If you find this information useful and want to thank me, why not buy one of my low-cost "eBooks" that you can download direct to your computer? My books can be read on-screen or printed out on paper. They are full of colour photos and illustrations. http://www.The-Cool-Book-Shop.co.uk
Halloween is a time when children are presented with loads of sweets and sugar. The supermarkets are filled with all different sizes, shapes, and types of sticky delights to hand out to Trick-or-Treaters. What should you do if you want to give healthier treats or have a healthier Halloween party?
Instead of going down the sweet or Halloween aisles at the supermarket, go down the snack aisle. There are plenty of small bags of crisps. Try to choose popcorn or baked crisps, which are the healthier choices. Snack size granola bars or sugar-free gum are good too. Fresh fruit, seeds, and nuts (mostly apples and pumpkin seeds) are great for Halloween parties but maybe not for door-to-door Trick-or-Treaters. Today, parents of trick-or-treaters want pre-packaged items and will discard the fruit. Small snack-sized packs of seeds or nuts would be the best.
Another idea is not to use food at all for treats. Pens, pencils, a small ball, small book, and small game gadgets make excellent presents. These are not expensive but are fun for the children. They can be found in party supply stores or "pound" shops that are filled with numerous non-food items for children to play with. Coins (a bag of fifty pennies looks very impressive) are also another alternative to food.
If you still would like to buy sweets, think small size. Dark chocolate and nuts have omega-3 fatty acids, which helps to keep cholesterol down. Try to stay away from the big candy- and chocolate bars. Mix the sweets with the above ideas and you have a healthier treat than sweets alone.
Want to surprise/amuse your guests?
Whitby TV mast switch-on delayed
THE switch off of the old television mast has been delayed for two weeks to allow people more time to retune their aerials.
(Whatever that means!) Anyway, to read the full story, go here:
How to fit a TV plug
Remote extender "magic eyes" and masthead amplifiers need to be powered via the coaxial cable. If the "TV" plugs aren't fitted correctly, the connection will be intermittent and you'll have problems. A lot of people have trouble fitting plugs but it's really very easy and you can watch a short movie where I show you how, at the bottom of this page:
You can also have a laugh at my northern accent and unavoidable fumbling as things roll away from me!
If you don't fancy fitting plugs yourself, we now offer WF100 cable (in various colours) with TV plugs or F connectors already fitted!
WF100 cable has an almost-solid foam plastic dielectric filling, is fully-shielded, and ideal for long runs or short interconnects.
Need a Christmas present?
For the next two days we are giving £1 discount off these fly-leads, which you can get by using this temporary OFFER page:
As these leads have to be hand-made, please allow time for delivery. If you need them immediately, please order at the standard price from here:
How about an eBook? This (or the download information) can be emailed to a distant friend or relative as a surprise present.
Or, if you'd like to give ME a present, please buy an eBook and read it yourself. See
Here, you'll find a couple of very unusual out-of-print books which I've laboriously retyped for you, complete with pictures. One is a children's story book from my childhood. One is a very rare book that holds an account of a murder that took place almost two centuries ago. Have you £1.95 in your Paypal account? The original copy would cost around £75. (It's for sale if you are a collector. Make me an offer!)
Allegedly from Sky
"Great News - we now have the ability to reduce visit cancellations and improve customer satisfaction by giving customers the option to have Sky+ and HD single box installations completed without a phone line.
Sky has recognised that there are (sic) a large number of households that don't currently have a phoneline and either plan to have one installed, or have no intention of getting a landline. This has been reported as one of the barriers for people not taking up Sky+ and HD. As a result, Sky will be launching a NPL [no phone line] option on Sky+ and HD in the UK. HD will now be available in ROI."
This missive has apparently been doing the rounds at the Livingstone offices and will soon be (or is already) made public. Sounds plausible!
Do you want Freeview HD?
For the record, I'm happy with Freeview as it is, but if you aren't....
"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Make High Definition Television Channels Available Via Free To View Digital Terrestrial Television."
Last month I reported "loss of channels" on one Sky bouquet. This is often caused by the close proximity of a wireless router or DECT portable phone base station.
This month it's the four "FIVE" channels on 180, 181, 182 and 183 which have "gone missing" for some people. The cause is a change of Transponder a couple of days ago (they moved to Astra 2C). The solution is to switch your Sky Digibox off then on at the wall socket to reboot it. This should force it to "search for listings", which will cure the problem. (If it's a Sky+ box, be sure to put it into standby and let the Hard Drive "spin down" before switching off the power!)
My question is brief and not technical. I find that while watching a program on my Sky+ Pace receiver, if I am called away midway through the programme and start to record what I will miss in the interim, sometimes the unit will record the programme from the very beginning or near enough to it. This would appear to be a wonderful feature.Can you tell me what criteria control this feature any why does it not always go back to the very beginning
Many thanks for your time.
By coincidence, I discovered exactly this same feature last night while watching a programme on my computer using an "ElGato EyeTV" Freeview box. It seems that, if it is possible to scroll back to the beginning of the programme (because you've been watching it from the beginning), then it is already recorded on the hard drive and can be saved. If you have not been watching it from the beginning, it will save what you have watched and no more.
I think the Sky+ box has a feature called "Instant Rewind"?
Well, if you disable this, the feature as described will no longer work (so don't!).
I have recently bought a campervan, it had already installed at DVB-T/DVD player that had only been used for playing back DVD's. I want to connect an aerial to it but the screw on socket it smaller than the usual satellite connection. It is narrower and the thread smaller. The unit does not have a manufacturer's name on it. I have uploaded a picture of the side of the unit if this helps.
OK, that's called an "SMA" socket and it has a 50 Ohm impedance, which is not for a conventional 75 Ohm Freeview aerial. It's normally found on wireless broadband routers and mobile phones:-
I recommend you contact the manufacturers of your equipment (do a search on the model number) and ask them what sort of aerial it was designed for. I'm not even confident that it will work with Freeview in the UK. Frankly, I would stick a short length of insulated wire into the hole and drive close to a TV transmitter then see if you can tune anything in. I assume you have the user instructions which tell you how to do this? If not then I'd consign it to the trash!
Maplin do sell an SMA to BNC converter, which gets you one step closer to connecting something. They might also have a BNC to "F" adapter.
Your site is excellent and has been the source of my wiring info for a number of years. I have just upgraded to Sky+ and multiroom so had to redo the wiring.
I bought a DIP2 satellite/UHF combiner and paired this up with a Labgear Triplex Outlet Module PSW351T, with Return and phone sockets.
It goes in the loftspace connected to the Aerial and the LNB cable. Then the down lead goes on to a sky+ box which then feeds a second room via the RF2 Out socket. As per your diagram.
Both signals appear to be received well on their own, but when I connect the uhf TV signal fly lead to the Outlet module it cuts out the sky+ #1 signal to the digibox. I do not have to have this connected to the digibox for it to do this, just putting the lead in the TV socket on the Outlet module cuts the Sky signal out.
I tried a second Outlet Module in case the first was faulty, but the same effect occurs.
Any ideas to resolve this, or must I run a new UHF cable from the Aerial to the digibox and take the DIP 2 out of the system?
Hope you can help,
Andrew, where did you buy the Triplex plate? We had exactly the same question last week from someone who bought a Philex triplex plate (not from us). Philex technical confirmed there is a bad batch of face plates and, as they also supply under the name of "Labgear", it could well apply to those, too.
I recommend you return it to your supplier. I don't think that's us (I can't find it listed) but, if it is, please contact sales.
I have had 2 CAI installers to my house to quote for a system. I have been given slightly diffeerent advice by them. I am confused.
I want the best quality signal for my front room which will soon consist of a Panasonic TH-42PX70 (which has a digital tuner) and an adaquate signal for my 4 other rooms.
Currently I have Virgin Media anologue Cable. This goes to my hard disc dvd recorder (non freeview) then to a Maxview booster distribution 6 way box then onto all 5 rooms (front room TV, kitchen tv, front bedroom tv, back bedroom, and attic tv). I would like to keep a similar type of system using a distributor box where all cables (mostly CT100) are already positioned. The last CAI installer did not recommend a mast head amplifier anyway.
I have a 20 year old tv aerial on the roof. It works fine for most channels. Some channels, for example Film 4 it sometimes has trouble with and it cannot get the multiplex containing BBC1, BBC2. I obviously need a new aerial. I recieve a signal from Emley Moor and live in Huddersfield (postcode supplied).
My thoughts were to have 1 aerial to supply my Plasma (pure straight through feed) and one aerial to supply the rest of the house via a distribution box. One CAI agreed with this, the other one said I did not need it, and one person off AVforums said the 2 aerials would interfere with each other.
One installer said signal strength does not matter (to a point I guess, not too little and not too much to overload) and the better aerial you get the better quality you get (which by the choice of aerials he gave me, a DM15, a Log Periodic Ultra directional and a DMX10, means also higher gain and higher price). The other installer recommended a Unix 52.
I thought if you get a minimum of 40db signal to each set top box it does not matter what aerial you get, though there is the consideration of interference rejection which I believe a Log-Periodic is partically good at. So I am now thinking that as well as requiring an aerial with sufficient gain for my system you also get more quality if you get a higher Gain aerial even if you do not need the stronger signal. Is this correct?
I know like most things quality does vary, but if you compare 2 aerials from the same manufacturer and 1 has enough gain for your system, and one has more gain than you need (but below overload), does the quality vary? I think you need a minimum of 40db and you can provide too much signal to your set top box.
My neighbour has recently had fitted a Log Periodic (not by a CAI installer), the cable split to supply 2 rooms . He is happy with this (though what he is happy with I might not be with). My first CAI installer said its the wrong type of aerial and recommended a Unix 52.
I have been told by one CIA I cannot send a satelite signal round the house by a distribution box (and hence to a set top box so you can watch what channel you want), this I wanted in case in the future I went over to satelite. the other CAI person said I could send a satelite signal round the house via distribution box.
So to sum up:
I want the best quality signal for my (future) plasma, the other 4 rooms are not as important (though I will in future get a plasma for my bedroom)
Is it best to have 2 aerials or stick with 1
Do I achieve any better quality by having 1 aerial feeding my main Plasma TV?
If 1 aerial is okay, will it be better going 1st through the set top box then onto the distribution box or straight to the box, this feeding everything
Does with more Gain come more quality (assuming you do not need the extra gain). Is it the case of being close to the maximum signal gives better quality than just above the minimum signal required?
Assuming I can get the required signal strength which type of aerial is the best for quality, Log Periodic or for example, a Unix 52? Or is this a matter of opinion
I assumme it is better for me to get a higher gain aerial because the signal will be split several times ie if I only had 1 tv I would be able to have a less gain aerial providing it gives the required minimum signal strength. Am I correct?
Finally I would like to buy a good quality 6 way (maybe 8 way bearing in mind as well as the 5 TVs I have one freeview Hard Disc recorder and one Hard Disc/DVD recorder (non freeview) in my front room), which hopefully, will be able to route a satellite signal as well as Freeview. I have looked at your website but cannot understand which to get.
For your information, in 2011, when analogue is turned off at Emley Moor, the signal strength go up by 20 times!
Because I have not been happy with the quality of watching especially football on flat screens, this is why I want the best quality signal. I would like to buy a Pioneer Kudo, but they are too expensive and Ii am hoping when I look at the Panansonic TH-42PX70 it is good enough for me. I am happy with my current TV, a Toshiba Rear Projection, but its just too big!
As far as digital reception is concerned, "signal quality" is synonymous with "minimum errors". To minimise errors - apart from ensuring that the aerial provides enough signal but not too much (as you correctly stated) - you should firstly try to minimise noise and interference introduced after the aerial. That means using the best fully-shielded cable you can get (WF100 is fine). Also pay attention to any wall-plate connectors (must also be shielded) and amplifiers (must introduce as little noise and distortion as possible) and "fly-leads" (WF100 recommended).
To avoid distortion, don't overload the amp input. To minimise noise, buy a low-noise amp and connect it fairly close to the aerial. Cable always generates noise and you don't want to amplify it!
At your location the predicted signal field strength from Emley moor is 49dBuV/m. A typical aerial will increase this by 12dB and cable will reduce it by, say, 2dB, leaving 59dBuV at your receiver - which is perfect. 40dB is usually the lower limit and 75dB the upper (until analogue switch-off). Ideally you need a "Groub B" aerial for both digital and analogue and, unless you've changed it recently, this is what you probably have. I wouldn't bother to change it except that you will have to change the cable anyway. So, from that point of view, you can install another "Group B" (but this is unlikely to have a balun) or a "wideband Yagi" - which really doesn't need much gain, or copy your neighbour and use a decent log-periodic which has advantages of less wind resistance and better impulse interference rejection. The one we sell has a gain of 8dBi which should be fine.
As for your signal distribution system, it's impossible to advise without a site survey. If you want only Freeview, use a masthead amplifier near the aerial and split the signal (as far from the aerial as possible) to the various rooms.
I would personally go for a Triax "DDU" Loft Box, which is more versatile and allows for the inclusion of satellite TV, camera etc.
Note that "signal quality" has little or no bearing in picture quality. With digital, the picture is reconstituted perfectly or it isn't. If it isn't, you'll see coloured squares or "picture freeze". If it is, you'll see a perfect* picture.
*Perfect insofar as the original transmission will be reconstructed perfectly but compression "artifacts" will be evident because the compression method is "lossy". So, in fact, it's never "perfect"!
A general thank you for the site, I am restoring a 1968 Mark 2 jag and found your basic page of wiring informative. I will be buying an e book soon but I'd be interested in buying an e book on total re wiring of car looms etc. I'd also be interested in turning the current positive earth over to a negative earth car in the future so again something like that in an e book would be good. One question I did have was " how to work out the right size of wire for the accessory etc " Totally answered in your writing. A second one was about the use of relays, again answered via your site.
As I say a general thank you for your site and I'll spend more time looking at it in the next few months and hopefully get guidance as to where to buy all the bits for my Electrical restoration. I'll also mention I found your site to others I know who are completing car projects.
Do take care and thanks again.
Hi, Alan. Sales forwarded your message to me. Apologies for the delay in replying. I was working on a project yesterday that required minimal interruption. I don't know which of our web sites you are referring to but I'm glad you found something useful!
Some years ago I restored a 1960 A40 which, admittedly, is not in the same class as a Mark 2 Jag! But the principles are the same.
You might find these pages interesting and relevant to your car project:
If you have any specific questions I might be able to make time to answer them. Also we are happy to "host" information from people such as yourself (especially completed projects with photos) because we can make a few cents from the adverts.
Thanks for suggesting Eurosat. I spoke with Eurosat in London and they are able to help me with repair on my Echostar AD3000IP. They have emailed me the following response.
Hope that is of help in the future.
In most cases these symptoms can be repaired. The estimate cost >would be between £49 to £59+vat + £8 carriage. The repair would >include any software update required plus an overnight soak test.
Please find attached returns form if you decide to proceed.
Eurosat Technical Dept.
Thanks, Simon. I'm sure you aren't the only owner of an Echostar AD3000IP.
Coloured WF100 now in stock. I particularly like the red because it matches the phono leads behind my "Hi-Fi" system. If you are running cables from the loft to a common point, colour coding can make it easy to see which cable is which. We are also now offering high-quality "fly-leads" with nickel-plated brass TV plugs soldered on. Ideal for connections that have to carry power to a "magic eye" or a masthead amplifier. Also available with "F" connectors fitted. When I was age ten I developed an interest in electronics, which remained my hobby for many years. So I'm quite excited to announce our new range of hobby electronic kits, developed by ME! These kits require NO SOLDERING and can literally be assembled "on the kitchen table" and put away when you've finished. They are great fun to play with and a welcome distraction from the boring repeats on TV. (When I have time I'll be introducing additional kits). For more advanced "beginners" we are also offering a range of kits which need to be soldered. How about this cable tester? Plastic trunking - curved and stylish - with adhesive backing for easy installation. No need to thread the cable through - the curved section unclips from the rear section. DENSO TAPE Used by British Gas for sealing underground joints against moisture. This 2" wide tape must be the most disgusting stuff on earth. Imagine soaking a bandage in cow poo and you are getting close to its texture. Thankfully, the petroleum-based goo smells more like the oil-smeared pit in your local garage than cow poo, so you won't need a peg. But you WILL need polythene gloves and old clothes because this sticky stuff gets everywhere! So what use is it? See More Info
Coloured WF100 now in stock. I particularly like the red because it matches the phono leads behind my "Hi-Fi" system. If you are running cables from the loft to a common point, colour coding can make it easy to see which cable is which.
We are also now offering high-quality "fly-leads" with nickel-plated brass TV plugs soldered on. Ideal for connections that have to carry power to a "magic eye" or a masthead amplifier.
Also available with "F" connectors fitted.
When I was age ten I developed an interest in electronics, which remained my hobby for many years. So I'm quite excited to announce our new range of hobby electronic kits, developed by ME!
These kits require NO SOLDERING and can literally be assembled "on the kitchen table" and put away when you've finished. They are great fun to play with and a welcome distraction from the boring repeats on TV. (When I have time I'll be introducing additional kits).
For more advanced "beginners" we are also offering a range of kits which need to be soldered. How about this cable tester?
Plastic trunking - curved and stylish - with adhesive backing for easy installation. No need to thread the cable through - the curved section unclips from the rear section.
Used by British Gas for sealing underground joints against moisture. This 2" wide tape must be the most disgusting stuff on earth. Imagine soaking a bandage in cow poo and you are getting close to its texture. Thankfully, the petroleum-based goo smells more like the oil-smeared pit in your local garage than cow poo, so you won't need a peg. But you WILL need polythene gloves and old clothes because this sticky stuff gets everywhere!
So what use is it? See More Info
(The introductory offer prices have now ended.)
How to Fit Extra TV Points
How to Fit Extra TV Points May 12, 2007
How to Fit Extra TV Points
May 12, 2007
Sky Digibox User Guide
Sky Digibox User Guide
How to Use a Multimeter
How to Use a Multimeter
The SatCure Satellite Review is written for the customers and subscribers of the following websites:
copyright © 2007 Martin Pickering