So the big question is Which Alarm? Wireless alarms or hardwired systems this article we are going to explain the difference between wireless alarm systems and hard-wired alarms. We’ll highlight the pros and cons of each from an installation and end user’s point of view. We’ll also cover the cost difference as well as other factors which should arm you with all the information you need to make a clear, informed decision.
Please bear in mind that the information below compares a typical wireless alarm with a hard-wired alarm system and is not specific to any particular make or model.
Which Alarm is right for you?
How much does an Alarm cost?
Wireless alarms, wireless PIRs, door contacts etc, are more expensive to buy than wired versions. However, they are also much easier to install which reduces the installation time and overall cost. Use our cost calculator for an estimate of a wireless system. To learn more about Pyronix or texecom then follow the links.
Wired Home Alarm Systems
Hardwired alarm panels and devices are typically cheaper to buy compared to wireless, but there’s also the additional cost of the cable, cable clips, trunking etc. Wired systems are usually more expensive in a domestic property due to the complexities and time involved routing and hiding the alarm cables.
How long does it take to install a Home Alarm?
WIRELESS ALARM: Based on a 3-bed detached house – approx 5 hours
WIRED ALARM: And Based on a 3-bed detached house – approx 1.5 days
What are the running costs?
Wireless: Batteries in wireless alarm devices (PIRs, Door contacts, keypads, sirens etc) need replacing every 2 years approximately and the main control panel requires a backup battery change approximately once every 3-5 years, therefore you will incur slightly higher running costs with wireless.
Wired: Since the devices in a hard-wired alarm system do not run on batteries there’s no battery replacement cost there. However, the backup battery in the main control panel and the external siren battery will require changing approximately every 3-5 years, just like wireless alarms.
Which home alarm system looks the best?
Wireless alarm: Wireless alarm systems are cleaner and less disruptive to install so typically look a neater job once finished. However, the actual aesthetics of the system will look very similar to hard wired.
Wired alarm: Since hard-wired systems require cables connecting the main control hub to each device, there may be unsightly trunking and/or cables clipped around door frames and skirting boards.
Which system is less likely to set off the false alarm?
Wireless alarm systems: Wireless intruder alarms used to false alarm more than hard-wired. That was 10 years ago and technology has moved on a long way since. Opt for one which operates on the 868MHz frequency band, rather than 433MHz, as it’s a quieter more stable frequency for alarm systems.
Wired Alarm systems: Very reliable. Although most false alarms are caused by mains failures where backup batteries have not been replaced and no longer hold enough charge to temporarily power the system until mains is restored. This can happen on both systems. A good reason for a maintained contract.
Which Alarm System is more secure?
Wireless alarm: Lots of people used to be concerned by the potential to jam RF signals, however since wireless systems now conform to BS EN 50131, they have to have in-built anti-jamming detection, eliminating this concern. Also, like hard-wired systems, today’s wireless intruder alarm systems have the anti-masking technology to ensure motion detectors are not intentionally obstructed.
Wired alarm: If a cable is cut, accidentally damaged or even gnawed through by mice in the loft, the system should alert you via the tamper circuit (if installed correctly). However, this will require an engineer visit to repair before the system is usable again unless you’re able to programmatically omit the damaged zone(s), potentially leaving areas of the property insecure.
Which alarm system performs best?
Wireless alarms: If batteries are left to run low, the responsiveness of wireless keypads and devices can decrease. However, this should never happen as the control panel will alert you to low batteries/system maintenance before issues arise. Hence the importance of an annual maintenance contract.
Wired alarms: Hard wired systems always perform well unless there’s a system fault. However, both systems perform as well as each other and have to in order to meet EN 50131 British Standards.
Which Alarm is easier to extend?
Wireless alarm: Need a new movement detector in the flat roof extension, summer house or garage? Wireless wins hands down here. Adding a new/additional device to an existing wireless intruder alarm system is as simple as learning the new RF device on to the wireless alarm system and programming the zone type. Done.
Wired alarm: Adding an additional device to a wired system can often cause big headaches. If there are not enough spare cores in the cable nearest to new device location it means a new cable run from the main panel. Need a PIR in the summer house at the end of the garden? Forget it (or start digging a trench for cable ducting).
Are the Alarm systems pet-friendly?
Wireless alarms: Yes, both systems can be installed with pet friendly PIRs.
Wired alarms: Yes, both systems can be installed with pet friendly PIRs.
Can I temporarily remove the devices?
Wireless alarm systems: Need to remove the motion detector to wallpaper or take off the door contact to paint a door frame? No problem with a wireless alarm system. A tamper warning may (should) alert you when you do this but simply entering your master code will silence any internal warning sirens. Once the DIY is done, simple fix the device back in place.
Wired alarm systems: It is not recommended since these devices are hard wired. Should you inadvertently reconnect the wrong wire into the wrong terminal when re-fitting the device you could quite easily disable this zone from the system or even worse short the 12v pair and blow an auxiliary fuse in the main control panel (Bad times. Do not touch!).
Is either alarm system portable?
Wireless home alarm: Moving house? Simply unscrew the control panel and wireless devices off the wall and take it with you. Ensure the mains are switched off before opening the control panel (or even better, call the alarm co.). A wireless alarm is a purchase for life!
Wired home alarm: No. A hardwired alarm is there to stay. Whilst you could disconnect all devices, main control panel, and external siren, you’d need to completely re-cable the system back into a new property. Not something many alarm companies would be happy doing.
* An annual maintenance contract is always recommended with any professionally installed alarm system. You don’t want to be “that annoying neighbour” whose alarm false alarms regularly.
In Wireless Home alarm system installers unbiased opinion, the best wireless alarm systems on the pre-install market today are manufactured by RISCO, Pyronix, Texecom, and Visonic. There are some good DIY wireless alarms available too; the best we’ve come across are Yale’s Easy Fit range or Home8 (if you’re looking for a smart alarm system).
The best hard-wired systems available are probably those made by Honeywell, Texecom, and Scantronic.
Hybrid alarms are also available, RISCO makes a great hybrid panel called Risco LightSys 2. A hybrid alarm works, as you’d expect, with both hard wired and wireless zones.
So which is the right type of alarm for your property?
In our opinion we would recommend the following:
Apartment: Wireless alarm, more on security systems for apartments here
House/bungalow (finished décor) Wireless alarm
House/bungalow (renovation project): Hybrid alarm, where cables can be routed under floorboards
Chased into walls and holes drilled will all be made good during a renovation
House/bungalow (new build): Hybrid alarm, providing the cable installation
(AKA – 1st fix) can be done during the construction phase
Very Large Property Hybrid or hard-wired alarm
Wireless range may struggle to provide adequate coverage
Office/commercial unit Hardwired or hybrid alarm
Where the cable can be routed above-suspended ceilings
Industrial unit Hardwired or hybrid alarm
The cable can be routed in cable trays and trunking is acceptable.
Aerial & Satellite Installer Warrington - NATIONWIDE VACANCIES - MIN 2YRS EXP REQ TV Aerial Installers Warrington £ 50,000 - £ 80,000 a year
NATIONWIDE VACANCIES - Are you a highly experienced Aerial & Satellite Installer seeking the best employment opportunity ...?
TV Aerials Warrington has current vacancies in all areas (nationally) for competent, knowledgeable and experienced engineers who can provide the highest level of customer service.
As the largest independent aerial installation company in the UK, we offer an unrivaled package which rewards hard work. Here are just some of the benefits;
NATIONWIDE VACANCIES AVAILABLE. If you believe you have what it takes to become a member of the Aerial Company TV then we would love to see your CV detailing your experience.
Please email your CV to us, alternatively contact Gary on 0800 0102341
ONLY APPLICANTS WITH A MINIMUM OF 2 YEARS FULL-TIME EXPERIENCE WITHIN THE AERIAL & SATELLITE INDUSTRY WILL BE CONSIDERED
Responsibilities and Duties
Installation of TV / Satellite / Data / Fiber structured wiring installation and Repair of Aerial & Satellite systems to Wall Installations Commercial AV Installations CCTV and Data Network Distribution Systems Qualifications and Skills
CSCS or EPS cardNVQ Level 2 in Fibre/Data or TV/SatelliteWorking at Height PASMA Full Valid UK Driving LicenceBenefits
We offer full-time PAYE employment. Have peace of mind when working for us as we offer complete job security all year rounder basic salary exceeds many of our closest competitors and is paid weekly or commission package is second to none. If you work hard, you will be highly rewarded with weekly and daily bonus incentives provide a late model company vehicle with a fuel card and full vehicle stock. Our newest vehicles have air conditioning, Bluetooth, dab radio and parking sensors full support from a dedicated and hardworking office team that assists you throughout your working day were forward thinking and embrace new technologies before our competitors, keeping us ahead of the best job Type: Contract
Salary: £ 50,000.00 to £ 60,000.00 / year
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How many years of TV Aerial experience Do you have the following license or certification: Full Clean License?
At a time of increasing change within our industry, training, and education is essential if you want to keep abreast of the latest technology, design and installation techniques. The TV Aerials Warrington's intense programs are designed to develop skills and competencies necessary to meet the demands of the aerial and systems installation industry.
Please note that successfully any Aerials Warrington Training Course does not give you membership of the Confederation and use of the Aerials Warrington TV is not permitted. Nine of our programs have achieved City & Guilds Accreditation which recognizes the process and delivery of a bespoke training program. These are not City & Guilds Qualifications, and you will not be authorized to use the City & Guilds logo. Please note our training processes and systems have been Accredited, not the content of our programs or the Aerials Warrington TV as an organization. You will receive a Aerials Warrington training certificate which contains the City & Guilds Accredited Program logo.
TV Aerials Warrington Accessibility Policy
The TV Aerials WarringtonWelcomes applications from potential participants of all social and ethnic backgrounds. Its enrollment policy aims to promote equal opportunities, while at the same time selecting participants who have the ability and motivation to benefit from the courses that they intend to follow and who will make contribution to the Industry. To this end, in the spirit of the Equality Act 2005, the Aerials Warrington TV will undertake reasonable adjustments for qualified applicants with disabilities to enter the TV Aerials Warrington Education and Skills Program, in accordance with the provisions of the Act. to report any disabilities to the Aerials Warrington TV, please do so at the time of booking, or shortly after in order for the learning program to be adapted and cater for your needs.
This program is suitable for participants with no experience who wish to enter the industry and for those who have experience but want to know more about the theoretical and practical aspects of terrestrial and satellite signal reception and installation.
Aims This program covers all aspects of TV delivered via an aerial and satellite dish into a coaxial network around a single dwelling property.
Objectives Over the 3 days this program presents all the necessary criteria to deliver terrestrial and satellite TV programming to TV receiving equipment in the home.
Content - Health & Safety in relation to the use of ladders. (Aerial & Satellite) - Electrical Safety requirements for signal distribution. (Aerial & Satellite) - SIgnal types & measurement. (Aerial & Satellite) - Aerial design & choice through survey tests. (Aerial only) - Brackets, fixings & installing a chimney lashing kit. (Aerial & Satellite) - Cables, certification & correct fitting of connectors. (Aerial & Satellite) - Aerial alignment & recording signals. (Aerial only) - 4G Interference Mitigation. (Aerial only) - Amplifiers, diplexers, combiners & their application. (Aerial & Satellite) - Modulation techniques & digital compression. (Aerial & Satellite) - Surveying and testing site location / planning considerations. (Satellite only). - Reception of other satellites. (Satellite only) - Assembly, fixing and alignment of a satellite dish. (Satellite only) - Received connection and interconnection to ancillary equipment. (Satellite only) - Fault tracing and mitigation techniques. (Satellite only) - Customer relations, conduct, documentation & insurance. (Aerial & Satellite) - Future development of aerial / satellite and multimedia industry.
Basic Aerial & Satellite Installation Learning Outcomes Following this 3-day programme all participants will be able to; - Select the correct aerial for regional terrestrial TV reception. - Select the correct dish size for regional satellite TV reception. - Record signals for both terrestrial & satellite. - Install a chimney lashing. - Fit the correct connectors to terminate coaxial cables. - Assemble a satellite dish. - Install & align a Sky UK satellite dish. - Install and programme a Sky UK HD satellite receiver.
Learning Style This programme is classroom based by PowerPoint and contains and mix of practical demonstrations with hands-on learning exercises.
Assessment Method The assessment method for this program is by means of a multiple choice open book assessment paper with a pass mark of 65%.
Program Duration This program is run over 3 days.
Suitability This program is suitable for anyone who is installing aerials and is not fully conversant with the current standard (IEC 60728-11: 2010) and Aerials Warrington TV Code of Practice 3 - Electrical Safety Requirements for Signal Reception Systems (Excluding CATV).
Aims Participants will give a practical working knowledge of how to install a safe signal distribution system in the home or commercial premises.
Objectives At the end of this program all participants will be able to install a safety mechanism on a distribution system, analyze the effectiveness and record the results.
Content - Background to why earthing and bonding may be necessary. - Electrical regulations and safety. - Single Dwelling Unit (SDU) requirements. - Multiple Dwelling Unit (MDU) and commercial premise requirements.
Learning Outcomes This 1-day program will enable all participants to; - Test an electrical circuit for safety. - Make a safety bond. - Perform the necessary tests and checks to ensure a system is safe.
Learning Style This program is based on a PowerPoint presentation and contains theoretical and practical learning exercise techniques.
Assessment Method The assessment method for this program is by means of practical worksheets and a multiple choice open book assessment paper with a pass mark of 65%.
Program Duration This program is run over 1 day.
This program is suitable for participants involved in the TV / RF distribution industry with a desire to learn the developments of Fiber Optic Technology and associated equipment. A reasonable understanding of current Integrated Reception Systems (IRS) would be desirable but not absolutely necessary.
Aims This program will enable participants to understand the working and planning of a typically sized fiber optic delivery system.
Objectives Over this 1-day program participants will become practically familiar with all the components of a working fiber optic system.
Content - The history and development of fiber optic technology. - The importance of health and safety when working with fiber optics. - Types of cables and connectors used in the fiber optic industry. - The applications of fiber optics with an understanding of the technology. - Components contained within the systems and their practical application. - Calculations of signal losses & gains within them. - Design three typical sized fiber optic systems. - Fusion splicing and termination of fiber optic cables and connectors. - Fiber containment methods. - Demonstrate an ability to install and fault fiber optic systems in the TV industry. - Major manufacturer latest fiber IRS systems explained.
Learning Outcomes This 1-day program will enable all participants to; - Work with the main component of a fiber network. - Carry out fusion splicing of cables. - Connect and terminate fiber cable. - Design a fiber optic delivery system.
Learning Style A PowerPoint led delivery including industry videos, clear theoretical explanations and hands-on applications. Continuous informal and formal assessments will monitor progress throughout the day.
Assessment Method The assessment method for this program is by means of practical assessment exercises and a multiple choice open book assessment paper with a pass mark of 65%.
We are a CCTV Camera Installation company covering all Manchester areas. Our team of CCTV installers works with homes and businesses helping them to deter and protect against crime and vandalism.
Our team of experienced CCTV installation specialists works in and around the Manchester area on a daily basis. We are happy to provide free quotations for businesses and homeowners looking for new CCTV Systems, as well as repairs and upgrades to existing installations.
Crime in Manchester, as you would expect, is high. All types of crime are higher than the National average.
CCTV already plays a massive part in the security plans of many Manchester businesses. Deterring crime is especially important in a city center landscape – as well as being able to monitor and record staff and stock.
Crime in Manchester
Reports of theft and anti-social behavior are on the rise. Reported crime rates in Manchester remain in the top three highest among similar areas according to police, topping cities like Nottingham and Liverpool by a significant margin. Investing in a CCTV system is a simple, cost-effective way to lower the risk of you are business or domestic premises becoming part of these statistics.
Our trained staff can help you decide on the best system for you or your business.
We can offer:
Professional installation and monitoring to minimise blind spots
The latest cameras and equipment with court-accepted imaging
Comprehensive maintenance coverage from our network of engineers
We can even set up your system so that you can view it on your smartphone or tablet computer. With court cases in Manchester are taking nearly 3 months on average just to be heard, deterring criminals in the first place saves you time and money. Call our friendly experts on 0800 211 8310 today for a free, no obligation quote or check out cctv.co.uk for more information.
If you are lucky enough to have won a holiday in a competition, try and avoid as much publicity as you can. An article in the local newspaper for example is an open invite to burglars who will now know you are going to go away and leave your house empty.
Placing a CCTV camera at a main entrance, will not only enable you to monitor people entering and leaving the building but will also act as a deterrent to any potential criminals.
Why do you need CCTV?
Reasons why our Manchester customers are having CCTV installed...
“I do not feel safe in my home and feel the Police are not helping in any way to make the area feel any safer as crime is still going up. I think CCTV should be installed in the area to increase security and lower crime.” Waverton Road, Manchester
“CCTV needed to counter anti-social behaviour mainly caused by minors 8-14yr old. Burglary and property damage” Palmerston Street, Manchester
“I don’t feel safe when am 65 and getting beaten every other day and no one to help even the Police”, Winster Ave
Complete the form if you would like a free no-obligation quote for CCTV installation.
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Bought the kit through CCTV.co.uk with this intention of installing it myself. The goods were delivered promptly but sat in the garage as I just didn’t ever seem to get time to do the install. I decided to let the professionals take care of it so called back CCTV.co.uk and asked them if they could arrange the install. The install was arranged within 4 days and I must say I am very happy with the result! Thank you CCTV.co.uk great product and great service.
How can we help?
Our expert technicians have years of experience fitting and maintaining the most modern systems to the older analogue types. As is well known the positioning and lighting of cameras is of utmost importance, so our experts survey and plan systems to make sure they conform to the highest standards.
CCTV Installer Manchester
Install CCTV Camera systems for both business and residential clients
Maintain and repair older CCTV systems
Advice on increasing security in your area
Background Information about CCTV in Manchester
Greater Manchester has received a huge cash injection of £6.2 million for 18 CCTV schemes, including £687,000 for 31 new cameras in the New East Manchester Community CCTV Project – in a bid to combat a crime rate which is one of the highest in the country.
This once again highlights the importance that is being placed on CCTV monitoring systems in the public domain, and it also applies to businesses, both large and small.
Install a system designed to suit your business requirements and you will be able to provide not only a safer environment but also make the business more efficient and less likely to be robbed. For example, a recent survey showed that a computerised CCTV system can prevent around 94% of all crimes in a given area and is extremely cost effective.
Today French Satellite Installers know that some non-English programmes are already available from a standard Sky Digital installation. These are listed in your onscreen Electronic Programme Guide. If you can't find the language you want, read on...
French Satellite Installers bring you the channels listed below could be received in year 2001 with a Sky Digibox connected to a 60 cm dish aligned on 19.2'E with a "Universal" LNB. Tested in Cheshire, England. You can also get "other" channels if you point your dish at Hot Bird 13'E and at various other satellites, dependent on where you are located. By "point your dish" I could equally mean "fix an additional LNB (or two) with an extension bracket onto your existing 60 cm dish (or larger) and align it so you can receive programmes from another satellite(s) in addition to Sky Digital at 28.2'E. See this page for a photo of the 80 cm dish and LNB arrangement that I use in south Cheshire.
Note that the Sky Digibox is NOT user-friendly OR reliable for receiving programmes from "other" satellites. However, it does provide a cheap way to try it out and, later, you might like to buy an ordinary (not Sky) digital receiver to connect to the second LNB instead.
This page was last updated on September 9, 2002. It is left here for historical purposes only. ALL information on THIS page is out of date. Please go to lyngsat.com for latest listings.
The Sky Digibox has memory allocated for up to 50 "other" channels only. You can not use memory allocated for Sky EPG channels.
Unfortunately, this limit seems to decrease with every software upgrade and some receivers can't store any. Whether there's a fix for this, I don't know. The fix for insufficient memory used to be to delete all existing "other" channels and start adding again. Obviously you can't empty the memory if no "other" channels are listed.
You can try to store up to 50 "Other Channels" in your Sky Digibox, as follows:
Connect Astra 19.2E dish to the Digibox
Press  System setup
Press  Add channels
Enter a bouquet frequency as listed below and set the Symbol Rate to 27500 and the FEC to 3/4.
Move the onscreen cursor to "Find Channels" and press [Select]
Wait until list of programmes appears on screen.
Press [yellow] button to store each desired programme.
Press [Select] when you have finished storing programmes.
Repeat this to add more programmes on a different frequency.
To view a programme press [services] and  then use the arrow buttons to highlight the programme you want to watch or hear. Press [select]. If the programme is unavailable you can press [backup] to return to the programme list. Otherwise you must press the above button sequence each time you want to change programme.
Note! Some channels change very often. The 19.2'E programme list, below, is out of date.
This is meant to be an example of set-up parameters only. There's an up-to-date list HERE
K1 etc. film previews
100,6 German radio from Berlin
Premier World film previews
Bayerisches FS (German)
SR Fernsehen Suedwest
Bloc Note C+
Andalucia TV (Spanish)
ProSieben Schweiz (German)
La Cinquieme (French)
RTM Maroc (Egypt)
RAI Uno (Italian)
Canal Canarias (Spanish, some English)
Home Order TV
Different parameters must be set for the following programmes:
Enter a bouquet frequency as listed below and set the Symbol Rate to 22000 and the FEC to 5/6.
Astra Vision (German)
Astra Vision (German)
TV5 Europe (French)
Liberty TVcom (French)
AC3 Test (German)
Grand Tourisme (French)
For other satellite bouquet parameters, please look at the listings at the Lyngsat web site or in "What Satellite TV" magazine or in "TELE-Satellit" magazine. Don't ask me "what LNB, frequency, symbol rate, FEC do I need to get xxx" because I don't know. Don't ask me "what dish size will I need?" Look at the published satellite "footprints" to find out.
In June last year, in the 'letters' column, I raised the subject of low-grade aerial and satellite download cables and gave examples of the sort of reception defects they can cause. Awareness of these problems made me wish I had a valid way of comparing the various cable types in common use. The effects of inferior cable can be bad enough on a small domestic installation, but much worse - and more expensive to correct - on a distribution system that serves, say, a dozen flats. The TV system will be part of the electrical contractor's work, and will, in turn, will pass on the specialist part of the work to a local TV shop or aerial installer. The electrician will supply and install the TV cables from the head-end or repeater positions down to the outlets.The aerial contractor's job, on a small system like this (or indeed a much bigger one), is to come in near the end of the contract and install the aerial, dish, amplifiers, trunk cables, and everything else necessary to make the system work.
I always specify the cable type needed, and make it plain that if the electricians use poor quality stuff then I can not be held responsible for any problems that might arise. In the world of competitive tending the temptation to cut corners is strong however, so quite often my strictures about cheap co-ax are ignored. Of course, on many occasions I'm not even asked, because I'm not invited on the job until it's too late - after the walls have been plastered and decorated. Now, I'm never in any doubt that I'm going to make a fuss when this sort of thing happens - the only question is, how much fuss?It is one thing to have a vague feeling that signal levels at the farthest outlets from the head-end are likely to be 'a bit low' - but that sort of vagueness is not enough when you are threatening to withdraw all relevant warranties.
I realized some time ago that I needed a quantitative measure of the performance of different types of cable. Since the manufacturers of the 'budget' cables do not publish figures, I decided to perform a few simple tests to find out just how much the performance of the various cable types differs. Even if you never install anything more complicated than aerial feeding one TV set, I think the results will be of interest to you.
I have divided the commonly used cables into four groups: A, B, C, and D. All the cables are 75Ω 'downlead' types with an outside diameter of between 6.6 and 7mm.
Fig 1 From top to bottom, Type ‘A’: Semi-airspaced dielectric with copper tape and copper braid., Type ‘B’: Foam dielectric with copper tape and copper braid., Type ‘C’: dielectric with ‘silver paper’ wrap and copper braid. Type ‘D’: Semi-airspaced dielectric with copper braid. From top to bottom (fig 1) they are:
Type ‘A’: Semi-airspaced dielectric with copper tape and copper braid. Commonly known as ‘copper on copper’, the best-known example of this class of cable is Raydex CT100. Other makes are Cavel QC100 and Hycomm HYC100. The designation ‘CT100’ is often taken in vain, no doubt to the great annoyance of Radex. Be aware that some cables sold as ‘CT100-type’ are nothing like the genuine article. The expression ‘semi-airspaced’ refers to the construction of the white dielectric, and means that it has ‘cells’ (holes) running through it longitudinally. All semi-airspaced cables seem to have five cells (see fig 2). Copper prices move up and down all the time, but at the time of writing this cable should cost no more than £18 + VAT per 100m. Confusingly, this cable is sometimes incorrectly called ‘double screened’.
Type ‘B’: Foam dielectric with copper tape and copper braid. These cables are identical to type ‘A’ products, except that they have a foam rather than semi-airspaced dielectric. Semi-airspaced cables can deform quite easily if mishandled, and for that reason foam cables, which are more robust when bent and crushed, are making a comeback. It is very difficult to fit semi-airspaced cable into a backbox without it kinking, so the re-introduction of foam cables looks like a good idea. The foam cables of yesteryear absorbed atmospheric and other moisture very readily, causing severe performance degradation, but the manufacturers assure us that the modern products are free of this defect. This type of cable is similar in price to the type ‘A’ ones, or perhaps slightly cheaper. The many different products available include Webro WF100 and Cavel QF100.
Type ‘C’: Semi-airspaced dielectric with ‘silver paper’ wrap and copper braid. This cable is sold as ‘satellite downlead’, but Sky forbid its use on their installations. The screen consists of a transparent plastic wrap with a microscopically thin layer of silver coloured material bonded to it, and a very low-density copper braid. One peculiarity of these cables is that the dielectric will slide along very easily inside the screen. If the cable has been stretched slightly during installation, the inner core and dielectric can retract out of the ‘f’ plug shortly afterwards, causing severe installer confusion! These cables sell for around £8.50 + VAT per 100m.
Type ‘D’: Semi-airspaced dielectric with copper braid. This cable has no foil wrap. It is commonly called ‘low loss’, a designation that originated in the early days of UHF transmissions, to distinguish it from the smaller diameter, solid dielectric cables used for VHF. It usually has a brown outer sheath, although the DIY sheds stock it in white. Over the years the braid density of ‘low loss’ has decreased mysteriously. In 1969 it was quite a job to unravel the braid when fitting a coax plug; now there’s hardly anything to unravel! Some manufacturers still produce this type of cable with braid coverage as high as 60%, but these products are rarely used. Much more common are the cheap versions with braid coverage of as little as 20%.
No manufacturer has ever pretended that this cable is suitable for satellite use, but this is persistently ignored by builders, and even by Bodgitt & Scarper Aerials and others of that like. What the motive is I don’t know, because these cables are generally no cheaper than the type ‘C’ ones. This cable is the site electricians’ favourite. Left to their own devices, this is what some of them will use for everything – UHF, satellite, surveillance cameras, dog leads, the lot. This cable is almost universally used for built-in downleads in new housing, where individual aerials will be fitted.
Fig 2 Top left: Foam dielectric (type ‘B’), Top right: Semi-airspaced (type ‘D’), Bottom left: Semi-airspaced (type ‘C’) Bottom right: Semi-airspaced (type ‘A’) Signal loss
I tested types A and B first, and was relieved to find that my results corresponded pretty closely with the various manufacturers’ figures. This suggested that my experimental method was valid. The method, in fact, was very simple. I laid out exactly 50m of each cable, making sure there were no kinks or sharp bends. I used a Vision modulator (from Satellite Solutions) as a signal source at UHF, and Sky digital transponders at satellite IF. I checked both of these sources at regular intervals during the tests to make sure that there was no variation. The measuring instruments were recently calibrated spectrum analysers. Fig 3 shows the results.
Fig 3 Signal attenuation per unit length: comparison of cable types
Cable types A and B performed almost identically, so I have shown both as one line on fig 3. Losses climb to 18dB per 100m at the top of the UHF band, and 33dB at the top of the satellite IF band. Cable type C is significantly more lossy at 24.5dB and 44.5dB for the same frequencies. There are many different ‘type D’ cables, and frankly you only have to look at some of them to see that they are about as much use as wet string. For these tests I used one of the better products. Even so Type D comes in at 32.5dB for top UHF and a massive 66dB—double the figure for types A and B—for the top of the satellite IF band.
What do these figures mean in practice? If we leave aside questions of cable deterioration with age (of which more later) probably not all that much where cable runs are short. The problems will arise where cable runs are longer than average, and where signal levels or carrier to noise ratios are marginal to start with. Take as an example the following scenario. A wideband UHF aerial feeds a simple domestic distribution amplifier via 10m of cable and one or more of the downleads from the amplifier to the outlets is 25m long. The signals carried include analogue channel 21 transmitted at 500kW and a ‘must have’ digital multiplex on channel 67, transmitted at 10kW. Sounds familiar? If type A or B cable is used the overall loss on channel 67 will be 6.3dB. If type D cable is used the overall loss increases to 11.4dB, and signals on channel 67 will be attenuated 2.5dB more than those on channel 21. This will add to an already very unsatisfactory signal level imbalance, and could increase the chances of digital drop out. Where cable runs are 30m or longer, type ‘D’ cables are quite inadequate for UHF, and of course absolutely hopeless for satellite IF.
Although type C performs significantly better than type D, in my opinion it is so far behind types A and B that it should not be used for good quality UHF or satellite installations. Budget domestic installations, maybe. Cables of this type are sold as ‘satellite’ cable, and the unwary could quite reasonably suppose from this that their performance is good enough even for the more demanding installations.
Incidentally, distribution systems carrying satellite IF have each downlead going back to a polarity switch, and since the switches are normally located together in large groups (fig 4), the downleads are likely to be long. In the case of the block of twelve flats mentioned earlier, all the downleads will run to the one amplifier and switch unit, so some of the cables might easily be 40m in length. Where satellite cable runs exceed 30m, I prefer to use CT125. This is a larger diameter version of CT100.
Inadequately screened cables will both radiate and receive signal. This is a difficult thing to measure properly unless you have an electronics laboratory, but I was able to carry out a simple experiment that gave comparative, though not absolute, figures.
I laid out 50m of each of the cables under test, along with an additional length of cable type D. The latter, the ‘transmit’ cable, was connected to a high level signal source, and the other cables were tested on their ability to receive from it (or, I suppose I should say, their inability to not receive from it!). All five cables were bundled very loosely together with cable ties at 1m intervals, to simulate the sort of proximity that would be found if the cables had been installed in a wall cavity, across a loft, or whatever. The far ends of all the cables were terminated with 75Ω. The test was done on one frequency only: 727MHz.
The crosstalk figures below are simply the differences between the signal level entering the transmit cable and those leaving the receive cables.
Cable type A B C D Crosstalk from type D –80.4dB –81.4dB –66.6dB –29.0dB Although the signal sources and measuring instruments were 5m apart, the results for cable types ‘A’ and ‘B’ were, I think, compromised slightly by direct transmission from source to instrument. This is likely to happen with a ratio of 80dB. Slight movement of the connectors caused a fluctuation of a few dB, so for this reason, the figures for cable types ‘A’ and ‘B’ are probably slightly pessimistic. The crosstalk from types ‘C’ and ‘D’ was much more ‘solid’.
I repeated the experiment, but this time with all the cables reduced to 20m. The results were virtually unaltered. I also attempted the experiment using type ‘A’ cable for transmission, but could get no meaningful result from cables ‘A’, ‘B’, or ‘C’.
All this strongly suggests that if all the cables in an installation were types A or B, crosstalk would be unmeasurably small. Type C’s performance is perfectly adequate, but look at type D, returning –29dB! Remember that analogue video needs a signal to noise ratio of at least 46dB.
This simple test confirms what a lot of installers have always suspected. Many and varied are the interference problems than can be cured by replacing cheap coax or flyleads with CT100. Satellite IF leaking into a UHF feeder, computer noise entering the flylead of an adjacent TV set, maintained lighting chargers putting white lines across all the TV screens in the building – the list is endless. Downleads inevitably pass alongside or at least near mains cables, and given terrestrial digital TV’s susceptibility to impulse interference, type ‘D’ cable is simply not suitable.
Coaxial cables deteriorate with age, mostly due to the gradual ingress of moisture. Visible evidence is a yellowing of the dielectric and a dark discolouration of the copper. Even when a cable doesn’t show these signs, its performance may fall off severely over a period of years. Type ‘D’ cables seem to suffer most, probably due to a more permeable outer sheath and the lack of a foil screen that serves as a moisture barrier. TV distribution systems often share ducts and voids with district heating schemes and other plumbing, and type ‘D’ cables in such a humid, damp environment will become astronomically lossy after a few years. The signal losses are much worse at higher frequencies, so if you are quoting for the conversion of a system from Group A analogue to wideband digital, beware!
In my opinion Cable type ‘D’ should not be installed behind the plaster in a new building. I suspect that it picks up moisture as the building dries out, because the deterioration seems to set in very rapidly. This can become a serious problem early in the life of the building. The way technology changes these days, it seems very shortsighted to use anything less than CT100. The cost difference, after all, is at most only a few pounds, and who knows what signals and frequencies we will expect these cables to carry during their lifetime?
Kinks and bends
The characteristic impedance of coaxial cable depends partly on the ratio between the diameter of the inner conductor and the diameter of the screen. If the cable is forced into a tight bend the ratio changes and an impedance ‘bump’ is created. This isn’t the place to go into cable impedance, standing waves and what have you, but take my word for it, impedance bumps are a Bad Thing! The minimum bend radius is usually taken as about ten times the cable diameter, whatever the cable type.
The performance of coaxial cable will suffer if it has been ill-treated during installation, by kinking, forcing into small bends, or crushing. I suppose I should have set up some sort of comparative test in which the different cables were (a) subjected to a pretty violent installation by disgruntled electricians on piece rates, and (b) installed by placid electricians keen on transcendental meditation. But I didn’t. Take it as read: if coax is squashed, kinked, twisted, scorched, or stretched, its performance will suffer.
What happens if a cable is bent repeatedly? This can happen during a difficult installation, or during normal use over a long period. Cable type ‘C’, with its transparent plastic wrap and thin layer of conductive material, suffers badly. Tiny radial cracks appear in the conductive coating, and since the braid is very skimpy, impedance ‘bumps’ are likely. I must stress, though, that repeated flexing of any coaxial cable will cause damage. The copper foil of cable types ‘A’ and ‘B’ can crack, and of course, the inner core of all cables will eventually snap. Special flexible coaxes are available, with seven-strand inners, solid dielectric, and a dense braid of fine wire, but these cables are expensive and ‘lossy’, so are really only suitable for short interconnecting leads.
Crushing and trapping
Cable clips should be the correct size, and cable ties should not be over- tightened. Cables can be accidentally trapped or squashed, especially on a building site. When planning cable routes try to anticipate the actions of ‘other trades’. Cables in lofts should not run where they will fall victim to the plumbers’ size 12 boots, for instance. Clip to the side of timber that will be walked on, not the top. If it seems likely that a cable run will be mistreated in this way, use type B, since the foam dielectric cables are physically tougher than any of the semi-airspaced ones.
Cables to avoid
The list is many and varied. One such cable has no braid, just a few strands of wire running longitudinally, and some sort of shiny (and allegedly conductive) coating attached to the inside of the outer sheath. Apart from the obvious screening deficiencies, it is difficult to make a convincing connection to this cable, and it is very susceptible to kinking and crushing.
Sometimes electricians will use oddments of coax left over from previous jobs, and this is where you are likely to encounter cable designed for baseband video use. These are easy to spot because they have a solid dielectric. They are very lossy at UHF, and utterly hopeless for satellite use. Remember, to the average electrician ‘coax’ is ‘coax’, and if he has half a roll left over from a surveillance camera installation he will use it for TV downleads. Similarly, 50Ω and 93Ω cables can appear. These are useless for TV. Any cable with an overall diameter of less than 6.5mm is highly suspect. Some cables have a type number printed at intervals along their length. Amongst the hundreds of different types of unsuitable coax available, the following are, in my experience, commonly found on building sites masquerading as TV downleads: URM43, URM70, URM76, RG58, RG59, and RG62.
If you encounter an unfamiliar cable, I suggest that you take a sample away and test it. Even a short length, say 10 metres, will show excessive signal loss if compared directly with the same length of CT100. Carry out the test on high UHF channels or satellite IF. Thin braid cover is a sure sign of inadequate screening.
For distribution systems or good quality domestic work use a ‘copper on copper’ cable, with either semi-airspaced or foam dielectric. If the cable will, unavoidably, be forced into tight bends, or might be crushed, use a foam type.
For long runs, especially satellite, consider the use of a larger diameter cable, such as Radex CT125 or Cavel QC125.
For budget domestic work, type ‘C’ cables are probably the best choice. Since these cables cost about the same as ‘low loss’ (type ‘D’) there seems to be no point in using the latter. But bear this in mind: the cost difference between the best cable and the worst is only about £1.50 on a standard domestic aerial job. I have to say that the only cables you will find in the back of my van are types A and B.
Of course, most installers know that good cable is essential for satellite use, and I hope that this article has clarified the differences between ‘good’, ‘not so good’ and ‘bad’ cable. The message hasn’t quite got through to many, though, that UHF also demands good cable. I think our trade should recognize that cable quality is an important issue, particularly for digital reception.
Fig 4 Distribution system head-end, ready for installation. The earth rails at the bottom are the connections for 20 downleads, some of which will be 30m long. The connections on the right are the feeds to the repeaters.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT OUTDOOR TV AERIAL FOR YOUR HOME
Buying the right outdoor aerial tv can be tricky and there's a lot more to consider than just the price. When choosing your aerial you must think about everything from your home's proximity to transmitter to the terrain of your area. Generally speaking a larger aerial will provide more gain, so if you're living far away from a transmitter you'll probably need to purchase something quite big. However, this really depends on the model.
The rollout of Freeview in the UK has led to over 1000 transmitters broadcasting across the country. If you are struggling to get a signal, it's possible you could have an issue with TV antenna.
NOTE: this article is merely a guide. The information could vary depending on your home's location.
outdoor aerial on chimney Installing an outdoor aerial can be dangerous if you do not have the right tools and safety equipment.
CHECKING YOUR SIGNAL GAIN
One of the best and most simple ways of determining what size aerial you'll need is to look around your neighborhood and see what other people are using. Look at what direction your aerials are pointing; if they're all facing the same way, then you most likely live in an area that gets a pretty decent signal. If they're all pointing in different directions it could mean that you'll have issues with reception and may need a signal amplifier. If you have more than one TV point in your home you will probably have to purchase a masthead amplifier; However, if you only have one, you may only require a distribution amplifier.
To find out how much digital signal you can get in your area visit dtg.org.uk. While this information will give you a rough estimate, it doesn’t take into account your surrounding terrain and building structure, so it may not be 100% accurate.
UHF AND VHF SIGNAL
Most aerials will receive either UHF signal, VHF signal, or both. There’s a common misconception that all digital channels fall within the UHF bandwidth; however, that’s simply not the case. While the UHF band contains the vast majority of digital and high definition signals, some are still present on the VHF band as well.
Before you purchase a new aerial, cross reference the frequency bands of the channels you want to receive with the bands that are supported by the device. Don’t just assume an aerial that is more expensive than another will support more channels.
OUTDOOR AND INDOOR AERIALS
Outdoor aerials are more difficult to install and will often require help from a professional. Indoor aerials are much weaker, but with a little tweaking, they can often provide a decent picture. If you’re looking for a quick and easy solution, then buying an indoor aerial may provide satisfactory results.
Fundamentally, whether an indoor or outdoor aerial is better for you depends on your home in relation to the transmitter. Contrary to popular belief, while distance is important, it’s not a be all and end all. Digital signal travels in a straight line; therefore, you may have better reception than someone who lives closer if you don’t have any obstructions.
INSTALLING AN OUTDOOR AERIAL
Installing an outdoor aerial is tricky. Unless you have the right tools and safety equipment for the job it’s definitely not recommended. A professional engineer will know exactly how to get the best possible signal and, most importantly, how to install the aerial safely. In addition, they will also install the relevant amplifier and cables so you can receive the maximum amount of digital signal.
WHAT AERIAL IS YOUR NEIGHBOUR USING?
If you live in an area where there’s a good signal, you should see that most aerials on your neighbors’ houses are facing in a similar direction. If they are all in different places then you may be in an area where there could be issues with reception.
A number of things can cause signals to be disrupted so you may need to move or update your aerial or purchase a signal amplifier. If you have more than one TV point in your home you will probably have to purchase a masthead amplifier. But if you only have one, you may only require a distribution amplifier.
If you’re having trouble finding the right outdoor TV aerial for your home, then please contact ADS Digital. We can help you find the right one for your home.
Welcome to TV aerials York, If you have TV Aerial problems or need a satellite installation inquiries regarding a Sky, Sky HD, Freeview, Freesat or multi-room system, call our experienced team for polite and friendly advice today.
With over 20 years in the TV Aerial and Satellite System industry, we always make sure our installers carry a full range of indoor and outdoor Digital TV aerials at all times ensuring that all our repair and upgrade work is done quick & efficiently to give all our new and existing customers the best experience the company has to offer.
Furthermore, we also offer the latest in High Definition Home entertainment TV systems at a very competitive price that should be looked at more now that we have reached the ultimate year of HD viewing. Also available are the installation of CAT5 and CAT6 HD points for Smart TV installs so please have one of our engineers come give you a free no obligation quotation. Contact us by email or phone 24 hours a day at Aerials York.
Even if theydon’t always work flawlessly, there’s no doubt in our minds that the best wireless routers of today are exhibiting technology that’s vastly superior to those of last year. Along with the 802.11ac networking standard, we’ve seen the introduction of a 5GHz band that puts the old-hat 2.4GHz connections to shame at close-range.
That’s without mentioning wireless mesh systems, which aim to combat the conventional router’s inability to transfer data quickly through walls. Even if you’re looking for a basic router setup, festooned with a generous helping of extras like MU-MIMO and directional beamforming, we’ve collected the 10 best wireless routers you can buy below.
Keeping in mind that we’ve undergone thorough testing of each product, read on to give your house the 802.11ac boost it deserves.
This page describes how to wire and cable telephone sockets in the UK only. As with all electrical work, if you are not trained or experienced in such matters, then the advice is to seek the expertise of a professional.
Sockets can only be installed on the new plug and socket system. If your phones are connected to a connector as shown in the picture below then you must contact your exchange service provider to have a Master socket installed. You may wire off the Master Socket.
You will also need tools to wire a socket and these should be in good condition. The tools required are:-
Pin Hammer Small screwdriver Side cutters Long Nosed Pliers Knife Krone Insertion Tool or the cheap plastic wire inserter. Eye Shields
Planning Before you start plan the cable route. The sockets wire from the Master and then follow from socket to socket.
If you cable to the 1st floor then consider going external - usually via the front window - up the wall - and in the bedroom window. This is because running the cable up the stairs is normally a pain and involves cabling over numerous doors.
Do not go under carpets and do not run cables behind doors. The top of the skirting board is a good place to start.
Remember - telephones normally have 3 metre cords.
Fitting the Socket
If the sockets are fitted after the house is built, then surface mounted are the best option. These should be fixed to the wall or skirting board with the appropriate fixings. Always wear eye shields when drilling.
WARNING - Before attaching the socket to the wall, ensure that you have selected a position where you will not hit any concealed pipes or electrical cables. Check with a cable locator - purchase at a DIY shop.
Remember to keep the sockets well clear of the floor to avoid damage by floor cleaning equipment and to enable the cable to be brought neatly out of the socket box and on to the skirting board.
Once you have decided on the positions for the sockets, carefully cut out the appropriate cable entry hole in the side or base of each socket using a sharp knife.
Mount the sockets in position, using the two screws and plastic wall plugs supplied with each socket. The socket box mounting holes are slotted to allow horizontal and vertical adjustment before tightening the screws fully.
House telephone wiring uses cable containing six 0.5mm diameter solid conductors. It is important that this size of wire is used or a good electrical connection cannot be guaranteed and there could be problems in the future with the system. Never use stranded wire, mains cable or bell wire.
Run the cables to the Extension socket positions in accordance with your plan. Feed the cable through each socket box entry hole and leave about 200mm (8”) of cable spare at the socket.
WARNING - When fixing the cable, take care not to puncture or damage it in any way. Damaged cable may cause faulty operation or damage to the system and must be replaced, not taped up.
On straight runs it is easier to fix the cable at one end of the cable run, pull the cable tight, fix the other end and then insert intermediary cleats at approximately 300mm (12”) intervals.
You can also use two cleats as shown to hold a cable bend neatly in place, not a single cleat on the bend.
Fixing on Corners
Wiring the Sockets Start at the last socket and finish at the Master Socket. For every cable at each socket, cut the sheath at the end of a cable about 13mm (1/2 in) with a pair of side cutters and expose the white nylon ripcord.
Grip the rip cord with a pair of long nosed pliers (curl the cord around the tips if it slips out) and pull firmly down, exposing the wires to about 50mm (2”).
Next cut away the unwanted sheath with the side cutters. Do not remove the PVC insulation from the wires themselves.
Fix the cable sheath(s) neatly to the cable mount on the faceplate of the socket using the nylon tie provided with the socket. Thread the tie through the slot/hole in the back of the faceplate. Put the cable in place and tighten the tie (see diagram below). N.B. Cable securing methods may differ depending on the make of the socket.
Spread out the individual wires so that you can identify the colours. The first colour identified is the base colour of the plastic insulation, the second colour is printed over the first; for example, Green/White means green base, white overprint, White/Green means white base, green overprint.
In each socket the wiring HAS to be connected as follows:-
WARNING - make sure that you follow the colour coding correctly. Incorrect wiring may cause faulty operation or damage to the system.
Terminating the wires No wire stripping or soldering is necessary to make a good termination.
The Krone tool (IDC - Insulation Displacement Connector) or cheap plastic wiring tool will be used to connect the wires to the socket.
IMPORTANT - do not attempt to insert the wires with anything other than the proper tools. Always wear eye shields when using IDC tools as the wire ends can fly off.
Support the socket faceplate firmly and hold the tool vertically making sure that the ‘blade’ of the tool is the correct way round. This is essential, as not only will the tool be damaged but also the wire will not be terminated properly if the tool is incorrectly used. It is recommended that you practice first by placing the IDC tool over a terminal, without a wire in place. In the correct position the tool will easily slide as far as the chamfer of the plastic insulator on the terminal.
Leaving a small amount of slack in the wire place the wire to be terminated in the appropriate slot of the terminal. Put the tool into position. A firm vertically applied pressure to the tool will force the wire into the connector fork and the connection is made. You will hear it go into place. Then remove any excess wire beyond the connector with the wire side cutters. The picture shows the cheap wiring tool, if the Krone version is used, then the scissors side locates in the recessed side (shown to the right in the picture). The Krone tool also automatically cuts off the spare wire.
If two cables are to be connected to the socket, a second wire will need to be inserted at the same terminal. Each wire must be inserted individually and not both at once. Ensure that wires are pushed into the connector fork fully, one on top of the other. The socket will only accommodate two cables maximum.
Where two wires are to be terminated at the same terminal, make sure that the colours of the wires from each cable match each other.
After you have made the three terminations on one side of the socket, e.g. 1,2,3 as shown above, turn the tool around to make the terminations for 4,5,6 so that the ‘blade’ of the tool (longer edge), is again facing towards the middle of the socket.
If you should make a mistake, a wire can be removed by pulling it upwards out of the connector fork. Do not attempt to reinsert the same part of the wire until the damaged portion has been cut off. Leave each terminated socket out of its box for the moment.
Lay the wires down onto the socket to make a neat job and then securely fix the socket to the back box.
Check for dial tone at each socket and then ask a friend to call you back. Whilst the line is ringing, plug a phone into each socket to ensure that it rings. If not check the termination on pin 3 of the socket.