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Old 09-11-2011, 11:05 PM   #1
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Roof antenna?


Can anyone tell me about giant roof antennas? Can we use the one we have on our house?? Do we just plug into the cable hookup and search for channels? Our little rabbit ears worked fine when we lived 3 miles away, but they're not picking up a thing now. We have a very large one on the roof and there is a weird outlet in our family room - it's a yellow plate (old) with two small, round prongs sticking out of it - could this be the old antenna input? I know nothing about this stuff!

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Old 09-11-2011, 11:43 PM   #2
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Roof antenna?


Yes, you should be able to use it. Trace the wires in the bedroom and connect to tv.

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Old 09-12-2011, 07:19 AM   #3
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Roof antenna?


Sounds like an old analog antenna with a 300 ohm cable downlead. While you might be able to addapt it to connect to a TV with a 75 ohm coax cable input, I doubt that it would work well with an all digital TV broadcast signal.

Get a new made for digital antenna and new cabling to the TV.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:30 AM   #4
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Roof antenna?


Antenna are not anlaog or digital. They pick all signals. The exact same antenna is used for digital tv as old analog TV.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:39 AM   #5
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Roof antenna?


Okay. This seems pretty simple. So how do I "run cable?" Just the basic cable hookup that's coming out of the wall? Clearly I need to get up on the roof and see how this all comes together...I think I'll send my DH up there tonight to see how it looks and we'll go from there. Someone on FB said that I might need a cable box? Where do I get that?
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:50 AM   #6
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Roof antenna?


You do not need a cable box but you may need a digital converter box depending on the age of your TV.

If you reuse the old antenna, you need a 300 ohm to 75 ohm balun (transformer) to connect to the antenna. TV 75 ohm coax cable long enough to route from the roof to the TV location.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:41 AM   #7
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Roof antenna?


The cable hookup wall plate can be commandeered for use with your antenna after the far end of the wiring (coax cable) perhaps up on an exterior wall is disconnected from Comcast or Verizon or whomever's cable system.

It is possible that you need a "better" antenna to get the same stations you used to get on your old TV. But only trial (and error) will find that out. Don't confuse not working because the stations are too far away with not working because you also need a converter box.

It is possible that it works okay with one TV but not with several TV's using a splitter. If the signal from the antenna is too weak then it is possible to get a booster (box requiring AC power) to connect between the antenna and the rest of the coax cabling going through the walls and to your living room.

The TV does not need a "over the air digital converter box" if the tuner (channel selector) is rated ATSC as opposed to just NTSC. Converter boxes rated CECB are not "high" definition but will work with HDTV's.

A "cable box" normally does not work with an antenna although a few may deliver channels 2 through 13. The number in a station's logo is usually not the same as the actual channel number.

**** caution, nitty gritty details follow ****

First you need to get from two screw terminals (300 ohm connections) on an older antenna to the press on or screw on plug (75 ohm) with thin pin in the middle attached to the end of the cable going into the wall and coming out at the wall plate in your living room. A variety of baluns are available, the best one for use up on the roof is shaped like a short fat kindergarten crayon with a stud to attach the cable end plug to at one extreme end and two wires usually with spade lugs coming out the other end to screw onto the antenna screw terminals.

For a living room wall plate with two screw terminals instead of one coax stud you get the balun shaped like the end of your thumb with two screws and one press on socket on the side with a thin pin. Use a piece of twin lead (300 ohm; older style) antenna cable to get from the wall plate to the TV. Press the balun onto the antenna stud on the back of the TV.

For some hookups you will need another piece, a gender bender that is nothing but two (female) studs back to back, press the thumb shaped balun (male) onto one end and screw (or press) the cable plug end (male) onto the other end of the gender bender.

Do not use a splitter to play only the role of a gender bender. You will get only half or a quarter or whatever split of the signal coming through even when the other ports on the splitter are not being used.

You may also need an extra piece of (75 ohm) coax cable to reach the antenna. Connecting this to the existing cable using a gender bender as described above. Or you can use a piece of (300 ohm) twinlead cable from the antenna to reach where the coax cable out of the side of the house ends.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 09-12-2011 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:07 AM   #8
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Roof antenna?


Quote:
Originally Posted by joed View Post
Antenna are not anlaog or digital. They pick all signals. The exact same antenna is used for digital tv as old analog TV.
Just a small refinement to your statement, the digital signals which are broadcasted today are better received with an UHF antenna, as the signal travels on a vertical plane, as opposed to the old analog VHF signal which travels more on a horizontal plane.

Here is a web site where you can find which direction to point the antenna and what channels you can expect to receive

http://www.tvfool.com/

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Old 09-12-2011, 11:57 AM   #9
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Roof antenna?


The majority of TV stations nowadays are on UHF channels (actual 14-51) so a roof antenna should have a UHF section. A few stations use VHF channels (actual 2-13) for which the larger VHF section still works best. Usually it is necessary to use a combiner (or a UHF/VHF/FM splitter connected backwards) to get both UHF and VHF signals down one cable into the house.

Slightly better signal transmission is had running separate UHF and VHF cables if you have both UHF and VHF channels. This can be cumbersome and you may have to forego it when you have just one set of in-wall cables leading to wall plates.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 09-12-2011 at 12:00 PM.
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