Freeview and Aerial question

Wireforks

Standard Member
When we moved house about a year ago I bought my sky equipment with me (which we use as fsfs,) installed it, no problems. The house does have aerials, which I had tried when we first moved in but I couldn't get the tv to tune in - no great shakes, it gave me more incentive to put my dish up.

Yesterday the sky+ box fried itself.

I'm sort of glad: 1) because it gave me an excuse to throw an irritating piece of consumer electronics very hard onto the concrete outside and then cleave it with a splitting maul (twice,) and 2) it gives me carte blanche to get a pvr using the meandher Ltd. creditcard, without fear of reprisal.

Until I get a pvr I can't watch tv - all of a sudden those aerials have become interesting.
I've deduced that the stupid aerials are less of an issue than me being stupid, and tuning dvb rather than analogue picks up some channels using the tv's (Panasonic P37X10B) built in freeview.
There are 2 aerials on the house, pointing in different directions. It seems that one of the aerials is cabled into the front room and the other aerial to a room at the back. When I tune the tv into one or the other I can get a handful of different channels and neither gives all.
One of them doesn't find any bbc channels at all and the other finds bbc channels but with a very low signal that keeps dropping out (and it doesn't find the channels the other one finds.) On top of that I can't seem to get Dave on either of them.
Ultimately I'd like to use these aerials for the freeview channels I won't be able to get on freesat (assuming my tv is capable of utilising both freesat and a freeview at the same time.)

I've looked where the tranmitters are and as far as I can understand the map, the Emley moor transmitter seems to be the most appropriate. I haven't got a compass but it looks to me like the aerials point towards Belmont and Waltham (i assume that these must have been the best option for analogue at the time?).

Is it just a case of getting to the aerial, loosening it up and rotating it around so it points towards Emley moor or does it require a device for locating the signal accurately?

Is there any benefit to keeping both aerials, combining the signal or getting a signal from alternate transmitter? I've no idea what type of aerials they are or how to identify them but they are sticking up above the roofline on poles and look to be in good fettle. Maybe I need a new high-gain aerial and an amp?

Any advice is welcome. I'm a bit of a plumb when it comes to this stuff, sorry.
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
First place to start

Enter your postcode here, house number and tick I am in the trade.

Digital UK - Postcode checker

If you grab the image and post it or simply post which transmitter is most likely your best option oodles of help will follow :D
 

Wireforks

Standard Member
Thanks. Hopefully this is what you need:


attachment.php
 

Attachments

  • Transmitters.JPG
    Transmitters.JPG
    56 KB · Views: 191

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
Thanks. Hopefully this is what you need:


image

What colours are the blocks on the table after the above, are they all green and what numbers have they alongside the colours. ?

In any case try the following, before each you need to get rid of your existing channels. Easiest way is probably do a full scan with the aerial out, afrer replacing the aerial check you have no channels.

Connect the Belmont Aerial, use manual tune to scan the following uhf channels in turn

61 54 29 56 57

If you don't get 100% channel coverage

Repeat for the Emley Moor aerial using

47 44 51 42 48

Belmont will give you Central ITV and Emley Moor Yorkshire

If neither works your aerial or it's coax cabling will likely need attention.

If not sure which aerial you have connected check the sig strength and quality for the first channel in both lists.
 
Last edited:

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
Either should be OK, you will probably find the channels you needed are in fact in the epg at 800 plus on your original tuning efforts. Following the manual tune procedure should sort it out.
 

Wireforks

Standard Member
The aerials point towards Belmont and Waltham I think. I just thought Emley moor was the most appropriate transmitter after looking at a map for my postcode on ukfree.tv.

I tried the manual tune for what I believe to be the belmont aerial anyway. The only channel that gets a signal and picks up stations is 29.
The other aerial gets a constantly intermittent signal on 22 but today is apparently insufficient to tune in to anything.

I wonder whether to get the ladders out and point the waltham facing aerial towards Emley moor and see if that makes a difference. What's the worst that can happen (apart from me falling to my death from the roof?)
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
Well it should work OK assuming you have a wideband aerial (A group B will give more signal), before you do check any connectors, look for a whisper of screen touching the centre core, ideally solder the centre core of Belling Lee plugs. Remove wallplates and look for a short circuit again as well as in any plugs. If you get up there check water has not got in and corroded the connections and worse still got into the coax downlead.
 

Wireforks

Standard Member
I've been up and had a look. Semi-success but raises more questions unsurprisingly.

I pointed the aerial (which was pointing towards waltham) towards the emley moor transmitter and tried the manual tune but didn't pick up any channels on any of the frequencies (47,44,51,42,48).
It does now get a signal but only on 22 or 482MHz. I can tune into 10 tv stations and 11 radio (all BBC stuff.) I tried pointing this aerial towards belmont but it picked up nothing.

The other aerial (which I haven't touched, yet) was/is pointing towards belmont anyway.

There are 3 boxes attached to the aerials and one aerial is wired directly into the box of the other.
I couldn't see exactly where all of the cables were routed to due to the chimney being in the way.
I popped the lid off one of the boxes, three coax cables connected onto a little circuit board, looks neat, clean and dry. Are these boxes/circuit boards are just a means of dividing/distributing the signal or do they combine the signal from 2 aerials (which I think is probably unlikely?)

My understanding is that belmont requires a wideband aerial but emley moor is grouped (group b,) so I've tried to deduce what type of aerials I've got.
Other than taking the aerials down to see if they have any identifying marks it seems that the only indicators are either a coloured cap (both look black to me) and the size of the director elements relative to the dipole. On this basis, one looks most likely wideband and the other a grouped aerial.

The one looking like a grouped aerial is the one I haven't touched yet and it points towards a transmitter broadcasting wideband. Could be a reason why it doesn't seem to be picking up a signal? There may also be a los issue with the local church. The fact that it has been installed that way suggests at some point that it did pick up an appropriate signal from belmont in the past. I'm at a loss as to why I can't pick up a signal with the other aerial when I point it in exactly the same direction.

So, I'm pointing (what I believe to be) a wideband aerial towards a transmitter which, by all accounts requires a group b aerial. Could this be why it only picks up the BBC channels?

I'd rather not deal with the expense of an aerial fitter (not to mention the new aerial and amp that they'll insist I need) and there a couple of things I can think of to try. I haven't tried realigning the other aerial (which I think may be a grouped aerial) towards emley moor. I wonder whether it's worth getting some half decent coax and just wiring each aerial in turn directly to the tv to see if I can get one or t'other to work on either belmont or emley moor.
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
It sounds as if you have a masthead amplifier, this requires a power supply which sends power up the coax usually fitted by the TV. If there isn't one then someones pinched it. (it may be a diplexer for the two aerials).

A wideband works with any transmitter but has less gain at the lower end of the uhf band. A log periodic is a wideband if you have a fair signal it's a super aerial especially the higher gain log40 ideal for any transmitter unless the signal is weak.

A group B has higher gain over the channels it works with with hardly any outside

Look at the gain curves here

http://www.aerialsandtv.com/tvaerialtests.html

http://www.aerialsandtv.com/atvschoiceofaerials.html

If it's an amplifier, you may not now need it so first option is remove it and just connect the Emley Moor aerial directly to the TV. If you can good idea to replace the downlead with good quality coax (WF100 or PF100) so you don't need a join outdoors.
 
Last edited:

Wireforks

Standard Member
It sounds as if you have a masthead amplifier, this requires a power supply which sends power up the coax usually fitted by the TV. If there isn't one then someones pinched it. (it may be a diplexer for the two aerials).

Looks like the previous occupant has taken it if there was one there. The house was empty when we bought it, i checked thouroughly for cookies or any free stuff I didn't know I wanted.
If I know anyone with one of these masthead amps I could ask to borrow it for half an hour to see if that helps.

If it's an amplifier, you may not now need it so first option is remove it and just connect the Emley Moor aerial directly to the TV. If you can good idea to replace the downlead with good quality coax (WF100 or PF100) so you don't need a join outdoors.

I think this is what I've been doing apart from that the lead from the top of the aerial is wired into these boxes (attached to the aerial poles) before routing down the side of the house, through the wall directly to the tv (no wallplate.)
At this point I wasn't fancying taking the aerial down to rewire it completely but rather eliminating one, two or all of those box thingys from the equation, which are all coax'd together in some fashion; just working on the basis that the simpler the circuit, the easier it'll be to troubleshoot.
So I'm thinking test each aerial using its (existing) downlead connected straight to the tv with fresh coax (and a cable connector, rather than those boxes.)

At the moment all I can deduce is that the aerial I've been moving around is capable of picking up a signal and delivering to the tv - those BBC channels I can tune into now from emley moor are coming through clean.

Would it help if I can get an image of these boxes and or what they look like inside?

Thanks for the interest, info and advice regardless. I'm more fascinated by this than I am intent on getting it sorted without paying someone to do it. To be honest the only thing that I'll be hankering for from freeview is Dave.
 
Last edited:

N.Dean

Active Member
These power supplies often go missing when people move out. The previous occupants think it's an amplifier, so they take it with them.
They then have a power supply but ( probably ) no amplifier; while the new occupants have an amplifier and no power supply. A lose-lose situation.
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
Would it help if I can get an image of these boxes and or what they look like inside?

Thanks for the interest, info and advice regardless. I'm more fascinated by this than I am intent on getting it sorted without paying someone to do it. To be honest the only thing that I'll be hankering for from freeview is Dave.

A maker and model number would be a big help. :D Check your freeview TV menus some may have an option to provide power to a masthead amp built in.
 

Wireforks

Standard Member
I didn't see any identifying marks on the box i opened but having said that i didn't look that hard, just a general look for dodgy wiring or corrosion. I'll get on the roof so i can look at all 3 boxes properly.

I'm sure my lack of understanding of this subject is quite evident already, so my suspicion that I may have been misunderstanding something fundamental here will come as no suprise. Those boxes on the aerials are the amplifiers for the aerials (the third box possibly a diplexer,) right?

I think my brother might have a power supply I'll be able to borrow for a couple of hours (assuming they're generic.)

I did say:

Any advice is welcome. I'm a bit of a plumb when it comes to this stuff, sorry.

I walk a lot, but I get there.

I'll have a look at the freeview menu's in the mean time, ta :).
 

jack616

Active Member
just an idea:

I dont know if this helps in this case but some aerials have an amplifier that can have its power supplied by the set top box.

For example if you have a Humax PVR there is a setting
in the Installation section to supply 5V to the "antenna"

You should know what you are doing before turning this on however.

This could explain why no other box was found.
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
(assuming they're generic.)

:).

Pretty well, most masthead amplifiers will work with anything between 5 and 12V. Most use 12V. You are unlikely to do any damage they should have current limited outputs.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Star Wars Andor, Woman King, more Star Trek 4K, Rings of Power & the latest TV, movies & 4K releases
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom