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Get The Best Reception, Hunter Valley


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#201 dkint3

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 06:59 PM

The fact that the new Warners Bay and Belmont North digital repeaters are NOT part of the SFN that exists for the established services from Sugarloaf, Cooks Hill and Adamstown Heights leads me to think that they are being 'off-air' (from Sugarloaf - as the Nelson Bay transmitters at Gan Gan Hill are).

Does anyone know if this correct or not?

#202 RF Burns

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 07:00 AM

The fact that the new Warners Bay and Belmont North digital repeaters are NOT part of the SFN that exists for the established services from Sugarloaf, Cooks Hill and Adamstown Heights leads me to think that they are being 'off-air' (from Sugarloaf - as the Nelson Bay transmitters at Gan Gan Hill are).

Does anyone know if this correct or not?

Yes, they are an SFN with each other & are only repeaters, not translators or transmitters.
Yes, they are fed "off-air" from Mt Sugarloaf.

I have the site plans for Warners Bay, but don't think they'd like me posting it up here.
Can tell you the monopole is 30m high, at the top there are 2 x RFS panel antennas with bearings of 45 & 135 degrees, at 15m up sits the receive antenna (15 element yagi) at a bearing of 307 degrees (towards Mt Sugarloaf), & the cabinet, housing all the receive & re-transmission equipment, is 1m X 1m square x 2.8m high.
The Bemont North site is very similar in setup, except they use the existing Optus/Vodafone mobile phone tower. The receive antenna sits about halfway up, & the transmit antenna sits right on top, Belmont doesn't use panel antennas though, it has an RFS antenna just like the one on top at Kotara (Highfields).

Edited by GlennP, 10 November 2012 - 09:09 AM.


#203 dkint3

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:55 PM

Does anyone know what time next Tuesday 27th that analogue is being switched off?

Would it be 9am - as it was in some other regions?

#204 dkint3

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:55 PM

9am tomorrow as I just found out...

Went to connect up my old analogue HDD recorder, found 5 male to female leads but not one male-male, female-female lead OR Connector!

So I won't be able to record it!

Not that I'm expecting anything flash to appear on screen, but thought it would be poignant moment in Newcastle TV history seeing the VHF 3 signal turn into pure fuzz....

#205 nbound

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:07 PM

Wonder if there will be anything audible on the bottom end of the FM spectrum with NBN3 gone...

#206 Digital Penetration

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:25 PM

We finally get the 88-108MHz FM band we should have had in 1960.

Edited by Digital Penetration, 26 November 2012 - 07:25 PM.


#207 dkint3

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:29 PM

definitely, and about time... NBN should have booted off VHF 3 back in early 1990s when the ABA (now ACMA) wanted them to.
NBN took them to court to stay on 3 and won that battle.
Now we have this complete mess on any number of frequencies above 92 mhz on the FM band.. hopefully, the the ACMA will fix that up.

#208 Keepleft

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:58 PM

HOPE - someone is able to record the last few minutes of Newcastles switch off.

#209 nbound

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:33 PM

Will just be programming and then cut to snow.... that said, I recorded the switchoff here (onto video cassette of all things)

#210 RF Burns

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:10 AM

Wonder if there will be anything audible on the bottom end of the FM spectrum with NBN3 gone...

Yes, NBN switched off, I tuned down & was listening C91.3 Campbeltown in North Lake Macquarie.

#211 lameboyadvance

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:11 AM

Well I was watching, and yes it just cut to snow. No more Newcastle analog. RIP

Interesting thing was since I was watching NBN, when it cut out I could then hear garbled radio from the nearby FM stations.

I recorded it (to VHS ;)), guess I'll need to buy a USB AV dongle so I can record it to PC.

#212 azure

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:59 PM

End of an era;


#213 c2006799

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:14 PM

Is it anymore than coincidence that for the last 48hours our digital reception for SC TEN and PRIME have become very poor. ABC, NBN, SBS all fine. Would it have anything to do with the analogue cutoff?
We are in Medowie and a couple of friends in Newcastle suburbs have mentioned similar, but not identical symptoms.
We have been at the house for 6 months with no issues until now. Both TVs have the same issue - one has set top box the other Sony LCD with built in HD tuner. The set top box tv basically has 'no signal' for the mentioned channels and the Sony intermittently becomes pixelated and drops out completely every few minutes. All other channels clear as a bell.
Any advice would be appreciated.

#214 nbound

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:50 PM

Its unlikely, the signal was unchanged previous to switchoff and all they do is just turn off the analog transmitters once it hits 9am (like as if you were turning off a light).

If you were having issues 48hrs ago, there is something else going on. At the moment SC10 and Prime are at CH51 and 53 from Newcastle, while the other stations are in the high 30s. The problem in your system is either affecting the higher channels worse, or is (more likely) affecting them all and those two are a little weaker than the others at your location with your antenna.

#215 alanh

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:49 AM

Pure supposition, Nbound
Get an endorsed antenna installer to measure the signal strengths. http://www.digitalre...installers.aspx

AlanH

#216 nbound

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 11:03 AM

Well obviously alanh, pretty much all advice given on here is supposed to some extent (including your own). I imagine that would have been his next course of action (regardless of if I answered his question or not).

#217 labrooy

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 08:43 AM

My reception in Kuranda Crescent, Kotara is not ideal, with occasional dropouts on NBN in particular. The signal quality on my TV is in the 90's for NBN, but in the 40's for Prime.

The yagi is pointed in the general direction of Sugarloaf, it does seem to be pointed down too low and there's a few trees in our backyard to contend with. The Kotara tower is where the majority of locals aim their antennas, and I estimate I am only a couple of metres below line of sight, with the house across the road about 40m away being the only impediment.

So, can I simply turn the antenna around to point to Kotara, and rotate the Yagi 90 degrees to change from horizontal to vertical?

I am intending to install a 4G internet antenna below the yagi, and point it at Kotara as well. Any comments on the strength of the antenna pole to hold 2 yagi pointed in the same direction?

What I assume is the old antenna - below the Yagi - is still attached, its black lead goes into the box below the antennas. The antenna consists of a single pole pointed in the same direction as the yagi, with a single perpendicular bar at either end of the pole and a double perpendicular bar in the middle. I will attach a picture when I work out the 'my media' stuff on this forum.
I don't understand the purpose of this antenna. I don't mind leaving it in place, but if I don't need the old antenna I would prefer to remove it to give adequate space between the TV and internet antennas. Is the old antenna boosting the signal or serving any other purpose?

#218 RF Burns

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 03:16 PM

My reception in Kuranda Crescent, Kotara is not ideal, with occasional dropouts on NBN in particular. The signal quality on my TV is in the 90's for NBN, but in the 40's for Prime.

The yagi is pointed in the general direction of Sugarloaf, it does seem to be pointed down too low and there's a few trees in our backyard to contend with. The Kotara tower is where the majority of locals aim their antennas, and I estimate I am only a couple of metres below line of sight, with the house across the road about 40m away being the only impediment.

So, can I simply turn the antenna around to point to Kotara, and rotate the Yagi 90 degrees to change from horizontal to vertical?

I am intending to install a 4G internet antenna below the yagi, and point it at Kotara as well. Any comments on the strength of the antenna pole to hold 2 yagi pointed in the same direction?

What I assume is the old antenna - below the Yagi - is still attached, its black lead goes into the box below the antennas. The antenna consists of a single pole pointed in the same direction as the yagi, with a single perpendicular bar at either end of the pole and a double perpendicular bar in the middle. I will attach a picture when I work out the 'my media' stuff on this forum.
I don't understand the purpose of this antenna. I don't mind leaving it in place, but if I don't need the old antenna I would prefer to remove it to give adequate space between the TV and internet antennas. Is the old antenna boosting the signal or serving any other purpose?

Yes you can try turning the antenna around to Kotara (Highfields water tank) & see what the signals like. It also depends how far down the street you are?
Mt Sugarloaf is a much stronger signal, & even though you're closer to Kotara, if you have an old small yagi antenna, you may be better getting a phased array UHF antenna, & still pointing to Mt Sugarloaf?

The antenna below the yagi, will be the antenna that was used to receive NBN Analogue Channel 3. It's no longer needed & can be removed.

Not sure why you're pointing a 4G Internet antenna at Kotara TV site though, & who suggested you do so? Vodafone are the only carrier to have transmitters at the Kotara TV site but only 2G & 3G.

You'd be better off pointing that 4G antenna towards the phone tower at the John Hunter Hospital or the phone towers off Grandview Pde (tall orange & white one if you use Optus) or off McCaffery Drv. (shorter grey colour tower at the side of the hill in the bush, if you use Telstra). If you can't see them very well (or get good reception), try pointing at Charlestown Square for both Telstra & Optus.
Though having said that, Telstra 4G will be patchy around your area & they don't have any 4G transmitters near you yet (Charlestown, Kotara, John Hunter Hospital areas are planned, but not yet for Telstra). If you're with Telstra 4G & want reception from an external antenna now, you'll have to point it in towards New Lambton or Broadmeadow, or even give it a go pointed at the 2 phone towers on the Pacific Hwy at Adamstown Heights (top of City Rd). Optus on the other hand, find a mobile phone tower anywhere around you & it'll have 4G now.

#219 steveb

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 04:59 PM

Glenn, Labrooy

Just for some anecdotal evidence, we have had some feedback concerning old VHF anetnnas still being part of the antenna system causing signal degradation to the UHF Digital signals. We have heard of places that have taken the old VHFantennas down and removed the combiner and the UHF digital signal improves. Whether this is some sort of insertion loss of the combiner now being negated or wideband interference being injected into the system by the VHF antenna is unknown.

Something to keep in mind.

#220 alanh

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 05:54 PM

The problems introduced are usually a combination of corrosion in connection which will allow strong FM radio signals to modulate the UHF signals. This will cause many errors. UHF antennas elements are so much shorter than the half wavelength of FM radio which is around 1.5 metres tip to tip. Alanh

#221 labrooy

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 10:58 AM

It also depends how far down the street you are?


I estimate I am only a couple of metres below line of sight to Kotara, but could be up to 5 metres if I have bad judgement! Only a portion of one house in the way and it is 40m away.

I will remove the old antenna and see if signal improves, then try the Kotara tower. Most other antennas are pointed to Kotara so I figure that will be the better signal. The yagi antenna is a 16 element in reasonable condition.


Not sure why you're pointing a 4G Internet antenna at Kotara TV site though, & who suggested you do so? Vodafone are the only carrier to have transmitters at the Kotara TV site but only 2G & 3G. Optus on the other hand, find a mobile phone tower anywhere around you & it'll have 4G now.


I intend to use Optus. I thought Optus had a 4G station on the water tower. John Hunter and Grandview are both impeded by Blackbutt Reserve and Charlestown Square is behind trees and hills.

Maybe that explains the crap results I got when testing a 3G antenna.

#222 RF Burns

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 01:56 PM

I estimate I am only a couple of metres below line of sight to Kotara, but could be up to 5 metres if I have bad judgement! Only a portion of one house in the way and it is 40m away.

I will remove the old antenna and see if signal improves, then try the Kotara tower. Most other antennas are pointed to Kotara so I figure that will be the better signal. The yagi antenna is a 16 element in reasonable condition.

See how you go with the Kotara tower then.


I intend to use Optus. I thought Optus had a 4G station on the water tower. John Hunter and Grandview are both impeded by Blackbutt Reserve and Charlestown Square is behind trees and hills.

Maybe that explains the crap results I got when testing a 3G antenna.

Seeing as you're using Optus, I wouldn't totally rule out Charlestown Square, give it a try.
It's quite a distance away, but also try the towers at Adamstown Heights on the Hwy (top of City Rd).
I'm also not 100% sure but you could try pointing to Westfield Kotara, Optus have 2G & 3G there, but not sure if they've got 4G there yet?

Using a directional antenna will lock you to one base station (cell) site, if it gets busy/congested you'll have problems. I'd say in your location, you'd actually be able to get service from multiple sites (even though you can't see them). Maybe try a high gain omni-directional antenna, similar to this: http://www.rfiwirele...ml#.UbfxHhZEr8s

#223 labrooy

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 07:36 PM

I ended up going with Vodafone on the lookout tower, happy with the results for 3G and the sales people at Vodafone Kotara expect a 4G installation in July.

Now for the TV antenna - I have removed the old antenna but left a short lead which is still connected in a box (perhaps this is the combiner mentioned earlier?) under the main antenna. I couldn't get this undone in a brief visit today. Do I need to remove the lead? Will it have any effect on the signal?

I had a look at the yagi antenna. I had hoped to simply twist it within the support but it is firmly attached. Hence I can turn it around to point up to Kotara tower, but I cannot rotate it from horizontal to vertical polariation. It looks like I will need to remove the existing rig that attachs it to the pole and create a new attachment that allows me to turn it from horizontal to vertical polariation

Any hints on how to get this to work?

Thanks

Edit: I found right angle brackets for $50. Any other options?

Edited by labrooy, 02 July 2013 - 08:38 PM.


#224 RF Burns

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 03:34 PM

Now for the TV antenna - I have removed the old antenna but left a short lead which is still connected in a box (perhaps this is the combiner mentioned earlier?) under the main antenna. I couldn't get this undone in a brief visit today. Do I need to remove the lead? Will it have any effect on the signal?

I had a look at the yagi antenna. I had hoped to simply twist it within the support but it is firmly attached. Hence I can turn it around to point up to Kotara tower, but I cannot rotate it from horizontal to vertical polariation. It looks like I will need to remove the existing rig that attachs it to the pole and create a new attachment that allows me to turn it from horizontal to vertical polariation

Any hints on how to get this to work?

Thanks

Edit: I found right angle brackets for $50. Any other options?

If you can disconnect that lead do so, it may pickup signal & cause problems.
It would be best to remove the combiner (box) altogether & have the coax connected directly to the antenna if you can?

If you mean you wanted to twist the antenna in the U bolt bracket but can't, this might be you're best bet & they're only about $20. This is a Hills brand, but other brands exist that are similar, if you can't get one anywhere, goto L&H electrical wholesalers in Munibung Rd at Cardiff (just up from the traffic lights at Cardiff Panthers Club) & get one there, they may have to order it in, but they are the Hills Distributor/Sales in Newcastle. http://www.hillsante...2&ProductID=126

Or you may be able to get one of these & re-mount it to the pole, if the antenna has a round/tube boom? http://www.hillsante...2&ProductID=127

If the antenna has a square boom & has or you can drill new holes through it, just get a new U bolt assembly for about $3.00 http://www.hillsante...2&ProductID=140

#225 Ron12

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 12:24 AM

This is a dumb sounding question, but have the analog channels been switched off in Newcastle in late 2012 like they were supposed to have been?

The reason I ask is that according to the latest Radio and Television Broadcasting Stations Book (Internet Edition) (July 2013) ABC, SBS and NEN are still on the air in analog in Newcastle, and other places. There is also an NRN analog in Tenterfield.