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Old 13-Sep-2018, 7:45 PM   #1
BrooklinOTA
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Help with reception in south Ajax

Hi Everyone,

Well I ended up moving and I'm in an interesting spot for OTA reception. This house is about 1000 feet from lake Ontario but it is in a heavily treed area. Here are the details for my setup:

- I'm using an Antennas Direct DB8e. It is mounted about 30 feet in the air and pointed about 175 degrees magnetic.

- I have about a 75 foot coax run from the antenna into a Channel Master distribution amp in the basement. The amp is the 4 port model, CM-3414.

Here is my TV Fool report: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...9038b49f8b2436

I'm getting the Buffalo stations really well. I've had some very rare breakup with NBC (real channel 33), but all the other american channels are coming in quite nicely.

My problem is with the Canadian channels. As the antenna is pointed almost 75 degrees off from the signals coming from the CN tower in Toronto, my reception of Canadian TV is flaky. I am getting real channels 20 and 9 easily but the rest are unreliable.

Here are what I think are my options:

1. I could point one part of the DB8e toward the American cluster (175 magnetic) and then the other part of the antenna toward the CN tower (247 magnetic). That would definitely give me the Canadian channels but might compromise my reception of the American ones.

2. I could try installing a preamp like the TVPRAMP1R and see if that helps amplify the Canadian channels better while I'm still having both elements pointed at 175 degrees magnetic. As I have a 75 foot coax run from the antenna to distro amp, I'm hoping this would help to overcome the loss from that length of cable.

Any thoughts?
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Old 13-Sep-2018, 8:13 PM   #2
jrgagne99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrooklinOTA View Post
2. I could try installing a preamp like the TVPRAMP1R and see if that helps amplify the Canadian channels better while I'm still having both elements pointed at 175 degrees magnetic. As I have a 75 foot coax run from the antenna to distro amp, I'm hoping this would help to overcome the loss from that length of cable.
I think the insertion loss going into the pre-amp would be about the same as the 75-foot coax loss, so likely would not help much.

I don't have any experience aiming the DB8e panels in different directions. It might be worth a try though. Other option is maybe to split the difference (aim between the two towers)? I've always had the most success when I bring a TV with me on the roof and figure things out in real time.

Last edited by jrgagne99; 13-Sep-2018 at 8:16 PM.
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Old 13-Sep-2018, 8:36 PM   #3
BrooklinOTA
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Originally Posted by jrgagne99 View Post
I think the insertion loss going into the pre-amp would be about the same as the 75-foot coax loss, so likely would not help much.

I don't have any experience aiming the DB8e panels in different directions. It might be worth a try though. Other option is maybe to split the difference (aim between the two towers)? I've always had the most success when I bring a TV with me on the roof and figure things out in real time.
Not a bad idea to take a TV up to the roof! Would I be right in thinking that there is about a 3db insertion loss by going into the preamp?
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Old 13-Sep-2018, 9:01 PM   #4
jrgagne99
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Originally Posted by BrooklinOTA View Post
Would I be right in thinking that there is about a 3db insertion loss by going into the preamp?
Around there... depends on the band. See this post:
http://forum.tvfool.com/showpost.php...6&postcount=75
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Old 13-Sep-2018, 10:32 PM   #5
JoeAZ
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Two UHF panels, pointed in different directions, usually does not
work well. The signals that arrive at different times tend to cancel
each other out. You may still want to try. You may also want to
try aiming your current setup at 185, 190, 195 degrees, until you
get those pesky Canadian stations. Do they have anything worth
watching????
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Old 14-Sep-2018, 2:51 AM   #6
BrooklinOTA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeAZ View Post
Two UHF panels, pointed in different directions, usually does not
work well. The signals that arrive at different times tend to cancel
each other out. You may still want to try. You may also want to
try aiming your current setup at 185, 190, 195 degrees, until you
get those pesky Canadian stations. Do they have anything worth
watching????
Haha. Actually, Canada is a world leader in children's programming! My toddler loves the TVO morning lineup.

Perhaps I will try to get up on the roof this weekend and do a little aiming with the antenna.
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Old 14-Sep-2018, 2:08 PM   #7
ADTech
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeAZ View Post
Two UHF panels, pointed in different directions, usually does not
work well. The signals that arrive at different times tend to cancel
each other out. You may still want to try. You may also want to
try aiming your current setup at 185, 190, 195 degrees, until you
get those pesky Canadian stations. Do they have anything worth
watching????

Yeah, this is often the case, especially when dealing with one set of signals that have the potential to be particularly strong. They have a nasty habit of coming in on the "wrong" panel and end up cancelling out the desired signals (from the correct panel) in the combiner.


Unfortunately, the DB8e's beamwidth, when the panels are in parallel, is too narrow for the "split the difference" idea to be expected to work. The lobes and nulls aren't in the right places for the relative alignments of the stations from Buffalo and Toronto. With the antenna facing Buffalo, Toronto is in a very, very deep null in the reception pattern.



Two suggestions, either *might* work (or not).


1. Try spreading the adjustment of the individual panels outward about 15-20 from straight ahead, then aim the antenna so the difference is approximately split. Tweak as needed to see if that helps. Probably will severely impact reception of the Buffalo stations, though.


2. Use only one panel (as a DB4e configuration). Aim it at Buffalo, then start cheating towards Toronto and see if you can pick up both with a compromise aim.


Good luck!
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Old 14-Sep-2018, 4:50 PM   #8
BrooklinOTA
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Thank you all. I have some interesting options to try.

One last thought. I have an Eaglestar antenna from my old install: https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Produc...xoCPywQAvD_BwE

Would it be worth trying this aimed at Toronto and then coupled into the DB8e line?
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Old 14-Sep-2018, 4:51 PM   #9
ADTech
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You would likely end up with exactly the problem that Joe and I described unless you keep the signals separated and fed to different tuners/TV sets.


You can certainly try it, but the results are impossible to predict with any accuracy.
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Old 14-Sep-2018, 4:55 PM   #10
BrooklinOTA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
Yeah, this is often the case, especially when dealing with one set of signals that have the potential to be particularly strong. They have a nasty habit of coming in on the "wrong" panel and end up cancelling out the desired signals (from the correct panel) in the combiner.


Unfortunately, the DB8e's beamwidth, when the panels are in parallel, is too narrow for the "split the difference" idea to be expected to work. The lobes and nulls aren't in the right places for the relative alignments of the stations from Buffalo and Toronto. With the antenna facing Buffalo, Toronto is in a very, very deep null in the reception pattern.



Two suggestions, either *might* work (or not).


1. Try spreading the adjustment of the individual panels outward about 15-20 from straight ahead, then aim the antenna so the difference is approximately split. Tweak as needed to see if that helps. Probably will severely impact reception of the Buffalo stations, though.


2. Use only one panel (as a DB4e configuration). Aim it at Buffalo, then start cheating towards Toronto and see if you can pick up both with a compromise aim.


Good luck!
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeAZ View Post
Two UHF panels, pointed in different directions, usually does not
work well. The signals that arrive at different times tend to cancel
each other out. You may still want to try. You may also want to
try aiming your current setup at 185, 190, 195 degrees, until you
get those pesky Canadian stations. Do they have anything worth
watching????
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrgagne99 View Post
Around there... depends on the band. See this post:
http://forum.tvfool.com/showpost.php...6&postcount=75
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
You would likely end up with exactly the problem that Joe and I described unless you keep the signals separated and fed to different tuners/TV sets.


You can certainly try it, but the results are impossible to predict with any accuracy.
Very good. I will try to get up there and let you know how I do.

Thanks again for the help everyone.
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Old 14-Sep-2018, 6:17 PM   #11
JoeAZ
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Given your location, your best option would be to have two separate antennas. One pointed at Buffalo transmitters and the other towards Hamilton/Toronto.
Running two cables, one from each antenna to each television. Then you have to chose between an A/B switch for each television or a second tuner for each television. It's not a perfect solution but it frequently is the best one I can think of. Having lived In W.N.Y., I am very familiar with the area. Canadian broadcasters face huge challenges with all the U.S. programming from border cities, like Buffalo.
Revenue that could and should remain in Canada end up on the U.S. side of the border. For many years, Canadian cable companies would show U.S. programming from border cities and insert their own commercials in lieu of showing the actual
commercials broadcast. That is no longer the case. There is no easy or quick solution.
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Old 24-Sep-2018, 4:08 PM   #12
BrooklinOTA
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Just a follow-up for this thread.

I got up on the roof and instead of pointing at 175 degrees, I went to about 195. I seem to still be getting the US channels well (enjoyed the Buffalo and Minnesota blow out on Sunday). I still don't get real channel 44 but real channel 41 is much more stable now.

I might just have to live with this set up (which is fine) and leave it at that as having two antennas on different lines is a bit overkill to get a Canadian station that is, for the most part, rebroadcasting the American stations.

Thanks for the help everyone!
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Old 24-Sep-2018, 8:07 PM   #13
Nascarken
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrooklinOTA View Post
Just a follow-up for this thread.

I got up on the roof and instead of pointing at 175 degrees, I went to about 195. I seem to still be getting the US channels well (enjoyed the Buffalo and Minnesota blow out on Sunday). I still don't get real channel 44 but real channel 41 is much more stable now.

I might just have to live with this set up (which is fine) and leave it at that as having two antennas on different lines is a bit overkill to get a Canadian station that is, for the most part, rebroadcasting the American stations.

Thanks for the help everyone!
No it's not over kill it just depends on what you are looking for ???
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Old 25-Sep-2018, 5:50 PM   #14
Nascarken
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You should have went with an HDB91,with its 60 beem with for your location and where your tv broadcasting tower's are and a lot cheaper price but just for fun see if you can adjust the Db8 agl to a 30,d agle,and see if it improves your SIGNAL strength ??
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Old 25-Sep-2018, 6:08 PM   #15
ADTech
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Solid Signal has mis-stated the beamwidth of both their Yagi and their 8-bay antennas as being 60. Their beamwidth is actually about half of that, depending on frequency.




Specifications for the Yagi from the Chinese manufacturer's website: http://www.qiaohua.com/products/av-91xu.htm

The manufacturer does not provide technical specifications for the 8-bay model that SS sells, but they do for the 4-bay version: http://www.qiaohua.com/products/AV-0948.htm Experienced antenna folks understand that when two identical antennas are side-by-side at the correct distance and with the correct combining technique, beam width will be approximately halved in the plane of the stacking. Therefore, a simplified beamwidth would be in the neighborhood of 30 with variation by frequency readily apparent.
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