Signal problems

talos

Super Moderator
Staff member
I am on the Preseli repeater west Wales and have been having signal problems for the last few days, the power and quality drop to zero for a few seconds and then recover completely, Is anyone else having the same problems ? Is there a site where I can check whether there are transmission problems, all the ones I have found seem to be out of date.:(
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
As you are posting this in the HDR section rather than the general Freeview section, are we to conclude this is only affecting the HDR and not your TV independently? If it affects the TV as well may I suggest this is moved?

The obvious thing is to ask your neighbours (if you have any that have not been blown off a cliff) whether they are experiencing the same thing. If they are, it's the transmitter. If they are not, but your whole house is affected, it's your aerial become misaligned and blowing in the wind.
 
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talos

talos

Super Moderator
Staff member
As far as I am aware it affects my HDR that is why it is posted where it is, I do not have a Freeview TV to check. As for asking my neighbour they are too far away as to be relevant.
I don't believe a misaligned aerial is the cause because it is intermittent and not just on a windy day. Now if you know of a way to check the transmitter power on the web that may be more helpful.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I think the problem with transmitter status is that if the engineering people know about it to put up a status, they are also in the process of fixing it.

OK, so you want to eliminate other factors before concluding the HDR is at fault, or if not the HDR then the house infrastructure. Under the circumstances I can't see any alternative than to test the HDR somewhere else to eliminate that, and use a set-top box or something to eliminate the house.

Clutching at straws maybe, but have you tried a restore factory defaults (Menu >> Settings >> Installation >> Factory Default)?

Not specifically aimed at Talos, this web page has some useful advice:

http://tx.mb21.co.uk/faqs/faults.shtml
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
There is a (supposedly) live service status checker on this BBC page, under "Postcode checker":

http://www.bbc.co.uk/reception/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/reception/news/news_item26.html said:
You can check the status of the transmitter serving your location, by using our diagnostic tool at www.bbc.co.uk/reception. This tool will indicate any current issues which have been reported for BBC TV/Radio transmitters in your location. For more information on the current weather conditions you can visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2635167
 

Tell

Member
Loose connection in the aerial linked to wind damage ? or some other radio interference possibly less likely. I can't believe failed Humax would give you a fault like this but problematic aerial connections would.

Are we sure also that it's tuned into the correct transmitter and not one off the back of the aerial linked to a retune being carried out at some stage.
 
OP
talos

talos

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks for the links, I tried them and they all say no problems, which is of course true because at the moment all is fine but only time will tell. Checked the antenna and down lead plus all connections all OK . The only thing my investigations did show up was some experimenting going on in preparation for the new HD channels.:)
 

Tell

Member
I didn't really take in your transmitter location but obvious if you have unmanned drones flying over head and the Aberporth radar and telemetry you could of course be getting radio interference from temporary equipment. I'm sure when that big radar swings around you could get zapped and I note the coastal footpath sign warns against the nature of the radar in use :(. So it may well have been pseudo military interference which us town / home county dwellers don't get. Expect you are going to say you live at the opposite end of all of this.

I see they carried out a satnav jamming experiment in the 90s with boat owners not happy but you were fine if you were not in line of sight of Aberporth, perhaps times change and freeview is now a target :).
 
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talos

talos

Super Moderator
Staff member
I didn't really take in your transmitter location but obvious if you have unmanned drones flying over head and the Aberporth radar and telemetry you could of course be getting radio interference from temporary equipment. I'm sure when that big radar swings around you could get zapped and I note the coastal footpath sign warns against the nature of the radar in use :(. So it may well have been pseudo military interference which us town / home county dwellers don't get. Expect you are going to say you live at the opposite end of all of this.

I see they carried out a satnav jamming experiment in the 90s with boat owners not happy but you were fine if you were not in line of sight of Aberporth, perhaps times change and freeview is now a target :).

No you have us bang on, we are in the middle of the exclusion zone, we do get lit up by the radar on occasion's , but its easy to tell because it's usually a regular pulse and only lasts until we hear the aircraft (less than a min in most cases). The drones don't seem to create interference just noise, and we are used to that, we don't wave to them anymore.:bye:
The sat nav incident was of course denied by all involved;). Things have improved around here since they stopped testing AA and AS rockets, but the tourists still come, so they still like it. The signal problem has not re-occurred so I assume the repeater was being "improved" .
 

Tell

Member
I suspect just the area where you were was getting subjected to bursts of radio emissions from the range. Probably a cavalier attitude to frequency use and military equipment. You probably had a white van parked next door full of engineers... I did see a rocket go up once from there whilst on a caravanning holiday as a little boy. I did cross referencer the rocket launches via Wiki with "works holiday week" and worked out the year and rocket type. Father use to recover German aeroplanes in the war so he converted beachcombing into the recovery of rocket parts, we did find some. The streak into the air was a good sight. Its a pencilled in retirement destination or Pembrokeshire (little England). Mind you lack of HD Freeview channels. Although I did pick up RTE in HD on my Android tablet with TV adaptor on a cliff edge close to the range.
 
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talos

talos

Super Moderator
Staff member
It was said to be in danger of closing a while back, but the fact it has a range covering many miles of open sea swayed their decision, the last rocket part found was dredged up in a fishing net, caused quite a stir I can tell you. Men in white vans I'm not so sure of, but we do have a surfeit of Openreach engineers in the vicinity, far too many in my opinion for such a small village.
 

Tell

Member
My contention is that you should have knock out broadband speeds since you would expect expect good communications in and out to the world, although Abertporth I reckon only got ADSL+ in the last year or so. Not that I was checking out its internet speeds as somewhere to retire too.

Lack of HD Freeview in West Wales on the old BBC MUX (that which they must be rolling out from your post) and not being a chosen transmitter for Com 7 or 8 means that you have to look to Freesat for expanded free HD but then the HD iPlayer video quality is worse unless they have improved the standard via newer Freetime launch which mean that if I lived in the location I would use Freesat to watch live TV and the HDR for the BBC HD iPlayer where the quality is 720p. Perhaps OFCOM may expand the tranch of Com 7 / 8 transmitters in due time.

It's possible that HD video quality of the iPlayer is now comparable on the Freetime boxes to Freeview HDR but it certainly isn't on the first generation of Freesat HD boxes. Freeview iPlayer had the edge.
 
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talos

talos

Super Moderator
Staff member
Aberporth MOD has had its own power supply and communications system for some time , it's of no benefit to the local system at all . The rest of us peasants have to rely on the Cardigan exchange at present which to put it mildly is not very fast (2mbps). As for TV most people round here who want the full range opt for a mix of Freesat and Freeview . Things tend to happen slowly round here, St Dogmaels a nearby village has only recently had a low power repeater installed for Freeview, 12 watts I think. It's a good place to retire to, because it's slow and very laid back, but even that is frustrating at first when you come from the fast lane.
 

Tell

Member
Aberporth has the SAWPO exchange and TalkTalk is available from it

http://www.telephone-exchange.co.uk/Aberporth-SWAPO.html

http://www.samknows.com/broadband/exchange/SWAPO

I'm wondering whether you are not TalkTalk or BT so you are on a more distant exchange getting the slower speeds. Although looking at the map St Dogmaels is closer to Cardigan than Aberporth.

I couldn't possibly go to 2 mbps, that would be a 10 times reduction in my cable speed. So careful future planning studying exchanges, distances and providers :). If BT rolled out fibre to West Wales this wouldn't be an issue if you were close enough to the cabinet.

The Cardigan area is where one does one of our walks once a year and a meal in the Cardigan Indian that seems to have gone down hill a bit from how it was 10+ years ago. The rest of time in Pembrokeshire proper so the jury is edging more to Pembrokeshire than Cardigan area although value must be better in Cardigan.

I have 1.2 metre dish but planning to give it up when one moves to the coast the damage it would inflict if it took off and requesting the partner to oil it isn't something one wants to do the older you get. So plan would be multisatellite of the Technisat multytenne twin type with one output on Freesat and the other on my Technomate for the range of European broadcasts and the existing HDR Freeview. But clearly internet speed is a consideration. At this point if the Freesat is Humax then one would have inter working between them. PS I am a country boy but moved to the city and a city moved to where one was a child [North Bucks], so would be good to get back to ones routes again.
 

Ezra Pound

Well-Known Member
Samknows does report FTTC status : Calendar Year 2014 on it's SWAPO* site.
(* turns out it doesn't stand for "South West Africa People's Organization" in this case :) )
 
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talos

talos

Super Moderator
Staff member
They are talking about cable being installed. but most of our supplies are overhead slung from poles, so I don't suppose my connection will improve much. I use IDNET as a provider, not particularly exciting but always reliable which to me is more important than speed. I would not recommend an open dish here unless you surround it with a dome. its far too windy, the smaller Sky type seem to survive and are easy to re-align after a storm.
 

Ezra Pound

Well-Known Member
For Fibre To The Cabinet, what counts is the distance of copper wire between your house and street cabinet, as there is very little loss of bandwidth up to a 'Fibred' cabinet. In the cities this house to cabinet distance is quite small resulting in high bandwidth connections, however in more rural areas I guess there could still be quite a lot of copper remaining, in this case you wouldn't be offered FTTC as there would be little gain for the extra cost
 

Tell

Member
I think whether BT installed or traditional Virgin cable its the short distance. Virgin its coaxial, BT ?. Is that still your pair or do you get coaxial installed and effectively a cable modem - pass on that.

Talos there is talk of Virgin doing across the poles cable. The multetynne is a compact dish, Sky sized but has a multiple LNBs mounted in the front. Popular in Germany and they sell them in Auchen in France / Luxembourg for fear of freezing up my Android they cover 28'e to 13'e... May be more. You allign on one satellite and rest fall into place in principle. They are suppose to be useable in Wales but of course with developments of satellites with better spot beams you still might not get your quarry (spelling). I just need Arte and the German stations. Bit of Dutch radio. My down sizing is also related to Pembrokeshire national park I don't think they would take too kindly to planning laws being broken with big dishes / multiple dishes.

If you had it on a low side wall or post you could reallign yourself. My 1.2 metre is good for winds to 80 MPH.... I do have a problem at the minute but since I don't use it much I don't know whether it was due to the wind or power supply failing in the box. The advantage of being in London is I can take the box to HQ for testing. But with all the wind haven't rushed in case it needs realligning.
 

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
I think whether BT installed or traditional Virgin cable its the short distance. Virgin its coaxial, BT ?. Is that still your pair or do you get coaxial installed and effectively a cable modem - pass on that.
The common non Virgin fibre offering is FTTC where you still have a copper pair between the house and a (hopefully) nearby street cabinet. In some locations Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) is also available in some locations where the fibre does run right to the end user. See http://www.thinkbroadband.com/guide/fibre-broadband.html for more details.
 

Tell

Member
Thank you for the useful information. The last option is like paying for gas to be installed. I've stayed as a luddite with Virgin cable [about 20 when not capped to 10], whilst I access about 10 mbits with ADSL elsewhere which I think the speed is fine. But 2 is a bit low for my needs.
 
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