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JEREMY BILLINGHAM

TV Aerials, Radio Aerials, Sky & Freesat
Supplied - Installed - Repaired

Droitwich, Worcester, Bromsgrove, Pershore
Kidderminster & Stourport

In this Gallery I've put together some examples of TV Aerials, TV Amplifiers & related equipment that have either died a natural death due to there age, produced and unexpected or unforeseen fault or simply just not fit for purpose.

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TV Aerial 1

If you loose your TV pictures it's always worth having a closer look at the TV Aerial on the roof, if you can! especially if you loose signal when it's wet or raining. Over the years I've used a small pair of binoculars, which I carry on the van to look at Aerials from the ground. I've then often noticed many TV Aerials in a similar condition to the one in my image (A) above. The protective dipole cap has come off or even disintegrated with the UV from sun light (as this one has) Much more serious than this is the fact that if the TV Aerial is this old, and I can age this one quite accurately at around 43 years the coax cable is almost certainly going to be the of the same age. Coax of this age, and older is always in need of replacement if it's been exposed to sunlight on a roof. Once a coax gets this old (See image B above) it will often allow rain water to enter via cracks in the outer casing which will then flow down to what ever the coax is connected to, whether that be a TV, a TV wall plate, an amplifiers power unit or even a SKY box etc. Over the years I've seen many video recorders, 12 volt power units as well as half a dozen TV's destroyed by water ingress.
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TV Aerial 2

This TV Aerial probably finally failed due to a large bird perching on the end of this 30 year old contract Aerial. With the weight of the bird and the years of acidic corrosion caused by bird mess hitting the same spot next to the reflector this Aerial could remain horizontal & complete no longer, snapping in the usual place.This is a rare example of a good TV Aerial installation which lasted 30 years and died of natural causes.
It could have lasted even longer should it not have been frequented by so many birds over the years.
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TV Aerial 3

Old age, these two Aerials are around 40 years old and represents a good age for a pair of TV Aerials although looking at the condition they perhaps could have done with being replaced 5 years ago.
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TV Aerial 4

This is a very interesting TV Aerial lookalike. Although I call it a TV Aerial in fact it's not a TV Aerial at all but a very good lookalike, perhaps sold in their thousands over the years to unsuspecting DIYers. It's best described as a collective quantity of aluminium prongs, all of which are exactly the same size and all with exactly the same spacing neatly laid out on a length of square tubing. Click HERE and scroll down to my news item dated 22nd of December 2015 for more information.
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TV Aerial 5

This TV Aerial marked on it's dipole cap "Diamond Colour" has a fault that still has me baffled. I've been called out to half a dozen of these Aerials over the last couple of years after customers have complained they have suddenly lost all TV pictures. A fellow installer who also covers the Kidderminster and Stourport areas informs me that he has been called out to a dozen or more. Looking from the ground and indeed on close inspection everything looks fine with no sign of any water ingress or damage to the dipole but once this Aerial fails, it passes no signal to the coax and therefore needs to be replaced. Almost all of them are less than 10 years old.
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TV Aerial 6

As a general rule of thumb the more plastic used in the make up of a TV Aerial the shorter its life will be. This Aerial made by Diamond Colour is a typical example of the problem. I was recently called out to a customer in Hillery road, Worcester who had been experiencing TV reception problems for some considerable time. On arrival at the property it was obvious as to what the problem was. Looking up at the Aerial before knocking at the door it was clear to see that this TV Aerial was missing a quantity of it's elements. I often see Aerials which are missing one or two elements and more often than not there is no significant drop in signal strength (Dependant on which elements are missing) but this one had lost 5 so it was unable to deliver enough signal to the TV it was connected to. Interestingly this example is not the usual problem where the UV light makes the plastic brittle but just a poor design regarding the attachment of the aluminium elements to the Aerials boom via it's plastic insulators/holders.
This Aerial was only 12 years old whereas a good quality, well installed TV Aerial will often last in excess of 40 years
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Coax Fly Lead

Over the years I've lost count of how many times I've been called out to customers with TV reception problems only to discover that it's just the shop bought fly lead which is to blame. If you have one of these leads behind the TV and you're experiencing reception problems before you try anything else change this fly lead even if it's brand new and come straight out of the packaging direct from the shop, I have seen and identified dozens of these which don't pass signal and because they are so new looking customers often don't suspect the lead as to having a potential fault.
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Freeview Box

Poor quality, cheap Freeview digibox gives up the ghost!
Interestingly, although it's not too common these days it's by no means rare either. This customer had been using a digibox to receive their Freeview channels not realising that it had not been needed since purchasing a new Freeview / Digital TV some years before. So the digibox went in the bin and the TV which had been purchased 2 years before was tuned for the first time.
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Wall plate

Although this looks like the common problem of rain water entering the coax from outside and running down the inside of the coax, in this rare example it's in fact due to a very damp internal wall
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MHA 1

At roof top height the view of an amplifier open to the elements like this one is quite a common site. Although the amplifiers are very reliable it's the plastic box that they sit in which lets them down as the lid has a habit of opening after a relative short period of time once installed. Interestingly I have noticed that these amplifiers will often continue to work normally for many, many years afterwards even though they may have lost their lid and been open to the elements.
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MHA 2

This masthead amplifier's plastic cable tie had snapped due to years of exposure to the suns UV rays. The MHA had then turned upside down and filled with rain water. Looking at the orange rust coloured water that I tipped out of it would suggest this had happened sometime ago. The electronic components inside the protective housing were totally destroyed by water submersion.
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Power Supply

This 12 Volt Power Supply seems to be more unreliable than many other makes. I've been called out half a dozen times or so over the past 12 months only to find that the loss of TV pictures was due to this Vision Power Supply. At least half of the ones I've found displayed an unusual fault in that the green LED light was still lit and the 12 volts was still being produced but the signal was then corrupted by the unit. The others I've found were totally inactive and dead. When this PSU is part of an Aerial system and goes faulty it will also adversely effect all the TVs that are indirectly connected to it, often making people think that it must be the TV Aerial that is at fault. For the reasons stated above, I do not use, or recommend the Vision PSU.
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Amplifier ​1

This is one of the most frequently bought DIY TV amplifiers, possibly due to its low cost. In this case it was producing a much greater amount of signal than specified, this huge signal then swamped the BT vision box. (Having too much signal is just as bad as not having enough)
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Amplifier 2

This TV Amplifier or booster as it's more commonly known as is made by Maxview and although it's been sold throughout the UK in the large DIY stores I've sometimes been informed by customers that they were also fitted by a previous professional TV Aerial installer. More often than not I find them in a loft connected to the incoming TV coax from the Aerial and either having 2 outlets (as this one has) or 4 outlets. Which ever version they both seem to suffer with the same reliability issues as over recent years I've been called out to a fair number of these all of which have been less than 10 years old. Sometimes the red LED light is still illuminated but they just fail to amplify the signal. As a comparison, a good quality amplifier should (normally) last in excess of 20 years and over the years I've seen many still working well at 30 years plus!
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