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73 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 55947 11-Jan-2010 08:59
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Hi,

Ever since I got my computer set up to receive Freeview HD I've had issues with the TVNZ mux (constant stuttering and dropouts).  Anyway, this weekend I had some time spare so I got up on the ladder and had a play around with the antenna on the roof to see if I could improve my reception with no luck.  By this point I was quite frustrated so I disconnected the 2 way splitter that I was using to feed the computer and the tv, and connected the computer directly up to the antenna.  Bingo! perfect reception on all channels now.

So now my issue is that I can only have one receiver hooked up to the antenna at a time.  I'm looking for some advice regarding using an amp of some kind to boost my signal so I can hook up more TVs to the antenna.  From what I can tell I have 2 options: Install a masthead amp on the antenna pole, or I can use a splitter amplifer (something like this http://www.gme.net.au/products/matv/matv-splitter-amplifier/SA164F).

Can anyone suggest which of this options would be better for me (or if there is another option I should consider)?  At the moment I would like to hook up my TV and the HVR2200 in my HTPC, but in future I may have other receivers so I'd like a solution that would allow me to hook up 4 devices if possible.

If it of any use here are some additional details.  I'm in Rolleston (just inland from Christchurch) with a Gizmo antenna (with UHF kit installed) pointed at Sugarloaf.  I have the roofs of several houses in between me and Sugarloaf which I think is why I'm having issues.  Unfortunately I'm unable to get the antenna any higher as I have a tile roof and have no way to mount the antenna up there.

Thanks
Andy

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16 posts

Geek


  Reply # 288863 11-Jan-2010 09:17
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Hi,
Masthead amplifiers could improve the signal, it may just improve the crap. It just depends, you have to try and see. A better solution would be to use an antenna with a higher gain. Terrestrial Freeview does require a strong signal and the roofs of your neighbours could be affecting the signal.



Edmund

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  Reply # 288901 11-Jan-2010 10:28
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andrewdixon1000: I'm in Rolleston (just inland from Christchurch) with a Gizmo antenna (with UHF kit installed) pointed at Sugarloaf.

I'd start there.  Looks like you're simply not getting a good enough signal reception for two tv's on just one of the MUX's. 

What cable is run down from your aerial, what type of splitter are you using, and what type of connectors are on the ends of the cable?

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 288902 11-Jan-2010 10:34
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andrewdixon1000: From what I can tell I have 2 options: Install a masthead amp on the antenna pole, or I can use a splitter amplifer ...

Given that you have an acceptable signal when you connect your PC directly to the aerial, and the loss when splitting the signal causes problems it's probable that amplifying the signal will do the trick for you.

It would be best to install an amplifier as close to the aerial as practical - so that you are amplifying the signal before it has picked-up much noise along the cable. A decent quality shielded masthead amplifier like this would do the job. Installation on the aerial pole is obviously the closest you can get to the aerial, but installing the amplifier inside the home at the point the cable enters is often almost as good. Remember that the amplifier needs a power supply, which can be installed some distance down the aerial cable away from the amplifier. If the power supply is installed "after" the signal has been split, you must make sure that the splitter will pass power back through to the amplifier - the safe option is to use a splitter that has power-pass on all ports.

However you could almost certainly get a higher gain aerial that the Gizmo, and boosting the signal strength from the aerial is always a good place to start. Having said that if you are going to split the signal more than two ways you might need an amplifier anyway.



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Master Geek


  Reply # 288918 11-Jan-2010 11:10
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

I'm using RG9 cable throughout, with F connectors.  I don't know much about the specifics of the splitter, other that it's a two way splitter and it's one of the diecast metal ones.

Thanks
Andy

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  Reply # 288937 11-Jan-2010 12:51
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andrewdixon1000: Thanks for the replies everyone.

I'm using RG9 cable throughout, with F connectors.  I don't know much about the specifics of the splitter, other that it's a two way splitter and it's one of the diecast metal ones.

Thanks
Andy


Assume you mean RG6.
As said , get rid of the Gizmo, and install UHF antenna,
and you will overcome your splitter loss,
much better than amplifying all the unwanted signals.

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  Reply # 288976 11-Jan-2010 14:55
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The gizmo has virtually no gain at all. Get a real UHF antenna and it should come right.

Also if the splitter is a saddle clamp one or a cheap piece of crap that will cause problems - get a decent sat rated one. I had no end of dvb-t problems in the garage with a no brand 8 port splitter. Swapping for a slightly better looking one and they went away (also 8 way)




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 289013 11-Jan-2010 16:40
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+1 for dropping the Gizmo, they seem to be an ok solution if you are in a prime reception area wher you rman what a low profile combination (V+UHF) antenna but they have very little gain and directional selectivity.

Do yourself a favour and get a decent 12-14dB gain Yagi.

Cheers
Cyril



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Master Geek


  Reply # 289240 12-Jan-2010 12:08
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

I think I'll stick with what I have for the time being and when I get to the point where I need to add another receiver to the system I'll upgrade the antenna.

Out of interest, can anyone comment on this antenna from Jaycar (http://jaycar.co.nz/productView.asp?ID=LT3181&keywords=lt-3181&form=KEYWORD)?  It seems to be very well priced compared to other (seemingly) similiar antennas I've seen elsewhere.

Thanks again
Andy

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  Reply # 289259 12-Jan-2010 12:40
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That antenna seems fine, just make sure really that you're getting F connectors on any new antenna you buy these days.

Over to you, but really I'd say just do yourself a favour and get a decent aerial that will provide you with a strong enough signal for the uses you have for it. Gizmo's had a good thing going for the older analogue transmissions (for those worried about how their aerials 'looked' and didn't want a dedicated VHF and UHF aerial diplexed).  You can easily do better for digital UHF reception, despite the marketing/popularity etc.

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  Reply # 289292 12-Jan-2010 15:00
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Sorry to hijack slightly but what do those in the know think about the Gizmos with the extra UHF add on? Do they bring it up to a decent gain or do you still really need a dedicated UHF only aerial?



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Master Geek


  Reply # 289296 12-Jan-2010 15:39
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Mattv,

I have the UHF addon on my Gizmo.  As you will have read I've had issues with mine, and where I live is considered to be a good reception area (although as I said I do have a number of roofs blocking my line of sight to the transmitter.  According to Lincrad who make the Gizmo, it has a UHF gain of approximately 10dB with the UHF addon.

Depending on where you live you may or may not have better results than me, but assuming you are starting from scratch I think you'd be better off getting a proper UHF antenna.  They don't seem to cost any more than a Gizmo.

Hope that helps
Andy

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