"Set-top box man" was on the phone asking me about buying a new
splitter for his antenna.
I looked them up for him and discovered
that nearly all of them used
the new “F” connectors.
This was fine if you also purchased a crimping tool to put
the connectors onto the cables...
A bit impractical if it is the one and only time
the tool would be used!
I then spied an alternative in the Jaycar catalog.
an R.F. amplifier with an in-built splitter, this too had “F”
connectors but as
a bonus, had adapters supplied with it for the older Belling Lee
nominated this as his best option…
The 12dB of gain would certainly be useful in
his set up.
subsequently purchased this unit and installed it himself in place of
It seemed to improve his reception.
He showed off his handiwork to us
when we visited.
Yes, he had neatly wired in the unit under his house and
everything was fine, until… He mentioned that the little T.V. in the
I hadn’t noticed anything previously.
I had to investigate the
I thought of 2 possibilities as I was ushered inside….
Mains hum in
the R.F. modulator (a sick filter cap maybe?), or good old fashioned
Buzz” which used to be a pain in the old valve monochrome T.V. sets
fine tuning wasn’t set correctly. (No Automatic Frequency Control in
tuners in those days!)
switched everything on and I could only just hear the buzzing when I
put my ear
right up to the set.
It was at its worst when high contrast commercials with
white text presented themselves.
That was Frame Buzz alright!
What to do about it?
I tried re-tuning his
T.V. but I couldn’t improve it, and this particular set didn’t have
I told him there were 3 ways to improve the situation.
(and preferable) solution was to swap this T.V. with his wife’s
This languished in the garage, was hardly used, and was a lot newer.
external Audio and Video inputs and would be ideal.
I mentioned this to
him… "No!.. No way!"
"Ask your wife about it!" … "No!"
(As I get older in life I’ve found
that most people seem to be normal… until you get to know them!)
Option number 2…
Use an old V.C.R. as an R.F. modulator.
This would improve the
buzzing as the R.F. circuitry in V.C.R.’s is usually better.
I even offered a
good working unit (one of the units mentioned in Workbench no. 4).
This also would
allow him to watch VHS movies in bed!…
His answer to this was just as curt… "No!
3…Another R.F. modulator. I knew Jaycar sold them for about $25.
purchased one and found a suitable plug-pack to run it.
I then made an
appointment to hook it up a couple of days later.
This was postponed to over a
week later but I finally managed to connect it up.
The result was much worse than the
old R.F. modulator!
Back to the original one!
I mentioned options 1 and 2
again… "No way!"
I told him there was nothing else I could do.
As Jaycar only had a 7
day refund policy, I was also now stuck with an R.F. modulator.
(Luckily it could be used later to help a friend out with his 1975
vintage T.V. set!)
didn’t hear any more about his T.V. set for a couple of months..
I thought he
had learned to accept the situation.
I could hardly hear the buzz in any case.
time I visited his place was to borrow a pop rivet gun.
He then offered me my
set-top box back and asked me to re-tune his telly in the bedroom.
his wife had “mucked up” all the (analog) channels.
( More likely HE mucked
them up!) I was shocked, surprised and very angry.
I was so close to telling
him to shove his T.V., however, I kept my cool (only just!) and
reinstated the 4
analog stations on his rotten little T.V. set!
probably won’t be long before he’ll want digital T.V. again.
After I regained
my temper I thought that I would get another T.V. set with external
Video inputs for him.
The tip shop had a good one, a bit bigger than his 34cm
It had the right remote control with it and it had stereo sound.
price was $15… I didn’t haggle!
cleaned it up, repaired the remote control and it is now waiting to be
to his place when I return the pop rivet gun.
He also wants me to fix the fuel
gauge in his car while I am there.
I haven’t told him about the T.V. set yet.
have a feeling that he won’t want it… Let me guess… ”It’s too big!” or
“ I don’t
like the shape/ colour/ smell or sound!”
this scenario proves to be the case… I’ve got a plan B this time!
I will vow
NEVER to have anything to do with this man again!
I will also give the T.V. to
my friend with the 1975 T.V. (It is so old it has a turret tuner for
HE will appreciate it, HE will not complain and HE will be able to
enjoy digital T.V. on a
I made a calculation about my friend's current set…
Assuming he watches it 4
hours a day. Over 34 years it has notched up about
I think he needs a newer set!
Until next time … Bye
© Rick's Workbench 2010