Ditching the dish; seeking OTA acvice

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Old 12-10-14, 05:18 PM
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Ditching the dish; seeking OTA acvice

I ordered my directtv disconnected today and I'm going OTA. I tested the 30-odd year old pre-digital TV antenna and got even more channels, in HD no less, that I had hoped for. Enough, in fact, to make Mama happy (on balance, in light of the $100 a month savings). But I need some advice from folks with antenna TV experience.

#1, Am I saving myself long-term heartache if I replace the twin lead cable (which runs from the wingnut terminals on the antenna and terminates in the living room) with coax. IOW, coax all the way from the antenna into the house? On the one hand, back in the stone ages, the twin lead cable was always the weak link in the system. OTOH, it's survived as is at least 20 years, and if I disconnect it, I'll never get all the corrosion on the connectors lined up as perfectly as it is now, so why mess widdit? Yes? No? Maybe?

#2, Is there a rule of thumb regarding how far OTA signal can travel by cable before an amplifier is necessary? From the top of the antenna to the furthest TVs, I'm looking at a cable run of about 100 feet. I intend buying the digital-audio converters online, and if an amplifier is likely to be necessary, I'll just throw one in to save on the shipping.


Tips and advice also are welcome.
 
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Old 12-10-14, 06:21 PM
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Twin lead has it's good and bad points. If it is properly secured and you are getting an acceptable picture, I would leave it alone. The twin lead actually acts as an extension of the antenna and has low signal loss.
 
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Old 12-12-14, 01:55 PM
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I'm strictly OTA now and trying to resolve some reception problems.

When I was making the switch, I jury rigged the grounding receptacle (lightning strike protection) salvaged from the directtv installation to the antenna wire. I wrapped the copper grounding wire around the threaded coax connector on the twin lead-coax adapter and wrapped the other end around a copper pipe.



Question 1: Could the grounding be 'bleeding off' signal strength? Am I diminishing the signal that reaches the TVs by grounding the adapter in such a fashion?
Question 2: Since the TV antenna already is grounded to the earth, was there any point to the jury-rigged ground? It kinda struck me on a whim while I was under the house and saw what parts I had available, and I didn't think until later that the original antenna never had any such grounding.
 
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Old 12-12-14, 03:06 PM
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Do you have twinlead from the antenna to the TV ? I see that adapter in the picture.

Your antenna mast should be grounded not the twinlead line. If you were using coax from the antenna down then you could use a coax grounding block.

To answer your question directly.... yes.... connecting the ground to that adapter will degrade your reception.
 
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Old 12-12-14, 03:17 PM
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Yeah, on account of goldstar's response to my OP, I left the twin lead running from the antenna to inside the house. It's attached to the adapter, which I grounded to a water line, then the coax runs from the adapter to the original directtv splitter. And a couple of the stations I was expecting to be the strongest are pixelated, and cut in and out. On the TV's signal strength meter, they get barely more than one bar.

By asking here I was hoping to avoid another spelunking session. Several, actually, since I would need to check the signal strength with and without. So's now I'll suit up and go disconnect my grounding.

Thanks for the help!
 
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Old 12-12-14, 03:59 PM
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Signal strengths look to be 2x-3x what they were when I had the adapter grounded, according to the TV's strength meter. Thanks for the advice. Dunno what made me think an antenna that never had had lightning strike protection all the sudden should need it.
 
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