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How can I hookup my antenna to cable/coax box?

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Old 03-18-2011, 02:34 PM   #1
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Default How can I hookup my antenna to cable/coax box?

Hello,

Hoping someone could give me some idea or suggestion based on these photos.

We just switched from our tube TV to our first HDTV (40"). We never had cable of any kind and just used rabbit ears. But now with the new HDTV I'd like to get nice and clean reception for the digital channels, so I decided I'd like to hookup a small antenna outside. I was hoping I don't have to drill extra holes into the house because we already have a couple of cables going inside, so instead, I could hookup the antenna to one of these coax.

We have Fios internet but we DO NOT have Fios TV or any other cable, dish, etc. The main coax cable goes from the Fios box into this cable box, and then the cables are going inside the house (5 all together).

There is 1 free dangling coax cable with a male connector that just hangs outside. I connected the antenna to this free one first, but didn't do nothing.

I've made 2 pictures (1920x1080 size) of the cable box and labeled the cables. Could anyone by any chances based on these photos have any idea which cable could I hook up the antenna?

I know that the Fios internet is coming into the house via a coax, which is connected to our modem. Since looking at the photos, the main cable is coming from the Fios box, not sure if I can hookup the antenna to any of these at all. We only have 1 TV and the previous owner of the house had a huge entertainment system, so maybe that's why we have so many cables, but I can disconnect any which is not needed. I'd just like a simple antenna hooked up.

If anyone could suggest something based on this photos, I'd appreciate it (especially if it would work).

Thanks!

The photos: Photo1 and Photo2
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:42 PM   #2
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So you have a free coax running to where your TV is and trying to find out where the other end of it is? And hoping the free cable outside was the other end, but appears not to be? Did you trace the line to the indise wall going out? If so do it appear to go through the complex of other coax cables?

When you connected that cable up to your Tv and antenna, did you do a scan for digital and analog channels? What type of antenna is it and was it being pointed twords the trasmitter? Zipcode?
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Old 03-18-2011, 04:09 PM   #3
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I don't know how to trace the lines behind the walls where they are going to. Are there any tools?
(EDIT: Actually I just searched and found this. Is this -or anything similar - will work I assume?)

I've punched in our location using that .... whats-the-name (http://www.antennaweb.org)... website and positioned the antenna towards about 200 degrees, based on the recommendation. Did not fixed the antenna yet, since I'm just testing.

Yes, I did rescan after hooking up the antenna I got.

Last edited by gmoss; 03-18-2011 at 04:15 PM. Reason: added URLs
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:37 AM   #4
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The cable chaser is overkill. Just try the other cables one at a time and see if one works. The cable in the main viewing room is probably hooked up to the splitter, as the previous resident was using Fios? Right?

I'll let others comment on the antenna choice.
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Old 03-19-2011, 08:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Spastic View Post
The cable chaser is overkill. Just try the other cables one at a time and see if one works. The cable in the main viewing room is probably hooked up to the splitter, as the previous resident was using Fios? Right?

I'll let others comment on the antenna choice.
===========================================--

To gmoss,

Some unknown installers have already drilled a number of holes into your house, using cables that may or may not be suitable for Over the Air reception (OTA), such as RG-6 that are known good for excellent television OTA reception.

You have tried at least one of these cables and found it unsuitable for OTA reception. You can try all other pre drilled alternates to see if they are equally bad, or alternately you may find at least one that marginally works.

But how can you find out if any of your pre drilled cable alternates preform as well as RG-6 coax, basically the coax of choice for OTA television reception?

And there I suggest the solution is obvious, don't drill a singe hole because houses have things called windows and doors. (1) Open window and or door, remove screen, connect RG-6 cable to outside antenna, and then connect other end of RG-6 cable to television. Scan TV and see what you can get and chart. That is your best you can do scenario with existing antenna. (2) Then systematically try all your pre drilled cables, connect one end to antenna and other end to the television, Scan TV and chart. Some might be totally unsuitable for OTA reception, others may not be totally unsuitable for OTA reception, but can any do as well as the RG-6? If a pre drilled cable can, you are done, just use that preexisting cable.

If not, take the worst pre drilled cable, get wire cutters, cut cable, and yank it out. Which leaves behind, guess what, a pre drilled hole you can thread RG-6 cable through.

After the correct cabling is chosen, we can go on to the more correct Sam Spastic question, what is your best OTA antenna system choice at your location?
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Last edited by NonMcTubber; 03-19-2011 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:30 PM   #6
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Hi All,

Thanks for all the responses, especially for hinting the coax probe tool. I went to home depot and got a small one (Klein Tools) for 25 bucks. Worked really well. Took me less than 3 minutes to find out which cable goes where.

The antenna I bought did not work really well, so I got this one from target and placed it indoor on our second floor (TV is on the first floor).

The reception is surprisingly good using this tiny antenna (but I know it depends a lot on your location and other factors.) We got 21 crystal clear digital channels. I probably could saved the 25 bucks for the coax probe tool, but I don't mind, since it worked fast, and I'd probably pay more for one month of cable. So it paid off.

Thanks guys!
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:38 PM   #7
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Bumping this one up from the grave. I just moved about 6 miles (straight line distance) to a condo in the Cleveland area. Had been on the 4th floor of an apartment building.
In the apartment, I was using a Terk HDTVa antenna mounted to my balcony railing. Got all the locals I wanted in fantastic quality. tvfool says that I'll have slightly worse reception here, but it should still work.
I tried the 'open the window' suggestion that NonMcTubber made in post #5, and everything came in pretty well.

Now, the tricky part.
The cable utility box at the back of my place is even more confusing than the OP's. There are 2 3-way splitters and 1 2-way splitter. One of the cables runs to my cable modem (found that by unplugging one at a time and checking the modem lights). This leaves me with 5 possible feeds entering the house. Once inside, the previous owners had several splitters in use (I've found two so far, possibly more hidden in other closets). I'm not even sure if the wall jack I'm plugged into is original or not. I've tried plugging the antenna into each of those 5 one at a time, and trying the TV, but nothing carried a signal. I'm planning on stopping at Home Depot after work tomorrow and picking up a coax tester so I can start tracking and labeling the rats nest at the utility box. Any other ideas?
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:54 PM   #8
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The only thing I can say is that in my case, the 25 bucks I spent on the tester saved a lot of aggravation.
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:45 AM   #9
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I picked up the same on yesterday. So far, the one jack that I want to use is the the only one in the house that doesn't seem to be connected to anything... figures haha

Two of the lines at the back of the house tested that they're feeding the same terminal. Any idea how that could happen?
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbreadman04 View Post
Two of the lines at the back of the house tested that they're feeding the same terminal. Any idea how that could happen?
The previous residents added a splitter? Maybe they added a joiner too
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