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Hissy FM from Rowbridge



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old February 1st 18, 12:30 PM posted to uk.rec.audio
Andrew[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 28
Default Hissy FM from Rowbridge

For quite a while now I have noticed that FM from Rowbridge
on the Isle of Wight seems to be more hissy than the previous
38 years. It seems to be worst on 88.50 Mhz, which is R2.

I used to have an Aiwa AX7400 receiver which was utterly
brilliant at receiving FM and the signal strength meter
showed a good signal where I live, about 50 miles north
east of the transmitter, but slightly hidden by the
South Downs.

My Onkyo replacement has no signal strength meter
so all I have to go on is what my ears are telling me.
It was fine from 2006 to about 2014 (subjective
assessment).

How do we know if the transmitter has been downgraded
to save on power ?, (and to 'persuade' people to
switch to the awful DAB) ?.

Apart from hiring some expensive measurement kit,
how could I measure what I am receiving these days ?.
  #2 (permalink)  
Old February 1st 18, 01:31 PM posted to uk.rec.audio
Jim Lesurf[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,668
Default Hissy FM from Rowbridge

In article , Andrew
wrote:
For quite a while now I have noticed that FM from Rowbridge on the Isle
of Wight seems to be more hissy than the previous 38 years. It seems to
be worst on 88.50 Mhz, which is R2.


I used to have an Aiwa AX7400 receiver which was utterly brilliant at
receiving FM and the signal strength meter showed a good signal where I
live, about 50 miles north east of the transmitter, but slightly hidden
by the South Downs.


My Onkyo replacement has no signal strength meter so all I have to go on
is what my ears are telling me. It was fine from 2006 to about 2014
(subjective assessment).


What arrangements do you have as the antenna, etc? My first reaction to
your question is to wonder if something about your antenna or the downlead
has altered.

e.g. bent or rotated antenna, or water getting in the cable. That sort of
thing happens over time.


How do we know if the transmitter has been downgraded to save on power
?, (and to 'persuade' people to switch to the awful DAB) ?.


Pass. For all I know some other distant TX has started up at a frequency
near to the one(s) you want, and the RF section of your tuner has wound
down its gain in response. But I suspect the likely cause is near to you
rather than far away. Could simply be your tuner's IF alignment drifting.

No idea about any relevant change to Rowridge, though.

Apart from hiring some expensive measurement kit, how could I measure
what I am receiving these days ?.


What you'd really need is to measure now wrt an earlier time if you want to
see if the level has altered. There are cheaper way to measure the levels
than buying/renting a calibrated spectrum analyser or filtered meter. But
they tend to involve you finding your own was to calibrate if you want
reliable power values rather than "the more the better" comparisons of what
you are currently getting.

Can you try a different FM tuner that is known to work OK in general, and
which has a useful level meter?

Jim

--
Please use the address on the audiomisc page if you wish to email me.
Electronics https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~www_pa...o/electron.htm
biog http://jcgl.orpheusweb.co.uk/history/ups_and_downs.html
Audio Misc http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/index.html

  #3 (permalink)  
Old February 1st 18, 06:30 PM posted to uk.rec.audio
Brian Gaff
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 637
Default Hissy FM from Rowbridge

Firstly its Rowridge. Now an aerial up that long has probably suffered
damage or water ingress into the downlead. I'd be tempted to get either a
new aerial fitted or check it out yourself and fit a new cable if the
junction box looks OK inside first. Its a very odd fault that makes a tuner
go low gain. they normally work or not!


I really doubt if the transmitter has changed much unless you now have a
closer relay you can use.
Brian

--
----- -
This newsgroup posting comes to you directly from...
The Sofa of Brian Gaff...

Blind user, so no pictures please!
"Andrew" wrote in message
news
For quite a while now I have noticed that FM from Rowbridge
on the Isle of Wight seems to be more hissy than the previous
38 years. It seems to be worst on 88.50 Mhz, which is R2.

I used to have an Aiwa AX7400 receiver which was utterly
brilliant at receiving FM and the signal strength meter
showed a good signal where I live, about 50 miles north
east of the transmitter, but slightly hidden by the
South Downs.

My Onkyo replacement has no signal strength meter
so all I have to go on is what my ears are telling me.
It was fine from 2006 to about 2014 (subjective
assessment).

How do we know if the transmitter has been downgraded
to save on power ?, (and to 'persuade' people to
switch to the awful DAB) ?.

Apart from hiring some expensive measurement kit,
how could I measure what I am receiving these days ?.



  #4 (permalink)  
Old February 1st 18, 06:33 PM posted to uk.rec.audio
Brian Gaff
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 637
Default Hissy FM from Rowbridge

I'd not say the drift is the cause. Most receivers of the vintage noted are
pretty good. As its changed over time far more likely to be aerial related.
Brian

--
----- -
This newsgroup posting comes to you directly from...
The Sofa of Brian Gaff...

Blind user, so no pictures please!
"Jim Lesurf" wrote in message
...
In article , Andrew
wrote:
For quite a while now I have noticed that FM from Rowbridge on the Isle
of Wight seems to be more hissy than the previous 38 years. It seems to
be worst on 88.50 Mhz, which is R2.


I used to have an Aiwa AX7400 receiver which was utterly brilliant at
receiving FM and the signal strength meter showed a good signal where I
live, about 50 miles north east of the transmitter, but slightly hidden
by the South Downs.


My Onkyo replacement has no signal strength meter so all I have to go on
is what my ears are telling me. It was fine from 2006 to about 2014
(subjective assessment).


What arrangements do you have as the antenna, etc? My first reaction to
your question is to wonder if something about your antenna or the downlead
has altered.

e.g. bent or rotated antenna, or water getting in the cable. That sort of
thing happens over time.


How do we know if the transmitter has been downgraded to save on power
?, (and to 'persuade' people to switch to the awful DAB) ?.


Pass. For all I know some other distant TX has started up at a frequency
near to the one(s) you want, and the RF section of your tuner has wound
down its gain in response. But I suspect the likely cause is near to you
rather than far away. Could simply be your tuner's IF alignment drifting.

No idea about any relevant change to Rowridge, though.

Apart from hiring some expensive measurement kit, how could I measure
what I am receiving these days ?.


What you'd really need is to measure now wrt an earlier time if you want
to
see if the level has altered. There are cheaper way to measure the levels
than buying/renting a calibrated spectrum analyser or filtered meter. But
they tend to involve you finding your own was to calibrate if you want
reliable power values rather than "the more the better" comparisons of
what
you are currently getting.

Can you try a different FM tuner that is known to work OK in general, and
which has a useful level meter?

Jim

--
Please use the address on the audiomisc page if you wish to email me.
Electronics
https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~www_pa...o/electron.htm
biog http://jcgl.orpheusweb.co.uk/history/ups_and_downs.html
Audio Misc http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/index.html



  #5 (permalink)  
Old February 2nd 18, 03:57 AM posted to uk.rec.audio
Phil Allison[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 312
Default Hissy FM from Rowbridge

Andrew wrote:

-------------

For quite a while now I have noticed that FM from Rowbridge
on the Isle of Wight seems to be more hissy than the previous
38 years. It seems to be worst on 88.50 Mhz, which is R2.

I used to have an Aiwa AX7400 receiver which was utterly
brilliant at receiving FM and the signal strength meter
showed a good signal where I live, about 50 miles north
east of the transmitter, but slightly hidden by the
South Downs.

My Onkyo replacement has no signal strength meter
so all I have to go on is what my ears are telling me.
It was fine from 2006 to about 2014 (subjective
assessment).

How do we know if the transmitter has been downgraded
to save on power ?, (and to 'persuade' people to
switch to the awful DAB) ?.


** That is pure paranoia.

Apart from hiring some expensive measurement kit,
how could I measure what I am receiving these days ?.



** All you need is another, known hiss free receiver ( or just a tuner) to try.

After nearly 40 years, the odds are very high your low signal level is due to one or more a common antenna problems - a result of the damaging actions of rain, wind or birds.

Also check your internal antenna wiring, splitters and down leads for corrosion and loose contacts.

If in doubt, renew the lot.



..... Phil


  #6 (permalink)  
Old February 2nd 18, 08:34 AM posted to uk.rec.audio
Jim Lesurf[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,668
Default Hissy FM from Rowbridge

The use of the term "most" noted. :-)

The point here is that "most" simply accepts that "some" may do so, and
they will be the instances someone will them find gives them a problem.
Thus - perhaps - asking for advice. Even "a few" when many thousands were
made can mean some will.

But - as per my first posting - the stats indicate that an antenna or
downlead degraded by water, birds, etc is more likely. Followed by some
other change in reception conditions - change in multipath, or a new TX in
the same tuned RF band, etc.

Jim


In article , Brian Gaff
wrote:
I'd not say the drift is the cause. Most receivers of the vintage noted
are pretty good. As its changed over time far more likely to be aerial
related. Brian


--
Please use the address on the audiomisc page if you wish to email me.
Electronics https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~www_pa...o/electron.htm
biog http://jcgl.orpheusweb.co.uk/history/ups_and_downs.html
Audio Misc http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/index.html

  #7 (permalink)  
Old February 2nd 18, 09:50 AM posted to uk.rec.audio
Dave Plowman (News)
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5,872
Default Hissy FM from Rowbridge

In article ,
Jim Lesurf wrote:
e.g. bent or rotated antenna, or water getting in the cable. That sort of
thing happens over time.


Cable problems of one sort or another are very common - especially since
so many aerial fitters used the cheapest stuff they could find.

Also the connection box at the aerial very rarely stays 100% weatherproof
for ever.

--
*It was all so different before everything changed.

Dave Plowman London SW
To e-mail, change noise into sound.
  #8 (permalink)  
Old February 2nd 18, 08:17 PM posted to uk.rec.audio
Andrew[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 28
Default Hissy FM from Rowbridge

On 02/02/2018 09:34, Jim Lesurf wrote:
The use of the term "most" noted. :-)

The point here is that "most" simply accepts that "some" may do so, and
they will be the instances someone will them find gives them a problem.
Thus - perhaps - asking for advice. Even "a few" when many thousands were
made can mean some will.

But - as per my first posting - the stats indicate that an antenna or
downlead degraded by water, birds, etc is more likely. Followed by some
other change in reception conditions - change in multipath, or a new TX in
the same tuned RF band, etc.

Jim


In article , Brian Gaff
wrote:
I'd not say the drift is the cause. Most receivers of the vintage noted
are pretty good. As its changed over time far more likely to be aerial
related. Brian


The irritating chattering and buzzing that affected 88.50 Mhz
disappeared after a few hours. Mystery.

The worst of the hissing must have been my loft-mounted FM 3 element
horizontal aeriel because the cap that seals the connectors is
missing. The humidity levels in the loft vary with the seasons and
weather, being ventilated and the connectors needed a good clean
with some wire wool. All ok now, though still some hiss which I
never used to get with my old AIWA 7400. I should have kept it,
it had a signal strength meter which showed an obvious reduction
when there were aeriel issues.

I've been looking at this site :-

http://aerialsandtv.com/fmanddabradio.html

And I didn't realize that I could have an external vertical
half-wave dipole that would work quite well for FM and DAB,
since Rowbridge has mixed polarity.

The reason I avoided having an external FM aeriel before was
because we have a large flock of rooks locally who patrol all
the bird tables. They are big birds and seem to like bouncing
up and down on aeriels.
  #9 (permalink)  
Old February 3rd 18, 05:25 AM posted to uk.rec.audio
Phil Allison[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 312
Default Hissy FM from Rowbridge

Andrew wrote:

----------------


The irritating chattering and buzzing that affected 88.50 Mhz
disappeared after a few hours. Mystery.

The worst of the hissing must have been my loft-mounted FM 3 element
horizontal aeriel because the cap that seals the connectors is
missing. The humidity levels in the loft vary with the seasons and
weather, being ventilated and the connectors needed a good clean
with some wire wool.


** Loft mounting is still essentially an indoor antenna with all the associated drawbacks.

The antenna is close to multiple sources of interference in the house, has no line of sight over other roofs and whenever the roof material becomes wet, it acts like an RF shield.

As you live "50 miles" from the FMTX and are "slightly hidden" by terrain PLUS you chose a low gain 3 element antenna the signal level has always been marginal - at best.



..... Phil

  #10 (permalink)  
Old February 3rd 18, 10:43 AM posted to uk.rec.audio
RJH[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 214
Default Hissy FM from Rowbridge

On 03/02/2018 06:25, Phil Allison wrote:
Andrew wrote:

----------------


The irritating chattering and buzzing that affected 88.50 Mhz
disappeared after a few hours. Mystery.

The worst of the hissing must have been my loft-mounted FM 3 element
horizontal aeriel because the cap that seals the connectors is
missing. The humidity levels in the loft vary with the seasons and
weather, being ventilated and the connectors needed a good clean
with some wire wool.


** Loft mounting is still essentially an indoor antenna with all the associated drawbacks.

The antenna is close to multiple sources of interference in the house, has no line of sight over other roofs and whenever the roof material becomes wet, it acts like an RF shield.


Being in the loft, it's likely to be a lot larger than an indoor aerial,
purpose built for the job (although maybe not the best choice here),
and have a better aspect.

So, while far from perfect, likely to work better than an indoor aerial.

I lashed one up in my old house - went from practically nothing to 100%
on all channels (according to the Freeview box's meter)

Didn't know about the RF shield bit.

--
Cheers, Rob
 




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