Problems with antenna.

So I’m in a new rent house and I’m not paying for cable. I hardly have enough time to watch TV, but when I do I’m fine with what I could get over the air waves. Before I moved into this house I could get a pretty good signal with rabbit ears in my old house. In the new house I can only get one, maybe two, of the local channels. So I bought a small indoor/outdoor antenna with amplifier. I initially hooked it up straight to my converter box inside the house. I now have 3 channels (NBC, Fox, and a local Christian channel). I thought this wasn’t bad and figured I’d have to mount it outside to pick up PBS, ABC and CBS (the remaining broadcast stations).

I decided to connect the antenna to my cable junction box outside so the signal could then be fed into the house using the existing wiring and I wouldn’t have to drill any holes through any walls that did not officially belong to me. Once I had the wires conected and before I mounted the antenna on the edge of the roof I held it in place and had one of my kids do a channel scan. The result… Nothing. Not even the channels I was getting before.

Apparently the previous residents were very TV friendly people. I can pretty much hook up a tv in any room in the house. I also noticed on the splitters inside the junction box that the ports that were not in use had some sort of screw on cover over them. I originally thought these were just caps. I unscrewed one and it looked like the end of a normal coax cable with the wire in the center and all that. On the backside it looked as though the wire was soldered and put the cap back on. Later thought since they were metal if they might not be grounding out the signal. The other hypothesis I had was that since there are so many connections the signal is basically fading into nothing since it’s being sent everywhere in the house and not in to one location. I still have the amplifier connected to the back of the converter box, does this need to go closer to the antenna? What do I need to do without drilling holes through walls and running cable?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

the amplifier, if needed, needs to go near the antenna.

with DTV in the USA you can split a signal too many times so that it isn’t detected by a tv or converter box, your hypothesis is correct on that. if the house was wired with cable in mind then the coax could be split many times and not be easily usable for DTV without a distribution amplifier (this is different from the antenna amplifier).

you could mount the antenna outside, put the amplifier near it and test for a signal and aim the antenna. test with a tv outside or bring the coax in through a window. after you know you have a signal then work on getting the signal through the coax to where you want it.

what you saw as caps were likely termination resistors.

you want to find a path from the antenna cable outside to where you want the tv with no splitters in the path. where plugs went into splitters you would replace on the needed cable with a female/female connector.