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post #1 of 4 Old 05-08-2012 Thread Starter
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TV antenna splitter

There was a time a few seasons ago that I thought my TV antenna just didn't work. No signal. I then realized that there is a splitter than allows it to be the antenna for the FM radio as well. To send a signal to the TV, the FM radios have to be off. So I tried it and got a few stations. Amazing what a little knowledge with do. We don't watch much TV.

However, the signal is wildly unreliable and its either all in or all out, so I think its the splitter. I understand that digital TV is more in or out, but its clear that I am getting no signal from any channel or I'm getting a few channels.

How do these things work and do they go bad? I did find it tucked behind the nav station and could just replace it. It has 12v power going to it as well. I'm just not sure how to diagnose the problem.

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post #2 of 4 Old 05-08-2012
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Re: TV antenna splitter

They have stopped brodcasting in an analouge signal , if you do not have a digital antena you should get one, it will pick up many more stations. as for the 12 volts going to it sounds like a booster of sorts.
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post #3 of 4 Old 05-08-2012
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Re: TV antenna splitter

Just to clarify, there is no such thing as a digital antenna. Any good TV antenna will receive DTV signals. The difference is that most DTV signals are UHF (and some on the upper VHF band) while older antennas were basically VHF units as that's where most analog channels were. Newer antennas are optimized for UHF and upper VHF signals.

Most splitters are passive with no power to them. They do result in a signal loss however. With power to yours, it could be a switch (FM or TV) or an RF amplifier. Most likely the later as most of the omni-directional marine/RV antennas are of that type. Sounds like you just have a marginal signal, and with DTV is all or nothing. A better antenna would fix that.
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post #4 of 4 Old 05-08-2012
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Re: TV antenna splitter

What Jim said.

An active, powered splitter usually is meant for a VHF transmitter to share with something else. In order to prevent damage from the transmitter, the "split" is broken if the radio is powered on.

If you're using that for a plain FM radio and a TV, it is just the wrong equipment.

I'd suggest not wasting a lot of time or effort. For $20-25 you can buy a great "flat panel" DTV antenna from RCA and other companies, tuned for the new DTV signals. For less, you can buy an FM radio antenna, five bucks surplus from any car junkyard although there are plenty of web pages that will tell you how to use a couple of yards of spare wire to make your own that works just as well.

Since FM radio and DTV use different frequencies, really, two separate antennas is the way to go. Simple and effective and not very expensive at all.
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