How to Fix Your Outdoor TV Antenna

Written by stephen benham
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How to Fix Your Outdoor TV Antenna
If your television picture has deteriorated, you might need to fix your outdoor antenna. (antenna image by Madrider from Fotolia.com)

If you notice a deterioration in your TV picture and have checked to make sure your antenna is positioned correctly, then it's likely the coaxial wire connections need fixing. The connections of outdoor TV antennas can corrode, reducing the signal from your antenna to your TV.

There are two ways wires connect to your outdoor TV antenna: a coaxial plug inserted in a coaxial socket, or directly by using screw fittings. Both methods are moderately easy.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Knife
  • Wire strippers
  • Coaxial plug
  • Screwdriver
  • Wire brush

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Remove the plastic cover protecting the wiring box from the base of the outdoor TV antenna and unplug the coaxial plug. Brush the inside of the wiring box with a wire brush if it shows signs of corrosion.

  2. 2

    Cut the coaxial cable cleanly at a point a few inches from the end. Ensure that the cable appears new at the place you cut it. If not, cut a little more of the cable. Discard the cable and coaxial plug. Always fit a new coaxial plug.

  3. 3

    Remove a 1/2-inch of the outer plastic covering from the coaxial cable with a sharp knife or wire strippers to reveal the wire braiding. Push the wire braiding up the coaxial cable with your fingers until it forms a neat ring at the neck of the outer plastic. The plastic insulated central core will be visible.

  4. 4

    Strip 1/4-inch off the plastic insulated central core with a knife or wire strippers to expose the central wire. Unscrew the cap from your new coaxial plug. Check that you have three components: cap, small metal clamp and main coaxial plug.

  5. 5

    Slide the coaxial cap over the cable, threaded end facing the end of the wire. Slightly open the metal clamp with your fingers and slide it over the cable so the open end covers the wire braiding completely. Squeeze the clamp tight with your fingers or use electrical pliers. Snip off any strands of exposed wire braiding with a knife.

  6. 6

    Insert the coaxial cable into the hollow pin of the main plug until the metal clamp sits on the outer flange. Slide the cap down the coaxial cable then screw it on the main plug. Insert the coaxial plug in the wiring box and replace the plastic cover. Turn on your TV to check that your antenna is fixed.

  1. 1

    Remove the plastic cover protecting the wiring box from the base of the outdoor TV antenna. There are two wires attached to the terminal by two screws. Note which wire goes to each terminal then unscrew the screws enough to release the old wiring. Brush the inside of the wiring box with a wire brush if it shows signs of corrosion.

  2. 2

    Cut a couple of inches off the end of the coaxial cable with a sharp knife or wire strippers. Check to make sure the cable looks new, and if it doesn't, then cut a little more off. Strip 1/2-inch off the outer plastic of the coaxial cable with a knife or wire strippers to reveal the wire braiding. Use a knife to cut the wire braiding the long way from the outer plastic down to the end of the cable.

  3. 3

    Peel the wire braiding away from the coaxial cable and twist to form a length of wire. The plastic insulated core is visible. Strip 1/4-inch off the insulated plastic with a knife or wire strippers to reveal the central wire.

  4. 4

    Using the wiring note you made earlier, attach the bare wire braiding of the coaxial cable to the same terminal as you removed it from and screw tightly. As a guide, it usually is the larger of the two screws and may be labelled "ground." Attach the central wire of the coaxial cable to the other terminal and screw tightly. Check both wires are firmly fixed.

  5. 5

    Replace the plastic cover on the wiring box. Turn on your TV to check that you have fixed your outdoor TV antenna.

Tips and warnings

  • If there isn't a noticeable improvement in your picture quality, check the coaxial plug that fits into your TV receiver. If it is loose or shows signs of wear, remove and fit a new coaxial plug using the steps in Section 1.
  • You also can improve picture quality by purchasing and fitting an antenna booster.

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