Rooftop TV Antenna problem

mmichaelkJanuary 16, 2007

Living in the Stone Age as I still am, I have a 25-inch Sony CRT TV with no cable, but a rooftop antenna which up until now, brought in stations just fine. One night, stations 2,4,7 & 9 refused to come in -- just lots of snow. The UHF stations came in just fine.

When I put on my VCR and use it as an antenna, the VHF stations come in perfectly as before, so I'm guessing the problem is with my rooftop antenna, not the TV set. I checked all the connections at the inside rotor control and to the outside and everything is connected as it should. The rotor has the antenna turning as it should also.

I"m guessing that perhaps a wire or something from the actual VHF antenna arms itself may have come loose or worse, broken. Sound plausible? I checked with binoculars but couldn't see anything. It's 20 degrees out and my roof is covered with ice. Could it possibly be anything else or do I have to wait for warmer days to go up there and see if it's a broken wire? Suggestions? Thanks.

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When I put on my VCR and use it as an antenna, the VHF stations come in perfectly as before, so I'm guessing the problem is with my rooftop antenna, not the TV set.

I don't follow. What is serving as the antenna for the VCR? If nothing, then you shouldn't need an antenna for the TV. If there is an antenna (the antenna), then it points to a problem with the TV tuner, since obviously a good signal is getting to the tuner. What am I missing?

The other thing you might be able to do now is to inspect the antenna cable where it enters the house (assuming it's not the attic, and maybe even then you could check from inside the attic.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 8:21AM
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You can test the cable in a couple of seconds. Just disconnect the antenna cable from the IN jack at the back of the VCR, and plug it directly to the TV. By doing this, you are bypassing the VCR.

Did the problem happen one time, or is it still happening? Is it possible that it happened just when you rotated the antenna?

You will have to get on top of the house when it's safe, and check the transformer's connections at the antenna. The transformer has two leads and wire terminals. The two terminals are connected to the antenna, and the other end of the transformer is connected to the 75 Ohm antenna cable. Make sure that those connections are clean and tight. WARNING: to be on the safe side, disconnect the antenna rotor from the electrical outlet before you get on the roof, and also don't get too close to the commercial power line.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 12:08AM
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Sorry for the delay in responding, but I'm dealing with a houseful of sick kids.

I tried hooking up the antenna cable directly to the TV and got the same "static/no picture" for VHF only as before, so I'm assuming it must be a connection problem with the antenna on the roof. The point of entry into the house is still intact (it's one continuous length of coax), so that leaves a connection from the VHF portion of my antenna as the probable culprit. Correct?

Steve_O, I have no clue why the the VCR is functioning as an antenna, but it is. I have the aforementioned problem, yet when I turn the VCR on and put the TV in Video mode (using the VCR remote for switching channels) I get a great picture for VHF. I have the antenna coax line running into the VCR and then into the TV set. When it was working, I could tune in stations (even weak ones) with the antenna, depending on where I rotated it, whether or not the VCR was on. But even back then, if the antenna was at a less than optimal position for a VHF station, as long as the VCR was on and the TV in Video mode, I'd still get a great picture. I just assumed there was some sort of electronic antenna built into my VCR (Panasonic) or it was somehow using my house wiring as a giant antenna. Strange.

Anyway, guess I'm going to have to wait until it thaws out a bit before I can inspect it up there unless anyone can think of anything else to try. Thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 9:48PM
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If you press the VIDEO/TV button on the VCR remote to link the TV to the VCR, then you can change the TV channels with the VCR. This is normal. Also, if you can then view the channels (controlled with the VCR), there is no reason why you cannot see the channels with the VRC turned off, because all the connections are fine.

Try this:

a. Turn the VCR and the TV on, but don't put a tape in the VCR.

b. Turn the TV to whatever channel you used to synchronize both the VCR and TV, be it channel 3 or channel 4.

c. Press the VCR remote's TV/VIDEO button to link the VCR to the TV.

d. Change the TV channels using the VCR.

Is the TV working fine now? If so, do the following first:

1. Press the TV/Video button on the VCR's remote to unlink the TV from the VCR.

2. Turn the VCR OFF.

3. Switch the TV channels with the TV's remote.

If the TV is still having the same problem, then do the following: Set-up the channel list for the area where you live, by letting the TV to "auto-program" itself. The TV will automatically scan through all the channels in your area, and this may take several minutes. Then you will have to manually remove(with the TV remote), those channels that show static or the ones you don't want, and leave alone those that you want to watch.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 12:29AM
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yes most VCR's have boosters in them that improve your reception. since you can get all your vhf and uhf stations when using the vcr just use it that way until you have time to go out on the roof when its warm and sunny.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 2:56PM
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