How to Test an Antenna with a Multimeter

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Many individuals have grappled with cutting cable. Most cable TV services are costly and seem to be less famous as TV technology transforms. 

Streaming services are a good companion. However, what about TV channels? That’s a typical fear that crosses many people’s minds. If you move on from cable, how could you access live TV? The solution lies in an antenna. TV antennas are a simple, cheap option to cable contracts. 

Have you ever thought about how antennas work? This post can help. Read further to find exactly what an antenna is, how it works, and how you can test it if you have a bad antenna signal.

What is an Antenna?

An antenna is considered a hub receiving a signal cast out from TV or radio stations. Just imagine an antenna as a fishing net. In any TV or radio station, pictures and sound are captured and turned into electrical energy. This time, you can send that electrical energy to a big antenna. 

That energy comes to the antenna and establishes invisible electromagnetic radiation in the radio waves. That radio wave then travels at a speed of light and reaches the receive antenna set up inside your home. 

The receiver antenna works the opposite. This time, it produces an electric signal from the wave and sends that to the TV or radio. Your devices convert that signal into an image or sound. 

Keep in mind that receiver and transmitter antennas are very much identical in design. Nonetheless, the two could be dissimilar in shape or appearance. For instance, an antenna installed in your home has a dish shape called a dish antenna.

Likewise, the transmitter radio is a big metal antenna in the TV center that produces a powerful signal and sends them from one end of the earth to another. Most times, the transmitter produces a signal and sends that to the satellite. The satellite then increases that signal and brings it to the receiver antenna on the planet. In that case, the satellite functions as a signal reflector.

Are There Different Types of Antennas?

Yes, there are. A basic antenna diameter is made of a rod that is attached to a radio or TV set. Once upon a time, radios had a tiny, lengthened antenna by default. Nonetheless, there was a use of outdoor antennas to receive better signal quality.

The recent TV antennas looked similar to a Bengali ladder that is known as Yagi Huda Antenna. The making of its structure was silver, with a lengthy silver rod. This is just one of the different antennas out there.

Other types include the following: 

  • Unidirectional antenna

This antenna sends a signal in a unidirectional way. This is normally seen in mobile towers. 

  • Helical antenna

This antenna vertically sends a signal. Different space research agencies normally use this type. 

  • Isotropic antenna

This antenna can scan a target at a 360-degree angle. This is normally seen in a weather office. 

Common Antenna Issues You Need to be Aware 

There’s nothing more stressful and annoying after a tiring day at work than sitting down to watch or tune in to your favorite TV or radio show only to miss awesome parts of the story due to poor reception. The problem might be as basic as one of these typical antenna problems. 

  • Wrong positioning

Is your antenna in the proper position to receive the best signal? Maybe there are new structures or establishments within your place that might be obstructing the signal. You may need a bit of change made to the antenna’s position or boost your TV mast’s height to prevent issues. 

  • Poor connections

Make sure your cable connects properly and without any movement to the wall outlet. Keep in mind that the plugging in various TVs or radios could have loosened or damaged that connection over the years.

  • Damaged cables

Did you know that cable deterioration is a typical problem with antennas? Check the cables properly to ensure there’s no wear or breakage to the casing. Check the cable connecting the set-top box or PVR to the TV or the cable from the set-top box.

  • It needs an upgrade

Are you annoyed why your antenna is not receiving the best signal? As with most technology, innovations in broadcasting have been made within the past five or ten years. Your antenna might need to be updated to a model that can get the best signal for your device. 

So, How Can You Test an Antenna? 

Even though very rare, a broken or defective antenna could cause high SWR issues and poor performance. Fortunately, testing an antenna is a fairly simple procedure. Below are the important steps you need to test whether your antenna is bad or just perfectly fine. 

  1. With your digital multimeter, touch one of the probes to the antenna’s metallic end. For fiberglass antenna, that will be a tunable tip on the end of the antenna. For center-loaded and magnetic types, that will be a stainless-steel whip.
  1. Touch the other probe to the metallic threads at the antenna’s end. For magnetic types, you need to touch the coax cable’s center pink connected to the antenna. 
  1. Measure the resistance of the circuit as you keep contact with both probes. There must be little to no resistance because the circuit must be continuous throughout the antenna. If total resistance is discovered, suggesting no continuity, one of the antenna’s components or the antenna itself is damaged and should be replaced right away.

If you didn’t find any resistance at all, it means the antenna is good, and the source of your problems can be found somewhere else. 

Final Thoughts

There you have it! Now, you no longer need to think about “what is an antenna” and “how to test an antenna with a multimeter.” Feel free to use this article as your jumping-off point. Do you enjoy this post? Feel free to share your thoughts with us by leaving your comments below!

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