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Old 9-Feb-2013, 5:26 PM   #1
sk_ota
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Problem with reception 4.1, 7.1, 29.1, 49.1 in Toronto, ON

I moved to OTA 2 years ago and did all of the installation myself. I bought all the neccessary parts from Save & Replay. According to their website I have potential of getting these channels.

So far I have been getting channels consistently which is pretty good.
2.1 WGRZDT
2.2 WGRZDT2
4.1 WIVBDT
5.1 CBLTDT
7.1 WKBWDT
9.1 CFTODT
11.1 CHCHDT
17.1 WNEDDT
17.3 WNEDDT3
19.1 CICADT
23.1 WNLODT
25.1 CBLFTDT
29.1 WUTVDT
29.2 WUTVDT2
40.1 CJMTDT
41.1 CIIID41
47.1 CFMTDT
49.1 WNYODT
57.1 CITYDT

Only recently I have been finding that I am unable to get channel 4.1, 7.1, 29.1, 49.1 consistently. So I was wondering if I should upgrade my antenna or invest in a pre-amp.
A link to my TV Fool report is here

My current antenna is Channel Master 4221HD which I mounted on the roof and pointed towards Buffalo stations. I grounded the cable coming from the antenna with a coax grounding block at a point near where the cable enters my house. Once inside the house I have a Channel Master 3412 MultiSwitch (Distribution Amp) to split the signal to two hd tvs.

I was wondering if I should get a pre-amp like Channel Master 7777 or Channel Master 7778. Or I looked at ebay for Sunkey Antenna. I don't know how good this antenna is though considering its only $25. Or should I invest in another antenna. I would like to get channels 4.1, 7.1, 29.1 and 49.1 again.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 10-Feb-2013, 5:25 PM   #2
videobruce
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You are 12 miles NW of Toronto. The only stations you would be able to receive (at 59 miles) are the ones on Gilligan's Island; WNED, WUTV, WNLO. The 'big 3' located in the Boston Hills are 89 miles from your posted location. Unless you are high in elevation, I doubt you would have a chance except under enhanced reception conditions.

You include 29.1 (WUTV) on your list which is located on Grand Island, you also don't include WGRZ 2.1 which is in the Boston Hills. You can actually receive this on a full time basis?
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Old 10-Feb-2013, 5:38 PM   #3
sk_ota
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Thanks videobruce. I am getting 2.1 very consistently. Actually just watching Red Wings vs LA right now. 29.1 and 49.1 are also very decent. I get them most of the time except some night times.

The two channels that I don't get consistently are 4.1 and 7.1. If a better antenna or pre-amp will not help get those, I will stay with my current setup.
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Old 10-Feb-2013, 5:55 PM   #4
No static at all
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Do you have the antenna aimed more towards the Buffalo stations? Have you experimented with raising/lowering the antenna in 6 inch increments to locate a better sweet spot for the desired stations?

At 12 miles just about any pre-amp would be like using gasoline to start a charcoal grill.(Ouch)The best amplifier that I have found for use in mixed strong/weak signal situations like yours is the Channel Master 3414 distribution amp. If you can place it within 50-75 feet of the antenna (the closer/the better) it will yield the best possible results with your present antenna.

If this doesn't provide satisfactory results, I suggest moving up to a more powerful/directional antenna like the 91XG for more signal pulling power from the weaker UHF stations.



Oops, I see you already have the 3412. A better antenna is probably your best option if tweaking height of the 4221 doesn't help.

Last edited by No static at all; 10-Feb-2013 at 6:12 PM. Reason: Added Oops
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Old 10-Feb-2013, 6:20 PM   #5
videobruce
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Quote:
I am getting 2.1 very consistently.
Amazing, you have to be in a good location.
Quote:
29.1 and 49.1 are also very decent.
WUTV (physical channel 14) in On Grand Island, 59 miles away. WNYO (physical channel 23) is in the next county, 87 miles away, thje saem distance as WGRZ (physical channel 33).

WIVB & WKBW (physical channels 39 & 38 respectively) are south of WGRZ, but I've seen reports that for whatever reason those are usually harder to receive than WGRZ.

I wouldn't even remotely think of using a preamp with the CN tower 12 miles away. Actually a DA wouldn't be much better as it would be overloaded also since the Buffalo market stations are right in line with the CN tower.

I have the same problem with Gilligan Island and those three stations that are right in line with Toronto. I'm 7 miles out and I have to run 'traps' for each station to use a DA for the weaker stations.
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Old 10-Feb-2013, 6:23 PM   #6
videobruce
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A 4228HD would of been a better choice. It's two 4221's side by side. That 91xg probably would be the best choice.

Forget that eBay thing.
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Old 10-Feb-2013, 6:28 PM   #7
No static at all
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
I wouldn't even remotely think of using a preamp with the CN tower 12 miles away. Actually a DA wouldn't be much better as it would be overloaded also since the Buffalo market stations are right in line with the CN tower.
Hi Videobruce!!!

Never used the 3412, but I doubt the 3414 would overload. I've used it many times as close as 4 miles to DC with high gain antennas with no overload whatsoever. What DA do you use?
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Old 10-Feb-2013, 7:09 PM   #8
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As far as I can tell, the CM-341X line of distribution amplifiers are all based on the same 15 dB gain amplifier (approx. 3.0 dB NF). They simply add a 2, 4 or 8-way splitter so the output gain will be (+15 dB - the splitter insertion loss).

I have used both the CM-3418 and the CM-3410 at less than 7 miles from Queen Anne Hill in Seattle with no hint of overload. With passive modem return, they are obviously intended for use in a cable service distribution application... lots of full strength signals at the amp input.

Still, there has to be a point at which a CM-341X will overload. I just haven't demonstrated it yet.
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Old 10-Feb-2013, 8:29 PM   #9
teleview
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When reception degrades as time goes by.

It is almost always because of - water - , water in the coax connections , water in the coax , water in the hard ware such as splitter , ground blocks , water in matching transformer (balun) and etc.

Even if the coax does not look like there is water damage to the coax , the coax can still be water damaged. Discard the coax , connections can go bad from water damage.

Discard coax and etc. , replace with new.

____________________________________

-->Yes I know you are receiving the USA Digital Tv stations.<--

For improved reception , install a Winegard HD7698P antenna aimed at about 170 degree magnetic compass direction.

Here is how to aim antennas , http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing/pointing.html.

_________________________________

Use http://www.coaxseal.com to prevent further water damage , after the damaged coax and connections and hardware has been replaced with new.

Last edited by teleview; 10-Feb-2013 at 9:23 PM.
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Old 10-Feb-2013, 10:09 PM   #10
teleview
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Here are much better converter boxes.

http://www.epvision.com.

http://www.channelmasterstore.com.
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Old 10-Feb-2013, 10:14 PM   #11
sk_ota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teleview View Post
Discard coax and etc. , replace with new.

Use http://www.coaxseal.com to prevent further water damage , after the damaged coax and connections and hardware has been replaced with new.
Thanks for the great advice, I shall do that first thing in the spring.

Quote:
Have you experimented with raising/lowering the antenna in 6 inch increments to locate a better sweet spot for the desired stations? .
I shall try this as well before I invest into a better antenna.

Thanks all for great insight.
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Old 11-Feb-2013, 11:24 AM   #12
videobruce
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Quote:
I doubt the 3414 would overload. I've used it many times as close as 4 miles to DC with high gain antennas with no overload whatsoever.
Quote:
I have used both the CM-3418 and the CM-3410 at less than 7 miles from Queen Anne Hill in Seattle with no hint of overload.
But is the antenna aimed towards those transmitters or somewhere else?
I'm seven miles away from three UHF TV transmitters and any amp will get overloaded when you are trying to receive stations 55 miles away in the same direction. Traps help, but there still are problems.

I use the older (US made) Winegard DA-815. I also tried the higher gain DA-825, but that didn't work. Too high a gain.

Last edited by videobruce; 11-Feb-2013 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 11-Feb-2013, 11:52 AM   #13
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Yes, all stations of interest are about 40. DC 4 miles away & Baltimore 40 miles. No distribution amp needed for 1 TV, but as soon as even a 2 way splitter is added, 2 of the weakest Balt UHF's disappear. The 3414 works much better than anything else tried which involved a passive splitter. The marginal stations show no signs of intermod & actually a bit better reading on the signal strength meter. No attenuation other than one HLSJ to trap screeching FM & analog channel 6 only 1/2 mile away.
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