We were asked to install new aerial system for a small hotel in Stoke, so firstly we went down to take a look at the potential work needing to be carried out. The owner had recently taken over from the previous proprietor & was beginning a renovation of many of the rooms of which are let out weekly. Many of the previous guests had complained about the televisions having a poor reception, including problems such as missing channels, picture break up and loss of picture altogether. Brian, the new owner was keen to get this sorted for his new customers and was happy to hear of our suggestions.
Getting a full picture of existing aerial system
Before we set down the road of advising Brian of what was needed, firstly we really required a full picture of the aerial system existing within the property, and to see if a simple repair or reconfiguration would be all that was needed to get the aerial system up and running. After testing the aerial signals coming into the rooms of the hotel, we concluded that the cables were very old and from the outside a number of these had cracks in their sheaths, which was allowing water to enter. Also, since the signal to all of these was poor, we decided to do a little bit more investigation into the aerial system.
The next place to check was going to be the splitter that is where all of the cables should be going to. The splitter was actually a couple of devices conjoined together and rigged in such a way that made the carrying of signal to each of the rooms effective only if everything was working perfectly. One of the splitters was a powered amp, however, this was failing and passing virtually no signal, in fact there was less signal coming out than was going in so we knew this had to go. The signal coming in from the aerial itself was also very poor, so we needed to get on the roof and see what the problem with it was.
Bypassing the existing system and reasons why
It became pretty obvious once on the roof because the aerial bracket had broken away from the chimney breast and the aerial rig was lying in a gully. The aerial head itself was damaged, although if erected again on a new mast and bracket it could still work, but, it had been damaged enough that it would only be a matter of time before water would get in and completely wreck it. So, after concluding that certain cables needed replacing, the amp splitter needs replacing and re-configuring & that a new aerial rig needed erecting, we advised Brian that an aerial installation & a whole new system would be best since so many parts of the old system were knackered and with a completely new system we could also guarantee it for the lifetime of the equipment.
Carrying out the TV Aerial Installation to 12 TV Points
The first place to start is always the aerial itself, and to then work down, and that is what we did. We erected a 28 element log periodic TV Aerial for digital Freeview television. This was connected to a 6ft galvanised steel mast that was held by a galvanised steel bracket that was itself bolted to the chimney stack on the roof. The signal strength was measured at an average of 61db with a pass for signal quality on all the transponders. We then ran the coax cable that was connected to the aerial head into the loft space through a small whole under the eaves. The coax aerial cable was then connected to a 12 way amplified splitter that was plugged into a spare socket within the loft space.
The rest is very standard and basic work, since all it entailed was running the coax cable from out of the loft having first been connected to the amp, and then into each of the hotels’ bedrooms. Along the way we ripped out any old cable making sure not to damage anything whilst doing this. For some of the rooms we were able to utilise the existing holes vacated by the old cable, having been ripped out. Then, in other rooms, it required that we drilled new holes to bring in the new cable. Once all this was done, and each new cable had been terminated with a coax plug, we tested the signal for each room and was able to pass each one for signal strength & quality.
Sometimes if an aerial system has been left without being maintained for such a long time, there can be in some cases nothing that can be done for it. Repairs would be a more costly solution than to just rip out the old aerial system and to install a new one that can then be fully guaranteed. It would have been easier to have fit an aerial in the loft, but because of the poor signal received when we tried this we decide to fit an externally mounted aerial instead to pick up the most of the signal available. To see more about the difference between loft aerials & external go to our post.