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A Bodgers Diary. (fairly long).



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 13th 06, 03:05 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv,uk.d-i-y
Bazzer Smith
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 162
Default A Bodgers Diary. (fairly long).

This is divided into two seperate bodges, bodge (a), and bobdge (b), as you
will be
aware a true bodger moves swiftly from one cock-up to another, unphased by
his
complete lack of competence :O)


Bodge (a).
----------

With the aid of a signal booster (4 way as it happens), I had been enjoying
watching TV (on my Television) via my Freeview box and also on my PC
via a Freecom (DVB) USB stick.
Not satisfied with this happy state of affairs I thought why not move the
signal
booster out of the living room up into the loft, where it would be 'out of
the way'
and also able to power the aerial socket in the kitchen (unconnected at the
time).
I figured that I could use a passive splitter in the living room once the
signal
was being boosted from the loft.

I just ran an extennsion cable to the loft for power to make things 'easy'.
Anyway I put the booster in the loft so it was powing the two down leads.
When I tried to use the passive splitter I had in the living room I found
that only one of the 'ports' was working, as I had no other splitter
I decided to 'make one myself' by combining some cables (none of the
impedance matching bull for me!!) anyway as I was trying to connect this up
I (at come point) felt a 'tingling' feeling in my fingers. That doesn't feel
right
I though, so I went and got the booster from the loft and tried it in its
previous
configutation in the living room and as I suspected it was no longer working
(although its blue light was on and the fuse was not blown).

Actually I am not 100% sure it is buggered, cos some of the cables I made up
can be a bit dodgy. However I just tested it again it is buggered, it will
let a signal through
albeit a bad one, worse than unboosted. Interestingly the gain controls
still works,
it varies from a crap picture to an abysmal on (testing on analogue).
(I might have a go at fixing that later).

So I am now wondering what caused it to blow? I rechecked my cable,
especially looking
for 'earth to signal' 'shorts but the cable seemed fine, the main problem
with these cables
is asembling the connectors on them and not getting an open circuit on the
signal.
Anyway down to just an unboosted signal I tired to see if my signal splitter
cable
would work anyway, it turns out it did at least on the strongest muxes but
no chance
on the weaker ones as I expected. Dunnno if a propper spliitter would have
faired any
better.
Anyway I also got the 'tingling' sensation when fiddling with the splitter
cable soI am wondering what is going on?
There is no booster so the energy is not coming from there so that leaves
just the
USB stick or the Freeview box. I am not 100% sure exactly when I got the
tingling
but I think it was when touching the earths shields of two different cables.
Lets
face it you can only really tough the earths, not the signal because it is
inside.
So I am figuring there is a difference between the two earths or something?
Actually it would have to be quite a big difference wouldn't it? I mean
You don't get a tingling from say, a 9 volt battery do you, rather
worrying!!
Actually I am going get my voltmeter out right now and test the two earths
potential differences!! I might be in for a shock! Quite literally!!


Hmmmm..interesting I am recording a 4-5 volt difference between the two
earths!!
Perhaps more to the point, I noticed that 'at first contact' on one of the
tests it
appeared to register 18 volts!!! (and then drop back to 4-5 volts) is this
normal?
Incidently the tingle I experienced in my fingers gave me the impression it
was high
voltage, similar to something I experience from a faulty light switch
(nothinig to do
with me I might add!!), seems like there maybe some capacitive effect here?
I should add that the TV and PC are on different power sockets, but the
sockets
are probably on the same 'spur' or 'ring' they are in the same room anyway!!
I will try and connect them to the same socket to see if this that is any
better.

This leads me to another thought, the signal booster 'blew' when it was in
the loft,
powered from an upstairs socket, it never blew when it was down stairs, even
though
that 4-5 volt earth difference was present. Maybe the situation is even
worse with three
different sockets interacting? Also I wonder if I can take it back to the
shop
(Maplins) as faulty, I don't have the receipt though. As far as I can see it
'blew' whilst in
'normal usage'? I don't think my 'homemade' signal splitter can be blamed.
Another though is why my 'propper' signal splitter failed? Did it burn out
due to
some earth level problem? Or was it just because it was dirt cheap (a few
quid)
and shoddily made (very tight connector fittings requiring some force?).


Bodge (b).
----------


Moving on somewhat, undeterred by my recent failures I decided to try and
boost
the signal in the loft by adding another identical aerial, side by side with
the original
areial in the loft. I tried as well as I could (well I made an effort) to
keep the
aerials parallel and have the same length of cable to each aerial (about two
nine
inch lengths twisted on to the original length.
This however I had no success the resulting signal was worse, much worse!!
I could only get a very block picture on the best mux and nowt on the
others!!
I tried to adjust the aerials alignment a little but it made no difference.
Then I wondered
if it mattered which way around the earth and signal were connected to the
aerials.
The aerials recieve a vertical signal, I noticed that one had the earth
connected to the
top 'connector' and the other had the earth connected to the bottom
connector,
however I also noticed that one of the aerials was upside down so to speak,
in respect
to the other, such that it needed to be turned 180 degrees on its long axis
to be oriented
the same way. I though that these two 'errors' might cancel each other out
(if indeed it
mattered at all) and that the resulting two signals would be back 'in
phase', however
I am not too sure. Anyway I gave up at this point and went back to a single
aerial
as it was getting late. Any comments regarding me combining the two areials
like this? OK maybe I should have used a propper 'combiner' to match
impedances
or whatever, but the one I have doesn't work so I couldn't use that. I was
pretty disapointed
with the results I got, the first thing I thought is that the signals are
close to completely
out of phase, almost cancelling each other out, just how accurate do you
have to be?
What is the margin of error? My guess is the maximum difference the
alignment,
mounting and cabling could have ammounted to would be about 2 iinchs, but
probably a
lot less.

Anyway I will have another 'bash' at it tomorrow, this time I will measure
the cable lengths
accurately and make sure the aerials are orientated the same way with the
earths and signals
connected to the appropiate 'studs', incidently uk TV wavelengths are 40-80
cm (approx).
I am hoping I got my signals 180 degress out for phase with my first 'bash'
hoping for better
luck tomorrow. I am going to carry my portable TV in the loft as a 'signal
tester', hopefully
without breaking my neck.


Future plans
------------

I have put off adding a 'proper' powerpoint to the loft for the time being
for obvious
reasons :O)

I might have a go at fixing my signal booster some time, probably be cheaper
to buy
a new one though.

Maybe the diagram is simiilar to this? Probably the transistor thingy is
blown?
Fook knows.
http://www.zen22142.zen.co.uk/Circuits/rf/uhfpreamp.htm



  #2  
Old August 13th 06, 03:38 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv,uk.d-i-y
Bazzer Smith
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 162
Default A Bodgers Diary. (fairly long).


"Bazzer Smith" wrote in message
...
This is divided into two seperate bodges, bodge (a), and bobdge (b), as
you will be aware a true bodger moves swiftly from one cock-up to
another, unphased by

his complete lack of competence :O)


Bodge (a).
----------

With the aid of a signal booster (4 way as it happens), I had been
enjoying watching TV (on my Television) via my Freeview box and also on my
PC via a Freecom (DVB) USB stick. Not satisfied with this happy state of
affairs I thought why not move the signal booster out of the living room
up into the loft, where it would be 'out of the way' and also able to
power the aerial socket in the kitchen (unconnected at the time).
I figured that I could use a passive splitter in the living room once the
signal was being boosted from the loft. I just ran an extennsion cable to
the loft for power to make things 'easy'. Anyway I put the booster in the
loft so it was powing the two down leads. When I tried to use the passive
splitter I had in the living room I found that only one of the 'ports' was
working, as I had no other splitter I decided to 'make one myself' by
combining some cables (none of the impedance matching bull for me!!)
anyway as I was trying to connect this up I (at come point) felt a
'tingling' feeling in my fingers. That doesn't feel right I though, so I
went and got the booster from the loft and tried it in its previous
configutation in the living room and as I suspected it was no longer
working (although its blue light was on and the fuse was not blown).

Actually I am not 100% sure it is buggered, cos some of the cables I made
up can be a bit dodgy. However I just tested it again it is buggered, it
will let a signal through albeit a bad one, worse than unboosted.
Interestingly the gain controls still works, it varies from a crap
picture to an abysmal on (testing on analogue). (I might have a go at
fixing that later).

So I am now wondering what caused it to blow? I rechecked my cable,
especially looking for 'earth to signal' 'shorts but the cable seemed
fine, the main problem with these cables is asembling the connectors on
them and not getting an open circuit on the signal. Anyway down to just
an unboosted signal I tired to see if my signal splitter cable would work
anyway, it turns out it did at least on the strongest muxes but no chance
on the weaker ones as I expected. Dunnno if a propper spliitter would have
faired any better. Anyway I also got the 'tingling' sensation when
fiddling with the splitter cable soI am wondering what is going on? There
is no booster so the energy is not coming from there so that leaves just
the USB stick or the Freeview box. I am not 100% sure exactly when I got
the tingling but I think it was when touching the earths shields of two
different cables. Lets face it you can only really tough the earths, not
the signal because it is inside. So I am figuring there is a difference
between the two earths or something? Actually it would have to be quite a
big difference wouldn't it? I mean You don't get a tingling from say, a 9
volt battery do you, rather worrying!!
Actually I am going get my voltmeter out right now and test the two earths
potential differences!! I might be in for a shock! Quite literally!!


Hmmmm..interesting I am recording a 4-5 volt difference between the two
earths!! Perhaps more to the point, I noticed that 'at first contact' on
one of the tests it appeared to register 18 volts!!! (and then drop back
to 4-5 volts) is this normal? Incidently the tingle I experienced in my
fingers gave me the impression it was high voltage, similar to something
I experience from a faulty light switch (nothinig to do with me I might
add!!), seems like there maybe some capacitive effect here? I should add
that the TV and PC are on different power sockets, but the sockets are
probably on the same 'spur' or 'ring' they are in the same room anyway!! I
will try and connect them to the same socket to see if this that is any
better.

This leads me to another thought, the signal booster 'blew' when it was in
the loft, powered from an upstairs socket, it never blew when it was down
stairs, even though that 4-5 volt earth difference was present. Maybe the
situation is even worse with three different sockets interacting? Also I
wonder if I can take it back to the shop (Maplins) as faulty, I don't
have the receipt though. As far as I can see it 'blew' whilst in 'normal
usage'? I don't think my 'homemade' signal splitter can be blamed. Another
thought is why my 'proper' signal splitter failed? Did it burn out due to
some earth level problem? Or was it just because it was dirt cheap (a few
quid) and shodily made (very tight connector fittings requiring some
force?).


Bodge (b).
----------


Moving on somewhat, undeterred by my recent failures I decided to try and
boost the signal in the loft by adding another identical aerial, side by
side with the original areial in the loft. I tried as well as I could
(well I made an effort) to keep the aerials parallel and have the same
length of cable to each aerial (about two nine inch lengths twisted on to
the original length. This however I had no success the resulting signal
was worse, much worse!! I could only get a very blocky picture on the
best mux and nowt on the others!! I tried to adjust the aerials alignment
a little but it made no difference. Then I wondered if it mattered which
way around the earth and signal were connected to the aerials. The
aerials recieve a vertical signal, I noticed that one had the earth
connected to the top 'connector' and the other had the earth connected to
the bottom connector, however I also noticed that one of the aerials was
upside down so to speak, with respect to the other, such that it needed
to be turned 180 degrees on its long axis to be oriented the same way. I
though that these two 'errors' might cancel each other out (if indeed it
mattered at all) and that the resulting two signals would be back 'in
phase', however I am not too sure. Anyway I gave up at this point and went
back to a single aerial as it was getting late. Any comments regarding me
combining the two areials like this? OK maybe I should have used a proper
'combiner' to match impedances or whatever, but the one I have doesn't
work so I couldn't use that. I was pretty disappointed with the results I
got, the first thing I thought is that the signals are close to completely
out of phase, almost cancelling each other out, just how accurate do you
have to be? What is the margin of error? My guess is the maximum
difference the alignment, mounting and cabling could have ammounted to
would be about 2 iinchs, but probably a lot less.

Anyway I will have another 'bash' at it tomorrow, this time I will measure
the cable lengths accurately and make sure the aerials are orientated the
same way with the earths and signals connected to the appropiate 'studs',
incidently UK TV wavelengths are 40-80 cm (approx). I am hoping I got my
signals 180 degress out for phase with my first 'bash' hoping for better
luck tomorrow. I am going to carry my portable TV in the loft as a 'signal
tester', hopefully without breaking my neck.
Future plans
------------

I have put off adding a 'proper' powerpoint to the loft for the time being
for obvious reasons :O)

I might have a go at fixing my signal booster some time, probably be
cheaper to buy a new one though.

Maybe the diagram is simiilar to this? Probably the transistor thingy is
blown? Fook knows.
http://www.zen22142.zen.co.uk/Circuits/rf/uhfpreamp.htm



I just tried to reformat my origiinal post and correct some typos, no doubt
I have made it much worse :O)




  #3  
Old August 13th 06, 03:40 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv,uk.d-i-y
Bazzer Smith
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 162
Default A Bodgers Diary. (fairly long).

Worked quite well second time. (the post formatting I mean).


  #4  
Old August 13th 06, 04:55 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv,uk.d-i-y
Bill Wright
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 6,542
Default A Bodgers Diary. (fairly long).


"Bazzer Smith" wrote in message
...
Worked quite well second time. (the post formatting I mean).

The amp will have two stages with a variable attenuator between them. It
sounds as if one stage is not working.

Connecting two aerials and achieving a correct phase relationship is
impossible in a loft, because the surroundings affect the behaviour of each
aerial so much.

My dear Basil, I'd love to show you how it is possible to get two aerial
exactly in phase, then move the nulls around by altering the distance
between them. When I do it it's sheer poetry. Have you seen Fred Astaire
dance? Well that's me on a big roof with a stacked or bayed array. When it's
windy I can even detect Emley Moor's sway. At this moment I'm listening to
the London Symphony Orchestra working their way through a few Beethoven
Concertos. Those boys have got nothing on me when I've got a pair of TC18s
to play with.

Bill


  #5  
Old August 13th 06, 03:49 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv,uk.d-i-y
Andy Hall
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5
Default A Bodgers Diary. (fairly long).

On 2006-08-13 13:58:58 +0100, Owain said:

Bill Wright wrote:
My dear Basil, I'd love to show you how it is possible to get two
aerial exactly in phase, then move the nulls around by altering the
distance between them. When I do it it's sheer poetry. Have you seen
Fred Astaire dance? Well that's me on a big roof with a stacked or
bayed array.



I'm sure there's the makings of a BBC Saturday night television series
in there somewhere, a cross between Generation Game and Come Dancing,
involving Anneka Rice, a plunge neckline boiler suit and a safety
harness nipped in at the hips.

(And the helicopter would save all that tiresome ladder climbing.)

Owain


.... and rather more appealing than the Udder One....



  #6  
Old August 13th 06, 04:15 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv,uk.d-i-y
Graham
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 298
Default A Bodgers Diary. (fairly long).


"Owain" wrote in message
...
Bill Wright wrote:
My dear Basil, I'd love to show you how it is possible to get two aerial
exactly in phase, then move the nulls around by altering the distance
between them. When I do it it's sheer poetry. Have you seen Fred Astaire
dance? Well that's me on a big roof with a stacked or bayed array.



I'm sure there's the makings of a BBC Saturday night television series in
there somewhere, a cross between Generation Game and Come Dancing,
involving Anneka Rice, a plunge neckline boiler suit and a safety harness
nipped in at the hips.

(And the helicopter would save all that tiresome ladder climbing.)

Owain


And Bills analyser would determine the winner like Hughie Green's
Clapometer.

I suppose prospective Big Brother housemates undergo a different kind of
clap-ometer test. Just a thought.
--

Graham.
%Profound_observation%


  #7  
Old August 13th 06, 06:21 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv,uk.d-i-y
Bazzer Smith
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 162
Default A Bodgers Diary. (fairly long).


"Bill Wright" wrote in message
...

"Bazzer Smith" wrote in message
...
Worked quite well second time. (the post formatting I mean).

The amp will have two stages with a variable attenuator between them. It
sounds as if one stage is not working.

Connecting two aerials and achieving a correct phase relationship is
impossible in a loft, because the surroundings affect the behaviour of
each aerial so much.



Yes I thought that might be a problem, however I wil have one more try at it
anyway because I think I had my aerials 180% out of phase inittialy so its
worth one more try.


My dear Basil, I'd love to show you how it is possible to get two aerial
exactly in phase, then move the nulls around by altering the distance
between them. When I do it it's sheer poetry. Have you seen Fred Astaire
dance? Well that's me on a big roof with a stacked or bayed array. When
it's windy I can even detect Emley Moor's sway. At this moment I'm
listening to the London Symphony Orchestra working their way through a few
Beethoven Concertos. Those boys have got nothing on me when I've got a
pair of TC18s to play with.

Bill



  #8  
Old August 13th 06, 11:49 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv,uk.d-i-y
Bazzer Smith
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 162
Default A Bodgers Diary. (fairly long).


"Bazzer Smith" wrote in message
...

"Bill Wright" wrote in message
...

"Bazzer Smith" wrote in message
...
Worked quite well second time. (the post formatting I mean).

The amp will have two stages with a variable attenuator between them. It
sounds as if one stage is not working.

Connecting two aerials and achieving a correct phase relationship is
impossible in a loft, because the surroundings affect the behaviour of
each aerial so much.



Yes I thought that might be a problem, however I wil have one more try at
it
anyway because I think I had my aerials 180% out of phase inittialy so its
worth one more try.


My dear Basil, I'd love to show you how it is possible to get two aerial
exactly in phase, then move the nulls around by altering the distance
between them. When I do it it's sheer poetry. Have you seen Fred Astaire
dance? Well that's me on a big roof with a stacked or bayed array. When
it's windy I can even detect Emley Moor's sway. At this moment I'm
listening to the London Symphony Orchestra working their way through a
few Beethoven Concertos. Those boys have got nothing on me when I've got
a pair of TC18s to play with.

Bill



Well I had another go at it with partial success, I could get some muxes but
not others, I was getting good analogue pictures up in the loft (a little
ghosting) so I had high hopes for the digital stuff.
(I didn't bother taking the set top box in) but overall it is not good
enough
So I have reverted back to one aerial. I am pretty sure I had the aerials
180 degrees out of phase, basically one aerial was 'upside down' (I think).
Interestingly I left the other aerial in position but disconnected it and it
seems
to have improved the overall signal levels!! My weakest mux is 91% all the
others are 98% (the max I have ever had).


I am now thinking I might have more luck with a proper aerial combiner
because having two aerials connected seems to have a similar effect to
splitting the signal at the other end. (in that I lose two muxes), however
I think there is a fair bit of reflection going on up there so it may well
be nigh on impossible to get all 6 muxes.
Anyway I think I will get a 15 four way booster from Argos and a passive
spplitter that should be the easiest solution





  #9  
Old August 13th 06, 11:57 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv,uk.d-i-y
Bazzer Smith
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 162
Default A Bodgers Diary. (fairly long).


"Bazzer Smith" wrote in message
...

"Bazzer Smith" wrote in message
...

"Bill Wright" wrote in message
...

"Bazzer Smith" wrote in message
...
Worked quite well second time. (the post formatting I mean).

The amp will have two stages with a variable attenuator between them. It
sounds as if one stage is not working.

Connecting two aerials and achieving a correct phase relationship is
impossible in a loft, because the surroundings affect the behaviour of
each aerial so much.



Yes I thought that might be a problem, however I wil have one more try at
it
anyway because I think I had my aerials 180% out of phase inittialy so
its
worth one more try.


My dear Basil, I'd love to show you how it is possible to get two aerial
exactly in phase, then move the nulls around by altering the distance
between them. When I do it it's sheer poetry. Have you seen Fred Astaire
dance? Well that's me on a big roof with a stacked or bayed array. When
it's windy I can even detect Emley Moor's sway. At this moment I'm
listening to the London Symphony Orchestra working their way through a
few Beethoven Concertos. Those boys have got nothing on me when I've got
a pair of TC18s to play with.

Bill



Well I had another go at it with partial success, I could get some muxes
but
not others, I was getting good analogue pictures up in the loft (a little
ghosting) so I had high hopes for the digital stuff.
(I didn't bother taking the set top box in) but overall it is not good
enough
So I have reverted back to one aerial. I am pretty sure I had the aerials
180 degrees out of phase, basically one aerial was 'upside down' (I
think).
Interestingly I left the other aerial in position but disconnected it and
it seems
to have improved the overall signal levels!! My weakest mux is 91% all the
others are 98% (the max I have ever had).


I am now thinking I might have more luck with a proper aerial combiner
because having two aerials connected seems to have a similar effect to
splitting the signal at the other end. (in that I lose two muxes), however
I think there is a fair bit of reflection going on up there so it may well
be nigh on impossible to get all 6 muxes.
Anyway I think I will get a 15 four way booster from Argos and a passive
spplitter that should be the easiest solution



I have just noted something which could prove very inportant, I noticed
that it was not good enough to simply disconnect the second aerial
I also had to remove the 'home made aerial combiner I made', this
may suggest that with a correct combiner it might all work!!!!
At least I am 90% sure that was the case.


Mind you the booster would be cheaper than buying all the connectors I would
need!!


  #10  
Old August 14th 06, 02:12 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv,uk.d-i-y
Bazzer Smith
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 162
Default A Bodgers Diary. (fairly long).


"Bazzer Smith" wrote in message
...

"Bazzer Smith" wrote in message
...

"Bazzer Smith" wrote in message
...

"Bill Wright" wrote in message
...

"Bazzer Smith" wrote in message
...
Worked quite well second time. (the post formatting I mean).

The amp will have two stages with a variable attenuator between them.
It sounds as if one stage is not working.

Connecting two aerials and achieving a correct phase relationship is
impossible in a loft, because the surroundings affect the behaviour of
each aerial so much.


Yes I thought that might be a problem, however I wil have one more try
at it
anyway because I think I had my aerials 180% out of phase inittialy so
its
worth one more try.


My dear Basil, I'd love to show you how it is possible to get two
aerial exactly in phase, then move the nulls around by altering the
distance between them. When I do it it's sheer poetry. Have you seen
Fred Astaire dance? Well that's me on a big roof with a stacked or
bayed array. When it's windy I can even detect Emley Moor's sway. At
this moment I'm listening to the London Symphony Orchestra working
their way through a few Beethoven Concertos. Those boys have got
nothing on me when I've got a pair of TC18s to play with.

Bill



Well I had another go at it with partial success, I could get some muxes
but
not others, I was getting good analogue pictures up in the loft (a little
ghosting) so I had high hopes for the digital stuff.
(I didn't bother taking the set top box in) but overall it is not good
enough
So I have reverted back to one aerial. I am pretty sure I had the aerials
180 degrees out of phase, basically one aerial was 'upside down' (I
think).
Interestingly I left the other aerial in position but disconnected it and
it seems
to have improved the overall signal levels!! My weakest mux is 91% all
the
others are 98% (the max I have ever had).


I am now thinking I might have more luck with a proper aerial combiner
because having two aerials connected seems to have a similar effect to
splitting the signal at the other end. (in that I lose two muxes),
however
I think there is a fair bit of reflection going on up there so it may
well
be nigh on impossible to get all 6 muxes.
Anyway I think I will get a 15 four way booster from Argos and a passive
spplitter that should be the easiest solution



I have just noted something which could prove very inportant, I noticed
that it was not good enough to simply disconnect the second aerial
I also had to remove the 'home made aerial combiner I made', this
may suggest that with a correct combiner it might all work!!!!
At least I am 90% sure that was the case.



Actually I didnt use a correct combiner when I combined two aerials
whiich pointed to different transmittors togeather (successfully) so the
jury is out on that one.
I might take the set top box up to the loft too and see what kind of signal
drop occurs in the down lead.


Mind you the booster would be cheaper than buying all the connectors I
would need!!



 




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