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Would I fry a boom box radio if I put a tv antenna on it? Answered

Would it fry the radio if I attached an old tv antenna to a radio? I have already attached a loooong antenna to it, but I need moremoremore!

38 Replies

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Goodhart (author)2008-04-16

Believe me, a direct strike, one that has already traveled about a mile or so, can jump a fuse it need be :-)

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tech-king (author)Goodhart2008-04-17

they could, but a fast blow fuse is a good precaution. especially if the antenna is nocked into power lines by the wind ...

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Goodhart (author)tech-king2008-04-17

Oh, I agree, I am not suggesting NOT including them as they would stop most "surges" for sure, and is great for those. But, in the unlikely event of a direct hit...well you might as well start looking at catalog's in search of replacement equipment...unless you can afford decent lightning arresters or possibly lightning rods one's antenna can still "charge" in the proper circumstance and become lethal. Good grounding practice helps here too.

Lightning rods, set up properly, are great, because they are literally there to dissipate the buildup of a charge potential, not necessarily to redirect a direct strike.

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tech-king (author)Goodhart2008-04-17

ive also heard of people using isolation transformers to protect their stuff. another good idea, especially for hams, it to set your equipement up so that the antenna has a relay. when the equipement is enegised, the relay closes and the antenna is connected. when the radio is off, the antenna is no longer connected to the radio. instead, it goes to a ground.

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Goodhart (author)tech-king2008-04-17

ARRL & QST both have a lot of information on Lightning protection, especially for the HAM. (ah the good ole days, when I fooled around with a little 5 watter LOL).

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tech-king (author)Goodhart2008-04-18

great link. a bit off topic, but i also need some radio help im working on a radio project, and need some help. im planning on putting a fuse between the antenna, and the delicate fet first stage of the radio. im wondering what value fuse i should use ( i know it needs to be quick blow). the radio is meant to operate on the am band, if its any help. any idea what value?

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Goodhart (author)tech-king2008-04-18

Fuses blow because of over-amperage, if I remember correctly. And you already know what can happen to a voltage sensitive device if the voltage spikes and the amperage does not.

Better would be a voltage sensitive configuration for voltage spikes, if that is what you are trying to protect against: One option, but if you are looking for something to break rather then just limit the voltage

But hopefully, this will shed some light on the issues at hand...be forewarned, this is a pdf file

OR you may find something in here to suit you :-)

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NachoMahma (author)2008-04-15

. It will not hurt your radio - unless it gets hit by lightning or falls into a power line. . Re receiving radio from Africa: FM, no way. AM broadcast band, maybe, if you're real lucky, but it will be a hit-and-miss affair (atmospheric conditions have to be just right) and you will need a directional antenna. SW, very possible.

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Lithium Rain (author)NachoMahma2008-04-15

Just kidding about Africa. I did wonder if I could get channels from hundreds of miles away though.

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user

Thanks for telling me NachoMahma-that was exactly what I needed to know. I'm gonna put it on!

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NachoMahma (author)Lithium Rain2008-04-15

. Keep in mind that, for optimal performance, an antenna needs to be a certain length - longer is not necessarily better. What length depends on the frequency. For what you're doing, it's probably not that big of a deal. Serious hams will have multiple antennae so they can select the one that works best in the band they are using at the time. . When transmitting, the wrong antenna CAN damage your equipment. For receiving, I don't think it's possible.

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ll.13 (author)NachoMahma2008-04-16

Do bigger antennas need powering? I tried rigging up a car radio(shed radio) to a tv aerial, but it didn't help one little bit (and currently I can only receive the local station (18miles away) that's with a 3 inch aerial....

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varmit (author)ll.132008-04-17

see the varmint post this date.

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varmit (author)2008-04-17

an old and I mean OLD radio pal of mine used to make up an antenna called a folded dipole (sp) simply a length of bare wire attached to the antenna leads of the needy radio. Length is up to you say 10-20 ft. just do not let the wire touch it self , that is keep it one big loop , any shape will do actually oh and and try an east -west or north south direction for best recepti oh yea ... no a TV antenna won't "fry " the radio. a radio signal has a best lenght of reception but good ole length will pull in weak signals K?? Varmit

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Goodhart (author)ll.132008-04-16

You are sure the radio hasn't a coiled antenna inside it? It may be "bigger" than 3 " :-)

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ll.13 (author)Goodhart2008-04-16

No, it's a single length of wire. =P

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Goodhart (author)ll.132008-04-17

I was just wondering, since many am/fm radios have the external antenna, and one coiled one in the inside.

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tech-king (author)2008-04-16

if you plan to put the antenna ouside/on a roof, install a fast blow fuse (not sure exact value) to protect against lightning.

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Lithium Rain (author)tech-king2008-04-16

I'm just gonna take it outside every now and then...I'm not gonna leave it outside or listen in the rain. But thanks.

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NachoMahma (author)ll.132008-04-16

. I think an antenna for FM (88-108MHz) needs to be about four feet long. Do some poking around at ARRL and you should be able to find the info you need.

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Goodhart (author)2008-04-16

IF by "tv antenna" you mean one that is used to send TV signals from station to station, you could possibly fry it, without the proper protection. The super large antenna one sees with fences around them are gathering enough energy to give one hang of a shock, if it didn't kill you outright.

But, if you mean the antenna on the top of the average home (in the 1960's-1980's) then no, but as Nacho mentions, such an antenna would be "outside" and subject to the electrostatic elements....a kind of lightening rod, but instead of dissipating a charge (as the original rods were meant to do) they would help gather excess charge during an electrical event like a thunder storm. At that point, ie a direct strike, one's only defense, beside unhooking it from the device (but leaving the ground line intact), are certain gas tube arresters and a few Direct strike arresters none of which are totally guaranteed to be completely effective.

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Lithium Rain (author)Goodhart2008-04-16

I just mean an old antenna that was on top of the house when we moved in. We have satellite so we took it down.

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tech-king (author)ll.132008-04-16

they should not. a bigger antenna receives a stronger signal from the station you tune into, but on the ham and am bands, will also receive more harmonics. fm is more or less exempt i believe

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LinuxH4x0r (author)2008-04-15

If you want international channels just get a satellite. I have one that was $200, with no monthly fees. It gets tv and radio. Right now its pointed to the middle east.

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LinuxH4x0r (author)Doctor What2008-04-15

here
This is the 2nd one we got. Our other one is in Minnesota, and has been working for around 7 years

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Doctor What (author)LinuxH4x0r2008-04-15

Which one is the best to get? And what type of "ethnic" channels do they recieve?

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LinuxH4x0r (author)Doctor What2008-04-15

Idk, my dad bought it.
Try this site to get an idea of whats on it.

http://livetvplanet.com/

I mostly watch the iranian channels

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Lithium Rain (author)2008-04-15

To get channels from Africa!!:-D Just wondered if it could be done.

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Doctor What (author)Lithium Rain2008-04-15

I don't think so... You can't get channels from africa. It doesn't really matter how tall your antenna is, the waves only go a certain distance.

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Lithium Rain (author)Doctor What2008-04-15

I'm just kidding about africa...and anyway, I had a radio that did get signals from all over the world.

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Doctor What (author)Lithium Rain2008-04-15

Really? I want one of those.

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Lithium Rain (author)Doctor What2008-04-15

Nope. Just a little handheld radio with a rather dinky antenna. I fried it by accidentally plugging in a wall adapter that was too high voltage. :(

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Doctor What (author)Lithium Rain2008-04-15

Awww. That sucks. Go onto ebay and find another one.

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Doctor What (author)2008-04-15

Why do you need a long long antenna?

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