Hi guys, I've been using a very simple, unamplified rabbit ears antenna for my HD reception (to a pcHDTV card running on MythTV) for most of this year and have been more or less satisfied with it. Except for Fox, all of the channels come in w/ probably 99% reliability, and even Fox mostly works, but will occasionally drop out. I think it's safe to say that I've got pretty strong signal where this setup is located (antenna was sitting on top of the TV on the main floor of a one story house).
A few weeks back, I finally bought an LCD TV, and now there's really no good place to locate that antenna, and I've been meaning to get it hidden somewhere else anyway (attic or roof). I found an unused antenna up in the attic of the house I'm renting and set about trying to use that (on the main floor first, to see how it works). I assume it's a Gemini brand antenna, b/c that's what's stamped on the "booster" box that's attached to the antenna. The model number on it says "DA900" and I've been able to find a few scattered references to that model on the web (also branded Philips since the buyout), but nothing with enough detail to help me with my problem. The antenna is very large, about 8 feet long and has a couple of small side pieces that fold out.
When I first hooked up my coax line to the booster box's F-type jack, I got no signal on my LCD's ATSC tuner, as in no difference from having nothing plugged in. While fiddling with that, I did notice that if I carefully inserted the cable so that just the signal part of the wire touched the jack (and the outer metal part of the connector did *not* touch anything else), I immediately got great signal. Even looks good on the one problem channel, probably better than w/ the little rabbit ears I've been using for some time. As soon as the outside then touches, the signal completely disappears on the TV again.
After messing around with that for some time, and moving from annoyed to perplexed to agitated, I started checking some of the various contact points of the antenna and booster with an Ohm meter, but I didn't really know what to look for, as I'm not very knowledgeable re. antennas. It appears there is (correct) 75 Ohms of resistance between the signal and ground part of the F-type jack. The box actually switches between 75 and 300 Ohms, but I'm sure I want 75 and regardless it seems to make no difference on either setting.
So, if you made it through all of the above exposition, does anyone have any idea what might be going on in this situation? Is there anything I could check on the antenna or perhaps more likely the booster box? I've also determined that just touching the signal part of the coax anywhere on the metal of the antenna yields me a strong signal.
If any of these details could need some firming up, or if pictures might help, let me know. I'd like to be able to use this antenna rather than buying a new one for the attic, but as it is I'm confused and concerned about using it.