Wright's Aerials

An unusual aerial location

I called at a terraced house that had recently been ‘done up’ by a spec builder and sold to a young couple. The standard of the ‘doing up’ was unusually high, and the house had a very nice kitchen and an aerial socket in almost every room. There was even a satellite socket in the living room, but as yet no dish connected to it. Terrestrial TV reception ‘wasn’t too good’, so the builder, who seemed to be a nice genuine bloke, had asked our Paul to sort it out, but for some reason or other I ended up going. 

The house was in a very strong signal area, being about ten miles from Emley Moor and with no obstructions in that direction. On my arrival the living room telly was duly switched on and reception was shown to be very poor indeed. The young lady said that it was a better picture upstairs, although connecting the flylead to the wall socket didn’t seem to make much difference. On the living room TV set there was no ghosting to speak of but the picture was very snowy indeed and it suggested to me that the mains supply wasn’t connected to the distribution amplifier (which I surmised existed). At that point the young lady interrupted my chain of thought. “It’s in the cellar,” she said. “Is that all right?” Because of what I'd been thinking I assumed she meant the distribution amplifier, so I told her that it wouldn’t be a problem as long as there wasn’t too much damp down there. Oddly, she seemed disappointed. I went down to switch the amplifier on. In the cellar there was indeed a Taylor eight-way amplifier, neatly fixed to the wall, but it was already switched on, its little red LED glowing away in the half light.

The amp was connected to a perfectly installed Blake log-periodic aerial, which was fixed to a length of mast hanging down from the ceiling. The ceiling of the cellar I mean. I suppose the aerial would be about a metre below the outside ground level. Unusually, the lady came down into the cellar. She found me standing transfixed at the aerial and blinking a little in wonder. “We don't really like it there,” she said. “I think somebody’s going to poke their eye out. Could you put it somewhere else – in the loft or somewhere?”

 "Yes," I said. "I think it would be a good idea. A great idea in fact. It might even improve your reception."

 "Ohh, that would be great!" she said. So the aerial was moved to the chimney, and yes, would you believe it, it did improve reception. "Ohh," she squealed later, "We can even get teletext!"

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