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  1. #1
    Senior Member JDub's Avatar
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    Question TV cables, a difference?

    Yet another TV cabling question

    The previous owners of my house had cable TV. When they moved they took the dish off the roof but left the wall plates, cabling and roof mount for the dish insitu.

    My TV reception isnt crash hot and I need an outdoor aerial......

    My question is; can I just replace the wall plate with a standard socket (outdoor aerial), attach an aerial to the existing mount on the roof and use the same cable that was used for fox?

    If I can I will be able to get away with a cheap outdoor aerial for just the cost of the aerial itself and the wall plate/socket, also saves me running cables etc

    Cheers
    Joel

  2. #2
    Diamond Member Barry_White's Avatar
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    Joel

    You can certainly use the cable for normal TV. In fact most installations use that cable now which is suitable for Digital TV. Rather than change the wall plate just go to a TV antena installer and get him to make up a tail with a F connector on one end and a normal one on the other end to plug into the socket on the TV. An F connector is one that screws onto the wall plate.
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    The views expressed by the poster are general in nature and any advice should be taken in this vein. The poster accepts no responsibility if this advice is used. When undertaking any work personal professional advice should be sought from suitably qualified persons in the field of work being undertaken.


  3. #3
    Member knucklehead's Avatar
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    Default That will work

    Just keep in mind that you are not really saving much by doing this. Cable is really cheap. I see alot of people that will spend big money on an aerial then connect it to the cruddy cabling that has been in the house for decades. Running cables is normally not as hard as it seems. If the cables are not 100% then the no matter how good the aerial is the reception will never be good. This goes for connectors as well.

    That being said if the cables are in good condition I would not change the connectors or wall plate. Just make the fly lead fit the wallplate. It is probably an F type connector, so just make or buy a "Belling Lee to F" fly lead and you away.

    P.S. some places call belling lee connectors "PAL", either way they are the push on type for the TV etc, they come in male and female.

    Hope that helps.
    Specializing in O positive timber stains

  4. #4
    Drop Bear Master Iain's Avatar
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    If the cable is ratty you can use it as a mouse to feed new cable, installing an antenna is not always as simple as it seems and you should find an optimum position on the roof, one metre sideways can make one hell of a difference in some situations.
    Height of antenna can also be crucial and moving up and down a metre of so can give you up to 20db gain difference.
    Go for the best antenna you can afford, there is a difference, keep away from the el cheapo's as you will find that the plastic components will fall apart in a matter of months as they are not UV resistant.
    Bigger is not always better, I use a log periodic antenna that is just over one metre long and offers 12db gain on VHF and UHF, that is more than those enormous 8 foot combination antennas and less obtrusive, the down side is it starts on channel 6 so we cannot receive ABC analogue, but as ABC digital (Melb) is channel 6, not a problem.
    I'm not sure what your channels are but you may get away with a UHF only antenna, tell me what you have and I can tell you what antenna to go for (log periodic B4-B5 or B4/5 or even B3-4-5)
    F to Pal fly leads are available off the shelf but generally are pretty crappy, get a tech to make you one, will cost about the same but will be far superior quality.
    With existing cabling you can also insert an F connect splitter in the system, go for a good quality splitter if you need to put one in and don't be tempted with the cheap and nasty screw and saddle types, far too much loss and digital TV does not like it, for memory I think they lose about 5db per point, F types typically lose about 1 db or less.
    F connect are easy to fit yourself, just buy the screw on type, once on they won't fall off, the only reason most techs don't use them is because they are hard on your fingers when you put them together, but if you are only doing one or two, who cares, when you are doing a few hundred, crimps are quicker and easier, but not neccessarely any better.
    If you need tyo buy coax make sure you get RG6, do not be tempted to buy RG59 as it is not as good and there is too much loss, if you can get at least dual shield, foil and braid, better still get tri or quad shield.
    Stupidity kills. Absolute stupidity kills absolutely.

  5. #5
    Senior Member JDub's Avatar
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    Thanks all,

    The cabling looks fine and isnt very old.

    This is more just an experiment really. Down the track I was going get it all done properly (positioning, splitters etc) by the pros.

    However given most of its there already I was just going to buy a cheap aerial, get the adaptor for the existing F connector and see what happens. If it doesnt work, no great loss, cant be any worse than the 'bunny ears' I currently have, he he.

    I figure the position the mount is in on the roof already will surfice, seeing as I assume foxtel would have installed it to start with.

    Like I said Im not after the biggest and the best, just a little experiment to see if I can improve my reception slightly without to much impact on the pocket.

    Cheers
    Joel

  6. #6
    2 kids, no time Wildman's Avatar
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    Radio parts in West Melbourne and Malvern sell off the shelf F-type to PAL flyleads that are high quality RG6 for a reasonable price. I use one into my HDTV card in my PC and get 98.9% signal all the time.

    As has previously been mentioned, dont skimp on cable, put in decent quad shield RG6 and f-type connecters all the way through until they come out the wall plate. The only PAL connectors in the system should be into the TV/Video. An F-type crimper is about $25 and a coax stripper is about $35, worth it if you have a bit to do.

    Cheers
    Ben
    My glue tastes funny.

  7. #7
    Drop Bear Master Iain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDub
    I figure the position the mount is in on the roof already will surfice, seeing as I assume foxtel would have installed it to start with.
    Joel
    But bear in mind that it was a dish not an antenna, completely different story, all you need is a clear line of sight for a dish (yep, theres the satellite we'll point at it, theres only about 5000 to chose from) terrestial is a completely different story and is subject to reflection and all sorts of other nasties that you can't see without a spectrum analyser, but.............................you may just get lucky.
    Another point where some people have come unstuck, I'll get rid of my satellite TV and use the coax, works a treat but I lost my broadband connection, be wary.
    Stupidity kills. Absolute stupidity kills absolutely.

  8. #8
    Senior Member JDub's Avatar
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    double post

  9. #9
    Senior Member JDub's Avatar
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    Wildman: Thanks will see if I can find a prefabbed F to PAL lead from one of the local electrical places....

    Iain: LOL that completely slipped my mind (dish v terristrial ), good thing your here to knock some sense into me. Like you said however I may get lucky.

    Like I said earlier I really just want this to be a cheap experiment, so If I buy the prefabbed lead and a cheap aerial it may improve the reception somewhat for only a small outlay.... Am I wasting my time or is it worth a try?
    Bear in mind I dont want to pay to get the pros to do it properly ATM (an impending family to consider) so its this or leave it as is.

    BTW the broadband is ADSL via the phone line so It would have nothing to do with my TV....... right? LOL

    Cheers
    Joel

  10. #10
    Drop Bear Master Iain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDub

    BTW the broadband is ADSL via the phone line so It would have nothing to do with my TV....... right? LOL

    Cheers
    Joel
    Right, I was thinking of someone I know who wishes to remain nameless who used existing cable for an antenna job on an Optus fibre optic setup.
    Cheap antenna's???
    Steer clear of Bunny brands, stick with awell known like Hills, and er, um it's a green thing and I've forgotten the name.Matchmaster thankyou Mr memory
    Don't go to Dick Smith or Tandy, too expensive, a local TV repair place will have one, and advice too which is a big plus.
    You should get something decent for under $100.00
    Stupidity kills. Absolute stupidity kills absolutely.

  11. #11
    ian
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDub
    Like I said earlier I really just want this to be a cheap experiment, so If I buy the prefabbed lead and a cheap aerial it may improve the reception somewhat for only a small outlay.... Am I wasting my time or is it worth a try?
    Bear in mind I dont want to pay to get the pros to do it properly ATM (an impending family to consider) so its this or leave it as is.
    Joel
    In trying to answer your core question "Am I wasting my time or is it worth a try?" I'm not going to be much help as I live in a part of Sydney that has notoriously bad TV reception. Sort of like I can get Channel 10 but none of the others or the reverse and BTW the arial needs to be realigned after evey wind storm — needless to say I now use cable.
    However, my experience was that paying the professionals to do it properly was, in the long run, money well spent. One thing you need to consider is the severe impact a family addition has on cash flow till they start school, so my advice is do it properly now rather than live with crappy reception for the next five to six years.

    Ian

  12. #12
    Drop Bear Master Iain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ian
    arial needs to be realigned after evey wind storm
    TRy a log periodic and a decent clamp, then use s digital set top box, end of all problems.
    Small antenna, high gain, not prone to movement in wind and a big plus, 75ohm impedance, no balun to break down.
    Stupidity kills. Absolute stupidity kills absolutely.

  13. #13
    ian
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    [QUOTE=Iain]Try a log periodic and a decent clamp, then use s digital set top box, end of all problems. QUOTE]
    Iain
    I was refering to a period well before digital. I don't know how well you know Sydney, but at the time and location I'm refering to, I could get a direct signal from Channel 10's UHF antenna at North Head or the others via a reflected signal from the Kings Cross UHF antenna. Their directions were about 80 deg apart and the neighbour on the left could only get Channel 10!
    I haven't tried free to air since digital started.

    Ian

  14. #14
    Drop Bear Master Iain's Avatar
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    Multiple antenna and diplexing is also an option.
    Stupidity kills. Absolute stupidity kills absolutely.

  15. #15
    Northernmost member in Oz Jack E's Avatar
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    JDub,

    The house I just bought had no aerial and we were relying on rabbit ears. Then somebody told me that if you have any reception at all digital TV will give you a perfect picture. I was a bit dubious about this but bought a SD set top box and have had a perfect picture since, only using rabbit ears which are concealed behind the corner TV unit at floor level.
    When I say perfect picture I mean it is like watching a DVD.
    A cheap option with no stuffing around.

    Jack
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  16. #16
    Senior Member JDub's Avatar
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    Jack E: interesting, .........how much was the set top box?

    My reception is ok, I can get a good picture with the rabbit ears I have now but it means getting up a playing around with the aerial every time you change channel....... so what you suggest may well work....

    Anyone else tried this?

  17. #17
    Drop Bear Master Iain's Avatar
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    Set top boxes start at around $130 but you get what you pay for.
    Avoid brands such as Teac, Akai and stick with better known names like Thompson, Emtech etc who are big in Satelite decoders, which is the same technology, they work exactley the same way, just from a different source.
    The better boxes will work as low as 30dbuv while the cheaper ones will start to drop out at about 50dbuv.
    Expect to pay about $200-250 for a decent SD (standard definition) and unless you have a 100hz or plasma TV I wouldn't even consider a High Definition.
    Apart from picture quality that is like watching a DVD you also get multiple SBS channels, programme guides, music channels and an information bar.
    Some have teletext too, if you can be bothered waiting for it to load.
    Channel ten Melb occassionally run multi channelling on some sports events so you get to chose which view you want, doesn't happen often and I watched 4 different aspects of the Malaysian Grand Prix last year.
    They never tell you when it's happening though.
    And, ABC have another channel too, its on 21 digital and is an alternative to whatever is on the normal analogue stream.
    The better boxes also have fibreoptic audio out so you can hook into a home theatre.
    I've had one now for 3 years and would never go back to analogue.
    Stupidity kills. Absolute stupidity kills absolutely.

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