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Site Inspection/testing By Professional Installer

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I've been busy saving up to be able to afford to engage the services of a professional 'intaller' to assist me to upgrade my FTA reception (I have 85% acceptable DTV reception but occassionally get hit with chirping and frozen signal for various events - inpulse noise from uknown source, lost signal when truck passes between me and Mt Dandy Transmitters - 100km away, especially at signals above ch9)

Present install is a 20+ years old Hills yagi (has 14 elements, and guess is cut for ch 6 to 11) with matching old Hills masthead amp all mounted up a 4m guyed pole sitting on the middle of the roof. It gets worse, coax is copper braid shield (and silver foil) and all connections are saddle clamp type.

I know I could replace the coax to reduce impulse noise, but if I'm going to pull down the Ant and Masthead Amp, I might as do it was a once off task for anything else that needs replacing (I know I want Masthead amp to be in a fully shielded enclosure and use F connectors).

At my previous residence, I spent just over $1000 25 years ago to assist the installer to put up 5 Aerials (Melb facing FM, VHF for 2, VHF for 7,9,10, UHF for ch28 and Latrobe Valley facing VHF for 8) on a 10m guyed pole (two galvonised iron water pipes). I TA'd on that job. Only problem was many years later with bloody cockatoos eating outer shield of coax bewteen masthead amp and UHF antenna. As expceted the UHF was at the very top and I had to uninstall everything when lowering the top pipe to get at the coax and replace it. (I never want to have to do that again on any guyed system)

So I'm also going to have the coax installed in protective conduit to avoid more munching birds.

As I sort of implied in the opening of this message, I'm about to start the process of contacting my local installers to find one that has the technical skills to assess my site and work with me to determine the 3 basics - location on site, height of Aerials and types to use. I would expect to also TA with them to do the tests and move to the design/installation/commission at a point in time in the future (I may need to save more money).

Here is the question to the installers in this Forum.

What is the best way to do the approach any prospective installers, with repsect to questioning their technical skills for what I'm after?



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You need an installer who has knowledge and experience doing installations in your area and who can provide digital channel power and Bit Error rate measurements and make recommendations based on those readings to provide you with reliable reception.

Keep in mind, at 100km there may be some issues.

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As Col suggests, local knowledge is useful, but much more important is knowledge of digital reception and also the tools to be able to do the job correctly.

I'd be asking your locals what meter they have make and model and then check that either on the web or back to here to make sure it is capable of proper DVB-T measurement. I've had a few customers tell me the previous guy had a meter which was a digital meter but being observant they noted the type of meter it was and sure it had a digital readout... but doesn't measure DVB-T ie DCP, CBER and PvBER...

Other questions to ask are what antennas they use and what amplifiers, are the F connected, fully shielded etc..

Not sure what your locals do, but in your situation I'd be recommending a site test which is chargeable, to get an idea of what the signal is like over your roof.

Obviously it's hard to get a true view at more than 15-20ft but you should be able to get some idea at this height. which is what you can manage in a site test without needing a telomast.

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