Cut cord and replaced modem… and trip update

Mostly a non RV or Ham Radio post but you can learn from parts of this….

Well the cord was cut on June 1st…  The world has not come to an end and we are getting used to watching 12 HDTV (Over the air) channels (for free) instead of the previous 1,000,000 we had with our old television signal provider….

Our OTA antenna has not been upgraded yet and still is a 4 bay antenna up just over roof height ( 25 feet approx)  being fed by 100 feet of RG 6 feedline.  At this time we are not using any preamps.  More on this in a minute…  With this setup we can get 12 of the 14 available channels to our area.  The funny thing is that the missing 2 channels are on the same tower as the others and they are just lower on the tower or running less power…

Thats where the Preamp would be nice…  However it seems here in Ottawa we have not jumped fully into the OTA Market yet.  Although many stores seem to sell antennas and some of those come with built in preamps there is only a couple of stores here in Ottawa selling preamps and they seem to be a bit pricey… And thats being polite.  The same amp being sold in Toronto or from Amazon sells here in Ottawa for 200% more than on line or out of town.

One store wanted to sell me a new antenna with a built in preamp for less than he was selling the stand alone preamp for….

The OTA setup in the camper would also benefit from a stand alone preamp as I have no plans to change the existing antenna on the trailer.  Everything else is working as expected and the reception we get while camping is dependent on where we are camping at the times and our proximity to the television transmitters…

Now about the modem…..

We were noticing that our Android box was locking up a bit while watching programs.  I thought this was being caused by the server hosting the event we wished to watch being overloaded….  Well I was almost right…  The problem was diagnosed as being at our end with our Cable Modem dropping our connect with the host…  After being told it was our fault… (operator error before the diagnosis) (Which reminded me why I got rid of them years ago) we find out it was their equipment and so…  Out they went again….  You think they would of learned the first time but thats another story…

Our new DSL Modem (same 3rd party provider but no longer coming in via the cable lines) is giving us the same fast speeds but not dropping us from the network…  We are back to streaming the shows and specialty events we can’t find on OTA TV…

Having to buy a DSL Modem raised our startup costs slightly but still coming in at a lower price than 2 months of our old service…

Disclaimer the cable modem we had to replace was also purchased and we are negotiating a credit for the purchase and our down time while we were not able to use the services we were being billed for.  If we are successful it will bring our startup costs down below the price of 1 month of our old service.

Remember your android box will only be as good as the speed of the internet you have access to.  

If you are thinking of cutting the cord I recommend that if you are starting from scratch get an amplified antenna…  Its going to be cheaper in the long run.  Also don’t scrimp on the feed line… NO RG59….. RG6 or better….  and remember with antennas (in most cases) height is might…. Its easier to drop your antenna a few feet than it is to raise it a few feet…. and remember to watch for overhead wires when putting up any antennas… Not to could be a shocking experience.

This weekend we are staying at home but next week I will be camping out just west of Ottawa and then on the weekend Liz and I will be camping just south/east of Kemptville Ontario as the final testing of the rig will be done.

After that its a couple days to fix things then we head out on what will be the first (of many) excellent adventures when we visit the Maritime Provinces of Canada with stops in Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia with lenghty stop in Prince Edward Island thrown in for good Measure.

Listen for VA3QV from VE2, VE9, VE1 and VY2 on HF or on 146.520 over the month of July.  

More on this before we leave…

bob

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Author: VA3QV

Usually an hard nosed SOB with an opinion... Other times a kind soul with an opinion.. Key words being "an opinion" and that my friends I will happily share with you at all times...