My Humax Forum » Freeview HD » HDR 1800T, 2000T

Which cabling do I need for new Wideband aerials?

(8 posts)
  1. GarryP

    GarryP

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    We have recently had two quotes for replacing our old grouped aerials with new wideband aerials but the quotes are for very different amounts.

    The first quote (£360) included a lot of new cabling which we were told we absolutely needed.
    In the second quote (£90) we were told that the cabling we already had would be absolutely fine.

    digitaluk.co.uk doesn’t say – as far as I can see – anything about needing new cabling.
    ofcom.org.uk doesn’t mention cabling, that I’ve noticed.
    smartaerials.co.uk says “A good quality double screened coaxial cable will minimise interference pick up and signal loss to help preserve a good reliable digital TV or Freeview reception.” but that doesn’t tell me if I need to change or not.

    The cabling we have is the basic brown coax sort that was typically installed in the 80s/90s. As far as I can tell, the cabling is all in good order.
    We currently have good Freeview reception (except for missing some channels because we have old aerials), we’re around 20km from the nearest transmitter, and there are no problems with interference or obstructions that I know of (standard suburban area, not in a valley, no tower blocks in the way, etc.).

    So my question is: “Can we keep our current cabling and still receive a good and reliable signal for all channels when we switch to wideband aerials, or do we need to get new cabling?”

    Wed 7 Aug 2019 12:54:03 #1 |
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    Pollensa1946

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    GarryP - 24 mins ago  » ...The cabling we have is the basic brown coax sort that was typically installed in the 80s/90s...

    That's what I had in place when I changed to a wideband aerial. I did not change it and have an excellent signal.

    Wed 7 Aug 2019 13:22:13 #2 |
  3. Luke

    Luke

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    Looking at the reception you reported (https://myhumax.org/forum/topic/where-can-i-find-a-reliable-manual-channel-search/page/2#post-70830) you may find that apart from COM7/8 (still!) that when some of the other multiplexes move frequency you can receive them without any change. This is a possibility as com7/8 are broadcast on less power than the other multiplexes and the channels moving into that part of the frequency range are broadcast using higher power and therefore may be OK. Looking at the expected power they are using there may be some non-PSB channels that are difficult to receive from 12th September to 13 November.

    If the aim is to ensure that you can continue to receive you current channels OK after 13th October then I can't see that there will be an issue with your current cabling. If your aims are not to have a risky period for 12th September to 13 November, and also to increase your chances of receive the temporary COM7/8 channels then good quality cabling may help, but there is no guarantee.

    Wed 7 Aug 2019 13:33:22 #3 |
  4. GarryP

    GarryP

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    Pollensa1946: That’s certainly good to hear. A quick look at the cables I can see on other houses with wideband aerials shows the usual brown ones but that doesn’t really tell me much as the new cables – if there are any – could be inside the houses with the old ones still extant but unused. It’s good to have confirmation that new cabling isn’t absolutely necessary, as one installer told us.

    Luke: I don’t really understand most of your answer but the fault for that is entirely mine. I’m simply not knowledgable enough to understand the technical stuff. (I only get into this sort of thing every now and again when problems occur and I forget a lot of what I’ve learned earlier. Freeview can get very complicated very quickly if you go off the well-worn “I’m just a basic consumer” track.) For our situation, as long as we can get good reception on all of the non-HD TV stations (including the ones we can’t get at the moment, e.g. Pick+1, 5USA+1, etc.) and all of the BBC radio stations then we’ll be happy.

    Unless someone can prove that we need new cabling – and what’s been said so far doesn’t do that, thankfully – then I think we’ll probably go with the cabling we’ve got. If that turns out to be no good in the future then we will have to have another look but we don’t really want to spend £270 on new cabling – and the related work – if we don’t need to.

    Thanks both for your replies.

    Wed 7 Aug 2019 14:31:03 #4 |
  5. Trev

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    You could always ask the £90 man how much including new coax.

    Wed 7 Aug 2019 16:29:46 #5 |
  6. Biggles

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    GarryP - 11 hours ago  » 
    We have recently had two quotes for replacing our old grouped aerials with new wideband aerials but the quotes are for very different amounts.
    The first quote (£360) included a lot of new cabling which we were told we absolutely needed.
    In the second quote (£90) we were told that the cabling we already had would be absolutely fine.
    digitaluk.co.uk doesn’t say – as far as I can see – anything about needing new cabling.
    ofcom.org.uk doesn’t mention cabling, that I’ve noticed.
    smartaerials.co.uk says “A good quality double screened coaxial cable will minimise interference pick up and signal loss to help preserve a good reliable digital TV or Freeview reception.” but that doesn’t tell me if I need to change or not.
    The cabling we have is the basic brown coax sort that was typically installed in the 80s/90s. As far as I can tell, the cabling is all in good order.
    We currently have good Freeview reception (except for missing some channels because we have old aerials), we’re around 20km from the nearest transmitter, and there are no problems with interference or obstructions that I know of (standard suburban area, not in a valley, no tower blocks in the way, etc.).
    So my question is: “Can we keep our current cabling and still receive a good and reliable signal for all channels when we switch to wideband aerials, or do we need to get new cabling?”

    If you can strip back half inch or so of the outer insulation of your existing cable without disturbing the copper braid, do so and take a look at the braid. If the braid is an open weave where you can see the inner insulator through the braid then it is probably beneficial to replace the cable. If the braid is a dense cover over the inner insulator then keep the existing cable.

    This so called double screened cable is simply a conducting foil around the inner insulator with an open weave copper braid around the foil, the foil fills the gaps in the open weave copper braid. I would imagine copper to be much more expensive than foil, work it out for yourself.

    My cables are very very old dating back to the early 70s but the copper braid is a complete covering over the inner insulator, plastic wall sockets, traditional plugs properly fitted, I am a long way from the transmitter and my aerials (two wideband aerials pointing at different transmitters) are in the loft, my reception is excellent. Don't throw possibly good cable away before checking it, it might be better than the impressively named 'double screened' cable.

    Thu 8 Aug 2019 0:43:46 #6 |
  7. GarryP

    GarryP

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    Trev: That’s certainly an option. Thanks.

    Biggles: That sounds like good advice. I’ll have a look to see if we have any spare cable lying around. Thanks.

    Thu 8 Aug 2019 12:15:22 #7 |
  8. GarryP

    GarryP

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    We finally got round to getting our aerials sorted yesterday, which was good timing since the switch-over (for us) seems to have happened today - a day earlier than the re-tune event according to the information on the DigitialUK website.
    Three old aerials were removed and replaced with two Blake UK CR10-10 which are apparently fine for our location.
    All of the old cabling was left in place and a very old splitter was bypassed.
    We now have good signal strength (usually around 78%) and quality on all channels (both the T and T2 flavours) and everything seems to be fine and dandy so far (fingers crossed and touch wood).
    The work cost a total of £110 and was done by Fast Fix Aerials who operate in the Tyne & Wear area.
    The whole thing was done in less than two hours (including me asking a lot of questions which the fitter was happy to answer) with no fuss or mess.

    Wed 11 Sep 2019 9:54:37 #8 |

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