FView Aerial Questions Incl. 2nd Cable from same Aerial OK?

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by Mark Ward, Jan 16, 2003.

  1. Mark Ward

    Mark Ward
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    I posted earlier this week that I've got a good Freeview picture despite being in a non-FV area. I'd like to see if I can gain some extra channels by improving the signal strength (Currently around 45% sometimes 50%).

    I can get all the major channels that are important to me

    I can't get
    The Hits (Doesn't Find)
    TMF (Doesn't Find)
    FTV (Doesn't Find)
    CeeBeebees (Breaks Up)
    BBC4 (Breaks Up)
    BBC Parliament (Breaks Up)
    and no Radio at all(Breaks Up)
    There may be more I don't know about.

    Currently my aerial goes into an expensive 8 way amplifier one of the outputs of this goes to a socket in my lounge.

    Does the amplifier benefit a Digital signal?

    Can I run a 2nd (perhaps CT125?) coax directly from the Aerial to the DTT box without affecting the amplifier's signal strength to the rest of the house?

    or

    Would I be better off running a new cable with no wall socket from the amplifier to the DTT box

    Another question. I have 8 sockets around the house. Not all are used. Would it improve the signal to the others if I pulled the RF plugs out of the amplifier for sockets that are not in use?

    Many thanks,

    Mark.
     
  2. Paul G

    Paul G
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    Don't know if this reply will be of any help seeing as I only use the cheaper indoor amps with my pace digi box but I can say for certain that in my case without the amp the signal strength is around 40-50 % (unwatchable picture) and with it the reading is 65%. I too experience the breakup problems on much the same channels as you. I also live in a non FTV area- Thanet Kent.

    As far as I know you don't get any improvements by removing the non used sockets from the amp to benefit the few in use. Unless I'm wrong these amps output a fixed power/current?.

    BTW I'm surprised you get a poor picture. Doesn't Maidstone have a TV transmitter somewhere in that area?
     
  3. Cakeboy

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    Mark

    Yes the amplifier does benefit the Digital signal, but you should check the amp covers the range your digital channels are on.

    You shouldn't connect another coax in parallel directly to the aerial. The impedance needs to be 75 ohms, and two cables would wreck this.

    Having no wall plate does give a bit of benefit, but a stronger signal to start with is the key.

    The unused sockets are not a problem, they are independent from the others.


    Find out from the BBC website what channels your digital multiplexes are on. Then check that your aerial and amp cover this range. If not get new ones, and get the highest gain aerial you can. All the amplification in the world is useless if your aerial is rubbish.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Mark Ward

    Mark Ward
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    I get a great picture, I just don't get all the channels. I'm around 45% (Amplified!)

    There is a transmitter at BlueBell Hill (around 9 miles), however I'm the other side of Maidstone down a very steep hill with no real signal from it. I'm pointing at Heathfield (22 miles).

    It seems to me I ought to get a great signal being merely 22 miles away with no hill between me and the transmitter but Freeview say I'm not in their area.

    Cakeboy.. Thanks for the advice. From memory it's a LabGear Amplifier and the Aerial is a good one. It is in the loft though, the guy who came with the DTT box and a new external Aerial for me said to see how I get on with my current Aerial setup as the signal and picture were better than he expected. Very honest of him since he was potentially losing an aerial sale.

    I know would I almost certainly get a better signal with an external aerial but I just want to see how good I can get it with my current one.

    From the same location any idea how much percentage extra signal I could expect going external?

    Cheers,

    Mark.
     
  5. Cakeboy

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    Mark,

    Personally I have always used loft aerials, but then I do have pretty much line of site to Mendip, and a cracking signal.

    My loft aerial is 16.5db gain covering channels 21-69 (basically all), and I use *no* amp, and my sony iDTV reports 95%+ signal. Am I making you sick yet? :D

    Had a quick look at Heathfield, and you need to make sure you're covering these channels with your aerial.

    Heathfield Digital BBC ITV & Ch4 SDN Mux B Mux C Mux D
    34 29 48 47 54 51 Power <3Kw

    the old steam tv is on these

    Heathfield Analogue BBC1 BBC2 ITV CH4
    49 52 64 67 Power 100kw

    Do you know what groups your aerial covers? Hopefully your aerial guy checked this out.
     
  6. Mark Ward

    Mark Ward
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    Having been up in my loft and had a good look at the Aerial setup here's what I've got.

    A very large Aerial which the installer that came the other day said was a very good one.

    Going into

    A little black box with "Antiferance" written on it

    then into

    A Labtech MSA282. There some info on this link that may give an idea whather it's appropriate.

    I note that one of the outputs is marked "Full" but that has a terminator type plug in it.

    Cheers,

    Mark.
     
  7. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    It might be worth giving the FULL output a go. This is a much higher gain output 22dB rather than 8dB. It's intended for long aerial runs really, but may well help in your situation. Should be an easy enough thing to do.
     
  8. Mark Ward

    Mark Ward
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    Thanks for that Retro, I'll give it a try.

    BTW. The UHF range is 470...862MHz, the Labgear's website omits this information and only states the VHF frequencies. Is this range wide enough for full DTT?

    Thanks again,

    Mark.
     
  9. Fernsehman

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    Mark, I'm a bit concerned about that "black box". Are you sure it isn't spelt "Antiference"? It may be a filter or a diplexer - either of which will FILTER OUT some channels!

    I think you should find out what it is. Maybe try disconnecting it.

    Fman
     
  10. Mark Ward

    Mark Ward
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    Having connected my Nokia 221T to the "Full" +22db amplifier socket on the Loft amlifier I'm now well into the "Green" part of the signal bar at around 90% signal :)

    Not bad for "You are not in a FreeView area"!

    I'm still missing the same channels however.

    I'm pretty sure this'll be what it is. I'll try removing the Black Box from the run.

    I wonder how this will affect the analogue signal to the rest of the house tho' as it was no doubt fitted for a reason.

    Mark.
     
  11. Paul G

    Paul G
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    My guess is the black box is the 'masthead amp' that is usually located on the aerial pole. Your main amp needs this to get a good pic. I may be wrong though? I haven't studied the aerial sites lately.
    Personally I think you will get a much better picture -or at least an improvement- with an external aerial. Of course a high gain type is the obvious option for digital.
     
  12. Fernsehman

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    To Paul: it would of course be pretty stupid to fit a masthead Amp immediately before a distribution amplifier. The Masthead Amp has no function in the loft if the distribution Amp is also there. In addition, adding a distribution Amp in line is going to disconnect the power feed to the masthead Amp, resulting in a massive signal loss.

    To Mark: remove it and see what happens. If it's a filter it may be marked with a part number so we can look it up and find out which band it's removing. Filters are normally used to remove unwanted channels that would otherwise interfere with other signals (Sky, VCR, DVD) being Piped around the house. I got one myself from satcure to free up the bottom end of the band so I could pipe Sky Digital, ONdigital and VCR to every room.

    Fman
     
  13. Mark Ward

    Mark Ward
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    I've been up in the loft again and opened up the box.

    On the back is a sticker with "1387199". On the front up the side is the number C6446 and along the bottom it has "UP1501 A UHF". It has no power going to it, just RF in & out.

    Does this throw any light as to what it is? :)

    Thanks for your help!

    Mark.
     
  14. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    UP1501 is the key to this. If you look on the Antiference webiste it shows all masthead amplifers have the part numbers UP***.

    This is the closest match on the current price list:

    UP15U 1 stage (15dB) UHF TV


    ED: Your Labtech distribution has this info, powering the mast head amp:

    Line power capability
    12V at 25mA max. with auto shutdown
    At UHF input only
     
  15. Mark Ward

    Mark Ward
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    Thanks Retro.. and Fman for this route.

    I've found the UP1501 of the antiference site. It is a Masthead Amplifier.

    Here are the details.

    No. of Inputs: 1
    No. of Outputs: 1
    Freq. Range (MHz): 470-860
    Gain: 15dB
    Noise Figure: 3dB
    Max. Output: 98dBuV
    Power Requirement: 6mA

    What does this do? Is it filtering out my missing channels?

    There are other models on the site here would any of these be more appropriate?

    By the way, I don't know if this is normal for an Aerial but having taken a closer look at mine it would appear that the little circuit board the RF cable is attached to is not connected directly to the main metal part with all the "fins?" etc. It's isolated in a little plastic box.

    I want to thank everyone whose helping me here, I really appreciate it.

    Thanks,

    Mark
     
  16. RON

    RON
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    you could try a wide band aerial you can get one from argos probably not the best but if it works you could take it back and get a better one if you fell you need it or a better cheaper one just a quick fix to see if it might be that.
     

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