Saturday 4th April 2009, Gilgandra.
We are now at Gilgandra, about 200k further north, and about halfway to Gunnedah being our next stop (see map). We have been to Gilgandra before and after getting here we were reminded that the town didn’t do much for us last time we were here, so Linda has made the decision that she doesn’t want to come back here again. There are ants everywhere in the caravan park and the idea of them getting in the van irks Linda no end, so I reckon this is a big influence on her decision.
Orange, we summed up be saying, was a rather strange place, nice enough city but just seemed to be too frantically busy for a city of its size, Linda had all sorts of trouble battling her way through the traffic every time she went into town for a walk, and I even found the traffic a little hectic driving. It seems to be a city that has a big thing with round-abouts, and some of them just don’t work very well at all, and the intersections with traffic lights are just so painfully slow. As already said we also arrived there at the wrong time of year, being at a high altitude it was starting to get rather cool of an evening, and the scenic routes seem to have passed their tourist season and therefore nobody seemed to want to freely give information about same.
Thursday 2nd April 2009, Orange.
I am currently feeling a little relieved after feeling a bit of a fool all week since being here at Orange. With all the information I have on TV reception, and being in the position of helping other people with TV reception, I have had all sorts of problems getting a decent reception while all others in the park seemed to have no trouble at all. I have today found my problem and it was one that I am sure no one would think possible, so it has been another learning experience. Explanation:- I was aware when we arrived in Orange that the transmitter in the area was very close to the city and also a very powerful one, being capable of transmitting nearly 200 Kilometres to Dubbo, so one supposedly should have no trouble getting a good reception, in this instance I am mainly talking digital reception. Ever since we have been here I have had a problem getting reception of a strong signal according to the level and quality meters in the Set Top Box, it seemed that the only way I could get a decent signal was to point the aerial nearly 90 deg away from the direction of the transmitter and extend my aerial height to a maximum. Everything I tried to get a good reception seemed to go completely against all my theories and knowledge, and had me completely baffled. All week I have been fiddling with the aerial and testing everything from the STB through to the aerial, as depending on weather conditions we would have problems like:- one day we had no reception on Prime, the next day we couldn’t receive Win, all just too confusing. I one by one replaced everything from the aerial, cables and connectors to no avail, nothing would improve reception. Today I had a thought, being aware that one can destroy a digital signal by amplifying it too much, that maybe the signal I am receiving is actually too strong for my STB hence it is being destroyed, even though I do not have a booster in line. I have a second STB that is of higher quality than the one I am currently using so I connected it up in place of the current one, after all this is the only thing I have not tried all week, and to my surprise I am now pointing the aerial at the transmitter and reduced the height to a minimum, and reception is now as good as I would have expected to get when we did arrive here. This is one experience I will never forget, but the problem now exists that if I come across anybody else having the same problem, how do I convince them that this situation can exist, after-all how can you have too much signal. The problem STB is a cheapy, but seemed to be a good one, so I guess the tuner in it is also of a cheapy nature and is just too sensitive to high signal levels.
The weather in the area has turned a bit nasty so touristy things have basically been put on hold as we are not conducive to doing bush walks, or the like, with the risk of getting caught in the rain.