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Old 25-Mar-2015, 8:19 PM   #1
McFly
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 4
Tweaking reception

I set up my antenna recently and overall I'm fairly happy with the reception. However, there are a number of channels which I "should" receive according to the Signal Analysis report, but they either don't come in at all, or I get them for a few days at a time, then they disappear. I've also had channels that worked fine for weeks, just disappear. I understand that things like surrounding buildings or weather can block reception. There's one large condo building to the southwest that blocks my LOS to Niagara region, so I don't get CHCH (Hamilton).

Here's my report: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...f1f0429bc56358

My setup:
I'm on the 15th floor of a highrise apartment building. I face southeast and have an unobstructed view of Lake Ontario, I can even see the land on the other side on a clear day. My antenna is mounted on my balcony. I've tried swiveling it around on its mast to fine tune the direction, but if I gain a couple of channels by adjusting the angle, I lose others. I test reception by running the channel detect on my TV. I've tested with both a smart and a dumb tv (both Samsung).

Another issue that may affect my reception is that because I'm on the top floor, there is no balcony above. Instead it's a concrete "roof" with an overhang, sort of like an awning, that's about 3 feet from top to bottom. I can provide a pic if needed. I'm wondering if that "lip" of concrete could be affecting the signal.

Equipment:
- Clearstream 2 antenna
- 20 ft new RG6 cable
- surge suppressor
- flat window cable (to run coax through window and be able to close it)
- 2013 Samsung F series smart tv
- antenna cable connected directly to TV (no converter or other exterior box)

I don't expect to get every channel, but I'd really like to get CBC! Currently I only receive CBC every so often. I get CBLFT (French) all the time with no issues. If there are ways I can improve the signal, I'd appreciate any suggestions.
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Old 27-Mar-2015, 1:33 AM   #2
Greenish Apple
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: SE Ontario Canada
Posts: 28
Another Antenna

It looks like you should get the CBC, but I don't know what the issue is beyond suggesting another antenna like a DB4 or DB8 bowtie. If you make your own use 9.5 inch long whiskers and the bays 9 inches apart. If you add a reflector, put it 4-5 inches back.

David
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Old 27-Mar-2015, 3:31 AM   #3
McFly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenish Apple View Post
It looks like you should get the CBC, but I don't know what the issue is beyond suggesting another antenna like a DB4 or DB8 bowtie. If you make your own use 9.5 inch long whiskers and the bays 9 inches apart. If you add a reflector, put it 4-5 inches back.

David
Thanks! Do you mean a second antenna or replacing/returning the one I have? I bought it less than a month ago and kept the packaging, so if I was sold the wrong one I think I'd be able to make an exchange.

Re the reflector, I've never heard of them for a TV antenna. Can one be added to any antenna? Is it something you make (and if so, how) or buy?
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Old 27-Mar-2015, 12:34 PM   #4
ADTech
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Posts: 2,932
There should be no advantage in moving from a C2 to a 4-bay antenna for CBC (CBLT). That station transmits from the CN Tower and is the strongest on your chart. If you're not getting it reliably, it's due to the location of the receiving antenna. Relocate the antenna in 6-12 inch increments and see if you can find a spot where the signals behave. It would appear that your current location just happens to be in a "dead" spot, usually caused by an unfortunate reflection from something in or near the signal path. It's unlikely that the concrete overhang, presumably steel reinforced, is affecting reception unless the antenna is within a foot or two of it. Since you indicate you face southeast, that would suggest that you should be able to see the CN Tower unless the high-rise across 427 from you happens to be dead in the way (which would explain a lot).




The C2 already has a reflector. That's the screen grid behind the loop element. It serves the same purpose on an antenna as does a mirrored surface does for a directional lighting device (in reverse), that is, to focus and direct incoming signal energy to the reception element (loop).
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Last edited by ADTech; 27-Mar-2015 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 27-Mar-2015, 3:02 PM   #5
McFly
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Thanks again. When I first installed the antenna, I took a TV out on the balcony with me and hooked it up to the antenna, then moved the antenna around doing channel scans until I found the spot where it picked up the most channels. I then mounted the mast on the wall, and since then I've been experimenting with pointing the antenna in different directions to get the best signal. I tried using the TVFool compass data to point the antenna for each station I was having trouble with, but due to reflections/buildings blocking LOS it didn't work as expected.

The problem is that on any given day I can receive CBLT and several other stations with perfect clarity, then a few days later I don't get those channels at all. There's no middle ground, it either comes in perfectly or not at all. There are other channels I get most of the time, then one day the signal is poor or nonexistent. This makes it hard to find the best spot to aim the antenna. I do a channel scan whenever I turn the TV on, to see which channels I can get today.

I grew up in a rural area with a TV tower and rotor, so I know not to expect perfect reception for every channel, all the time. I'm fairly sure a rotor wouldn't help in this situation. I was just wondering if today's technology offered another way to boost signal strength or otherwise improve reception.
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Old 27-Mar-2015, 5:02 PM   #6
ADTech
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Quote:
There's no middle ground, it either comes in perfectly or not at all.
That is the inherent nature of digital reception. It either works perfectly... or it doesn't.

Quote:
boost signal strength or otherwise improve reception.
The 'boost' you need would require you to get over the top of that tall building across the street, assuming that my location identification is accurate enough. You cannot reliably amplify that which is barely (or not at all) there.

BTW, I just posted an article in the special topics section that offers an example of your issue. http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=15421
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