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57 posts

Master Geek

Topic # 26226 16-Sep-2008 00:25
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I've been reading a few old (and locked) posts on this topic, and was hoping to get an update on people's experiences of tuning into the Sky Tower vs Waiatarua...

My situation: I live in a marginal reception area in a gully on the western side of the Auckland CBD (near Ponsonby / Grey Lynn).
* Waiatarua: behind some big trees (ie my aerial can't see the transmitter)
* Sky Tower: ~2.5km away; my aerial can see the top needle part through the branches of one small tree (rest of the tower is obscured by a hill)
* My aerial: currently pointed at Waiatarua
* My reception: Waiatarua is marginal but OK in fine weather (ie seldom drops a frame); Sky tower signal can be tuned into, but is worse than Waiatarua and not really watchable (however that may be because my aerial has it's back to the Sky tower and is not polarised the right way)

My questions to those in similar situations to me:
* What part of the Sky Tower is the FreeviewHD transmitter on? (if it's not very near the top, I have no line-of-sight)
* Do you think I am likely to get better reception by re-orientating my aerial for the Sky Tower?
* Or should I buy a higher gain UHF aerial and keep pointing it at Waiatarua? (I currently only have a rusty 8-element aerial)

I know the best solution for me depends on my exact situation, but I'm keen to get a feel for what might work before mucking around with my aerial or investing in a new one...


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21286 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 164692 16-Sep-2008 03:02
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Dont forget pine hill, there are plenty of people in mt albert going that way.


446 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 164699 16-Sep-2008 07:30
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Keep in mind that you will lose the ability to get a good (possibly any) signal for channels like Prime if you point at Sky Tower.

87 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 164721 16-Sep-2008 09:02
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I am in a similiar situation as you in that I also blocked line-of-site from Waiatarua, but can see the 'needle' of the skytower.

Waiatarua was never going to be a good UHF solution (zero Line of Site) for me so I was very interested in trying for Skytower reception.

The following may help:

 - The Skytower signal is vertically polarised (Waiatarua is horizontal). Trying to capture with an aerial of any sort of gain, in the wrong plane, will have a huge affect on the strength of signal received.

- I am ~10kms away from Skytower. With a fringe-reception aerial (long, high gain) in the vertical plane, pointed directly at the needle I get a near perfect 100% Quality signal. BTW not sure if you know but Skytower's transmit power is many times lower than Waiatarua, not a problem but something to remember if trying to compare both transmitters.

- I carried out my "research" with a Hauppauge NOVA-T Stick and actually took it and a laptop into the city to check out if I could receive anything with the small provided aerial. I could get an ~ok signal with this crappy aerial, so this would suggest if you had a half-way decent aerial in the correct plane at 2.5km you should be good to go.

- So to summarise: if you can currently get a Skytower signal at all with an aerial turned broadside to the transmitter and in the wrong plane, you should be good to go if you realign your current aerial :-)

Worth a play at the very least!

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 164782 16-Sep-2008 12:28
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richms: Dont forget pine hill, there are plenty of people in mt albert going that way.

Really?  That surprises me, they are so far away and I thought Pine Hill was low power, infill only?  Or do I misunderstand you? 

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 164851 16-Sep-2008 16:04
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The sky transmission from there was the only one I could use when in parnell, and people in mt albert were in the same boat - I know the DTT are weaker then analog skys from there but should still be plenty coming in if you have ok line of site up to it


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Ultimate Geek
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Chorus NZ

  Reply # 165531 19-Sep-2008 00:12
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Sky Tower is lower power than Waiatarua, like all infill transmissions and the DTT transmission panels are in the top third of the "needle", not too far below the highest birdnest below the red beacon light and can be seen reflecting quite bright the main lights at night (if you are close enough - as I am) if I've identified them correctly.  So generally if you can see the top you should be OK.  And if your aerial is receiving signal from there and it has it's "reflector" facing it, and on the wrong angle, sounds like you should get a good signal if you turn it around and on it's side.

57 posts

Master Geek

  Reply # 165561 19-Sep-2008 09:00
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The Sky Tower does transmit ALL FreeviewHD channels, right?

It's just Prime that I would miss if I point my UHF aerial at the Sky Tower instead of Waiatarua(?)

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