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13 posts


#59547 6-Apr-2010 17:23
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Hi guys, tried searching for my answers but no luck... hope you can help

Just joined freeview on saturday, plugged it in and was not surprised when I got frequent blankouts...  So I started working on it.  At that point I had 80% signal and 98% quality and tvnz blanks out at least 15 times an hour, this was with the very old 23 element uhf aerial on the roof

OK, Im on the Manukau city hill with a great view of the skytower from the decking, I can also see the waitarua (speeling) tower with binoculars (just a vertical line on one of the hilltops)  The aerial is obscured from waitarua with only one tree about 20m from the aerial, but pointing to waitarua horizontally aligned

I went to bunnings and got a new 43 element uhf aerial to replace the rusty and seriously corroded one.  The previous tenants had a sky dish and I recycled the R6 cable and connector from that into the new uhf aerial.  The cable is only about 10m length and goes direct into the freeview box, no joins or splits...

I now have 85% signal and 99% quality but still, it regularly blanks out (at least 5 times an hour), mostly tvnz but less often tv3 and prime hardly ever.   It rained very hard last night and I didn't get any more problems watching from weather, infact last night prime didnt drop often at all.

My freeview box is a SatMax SM801B, it is a cheapy from Harvey Normans... starting to wonder what part is faulting still...  I thought those signal/quality numbers were pretty good and I shouldn't have these problems...

Any Ideas? should I try the skytower in vertical polarisation?

P.S. why can I pick up all analog channels with only a uhf aerial?  I get 1, 2, 3, 4, prime, juice, maori all crystal clear, tv one has a little bit of snow, but isnt tv 1 a VHF signal?

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  #315465 6-Apr-2010 19:06
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Skytower requires vertical alignment, Waiatarua horizontal. Try changing the aerial to vertical and point it at the Skytower and see whether that helps. This map shows all the transmitters and the required polarisation.

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  #315636 7-Apr-2010 08:28
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OK, have changed alignment this morning, rotated the aerial 90deg and pointed it at skytower, now I have 62% signal and 90% quality, a big step down in numbers, but the proof is in the watching, will see how it goes...  Cheers for the map.

Failing that I'm probably gonna have to climb that roof again and move the mouting pole 2m south to avoid the tree thats in the way of waiatarua...  Amazing to see that even tho skytower is closer to me, the signal is weaker...




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  #315645 7-Apr-2010 08:59
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Nope, still blanking out.... darnit!!!

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  #315668 7-Apr-2010 09:54
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I had the same issue with clear direct line of site to Kau Kau in Wellington. my advise. replace all cable and connectors - use hex crimp connectors not the cheap screw on ones. I now get 100% all the time.

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  #315671 7-Apr-2010 09:56
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Any signs of corrosion on/in the cable, since you reused the old one.

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  #315743 7-Apr-2010 13:09
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i'd buy some new calbing while you're at it.

somewhere like Stewarts offer some good rates.

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  #315776 7-Apr-2010 14:49
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Just moved the mounting pole away from the tree blocking waiatarua, got another 1% signal now at 86% for tvnz & tv3, 90% for Prime.  It still blanked out on tv2

This cable I reused from sky, I used the F connector from the indoor end of the cable onto the antennae (centre conductor was a wee bit oxidised at f connector) and the other end I cut off the outdoor end to fresh clean copper not oxidised and put the screw together aerial plug on it.

Based on the upgrade I have performed compared to the original corroded aerial an cable, I have gained 7% signal strength, and a slight improvement on blanking out.

I  might take my freeview box to a mates house in a worse area (waiuku compared to manukau hillside) and compare the blank outs at his house, it may just be the box causing these issues  If it works better there I know its my installation / cable.

I did not confirm the new aerial is freeview approved however, does anyone know of any issues with Antsig 43 element uhf aerial with f connector from Bunnings?


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  #316237 8-Apr-2010 15:23
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OK Grabbed a new 10m RG6 lead with f type connectors on each end and a 75 ohm adaptor from Jaycar...

Now I got 87% or higher signal for the channels, will see how I go with this and update this post later on.

Cheers guys for your advice

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  #316512 9-Apr-2010 13:00
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I'd say the box is the problem. 85% signal with 99% quality should be plenty. Good idea to take the box to somewhere you know gets good reception on their gear and try it.

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  #316515 9-Apr-2010 13:08
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Yeah try somewhere else to eliminate the box.

You don't have any thermostats etc clicking in / out in the room etc?  I had dropouts on my freeview sat service when my heat transfer kit kicked on/off during the night for instance.

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  #316565 9-Apr-2010 14:59
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Yeah, havent visited my mates house yet, might do that tonight
Still getting dropouts, got a new thought though...

I noticed that when I just had a 1m coax extension in back of tv and analog Prime was only slightly snowy, nearly crystal clear, I thought thats a good analog signal, so I hooked up some rabbit ears to the stb, signal and quality are way down (50-60s & 70q) and it doesnt blank out, just sound hiccups every now and then.

Maybe I have too big an aerial up on the roof for what I need... I got a 43 element by mistake (went for 23 el but grabbed wrong packet) and looking all around me there are smaller uhf aerials with no elements in front, just the reflector, even lower down the hill

Will pull the front section off and remove director elements and test signal strength with just dipole and reflector, see what my signal reads then,

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  #316578 9-Apr-2010 15:12
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No elements in front, just dipole and reflector on a stick
83-85% signal 96-99% quality

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  #316587 9-Apr-2010 15:28
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Wasnt locking onto channels properly... Front section still removed and only first 5 element sets installed, 87%sig, 99%qual

Yep, gonna try this box at a mates house...

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  #316751 10-Apr-2010 12:09
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OK took it to my mates house in a worse location, but known not to lock up much on his stb, mine was even worse!!!

Took the Satmax SM801B back for exchange and grabbed the Teac HD-B6T instead.

LOL the firmware and remote control is almost identical it's hard to distinguish the differences, but there are and it seems the Teac has much better build quality. Even during startup the lights flash in the same manner (splash screen different tho). So I upgraded firmware so the Teac can PVR etc and everything in the menus are the same.

The Teac has better quality video output that was instantly noticable, everything is clearer even tho its running HDMI. Even the OSD is higher resolution and even 32 bit colour shading in the menus.

Signal and quality numbers are the same, haasn't dropped out yet

I'm wondering if the chinamen were given the teac box to clone.

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  #316761 10-Apr-2010 12:41
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you'll find a lot of the freeview boxes are just clones of other ones. the dse g7503 is a zinwell zmt-620 clone and the sanyo is a clone of the draco hdtv5500. i've got a jcmatthews dvr-320t and that is just a clone of the zinwell zmt-640pvr, all beit with a larger hdd.

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