Digital signal poor, can anyone recommend a good high gain aerial or other solution?

Discussion in 'Freeview & YouView' started by Kevsgreat, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. Kevsgreat

    Kevsgreat
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    Sorry if I'm going over old ground here, I've read the FAQs but to be honest I don't have great knowledge on the subject and I found them a bit confusing.

    The main information I could get from them is that my signal is coming from the Pontop Pike transmitter, and this is what Wolfbane has to say about it.

    I moved into a property a few weeks ago and had an ariel installed on the roof. The picture is pretty poor when watching analogue TV, but when I use the Freeview box that worked fine in my previous house it's missing all the channels from MUXs 2 and D, some from C and the rest can be inconsistent. This is with using a signal booster, which did make an improvement over the channel scan without the booster.

    I was wondering if anyone could advise on how to get pick up better signal with this information?

    I've noticed a few people around here have quite large high-gain ariels pointing at roughly a 90° clockwise angle away from mine and the others around here. I presume these are picking up from another transmitter? Is there a particular model of ariel, or an installer around this area that anyone could recommend?
     
  2. Andy98765

    Andy98765
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    If everyone elses aerial is pointing in a different direction to yours does that not drop a clue? Wolfbane suggests a easterly direction 261 degrees?
    Who put your aerial in?, don't say a professional?
    Amplified extra hi-gain would indicate to me that you need a masthead amplifier up on masthead.
    If you get someone back to do it properly get a 4 way amp fitted and pipe other rooms and then you will not have further issues when installing other TV's. Cheaper to get all done once and correctly than keep calling them back.
     
  3. scribbler101

    scribbler101
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    Andy - isn't 270 degrees due WEST rather than EAST?

    Kev - If you click the link to analogue on your Wolfbane link you will see that there are three options, the two strongest at bearings roughly 90 degrees apart (actually 110). It should be easy to decide if they are roughly East or roughly South.

    Making it even easier; main transmitters like Pontop Pike (500,000watts) use H orizontal Pol arisation, and local fillers like Sunderland use V ertical. Aerials are aliogned to match. So H has the little arms out sideways; V up/down.

    But if YOU had the aerial installed - just get him back to do his job properly.

    You also have a good excuse to introduce yourself to your new neighbours.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
  4. Andy98765

    Andy98765
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    OPS! good call. Due West it is.
     
  5. Kevsgreat

    Kevsgreat
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    Cheers for the answers lads.

    The vast majority are pointing the same way as mine, only the larger ones point in a different direction. It was a 'professional' that came out, I made the mistake of doing zero research into the subject until I had a problem.

    I read up over the past few days and asked another company to come out and see if they could help. I didn't want the first guy to come back out, I wouldn't trust what he tells me now I know his workmanship isn't up to scratch.

    The new company suggested a masthead amplifier too, along with moving the ariel higher up the pole and splitting the connection to two rooms the correct way. Apparently the cable was just split into two rooms from the one ariel.

    They didn't approve of the first guys methods at all.
     
  6. scribbler101

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    When you say the others are "clockwise" of yours do you mean clockwise viewed from above or below? Is yours/theirs roughly East or South? And are the two sets differently polarised?

    Nothing wrong with a passive splitter into two rooms if the signal is strong - seems yours isn't.

    Did the first guy not check his aerial produced a good signal? I would have him back to mend it !
     
  7. radioredcat

    radioredcat
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    I would say the other aerials are pointing south to bilsdale which will 90° from pontop pike and 39 miles away, as i see it analogue from both trasmitters are 500KW but the freeview powers are 10KW from pontop pike and 6KW from bilsdale so the aerials pointing to bilsdale where probibly put up before freeview.
    I receive the wrekin at 58 miles with powers 4 muxes at 2 KW and 2 muxes at 1KW so the people looking at bilsdale could be getting good freeview signals.
    Just a matter of interest iv'e just done a megalithia test on the wrekin and the results are a lot worse than the OP'S test so it just goes to show how unpredictable tv reception can be.
    As for getting the person who did the bad job in the first place you have to think what might he do next,Sometimes it's best to cut your losses and get someone professional to do a better job.

    andy
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
  8. Kevsgreat

    Kevsgreat
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    When I say clockwise I mean from above. My ariel, as it stands, points roughly South, South West-ish. I have to admit, I have no idea what having the sets 'differently polarised' means?

    Your responses are really helping me when it comes to questions to ask the new company when they come back out, by the way.

    The company I got to check the first guy's work had a handheld device that read the signal strength. Without the boosters in the lounge there was no digital strength and in the bedroom it was low.

    With regards to calling the first guy back out, I have to agree with radioredcat. When the new company came out and checked over everything I, out of interest, asked them what they would charge for the initial installation of an ariel that would bring a good signal coming down to two rooms. They've done work in this street before and they said roughly £140. They first guy (who is well advertised locally) charged me £95, the new company said they would rectify it from £40 (increasing if they did in fact need a new ariel) plus they said they wouldn't leave the job until both themselves and I was happy with it. I wouldn't trust the advice I was getting from the first fella, because he's given me no reason to.

    I would have been happier if the first guy would have told me his initial quote didn't cover the lack of signal and then increased the price as necessary. In the event he chose to take my money and leave. I have a much higher regard for the new company even just by speaking to them, their pricing seems to be fair and they said they would even take the weaker ariel in p/x for a better one. It all sounds cool to me.
     
  9. scribbler101

    scribbler101
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    Well, your first chap was at least cheap!

    As to polarisation; radio waves used for TV cause a change in the electro-magnetic field which, when you put a conductor like the aerial in it, generates a tiny electric current. This change is in whatever angle to the horizontal the transmitting aerial is. Your receiving aerial needs to have the same alignment. If it is at 90 degrees to the alignment there will be no change in field in the line of the aerial, so no signal. Main transmitters are Horizontal. Minor transmitters used to get round local geography use Vertical so as not to interfere, or be interfered with/by the big ones. So noting the Pol.arisation of other aerials confirms with the bearing where they point.

    The bearings are a 360 degree scale clockwise from North. So N is 0 or 360; E 90 S 180 W 270. Your S SW is ~200 - but there are no transmitters there! Here's a list of possibles - analogue. NB C5 has different sites often. Can you get it?




    UK analogue TV reception predictor
     
  10. radioredcat

    radioredcat
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    Well i am glad you have someone who knows what they are doing.
    On monday i went to a job where they had a distribution sytem that was not working all they had was sky in the lounge and no tv signals in the bedrooms.
    The aerial went to the sky box and then up to the loft to a five way amplifier but they only used four and they wanted an extra aerial in the kitchen.
    I went to the sky box and plugged the aerial in and everthing worked.
    What had happened was they kept unplugging the sky box and plugged the dvd player to watch that and they must have pulled out the aerial while plugging and unplugging the sky and dvd.
    So my next big task was to plug the dvd into sky box and the sky box to the tv.
    So installed the cable to the kitchen and everything was ok,I also noticed that the very old aerial was vertically polarized pointing at winter hill so tried my freeview box and that picked up all the muxes ok.
    This was a trick to reduce the signal back in the old days to attenuate the signal for overloading problems instead of using an attenuator.
    Of course you could see winter hill from there.

    andy
     
  11. Kevsgreat

    Kevsgreat
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    Just for some closure fellas... the 2nd set of blokes came out this morning, they moved the aerial up to the top of the pole it was on and fitted a four way masthead amp, which sorted it right out.

    When they came inside and scanned for channels it picked up over double the 59 it did previously and Dave+1 seems to be the only one we're not getting.

    They said they'd heard a lot of bad things about the first company, and if I'd had rang them up they would have just given me an earful anyway.

    Kudos to Ashbrooke Aerials!
     
  12. radioredcat

    radioredcat
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    I an glad to see you have got it sorted out it's cowboys like that give the genuine firms a bad name anyway good luck.

    andy
     
  13. scribbler101

    scribbler101
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    I think you should name the other one too.

    And I hope veryone here knows that kudos is a good thing. It may be all Greek to some.
     
  14. simon11

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    Cowboys!
    Just splitting the cable? I tried this and got half signal. Everything broke up. I then used an amplifier and problem solved.
    I would name them so others can avoid.
     
  15. Kevsgreat

    Kevsgreat
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    Sorry I've not replied to any messages, thanks for staying tuned chaps.

    The others were '1st Choice Aerials.com'. They have no website, but they do have a nice big advert in the local paper. I've heard of a few people who've had the misfortune of dealing with them.
     
  16. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    Are you sure you are only missing Dave +1 as the way digital TV works unless you have a faulty box it's not possible to miss just one. You would have to not have all the channels in Mux D if it's a reception problem

    eg Yesterday, 4 Music, Film 4, 4 Music, TMF, ITV2 + 1, Virgin 1 + 1, PriceDropTV etc
     

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