made-by-monkeys2

Good ideas with bad execution, or good execution of what should be bad ideas - an analysis of inferior, off-beat or malfunctioning products, and how other people's failures can help us design better stuff.

TV aerial installations gone wrong

Thanks to reader Mike Meakin for sharing this one,

He read the Engineer in Wonderland post on sister blog Electro-ramblingsScary aerial, and wrote:

The Aerial climbing video reminded me of this informative site I found a couple of months ago:

http://www.aerialsandtv.com/cowboyslocker.html

Besides providing everything you ever need to know about TV aerials, the link shows some really, really bad TV aerial installations that might just amuse your readers.

As Mike says, there is a wealth of material on the site, but the Cowboys Locker section is the one that interests us the most.

Take, for example, the installation that the writer describes as ‘one of the worst I’d ever seen’ (pictured below):

The aerial’s cradle is fitted in a way I never even thought possible and the cranked pole is fitted upside down and therefore not even fulfilling it’s major justification for existence, i.e. to clear an overhead obstruction, like the one on the left.

But then the penny dropped and I realised that this was just another example of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. Clearly the chap had read somewhere that the closer you are to the transmitter the stronger the signal is. Thus he’d decided to use the cradle in this imaginative fashion in order to move the aerial just that bit nearer to Emley Moor. The result is that the aerial is now situated just 13 miles 1759 yards from the transmitter rather than the full 14 miles.

bad-aerial-large.jpg

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2 Comments

  1. December 02, 2010 14:28

    Blimey. BBC 2 on 6-inch nails! I like it. Points for inventiveness, though, you must concede. The past is indeed another country…

  2. Tim Asquith
    December 01, 2010 12:18

    This is mild compared when BBC2 first started in London. The cowboys would make the aerial out of 1x1in timber and 6 inch nails.
    The cowboys found out that the 6 inch nail was the right size for BBC2 frequency. Placing 8 holes 3 ½ inch apart and knocking in the 6 inch nails had a suitable gain. They used a large chocolate block to connect the coax to trimmed nails. The reflector was four nails screwed on the timber at 90 deg.
    As most house in London had coal fire they sometime started to char and then fall to pieces.
    This from Practical TV in 1967/8.

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