the old antenna which isn't in bad shape, and doesn't have rust. But locally there isn't much in the way of quality or really much of any digital converter boxes yet, as our digital transition is to take place Aug 31, 2011 and cable penetration is much deeper in Canada, with only 2.8% people in my area using OTA.


Dave Loudin 25-Dec-2010 9:27 PM

You need to post you question in the right thread at Canada will be switching to digital broadcasting in 2011, and that site is keeping the closest eye on the situation. You will probably find someone in the same situation as you.

Tower Guy 25-Dec-2010 10:52 PM


Originally Posted by Yaguy (Post 4756)
I'm in West Vancouver, BC, Canada.


The TV fool report is for someone else.

John Candle 26-Dec-2010 1:37 AM

Tv Antennas and Reception
Your tvfool report is in Florida. Please repost the tvfool report. Yes I will help you with your reception situation. Canada is changing to Digital Now. And is transmitting Digital Tv Now. Full Power transmitters in Canadas Major Cities are to have completed the change to digital sometime in 2011. The rest of the analog transmitters in the major cities and through out Canada may not change for a long time , due to lack of funding. , , , ,

John Candle 26-Dec-2010 8:41 PM

Tv Antennas and Reception
If you provide the correct tvfool report I can help you with your tv reception

Yaguy 26-Dec-2010 10:24 PM

Finding Appropriate Outdoor Antenna
Thanks. I'm not sure why my tv fool report pasted in as Florida. I'll try again here.

I appreciate the advice.

TV signal analysis results for my West Vancouver, BC location, including stations and antenna position:

Thanks again.

John Candle 27-Dec-2010 5:48 AM

Tv Antennas and Reception
If your house is not wrapped with any type or kind of metal such as but not limited to metal siding or stusko with stucko Wire and if the roof is not metal and if the walls are not poured concrete. Then the stations in the direction of 64 degrees magnetic compass will be received with a Simple Not Amplified indoor tv antenna directed to the east. And with a second antenna directed to the south it is highly likely that the stations to the south , the Canada stations 6 and 10 and stations KVOS 35 , KBCB 19 , K24IC 24 will be received with a Simple Not Amplified indoor tv antenna. , if the two simple indoor antennas receive Ok , then two simple indoor antennas at the tv location can be connected to a remote control A/B switch due to the fact that the two simple antennas will be directed in different directions one to the east and one to the south. You might be able to receive the channels to the east and south with one simple indoor antenna if you can get it turned just right. If the simple indoor antenna that is directed to the south does not receive the 3 american channels then you will need to install a out side antenna like one of these. Channelmaster 3016 or Winegard 7082P or Antennacraft HD 850 . Also read and understand this about Real and Virtual Digital Tv Channels.

John Candle 27-Dec-2010 6:09 AM

Tv Antennas and Reception
The other American stations to the south are out of reach. Here is inflammation about Canada tv transition ,

Yaguy 27-Dec-2010 7:25 AM

Finding Appropriate Outdoor Antenna
Thanks John Candle

I have read about the 'virtual' PSIP stream numbers that appear on the digital to analogue converter boxes, whereas the real UHF channel they're broadcasting on is usually quite different. I was checking what all the local and ones within reach of me are, and what signal strength the station is transmitting in helping to determine an antenna as well. (Plus some could be "reassigned" to high VHF, so I guess I'll still hold on to my old antenna for now- it's like the CM-3020 but less on the UHF side.) I did figure that the local stations and KBCB and KVOS in Bellingham were something I could still receive. I don't know if tropospheric bounce phenomena can be expected with UHF in summer.

I'm just waiting for there to be more availability of Digital Converter Boxes up here, as of right now there isn't much and they're significantly more expensive than the same cheap ones in the US.

I had not thought about an indoor antenna again. What about the CM-4221HD, CM-4228HD, or the Winegard 9032 for UHF. The Antennacraft U8000 looks a bit more flimsy than the CM-4228HD. What's your opinion on these or the HBU Antennacraft line?

From what I read earlier, the CRTC in Canada doesn't think a coupon for converter box program is needed and is leaving it up to the Federal Government to make that decision.

John Candle 27-Dec-2010 8:03 AM

Tv Antennas and Reception
Using a Outdoor antenna 'indoors' will receive better then a simple rods and loop indoor antenna. The outdoor antennas you have listed have a narrower beam width. The a simple rods and loop has a Very Wide beam width. Beam width is the angles off to the sides of the antenna that the signal will be received. Half power beam width of the left and right sides angles means that the antenna will be receiving half the power as in front of the antenna. And the more the angle becomes away from front center the less signal will be received. UHF antennas metal receiving elements are sized in length to receive UHF. UHF antennas will receive VHF , however at reduced reception. That ok if the VHF signals are strong however if the VHF signals are weak , a UHF antenna will not receive is not the correct antenna . In this transition time when the Tv stations are finding out what Real channel will be transmitting on , I like to recommend All channel antennas.

John Candle 27-Dec-2010 8:29 AM

Tv Antennas and Reception
The four American channels listed are LOS Line Of Sight , moderetly strong and easy to receive. The other American Channels on down the line are Very weak. 0 NM(dB) is the 'reference number' for reliable reception with a simple 2 element dipole 30 feet in the air. Plus 10 NM(dB) gives some elbow room and more then that is better and better. Minus 10 NM(dB) is the point at which the signal is said to be not receivable with out extreme measures. You can go to the >>Start MAPS<< part of tvfool and see how high the antenna will have to be to Pull Up the other American stations NM (dB) numbers. And will also need a extreme fringe antenna such as Winegard HD 7084P. And Yes it is fun to get the very weak Tv stations coming in on the skip or tropo. Digitalhome may have DX'ers , D = Distance , X = Unknown , you can be involved with. And here is a web site

Yaguy 27-Dec-2010 5:47 PM

Thanks John Candle

I'll check out those things. I have always liked the bigger deep fringe antennas. I think their sheer size helps them. I will see how high up I would have to have the antenna to get some of those more distant channels. I think the best thing for now is to run some new high quality RG6 and maybe a new balun on the antenna as well, because the weather boot did come off for a while and is cracked. I have heard of people both taping it with special "self-vulcanizing rubber tape" and also using roofing tar to seal it from the elements. I wondered if using plumbers tape on the connector threads would help as well.

Thanks again for the good info.

John Candle 27-Dec-2010 8:59 PM

Tv Antennas and Reception
Do Not put plumbers tape on the connector threads. The best use on the outside of the connector is the self sealing live rubber tape. It seals to it's self and what it is applied to , it works so good that the only way to remove it is to cut it off. Here are some examples of amalgamating tape . Electrical supply business sell the self sealing tapes. With it taped a weather boot is not needed. The coax the connector the matching transformer and the matching transformer wire leads that connect to the antenna can be incased with this tape. Always look inside the connector on the end of the coax to see if the shield and shield wires are pushed in toward the center conductor wire , if so push away from center conductor wire.

Yaguy 27-Dec-2010 10:36 PM

Finding Appropriate Outdoor Antenna
Thanks John Candle

That self-amalgamating tape looks like what I need. (I had thought about hockey tape over electrical tape, if I couldn't get self-amalgamating.) I'd rather use tape than roofing tar. I have to wait a bit to get on the roof. It's been raining for the past week and supposed to freeze in a couple days.

Do you think I should get prefabricated RG6 coax that I might end up with a few extra feet, or have a professional crimp it to length for me with the proper weather proof f-connectors and weather boots? I'd love to have the professional type stripper, crimping tools, but to just do a bit every 15 years doesn't really warrant it. Thanks for the links.

Yaguy 16-Feb-2011 7:56 AM

Hi John Candle

Where do I go or click to find this on my TV Fool report:

"You can go to the >>Start MAPS<< part of tvfool and see how high the antenna will have to be to Pull Up the other American stations NM (dB) numbers."

I might have just missed where it is.


Yaguy 18-Feb-2011 7:09 AM

Finding Appropriate TV Antenna
Does anyone have experience with using an antenna like the Antennacraft MXU59 vs. say a 4 bay Antenna like the Antennacraft U4000? The manufacturer's gain figures for the MXU59 is a conservative 10.7dbd and the U4000 is rated at 10dbd. I have a rotator so I could move it easily. I hear a lot about the Channel Master 4221 4 bay, but very little about the American made Antennacraft U4000. I would believe that the corner reflector Yagi MXU59 would stand up to the elements and birds better over time than the 4 bay U-4000.

Because digital transmissions typically use lower power than analogue, post transition would it be possible to use a preamp even if some stations are only 10 miles away N/E, as some, in the opposing direction, are around 40-50 miles South. It's just now while there's still analogue VHF, I know that two stations, VHF 2 and 8, would overload my tuner if they were amplified.


Dave Loudin 18-Feb-2011 10:27 AM

Please read the signal analysis FAQ that's linked to at the top of your report. Your report accounts for power levels among other things.

You need to consult with the OTA forum at before you buy anything.

Yaguy 2-Apr-2011 7:53 AM

Help with Reception
This is where I should have put it.

My TV fool Report is posted in this thread and is:

Analogue Channel 2 is quite strong and clear: -10.4 dBm
Analogue Channel 32 is picture and sound perfect
Analogue Channel 8 is also near perfect, only slight occasional ghosting

The digital channels are weaker in the sense that they are broadcast at much lower power but many from the exact same location only 9 to 10 miles away. But what I've noticed in connecting my first Digital to Analogue Converter Box, a Zinwell ZAT-970A, is that there is a noticeable and distracting series of evenly spaced diagonal lines oriented at about 60 degrees, spaced about 1" apart, going from the left of the screen to the right on all digital channels. There is sometimes a slight hint of the same type of interference-type lines but tighter together and much fainter, only on Analogue VHF Channel 2. Rooftop antenna is made by Antennacraft: VHF/UHF/FM sold by Radio Shack as RS VU-160XR with Antennacraft Rotator.
Thanks for your ideas. :)

John Candle 2-Apr-2011 7:46 PM

Tv Antennas and Reception
The digital channels at your location are Strong not weak. You are saying that the interference lines are with both analog and digital , this is telling me to look for interference generators at your location. ANY electrical or electronic device can be interference generators. Lights of all types and kinds , motors , computers , Tv's , radios , washing machine , dryer , electric tooth brush charger , electric fence charger , door bell transformer , are you getting the idea--> ANY electrical or electronic device. The best way to find it or them is unpluging and unpluging and unpluging every thing inside the house and out side the house.

John Candle 2-Apr-2011 7:55 PM

Tv Antennas and Reception
You could have a defective converter box or a Defective Tv , Might be bad coax ( Any piece or part of coax ) and or bad matching transformer. Is the coax grounded with a coax grounding block ??

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