This page has been set up for the benefit of those having trouble with their television reception in Pakenham. First of all it is highly advised that anyone undertaking television antenna work has undertaken as bare minimum a working with heights certificate. This is recommended as a safety prerequisite. This page is not intended to give you, the reader specific advice. It is only general in nature, as such no guarantee is made on the suggestions in this page. If you want exact results, get a technician with a good spectrum analyser and a wealth of experience.

Pakenham has been known for many years as a difficult television reception area. Due to the topography, e.g. the lay of the land, being behind a hill towards Mount Dandenong, and a great distance to the Latrobe Valley transmitter television reception has often been described as patchy at best. A quick view of the myswitch government website can confirm how difficult reception can be at your specific address as well as which transmitter generally speaking is optimal.

The two transmitters: Mount Dandenong (channels 6-12 commercial and government channels and optionally 32 – c31 or LCN 44 community TV) and Gippsland Latrobe Valley 28-33 (except 32) should use band specific antennas for best gain. You’ll find that generally if you are looking through other buildings or the antenna is located inside your roof signal will be reduced. In the case of the antenna being inside a colorbond roof, or a roof insulated with sarking, you won’t get much if anything at all.

Many clients north of the Princes highway will be running from Latrobe Valley, subject to signal strength. A good quality amplifier with LTE filtering is almost always a prerequisite for decent television reception.

A quality splitter is always a prerequisite. moving or adding a television point requires that a power pass is left connected on the splitter between the power transformer (the thing that most people call an amplifier but is actually a power injector for an amplifier) and the actual amplifier. A poor quality splitter will not balance the signals evenly between the television points, may loose a lot more signal than a decent splitter, and even work using existing points to form tuning stubs. Doing it right matters!

Always check your flylead. I cannot place enough emphasis on how many jobs I have checked the flylead and found that it it loosing most of the signal! If you have a long flylead, but only need a short one, get a short one. Wiggling the lead and seeing the signal strength drop down on the signal measurement in your television (most have these inbuilt) would indicate a weak signal.

On most modern Samsungs hold down the info button for 10 seconds, on most Panasonic and LG televisions you’ll find signal information in the manual tuning menus.

Using an antenna that favors the ABC from Mount Dandenong is a huge help to getting a balanced signal. Believe it or not this matters in getting a decent amplified signal. Amplifiers can struggle with uneven channel loads, even causing signals to deteriorate further in some circumstances by just adding an amplifier. A site test can help to resolve this issue.

I hope this article helps you as you pursue solutions to your television reception issues.

By Andrew Lacey, Antenna IQ