Help With Antenna in San Jose, CA


I am living in a house that has a pre-existing antenna. I am guessing it is about 20 ft above the ground (see pic). I was on the roof earlier to check it out. The cable is a bit kinked and weathered but I hooked it up to my TV and am able to get some stations, but a fraction of the stations in the green on TV Fool. There is a tree maybe 50-70 ft away with some light branches but after that it has a clear line of sight. I adjusted the orientation to 320 degrees.

TV Fool

Do I need to replace the coaxial cable? It does pull in stations but it is kinked in places.
Do I need any type of preamplification?

Tomorrow I am going to go back up on the roof and I'll take a pic of the sightline.

My expectations are basically to be able to pull in all stations in the green with the pre-existing antenna + replacing the cable if necessary and adding pre-amp (if necessary).

Thanks for any advice!



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Someone else just posted a pic of the same antenna today - it is a radio shack U-120xr. It's a decent short to medium range antenna. I would suggest replacing the cable with new RG6 coax and replacing the balun on the antenna for good measure. Often called a "matching transformer" a new balun will cost less than $5, it looks like this:

You shouldn't need an amp unless you have more than 100 ft of coax, or if you are split to more than 2 TV sets.
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With your TV fool report, and type of antenna in the photo you really should not have much problem with most of the stations in the green Something is killing your signal. Kinked coax needs replaced. Balun could have gone bad. Phasing lines on the antenna can cause problems if loose, shorted to the boom, or shorted where they cross if it is of that design. Bad coax connections. Too many splitters. Check everything. A small kink, or bend in the long VHF elements of the antenna is not likely to cause much of problem. Be careful if you try to straighten them. I covered most of the basic problems to look for. In a strong signal area a preamp is likely to create problems not solve them.


OK thanks for the advice....

I do not have a splitter and the cable is max 50 ft long. I will replace the cable and balun and post later this week when they arive with results... Thanks again.
The photo is not clear enough for me to be certain of the antenna make and model. Radio Shack VU-75 is most likely. That line of antenna with UHF corner reflector yagi coupled to a VHF Log periodic antenna was sold by Radio Shack for over 30 years starting in 1976.
1987 Radio Shack Catalog Low-res page 96 of 184
They were never known for their high quality, but they were widely available. I used a VU-90 for about 10 years until 2010 when I had to move. I had it on 15 feet of mast clamped to a fence post. Worked good right through the digital transition, and all the changes from low VHF to High VHF, and UHF. At times an arm strong rotor was required during the transition ( Large vice grips). After things settled down in 2009 it worked quite well at this location aimed at about 22 degrees magn.
TV Fool
The 2 VHF signals off the back side were strong enough. Very broad pattern low gain on VHF.
With a few wire ties, and a bit of epoxy to hold the VHF elements that old antenna could be put back to use.


Wow, Thanks for the advice guys, The town I grew up in wasn't wired for cable until ~92 because of zoning (2 acres between each house). It's possible I had something similar on my roof a long time a go.....I will take a pic soon, thanks...


Wow, can't belive it has been 3 months. I finally got to this today after buying a ladder. Went to Home Depot and they did not sell baluns so I bought a coax outlet, a 50 ft and a 25 ft piece of coax. I ran the 25 from the antenna to the outlet, and the 50 from the outlet to the bedroom. Still furnishing so eventually will just run the 25 and a small piece in the living room. I receive pretty much everything in the green plus many other stations. Looking forward to watching football tomorrow on NBC and CBS with the 1080i reception, I like it much better than the 720p...

I would say I have exceeded my expectations in terms of picture quality and what I expected to receive.

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