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Problems With New Professionally Installed Antenna In Port Melbourne


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#1 Aowee

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 03:12 PM

I would appreciate any professional advice with regards to the following problem with a recently installed antenna in Port Melbourne, VIC.

Summary of problems
Interference of reception on commercial channels most evenings for a split second. I.e. pixelation, sound drop out, loud sound or digital blurring. This occurs on average 3 times an hour. This is enough to be slightly annoying, but does not make television unwatchable.
Interference of reception when neighbors use power tools.
Severe disruption to signal of commercial stations during storms. Makes television unwatchable.
Antenna placed over rear decking such that birds sit on it and defecate all over my deck. This is exacerbated by the fact that the antenna being used is extremely large and is placed horizontally.

Timeline and description of issue
I live in Port Melbourne, which is a poor reception area. My house had no antenna so I had one installed professionally in April (including new wiring). I have a new Panasonic television set, but also suffered the same problems with a cheaper Aldi Bauhn tv.

The installer initially installed an an antenna similar to this within my ceiling. I think it was a LPDA antenna. (I can't guarantee it was identical.)
LPDA antenna

Unfortunately, I suffered from poor reception on channel's 7 and 9 in the evenings, to such an extent that these channels were unwatchable between 6.30pm and 8.30pm most evenings.

The installer than returned a few times and eventually moved the antenna on to a fascia mount over my rear decking. The reception improved, but some evenings I suffered from severe interference, especially on channel 7. Planes going overhead caused digital interference.

The installer returned a number of times to check what the issues were and eventually changed the antenna to a VHF/UHF combined antenna similar to this:
Current antenna

However, I now suffer from the problems described in the previous section.

Some of my neighbors have a UHF phased array antenna pointed at Como. When I asked if this option would improve my reception I was told by the installer that the Como repeater would not exist in five years time, so this was not a long term solution.

As I understand, the antenna is pointed at the Dandenong repeater. There is a booster installed.

My neighbors say they have clear signals. If I had known I would suffer from the above problems, I would have forked out for Foxtel and would not have installed an antenna.

Questions
Should I expect a clear signal all the time, or is some interference to the reception to be expected?
Is it normal to get severe picture problems in bad weather?
Is there any reason the installer did not place the fascia mount on the other side of the house so that the antenna sat over my roof? This would mean the bird droppings would sit on my roof rather than the decking.
Depending on your answers to the above:
Has the correct antenna been installed? (My understanding is that there is no intention to close down the Como repeater. I can't understand why the installer fed me the false information, as he has been willing to return to the house to try and remedy the problems.)
Given I paid $500 for the install, is it reasonable for me to expect the installer to sort out these problems and to move the antenna so that it sits over the roof rather than the decking?

Pictures
I have taken the following pictures to assist you with any advice you may give. Also feel free to PM me, if there is any further information that you require. (Hopefully you are able to access the photos.)
Photos to provide context

I appreciate the opinion of the community and thank you in advance.

#2 Tazzy2Heads

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 04:12 PM

I would appreciate any professional advice with regards to the following problem with a recently installed antenna in Port Melbourne, VIC.

Summary of problems
Interference of reception on commercial channels most evenings for a split second. I.e. pixelation, sound drop out, loud sound or digital blurring. This occurs on average 3 times an hour. This is enough to be slightly annoying, but does not make television unwatchable.
Interference of reception when neighbors use power tools.
Severe disruption to signal of commercial stations during storms. Makes television unwatchable.
Antenna placed over rear decking such that birds sit on it and defecate all over my deck. This is exacerbated by the fact that the antenna being used is extremely large and is placed horizontally.

Timeline and description of issue
I live in Port Melbourne, which is a poor reception area. My house had no antenna so I had one installed professionally in April (including new wiring). I have a new Panasonic television set, but also suffered the same problems with a cheaper Aldi Bauhn tv.

The installer initially installed an an antenna similar to this within my ceiling. I think it was a LPDA antenna. (I can't guarantee it was identical.)
LPDA antenna

Unfortunately, I suffered from poor reception on channel's 7 and 9 in the evenings, to such an extent that these channels were unwatchable between 6.30pm and 8.30pm most evenings.

The installer than returned a few times and eventually moved the antenna on to a fascia mount over my rear decking. The reception improved, but some evenings I suffered from severe interference, especially on channel 7. Planes going overhead caused digital interference.

The installer returned a number of times to check what the issues were and eventually changed the antenna to a VHF/UHF combined antenna similar to this:
Current antenna

However, I now suffer from the problems described in the previous section.

Some of my neighbors have a UHF phased array antenna pointed at Como. When I asked if this option would improve my reception I was told by the installer that the Como repeater would not exist in five years time, so this was not a long term solution.

As I understand, the antenna is pointed at the Dandenong repeater. There is a booster installed.

My neighbors say they have clear signals. If I had known I would suffer from the above problems, I would have forked out for Foxtel and would not have installed an antenna.

Questions
Should I expect a clear signal all the time, or is some interference to the reception to be expected?
Is it normal to get severe picture problems in bad weather?
Is there any reason the installer did not place the fascia mount on the other side of the house so that the antenna sat over my roof? This would mean the bird droppings would sit on my roof rather than the decking.
Depending on your answers to the above:
Has the correct antenna been installed? (My understanding is that there is no intention to close down the Como repeater. I can't understand why the installer fed me the false information, as he has been willing to return to the house to try and remedy the problems.)
Given I paid $500 for the install, is it reasonable for me to expect the installer to sort out these problems and to move the antenna so that it sits over the roof rather than the decking?

Pictures
I have taken the following pictures to assist you with any advice you may give. Also feel free to PM me, if there is any further information that you require. (Hopefully you are able to access the photos.)
Photos to provide context

I appreciate the opinion of the community and thank you in advance.



#3 Tazzy2Heads

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 04:23 PM

I would appreciate any professional advice with regards to the following problem with a recently installed antenna in Port Melbourne, VIC.

Summary of problems
Interference of reception on commercial channels most evenings for a split second. I.e. pixelation, sound drop out, loud sound or digital blurring. This occurs on average 3 times an hour. This is enough to be slightly annoying, but does not make television unwatchable.
Interference of reception when neighbors use power tools.
Severe disruption to signal of commercial stations during storms. Makes television unwatchable.
Antenna placed over rear decking such that birds sit on it and defecate all over my deck. This is exacerbated by the fact that the antenna being used is extremely large and is placed horizontally.

Timeline and description of issue
I live in Port Melbourne, which is a poor reception area. My house had no antenna so I had one installed professionally in April (including new wiring). I have a new Panasonic television set, but also suffered the same problems with a cheaper Aldi Bauhn tv.

The installer initially installed an an antenna similar to this within my ceiling. I think it was a LPDA antenna. (I can't guarantee it was identical.)
LPDA antenna

Unfortunately, I suffered from poor reception on channel's 7 and 9 in the evenings, to such an extent that these channels were unwatchable between 6.30pm and 8.30pm most evenings.

The installer than returned a few times and eventually moved the antenna on to a fascia mount over my rear decking. The reception improved, but some evenings I suffered from severe interference, especially on channel 7. Planes going overhead caused digital interference.

The installer returned a number of times to check what the issues were and eventually changed the antenna to a VHF/UHF combined antenna similar to this:
Current antenna

However, I now suffer from the problems described in the previous section.

Some of my neighbors have a UHF phased array antenna pointed at Como. When I asked if this option would improve my reception I was told by the installer that the Como repeater would not exist in five years time, so this was not a long term solution.

As I understand, the antenna is pointed at the Dandenong repeater. There is a booster installed.

My neighbors say they have clear signals. If I had known I would suffer from the above problems, I would have forked out for Foxtel and would not have installed an antenna.

Questions
Should I expect a clear signal all the time, or is some interference to the reception to be expected?
Is it normal to get severe picture problems in bad weather?
Is there any reason the installer did not place the fascia mount on the other side of the house so that the antenna sat over my roof? This would mean the bird droppings would sit on my roof rather than the decking.
Depending on your answers to the above:
Has the correct antenna been installed? (My understanding is that there is no intention to close down the Como repeater. I can't understand why the installer fed me the false information, as he has been willing to return to the house to try and remedy the problems.)
Given I paid $500 for the install, is it reasonable for me to expect the installer to sort out these problems and to move the antenna so that it sits over the roof rather than the decking?

Pictures
I have taken the following pictures to assist you with any advice you may give. Also feel free to PM me, if there is any further information that you require. (Hopefully you are able to access the photos.)
Photos to provide context

I appreciate the opinion of the community and thank you in advance.

Lovely photos
Deck looks great, Quality bird poop.
Antenna installation not so sure, the way the coax is run may be a clue. Probably nothing that can't be sorted with the right man and meter, as you say the
neighbours TVs are ok .If the Como repeater is now Digital I would say it's a stayer. The local guys will help you out here.
Cheers Tazzy

#4 mtv

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 04:39 PM

From your description and pics, I have doubts as to the competency of your installer.

The fact he initially installed an antenna IN your ceiling, especially given your location raises a lot of doubt as to their knowledge and experience level.

The interference you are experiencing is impulse noise interference.

The antenna you now have is prone to picking up impulse noise interference, as it is not optimised for digital channels. eg: it includes bands 1 and 2 which are not used for digital TV in Australia.

It is also a low-gain antenna. (even the coax isn't secured properly to the mount)

The log periodic antenna is generally a good performer, but as with any antenna, mounting location can be critical in difficult reception areas.

There are no plans to decommission the Como translators at any time in the future. If you have been informed otherwise, then you have been misinformed.

What test equipment did your installer use?... a digital meter/analyser with BER and MER measurement capability?

A good installer would perform a site survey to determine the best mounting location and height with several different antennas to ensure you have reliable reception.

If neighbours can get reliable digital reception, either from Mt Dandenong or Como, it's a good indication you should also be able to, however, there are various factors like blocked signal paths, reflected signals etc which can effect reception.

If there are only a few outlets, you should not require a booster (amp).. this is probably adding to your problems rather than helping them, as an amp will also amplify interference and can cause tuner overload, also causing intermittent or even total loss of reception.

Without being there with test equipment, it's difficult to determine, but for starters, I wouldn't be using that antenna.

Yes, you have a reasonable expectation for the installer to perform the work correctly, which by your description and pics, he has not done a very good job so far.

Given he has had several attempts and has mis-informed you about the Como translators... I doubt he has the ability to provide the level of expertise required.

#5 M'bozo

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 05:59 PM

I would appreciate any professional advice with regards to the following problem with a recently installed antenna in Port Melbourne, VIC.


Get a second opinion.


Edit: Posted by a journeyman antenna installer.

Edited by M'bozo, 06 December 2011 - 08:44 PM.


#6 alanh

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 07:11 PM

I have resisted posting in this strand, but I cannot let this one pass by.

There is a new set of translators to be installed on the corner of Collins and King St to service the inner suburbs on the Western End of the CBD and its surrounds. As was correctly put, South Yarra translators are not a replacement.

I expect that these transmitters will be in a Single Frequency Network with South Yarra, possibly with horizontal polarisation. This is yet to be seen when the technical specifications are published. This will give soon give Aowee three signals to choose from.

So the original installer changed from an antenna which was more appropriate to one which is worse. No comment about the replacement with an antenna designed for channels 0 upwards.

This antenna is unlikely to be good for either Collins St or South Yarra which require UHF only antennas.

Wait until the new transmitters are running before you fix your system.


AlanH

#7 DrP

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 07:33 PM

I have resisted posting in this strand, but I cannot let this one pass by.

Yes, its obviously far more important to give oneself a feeling of importance rather than to offer help immediately.

#8 Aowee

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 04:26 PM

Thanks all for your fast responses.

It sounds like I shouldn't be having the problems I am experiencing.

In response to a particular question above: the guy told me he used a meter and said he wasn't seeing any issues with the signal when he checked. However, I cannot validate this as I was at work and my wife was at home.

My preference is to get the company I have been using to sort out the problem, as I have already forked out $500 to them. It is their responsibility to fix the problem or refund my money. If they are unable or unwilling to fix the problem, I will escalate the issue to trading standards and I will call in another installer to fix the installation and provide me with a report into the initial installation.

Thanks again.

#9 M'bozo

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 05:16 PM

My preference is to get the company I have been using to sort out the problem, as I have already forked out $500 to them. It is their responsibility to fix the problem or refund my money.

.

Perhaps the suggestion could be made that he needs to attend when the fault is evident to get a better understanding of your problem?

Edited by M'bozo, 08 December 2011 - 03:38 PM.


#10 andrewlace

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 08:24 AM

Both the ACMA and the digital ready website suggest that it is not unreasonable to receive interference particularly from bad weather. While he was there did he make any suggestion that reception in the area might not be perfect. Planes flying overhead will definately affect the signal path.

Did he make any suggestions about the cabling in your house, check the connections, did he do a full site test. It is not unreasonable to expect to pay not just for the aerial but for the time to test and do an overview of the system. If the interference is not there when he is, no he can't do a full test. Some installers have a quality spectrum analyser and can do a sweep of the area. The acma will do a test in the area to find interference if the installer has done all reasonable work to find interference. i.e. if someone has an electric fence that is noisy or a dodgy piece of radio broadcast equipment they can have an order written up. Your antenna installer has no such legal rights.

Are others in the area having the same issues?

#11 Aowee

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 09:35 AM

Both the ACMA and the digital ready website suggest that it is not unreasonable to receive interference particularly from bad weather. While he was there did he make any suggestion that reception in the area might not be perfect. Planes flying overhead will definately affect the signal path.

Did he make any suggestions about the cabling in your house, check the connections, did he do a full site test. It is not unreasonable to expect to pay not just for the aerial but for the time to test and do an overview of the system. If the interference is not there when he is, no he can't do a full test. Some installers have a quality spectrum analyser and can do a sweep of the area. The acma will do a test in the area to find interference if the installer has done all reasonable work to find interference. i.e. if someone has an electric fence that is noisy or a dodgy piece of radio broadcast equipment they can have an order written up. Your antenna installer has no such legal rights.

Are others in the area having the same issues?


The installer never indicated that I wouldn't be able to receive a perfect picture signal. If he had, I would have gone down the path of having Foxtel installed. Regardless, my neighbors have no problems with their picture.

The installer replaced the cabling in my house. So any issues with that are his responsibility.

We only watch television at night and that is when we experience any problems. They are intermittent and only for s split second. There have been two or three evenings that the commercial channels have been unwatchable due to bad weather. I.e. we have been unable to watch those channels all evening. The installer has already said he is unable to come in the evening to witness the problems. I have taken video of the problems we have had.

As an additional point, my television shows the signal strength as being at 10/10. The signal quality indicator usually sits between 6/10 and 10/10, when I get intermittent interference. However, in poor weather, the signal quality can drop down to 0.

#12 mtv

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 10:04 AM

As an additional point, my television shows the signal strength as being at 10/10. The signal quality indicator usually sits between 6/10 and 10/10, when I get intermittent interference. However, in poor weather, the signal quality can drop down to 0.


The amplifier (booster) will be causing false signal readings and signal meausurements on TV tuners are not accurate as they do not measure true DCP BER/MER like a professional meter/analyser.

As I said previously, you probably don't need an amp and it is likely to be adding to the problem, not helping it.

Any competent installer should be able to rectify the problem, starting with the correct antenna, mounted in the correct location.

Antenna selection and mounting location are critical, because if you don't have sufficient signal quality at the antenna, fitting an amplifier to attempt to compensate for poor signal quality does not work.

There is a high likelihood that the amplifier is causing tuner overload, in addition to amplifying impulse noise interference.

Do you know the make/model of the amp and how many antenna outlets do you have?

#13 alanh

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 11:07 AM

MTV,
Interesting that they replaced your favorite antenna the Log Periodic with a channel 0 - 69 antenna

"Some of my neighbors have a UHF phased array antenna pointed at Como. When I asked if this option would improve my reception I was told by the installer that the Como repeater would not exist in five years time, so this was not a long term solution."

What did this installer think would happen when all of the antennas pointed at the Como Building is switched off? The installer should have tried the a UHF Phased array pointed at the Como building now as it obviously can produce stable reception to his neighbours.

The installer or the customer or both have misunderstood that a new set of translators will be added on top of the Rialto towers which are only about 3 km from the viewer. Then weather planes etc will have little effect.

AlanH

#14 Aowee

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 11:51 AM

Initially the guy thought no amp would be needed and just the Log Periodic antenna in the ceiling would do the job. I have 3 antenna outlets, but only use one of them. During the initial install he decided he required an amp. He installed a Kingray amp (not sure on the model number, but there is a power attachment that goes on the main antenna outlet).

However, after the first install, I was suffering from very poor tv reception between 6.30pm and 8.30pm in the evening. The commercial channels were unwatchable at times.

Subsequently he moved the antenna outdoors on a fascia mount. Although the reception problems improved, I still suffered from poor signal, especially on channel 7.

After this he changed the antenna from the Log Periodic, to the one in the pictures above. I cannot say if he has modulated the amp and to what extent, but my wife told me at the time he did something in the ceiling. I did mention to him that maybe the amp is up too high and is amplifying a poor signal. He did say he would check. I also mentioned to him about possibly using the Como receiver with a UHF phased array antenna, which is when he lied to me about it coming offline.

#15 mtv

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 12:13 PM

As suspected, the installer appears to have installed the amp to compensate for poor signal.

He should have never even contemplated installing any antenna in the ceiling at your location.

Although alanh is not and has never been an antenna installer, (therefore shouldn't be posting in this sub-forum) what he says about additional translators planned to cover your area should improve your reception, but only with the correctly selected and installed antenna.

A phased array UHF antenna pointed at Como will likely work for you now and should also be able to be re-aligned for the new translators location, once they come on line.

As with any installation, antenna selection and mounting position will depend entirely on signals measured during a signal site survey.

Unfortunately, it appears your installer does not have the knowledge, skills, experience (and possibly not the right equipment) to understand the requirements to provide you with reliable digital TV reception.

Edit: Out of curiosity, is the installer an independent or franchise antenna installer?

Edited by mtv, 08 December 2011 - 12:40 PM.


#16 Gollumdood

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 12:00 AM

I would be interested to know who carried out this so called install, wrong antenna, poor cable handling and overall lousy job.
Looks like a Suffern antenna obviously picked up cheap from the supplier as run out stock

#17 beeblebrox

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 07:50 PM

ask them for your money back.... this guy clearly has nfi and has no business installing antennas.

#18 beeblebrox

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 07:53 PM

I have resisted posting in this strand, but I cannot let this one pass by.


Wait until the new transmitters are running before you fix your system.


AlanH

seeing you are not an installer why did you??? the new translators are a while away yet and other options should be sought where possible... like choosing the best antenna for the job in the best location... which is very doubtful in this situation given the information presented.

#19 princi

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 10:18 AM

seeing you are not an installer why did you??? the new translators are a while away yet and other options should be sought where possible... like choosing the best antenna for the job in the best location... which is very doubtful in this situation given the information presented.


Is it possible that the new transmitters on Collins Street are causing interference to existing installations currently pointed at Mt Dandenong?

We live in Port Melbourne and have real problems with picture break-up and squarking audio of late - especially in the evenings. It's affecting two TVs, which each have their own antenna.

Sorry for butting in, I won't take this thread off on a tangent.

#20 mtv

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 01:05 PM

Is it possible that the new transmitters on Collins Street are causing interference to existing installations currently pointed at Mt Dandenong?


Not possible.. as those translators are not operational yet.

Once they are, your reception using them should hopefully be a huge improvement.

#21 The Baja

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 11:51 PM

That is a SHOCKING install, No matter which TX your pointing at or whatever antenna you use :rolleyes:

Please feel free to post info on the installer & Company that did that job ( Or PM me )

There a lot of people trying to cash in on the trade due to the switchover, This well may be a typical example of this situation and these people need to be exposed so that they don't rip-off other people in our community, Specially the elderly, Which they tend to prey on.

A professional Antenna installer will always have a " Service Loop " B)


Cheer's



Baja

#22 andrewlace

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 11:15 PM

If others in your area are having the same problem contact the acma. If others in your area are having frequent drop outs they are the ones with the legal ability to chase issues in your area and have summons made out to rectify the issue. Admittedly mounting the antenna over your deck is not the brightest idea, nor is AlanH commenting on an inactive transmitter site, but he couldn't help himself .... :lol:

Edited by andrewlace, 22 December 2011 - 11:15 PM.