Freeview Box Aerial Problems

  chr15jathome 11:19 20 Apr 2006


I have a just purchased a Sagem Freeview box but on installation the roof-top aerial wouldn't work with the box, no signal at all. I was thinking that maybe I was not in range for receiving the signal but tried at my parents house opposite and the box picked up about 70 ish channels immediately. My aerial is higher than theirs but looks older. Anyway I have an indoor aerial so i tried to see if I could get a reception with that and amazingly by the kitchen window with the blind up at the opposite side of the house to my mian TV it works with signal strength of about 70%. So i put the box back in the living room and ran an aerial extension from the kitchen window indoor aerial to the main tv about 10m but used a 25m Aerial Kit and haven't shortened it as yet. The signal drops to 20% so either the box doesn't like the extension being used as it's too long or I have wired the connectors up wrongly. Can anyone suggest a solution or a reasonable explanation?

Thanks (in advance)

Chris J

  oresome 14:08 20 Apr 2006

My experience is that few people can wire coax plugs correctly, so this may be one reason if you've done this rather than the manufacturer.

25 metres is a long extension and will give a loss of 6dB or so which equates to a halving of the signal.

You have a serious problem with the main aerial if no signal can be picked up........presumably this works OK with analogue?

  chr15jathome 14:30 20 Apr 2006

Yeah, works fin with analogue signal and even channel 5 is very good. I just think that the cable or aerial may be old.


  amonra 15:00 20 Apr 2006

Bite the bullet and get a new aerial.

  chr15jathome 15:18 20 Apr 2006

I can't get a new aerial for the roof cause I am in rented property and the landlord has said that I can't. Well that is in the tenancy agreement anyway and expect that he will stick to it.

I might try cutting the extension as short as possible and get some metal high quality connectors instead. Those cheap white plastic ones from maplins are rubbish.


  rmcqua 15:21 20 Apr 2006

If you're not used to wiring up co-ax plugs, it is quite easy to let a whisker of the braid wire escape and short-circuit to the centre conductor. If you have access to a multimeter, check for a short circuit between outer and inner.

  chr15jathome 15:24 20 Apr 2006

Yeah will get the new connectors and have downloaded the best instructions i could find off the web. I was getting a signal of about 20-25% with 25m cable so if i shorten the cable and make the connectors perfectly then maybe I have a change of getting a good signal. What about getting one of those line repeaters or whatever there called to gain the 6dB back down the line?

By the way thanks for all the help you guys, some excellent advice here.

Chris J

  rmcqua 19:23 20 Apr 2006

I think you will find the problem is a cable/connector issue. I don't think that the attenuation of the 25m cable alone (unless it's very poor quality coax) will be the cause of your signal strength reduction from 70% to 20%.
Incidentally, the cause of poor signals from old outdoor aerials is usually degraded, water-logged coax, rather than any issue with the aerial itself.
Good luck.

  chr15jathome 07:09 21 Apr 2006

Hurray, I have finally managed to get it working. I took the indoor aerial up to the first floor of the house and had about 50%. Shortened the extension down to about 18m gained another 10% and then fiddled with the position of the aerial and ended up with about 65%-70%. Didn't think this would be enough but the signal quality is 98% and at the moment fingers crossed is perfect.
I guess the moral of the story is that indoor aerials do work if they are high enough and within as good as possible line of sight of the transmitter.
Thanks for all the great help everyone.

Chris J

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