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Advice on alternative Aerial


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Advice appreciated, regarding possible alternative TV aerial, or possibly any problem with existing Status aerial… 2018 Swift Conqueror 580. Not entirely happy with the reception (I appreciate it can be down to location)  but a lot of Pixelation & drop out , tried vertical, horizontal etc also used Tv signal strength finder. Not much success ☹️ Hence considering alternative external aerial, any recommendations ?

many thanks 

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Hi, just a thought, assuming the van has one (my 2016 does) is the amplifier powered up?

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There's nothing wrong with status aerials I would suggest you get the wiring checked it's not unusual for the connections to be reversed on the mast head when at the factory. I've had this on two new caravans.

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David

Nissan X-Trail Adventura KIA Sorento & Elddis Affinity 554

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Status 580 type directional aerials are about as good as you can get fitted to caravans.  No other will be significantly better.  Trust me: I was paid to give this advice many years ago and you cannot change the laws of physics.

 

Check all the plugs and sockets are made off properly as faulty connections are the cause of many issues.  Also that they are in the correct inputs/outputs of the amp/psu.

One Swift group caravan I had used multiple TV plugs and cable joiners on the cable from the Status to the TV point (at each floor/wall junction) to make things easier during assembly I assume but not at all ideal... despite giving me no trouble at all during my ownership.  See if yours has such joins to need checking.  Use another cable to bypass the caravan wiring to see if that makes a difference.

 

The amplifier/psu units can fail.  But that can be checked by by-passing it:  using a cable joiner from the roof cable to the aerial to one of the cables feeding the TV points.  The aerial alone will work in many locations (as I found with an earlier 530 when mu amp/psu failed).

 

Locations where you've had problems?  (Postcode and site names).

You need to do some pre-planning so you know what transmitter polarisation is needed.  The Freeview predictor is best (Apps can be OK but will not be as accurate at the database the UK Spectrum Planners work on to provide to Freeview. https://www.freeview.co.uk/help there is a <detailed view> button that gives transmitter, polarisation, direction bearing, multiplex frequencies and prediction numbers.

 

I always use my TV  or PVR's metering to align the aerial for maximum signal/quality (Q being more important than strength).

 

What did your TV show when on sites with difficult reception?

 

Too much signal can give same symptom as too little (pixelation etc.,.) with some TV tuners.  The amp/psu features a "gain control" (it is actually an attenuator) to allow for this.  Have you tried it on minimum, midway and maximum?  HDMI signals can also leak and cross couple into poor quality TV cables giving problems (not always relevant for caravan use) .

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2012 Bailey Pegasus 2 Rimini towed by 2019 Ford Galaxy Titanium X, 2.0 EcoBlue, 8 speed auto.

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Many thanks 😊  For the replies appreciate them 

 👍 Amplifier is ON also tried turning it down,

Van’s going in for some other Warranty work in January, so I’ll request that the wiring etc is checked out as suggested.

 

thanks again everyone for comprehensive replies very knowledgeable, 

 

 

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I have used this webpage http://www.wolfbane.net/cgi-bin/tvd.exe? as you type in the location postcode  and it gives you vertical or horizontal and compass bearing. Most phones have a compass in so reasonably easy to get a good ideas which direction to point antenna in.

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Wolfbane has its uses but is not as accurate nor as up to date as the Freeview tool.

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2012 Bailey Pegasus 2 Rimini towed by 2019 Ford Galaxy Titanium X, 2.0 EcoBlue, 8 speed auto.

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The biggest problem is autotune. The TV will start tuning at channel 21 and slide up to 68 finding and storing  transmissions en route. When you are in an overlap area the TV might find a weak signal on lower channel numbers when the transmitter designed to serve the area is in a higher group of numbers. At the end of the tuning cycle the TV may ask you to choose which  transmission you want to use - and if you make the wrong choice...... Note that in the original description, if the OP gets pixelation try looking at channel 800 and above to see if the picture is better.

 

For example we stay at a CL near Frome in NE Somerset. The serving transmitter is the main station at Mendip about 9 miles WNW, but if I put my TV on autotune it will often find Stockland Hill near Exeter which is 40 miles away as well. It will then offer me West or South West TV - and if I don't have the knowledge which do I select?

 

As Ched says, a little homework is worthwhile. Go to Wolfbane and find the names of the first two sites provided they both show a signal strength of about 45 or more. Go to https://tinyurl.com/yyqlkjv3 and insert the data - you can choose how you want to input your location - then go to the next bit and input the name of the first of the two Wolfbane sites. The site will give you a table of the necessary data to direct your aerial. Below that are three buttons, one will show you a Google map which will allow you to move the receive end lollipop to the exact location of your caravan, the second will show you an OS map, and the third will show you a signal path profile. This third graphical representation will show you if you have a clear line of site to the transmitter of if there are any hills in the way.

If the site shows that the first transmitter has only three channels (i.e. is a relay) but the second site was shown by Wolfbane to have six or more channels then run this transmitter through the program.

This may sound technical and complex but once you have done the check you will find it quite easy, and Mac does keep the site up to date.

 

Once you have chosen which transmitter to use, write down the channel numbers (will be mostly between 21 and 48 but some will still be up to 60) and then find in the TV menus how to tune the channels manually. That way you will be sure you are using the 'right' transmitter for your location.

Note that channels named as PSB3,  Com7 and Com8 are HD and will only be found by your TV if it has an HD tuner. Com7 & 8 are due to be switched off in 2020-2022.

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2018 Passat B8 Estate 150GT TDi150 towing a 2018 Bailey Unicorn S4 Seville

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