DTV reception problem

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as the date draws near ( December 3 in Sydney) for all analogue TV  
transmitters to be switched off, many folk are now electing to finally ditch  
their old CRT sets in exchange for a modern, LED/LCD flat screen. Pricing is  
very keen and bargains are there to be had.

A neighbour bought a Sony 40 inch set a few weeks ago and was unable to get  
a usable pic on any channel from the communal antenna system.  Previously a  
STB had been in use and although not perfect was usable, the pic would  
pixellate or freeze if an aircraft few overhead  -  Mascot being only a few  
kms away.

With the new set, this was worse than before and intolerable.

Eventually, I was allowed to have a look at the problem and it was  
dreadful - only a couple of UHF channels were at all usable. And this fact  
was the big clue.

Moving a hefty bookshelf revealed the wall outlet, a PAL female socket on a  
large white plate.

Closer inspection showed it was badly rusted on both the inner and outer  
surfaces. Removing it from the wall revealed the inner terminal was not  
connecting to the inner of the co-ax due to a solder crack on the small PCB  
while the shield of the co-ax connected to nothing due to bad design of the  
HPM brand plate.

Reality is, the plate had been in this condition for years and it is amazing  
the old STB worked at all - since it now hardy made any difference if the  
antenna lead were plugged in or not !!

There must be a lot of installations like this around and PAL outlet wall  
plates seem to be poorly made as well. Even the replacement I got from WES  
was not well designed in relation to reliably grounding the coax shield to  
the PCB and PAL outlet.

...  Phil

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