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Aerial and coaxial cable advice

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by Ste Parker, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. Ste Parker

    Ste Parker
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    My analogue TV signal isn't great (Teletext unusable on BBC1, plus ghosting on 1-4 for example), and I'm worried that I'd also have problems with digital from the same setup. The (loft mounted) aeriel and associated cabling has most likely been present for the life of the house (25 years), and so probably isn't the best. With this in mind, I'm planning on replacing the aerial & coaxial cable, but after spending some time searching the forums and looking on a few websites, I'm a bit confused as to exactly what I need.

    For the aerial itself, I'm looking at what Maplin have to offer - most likely the most powerful one they do (Philex Extra Gain Wideband Aerial, code XQ42V, £39.99). As for the rest, I'm not sure. I'm wary of getting the recommended installation kit (Maplin code L74AN) as the coaxial supplied may well be no better than what I have, making this all a bit pointless, unless anyone knows different? Assuming this kit isn't worth the effort, what should I be looking to buy exactly, and from where? Currently the aerial terminates in a (presumably bog standard) wall plate, which I know isn't great but I'd like to keep one if possible. I have seen replacement wall plates on www.satcure.com, but that site is what's confused me as I don't know which I'd need if any, and from that which coaxial I'd need to go to the aerial, and then how to connect the thing on the other end to the TV/reciever.

    So, advice of exactly what I'd need and where to get it would be most appreciated, at the moment I'm just sitting here not really knowing where to start, and I don't want to start buying stuff only to find I've missed something important.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. MikeK

    MikeK
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    Loft aeriels can be a problem - sometimes simply raising the aeriel can be the equivalent of doubling it's size.
    You have considered the actual size of this aerial haven't you? - it's 5ft long and the rear reflector is not far off 2ft wide and 2ft high - it may not be that easy to mount in the loft, given that you have to point it at the transmitter for it work properly!
     
  3. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    The roof doesn't only act as a shield to the incoming signal (which is why moving it outside can be the equivalent of moving it outside) - it also acts as a shield to interference sources in the home, and (to some extent) out in the street (i.e. interference from cars).

    This is why it's important to site the aerial outside, above roof height. For digital TV reception, you need co-axial cable which has an additional foil screen built in. This helps stop the co-ax acting as an aerial and picking up interference. The quality of the co-ax you buy will depend on the length you are going to run. For longer runs (over 15 metres) it's worth spending a little more on better quality co-ax.
     
  4. Ste Parker

    Ste Parker
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    I realise the loft installation is a problem in itself, but I'm not sure if I can afford to have one installed externally, I'm certainly not up for trying it myself.

    As far as the coaxial cable goes thats kind of what my initial query was. I know I'm likely to need something like you mention, but what precisely should I be looking to buy and from where? There's several to choose from just on the site I mentioned, and I'm not sure what'd suit.
     
  5. MikeK

    MikeK
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  6. vex

    vex
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    You should not need to use CT125 cable, and it can be a bugger to handle in terms of bends and weight.

    I would suggest one of the 'benchmarked' aerials and cables approved by the CAI (Confederation of Aerial Installers)

    www.cai.org.uk

    A number of use here recommend the televes antenna and either CT100, WF100 or H109F as a good quaility Sky approved cable.
     
  7. MikeK

    MikeK
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    Do they not approve Type 125 cables? :)

    I agree that for most situations CT100 is fine - for longer runs CT125 might be better!
    Simply put, CT125 is a higher performance cable than CT100, for the same money (at Maplin) as CT100 - this is at the expense of it being slightly harder to work with (it's a bit thicker), but the difference isn't huge!

    You pays your money and takes your choice!
    For a (hopefully) one-off install, personally I would always go for the better quality cable, especially being as it will cost no more!
     
  8. vex

    vex
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    Don't disagree with you Mike, if the 125 is the same prices as the 100 (and they are both approved) then the 125 is the better to go for purely on the price.

    They do approve the 125 range of cables, the list was updated last week and from memory there are only two or three listed.

    IMO 125 series only comes into its own on 50+mtr runs.

    Loss of 100 type cable is approx 30dB over 100mtrs @ 2Ghz

    125 type cable is approx 21db over the same distance and frequency (all iirc, it was 10 odd years ago)

    125 really is only use in larger residential blocks as the trunk feed and then 100 series out to the appartments or houses.
     
  9. Xstyle

    Xstyle
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    Approved CAI cables here:
    http://www.cai.org.uk/downloads/CAI Cable Benchmarking Scheme.pdf
     

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