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New Arial

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by petrolhead, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. petrolhead

    petrolhead
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    Need a new arial

    Been quoted £45 for a std one and £70 for a digi one. This is 4 the bedroom where I may, in the future, fit a digi box.

    I have a digi box in the living room connected to a std arial and all is well.

    Is it imperative to fit a digi areal or a wate of money or should I pay the extra?
     
  2. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    I run freeview from an old aerial in my loft with old coax. Reception is far from perfect, but will do until I can afford to upgrade.
    It all depends on your local reception. As you already have Freeview working on an old aerial I should think the cheaper aerial for the bedroom would also work fine.

    Mark.
     
  3. Bursar

    Bursar
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    Can you not split the existing aerial and run a new length of coax into the bedroom?
     
  4. petrolhead

    petrolhead
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    Not sure. I always thought it was best not to split a signal.
     
  5. hornydragon

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    you could try adding a masthead amp to the old one. Cost the same but better for future expansion. i.e 4 feeds so when the switch comes over you will be able to run 4 sets off your existing aerial
     
  6. Arthur Dent

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    Yeah, you're right. Better to amplify and distribute the amplified signal. I've always found Maplins the right sort of place for the kit you require.
     
  7. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Channel plus do some good kit mind
     
  8. Bernard Barnett

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    1 - There's no such thing as a dedicated digital TV aerial.
    2 - Splitting an aerial signal does not degrade it, you'll get the same signal strength down both cables. You can run huge lengths of coax before any degradation sets in.
    3 - Any reputable aerial specialist will confirm the truth of the above statements.
     
  9. Jsinger

    Jsinger
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    Absolutely. Although, with the emergence of Freeview, there's no shortage of unscrupulous fitters suddenly claiming there is though - and, surprisingly, they're always the more expensive ones ;)
     
  10. Arthur Dent

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    Mmmm. I was under the impression that resistive splitters did degrade the signal. The ones I've seen have an insertion loss of some 4.5dB and I've always used the non resistive type as produced by Antiference and the like which are supposed to divide the signal equally. Quite right about so called "dedicated aerials" though. The only thing dedicated about them would be higher quality materials, the wave form received after all is analogue isn't it ? Incidentally, the aerial (external) I use for Freeview in the bedroom is about 8 years old. It's the right group aerial for Winter Hill and being as I'm in a "fringe"area, all I've done to it is fit a masthead amp which I had to do anyway 'cos the aerial itself isn't particularly high gain. Get Freeview perfectly !
     
  11. Pod Person

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    Dedicated 'digi' aerials should have a piece of kit called a balun* attached to them. This in theory is there to reduce impulse interference.
    I am using a argos 52 element 'balun' aerial which compared to my old 48 element high gain non balun aerial is much better at eliminating impulse interference.

    *Someone with more knowledge can tell us how a balun works.
     
  12. petrolhead

    petrolhead
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    Hmm

    Seems to be split camp.
     
  13. Bernard Barnett

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    A balun is not a piece of digital kit. All aerials ought to have them, and most high-quality ones do. It means "balanced to unbalanced transformer" and is desirable/necessary because the dipole element is a balanced antenna and the coax cable is an unbalanced feeder, and the balun joins them properly. What it does in practice is reduce interference. This is equally applicable to receiving digital and analogue signals.
    Petrolhead, I sympathise with you over the conflicting guidance you've been given. I suggest you do a search on the digitalspy forums, where there are a lot of posts from people who know about aerials.
     
  14. petrolhead

    petrolhead
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  15. petrolhead

    petrolhead
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    I think I will go fir the std type arial and then split the signal with a booster from Maplin at a later date
     
  16. Arthur Dent

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    If you get the Maxview 23dB gain masthead amp, you can cascade another booster from it's output, so that should get you out of trouble. The masthead amp needs power of course. That means you need the associated power supply which plugs in the mains and supplies 12V to the amp via the centre conductor of the downlead. The amplified signal then comes back via the downlead and is supplied to your TV (or another booster) via the output connector on the PSU.
     
  17. avanzato

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    A single run of shielded cable from the aerial to the receiver will be less prone to interferance.

    It's not common but you have to be a bit careful boosting the signal if it's already strong, too much and it can overload the digital receiver which will result in no picture.

    Antiference has good info about aerials and distribution of the signals.
     
  18. Fernsehman

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    Here's my two cents worth.

    You can accuse me of being pedantic but "Arial" is a computer font like "Helvetica" and "Verdana". I mention this because if you do a search for "Arial" you are going to find more computer fonts than "aerials".

    A splitter does exactly that. It splits the signal. As it has losses, you'll get LESS than HALF of the original signal out of each side. So it's much more sensible to use an amplified splitter with around 6dB of gain. This will help compensate for the "splitting" loss and the loss in the cable run.

    It's easy to have too much gain. This can produce bad effects and one of the symptoms is that your Freeview receiver finds "ghost" channels from other transmitters outside your area which it will store (or try to store). The simplest answer is to fit a variable attenuator next to the Freeview box and wind it up until these "ghost" channels disappear.

    Double-shielded cable is also a good idea. Why "spoil the ship for a ha'pennyworth of tar"?

    "Balun" has been nicely explained and I just read in "Television" magazine (page 645, Sept 2003) that the Digital TV Group has published a new document called "Guidelines for the use of benchmarked aerials", which you can apparently download at their web site www.dtg.org.uk

    Hope this helps. Now a question for the experts:

    Anyone have a list of aerials with baluns? The only one I'm sure about is the DAT45.

    Fman
     
  19. Arthur Dent

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    Hi Fman. Just had a peek at www.dtg.org.uk. All interesting and useful stuff. The reading takes me back quite a few years to when I took the City & Guilds Amateur Radio exam, (yes, I did pass and have got a "B" licence). Always found the aerials and waveform part of the course the most interesting. Forgotten a lot of theory now though. :(
     
  20. Fernsehman

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    Just had a look myself. It's a good site. Loads of stuff to download and read.

    I confess that I never did the amateur radio exam. I was always totally useless at maths and my morse sounded more like a Frank Zappa extemporisation. I used to experiment with aerials for CB radio but that's as far as I got. I horrified my wife by constructing a quad antenna from driftwood and wire when we holidayed on the north coast of Scotland many years back. Then spent the entire holiday nattering via radio to the lighthouse keeper just half a mile away! The quad was so inefficient that I had to use a 25 watt "helper". Not my greatest success.

    Sorry! off-topic. You got me reminiscing there. :blush:

    Fman
     
  21. Arthur Dent

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    Aahh, Illicit "burners" those were the days.;)
     
  22. SignalMan

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    Some of the above post's are full of tosh!. If you split a signal you will reduce it's strength. There is no such thing as a Digital amplifier, there is mast head amplifiers, pre amps, distribution amplifiers, set-back amplifiers etc but I'm sorry to tell you there is no such thing a digital signal amplifier, OH and you do loose signal strength on every metre of cable and any "reputable Aerial installer wll confirm that".
    A digital aerial (group K) is more or less a glorified Wide band and I think some of the peeps are confusing "dedicated" with "directional".
    The price of contract directional aerials and digi is only coppers difference.
    This is a simplified explanation and the very basic's of aerial installation, from someone with overy 30 years experiance and not from someone reading text books and who as never been up a ladder !
     
  23. petrolhead

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    Thanks 4 all the help

    Ended up getting a std aerial installed and addes a booster/distribuor to the other 2 bedrooms.

    Works great
     

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