ATV's Cowboys' Locker : The third way

The third way how to run your aerial cable down the pole 404H L5

Forget Tony Blair or Bill Clinton, when we’re talking “The Third Way” we’re talking how to route your cable down the pole.....

First, there was taping the cable to the side of the pole.

Then, there was running the cable 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 a pair of 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 (see the Cowboys' install below this one), and why has he used an amplified 18 element Log Periodic (on the Emley Moor transmitter) when a Log36 or a Yagi18K would have been more appropriate ?
And he’s only used 2 screws per bracket....

ATV's Cowboys' Locker : Anthony the anxious antenna

Anthony the anxious antenna mounted in the wrong place 433W L5

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...... [link]

Anthony the anxious antenna bent pressed chimney bracket H 298W L5

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.....

ATV Cowboys' Locker : Hacksaw your way to happiness

Hacksaw to happiness H 562W L5

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 !
We’ll not mention the use of ungalvanised rust prone bracketry (doesn’t it look awful....) or the fact that install on the right is mounted on the fascia.....

ATV Cowboys' Locker : Crosspool conundrum

Crosspool conundrum 528H L5

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 cheapo 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 ?
One 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 !

Crosspool conundrum 2 251Sq L5

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 !
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 !

The aerial is polarised horizontally but Crosspool /Sheffield transmitter is vertical.....

ATV Cowboys' Locker : Fool's Gold

Fool's gold TV aerial 500H L5

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 (in fact they'd be more likely to come with instructions because they're aimed at the DIY market) 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.... [link]

Fool's gold TV aerial 2 307W L5

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......

ATV Cowboys' Locker : Going, going......

Going going too small TV aerial chimney bracket 581H L5

As we’ve said on the poles & brackets tests 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.....

ATV Cowboys' Locker : Crowded house

Crowded house aerials too close together on the pole 576W L5

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 have some close friends ?
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 !  [link]

ATV Cowboys' Locker : Duff in Dumfries

Duff in Dumfries FreeVIEW from a satellite dish 501W L5

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.