[kwlug-disc] Home made indoor TV Antenna

CrankyOldBugger crankyoldbugger at gmail.com
Thu May 1 15:42:35 EDT 2014

So let me ask a question.. what's the deal with signal amplifiers on
antennas?  The reason I ask if that if I go with a rooftop antenna, it
makes sense to me to take down the satellite dish and install the antenna
on the satellite's mounting bracket (less holes in my roof, and it's on the
Southern side of the house).  Problem is, the Bell installer ran three coax
cables down from the dish straight to their respective TVs (i.e. one line
goes to the living room, two lines go to the bedrooms), instead of bringing
the lines down to a demarcation point then splitting/amplifying from there.
 So if I need an amplifier, do I put one on each existing coax cable (at
the TV end), or can I run power from a basement outlet up to the antenna
via a fourth coax cable, then connect to an amp at the antenna?

I wasn't pleased with all of the holes the Bell guy made in the outside
walls, but unfortunately I wasn't able to stop him in time.  When I
installed the satellite myself at the last house, I ran all of my cables
down to a central spot in the basement, attached a splitter there, then up
the walls to the rooms.

On 1 May 2014 15:23, Paul Gallaway <paul at gallaway.ca> wrote:

> I installed a roof mount two years ago this spring. Before I put it on
> my roof I got exactly one station with the antenna in my living room:
> CKCO. In my front yard, facing mostly east, same thing. Turns out that
> big tree in my (or my neighbours) front yard wasn't doing any favours
> for the reception.
> I was disappointed as I expected to pick up a couple more. Maybe a
> hint of CBC Toronto, or Global - instead, nada from Toronto or
> Hamilton or Paris. The only thing telling me it was going to work out
> OK was the number of antennas in my neighbourhood - not a ton, but
> enough new installs to tell me people are using them (in my
> neighbourhood the new installs are big yagis and 8 bay bow-tie
> antennas like the 4228 and DB8). At that point I took the risk and
> installed it on my roof with the understanding I might only get CKCO.
> I can report that I can successfully tune the Toronto stations
> (Global, CITY, OMNI1&2, CBC, Radio Canada (CBC Francais) and Hamilton
> (CITS, TVO, CHCH - problematic), and a couple out of, I think, Paris
> (TVO, another Global - channel 6). I do not get anything from Buffalo
> and I do not get CTV2 (CHCJ, channel 35 I think) out of Hamilton. In
> the end I used a roof mount, 10' mast galvanized 1.5" conduit (might
> have been 1.25"), Antennas Direct DB8 and a mast mounted Channel
> Master preamp (model 7777, I think).
> There's no need to guess what may or may not be a good antenna. The
> digitalhome.ca OTA forum has a list of what's best and includes a
> KW/Cambridge/Guelph reception sub-forum describing what equipment
> people have and their reception results (which can vary substantially
> by location in this area due to topography, apartments etc.). People
> with the best results are on a hill, in an apartment or using a 50'
> tower. To buy locally, Research Electronics
> (http://www.researchelectronic.com) in Waterloo is a good local
> resource for all things antenna related, including many of the brands
> recommended in the digitalhome.ca OTA forums (I have no association
> with this store, I did purchase a preamp from them). Even Sayal has
> some stuff including tripods and Channel Master equipment (got my
> tripod here). Save and Replay is in Mississauga and really isn't that
> much out of town and they really do have all of the recommended
> brands. If you read up on the subject at digitalhome.ca, you will
> conclude you are far better off with a Antennas Direct DB8 and a good
> preamplifier than any antenna with a built in amplifier. A
> preamplifier is meant to overcome signal loss due to length of cable
> from the antenna to the receiver. An amplifier is meant to boost your
> signal so you can overcome splitting your signal to multiple TVs etc.
> While both are rated in dB or dBm, noise floor on a preamplifier is
> far less than that in an amplifier. An amplifier will probably do more
> harm than good if you don't have a preamplifier (and if you aren't
> using at least two receivers in your house). If you have a
> preamplifier, you can generally drive two receivers from it without
> adding an amplifier.
> Also, of utmost importance, don't overlook grounding your antenna!
> MythTV + OTA really is a wonderful thing! I am using a Hauppauge
> HVR-2250 for recording, but if buying today I would seriously consider
> the HDHomeRun Plus once more info is available on the tuner
> sensitivity. It supposedly has an improved tuner over the previous HD
> Homerun revisions (which is why I went Hauppauge) and does hardware
> encoding to .h264 video which would save disk space (or CPU time
> transcoding).
> ~pAul.
> all good things, all in good time..
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