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Aerial Reports

DM Log Aerial

Log36 / Log40 Aerials

(The Log36 is an updated Log40)

Log36 performance.

NOTE : many of these reports are from the pre switchover low power digital + analogue era, but that doesn`t make them any less relevant as regards aerial performance.

In fact aerial performance was actually assessed better when using analogue signals.

Log40 Aerial

DM Log Periodic

DM Log Periodic performance.

NOTE : many of these reports are from the pre switchover low power digital + analogue era, but that doesn`t make them any less relevant as regards aerial performance.

In fact aerial performance was actually assessed better when using analogue signals.

Log Periodic Aerial Reports

I`m very interested to hear how well our aerials work, particularly when compared to another antenna (e.g. your old one) and I feel this is also of interest to others, so here are reports [mainly from our customers] filed by model of aerial. If you`ve purchased an aerial from us and would like to add one please contact us.

I Harris     Bilsdale Transmitter  

Your reply was waiting for me when I got home from work on the evening of Monday 5th. I placed the order online the same evening. Aerial was dispatched on the 6th. Aerial arrived at home on the 7th. I arrived home from work at 6pm, had tea and fitted aerial in loft as planned. I used a good old fashioned compass to get the alignment right, wired it up and turned the TV on. Instantly had a great picture, but things improved further when I managed to tune the TV Freeview into digital ! Even better as we only get a weak digital signal at present (Not due to 'go digital' until 2012). Sat down with well earned glass of wine and watched Lara Croft on BBC3. Thanks for you help. Your website is extremely informative  and your advice spot on. I have no hesitation in recommending your service to anyone and everyone.

K Crawford   Bilsdale Transmitter

Whilst looking for information regarding aerial installers in my area I stumbled across your website. I found it to be one of the most informative sites I have ever visited. The website persuaded me that I could actually do the installation myself. The quality of all of the products I ordered was exceptional and very good value also. I have now installed the Log 40 aerial with the 4 way masthead amplifier and the picture on all 4 TVs is as good as I have  ever seen. The speed of delivery was great also, despite the Easter holidays. Thanks for an excellent service, I can't recommend you highly enough.

Mr Richardson     Bilsdale Transmitter

I replaced a small B&Q wideband aerial with the Log40. My old aerial gave unacceptable digital break up but the new one works much better and the signal is fine now

F Taylor     Waltham Transmitter                      

Been telling you porkies, my other aerial is actually a Televes V not a Televes DAT. Here’s the info anyway, so here goes. V aerial is fed into 2 TVs via a 2 way Masthead, the Log 40 into 4 TV’s via a 4 way Masthead. Bit Error details come from a Sony Bravia LCD TV on each aerial respectively, averaged across the range of Freeview channels, but all are very similar anyway. Signal level on both is high 10/10, solid green. Visually, with digital there appears to be no difference when things are good, the difference seems to be Sunday evenings around 8PM the V aerial will cause the TV to glitch occasionally or if weather conditions deteriorate where the Log 40 is OK. Analogue on the Bravia TV’s isn’t great so it hard to be really critical.  Watching the kids CRT tellies though reveals no ghosting on analogue via the Log 40 aerial there is a slight trace of it on the V aerial.

In a nutshell the log 40 on my installation seems more tolerant of reduced signal or worsening weather conditions.

FM and DAB Aerials

FM and DAB Aerials

FM / DAB aerial performance.

These reports are, more or less *, in order of the number of elements the FM or DAB aerial has, starting with the single element dipoles (FM listed first except where the report includes both types of aerial).

* I say more or less because a few involve more than one aerial…..

C Noble     FM Half Wave Dipole

I had an FM omni before but its performance wasn`t as good as I wanted. I swapped it for a half wave dipole and it definitely works better. It has got rid of most of the FM “hiss” which the old aerial suffered from.

I Dawson      Durris Transmitter
Thank you for the Log 40 aerial. I am receiving from the Durris transmitter (grp K at the moment but will revert to grp A in Sept 2010). It`s only about 20 miles away but through loads of trees. The original aerial was an Italian FR 8 element aerial (470-862Mhz wideband Yagi). The Log 40 is infinitely superior in build quality & reception on digital and analogue. Kind regards.

P Hoare     FM Half Wave Dipole and DAB Dipole

The site is a fairly poor reception area for both FM and DAB. We originally had one of those round FM Omni aerials which we fed into our amplifier then split back into TV and FM/DAB with a diplexer. This set up gave mediocre reception on FM but when we tried a DAB tuner we didn’t get anything at all. It subsequently transpired that the diplexer would not pass the DAB frequencies and changing it for a DAB compatible type resulted in a signal, but the quality left much to be desired. We then swapped the Omni aerial for a vertically polarised FM half wave dipole and the signal quality on both FM and DAB was significantly better. Unfortunately the DAB still gave problems at certain times of the day so about a year later we added a DAB dipole diplexed with the FM dipole. Finally we got decent FM and DAB!

D Smedley    Bilsdale Transmitter
We moved to this house in 1981 and brought our (almost new) aerial with us but it was too large to fit in the loft (development site regs, all indoors), but as it was of the two-part type I unbolted the back half and used that. I don't know the make but it is one of those 'X' format element types. To be honest, it worked perfectly OK on analogue but on digital reception it was prone to producing pixellation quite regularly. I purchased a Log40 from you on the Monday and received it the next day ! I am pleased to say that it is up and running perfectly. Many Thanks for an excellent product and 1st class service.

G White      Durris Transmitter

I just fitted a Log 40 you supplied. Build quality seems good. Picture quality on analogue  and digital good. Now pick up more digital channels with a clearer picture and get C5 on analogue which I didn't before. Old aerial was a contract cheapy although the analogue channels were fine. Thanks for advise and the informative website

Analogue C5 off Durris was on CH67, which indicates that the previous aerial was an A group because it didn`t pick it up (Pre switchover Durris was a wideband). It also explains why the original aerial failed to receive all the digital MUXES, see Digital Nationwide : Durris. This report backs up our tests that a Log40 works about as well as a decent Contract 10A, or better than a poor Contract 10A !

J Nadin    Belmont Transmitter

Our transmitter is Belmont, 26 miles as crow fly's, dead inline with Humberside Airport ?

The aerial was a Log 40, recommended by yourselves on the phone, was a 100% success, eleven years of four and half channels ! ! Log 40 was the right one, great reception and less wind problems as we are prone to high winds. Comparison with old aerial ? No comparison. Aerial quality, I would say it is nigh on bomb proof. I would like to congratulate you on your customer relations and lightening delivery service, (ordered 12-00 one day, fitted 1-00 next day), and a first class website, spent hours reading it.

S Hart    Crystal Palace Transmitter

The aerial is pointed at Crystal Palace. Performance is fine. The signal strength is around 65% and 70%. My previous aerial was in the loft and connected to a high gain mast head amp. The new aerial means that I have had to drop the amp down to mid-gain because I   was getting break upon the picture (possibly caused because the signal was being overamplified - it is now fine). I could probably do without the amplifier if I just had it connected  to one TV but I have the signal going to two TV cards in a PC. The aerial build quality is much better than the one it replaced (which came from Screwfix and was flimsy.
Your web site is a BIG help and I feel that it really helped me to get the job done right. The only extra information that would have been useful on the web site is a few tips on getting the job done safely. I considered doing the job from a ladder (my chimney stack is on the end of the roof) but bottled out once I'd got up there ! I used a tower in the end but I still had to do a bit of pondering to sort out how best to keep the steel brackets in place while I positioned the lashing wire. Got it all sorted in the end but a few tricks of the trade would have probably helped. All in all though very good product and very helpful web site.   All the best. Cheers

C Wynn    Rowridge Transmitter

The old aerial installed on the chimney of our house when we moved here 20 years ago worked perfectly with the Humax set top box we bought when Freeview first started transmitting, even though it was badly bent and had one of the directors missing.  However, towards the end of last year the picture began to degrade to the extent that all channels were virtually unwatchable. Time to check the aerial. How it managed to work OK for so long was a mystery. The plastic cover over the cable connections was virtually non-existent, you couldn't see the connections for a thick pile of green and white crystals and the copper braiding was completely corroded away. I replaced it with a wideband aerial I'd bought from B&Q when Channel 5 started. This aerial was mounted higher than the original aerial because conventional wisdom dictated the higher the better. Initially the reception seemed fine. However, early this year we started getting intermittent pixellation on some channels, and sometimes the picture quality fluctuated wildly. I then discovered your website (absolutely superb I hasten to add) and started experimenting with the vertical positioning of the aerial and its angle of tilt. With each change of position all the signal strength characteristics changed but invariably I would   get one mux with a stable strength and 100% quality whilst all the others fluctuated wildly. At this point I gave up and, on your recommendation, purchased a Log 40 aerial and sufficient double screened cable to give an unbroken run from aerial to TV set. After installing the Log 40 on top of the 6 foot mast I was very disappointed to find that  the maximum signal strength was little better than before. After hours of experimenting with vertical positions and angles of tilt I gave up and left the aerial lying on the flat roof. On returning to the TV I discovered that all muxes were now rock-solid on 50% strength and 100% quality. Evidently the aerial needed to be mounted lower down on the other side of the chimney. Back up on the roof I found the aerial was pointing at about 45 degrees from north rather than 107 degrees towards the transmitter. After substituting a small right-angled pole for the 6 foot mast to give clearance for mounting the aerial very low down on the opposite side of the chimney, pointing the aerial towards the transmitter and experimenting a bit with angle of tilt I now get a stronger and more stable signal. These readings have not varied throughout the summer even though this area is notorious for getting interference from French transmitters under certain weather conditions, so the Log40 does seem to be better at minimising this interference.

It is hard to believe that lowering the aerial by 30 cm and moving it 60 cm further south can make such an astounding difference.

Aerial positioning, it really can make a big difference.

A Jackson     Sandy Transmitter

We had a Contract aerial in the loft and we`ve also got trees in the way. We suffered from annoying picture breakup which my kids gave me grief about when it affected CBeebies. So I got a local installer to come round and he quoted me a large amount to fit a Tri Boom type aerial mounted on a 12ft pole on the chimney "to clear the trees". The thing is even with a 12ft pole it still wouldn`t have cleared the trees !

After reading your website I decided to have a go myself and ended up fitting a Log40 on a 9ft cranked pole on the side of the house. In this position it just managed to avoid having to face through the trees. I also added a masthead amp. Due to time shortage I initially just fitted the aerial without the MH amp and it worked pretty well, much better than the Contract aerial in the loft, but it still suffered intermittent blocking, particularly on BBC1. Once I`d fitted the masthead amp it was fine though. Analogue is good but not perfect. All in all very satisfied, particularly at sorting it out without handing over large amounts of cash to an aerial installer, and having a 12ft pole on my chimney !

Incidentally my Freeview box has its own volume control and I found the sound quality was better if I turned it up on the set top box and down on the actual TV ! ? !

A Turner     FM Half Wave Dipole v FM Omni  

I had an FM Omni on the same pole as the TV aerial mounted on the chimney but I was keen to see if I could improve the signal to my Denon 1800 DAB/FM tuner and Fatboy valve amplifier. All cabling is satellite quality, and the site is SW Nottingham. I installed the Half Wave dipole on the side of the house and then compared the signal to the Omni, which was higher up on the roof and also had an all round view. On FM I chose six channels and gave them marks out of ten, 0 for nothing to 10 for perfect. The Omni averaged 5.6 out of 10 and the FM Half wave 7.7, which is a significant improvement.

On DAB I compared the Bit Error Rates given on the tuner. Of the six channels I tested the Omni gave no signal on two of the programmes and BER between 250 and 4000 on the others. The Half Wave gave perfect BER readings (i.e 00000) on four out of the six. On the two that the Omni failed to receive any signal from at all the Half Wave failed to receive one and picked up the other but with a BER of 7200.

My conclusions are that as ATV say, a Half Wave beats an Omni any day, and if the Half Wave was fitted to the main mast I think the performance difference would have been even greater.

H Dell     FM Half Wave Dipole

I had an old 3 element FM aerial in the loft, which I have to admit was a bit rusty from when it`d been outside, but the signal wasn`t that good with large amounts of background hiss. I also found that if I took the aerial off the end of the cable I still got a signal of sorts but still with loads of hiss.    I installed an FM Half Wave dipole and the signal improved with significantly less hiss. I also thought it was well made and easy to install.

K Stagg    Mendip and Wenvoe + KIlvey Hill Transmitters (using a CH36 diplexer)

As an analogue legacy all the visible roof top aerials in my neighbourhood (West Swansea) are pointed at Wenvoe which is 53 km east – southeast. This normally requires a medium to high gain aerial to receive good analogue reception. By adding a masthead amplifier one can also receive, most of the time, reasonably good analogue reception from the Mendip transmitter, 105 km away, whose bearing is only about 10 degrees different from Wenvoe. This is a great advantage to a Yorkshire exile as one can then receive the English BBC transmissions and C4 rather than the sometimes different Welsh alternatives. I almost have line of site to both these transmitters except for two or three roofs about 100 metres away from me.

The Kilvey Hill transmitter, 7km east-northeast with vertical polarization, has historically been disregarded in West Swansea as it was originally a Wenvoe repeater beamed NE up the Swansea and Neath valleys. In August 2009 Kilvey Hill analogue services were switched of and it became an omnidirectional digital provider for the whole of the Swansea region with increased digital power. As a result I can now get 10/10 quality/signal strength reception of all Kilvey available digital channels with a cheap 10 element Yagi and 8db amplifier positioned in a side  loft ! This does not, however, resolve the problem of receiving the preferred English regional transmissions when they differ from the local ones. I have thus replaced my faulty roof top aerial with your Log40 with a 20 db mast head amplifier pointed at the Wenvoe / Mendip transmitters. I feed my household TVs from both the external and the internal aerials via the  CH36 diplexer. Even though both Wenvoe and Mendip are transmitting on reduced digital power prior to switchover next spring I am now receiving 10/10 digital reception on most Wenvoe channels and 7/7 on most Mendip digital channels. (Some digital muxs are on very low power at present). Analogue reception from Wenvoe is very good and acceptable from Mendip.

A Hood     FM Half Wave Dipole

I originally had an FM Omni aerial mounted on the roof along with my TV aerial, but I wanted them in the loft, so purchased an FM Half Wave Dipole (and an XB10B TV aerial) to fit indoors. The half wave dipole inside the loft works better than the FM Omni outside !  Interestingly I can remember that when I installing the Omni a few years ago it seemed a bit directional and actually needed aligning to get the best signal off Llangollen FM transmitter, therefore it could be that some of the other signals weren`t being received optimally. The half wave (vertically mounted) seems to be truly omnidirectional. The FM half wave`s DAB performance is not needed here because the setback aerial supplied with the radio gives 100% reception here !  May I thank you again for all the advice on your website which enabled me to get a good result.  Incidentally, my experiences confirm that RF reception is indeed a dark art !

S Howell     FM 3 Element & 3 element DAB

As requested, some feedback. I fitted the 3 element fm and dab aerials I ordered from you  in our loft and using the supplied triplexer cabled them to our new hifi unit (a high-ish end CD/tuner/streamed music player, the Naim Uniti) which uses a single f-connector for radio inputs. I pointed the antennae at the Wrotham transmitter, about 14 miles away. As a comparison, on our portable radios we get good DAB and FM reception but the DAB sometimes drops perhaps partly because the built-in aerial is temperamental. The reception on the Naim Uniti is marvellous though - especially on FM - with no interference or losses to my ear.

Thanks for the kit. It all works fine, bodger that I am (we`re sure you`re not, you wouldn`t be buying from us if you were….). If we had a telly we'd order an aerial from you for it too.

J Taylor          FM Half Wave Dipole

Found your site very informative.

Chose half wave dipole for optimum FM/DAB reception, works a treat.

Brevity is indeed a skill, and has a beauty all of its own.......

DM18 Log             

(Shorter slightly lower gain 18 element version of the “standard” 26 element DM Log)

R Hamilton       Touring Caravan

In Feb 2009 I purchased a TV at the caravan show at the NEC. Took all the advice from all the experts and got aerials and sat dishes and everything else that the advised. Eighteen months later my TV still would not get a picture........ Internet searching I found a cheeky guy up in Sheffield who gave me meat and potatoes advice, I bought an aerial. It arrived 15 minutes ago and I now have 94 freeview channels all bright and clear. Super cool expert service.  Thanks.

I like this aerial report, “cheeky guy in Sheffield who gave me meat and potatoes advice”, love it. I can`t promise the aerial will work as well everywhere, but hopefully in most places !

P Trenchard               FM Half Wave Dipole v Ron Smith Circular 5

The new FM aerial had to be outdoors and also omni directional (hence the Dipole) because BBC FM radio may be available from the local transmitter, but one of our favourites is Classic FM which  only comes from Divis, which is in opposite direction.

The dipole is mounted vertically, all of it above roof level. Compared with my old aerial (a multi element Ron Smith “Circular 5”) there is a significant improvement in signal strength and especially quality. Background hiss is totally eliminated. To be fair the new dipole is outside whereas the Circular 5 is in the loft, but, surprisingly, the half wave outperformed the Circular 5 even when it was in the loft. It might have been a different story had both aerials been mounted outside but this was not an option due to the need for an omni directional antenna.

The HiFi tuner has a continuous signal strength readout and this shows for the local transmitter an improvement of 10dbf from 75dbf to 85dbf, and for Divis BBC and Classic FM an improvement of 25dbf from 30dbf to 55dbf. The tuner needs at least 35dbf to get a decent stereo signal. Due to the distance to Divis, about 50 miles over the sea, the FM signal strength does vary according to the atmospheric conditions and sometimes drops to about 45-50dbf. This also affects Divis TV reception.

When checking the best place to mount the aerial I found there was a drop of about 10dbf from Divis if even a half of the lower part of the aerial was shielded by the roof overhang.   Hope this helps.

M Shuker        FM Half Wave Dipole

We were suffering quite a bit of interference with the ribbon type set back aerials on our FM radios so I fitted an FM Half Wave Dipole outside on the TV aerial mast. It clears the roof where it's installed but not the ridge which is higher up. Installing the FM Half Wave resulted in a big improvement to the signal over the set back aerials but it still wasn't perfect and had some annoying hiss. Originally I used one of those plastic Y splitters to combine the FM and radio signals, then sent the signal round the house using various amps and splitters. There were two points requiring TV and FM, for one I installed a wall plate type diplexer but for the other I used another Y splitter (because I didn't know about set back type diplexers at that time). The next step was to get rid of the two splitters (one used as the initial combiner and the other as a splitter) and replace them with 2 set back diplexers. That made a significant difference, so now we finally get clear reception on all channels !

However, that wasn`t quite the end of the story, by changing the splitters for diplexers and changing my old cable for your satellite stuff, I`ve been able to get rid of the amplifiers in the system. I originally needed them for decent reception off Emley, even after the switchover, but now I`m OK without them.

The above aerial report is particularly interesting in that it covers not only the aerial but the diplexers as well. Coincidentally the report came in (November 2011) just as I was doing some crude tests on the differences in loss between splitters and diplexers. I arranged two diplexers back to back (i.e. to combine then split out the signal) then checked the signal levels relative to each other and also "straight through" (i.e.with no combiners in use).

Loss using two diplexers was around 2dB, i.e. each one was losing about 1dB. For loss the CoAx set back diplexers were just as good as the F conn mast head types. Their downside being they`re not screened and the CoAx plugs can pull out more easily than the Fs.

Loss using two splitters (one as a combiner) was 7 to 8dB (i.e. each one lost about 3.5 to 4dB). And that`s a significant difference.  However, that`s not to say that using splitters won`t work if your signal level is high enough,

or you`re flukey enough.

Also see these tests.

NOTE The quoted loss figures are for UHF (TV). Losses for VHF (FM/DAB) would be slightly lower,  FM having a little less loss than DAB (as the latter`s frequency is higher).

Whilst I had the splitters on the bench I also took the opportunity to check whether using the CoAx splitter "incorrectly" (i.e. with an "output" as an "input" and vice versa) made any difference to its loss figure. This is relevant  because the layout of CoAx splitters encourages some people to plug the male "input" into the TV then plug the aerial into one of the female "outputs". Somewhat surprisingly using the splitter in this way did make a difference, though some frequencies were rather more affected than others. For some frequencies there was minimal disparity, but for some others there was up to double the normal splitter loss of 3.5dB.  So be warned !

M Smith       Emley Moor Transmitter

Hi Guys. recently purchased a DM18 from you to use in Leeds off the Emley moor transmitter, mounted it very nice, good solid parts but dismal picky, my fault as I had joined it with a connector to the existing coax that was very neatly installed. Big mistake, ran the new coax direct to TV and have all the freeview no problem and a discreet aerial installation to boot, many thanks and will use you again.

This is a very significant aerial report in that even a small aerial, like a DM18 at only 2ft 6ins long, picks up perfect digital 25 miles away from the transmitter. The aerial height was about 95m, so it`s not exactly up on the hills at 1000ft either ! Having said that Emley Moor is pumping out 174kW, which, particularly for digital, is big big power.

R Holmes        FM Half Wave Dipole v amplifed indoor FM aerial

Excellent website & sales purchased a panasonic hifi with fm/dab radio hoping to be able to receive radio manchester to listen to the match reports when city were playing. it came with a pathetic ribbon type aerial that would not pick up dab & very poor fm. then tried a nikkai indoor 20dBgain aerial (maplins) this received good dab and fair fm but very poor radio manchester. followed your advice & purchased from yourselves an fm half wave dipole aerial excellent dab very good fm & good radio manchester so can listen to the matches as we win the premiership once again thanks (and this was before they`d won in 2012......)

Once again we see that an amplified indoor aerial does not equate to a decent aerial, and, particularly a decent aerial outside (or in the loft)....... Incidentally, amplifying FM is rarely needed (even when splitting), and it`s often counterproductive. Just get a decent signal in at the front end, then go from there.

(Also see Testimonials)

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I Smith          FM Half Wave Dipole

My old FM aerial was a round Omni type and it didn`t work too well, though to be fair the dipole terminal box was full of water which probably affected its performance a bit! I asked the retailer where I bought my FM tuner to recommend an aerial installer to come and put me a new one up but he didn`t seem that interested, in fact said it`d be more likely I had a faulty tuner. So I decided to do it myself and fitted an FM Half Wave dipole. As recommended for omnidirectional performance I installed it vertically though I did find a significant difference in the performance according to which side of the pole it was installed. Once I`d optimised the position it picked up loads of stations I`d never even heard of before including a community radio station. I was impressed with it but unfortunately FM Radio 2 was a bit intermittent so I phoned up ATV for advice. Justin recommended I tried polarising the aerial horizontally and then peak its direction up to get the best Radio 2 I could, and this worked fine.

Whilst messing about with a Half Wave on my roof at home I also found a significant difference in signal level according to which side of the pole the aerial was mounted though I think this may well more to do with reflections off the roof than the position of the aerial in relation to the pole.

The reason I recommended trying horizontal polarity was to give the aerial a bit of directivity in case the problem was co-channel interference, but the improvement could just as well be due to the fact that Radio Two`s frequency at this location just happens to work best if it`s horizontally polarised (it`s actually transmitted in mixed polarity). Don`t forget that if you`ve unsuccessfully tried horizontal and vertical polarity this particular model of FM Half Wave allows you to try diagonal as well !

I think it`s interesting that even an aerial installer recommended by the radio supplier wasn`t that bothered about doing an FM aerial install, and that`s despite the aerial trade experiencing a post switchover slump at the moment !  Having said that we have actually had reports of this from other customers and I suspect it`s due to the installers not having much experience in FM aerial installs, particularly if the customer doesn`t want an Omni which is the only aerial many installers have ever fitted. As it happens this particular install was a bit of a buggar and needed time farting about to getting best out of it, thus it`s distinctly possible that the customer actually ended up with a better signal having done the job himself !

D Farrow      Touring Campervan

I've got an all singing all dancing self seeking satellite system on my van, it works reasonably in England but once I go to Scotland it's another story. So I bought a DM log and bolted the mounting pole to the ladder on the back of the van. The aerial sticks about 12" over the roof and I leave it up permanently. So far the aerial has given us a perfect picture everywhere we've been, including Orkney!  In fact it worked better than our home aerial, so I bought another one!

I`m pleased to hear the DM log has worked so well. When we use one for boating holidays ours works almost everywhere, but not quite everywhere !

Obviously it`s vitally important the aerial is set up correctly, or it won`t perform at its best.

A McCulloch    Canal Boat  

With our old loop aerial with amplifier the analogue BBC 1 & 2 are poor, ITV and Ch.4 are watchable, just, and 5 is there in sound but with little picture. On Digital we get BBC 1& 2 OK but no signal on 3, 4 or any ITV. This does not enthuse my telly addict crew to boating and if she who must be obeyed is not happy…..

Just back from fitting the new aerial and pleased to say the improvement is amazing, particularly as I only have it on the short section of the caravan pole at the moment. The previous aerial was fitted on the roof on a short copper pipe about a foot long which the caravan pole sleeves over nicely without swinging around. I reckon it would take the short section plus one or even two of the longer ones without needing a stay. On digital it has picked up nearly all channels with a good, steady picture and those that are missing are not important e.g. channel 8 which in Scotland is a Gaelic language channel. On analogue BBC1 & 2 and ITV are good, however Channels 4 and 5 have no signal and probably need the aerial raised a bit more. Some of my neighbours are now jealous. Many thanks for your prompt attention and advice. All I need to do now is get the Lat and Long of the various transmitters and enter them into the GPS as waypoints to help align the aerial when in “foreign parts” and we should be good.

On our first long trip on our narrowboat the DM Log aerial proved very successful. What an improvement on our old 'Flying Saucer' ! With the addition of a signal strength indicator  when other aerials were not in sight we had Freeview all the way from Anderton to the  Ashby and then back via the Staffs & Worcs and Shroppie. Mostly with one extension pole, once with two. Many thanks for your help when deciding what to go for.

C Leach   Bluebell Hill Transmitter

Just a note to say thank you for an A1 service,including advice and your website. I installed all the kit I bought from you and I now have a perfect picture and a sound / good quality setup. many Thanks. Highly recommended.

M Smith     Touring Caravan

We had always tried getting a picture off an amplified set top aerial in the caravan, and the results were really rather mixed. I took the plunge and invested in your DM Log, a caravan pole and a couple of the double clamps to attach it to the jockey wheel. I`m very pleased with the results, it works great, recommended.

G Gordon      Canal boat

I recently bought a log periodic aerial & caravan pole for my narrowboat ,following your advice by telephone. I just want to say thank you. Reception is amazing and the pole is fine supporting the aerial & very convenient on a narrowboat.  Thanks Again

S Askey      Ridge Hill Transmitter

I'm 9 miles from Ridge Hill. I haven't got line of sight to the transmitter - there is a wood and small hill in the way,  there are too many trees to actually see it. Installed the DM log you sent today - great product, pretty much full signal & quality bars on the TV even when testing it in the living room. Up the pole it even better. The DM went in the same position as the previous aerial and I used the same cable because it was in good condition. I managed to get rid of an old mast head amp & the old aerial I took down was not the right group for my transmitter (ridge hill hereford)! And it had been installed by a pro installer. Makes you wonder. Also, they had used a crappy diplexer for the FM/Dab aerials with missing screws in the cable clamps - they were loose - explains why I used to lose the signal in the wind.

Amazingly The DM log also picks up Sutton Coldfield signals on channels 40+ (Sutton Coldfield is a group B is it? (Yes) ) - So proof of DM log wideband performance - and Sutton C is 70 miles away, bearing 45 degrees compared to ridge Hills 90 degrees.  Amazing.

M Barden     FM Half Wave Dipole

Purchased an open half wave fm aerial from you. Mounted it in the loft. OK fm reception, nothing on dab! Took amplifier out of line, and dab came in fine, but fm still only ok. Rearranged aerial so that rod connected to centre core pointed upwards rather than downwards and the signal improved and is now perfect on fm and very good on dab. The elements are half wave for fm and not that far off full wave for 220mhz (dab). Philex amps are pants, they don't pass dab, even though they claim to pass vhf up to 230mhz. The electricians fitted it, so I'll be in contact soon to find out what you can supply. I am listening to the hi-fi via fm now, and the sound is cd clear. If only dab was at a quality bit-rate here in the UK it might sound good as well! Excellent website, has kept a middle aged anorak happy for hours.

Grid Aerial

Grid aerial performance

Grid / four stacked array aerial

K Maxted    Black Hill transmitter

My background is in Physics and engineering and I am a radio amateur as well. I chose the  horizontally polarized broadside array  because I wanted moderate gain without very critical directivity. The local horizon is about 30' above roof level and 200 yds distant. I cannot see the transmitter location from here even from the local horizon it is not line of sight because of East Kilbride on rising ground about three miles away. FM and DAB require outside antennas. I think the structures on the horizon- a metal clad school building, trees and some house roofs give several signal paths and possibly some rotation of polarization. The signals can be marginal enough for aircraft scatter to cause flutter and dropout. I think most of the signal arrives by diffraction and can vary markedly over very few feet vertically and horizontally.

Some years back at a location not far from here I tried a folded dipole phased array (4 dipoles without a reflector), constructed from 2.5mm sq house wire. The results were very impressive (could receive Darvel and Blackhill) so my thoughts went towards sourcing a commercial array if I could find one for my own use towards Blackhill. There are a few newish builds in similar topographic locations in the neighbourhood that have arrays (2- dipole grids) and their neighbours have long yagis so I thought it worth a try. I think the wide aperture of the phased array makes it less sensitive to variable diffraction effects (varying as the trees sway).

For the gain I needed the windage was comparable, if a little lower than a yagi but the small aperture of the yagi would be more critical if the diffraction pattern changed.

The aerial replaced was a lousy and missold B&Q bacofoil job. It was in pretty reasonable condition given the flimsy nature. The box stated 32 elements but in fact it is an X-yagi (XB5 type) with about 12 real elements- I should have returned it but is has now been up several years since the second phase of digital changeover. The coax was not replaced but is reasonably decent low loss (no comparison to the 50 ohm coax I use for Ham purposes) and has been up a few years with only about 8' exposed to the elements. The braid and inner were unoxidised and bright.

I have no means of measuring signal strengths and the TV is no help in this respect but the set-top box for my video did show "77-85%" signal readings across all the channels and my recollection is the the previous antenna showed a marked dip to about "45%" on one of the ITV complexes, I think at the lower end of the band. I would lose these completely in wet weather once the trees had come into leaf. Thanks for a great service, best regards Ken Maxted

The only addition I could make to Ken`s comprehensive report would be to point out that the Grid aerial`s gain curve makes it particularly suited to B, E or C/D group transmitters. It`ll still work down on the A group frequencies but it`s relatively low gain down there.

Back to the top

P Walsh     FM Half Wave Dipole

I was given a DAB radio for my birthday several years ago. Unfortunately the reception in our kitchen is absolutely awful - we couldn't listen to one station without numerous Norman Collier impressions. The radio went into the loft, and was forgotten. A couple of weeks ago I found the radio and wondered if an external antenna could be used. Good old Google returned your website in it's search, and to be honest, I made the decision to spend my money at ATV based on the sheer quality of the information you have put together.
We finally had a dry weekend, so yesterday I spent an hour assembling the mast and wiring up the antenna. BINGO ! I now have 87 DAB channels at my fingertips, of which the vast majority work absolutely fine. The FM reception is stunning too.
I can certainly vouch for the 1/2 wave dipole for DAB use.

A Dickinson        Narrow Boat

Many thanks for the very prompt service & I was absolutely amazed at the build quality of the DM18 log aerial & supplied brackets I received -great value for money. This was purchased for our narrowboat to replace a Yagi style aerial bought a few years ago from a well known DIY chain. Reception-wise that had served us well, but being decidedly flimsy in comparison to the DM18, was starting to look very dog-eared & the hardware & circuit board were starting to corrode badly. The DM18 is lovely & compact & with the rainproof "F" connector & build quality I'm expecting great things. It's already giving a perfect picture down in a deep cutting! Many thanks once again!
Best Rgds  A Dickinson

We can`t promise it`ll work everywhere though ! Just most places (90% + ? ) in my experience. Don`t forget to always have the front end of the aerial tilted up a few degrees, it helps to keep water out of the connection.

Thanks for the great service.  Aerial arrived on Friday (to Australia ! ? ! ). Which is the quickest delivery ever. All installed (very easy thanks to the info on your website) and working great. Now getting full & clear 5 bar stereo reception.

Great Aerial & Service.

Thanks & Rgds

I was particularly pleased that this aerial got there OK and worked fine, because our Australian cousin had (unsurprisingly) paid a big carriage surcharge !

G Davies

FM Half Wave Dipole

J Marsh         DAB 5 Element

We live in an old farmhouse with thick stone walls which is located in a bit of a valley. We get poor FM, no mobile phone signals and no terrestrial or DAB if we try set top aerials. You advised a DAB 5 element aerial and I purchased one and fitted it in the loft. It worked fine into one radio but I wanted the signal through four points throughout the house so plugged the aerial into the four way amp we already had (note that some amps, particularly some older ones, will not pass the DAB signal).  We now have perfect DAB reception throughout the hose when we were previously unable to get any DAB signal at all. Thanks to your thoughtful advice and efficient service, much appreciated.

A Gransden     3 element FM + 6 element FM + radios without aerial sockets

My original FM aerial was a round Omni type mounted just below the TV aerial approx 8m from the ground. This was able to pick up a signal from the main BBC transmitters (Knockmore, Rosemarkie and Rumster Forest) but only in mono because stereo had hiss on it. Unfortunately the Omni would not pick up Classic FM which is transmitted at lower power from Mounteagle so I put up an FM 3 element for this transmitter though this aerial was only mounted about 5m above the ground. Even so the 3 element still picked up the Classic FM signal though the stereo did have hiss on it so we usually listened in mono. Then the trees in front of the FM 3 grew and started affecting reception so I swapped to a 6 element and found a step change in the received signal, on my Yamaha RXV795RDS the signal went up from 4 to 6 (clear mono but hissy stereo) to 8 to 10 (clear stereo). I did change the cable at the same time as the aerial but the old low loss CoAx was in reasonable condition.

I also have a DAB dipole aerial and that is combined with the FM6 using your triplexer then into the VHF input of the 8 way Proception mains amp. In addition to the standard outputs I also use the full output of the latter via a 6 way splitter located at the far end of my cottage to feed which simplified the cabling.

The poor DAB reception at my location is exacerbated by the thick stone walls of my house. As such I need an external DAB aerial but I then get the problem of connecting it to various DAB radios some of which have no external aerial socket, bedroom radio alarms being a particular problem. I have found that an improved signal to the radios can result if the bared centre core of the coaxial downlead (from the external radio aerial) is attached to the built in telescopic aerial or trailing wire aerial [with its insulation removed] with a crocodile clip. I strip back and insulate the CoAx cable braiding (i.e. this is not connected to the radio in any way). I find this method works for both DAB and FM signals.

A very useful aerial report I`m sure we`re all agreed.

We get loads of people asking about connecting an FM or DAB aerial to a radio without an external aerial input so a read of this could be helpful. Also see this Forum thread on this subject.

I have to say I`m surprised that swapping from an FM3 to an FM6 produced such a significant increase in signal but then again RF is a black art I suppose. I wouldn`t necessarily expect such an improvement at every location though !  (Link top) (Link no aerial socket)

J Fairbrother      FM 6 element

The aerial arrived, & I was so pleased to find it was a decent sturdy aerial from a decent make! & at a very good price! its all installed now ( with a fm mast head amp ) because im after the London FM stations , & im quite away outside the Croydons catchment area, all the main London station show up with RDS, only radio x 104.9 is weak, but im told its very hard to get outside of London. I even get a French station called inter on 103.7 ! brilliant am very pleased :-)

Y le-deroff     France    FM 3 Element

Hello, I installed the FM 3-element antenna this morning. I am very satisfied, on the radio stations I listen to the reception is excellent. One [station] that I did not arrive [is now] received, yes, but with a little breath [hiss ? ]. I am really delighted !

But I have a question for you: There’s one thing that resonates with me. On my tuner is a LED level display for the reception signal. Previously on one radio it was 60%, now 40%. On another it was 65%, now 45%. Why now, is the reception excellent, but the LED level display shows less signal ? Best regards.

Basically most tuner / TV signal level readings should be taken with a large pinch of salt. In your particular case, if you had an omni before, the aerial may have been picking up interference and/or a co-channel signal which was being detected by the tuner as “signal”. That , of course, is a complete