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All posts by Ian

Below are all of Ian's postings, with the most recent are at the bottom of the page.

Paul, sounds as though you need a proper aerial. If set top aerials worked, there wouldn't be any work for aerial companies, everybody would buy a set top.

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CAI and RDI-LB to merge? | Blogs
Wednesday 27 June 2012 11:18PM

It would seem that the RDI-LB (a Government funded company) is to close it's doors in the next few months.

It would further seem that a new Public Limited Company are about to set themselves up and take on the existing RDI's, only this time instead of the RDI being the Registered Digital Installer Licencing Body (a Government funded body) it will just become RDI, Registered Digital Institute, a private limited company where all fees will go to the new Limited Company.

I understand that this is a copy of the email sent out to the RDI's.

Dear Colleague

I wanted you to be amongst the first installers to hear what exciting developments are taking place at the RDI later this year. For that reason I have attached a link to some information pages. These are temporary and will be replaced with a full website when the Scheme formally launches its blue tick logo in September.

This will be your Industry Body and we would like to have your feedback, so please drop me your comments on the info@ link shown on the website.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Wishes

Martin Smith
Managing Director

PS Existing members will automatically be transferred over to the new blue tick!

Notice on the new website how any reference to the RDI is missing the '-LB' extension.

Clever email and an even cleverer website.

No mention of disbandment of the Government body, and no mention of the formation of a new PLC.

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Stephen P, the cheque guarantee card was withdrawn on the 30th June 2011 by all UK banks. We still take cheques from customers for work we do at their premises, at least if they bounce, we know where they live.

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Elaine, if left to dangle freely it is possible for the internal centre core to break, and this may be why you still have pictures on the other TV's but not on this one. It is also possible for the cable to chafe against the roof tiles of wall and this could cause the cable to fail.

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Dave, It could be one of many things. You can have too much signal as well as too little. But it is not just the signal level (Power) which is important, Carrier to Noise Ratio (C/N) and the Bit Error Rate (BER) also play an important part.

Its no good having a perfect power level only for the C/N level to be say <16dB or too many Bit Errors in every thousand bits.

I would try taking the amp off first and see what the result is, if there is no improvement then I think you would be wise to call in somebody with the correct test equipment.

Trying to solve the problem yourself you may end up feeling like a headless chicken, rounding around in circles and you cant see where you are going.

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jb38, ideally it needs to be his postcode and NOT one nearby.

The postcode predictor is apparently accurate to within 400 meters, although on one job I went to, that clearly wasn't the case.

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"what if I was to install the aerial myself after purchasing one from Argos? Would it be ok"

Why not try it and see, at worst all you will be doing is wasting your own money.

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Jubaer, get yourself a 'benchmarked' aerial.

Where you live you will only require a 10 element aerial but since Blake's make the only 10 element which is benchmarked, and I personally don't like it, I'd opt for a 'Triax SG18W'.

If you are going to fit to your central 8 pot stack you may need an additional lashing wire as the standard one supplied with the lashing kit may not be long enough, especially as you probably don't know the correct way of making off the 'J' bolts.

Joining 2 lashing wires is an art in itself as I am sure every rigger visiting here will tell you, you'll need to get all the slack out before you even think of tightening the 'J' bolts otherwise you'll end up with a sloppy lashing and a leaning aerial.

If you are fitting it to the smaller side stack the extra lashing wire will not be required.

My shopping list would be, SG18w, 9 Lashing kit, (a 9 covers 3 bricks, better than the 6 which only covers 2 bricks), 6 x 1.25 alloy mast plus benchmarked cable. Id also purchase an attenuator.

Difficult to know what the value of the attenuator should be being as the levels can only be measured once the aerial is installed, although without measuring equipment you will not be able to do that.

Id guess and say that a 12dB attenuator might suffice, although you may need an 18dB one.

If you are going to get a company to install it, research their details first.

Be careful of 0800 numbers, look up their details at Companies House to see they are where they say they are, lots pretend to be local and are not.

Be careful of those who do not advertise complete addresses, like North Circular Road, Barking with no number or house name, these really are not there; they do it to make themselves look local.

Use the Royal Mail website to check an address, see if it realty exists and who trades from it.

Be careful of the ones which claim we have installers in your area daily these tend to be sitting in a van waiting for each call to come in and pounce when you are most vulnerable.

Be careful of the ones which claim that an aerial only cost £69 fitted because with some that is correct, it is just the aerial, the mast, lashing and cable is an extra. They assume that they will be fitting to existing equipment.

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Peter, it does seem a lot to me but what has he actually done for the money?

Although I would avoid putting an aerial in the loft, I know others don't. They have their standards and I have mine.

Is the aerial properly mounted on a Mast and Bracket? Has he had to run all the cables to the other rooms?

How long was he at your property working?

How was the 'contract' between you and him formed?

A 'contract' being more than likely a verbal telephone call.

Did he quote you any prices over the telephone or did he just turn up and say;

(a) You need xyz and it will cost you £201
(b) he fitted the kit and then said,'that's £201'?
(b) have you given him any money already?

There are regulations which cover the consumer in this type of case, and if he didn't comply, he could be in trouble with Trading Standards.

Before you pay him any money, ask for a written detailed receipt of exactly what has been fitted.

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***** Good post Dave. *****

Anybody who wants something done at the drop of a hat is leaving themselves open to being swindled.

Most of these big firms with 0800 numbers and we have installers in your area daily advertising pay their fitters a minimal wage, they make their money up by overselling on things like High Gain Aerials when a standard 10 or 18 element benchmarked aerial will suffice, and charging way over the odds for extras.

Take a bit of time and research the company you are looking at, an hour spent on Google might just save you a fortune in the long term.

I have a friend who I use to work with 30 years ago who works for the 0800 crowd. Hes on £360 per week plus commission. That commission kicks in at 10% after he has cleared £1,200.00 So for the first couple of days each week he is overselling to reach the £1,200 target, then he is on 10% of EVERYTHING he takes.

They dont tell you that in their adverts do they?

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