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Square patch TV aerial...


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Hi all... I'm in quite a hurry to connect up some TV stuff. Sat OK, but I bought a "patch" square aerial for TNT.

I basically roughly pointed it in the same direction as other normal aerials in town and did an "auto tune" on the tv set. Nothing has appeared. Am I going to waste a lot of time on this and should I go out and just buy a "normal" antenna (time is REALLY precious)? Do I need need the 12v "booster" included in the kit ?

I really just want to "point and shoot" and get a picture!

Many thanks...

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No you are not going to "waste" a lot of time but some patience and precision is needed, if you dont have either and still just want to "point and shoot" and get a picture I recommend a fête foraine but you might end up with a plastic duck or a goldfish[6]
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You don't say where you are,  but yes you could waste an awful lot of time!   You also don't say where you've mounted this aerial (with which I'm not familiar,  but assume it's an amplified UHF aerial of some sort,  generally these aerials are sold with optimistic claims as to their efficacity,  although if I've misunderstood what you've bought then what I've said probably doesn't apply)

TV reception is generally designed to be satisfactory when received on a good aerial mounted 10 m above ground level outdoors.   Now of course there are many areas where something lower down will work,  particularly when you're only a few miles from a high power station,  but generally a good high aerial is useful.   Particularly for digital where if the signal strength is even a gnat's crotchet below the threshold you will see NOTHING at all!

The 12 V suply will be to power the amp and if that's not functioning then it will probably actually attenuate the signal.

Whilst it's always nice to get something working when one's in a hurry unfortunately the laws of physics,  (particularly the quasi-recto-linear propagation of UHF waves in this case) seldom seem to want to play ball.   You need quasi line of sight to the transmitter,   you need the transmitter to be equipped for TNT (and some high power ones still aren't,  and very very few relays at the moment) etc etc.

Can you get analogue TV on this set up?   If so,  which UHF channels is it coming in on?   (This may allow us to identify which transmitter you're on if there's a choice)   If yes,  then use these analogue pics to optimise the orientation of the aerial.    Unless you're getting pretty good analogue pics you're unlikely to get digital at all given the current lower powers in use. 

If you reveal (roughly) your location we can guess as to whether you're going to be in luck for TNT.

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Appologies for the vague details !

The antenna is an  ELAP and I'm in Aude roughly in between Carcassonne and Narbonne.. I have a SABA set which is "TNT Ready". I'm in a maison de ville and the aerial is on the same pole as the parabole for Astra. - around 1m above roof level...

I've just wired the antenna in and done and "auto search"

I'm happy with analogue for the time being if that'e an issue, I just need a picture..

Maybe just a "chicken wire " aerial for analogue may be the best bet ? I'm struggling with enhancing the sensitinve signal I get with my dish for the Astra... Especially when it's raining, which it has been doing a bit too much recently..

Many thanks...

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Well it's obviously designed for exterior mounting so I take back what I said about the extravagant claims!

Other things being equal in your location you would think that the Pic de Nore north of Carcassonne would provide you with a signal.   Are the other aerials in your town pointing roughly north-west?  

I'd really try and get the analogue working first because you're more likely to get "something"  (ie a snowy picture) with the aerial only roughly set up - digital can often be far more exacting,  ie a blank screen.    Pic de Nore broadcasts the main analogue signals on chs 58/61/64 so I'd try an  analogue scan (or if you can find the menu that allows you to input the ch's direct);  make sure that the scan is set to FRANCE/System L/SECAM rather than EUROPE/PAL etc.   AUTO should find it but often takes longer.

If your town has its own relay then it may well be that most aerials point at that (you might for example be screened from the Pic de Nore) and it's unlikely that said relay broadcasts TNT yet.   Which is another reason why I'd get the analogue working and from that deduce (from the best aerial orientation) where the signal is coming from,  on what channel,  and from that whether it's the Pic de Nore or another site.

Other possible sites might be Montpellier St Baudille (nr St Guilhem le desert) or Perpignan Pic de Neulos but I think you're more likely on Pic de Nore or one of its relays.

Do make sure all the connections are good and that the 12 V is up and running.   Incidentally,   do you get any sort of analogue signal on an indoor aerial (if one came with the set)?

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Thanks for all the suggestions...

This morning I ditched the box aerial and bought a standard wire type. 30 minutes up a ladder and a point in the same direction as the neighbours, and hey presto! Auto scan produced all digi channels first time in perfect 100% signal (if only I could get Astra to be as good...).

Conclusion - don't buy a square patch aerial, even if it's on half price promo..

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I guess it was probably a faulty unit.   But it does also suggest that my original lack of enthusiasm may have been justified!

To be honest there's little improvement that's been made to conventional Yagi arrays since they appeared just before WW2.   Certainly if you see extravagant claims for an aerial of any other desgin they're probably puff.

And of course don't feel you have to replace what you've got with a "digital" aerial -  they don't exist.   Neither do digital headphones!

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