The Hunt For Channel 3

Something smells terrible in the physics of our electronic TV wavelength reception universe. In other words kiddies. sadness abounds because channel 3, our local CBS broadcaster, is not coming in very well. Why do we care? Because we are prehistoric citizens of the techniverse, and we still get much of our TV reception from a strange fixture known as an antenna.

Last time we had this fun, the cause was a soggy coax connector that screws onto the antenna amplifier. This was 8 years ago… and I was really hoping I wouldn’t have to get back on the roof to replace the connector. Used to be you could get such strange items at the local Radio Shack, but those are long gone. I remember going to the local Meijer and asked the guy in the Media Center very technical question. “What year is it??” I said. “Ummm I think it’s 1982,” the youngster replied with a snicker. “Good,” I replied. “Then maybe you can help me find a connector for my TV antenna cable.” The nice young man was maybe in his 20s, and did his best to be helpful. “I need a connector for RG-59 cable,” I said. Of course, he had absolutely no idea what I needed, but I’ll give him an A+ for winging it. He pointed at an assortment of doo-dads and said, “this is all the RGA stuff we have.” I didn’t bother to educate him on the terminology; but no luck for the likes of me. A little later I told my Beautiful Girlfriend, “Maybe I still have one stashed in my junk someplace.” “Where is all your junk??” my Lovely Sweetheart wondered. “EVERYWHERE,” I told her, with little need to exaggerate.

And by golly I found a couple!! They were in the bottom of the bag behind the curtains of the little closet in my office, along with some pliers, an old watch, some matches, a little 3 foot tape measure, some pens, and lots of other treasures I apparently was unwilling to either discard or sort in some logical manner. Although I’d very much prefer not to do it, I imagine I’ll be clambering up on the roof sometime soon to see if that’s actually what’s wrong.

All this may seem a rather silly to some. We live in a pretty high tech world these days, and there’s lots of content for the TV on cable, satellite, and of course the interwebs; if you’re willing to pay for it. We are not willing to pay for something that has been free since the day we were born. Well OK we do pay for the interwebs; but broadcast television is still very much alive, and there’s lots of free stuff you can watch once you get your antenna system set up. When it was new, my antenna system cost a total of about $300 with all the bells and whistles. If installed properly, such a system will work seamlessly for many years. Of course we’re talking a large fish bone looking monster that I bought over 20 years ago, along with a mast mounted amplifier. You can get much smaller antennas these days for almost half as much money. Even though it’s old, it has served us well, and I like to keep my stuff going, thank you very much.

If you know me, then you know I’m a dinosaur. Caveman. Troglodyte. Fred Flintstone. I’m, well, not really a high-tech kind of guy. Although I retired from a fairly high-tech job, all the stuff at our house is pretty much old-tech. We still have a turntable, cassette recorder, and a kick-ass stereo system on which to play them on. And we never did get cable TV…

Instead of cable, we get content off the interwebs with our ROKU. We keep our subscriptions to a minimum… Netflix and Paramount Plus, the latter of which allows us to livestream channel 3!! But hey, when all is well our antenna brings in at least 30 channels, sometimes more depending on what’s going on in the atmosphere. We figure if we paid for TV we’d watch too much of it. And even if we didn’t; it’s money we’d rather spend on other silly stuff like groceries and car repairs, and toys for our grandkids. I don’t mind being a caveman; and my Beautiful Girlfriend hasn’t left me for a high tech guy yet so I’m guessing she’s OK with it too.  In the meantime, the hunt for channel 3 continues; and I WILL WIN!!!

If you don’t believe me, just ask me some time.

When we’re not watching TV we sometimes listen to the radio; just like these two… um… ladies??