This is Part 3 of the ‘Cord Cutter Curious’ series.
Having found an antenna placement sweet spot, the next move was to arrange for antenna connection to the living room TV. This clearly would require more thought and effort.
For that I spent time at the top of a ladder examining the different coax runs with the attic light bulb across the dusty insulation.
I was able to find a coax that ran from the living room near our TV, through the exterior wall, toward our garage around the multitude of service access boxes. From those boxes there were multiple runs of coax that clearly ran into the attic ultimately ending up in that spaghetti pile in the attic.
The idea was to mate the coax run from the living room with one of the attic coax runs and then connect it to another attic antenna.
After noodling the options, it became clear that I would need a little more than just a keen eye to unravel this. Checking online I wanted an inexpensive means of signal tracing and making my own coax.
A little online searching and I found a Klein Tools Coax tester kit and a kit for making coax cables (cutter, stripper, ferrules and crimper).
The tester kit included four color coded mail end points. I needed double sided female connectors to use when testing loose cables with the end points. The way it worked is you attached the color coded pieces on one end and apply the tester to another loose end (like in my spaghetti pile). The tester shows which color is on the far end and then you should mark that cord to remember where it terminates. In my case, I used painters tape with magic marker designating the far end from the attic.
After setting up the test end points, what I discovered is the majority of our upstairs bedrooms all had useable coax legs leading to the attic and meet at a few splitters. And I found one leg running down to the gathering of garage boxes. I also had some loose ends I could not identify their end point. This tester saved me hours of running back and forth with trial and error guess work.
I happened to have a diy fractal TV antenna that I mounted in the attic. I attached the cable that ran to the outside of the garage to the balun.
While outside the garage I found a cable running from the living room to the garage termination box as well. I attached that to the cable running to the diy antenna. The living room leg I attached to my living room tv.
The signal was phenomenal.
And that established the basis for my antenna feeds. I may set up more, but for now, that’s where I’ve started.