I'm planning on installing an FM aerial and using it to "feed" some sockets
around the house. I don't have TV so it will be FM only.
I've already worked out which aerial is suitable. It's a small Ron Smith
aerial and a fair amount of the planning is done. I do however have some
questions which some here might be interested in answering.
(a) Can you recommmend a source of low loss coax cable? Ron Smith
(Luton, Beds) sells it and that is the most likely source on this
occasion, but I don't think Ron Smith will be selling it for very
long as he is selling off the last of his stock as the Ron Smith
business is shut down unfortunately :( I am going to get all I
need for the first part of my coax installation but there'll be
more in the future for more sockets and so it would be good to
know of a different source. For all I know the stuff in the big
DIY stores is very low loss of course but no doubt someone here
can inform me.
(b) In the past I've always just put the coaxial plugs on the end of
the cable without solder but soldering is recommended in what I've
read so far for good stable connections. I can easily work out how
to solder the inner of the coax, but do people solder the outer
(shielding) and if so what to? Are there plugs better suited to
(c) My next question is about burying the cables in walls. Do people
normally just chisel a trough in the wall, put the cable in it,
and then fill it, effectively sealing the cable in, or do people
use a conduit of some sort?
(d) I've looked at some amplifiers at the Maplin web-site. Although
the signal strength is good in my area I might be splitting the
signal up quite a lot as my house gets more populated with radios.
It looks like the mast head amplifiers are only for UHF, judging
by what's available at Maplins, is that the case that mast head
amps are for TV only? Does anyone have any experience of
amplifiers suitable for FM? Is there a source for them other than
Maplins on the net?
(e) Years ago someone told me that even if a radio doesn't have an
aerial socket an external aerial can be used by simply using a
crocodile clip to attach the cable inner to the aerial of the
radio. Is this true? It seems to make sense to me actually.
(f) One of the radios I will be supplying with this small network is
the new Tivoli Clock Radio. Lovely it is too! I notice that with
the American instructions there is a paragraph on the subject of
grounding an external aerial this is to provide protection some
protection against voltage surges and built-up static charges.
They even have quite an elaborate diagram including things like an
"antenna discharge unit" and a "power service grounding electrode
system". Is this grounding of the aerial something to be concerned
You might be amused to know that included in the instructions for the Tivoli
Clock Radio is this bit of advice:
"Do not place this product on an unstable cart, stand, tripod, bracket or
table. The product may fall, causing serious damage to a child or adult, and
serious damage to the product."