Freeview woes

Discussion in 'Freeview & YouView' started by elicash73, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. elicash73

    elicash73
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    I've been using a Pace Ondigital box since the early days of ondigital
    and reception has always been shady. At the beginning an engineer came
    out to install a DTV compliant aerial and baffled by the poor reception
    (i'm in oxfordshire area, and neighbours do fine) ended up installing
    his most expensive aerial and a signal booster (with OnD footing the bill).

    As I said the signal
    has always been odd, up untill recently we could never get digital 5,
    but for the last 3/4 years its Mux2 thats been the issue with varying
    degrees of break up. About a week ago all mux2 channels just disappeared
    with a red dot resulting in some frustrating investigations into the
    ground level set up...

    I tried different leads etc. but the most significant finding was when
    using the analogue tuner on the television for the first time in years
    (terrible pictures with lots of snow), however I find that by
    disconnecting the wall plate and physically holding the copper core of
    the wire from the wall against the blob of solder directly in line with
    the plate socket (as opposed to the screw lock at the edge of the
    circuit board) I could acheive a perfect picture! So I purchased some F connectors from Maplin and now that works all the time (without the precarious connection!). However....still no Mux2!!!.

    At my wits end I decided to try the freeview box on an old indoor aerial upstairs and guess what....Mux2 is detected and is perfectly fine.

    So a £15 loft aerial dangling from a roof beam giving better reception than a huge expensive roof aerial tells me that something is very wrong. Anyone have any ideas or is it time to present this information to a professional?

    One last note...I looked at the outdoor aerial connection in the loft and its connecting to a box labelled as a "mast head amplifier" and then another stretch of coax comes out of the box and goes down the wall to the wall plate downstairs. There's no power going to this "amplifier" so I don't know how its doing its job. Connections seem to be fine though.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. (sorry for the essay, but there's a 10 year recap here!).
     
  2. Derek L

    Derek L
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    Normally masthead amplifiers are have a 12v feed along the co-ax with a PS in the house - one co-ax lead from the TV to the PS and another from the PS to the aerial connection. Without this I am amazed that you get anything from the main aerial - I don't.

    You have 3 choices

    1) Get a PS for the masthead amp.
    2) remove the masthead amp and connect the co-ax direct to the aerial- it doesn't sound as if you need it
    3) Make the loft aerial permanent.


    Good Luck

    Derek
     
  3. barty74

    barty74
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    its my understanding that masthead amplifiers require a power supply, so if you dont have one then it aint gonna work!
    having read your thread, it would appear your faceplate is an isolated type.... (if it has a curcuit board on the back of it) if your amplifier is fitted with a power supply (this can be downstairs) then your faceplate will block the dc voltages from it.
     
  4. elicash73

    elicash73
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    Hey there. Thanks for the replies

    1) Now that you've explained this to me... I do have a power supply down stairs (but I always assumed it was a standalone booster). However since installing a new wall plate (see 2) the power led no longer comes on when its connected up.

    2)My wall plate as of today is home made - a F to F (F connector) glued to a coaxial plate with the cricuit board removed. This has given me a much clearer analog picture than connecting via a circuit board with standard coax connectors.

    3) Do I need a wall plate with the circuit board in order for the power to reach the masthead amplifier? If so, I was still not receiving MUX2 with it all connected.

    4) If I try connect the loft aerial via the MHA will it impede its effectiveness?

    5) If I were to rejoin the downlead and the roof top aerial (bypassing the MHA) - what is the best method?


    Regardless of these points I still find it odd that the OnDigital installer 6/7 years ago found it neccesary to install an amplifier for the roof aerial when my old loft aerial is performing better than his setup has ever done.
     
  5. zimbo000

    zimbo000
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    The comment above about your wall plate is correct: the wrong type will stop the 12v getting up the cable to the mast head amp. But it seems a wider problem than that.

    You don't say where you are in Oxfordshire, but if you are on the Oxford transmitter then MUX2 transmits on channel 68, right at the end of the band (the other channels from Oxford are 34, 51, 52, 48 and 29), and initially I wondered if the aerial group type you have was wrong (i.e. it couldn't pick up 68 well enough on digital) but I can't see an aerial group that might cause this. See here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/reception/factsheets/pdfs/tv_aerials_factsheet.pdf

    Having just tried a bit of DIY problem-solving myself on a new digital TV setup (I also am in Oxfordshire), I ended up resorting to a professional with a digital signal meter.

    My analogue reception was/is excellent but it turns out my digital C/N ratio (signal to noise) is borderline, hence my digital problems. The guy optimised the aerial direction and fitted the correct aerial for the transmitter I use.

    Whilst it will obviously cost you, given your history and unsuccessful (so far) attempts to fix it, I'd be tempted to call someone in - but would certainly advise getting recommendations from neighbours who have successfully used someone. For example, in my town there are two installers who advertise in the local paper. One is CAI-approved, the other isn't. The one who isn't does NOT own a digital signal meter (I asked him) so how he get successful installs is beyond me.... without the guy with a meter I'd have wasted lots of money and been none the wiser what my problem is.
     
  6. elicash73

    elicash73
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    Thanks for your advice.

    I just want to try routing the loft aerial downstairs and/or bypassing the MHA before I make the call to the engineer.

    Im between Aylesbury and Oxford. I tried testing the frequencies you mention for the Oxford transmitter and they all register as having good signal strength from the box (this on the loft aerial).

    The last engineer tried a couple of different aerials when he came out. It looks close to this:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. elicash73

    elicash73
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    Update:

    1)Today I bypassed the masthead amplifier (directly connecting the roof aerial and the downlead) and the analog reception was no better or worse nor did it detect mux 2.

    2)I then connected the loft aerial (which has been giving excellent digital recption with all channels detected) directly to the down lead. This did not pickup mux2 and the analog reception was much worse than it had been upstairs.

    The only conclusion I can make from this is that there is something wrong with the downlead (unless of course the extra distance was enough to weaken the loft aerial signal to such an extent).

    I have no idea how to replace the downlead because it cannot be pulled down through the wall plate; a place where I have almost completely run space to breathe, having stripped and rejoined it so many times. Any ideas, or is time to to regretably handover to an expensive professional?
     
  8. bob1

    bob1
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    I would try and replace the downlead, have you tried removing the backplate as well as the face plate,it should pull through, just make shure you pull something through with it either another cable or some strong nylon rope, i did my mothers and it took some pulling at first.
     
  9. elicash73

    elicash73
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    it appears that the downlead is cemented in!
     
  10. bob1

    bob1
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    Thats not good ,it looks like you going to have to go down the outside wall with a cable.
     
  11. SamRadford

    SamRadford
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