Coaxial cable and OTA signal quality: How a new cable helped me, & questions - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-26-2009, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Wanting more room to move my indoor antenna around, I bought a 25 foot coaxial cable at a 99 cent store for $2 (yes, I see why this may be humorous). It's a gold-plated Trisonic (99 cent store electronics company) branded cable. I hooked it up between the antenna and converter box, and now I'm getting more channels, stronger and more consistent signals on channels I got in before, and better viewing quality on weak signals.

So, anyway, I must ask...why the heck did this happen? What did the cable do better than the old one?

Thanks!

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post #2 of 5 Old 01-26-2009, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bix View Post

So, anyway, I must ask...why the heck did this happen? What did the cable do better than the old one?

Thanks!

Hard to say. Possible list

1) The old cable was bad, normally that means a bad end. The center conductor of many old f-fittings becomes corroded. You can clean them with a knife.

2) The antenna is not hooked up through a balun or one that works, causing the shield of the coax to become part of the antenna, helping in this case (normally it hurts things and not good).

3) You moved the antenna just a little and now it's in a better spot.

Stuff like this is HooDoo magic. It proves never give up trying things with your antenna until you have a signal that works.

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post #3 of 5 Old 01-26-2009, 04:31 PM
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It's not the new cable. You gained flexibility with the longer cable and found a spot where the antenna has a much better ability to "see" the signals. Perhaps the antenna is much closer to a window, which would definitely help, or maybe the new location isn't obstructed by signal-blocking materials, such as a brick chimney or a heating duct inside a wall.
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-26-2009, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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The antenna had barely been moved, so I guess it's sweet spot and/or the old cable had issues?

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post #5 of 5 Old 01-26-2009, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bix View Post

The antenna had barely been moved, so I guess it's sweet spot and/or the old cable had issues?

On UHF just a few inches can make a big difference in what is picked up and not, in particular indoors with reflections. The old cable may have had a bad end or a lots of oxidation on the center conductor.

I had neighbors tell me I was tearing up their TV and they were on cable from my ham equipment. I asked if I could try fixing it. I took a sharp knife (exacto works great), cleaned the center conductor. Not only did that let more signal through but it stopped acting as a semiconductor junction causing harmonics on their cable channels. It always amazed neighbors, and in some cases some of the upper channels came in better after I cleaned the connection.

You have to be very careful, as if you take off much copper it can ruin the connection by making the center wire too thin.

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