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Old 25-Jun-2016, 9:53 PM   #1
newmguy
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antenna reception Toronto North

Looking for some help with my antenna reception.

I have an Antennas Direct Clearstream 4-V antenna mounted on a 5" tripod
on the peak of my roof. Total antenna height is 35'.

I also installed a juice preamp. The cable length is about 70'.

We are on a very large hill and there are NO obstructions (i.e. trees, large buildings, etc)

I am located about 20 miles north of Toronto, Ontario.

For the most part, we get Buffalo stations consistantly with the exception of WGRZ (NBC).

Usually the signal strength is quite good - in the early morning it is sometimes 100%.
The signal quality is usually acceptable from 60 - 70%.
(according to my Sylvania SPAT102 ATSC Set Top Box)

I have peaked the antenna's pointing direction specifically for WGRZ (NBC).
All connections and cables have been triple checked.

Since the signal quality is quite good (most times) I was wondering if there is
a solution for picking up WGRZ reliably. The signal strength and signal quality are
high (70% & 80%), then all of a sudden they both go to 0 for a few seconds.

I know there is a trial and error curve, but I am at a loss as to what to try next.

I would rather not increase the height of the antenna if possible.

Maybe there is another antenna that would be better for me?

I have completely cut off the cable and satellite so we rely on the antenna 100%. And it is enough for what we watch if we could just get NBC reliably.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Here's my TVFool information:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e2cbcdcbc2e585
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Old 26-Jun-2016, 3:13 PM   #2
rabbit73
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Welcome to the forum, newmguy:

Thanks for the tvfool report and the detailed description of your setup. I think you are doing better than expected with WGRZ which is a weak 2Edge signal 104.5 miles away. The main problem is the curvature of the earth. The only way the signal can get to you is by refraction which bends the signal around the curvature of the earth, but atmospheric conditions will affect the refraction.



Using a coverage map from the tvfool interactive map browser, you can see you are beyond the fringe:



and here is the Longley-Rice coverage map. Red is a weak signal and no color at East Gwillimbury is even weaker:



This is the link for the Longley-Rice WGRZ map:
http://www.rabbitears.info/contour.p...=1070336&map=Y
Attached Images
File Type: jpg newmguyTVFp2WGRZ.JPG (95.9 KB, 1194 views)
File Type: jpg newmguyTVFcovWGRZ.JPG (94.1 KB, 1359 views)
File Type: jpg newmguyTVFcov2WGRZ.JPG (104.8 KB, 1226 views)
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Last edited by rabbit73; 26-Jun-2016 at 3:28 PM.
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Old 26-Jun-2016, 5:23 PM   #3
newmguy
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re: Antenna reception Toronto North

Thanks for your response.

I have been reading this forum for quite some time now. My registration wasn't final until now, so I couldn't post anything.

I guess there is no hope for getting WGRZ. I have been told that I am very lucky for receiving as much as I am.

I was thinking that since the signal is good most of the time, something can be done.

I entered 50' or 100' antenna height in TV Fool and it does make a difference.
I can't however, put up a tower at my location. (besides I would be the only house with a tower!)

When I first put up the antenna WGRZ signal was stable almost every day. (That was in cooler weather, back in April)

I am open to all suggestions.
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Old 26-Jun-2016, 6:27 PM   #4
rabbit73
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Quote:
Since the signal quality is quite good (most times) I was wondering if there is
a solution for picking up WGRZ reliably.
I doubt that WGRZ will ever be 100% reliable, but you might be able to improve the reception if you are willing to spend more time and money on the project.
Quote:
I know there is a trial and error curve, but I am at a loss as to what to try next.
There are a few things you can try; no guarantee.
Quote:
Maybe there is another antenna that would be better for me?
With a NM of -10.7 dB for WGRZ, a little more antenna gain might help.

The C4 gain is about 12.0 dBi at 587 MHz.
https://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_...-sellsheet.pdf

The DB8e is about 16.0 dBi with both panels aimed in the same direction
https://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_files/attachmentlibrary/Technical%20Data%20PDF's/DB8E-TDS.pdf

The 91XG is about 14.5 dBi
https://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_files/attachmentlibrary/Technical%20Data%20PDF's/91XG-TDS.pdf

and the 91XG has a tilt adjustment that would allow you to tilt the front end of the antenna up to better catch the incoming signal

Attached Images
File Type: jpg newmguyTVFp2WGRZlast10.JPG (80.9 KB, 1202 views)
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Last edited by rabbit73; 26-Jun-2016 at 6:29 PM.
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Old 26-Jun-2016, 6:37 PM   #5
rabbit73
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Quote:
When I first put up the antenna WGRZ signal was stable almost every day. (That was in cooler weather, back in April)
That makes perfect sense. In warm weather, a temperature inversion is formed in the signal path. This causes the signal to be trapped in a high altitude duct, unable to bend down to your antenna.

http://www.mike-willis.com/Tutorial/PF6.htm
scroll half way down to Example of a path profile diagram that shows how refraction bends the signal to your antenna

http://www.dxfm.com/content/propagation.htm
scroll down to An illustration of a high-altitude tropospheric duct.

It is most likely to happen when the signal starts at a high elevation and there is a bowl between the two antennas where the inversion forms, just like what you have.
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Last edited by rabbit73; 26-Jun-2016 at 6:58 PM.
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Old 26-Jun-2016, 10:06 PM   #6
newmguy
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re: antenna reception Toronto North

Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
There are a few things you can try; no guarantee.
With a NM of -10.7 dB for WGRZ, a little more antenna gain might help.
Thanks, That is exactly what I want to hear.
I know there are no guarantees, I can just sell the antenna I got now if the new one is even just a little bit better.

I would say that 97% of the time it's good. I think I just need that little bit extra to keep it from cutting out.

The rest of the buffalo stations WIVB, WKBW, WUTV, and CW never give me any problems.

The antenna is aimed to maximize the signal quality on WGRZ, and the rest of the stations still come in.

I will do some more research.

Thanks again!
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Old 27-Jun-2016, 12:07 PM   #7
Nascarken
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We'll I think if you raise the antenna at 50/to60Ft high with a 91XG or try the antenna you have now at 60Ft high. But like Rabbit 73,recommends the 91XG witch will work o's m
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Old 28-Jun-2016, 9:47 PM   #8
newmguy
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well I'm going to try another antenna.

It's a toss between the Antennas Direct DB8E and the Antennas Direct 91XG.

The 91XG is 93" long (which shouldn't be a problem) because I securely mounted the tripod on my roof by nailing blocks between the trusses where the tripod mounts.

I am still a little worried about wind because across the street there is nothing but an open field for miles. We get very high winds.

The DB8E is the antenna with the most gain, but wouldn't this hurt me if I am getting too much signal from Toronto?

I am thinking since the 91XG is directional, this would not be as much of an issue??

Can someone verify this?

No matter what I am going to have an extra antenna (2 months old) to sell or give away to a family member.

I plan on getting another antenna tomorrow. I will post the results here once I install whatever I am going to purchase.
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Old 28-Jun-2016, 10:59 PM   #9
Nascarken
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Yes Antennas Direct 91XG yes I have

Last edited by Nascarken; 1-Jul-2016 at 3:44 AM.
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Old 28-Jun-2016, 11:05 PM   #10
ADTech
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Quote:
I am thinking since the 91XG is directional, this would not be as much of an issue??
Both the 91XG and the DB8e are very directional. Aim either at Buffalo and the CN tower is still going to be within the -3 dB beamwidth. We have data sheets on our website for both candidates. Just go to the individual page for each antenna and click on the "Documents" tab. If there's a data sheet, it will be listed as "Technical Data".

Quote:
I am still a little worried about wind
With a secure mount and mast, either antenna will withstand the wind.

For an out-of-the-box install, the DB8e would be my suggestion. However, if you have the patience and the inclination to do some fabrication and experimentation, two 91XG Yagi's can be horizontally stacked and you can try to force a small null in the direction of the CNTower to slightly knock those signals down.
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Last edited by ADTech; 28-Jun-2016 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 29-Jun-2016, 12:32 PM   #11
newmguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
Both the 91XG and the DB8e are very directional.
I am having difficulty determining the beam width of each antenna. Are they 30 degrees? Are they both the same?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
For an out-of-the-box install, the DB8e would be my suggestion. However, if you have the patience and the inclination to do some fabrication and experimentation, two 91XG Yagi's can be horizontally stacked and you can try to force a small null in the direction of the CNTower to slightly knock those signals down.
So I would use a combiner with the two antennas stacked? In my experience this hasn't worked well for me at all, In fact I lost all of the weak stations in the process.

I am concerned about overloading my amplifier with the powerful signals from Toronto. This is why the 91XG was suggested to me over the DB8E.

Basically I want to increase the ever so weak signal from WGRZ Buffalo, and lessen the dropouts, without affecting the other Buffalo stations.

I found that Toronto signals will always come in, even when the antenna is peaked at Buffalo.

Trouble is that I can't return the antenna if it doesn't work well for me so I want to pick the best one of the two.
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Old 29-Jun-2016, 1:31 PM   #12
Nascarken
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Yes I no what you to do so don't spend the money on a 91XG

Last edited by Nascarken; 1-Jul-2016 at 3:41 AM.
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Old 29-Jun-2016, 2:57 PM   #13
ADTech
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Quote:
I am concerned about overloading my amplifier with the powerful signals from Toronto.
You're not going to overload a Juice. I've tried...really really hard.

Quote:
I am having difficulty determining the beam width of each antenna. Are they 30 degrees? Are they both the same?
See sheet 1 of the respective data sheets. Note that beamwidth, and, consequently gain, varies with frequency.

Quote:
Basically I want to increase the ever so weak signal from WGRZ Buffalo, and lessen the dropouts, without affecting the other Buffalo stations.
Probably an impossible task without resorting to highly selective filters and very meticulous amplification. The guys at Tin Lee can probably do it, it would likely cost hundreds of dollars (US OR Canadian).
Quote:
I found that Toronto signals will always come in, even when the antenna is peaked at Buffalo.
With signals that strong, a simple piece of wire would pick up many of them.
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Old 29-Jun-2016, 3:13 PM   #14
rabbit73
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Quote:
I am having difficulty determining the beam width of each antenna. Are they 30 degrees? Are they both the same?
The beamwidths are stated in the technical documents mentioned by ADTech in post #10. I gave the links to the technical documents in post #4 and now again here. The beamwidth is frequency dependent, and is defined as the angle between the half-power points (3dB down) each side of the max.

DB8e:

https://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_files/attachmentlibrary/Technical%20Data%20PDF's/DB8E-TDS.pdf

The beamwidth for the DB8e is about 20 degrees.

91XG:

https://www.antennasdirect.com/cmss_files/attachmentlibrary/Technical%20Data%20PDF's/91XG-TDS.pdf

The beamwidth for the 91XG is about 33 degrees.

You would think that the beamwidths would be about the same because the gains are similar. They are not the same, because the patterns are different. The 91XG has one major lobe, but the DB8e has a major lobe and two minor lobes because it is equivalent to two DB4e antennas side-by-side. The C4 is similar, like two C2s side-by-side.

Why are you concerned about the beamwidth?
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Last edited by rabbit73; 29-Jun-2016 at 5:49 PM.
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Old 29-Jun-2016, 3:29 PM   #15
Nascarken
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Yes T e c k overload I think it's a m I t h

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Old 29-Jun-2016, 3:40 PM   #16
Nascarken
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Yes Rabbit 73 ,and the solid signal HDB 91XG

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Old 29-Jun-2016, 9:06 PM   #17
newmguy
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You are so right Nascarken, the HD 8200u winegard is the very best antenna out there, I checked it out today. The retailer told me so.

Only one problem, its 15 feet long!!!!

So while I am living in a subdivision, I don't think that antenna is an option right now.

I ended up buying an Antennas Direct DB8e today and a channel master DVR+.

One thing I noticed is that NBC is not cutting out with the DVR's tuner.
(so far so good, I have only used it for a couple of hours)

It must have a better tuner than my Samsung TV. I also use my DISH 622 receiver (the 622 OTA tuner is crap by the way).

I am going to put up the antenna tomorrow on my day off. I will give it a few days and report back here on whether or not it made a difference from the antennas direct clearstream 4V I am currently using.

Thanks to everyone for your participation in this thread!
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Old 29-Jun-2016, 10:40 PM   #18
rabbit73
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Thanks for the report with the news of your progress. It does sound like the DVR has a good tuner. How does the Sylvania SPAT102 ATSC Set Top Box do with NBC?

Here is the pattern for the DB8e:




and for the 91XG:

Attached Images
File Type: jpg DB8e pattern3.jpg (169.4 KB, 1071 views)
File Type: jpg 91XGpattern3.jpg (110.5 KB, 1141 views)
__________________
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Last edited by rabbit73; 30-Jun-2016 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 30-Jun-2016, 8:53 PM   #19
newmguy
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I assembled the DB8e antenna and installed it today. Most of the buffalo stations are now gone or the signal is very poor.

I triple checked everything, I can't seem to troubleshoot the problem just yet.
(been on the hot roof about 5 hours today)

I brought a small tv and my Sylvania SPAT102 ATSC Set Top Box up on the roof to try and peak the antenna at WGRZ.

Signal strength 70%, quality 0%. Most I can get for quality is 39%, signal strength 72%
right at the antenna, on the roof with nothing connected to the antenna except the receiver.

Both panels are aimed straight ahead. I even tried to raise the antenna on the pole (up about 3' from the previous antenna)

Any advice?

I am going to wait until later tonight when it cools down and try again.
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Old 30-Jun-2016, 10:07 PM   #20
rabbit73
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Sorry to hear you are having trouble. The DB8e should be doing at least as well as the C4 based on gain figures.

Quote:
on the roof with nothing connected to the antenna except the receiver.
No preamp?

Maybe ADTech will stop by and help.

I wonder if the antenna needs to be aimed a little up from horizontal by tilting the top back? The 91XG has that tilt provision, but not the DB8e. There are documented cases where the tilt feature of the 91XG made it possible to receive signals that were otherwise impossible. It is possible that the incoming signal is arriving at an angle above horizontal because of the curvature of the earth and the hill that is about 7.5 miles out. I have noticed that I sometimes need to tilt my 4-bay antenna back to aim above horizontal for a max reading on my signal level meter.

The C4 has a vertical pattern similar to the C2; there is no notch where the gain is reduced:



And the DB2e has a similar pattern:



BUT the DB4e and DB8e have a deep notch (null) in the pattern:



and the 91XG also has a notch, which makes its tilt feature useful:



In the last case I worked on the optimum angle was 15 degrees.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg C2-VertPat.JPG (85.9 KB, 1074 views)
File Type: jpg DB2eVertPat.JPG (86.5 KB, 1073 views)
File Type: jpg DB4eVertPat.JPG (130.0 KB, 1064 views)
File Type: jpg 91XGVertPat.JPG (107.0 KB, 980 views)
__________________
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Last edited by rabbit73; 1-Jul-2016 at 12:26 AM.
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