Issue With Neighbours Reception After I Fitted New Aerial

dukeminster

Novice Member
Hi All,

I have a strange issue that I cant get my head around and wondered if anyone could shed some light.

I live in a detached house which has an aerial situated in the loft. I don't know for sure but I would estimate the age of the aerial to be around 2005-2010 so fairly new by aerial standards I guess. The reception we receive from the aerial is pretty good, and even better since I fitted a Labgear LDA2061LR 6 Way Distribution Amplifier a while ago. Since we have been renovating our house I have been able to drop new aerial cables down the internal walls for our TV's and this means that all of them get the same reception. This has worked perfectly for months until:

I decided I would like to create a home cinema in the loft. Seen as the aerial is smack bang in the middle of the loft and in the way - I wanted a better solution. I purchased this
Purely as its footprint is so small, and the reviews seem good.

I also purchased a poor mans labgear LED range tester. The old aerial got 2/4 LEDs lit. When I set up the new aerial it got 3/4 LEDs lit. Happy Days.

Then this morning I get a knock on the door from the elderly neighbours. They say that since Sunday night (exactly when I installed the new one) their TV reception on certain channels has been really poor. They weren't to know I fitted the new aerial as it was inside.

I briefly stepped inside theirs and it seems like they have a Humax Set Top box, with a fairly old looking panasonic tv (not smart).

I turned off the aerial at ours and took it down. Went back over and their signal was better but not 100%.

The new aerial seemed to get 3/4 LED's when pointed directly at theirs....

My question is: Can an aerial like this suck the signal off theirs ?! It is too much of a coincidence that they experience issues just as I install the new one.

I have attached pictures of both the old and the new. The new one seems to get 2/4 LED's lit no matter the orientation.

I'm going to pop over to theirs to night to re-scan their set top box but I've turned ours off for now so the Mrs isn't happy!
 

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Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Detached houses - how close together would they be? Aerial to aerial distance estimate?

Have you done anything else? Installed foil backed insulation or plasterboard? Scaffolding to access the roof space?

Most likely a coincidence.

That amplified omnidirectional aerial cascading into another distribution amplifier could potentially, if faulty, go into oscillation and radiate interference. Albeit unlikely. Receivers require between 45 and 65 dBuV to work reliably. Too much is as bad as too little.

Your aerial and bits could be moved as far as possible from the neighbours to reduce any possible effects.

Worth going over their cables and connections to ensure they are soundly made, firmly inserted and hdmi/aerial wires kept apart. (Heating and cooling can loosen connections over time. Poor connections account for most reception problems.)

Their aerial (in loft also) and cabling there may need checking for damage/movement/mis-pointing as well.
 

JDGL

Standard Member
As above. My father's freeview reception degraded randomly one day and it was due to a hidden cable connector loosening, rather than distribution amps, etc, i'd suspected beforehand.
 
Hi All,

I have a strange issue that I cant get my head around and wondered if anyone could shed some light.

I live in a detached house which has an aerial situated in the loft. I don't know for sure but I would estimate the age of the aerial to be around 2005-2010 so fairly new by aerial standards I guess. The reception we receive from the aerial is pretty good, and even better since I fitted a Labgear LDA2061LR 6 Way Distribution Amplifier a while ago. Since we have been renovating our house I have been able to drop new aerial cables down the internal walls for our TV's and this means that all of them get the same reception. This has worked perfectly for months until:

I decided I would like to create a home cinema in the loft. Seen as the aerial is smack bang in the middle of the loft and in the way - I wanted a better solution. I purchased this
Purely as its footprint is so small, and the reviews seem good.

I also purchased a poor mans labgear LED range tester. The old aerial got 2/4 LEDs lit. When I set up the new aerial it got 3/4 LEDs lit. Happy Days.

Then this morning I get a knock on the door from the elderly neighbours. They say that since Sunday night (exactly when I installed the new one) their TV reception on certain channels has been really poor. They weren't to know I fitted the new aerial as it was inside.

I briefly stepped inside theirs and it seems like they have a Humax Set Top box, with a fairly old looking panasonic tv (not smart).

I turned off the aerial at ours and took it down. Went back over and their signal was better but not 100%.

The new aerial seemed to get 3/4 LED's when pointed directly at theirs....

My question is: Can an aerial like this suck the signal off theirs ?! It is too much of a coincidence that they experience issues just as I install the new one.

I have attached pictures of both the old and the new. The new one seems to get 2/4 LED's lit no matter the orientation.

I'm going to pop over to theirs to night to re-scan their set top box but I've turned ours off for now so the Mrs isn't happy!
I don't see how it would be physically possible to interfere/degrade their signal unless you erected some kind of barrier that was line of sight with their own aerial.
 

dukeminster

Novice Member
Thanks for your replies guys.

Aerial to Aerial would be about 8m, and theirs would be 2-3m higher than ours.

We do have scaffolding up at the moment to re point the chimneys, but it has been up for 3-4 weeks, and they have only been experiencing this now. I know what you are thinking....since we have scaffolding up it would be easy to throw up a new mast...well it would. But i was trying to save myself that job, and a few quid!

Their aerial is on their chimney. Interestingly, our old aerial points to a different transmitter than everyone else in the street. It was pointed at crystal palace whereas everyone else seems to point to sandy. I pointed the new one in roughly the same direction as our old one. It would cross paths/line of sight with their aerial, although theirs would mounted 2-3m higher than ours.
 
Thanks for your replies guys.

Aerial to Aerial would be about 8m, and theirs would be 2-3m higher than ours.

We do have scaffolding up at the moment to re point the chimneys, but it has been up for 3-4 weeks, and they have only been experiencing this now. I know what you are thinking....since we have scaffolding up it would be easy to throw up a new mast...well it would. But i was trying to save myself that job, and a few quid!

Their aerial is on their chimney. Interestingly, our old aerial points to a different transmitter than everyone else in the street. It was pointed at crystal palace whereas everyone else seems to point to sandy. I pointed the new one in roughly the same direction as our old one. It would cross paths/line of sight with their aerial, although theirs would mounted 2-3m higher than ours.
Aerials are passive, if you are using it receive signals and not to broadcast one, then it cannot interfere with another aerials reception.

The scaffolding does sound like a more likely culprit, maybe if they are elderly it took them a while to notice.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Scaffolding is often a culprit for causing reception issues - in line attenuating, off line reflecting signals and cancelling out the wanted; both with variability with frequency.

8 metres is much too far for the aerials to interact with each other though.

External aerials have a finite lifetime as the weather (wind rain and UV light) degrades parts - plastics and coax cables especially.

Luton area: some parts could be Sandy or CP, or even the Luton relay of Sandy Heath. Depends on what people prefer to some extent in that area (though London news won't cover Luton events as well as Look East from Cambridge does).

Your new aerial is omnidirectional it cannot be pointed in any direction. (It's also goes against all that the UK TV Spectrum Planners expect - i.e. an external, directional, aerial at 10 m above the ground).

Not sure how well it'll react to the loft conversion insulation being installed around it. I trust you'll let us know. ;)
 

dukeminster

Novice Member
Please see pic below. As you can see the neighbours aerial is a good 8-10m away from any scaffolding. Can it still affect it?

I went home at lunch and hooked up the old aerial. This time pointing it at sandy (green below) whereas before it was pointing as the red aerial shows...

Turns out i get 120 out of 135 possible channels which is better than before which is a result. But i'm still stuck with the huge clunky thing. which i should perhaps think about sticking on the chimney instead.

You say aerials are passive which was my understanding before I purchased this new one. Yet this one takes power from a little box you wire it into, and then a little LED lights up underneath it. As mentioned above, could the omni-directional antenna be faulty or is the scaffolding more likely to be the culprit? even though its not particularly close to their antenna.

WhatsApp Image 2021-03-23 at 17.16.56.jpeg
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Aerials are passive, if you are using it receive signals and not to broadcast one, then it cannot interfere with another aerials reception.

Well they don't transmit but they do manipulate radio waves to focus them on the receiver so they can certainly interfere with each other if close enough.

But 8m is a long way away in this context, and if turning the amplifier off but leaving the aerial in the same place place solved the issue then it's not interference between the aerials themselves.

It could be a bad power supply on the new aerial's amplifier or something like that.

I'm not sure how those signal testers work. If they're not actually doing some basic decoding of the signal then the results may not be comparable (or valid) for aerials with built in amplifiers.

Does your new one have the ability to disconnect or bypass the amplifier and plug it into your existing one directly?
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
Looking at that picture the neighbours aerial appears to be just about above the apex of your roof and the scaffolding seen. So it should have clear line of sight to Sandy Heath (other obstructions notwithstanding).

But reflections off the poles could conceivably influence the signal seen by the aerial on a frequency selective basis. That will stop once the works complete and the poles taken down.

The strange square-bent-halo underneath is closer than ideal (<1 m) and could have a bigger influence on their TV aerial than anything else. HALO ANTENNA would suggest it's a Radio Amateur's toy?

120/135 suggests you don't get the temporary COM7 multiplex (it carries 15 channels). It's the highest broadcast frequency and transmitted at lower power. {57 kW cf 170 kW or 182 kW for the others, approx -5dB.}

COM 7 is slated for closure - likely mid to late this year so not worth spending much money on receiving. Placing your existing aerial(s) outside is probably not worth it either. (If you do want to have one outside choose a robust aerial such as Justin's 18 element group K yagi on a suitable alloy pole using all-copper foam filled cable - WF100 etc.,. ATV's choice of TV aerials and WHY we chose them - A.T.V. Poles, Brackets, Clamps & Aerials).

If turning on and off the SLX aerial / psu causes/clears an issue with the neighbour's TV reception then it's clearly faulty / emitting interference and quite a bit to travel that far.

Re-making or improving all the readily accessible cables and connections on both installations would, though, be the first step as it could fix faults within one or both installations.
Satellite grade cable fly leads rather than thin moulded plug versions with open braid screens can help a lot. Cable connectors and leads - A.T.V. Poles, Brackets, Clamps & Aerials
 
It may be an optical illusion, but that scaffolding poll to the right rear of your house looks dangerously close to the line of sight and height of the neighbours aerial - it could easily be reflecting /deflecting signals.
 

Rodders53

Distinguished Member
It may be an optical illusion,
No MAY about it it is an optical illusion.

To my eyes, the aerial is pointing nearer to the front RH end of that pitched roof. (Mind it does have a +/- 30 degree acceptance angle, probably).

There may be scattered reflections off the pole(s) but not something I'd worry too much about as it exists at the moment...
Further scaffolding going up is potentially another matter.
 

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