Installing my DTV Antenna

Dear Minister Moore,

I finally installed my new Channel Master CM-4221HD antenna.

After waiting for more than four weeks for Tiger Direct to deliver it (along with another antenna for my dad), I initially hung the antenna from my living room’s curtain rod.

Facing the antenna south, I was able to faintly pull in a half-dozen U.S. stations (note The Hills episode featured above) and most of the digital Canadian TV stations that are currently available in the Greater Toronto Area.

After my dad reminded me that over-the-air TV is all about “line of sight” (you want your antenna to “see” the transmitter, meaning there are no buildings or trees standing between them), I decided it would be better to install the antenna on the east side of my house since I can see the CN Tower from that side. Although the US DTV signals don’t originate from the CN Tower, pointing in that direction is still a good idea since it’s next to Lake Ontario. You also want to face the front or back of the antenna to the south, not the narrow side.

Using a broken wooden shovel handle as a pole, I attached the antenna to one end of the handle and used a 1/4 ” X 5 ” screw to attach my makeshift tower to the peak of the highest roof I could safely climb. I also used a 3 ” corner brace for added support.

The antenna could be a little straighter, both vertically and horizontally, but it’s close enough. I am using a shovel handle for my pole after all!

After buying a 75 foot roll of coax cable from a dollar store (note: dollar store coax is poor quality but good enough), I was able to connect my antenna to my Zinwell DTV converter box and scan for available DTV signals.

Here are the results:

2-1 WGRZ-HD

2-2 WGRZ-US

2-3 WGRZ-RT

4-1 WIVB-HD

5-1 CBLT-DT

7-1 WKBW-HD

9-1 CFTO-HD

17-1 WNED-HD

17-2 WNED-SD

17-3 WNED-TH

23-1 WNLO-HD

25-1 CBLFT-D

29-1 WUTV-HD

29-2 TCN

41-1 CIII-DT

44-1 OMNI 2

49-1 WNYO-HD

49-2 Cool TV

57-1 City HD

64-1 OMNI 1

66-1 CKXT DT

I’m sure if I played with the antenna that I could also pull in CHCH HD from Hamilton.  I can receive it when the antenna is on the west side of my house (facing Hamilton) but now my house is blocking the signal. Hopefully once CHCH goes to full power I will be able to receive it.  Also looking forward to receiving TVO in August (they go digital August 18, 2011).

All together, my DTV antenna and install cost around $75 Canadian (not including the DTV converter box).

No connection fee, no subscription fee, no caps and no throttling.

That’s my story! What’s your DTV antenna story?

Best,

Steven

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6 Responses to Installing my DTV Antenna

  1. David Winter says:

    Make sure you ground it properly. Cause if you do not, in a lightning storm, it can blow all ur electronics up

  2. Yup, ground it for sure. It’s easy enough to do yourself (my first install I did myself and when the pro installer came this spring, he re-used it since it was done properly – he just sanded down the connection at the outside water tap). BTW, Active Surplus on Queen West has grounding blocks for about a buck.

    The Toronto weather will try to kill any exposed wood – is the handle you are using been waterproofed?

    Try to keep the antenna as straight as possible for optimal gain.

    CHCH – remember it might be going to full power Aug. 31 but it will be on VHF. The CM 4221HD is a UHF antenna. It might work well enough. For some locations it is difficult to find an aim that gets all of Toronto, Buffalo, and Hamilton.

    The coax – is it RG6 or RG59? RG6 works way better. Do you need all 75 feet? The shorter the better. I bought my RG6 at my local Rona store for something like 67 cents a meter. I cut it to the right length with a couple extra feet of slack (you don’t want it tight as a guitar string either) and then attached some ends. Just optimizing the cable you result you in getting CHCH (and maybe CTS too).

    That all said, you are getting really good results!

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