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a few questions about aerials etc

JonnytheKid

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#1
Hello everyone,

I have a few questions about upgrading my terrestrial aerial setup. My existing setup is shown on the attached diagrram (drewn on MS Paint).

All the equipment, cables and aerials are about 20 years old.

The Irish tv picture is fine, but the UK picture is poor. It is especially bad in the evenings during good Summer days. The UK transmitter is about 6 miles away, but a lot of houses have been built between it and here in the last 20 years.

I was planning to move the UK aerial from the loft to up on the roof, and replace it with a Triax 100 element aerial.

Uk signals are suitable for a group B aerial, while Irish signals are for a group aerial.

Would the Triax aerial be best? What is a signal attenuator, and when would one be needed? When would a masthead amp be needed? Does this do away with the need for my existing combined booster and splitter?

Almost forgot to say - "Freeview" is not yet available from the local transmitter, so I am mostly worried about analogue reception right now.

Sorry to ask so many questions - the diagram I have attached hopefully explains it a lot better. Thank-you for any info provided

Jonny
 

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rolfw

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#2
What are the names and exact channel frequencies of the two transmitters and are digital transmissions scheduled for the UK transmitter?

An aerial is an aerial is an aerial, a Triax is pretty much the same in performance as a Teléves or Blake of equivalent spec.
 

JonnytheKid

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rural Northern Ireland
#3
I don't know the names of the transmitters, but BBC1 is at UHF 39, BBC2 is at 45, ITV is at 49, and Channel 4 is at 42. Channel 5 is not available here.

As far as I know, there are no plans to broadcast digital in this area.

The reception is OK from the transmitter across the border. RTE 1 is at UHF 29, Network 2 (formerly RTE 2) is at 33. TV3 is at 35, TG4 is at 59 - but I'm not bothered about receiving it.

I had liked the Triax aerial because it was 100 element, and most others seemed to have less elements.
 

JonnytheKid

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2 Panasonic TU-DSB30 digib0xes, FTV cards, quad LNB, Zone 2 dish, & VCR (remember those?)
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rural Northern Ireland
#4
the UK transmitter identifier is 107.03
it is called "Kilkeel"
it has an effective radiated power of 500 Watts
it is 304 metres above sea level, 6 miles from me (at about 20 metres above sea level)
it has vertical polarisation

Can't (as yet) find any data for the Irish Republic transmitter
 

rolfw

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#5
If you use an "A" and "E" combiner, then you will get the first three Irish channels on the "A" leg, plus the UK channels on the "E" leg. Most aerial manufacturers produce a 100 element antenna, the Triax is not unique, but if the transmitter is only 6 miles away, it may be overkill, even if it is only transmitting at 12 watts..

As far as I can see it is Ballycastle and polarised vertically, you need to make sure that your aerial is also polarised vertically.

Ballycastle 39 45 49 42 BV 12W D 118397 130.02 NTL 145 N.Ireland Ulster

http://www.bbc.co.uk/reception/tv_transmitters/tv_limavady.shtml
 

JonnytheKid

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#6
looke like the transmitter across the border is called "Three Rock", horizontal polarisation, 250k Watts of power, 448 metres above sea level, approx 12 miles from me.
 

JonnytheKid

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My Satellite Setup
2 Panasonic TU-DSB30 digib0xes, FTV cards, quad LNB, Zone 2 dish, & VCR (remember those?)
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rural Northern Ireland
#7
My transmitter is definitely not Ballycastle - that is about 80 miles from me, I'm pretty sure it is Kilkeel. Presently using 2 aerials, but the UK picture is genuinely terrible. Sorry for putting you to all this trouble.
 

JonnytheKid

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2 Panasonic TU-DSB30 digib0xes, FTV cards, quad LNB, Zone 2 dish, & VCR (remember those?)
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rural Northern Ireland
#8
by the way - is it OK to use satellite cable as a coaxial cable?
 

rolfw

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#9
No problem, yes I can see that it is, still vertically polarised though, is your aerial?.

Kilkeel 39 45 49 42 BV 500W J 281180 107.03 CCIC 304 N.Ireland Ulster

Satellite coax is all i use now for everything. :)
 

JonnytheKid

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rural Northern Ireland
#10
I'm not sure if my aerial is vertically polarised, but I can tell you this - if he aerial is postitioned normally, then the picture almost dissapears, but if I keep it pointing at the transmitter, but turn it on its side (turn it through 90 degrees) -so that the elements are pointing up and down (instead of out to each side) the picture improves.

I (sort of know) about aerial groups, but I had only heard of polarisation for satellites - you continue to educate me! :-)

I am happy enough with the Irish reception, but the UK reception is pretty poor no matter how much I mess around with the aerial, although no-one else around here seems to get a good picture either strangely.
 

rolfw

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#11
The aerial polarisation is carried out exactly as you describe, just turn it through 90 degrees, but you need to be more precise with the alignment.
 

JonnytheKid

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rural Northern Ireland
#12
thank-you for all your wise advice this evening. I will post something when I manage to improve my reception.
 

Swede

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#13
Just by moving the aerial outside will improve your reception substatially!

If all UK signals are band B I'd get an antenna only covering that. If you don't need a wideband antenna, don't get one. You can only get ghost images, etc.
 

Llew

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#14
It's not generally a good idea to have a combiner before a booster, particularly if you have one aerial providing lower gain than the other. Try a higher gain aerial for the UK channels, but if the signal is still snowy, a booster may exacerbate the problem. Better to put it outside if possible.

Llew