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shakti

14 posts

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#155918 12-Nov-2014 22:05
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Hi all,

Hoping someone might be able to help me out or point me in the right direction with this problem. I'm based in Hillcrest on the North Shore. We have 4 TV's in the house. An amplifier (powered) leading into a the first splitter (also an amplifier). One split goes to the master TV and the the second split then splits again into the other 3 TVs.

A few months back we had our UHF antenna's direction (and orientation) changed to point to the sky tower (previously it was facing West) as we started having signal issues. The antenna height was also increased with an extension. The signal we received with this setup was excellent allowing clear reception on all channels on all TVs bar one.

Everything worked well with the exception of our main Samsung TV in the living room. For some reason it would not go well with the new signal giving me 'Bit error level 10' constantly on all channels. Reluctantly I got on the roof and changed the direction (and orientation) back to facing West hoping that the height extension alone would be sufficient to boost the signal and allow all our TVs to work. I was right - for the most part.

The problem is, I seem to lose signal entirely (on all TVs) on the frequency that hosts 1,2 etc. I can marginally pick up the frequency that hosts 3,4 etc but its unwatchable. Settings show 'Bit error level 10' maxed out in red constantly. Here's the catch, it only happens randomly - and for the most part during evenings from what I can understand.

To add to the situation, when this occurs what I notice is that the RF signal that broadcasts one of our decoders to the other TVs via analogue also gets interference. This interference goes away when I remove the powered amplifier (i.e unplug it), but then I lose Freeview altogether.

The issue is biting my head in and I'm hoping someone here might know why this is happening. Is my amplifier adapter at the end of it's life?

Apologies for the long post.

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B1GGLZ
1961 posts

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  #1174927 13-Nov-2014 08:35
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Sounds to me like you have too many splitters and what you really need is a powered distribution system or multiple antennae.
Something like this may work
http://matchmaster.co.nz/domestic/amplifiers/10mm-mst08
Logical thing to do is disconnect everything then run the antenna direct to a single TV. Start adding others until the problems start. The analogue modulator itself could be causing problems depending on it's frequency.
Every time you add a splitter the signal strength degrades so multiple TVs in a fringe area on one antenna will always present problems.

shakti

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  #1174947 13-Nov-2014 09:00
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Thanks for the response B1GGLZ. Unfortunately that isn't the issue. I isolated the main TV connecting it directly to the antenna using only the single necessary powered amplifier with no luck. When the signal is gone, it's gone irrespective of my setup (which mind you has worked fine in the past).

Leads to me think that it is indeed a faulty amplifier adapter.

Thoughts?


 
 
 
 


B1GGLZ
1961 posts

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  #1175074 13-Nov-2014 11:40
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shakti: Thanks for the response B1GGLZ. Unfortunately that isn't the issue. I isolated the main TV connecting it directly to the antenna using only the single necessary powered amplifier with no luck. When the signal is gone, it's gone irrespective of my setup (which mind you has worked fine in the past).

Leads to me think that it is indeed a faulty amplifier adapter.

Thoughts?


OK
Sounds like an antenna/co-ax/amp problem then or maybe just location? Is the amp a masthead amp or distribution amp? If it's not at the masthead then it won't be very efficient as it will be amplifying signal and noise rather than just the signal.
Depending on your location in Hillcrest you should be able to get a signal from either Waiatarua, Sky Tower or Pinehill unless you are really deep in one of the gulleys. I delivered pamphlets in Hillcrest recently and saw some really bad/impossible areas to try and get a terrestrial signal at UHF.
Might be time to get in a Pro with the proper equipment to measure signal strengths and sort out best antenna setup for your location.

shakti

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  #1175101 13-Nov-2014 12:09
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It's a masthead amp. Am I right in understanding that without the powered adapter, the masthead amp does not work?

Are you able to recommend someone that won't rip a hole in my pocket? The last guy I had come in was charging me $65/hr and took 3 hours which is a bit ridiculous considering that the problem wasn't entirely solved.

B1GGLZ
1961 posts

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  #1175137 13-Nov-2014 12:46
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shakti: It's a masthead amp. Am I right in understanding that without the powered adapter, the masthead amp does not work?

Are you able to recommend someone that won't rip a hole in my pocket? The last guy I had come in was charging me $65/hr and took 3 hours which is a bit ridiculous considering that the problem wasn't entirely solved.

Correct. Remove power and amp stops working.
Sorry, can't recommend anyone as I'm a DIYer with installation. Being an Amateur Radio Ham helps.
If it was working OK before then it shouldn't be too much of a problem for someone with the appropriate gear.
Best bet if you get someone in is to explain the situation thoroughly and what you want sorted before hand. Request an estimate for various solutions including time involved and enquire what happens if he can't get it working satisfactorily. That should scare off the cowboys.


Amosnz
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  #1175164 13-Nov-2014 13:25
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I recently installed a distribution amp into the roof space as I wanted to run an new aerial extension to the other end of the house.  The existing signal was good to both current outlets, but i didn't want to use extra passive splitters so I settled on this one.  http://www.cdlnz.com/index.html?do=viewproduct&p=TVR100&code=10MM-DDA24

The install went fine, and all channels worked fine on all TV's.  The next night I turned on the lounge TV and the picture was breaking up badly, unwatchable.  I checked the other 2 tv's and they both had the same problem so I figured I'd done something wrong in the roof.  The next day I turned the TV on to sort out the problem and the picture was fine on all tv's again, so I did nothing.  That night I was watching TV in the lounge in the semi-dusk when the wife walks in and flicks the light switch.  Suddenly the TV starts breaking up, so I switch the light off and it goes back to normal.  I flick the light back on and check the other tv points, and all of them breakup when the lounge light is on, and all are corrected when the light is off.

The light in question has a 240v E27 chinese brand LED in it (as do 2 other lights in the lounge\dining on separate switches).  A quick google shows a fairly common issue of chinese LED's causing interference (Bunnings did a recall of a 12v Mirabella model due to the issues it caused).  http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1770518. Several issues I came across were from neighbors turning their cheap LED's on, so the issue might not be in your house.

I solved my issue by putting a couple of ferrite chokes on the cable the suspended light hung off.  Interestingly its only that light socket that caused the interference (swapping LED's around made no difference), and it only became a problem since I installed the DDA.

Hopefully something in the story might be useful/relevant for you.




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B1GGLZ
1961 posts

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  #1175254 13-Nov-2014 14:49
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+1
Likewise bedside and other touchlamps are massive interference generators. My first ever Phillips compact fluoro about 25 yrs ago used to stop my TV remote working. Had to change back to conventional lighting in the lounge. Check for any sources of interference.

 
 
 
 


wellygary
5010 posts

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  #1175258 13-Nov-2014 15:11
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B1GGLZ: +1
My first ever Phillips compact fluoro about 25 yrs ago used to stop my TV remote working.


Those early CFLs were notorious for the IR pollution they threw out...

richms
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  #1175261 13-Nov-2014 15:28
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With the CFL's, its not the IR they put out, its that they operated around 40kHz, which is what remotes modulate their output at. To solve that, they just changed the frequancy that the CFLs operate at.

For the OP, remove the masthead amplifier or upgrade it. They overload with cellular and other signals and totally mangle digital signals, even seen a wifi AP about 6 meters from a UHF antenna cause all sorts of issues with the amplifier. Remove it, and issues gone.

If you do replace it, make sure the new one has a "GSM" filter, But I expect issues again when 700MHz comes online for 4G services and needing to upgrade again to one with an lower cut off, which I have not seen available yet here.

IME amplifiers are not really needed for digital like they were with analog.




Richard rich.ms

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