Help with Signal

A

Arthur Rimbaud

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#1
I'd first like to say hello to all of you here and then ask for your help if you wouldn't mind.

I as well want to apologise if i picked the wrong section and ask moderators to move it, if i did, to where it belongs.

I have Sky Tv and recently i've had problems with signal.I wouldn't go much into it and say what you don't really need to hear so i'll get to the point.

I have 1.2 m antenna which works just fine but the problem is cabling.I have a cable going down from my garage roof and under the ground and then 3 floors up and then 3 floors down to my living room.Now i know i'm stupid for ever allowing this to happened when cabling was done but i completely forgot to tell the electricians that it can't work that way and that they can't use cheep cables they have.
Now i'm picking up a lot of noise and the signal and strength simply isn't good enough.

I'm less then an amateur in this field but what i do know is that i can't put a bigger antenna where this one is.I can't do anything about cabling and let's say i can't do much about my reciver either.

I have tried using amplifier and it has helped but not much(i have to say it's a rather cheap one).

I was wondering if any of you knows a way to fix this problem and knows if there are some amplifiers that actually work well out there?
Is there any other way of lowering the noise or....................?


That's about it guys.

Thanks in advance

Cheers
 
Llew

Llew

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#2
Hi Arthur,welcome to the forum. A reincarnation of the great poet I presume :)

Not a lot you can do with such a long length of cable, an amplifier will only increase the noise level, although where you place it can make a difference - if you can put it somewhere in the middle of the run you may find this helps.

A more efficient LNB could be worthwhile too - go for one with a low noise figure, 0.2 or 0.3dB.

Llew
 
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spiney

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#3
1.2 m diameter creates a "tight" reception beam, so is it possible to check that the dish alignment is exactly right (move just very slightly, checking strength/quality reading on sat receiver)?. Even just a bit off would make a significant difference!
 
A

Arthur Rimbaud

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#4
I have moved it all around and the best i get is third of quality and strength and that's with amp.
It perhaps would have been easier for me if there was only one satellite to look at but if i'm not wrong there are 4 and we try to find some perfect middle.

I have used spectrum analyzer and basicly what they've done is they give me signals of different range so come chanels are on a lot lower freq and i end up losing them cos of noise of course.

All i could think off was an amp but i guess llew's right when he says it raised the noise level but what i'm trying to do is this.
While signal is going throught the cable it loses strength but noise level doesn't so in the end you've got very low strength.Well if you can raise everything together you'll get noise as always but you do have a decent signal strength in the end.It's not much but it helps.

I'm using Invacom 0.3 db LNB and i got it after i heard it was one of the best ones around.

I know just about how much can be done but i had to come around and see if you guys know something that i couldn't think of.
Most of you are into new stuff that comes out so.....anyway thank you two.

I'll stick around and see if anyone's got any more ideas.

Cheers
 
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spiney

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#5
It helps - at least, in theory - if you can insert the line amp as close as possible to the lnb. Then, you've got the strongest possible signal input to the amp, to get the highest signal to noise ratio from its output.
 
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Arthur Rimbaud

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#6
spiney said:
It helps - at least, in theory - if you can insert the line amp as close as possible to the lnb. Then, you've got the strongest possible signal input to the amp, to get the highest signal to noise ratio from its output.
Tried it mate and it's better to have it half-way.You theory makes sense only not in my case where the bloody cable is just too long.It does help of course but by the time signal reaches the receiver it's not strong enough.

The best idea i came up with so far is to put my receiver in the garage :) and use one of those long-distance remote controls or something.But like yours it's just a theory.

I had in mind using two amps which is rather simple solution but i'm afraid that the amps currently available to me create the noise themselves cos they're rubbish so i'm after some decent ones on the net.

Thanks again mate
 
Zorba

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#7
How hard is it to replace the cable,cant you connect new to old and pull it through?
 
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Arthur Rimbaud

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#8
zorba said:
How hard is it to replace the cable,cant you connect new to old and pull it through?
Take it this way mate.Sometimes it goes through and sometimes it doesn't.It's not done the way i wanted it and there's a big chance it'll get stuck.It's going through god knows where from garage to third floor and back and i can tell you it's not in a straight line.
 
Zorba

Zorba

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#9
I sympathise mate.I spend half my time routing or rerouting cable through a house because the builder or electrician hasnt catered for a second run for a sat system or because they have put the cheap uhf cable in.But where theres a will theres a way,and lots of cable gel.
 
Tonito

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#10
Can't you take the dish from the garage and put it on your house? If you're not able to pass the cable through where the old one is pass it through the outside wall and drill a hole in the wall closest to the receiver.
 
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spiney

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#11
if you can get the line amp as close as possible to the lnb, that will improve the signal to noise ratio, maybe just slightly, but that's critical since digital reception is "all or nothing".

when an amp has a "noise figure", that's just a ratio, then it shouldn't matter where you put the amp! But, in fact, that's false, since the noise is internally generated and comes out at a fixed level, no matter what the signal input level (strictly, saying "noise figure" isn't correct). So, if you put amp nearer to lnb - where signal level is higher - then with fixed noise output, you'll get a higher sig to noise ratio, and a better chance of getting more channels.

Another thing is, where cable enters lnb, the dc volts causes electolytic action at connector, degrading the signal, especially if not weather protected at all, or if wrong sort of plastic tape was used. If you've noticed slow wosening over months, that's probably the reason, in which case disconnect plug from lnb, and re-fit onto cable end, also clean around lnb socket if there's any "crud" there.
 
Zorba

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#12
In the first post you say you have "recently had problems with signal".Was it okay before?
 
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Arthur Rimbaud

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#13
zorba said:
In the first post you say you have "recently had problems with signal".Was it okay before?
Well it used to be once but i started loosing chanels when they starting messing with signal strength.You probably know Sky lowers the signal at night.

Thanks guys for all the help.I have done most of the things you said before i came here but some after your suggestions.

I've done the best i could and i got to 3/4 of the full signal so most of the chanels are ok now.I still don't get Sci-Fi, E4, Channel 4 and a pair of music chanels but i'll live :).

Thanks a lot again.You indeed helped.

Cheers
 
Zorba

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#14
Out of interest,what make/model digibox have you got?
 
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spiney

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#15
I don't think Sky "lower the signal" at night (why on earth would they?)! But yes, received strength does depend on atmospheric conditions, especially rain/ high humidity absorbtion.

(Interestingly, I actually get better reception at night!).
 
trigger

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#16
A couple of questions

1/ How long do you estimate the cable length to be?

2/ Any idea of what type of cable is used? - It's normally printed on the outer jacket of the cable.

3/ How difficult would it be to pull new cable through to the receiver - putting a higher quality cable would be a good idea on long cable runs.


Notes

Check your f connectors - poorly fitted f connectors allow noise to enter the cable and increase the noise figure. The centre conductor should not protude the shoulder of the nut end of the f connector by more than 2mm.

Certain Baby monitors and other such electrical items create so much "noise" and if used in the immediate area can also cause problems.

If I were you I would change the cable to something more substantial, RG7 or similar for anything over 80 -90M where low signal strengths are received. Check locally on what should be received on the dish you are using.

Hope this helps

PS Signal strength is pretty much constant from an individual Satellite but at night the atmospheric conditions change - colder / moisterbb air etc and this affects signal strength. Apparently this is a science on its own and this is as much as i know but am fairly sure S*y do not alter signal strengths at different times of the day. Remember S*y do not operate the satellite this is done by Astra.

Also check that it is possible to receive E4 etc on the size of dish you have in your location. It may be the case that to receive these channels you need a larger dish.

Cheers

Triggs
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