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Thread: Need antenna help

  1. #1

    Need antenna help

    Hi there -- I just joined here because I have a rooftop antenna that has become un-adjusted. I purchasing the antenna from RadioShack local store about 3 years ago, and had it installed by a man they recommended. I live in NW Arkansas, 72712.

    Everything worked fine until last night. Heard a close lightning strike, and lost some channels (actually, the only ones that matter to me - PBS). TV works great and I get most of my old channels, but lots of new channels now from the west. PBS beams from the southeast of where I live. So I think the antenna was bumped off course during the storm.

    I have called the man who installed it, but no response. Local Radio Shack has gone out of business. Called one in another town and they have no recommendation on who to call.

    Question: Is there a main database of folks who do TV antenna install work? I need to find someone who can re-adjust the settings. I have a son-in-law who is very handy, but we don't know which piece to adjust or how. Any advice appreciated.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Really there arent a lot of antenna installers because most people do it themselves. However if you or a friend are able to get up on the roof you will find it's very easy to replace an antenna.

    My suspicion is the electronics in the antenna shorted but it's also possible it just needs to be rotated a little bit.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Sweet View Post
    Really there arent a lot of antenna installers because most people do it themselves. However if you or a friend are able to get up on the roof you will find it's very easy to replace an antenna.

    My suspicion is the electronics in the antenna shorted but it's also possible it just needs to be rotated a little bit.
    I am thinking we could try nudging it a bit to the southeast to see what happens. It is on a fixed stand, so it could not have moved much.

    How could we tell if electronics are shorted out? Would this affect one kind of channel but not the others? I got an app called TV Antenna Helper that shows the missing channels as "Hi-V". The others that I still have are called UHF.

  4. #4
    This is very helpful information. It is possible the "balun" has shorted out or part of the antenna has become disconnected. If someone goes up on the roof and inspects it for loose wires that may help figure things out.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Sweet View Post
    This is very helpful information. It is possible the "balun" has shorted out or part of the antenna has become disconnected. If someone goes up on the roof and inspects it for loose wires that may help figure things out.
    OK. My son-in-law can probably do it. I will report back with what we find. Thanks.

  6. #6
    My son-in-law got up there today and checked all the connections. Everything seemed tight, no evidence of damage. The antenna was loose a bit on the pole, so he shifted a bit to the SE and I re-scanned the channels - still no PBS, which is real channel 9, the only channel we get on Hi-V.

    I believe we have eliminated a couple things:
    1. Another station that I get OK is on nearly the same degree as the missing channel, so I think we are pointed SE correctly enough. Missing is 165 degrees, the channel I get is 164 - not too much different?
    2. I tested the preamp by unplugging the interior electrical and an existing channel disappeared as it should, So I think it's ok.

    We are going to try replacing the balun next, just to see if something is wrong with it. QUESTION: I have a RadioShack High-Gain Preamp #1500289. Are balun universal, or will I need a certain one? I have seen the term "matching transformer' related to this, so I am not sure what I need.

    Thanks.

  7. #7
    Baluns are often unique to the antenna.

  8. #8
    Do they come with the antenna, or the preamp?

  9. #9
    They are part of the antenna.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Sweet View Post
    They are part of the antenna.
    I guess that means I need to replace the whole antenna in order to replace the balun, since I have no idea what antenna I have. The guy who installed it did not leave any documentation, and my S-I-L did not see any identification on it. RadioShack three years ago, that's about all I know except it's a UHF/VHF model. It looks very much like a discontinued "AntennaCraft UHF/High-Band VHF Outdoor HDTV Antenna", but they all kinda ook the same. Paid about $75 for it.

    Question: Does the overall length of the boom correlate with the distance it can handle? My PBS station tower is about 45 miles south of here, on a mountain and flat between us. Should I look for one that duplicates the length? Or what mile rating should I use -- is there a margin added to the miles needed?

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