Yagi 18A aerial performance reports

NOTE: many of these reports are from the pre switchover low power digital + analogue era, but that doesn't make them any less relevant as regards aerial performance, if anything it makes them more so because aerial performance was actually better assessed when using analogue signals due to the "all or nothing" nature of digital TV reception.

Analogue v Digital pictures - how they degrade 310W L5

B Wholihan (Crystal Palace Transmitter)

I had originally been persuaded to buy a Labgear 18 element Log Periodic with a built in 4 way amplifier to feed my four TVs. Unfortunately the digital signal was poor on the ITV channels, it was better on the others but still imperfect.
After reading your site I thought I needed a Yagi18A and you confirmed this was the right choice when I phoned to check. You also suggested I try a passive 4 way splitter and only add an amplifier if needed. The aerial and splitter arrived the day after I ordered them and I fitted them the day after that. The result is a perfect digital picture on all channels even with the use of (just) the splitter, i.e. no amplifier. I,m not sure how accurate the readings on the Freeview box are but before I had 70% on most channels and 40% on the ITV ones whereas I now have 100% signal quality on all channels. Very pleased.

D Burton  (Rowridge Transmitter)
I have just fitted your Yagi18A which replaced a smaller wideband aerial and a booster. I now get a better signal, with no booster, showing 80% on the TV's built in signal strength bar graph (previously about 75). Around here (PO7 area) there is a lot of talk of "oh you  need a digital aerial mate" which the info on your site confirmed is a load of B****ks (don,t sit on the fence old son, tell us what you really think). A decent band A for £25 is all you need. For info I also used your (good quality) cable and didn't fit an intermediate wall plate (which I would have done before reading your info). I also took cable through reflector and looped down to the pole (why don,t the connector blocks face the other way?! - good point). Great service, loads of excellent info and advice - will def use again and recommend.

P Renucci  (Caldbeck Transmitter)
Well! An aerial is just an aerial right? A bit of metal with stick like bits strapped on?? So why spend much time or for that matter money, right?? We just have to say a Big, Big, thank you to ATV for a rich, all inclusive web site on aerial technology! – and for the excellent aerial you sent us.
And the detail is:
We live in a bungalow in Carlisle, served by a big stick mounted in the ground at Caldbeck. The Caldbeck Transmitter is almost directly south from us, and we are in the far northern part of Carlisle. We are surrounded by tall houses, and have a tree line some 150 metres away, to the south with undulating terrain. We had great analogue reception, but then came the digital rubbish, which forced us to change aerial. I had bought the previous “Digital” aerials locally, the 1st fell apart in the wind, the second larger aerial was equally useless and not getting a strong signal but was at least a little stronger in construction terms. Finally, after another year or so, we had most digital channels working to an acceptable quality of 70%, but the Film 4 channel and ITV 4 were difficult with picture freeze and sound break up constantly occurring on a good day. More often they failed to materialise – just the usual message stating “no signal / service available”. Several other stations were also prone to glitches on sound and picture.
So... after buying a meter to test the signal strength, which showed weak, we decided to do some more research before splashing out on yet another aerial. On-line, we came upon on the ATV web site and its stunning amount of information. We discovered that our Caldbeck Transmitter was an “A” group Transmitter. I done a mass of reading / studying on ATV and came across the “A” group aerials. We did look at the superstores after this, but found the aerials to be of weak construction in our opinion and basically the same price as or in fact costing more than ATV’s aerials in some cases! Many did not clearly state what “group” they were, but we eventually found that most were in fact wideband for "general use".
Have to admit we hesitated at the ATV YAGI A18 because we were thinking it will just be the same as the others in build quality. Thank heavens we changed our minds at this point. Primarily because ATV clearly state which group each aerial belongs to, and secondly, because the aerial tech is so well explained, in my minds eye at least, that it demonstrated these guys/girls are passionate about what they do, but also know what they are doing!
So... anyone thinking of buying this particular aerial? We can confirm and advise you that this Yagi18A makes all other aerials look like cheap, tacky TOYS! The Build Quality of ATV’s Yagi A18 is gob smackingly solid. The wing nuts! clamp! and other components are SOLID Quality.This aerial will never break up, bend or rust in our sincere opinion.
Signal Quality / Strength : the Yagi A18 is pure muscle when it comes to getting a signal. My meter is just a basic 5 led Signal meter that only showed a single faint green led glow when I tried it on the old aerial in the front room. Plugged into this new aerial and all leds came on so very strongly that we almost felt like the meter was going to blow the leds out of their sockets!
What about Quality? Can we get Film 4 and ITV 4? A resounding yes and what a difference to see a film on these channels that no longer stutters and splutters. No ghosting or any other apparitions have appeared on those two channels and as for the rest of the channels? -all brilliant!
It may have cost slightly more for this aerial, but well worth the extra pennies. Thank you again ATV, for such a brilliant Aerial which arrived within 48 hours of ordering, and thank you for such an excellent web site that is full of confidence building information.
And yes surprisingly, this aerial got us excited and relieved 🙂

N Tucker (Stockland Hill Transmitter)
We recently installed a new IDTV which immediately showed symptoms of poor reception with frequent picture jumps / pixellation and interruptions to sound. The PVR we had been using with the old TV and the set top box in the kitchen working off the same aerial were fine. After a bit of discussion on MB21's RX-Chat newsgroup I learned that some integrated TV's produce a lot of spurious radiation which can be picked up by the aerial connection leads in the room which can affect reception. This seemed to be the case as playing around with the flyleads produced variations in the signal strength reading on the TV. Having previously thoroughly perused ATV's extremely informative website, I knew just where to go to obtain some decent double screened flyleads and a screened wall plate to try and eliminate the problem. I thought I may as well upgrade the whole system at the same time and added a Yagi 18A to my order to replace the old cheap Maxview Yagi 18 wideband aerial from a big DIY chain, put up in a hurry several years ago. The goods arrived very quickly and I straight away installed the wall (screened) plate and (double screened) flyleads which had an immediate beneficial effect with only very occasional reception hiccups noticed. The terrible weather finally relented today and I got busy on the roof installing the new Yagi 18A with some double screened CoAx I just happened to have lying around! I didn't route the cable as per instruction leaflet with about a metre of cable spanning the gap between the aerial reflector and the mast. Instead I ran it forward from the terminal box and taped it to the boom. I'm not convinced the suggested method makes any difference to the signal (I too couldn,t find any difference when I tested this) and it just looks awful and wrong. Coming back to the website for this report I see from the photos that is the way you do it at ATV anyway so I'm in good company. The only part of the system I couldn't replace was the three metres or so of coax immovably embedded in the cavity wall. It is older coax and appears to be relatively high quality having dense copper outer braiding so hopefully it won't degrade the rest of the system noticeably. After completing the installation the TV shows an average increase across all the muxs of about 10% signal strength, the PVR about 15% but the kitchen digibox (fed from transformer coupled type passive splitter in loft) only 2-3%. However the digibox signal indication seems to saturate at 86% and doesn't go higher even if you plug in a preamplifier. What these figures relate to in dBuV, I haven't a clue. Suffice to say it seems to be a significant and very worthwhile improvement as I would have expected with a group A over a wideband. The extra screening and the balun in the aerial seem   to be doing their job along with the improved signal as the TV has been on all afternoon and evening and there has not been a single reception glitch noticed. Evidently a big improvement in carrier to noise ratio. I knew that it would be a good move dealing with ATV as anyone who lavishes so much time and effort on a website so full of knowledge and experience and so useful to layman and pro alike obviously cares about their customers, not a thing you can take for granted these days. Many thanks Justin, I will definitely call again if and when I need more aerial gear.

C Smith (Crystal Palace Transmitter)
Our bungalow is approx 80m above sea level and located about 18 miles to the east of Crystal Palace. The previous aerial (an XB10 wideband?) was purchased about 15 years ago. The aerial is connected to a masthead amp in the loft with four outputs. The problem with the old aerial was pixellation with sound breakup, & on some occasions the total loss of reception of one of the muxs. Also, I have one of the M/H amps o/p's feeding a Labgear Quadplexer & this in turn feeds a triplexer output plate in the kitchen. The TV in the kitchen would report "NO SIGNAL" on Chan 5 & QVC, the only way that I could get those chans was to insert an amp between the triplexer plate & the TV, turning up the gain on the M/H amp in the loft didn,t help.
Now with the new Yagi 18A:-
1. Do not need the amp for the kitchen TV - all chans work fine even in very heavy rain.
2. Signal strength is up by 1% to 2% but most importantly the signal quality is 100% on all chans. Previously some chans including QVC were showing an SQ varying between 38% & 63%.
3. Analogue. It works but do not bother with it. Contrary to everything I have read, the digital picture is better especially when showing material shot in HD. Digital does have a better picture unless you have a perfect analogue signal (which I concede most people do not have) in which case analogue is better, though HD is indisputably the best picture of all.
4. I'm quite happy with the aerials build quality. I particularly like the H/D wingnut type bolts on the boom connector, saddle & mast clamp & also the tilt adjustment on the mast clamp. I am a lot happier now with the reduced weight and wind loading of the Yagi over the XB10.
All in all, one very happy customer.

C Smith  (Rowridge Transmitter)
We're not actually that far from Rowridge, but there's a bank of trees in the way which affects the signal, particularly in the wet. We had a 10 element wideband aerial and it wasn,t up to the job. Having swapped to a Yagi18A things are much better.
One thing we did notice was that the aerial actually works better, as it points through the trees, if it's mounted three foot lower!

Mr Meates (Rowridge Transmitter)
We live West of the I of Wight and originally had a short wideband type aerial and the signal was poor with analogue, though digital wasn,t too bad. Swapped it for a Yagi18A and both digital and analogue are now good.

C Conroy (Crystal Palace Transmitter)
I've just fitted the second aerial I've bought from you and am again very pleased with the results. With Crystal Palace as our Transmitter we have always had trouble receiving anything. Previously I bought and fitted an XB16A from you, this to our own property after unsuccessfully trying a succession of Maplin & other DIY store wideband aerials. I've just fitted a Yagi18A from you to our elderly neighbours house which is a touch higher than us and where cost was an issue for them (why they didn't go for the XB16A). This was to replace a home-built Yagi which was OK but suffered major interference from lawnmowers etc. On the digital side Freeview is perfect on all channels. Analogue BBC1,2,ITV & C4 all excellent but 5 is not really watchable (no matter as its on Freeview anyway). As the signal is going to be split to 3 TVs I've a single 20dB masthead amp. I adjusted the aerial using a Labgear "DVB-T Finder" *,  got the max number of LEDs lit on the meter and left it at that. Guess I could mess around to get 5 better on analogue but can't see the point. I would recommend you and will be using you again. Many thanks.
* Purchase of a signal strength meter is unnecessary for most people, in fcat I tried a cheap one once and found it a very frustrating experience.I reckon aligning your aerial using a compass is all that's necessary in most instances. If still having trouble move it 5 degrees or so one way and see if the reception improves or not, if not move it 5 degrees teh other way.  

J Duberry (Rowridge Transmitter)
Performance: very good. Signal strength has increased by 50% over old 'Contract' aerial although height has been increased by 3 feet.
Build: good. I was disappointed at first with the use of wing nuts but they are much more substantial than the usual ones. Thanks for the very quick delivery.

C Pope (Rowridge Transmitter)
Just thought you'd like a report on the aerial I brought from you just over a week ago. The aerial in question was a Yagi18A. I reported at the time that I lived in a weak signal area and to confound the issue I had a very large tree some hundred yards away blocking the signal path. The main problem I had was that I could not receive ITV channels and a few others besides in the summer when the leaves came on the trees. Analogue was very poor too. Fitting the Yagi in the same position as the old wideband aerial did increase the signal strength and certainly improved the analogue signal but still no ITV channels although I did get a couple of the other channels that were missing. Having moved the aerial pole etc. to a new position in my garden I am happy to report that I can now receive all the channels I once had. Analogue is almost as good as digital. Signal strength is off the clock. I certainly like the look and build quality of this aerial and would recommend it to anyone living in the Rowridge Transmitter area if they are having problems as I did. One final note. It's been quite windy down here in the south the last few days and I do have to say that the Yagi creates less movement than my old aerial did on top of it's twenty foot pole. In all I give the Yagi 18A top marks in all categories.

S Bancroft (Crystal Palace Transmitter)
Have just installed the new 18 element Yagi group A aerial purchased from you. Reception is excellent but may not be just the aerial as I also ran new cable from the aerial to my Sky box in the lounge and then back up into the loft to my distribution amplifier. (Sky is piggy backed onto the signal via RF2 output to allow me to watch Sky on analogue TVs elsewhere in the house.) My existing aerial was an 8 element Yagi but  I was suffering from picture drop out (what you call the 'digital cliff') depending on weather conditions, although Mux 1 was always received - I live in SW Surrey and officially we won't get digital TV until 2012! The area is very hilly and, despite living on top of a hill, it's difficult to get clear sight of the nearest Transmitters at Guildford and Midhurst or the local repeater. Our old aerials were pointing at Crystal Palace (about 55km distance) so following the advice on your site I decided to upgrade the aerial with a higher gain group A rather than a wideband as I originally intended. I calculated the bearing of Crystal Palace using Grid Coordinates to set alignment of the aerials. Hope this information is useful and thank you for a very informative and helpful site. The old aerial worked well on analogue signals but, with our 'digital' TVs, programs disappeared and reappeared. I thought it was work on the Transmitter at first but then twigged that it depended on the weather. Hopefully the new aerial and higher quality directly connected cabling (no wall plates) will reduce the incidence of the problem, certainly no problems so far despite very heavy rain this week, the South East Monsoon of early June has arrived. This would have caused problems with the old aerial.

M Chisholm (Crystal Palace Transmitter)
I had a Philex 48 element wideband on Crystal Palace but the results weren't too good, so I swapped it for a Yagi18A and there was a big difference, the signal strength jumped from 38% up to 100%. Far better.

T Davis (Rowridge Transmitter)
Amazing... thanks to all the fantastic advice on your website, I can now get Freeview at home, with almost full strength on all MUXES! In fact, I can even pick up CH5 on terrestrial TV which I could never do before. I am very impressed with the Yagi18A grouped aerial, it works wonders compared with a wideband aerial from Argos! Incidentally, I am additionally picking up some channels from the Mendip Transmitter - which I believe is not an group A Transmitter, and is completely in the opposite direction, weird!
RF really is an art, not a science......

P Varney  (Crystal Palace Transmitter)
Many thanks for your excellent website and efficient delivery of my aerial. On fitting a set top box I found that the loft aerial was inadequate.
I bought a "high gain wide band" aerial locally with many elements which proved to be inadequate, even for terrestrial!!! I discarded it and reverted to the old aerial.I then read your website data and decided first of all to replace the downlead and wall socket (made out of fibre-board). This produced a significant improvement, but still inadequate, particularly on one MUX. I bought your 18A Yagi and this completed the transformation to successful reception.
I am, for the record, 26 miles from Crystal Palace with a fair line of sight. Your practical notes taught me a lot and I commend them to anyone addressing a reception problem.

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