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Old 31-05-2016, 08:21   #1
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TV Antenna not working

I have a TRIAX omni directional antenna with 12V booster. Something is not working correctly because I get very few stations and those do not come in clearly.

I would appreciate any information on how to test separately the coax cables, the antenna and the booster to see which component is the problem. BTW, Antenna is mounted at mast top, approx 58 feet above water.

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Old 31-05-2016, 13:27   #2
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Re: TV Antenna not working

David,

Can you give me a little more info. Where are you located when you are trying to use this? Can I get the model numbers? Did you make the coax or was it premade? I would check the fittings and make sure you didnt damage the center copper wire of the coax. If you have a simple continuity tester you can test the coax. Triple check and make sure you have the cables going to the correct way off the booster. ( Make sure you have one going to the antenna side of the booster and the other going to the TV side. Also does the booster have a power supply? Make sure you have power going to that.

Brian
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Old 31-05-2016, 13:30   #3
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Re: TV Antenna not working

The late, great John Denver did a song called "Blow Up Your TV." Try that?
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Old 31-05-2016, 13:37   #4
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Re: TV Antenna not working

An omni directional antennas needs a much stronger signal than a directional antenna. Predigital, as a commercial fisherman, we made our own tv antennas out of copper and they out performed store bought antennas of the time.
My experience with digital shows hills, buildings, any large obstruction in line of sight causes signal degrade. Where I winter, I can't get clear signals with antennas 20 miles away. I use satellite now.


No idea on testing.
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Old 31-05-2016, 13:55   #5
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Re: TV Antenna not working

My take on it too. The local chandler wanted 100 for a flying saucer antenna and booster "essential" he said. I voted with my wallet and walked out empty handed. Found a yogi style for caravans on e-bay, for 5. Works perfectly, all be it requires pointing at the transmitter at each new location which only take a minute or two.

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Old 31-05-2016, 15:33   #6
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Re: TV Antenna not working

Brian,
Thanks for the answer. I have done some more testing since I posted. Cables are Made up or came with boat. They have worked before so I think I am OK there. I took booster out of system and a little switching device between antenna and cable out of the system. I was then able to get 8 stations crystal clear. I put booster back in system and ran Auto Program again. TV found 2 more stations but they were not clear at all. My conclusion so far is switching device is bad and was causing problems (now out of system). Booster did not make any significant difference (no new stations that were clear enough to watch). Model number for TRIAX inserter/splitter is IFP 529. I have checked power to unit and is OK (12.8 v measured at plug that goes into inserter). Coax hooked up to IN and TV hooked up to one of two outs.

I am in Charleston, SC and station I really want to pull in is 19 miles away. My conclusion is inserter is not working. Do you think inserter is bad or that inserter don't make enough difference to be worth trying a replacement inserter.

Thanks,
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Old 01-06-2016, 02:07   #7
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Re: TV Antenna not working

David,

I was just working on a couple antenna systems and found that the cables were good, but the connectors were bad. Replaced connectors and the systems worked fine. Corrosion is such a problem with electrical systems, you have to check every connection, especially the one on the top of the mast.

Continuity testing as mentioned by a previous poster is a great way to see what is happening. Although I am becoming of the opinion that regular replacement of connectors is simply a decadely maintenance event. Especially the ones at the top of the mast you can't get to. Since you mentioned your 60 foot mast at the beginning of your post, I suspect you have the same ideas as I do !
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Old 01-06-2016, 04:08   #8
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Re: TV Antenna not working

58 feet

Is that not a very long way for marine tv antennas?
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:08   #9
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Re: TV Antenna not working

Here is a simple directional antenna you can build, I use it to get stations about 50 miles away. The connection at the center coax is shield to one side and center conductor to the other, I then use 6 wraps of the coax about 6 inches in diameter, tightly wrapped and taped, to work as a balun. That stops the electricity on the shield since it "sees" the coil but the inside conductor does not "see" the coil since it is shielded and is not affected. Thus converting balanced conduction from the antenna and unbalanced in the coax. I hoist this antenna up the mast in the rigging and point it toward the stations. The direction is not that critical. I get about 20 stations with this pointed at Ft Myers, and Naples, Fl about 50 miles away from the stations. The dimensions are not that critical, anything close would be OK. All the whites are connected to either shield or center and all the black are connected to the other. Any size wire that is stiff enough to hold the shape is fine. Built like this it would be Bi-directional, forward and back, with a mesh reflector behind it, it could be uni-directional

I would suspect your problem is corrosion at the connections. You can build this to check things out, or to use when you have problems with the other.
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Old 01-06-2016, 10:09   #10
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Re: TV Antenna not working

David,

I use this website ( Address ) when im doing antenna installs for clients. It will let you know what kind of antenna you need ( by the color code) along with where to aim the antenna. Most omni directional antenna are only good for a few miles. It is a possibility that the power inserter is bad, but it also might be over amplifying the system and causing bad reception. But i dont think that is the issue because the stations in your area, it would led me to believe that the insterer is bad. I know HDTV is more of a dead on signal then a general signal.

Hope this helps.

Brian
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Old 01-06-2016, 17:14   #11
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Re: TV Antenna not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
The late, great John Denver did a song called "Blow Up Your TV." Try that?
Love that song. Title Spanish Pipedream original version by John Prine.
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