With the digital migration underway in Nairobi and its environs thanks to Communications Authority of Kenya – CAK. This post is about how to install your antenna or aerial professionally to get good quality Digital TV with scratch free pictures during any weather condition. This information will come in handy for all Nairobi residents when the Digital Migration starts officially on the 31st of December 2014 or is it 1st January 2015? Let us hope we have seen the last of the many court cases surrounding this issue because there are lawyers who can make the dates postponed indefinitely again.
Now here are the important tips.
First never mount an aerial on a wooden pole. The technically correct way is to mount it on a metallic pole, the best type being aluminum for the obvious reason that aluminum does not rust. By the way this is the same material used to make your aerial. Its very important that pole should also have a circular cross section like the picture below. I prefer to use Sparko High Tech Black RTV Silicon. Its used for gasket making and as an adhesive sealant in motor vehicles. It is easy to apply and cures fully in 24 hours and if applied properly to clean surfaces, it creates an air and water tight connection.
Secondly the antenna must be fixed tightly on the pole to avoid play. A well installed aerial should not sway in the wind at all. Fix this whole system on a wall roof or whichever appropriate place and make sure there’s no play too. In fact if a crow should land and take off from your antenna without shaking the aerial at all. Sudden aerial movements are what actually cause pixilation or scratches to appear on the TV picture.
If the system is steady then you should get a qualified technician to ground the antenna pole to your supply ground terminal. This prevents lightning from damaging your decoder or expensive digital TV in case lightning hits your antenna.
Very important don’t use a white coaxial cable this type of cable gets damaged quickly by weather elements. Use a black cable instead; it withstands harsh weather conditions for a long time. Also very important the cable must run uncut from the antenna to the decoder. The best cable to buy is the Black in colour ASTEL or JACOBS Coaxial cable; it may be expensive but totally worth it during the long run. Do not do those juakali connections with insulating tape or in extreme cases cello-tape and nylon paper. These joints take away a percentage of the overall signal quality.
Use the correct length of cable, it should not be rolled inside your house or ceiling. Cut the excess cable so that your decoder or digital TV will receive the maximum signal it should receive.
I have seen some antennas like the Mesh Jetta Antenna being sold with a very thin white coaxial cable. This antenna is good but the cable is of very low quality replace it immediately with an Astel or Jacobs black in colour cable like I mentioned above.
Weather proof your connections at the antenna by using silicon or tar (the stuff used to seal leaking iron sheet roofs). This keeps away moisture and spiders from your terminals giving you constant signal strengths during any weather.
To make the whole system better install it in such a way that you can rotate the aerial freely on its axis. This enables you to lock on the strongest signal level easily.
Now you can enjoy the best Digital TV signal right in your living room or Bar or Club.