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Viewing TV before there was any regional programming?

 
ntscuser
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I'm curious about this period. Did people in the provinces erect huge Band I aerials and watch programmes from London?

Likewise when commercial TV was only available in London, did people outside the reception area erect huge Band III aerials so they could watch it too?

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Topic starter Posted : 19/03/2015 8:34 pm
ntscuser
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Living 90 miles way, we got a weak BBC signal from London on a combined Band I/III aerial facing the opposite direction so I reckon a dedicated Band I aerial facing the right direction could have obtained a reasonable signal.

I've not seen evidence that anyone ever tried it though.

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Topic starter Posted : 19/03/2015 9:49 pm
EDDINNING
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From memory, it would be about 49 to 50. I remember seeing TV with a very poor picture in the NE. I was told that it was from Birmingham? and would improve shortly when the new Pontop transmitter came into use.
Can't say I was impressed.

Ed

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Posted : 19/03/2015 10:41 pm
Jayceebee
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I was told that reception from Holme Moss on CH2 was possible in some areas of the North East. I believe It could be received quite well in Darlington, further North towards Durham and beyond day to day reception was a bit variable. I certainly remember seeing a small number of vertically polarised aerials when I was young whereas Pontop Pike was of course horizontal.

I believe Holme Moss started transmissions in 1951 and Pontop Pike followed in 1953 with a temporary low power transmitter just in time for the Coronation.

John.

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Posted : 19/03/2015 11:38 pm
Focus Diode
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Crystal Palace ch1 was well received in Chippenham, Wiltshire, approximately 100 miles from the transmitter on a daily basis using a fixed Wenvoe ch5 aerial in the opposite direction! No doubt the results would've been even better had a ch1 aerial orientated to London been used.

Obviously I can't comment on how well Alexandra Palace was received in that area. There was a query on pre war reception in Chippenham a few years back on the UKVRRR forum.

http://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/show ... hp?t=10554

Brian

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Posted : 20/03/2015 11:20 am
ntscuser
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When I first saw this picture of newly-built flats in Coventry circa 1953 I assumed the four-element Band I Yagi must be for reception of a distant transmitter but I've since learned that Sutton Coldfield (less than 20 miles away) had already been in operation for four years by the time they were built:

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Topic starter Posted : 21/03/2015 2:33 am
Terry
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Don't forget that the Yagi may have been related to a ghosting issue although I suspect it was there for another very good reason.

It is obviously the front end of a communal distribution system. The increase in signal level provided by the Yagi without the noise generation inherent in valve amplifiers of the time would, in itself, justify the additional complexity. The reduced demand on the electronics required was probably very cost effective overall as well.

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Posted : 21/03/2015 12:41 pm
ntscuser
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It is obviously the front end of a communal distribution system. The increase in signal level provided by the Yagi without the noise generation inherent in valve amplifiers of the time would, in itself, justify the additional complexity.

That possibility did occur to me although knowing who the aerial contractor was he probably used both an oversized aerial and active distribution system. His successor still does.

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Topic starter Posted : 21/03/2015 3:47 pm
Terry
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It is obviously the front end of a communal distribution system. The increase in signal level provided by the Yagi without the noise generation inherent in valve amplifiers of the time would, in itself, justify the additional complexity.

That possibility did occur to me although knowing who the aerial contractor was he probably used both an oversized aerial and active distribution system. His successor still does.

There appear to be 16 flats in each block, assuming that they are built symmetrically, and we can't see enough of the nearer block to know if it has its own aerial or if the one aerial feeds both blocks.

The splitters were almost certainly resistive - a very large system that I know of that was built in 1969 was still using resistive splitters - so a two-way splitter, for example, loses 6dB.

Even using modern high quality inductive splitters and assuming that the signal is split four ways then four again, the minimum loss will be 16dB per outlet. Assuming a nominal +6dBmV (2mV) per outlet, this adds up to +22dBmV (~13mV) input before cable losses are added!

Obviously, if both blocks are fed from the one aerial, overall losses will be much higher than that.

It is unlikely that he would be able to feed even one block without some amplification ...!

As for the modern system, don't forget that cable losses at UHF are much higher that in Band I - up to four times as much!

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Posted : 21/03/2015 5:20 pm
yampy187
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Hi. All,
Funnily enough I used to LIve in one of those blocks!! Loads of them in the Tile hill area of Coventry. I can confirm they have 16 flats in each block and one communal aerial. Each stack of 4 flats aerial points are dasy-chained together and fed from a distribution amp on the roof. They still have all the original aerial points installed. I had no end of problems with freeview reception when I lived there!!!

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Posted : 26/03/2015 2:47 am
Terry
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I hope they revamped the system in the interim!

I remember the distribution system in some tower blocks built in the early 60s. Behind the coax faceplate the coax emerged from the floor above and continued to the floor below with the socket fed via a resistor tapped of the centre conductor.

It must have been deemed unsuitable for an upgrade to UHF because, when BBC2 came along in 1964, it was translated to VHF channel C (at the top of Band I).

When all else fails, read the instructions

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Posted : 26/03/2015 3:46 pm
ntscuser
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I hope they revamped the system in the interim!

New owners Whitefriars Housing Association had renewed all the former city council distribution systems by 2010.

Not before time either as the original VHF coax was still being used to distribute UHF signals up until then. To make matters worse extra stages of amplification had been added to compensate for the deteriorating cable followed by filters to reduce co-channel interference followed by yet more amplification to compensate for the losses added by the channel filters. The end result was so noisy it was next to useless for digital reception.

The original VHF cabling and outlet boxes are still in place but unused now which is a pity as they would have been ideal for FM and DAB radio distribution.

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Topic starter Posted : 26/03/2015 4:05 pm
ntscuser
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The original VHF cabling and outlet boxes are still in place but unused now which is a pity as they would have been ideal for FM and DAB radio distribution.

What's wrong with multiplexing FM and DAB on to the main UHF system?

Nothing except that the housing association refuses to pay for it. There's just one outlet socket per household and that is for for UHF television only. No FM radio, no DAB, no satellite feed and no bedroom viewing.

The aerial contractor is also an agent for Sky so has a vested interest in keeping the communal aerial system as 'basic' as possible. There's no COM7 for example (despite a strong signal) so half the Freeview HD channels are missing.

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Topic starter Posted : 26/03/2015 4:43 pm