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A Sheltered Life

While trying to hook up an el-cheapo home theatre sound system, I ran into something new[to me].

Just had never seen anything like it. An unknown connector for the FM antenna. It looks a little like a common RCA plug-but it is not.  WTF!?!

It appears the FM antenna socket is a male “PAL” connector..  O’course, not having even the slightest idea what it was, a strong urge developed as I considered ripping apart the brand-new box and replacing the “funky unknown” connector with either an F, BNC, or RCA connector.

Not so fast soldering-iron-breath!

Sanity soon returned, and a few minutes spent on yahoo searching the information gold mine of the internet turned up a name, i.e., the PAL connector as well as several vendors eager to part with them for a few green-stamps.  So, put away the screwdriver and soldering iron for now.  Cha-ching.  Connector in the mail.

Anyway, its always a jolt when you run across something “new” that has been in such widespread use.  I suppose Europeans would have seen these more commonly than here in North America, but I’m still a bit surprised it took me 50 years to run across one personally.

The whole thing is only noteworthy because the FM antenna provided is a single wire cut the length of a quarter wave somewhere in the FM band.  It works for strong local stations, but is basically a crappy enough antenna I’d like to replace it.  Probably put a loop or folded dipole in the attic, since the house has a 300 ohm twinlead run already handily prewired, dating the abode as being from the pre CATV days.  May as well use it.

The options right now for attic antenna include a folded dipole turnstile, a single loop, a pair of loops offset 90 degrees, or possibly a kludge of those choices.  Maybe an MP3 player in random mode would be a better choice –  local FM leaves much to be desired for personal tastes.  But that would leave one less antenna project to toy with, and the antenna project is the ulterior motive.

1 comment to A Sheltered Life

  • PAL connector, eh? Sounds friendly enough. Of course that’s what the French thought when Germany said they were just on a weekend jaunt and got lost in Bavaria and accidentally ended up on the outskirts of Paris. The Europeans would have to have a different RF connector. It’s just like the French who have a different word for EVERYTHING.

    As a true ham, a simple folded dipole simply won’t do for an FM antenna. I suggest you start planning for a four-bay array of long boom LPDAs. Gain and bandwidth, the two great Grails of all worshipers of things that radiate.

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