Answer to The Conwy Conundrum (from article on Cowboys` Locker page 1) Well, apart from being a cheap Contract on a steel pole, it`s a C/D group aerial on a B group transmitter ! It`d probably work OK in a strong signal area, but I`m unconvinced that an aerial pointing through Edward The First`s 13th century town walls would fall into the latter category.
That and the fact that it`s a Contract aerial and their gain curves can be inconsistent. I can`t help thinking that the C/D group aerial was meant for Winter Hill but was put up by someone who didn`t really know what they were doing. Winter Hill is used by a fair number of people on the North coast of Wales, but aerials on it from Conwy would be facing ENE (towards Llandudno Junction) and be polarised horizontally !
Forget Tony Blair or Bill Clinton, when we`re talking “The Third Way” we`re talking how to route your aerial downlead.....
This is Anthony, Anthony the anxious antenna.
His mates know him as Tony, Tony the timid TV aerial. He`s a bit shy and retiring, thus explaining why he`s just peeping round the corner.
Anthony has a crush on Emily (as in Emily Moor) but can only worship her from afar, because he becomes rather bashful in her presence. It`s all very sad......
Things are even worse for Anthony`s mate Derek, Derek the defensive dipole.
Derek`s diffident you see, but he fancies Emily just as much as Anthony, if not more.
It`s just as important for him to get a good view of Emily, but he`s half hidden from her.
It can`t possibly work out, it really can`t, not unless Emily was up really really close......
Maybe Bertie (as in Bertie the bleedin` bodger) should`ve enlisted the help of Walter (that`s Walter the worthwhile wall) and mounted the bracket there. That way both Anthony and Derek would get a clear view of Emily, and everyone could`ve lived happily ever after.
But obviously Bertie couldn`t be bleedin` arsed......
(with apologies to Thomas the tank engine, the best kid`s TV series ever, until they bloody ruin it by using Computer Generated Images rather than those fabulous models, tossers)
This install is actually even more of a bodge than it looks. I think that “wall bracket” is actually a chimney bracket ! It`s the cheapest flimsiest type available, i.e a pressed bracket. In fact it is so insubstantial that Bertie was able to bend it flat enough to use in this rather “creative” manner.
The whole thing is so shite that Albert`s use of a 1” alloy pole is almost an irrelevance.....
OK I admit these installs aren`t that bad but it just amuses me that some installers can`t use a hacksaw and some seem to use one when they don`t even need to !
At least the installer doesn`t suffer from Hacksawitus....
Both of these brackets are in fact mitre chimney types but the installer has just chopped off part of them and used them as wall brackets instead !
What is wrong with this aerial installation which is aligned on Crosspool transmitter ? (answer below)
Just to narrow it down a bit, the aerial is a wideband, and the answer isn`t the fact that it has a 6” pressed bracket (on a 6ft pole), or that it`s a bendy “Bacofoil aerial”, or the white insulation tape he`s used, or even that the bodger hasn`t changed the rusty steel pole.....
I actually saw the chap putting it up and I was tempted to tell him what was wrong with it, but I thought,
“Nah, can`t be arsed !”
I know that 6” pressed brackets are a bit flimsy, but what the hell is going on here ?
I can only assume that the original bracket was loose and Bertie didn`t want to change it, so he cobbled together a piece of bent metal and screwed it into the top of the chimney to add support. I`m lucky enough to be able to walk to work and I pass this every day so it`s great to have something to amuse me every morning !
These pics were sent in by Patrick Holdaway from Shaw, and I have to say I was rather suspicious that he`d “posed” them..... However he swears they`re genuine and I think we should give him the benefit of the doubt don`t you !
I reckon “Fool`s Gold” is good title for this set of pictures, after all how can anyone build up an aerial so badly ? I`d have thought even crappy “Bacofoil aerials” like these would come with instructions, but even if they don`t, the chap only has to look at all the other aerials !
And he can`t even be bothered to do that, you see all this observing, it`s just too much effort......
This install is so bad it`s worth more than one picture, and while we`re at it note the use of the “Loft Kit” to mount the aerial outside. Patrick was good enough to go back and get some pictures in the sunlight and in the time between the two being taken the install has already started tipping forward....
I reckon this really is a Bleedin` Blackburn Bodge. Ironically it does also prove that I`m not exactly perfect myself, because when I conducted a series of aerial separation tests I didn`t ever test them this close together. Never in my wildest dreams did I think anyone would ever install aerials with the dipole and directors actually overlapping ! In fact I`m getting tempted to go back and repeat the tests with the aerials this close just to see how much difference it makes.
We already know that there is no need to install more then one aerial, though many people seem to, but try as I might I cannot think of any reason why these three antennas have been crowded together like this. Perhaps the installer was a member of the RSPCA and he wanted them to huddle together for warmth ?
More likely he was just too tight to fit a longer pole.
To be frank I`m so offended by this install, if perpetrator really is that skint I`ll send him a longer pole FREE OF CHARGE. He`ll have to pay for the carriage though.
Actually, on reflection, I think I`ve changed my mind. I`ll stand the shipping costs, it`ll be worth it just to see if the errant installer has the bare faced cheek to actually own up to it !
One last point, the errant installer has actually installed two of these abominable aerials on his house and he`s obviously learning along the way, but the second one still isn`t right !
What exactly is the cradle doing when the aerial`s been end mounted ?
He`s an adherent of “The Third Way”, and his
other install is also suffering from `bodgers droop`.
And it`s gold......
Going, going........ (how long to gone ?)
As we`ve said on the poles & brackets page it`s pretty rare for a chimney bracket to fail, particularly if it`s a welded one, it`s the masonry which fails ! Basically this installer has used a 6” bracket for a 6ft pole, and with three aerials on it. We wouldn`t recommend that, we`d use an 8” mitre bracket. And we wouldn`t put it on the top few courses of brickwork either.....
Also see “Stuart the startled starling”.
Well some people really do never learn do they ?
Bertie then went and put another aerial up which
was also horizontally polarised. Obviously he`s yet to bother actually learning anything about aerial installing.
Incidentally that Crappy Contract aerial at least goes with the Bendy Bacofoil one he`s already put up. Hopefully the two lower class antennas will be perfectly happy together, in their incorrectly polarised world.
And that contract aerial`s second hand as well, I hope he told the customer that. And an A group won`t pick up all the digital off Crosspool either....... Who would fit a secondhand A group contract aerial on a K group transmitter ? The installer (or the customer) must be tighter than a camel`s arse in a sandstorm.
But, of course, he didn`t need to fit two aerials anyway !
It`s not unusual for people to get confused between all the different reception systems, you know the kind of thing. Customers thinking they can get digital using their Freeview box with their satellite dish. Generally we suck on our teeth a bit, then breath in slowly and finally reply that they`re confusing two different systems, it isn`t actually possible to get a Freeview signal from their satellite, they need an aerial for that....... Having said that, I`d be the first to admit that all this digital TV thing can be a bit perplexing for the best of us. And now the situation becomes even more bewildering, because this picture proves that, just occasionally, well OK let`s be clear about this, very occasionally, you actually might be able to get Freeview from your satellite dish.
This picture is from Dave at Dumfries Digital, and the title "Duff In Dumfries" comes to mind.
Merging of media ? Not like this surely ? As Dave says "it`s an aerial Jim, but not as we know it".
Actually he comments that it gave a reasonable signal, because (by pure chance ?) it was pointing in the general direction of the transmitter.
Have you noticed how often these bodgers are so bleedin` flukey ?
Note how the crappy aerial has also lost an element (the gap between the 1st and 3rd).
Also see tests of a reflectorless aerial.
This Health & Safety Bollox has gone a bit far hasn`t it ?
Are they now saying you need to use firemen to put
up aerials ?
And two of them at that ?
Should put up the cost of the average install a bit, a grand maybe ?
But not really.....
This install was blown down in a gale and the pictures made it onto the TV news.
I tried to get a decent copy of the picture from the BBC.
Their reply was “buggar off time waster”.
Or words to that effect.
I thought hang on a minute, something`s not right here, I pay my licence fee, so I`m paying their bleedin` wages !
Didn`t make any difference.
I said I`d just take a picture of the still frame off the TV recording, then use that.
They said “you can`t it`s copyrighted”.
This time it was me who said “buggar off”, what goes around comes around. I`ll put it on anyway.
So I`m risking prosecution by the BBC for you lot out there, I hope you`re sufficiently grateful.
I`ll bet you`re not.
Actually we can learn from this picture, I mean apart from the fact the BBC should know which side their bread is buttered. That chimney install has bought down half the chimney with it. It`s done this for one of three reasons.
1 The bracket was a wall type and it`s ripped out the bricks, thus bringing down the chimney.
2 The bracket was a small 6” type, which is a bit small for an aerial of that size on a 6ft pole. I`d only use a 6” chimney bracket for a 3ft pole, or a very small aerial on a 6ft pole. A 6” chimney bracket can crack off the corners of the bricks (it only covers two courses don`t forget) and in extreme cases can rip them out. An 8” mitre type bracket is much stronger because it not only spreads the load over 3 courses of bricks but wraps right round the corner of the stack.
3 The bracket was put on the top courses of bricks, which have no weight on them and are thus pretty weak. A chimney bracket should never be wrapped around the top few courses of brick, particularly with 6ft poles or larger aerials. Having said that one sees installs like that all the time, as I frequently say, how come these bodgers are so bleedin` flukey ? If it was you or I who did that it`d crack the brick off the first time there was a strong wind !
I don`t know whether to give this chap a bit of credit, or not.......
He`s bought an aerial kit from Argos comprising a Bacofoil aerial and a loft kit. To be fair Argos, or whoever, don`t let on that it`s a loft kit, they just call it an installation kit. Arguably those SLX / Labgear / Philex aerials are also “loft aerials” because they`re insufficiently rugged for mounting outside, you know, where there`s air movement, and birds.
When the chap has come to install it he`s realised it`s a load of crap so he`s tried strengthening it. Does he get credit for trying to make it stronger ?
Or does he get opprobrium ?
Now, you really wouldn`t have to spend much time on this web site to pick up on the fact that I`m partial to a bit of piss taking.......
So which way do you think I`ll play this one ?
You guessed right.
Let`s face it he hasn`t even got the excuse of ignorance, his strengthening proves he knows it`s crap, but he`s fitted it anyway. He should have took the stuff straight back and obtained some quality kit instead.
Quite apart from anything else the strut he`s taken a great deal of trouble and ingenuity to add is only going to be effective perpendicular to the wall, it`ll do precisely sweet FA in the "side to side" direction. The only thing this install has going for it is that it`s so weak that a high wind is unlikely to pull the brick out of the stack because the crappy 1” pole would bend first and/or the little wall screws he`s used would just pull out.....
And why didn`t he use some decent insulation tape ?
Doesn`t he know there`s decent tape, like we sell, and crap. Look on the bright side, he`s probably saved about 75p and it`ll only take half an hour to get back up there and replace it,
every year that is........
Cowboys’ Locker Page 2
(Also see Cowboys` Locker Page 1 )
"Right, OK, your site`s quite interesting, in a 'hard to stop looking' sort of way, but, to be honest, I`m a bit sick of all these pictures of aerial installations. Can we have a picture of something else ?"
Well thanks for that compliment, I`ll take it as one anyway, we always listen to our customers, so if you don`t want any more pictures of aerial installations, we`ll oblige :
It was only when I looked at the picture back home that I realised it was actually a picture of an aerial insulation, the first I`ve ever seen in fact.
I assume Bertie has actually installed this aerial insulation to stop the pole banging and scraping on his fascia whenever the wind blows. Now if the chap had taken our advice he`d have left a 2" gap between the pole and the fascia. Actually, if he`d have taken our advice he`d have installed a decent aerial, on a decent pole, with a galvanised bracket etc etc (you get the picture), but I digress. Personally I`d have bitten the bullet and fitted a larger bracket and, possibly a sturdier pole (which wouldn`t flex as much), but some people are so tight they`d rather save a few quid.
Still, maybe his insulation keeps his installation warm ? Perhaps he`s in the RSPCA ?
We are more than willing to give advice to those actually purchasing from us. Could those only seeking information please just find the answer somewhere on this site, or ring an aerial installer local to them, or call the reception advice phone numbers.
First, there was taping the cable
Then, there was running the cable
to the side of the pole.
down the inside of the pole.
But now, there`s routing the cable
no where near the bleedin` pole !
Seriously though, we recommend taping the cable to the side of the pole, for the reasons see the article on this subject.
One thing the installer has done right is to install the 10ft pole on two 6” wall brackets (rather than T & Ks) because there is no need for more than about three inches of “stand off”. That said, he`s used the cheapest nastiest pressed brackets, and why has he used an amplified 18 element Log Periodic (on the Emley Moor transmitter) when a Log36 or a Yagi18B would have been more appropriate ?
And he`s only used 2 screws per bracket....
If you`ve found this site informative and, hopefully, interesting as well,
I say Old Bean, have you never heard of a cranked pole ?
Note for our Irish readers, please substitute the following :
County Kerry "hide and seek" champion 1993.
One assumes this was put up by an aerial installer with no knowledge of building ?
Or should that just be no knowledge ?
Or even just no brain ?
To be fair to the bodger it has actually managed to stay up for a good few years (such is bodgers luck) but come on, surely anyone with the remotest knowledge of building would think the above was highly dubious. Just think of the sideways force on that wire, and that`s without the fact there`s a pole with an aerial lashed to the whole caboodle. And those chimney pots are heavy so one did break off and fall on someone it could be Goodnight Vienna, and a big claim for damages. Now I`m not usually in favour of the “compensation culture” but anyone who had a chimney pot dropped on their head would deserve everything got. The first thing they could buy would be some stack shoes to make up for the bit of height they`ve just lost courtesy of our bodger.
Picture courtesy of M Rowe
When I first saw this picture I thought the house owner was using the tie down straps to hold the chimney together. This is not as stupid as it seems, if you`ve got a chimney with dodgy mortar then (as an emergency short term measure) using tie down straps is a good idea to hold it all together till it can be properly repaired. In fact I once used just a chimney bracket and lash kit (i.e. without a pole or aerial on it ! ) to achieve just this aim. In fact an aerial installed with a lash wire does actually strengthen the chimney and it`s worth using this argument if you ever get a neighbour complaining about having an aerial on a shared chimney !
But, then I looked a bit closer, and saw that in actual fact the bodger had used tie down straps to hold up an aerial installation which was falling down because the original chimney bracket is arguably too small. Now, who would go to all the trouble to climb up onto the roof and fit two tie down straps round his aerial install when it doesn`t actually cost that much more to buy and fit the correct bracket, namely an 8in mitre (and while he was up there he could fit a decent pole as well, that`s a one inch pole……) because he`ll have to go back up there again to do it anyway !
Picture courtesy of T Stoker
Nah then, what`s this ?
Is it an aerial aimed right up to the top of a tall adjacent transmitter ?
Is it because the installer got mixed up and thought it was a satellite dish ?
Is it because the installer didn`t have a cranked pole to get it round the fascia ?
Or is it because it`s on a pub and not on a cafe ?
How`s that then ?
Well, if it`d been on a cafe they`d know about Ts……..
Well you didn`t pay to get in here, so what do you expect.
(See picture of how T & K brackets should be used)
Picture courtesy of I Beaver