Poor reception solved on accident - hope this helps!

Hey everyone, I hope this helps anyone who might be in a similar boat.

I have a large antenna mounted to my chimney and have had great reception the last few years. But within the last week or so, it got really bad. Some of the main network channels became very splotchy, pixelated, lagged and frequently just wouldn’t show. I’d get a “signal too weak” error on the TV from the
Tablo. I’d rebootted the tablo several times, no luck. I figured it was something wrong with the antenna and was not looking forward to troubleshooting that. Or maybe it had something to do with a recent internet upgrade I got which introduced a new router to our home that uses ethernet and coax differently…

Regardless: 2 days ago I was replacing 2 light switches in the kitchen. Because my wife is overly cautious, rather than just switch off the breaker for the switches in question, she insisted I kill power to the whole house. During that little project I turned house power off and on again several times while testing the switches.

When that was all done, I was turning the TV setup back on. I had an Amazon switch on the powerstrip for the outlet that fed my TV (got it for 99 cents through some promotion - didn’t work great). When I was turning everything back on, the amazon switch wasn’t working right, so I pulled it out of the mix. I also then reconfigured some of the things plugged into the powerstrips… (roku, tablo, tv, game, echo, router… etc.) because when I removed the amazon switch not everything would plug in right…

Anyway - my point is this: none of what I was doing was intended to fix the poor reception problems I’d been having. And yet, when everything was done, my reception problems went away. I don’t know what I did to fix it - I wonder if it was one or more of the following:

  1. Removing the Amazon switch from the same powerstrip (although the TV was the only thing plugged into it).
  2. Cleaning up and simplyfying the pretzled mess of things plugged into the 2 powerstrips. Perhaps something was causing interference? Maybe something was overloading the powerstrip that fed the tablo?
  3. Killing power to the house several times? I’d reboot the router before, but perhaps I didn’t leave it off long enough.

What I do know is this: my reception was fixed and it had nothing to do with the antenna. Hopefully this may be useful if you’re having reception problems and can’t figure out why. Best of luck to you!


And\or this mystery just cleared its self up. But I like your idea better😁


Did you trip or reset any individual breakers while doing the work?

I’d wonder if the antenna is amplified, if the breaker for the amplifier (if separate from the other devices involved) had tripped for some reason, and during your work, you reset it?

Otherwise, perhaps it was some kind of interference (theory number 2 above)?

Odd indeed!

Congrats on seeing the improvement, regardless!

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It still could have been your antenna connection. With moving all of the wires around, you may have also moved the antenna cable enough to correct a poor connection, at least temporarily. I’ve had this problem in the past and found that I had a bad connector. I cut off the old connector and reterminated the cable with a new connector and permanently fixed the problem.


could also have been either of the switches you replaced… I’ve had a “not right” dimmer switch throw all kinds of bizarre EM noise. was long long ago, but it messed up radio and tv reception… it was “hey! turn the light off, i’m trying to watch tv!” for a few days.


WiFi cameras are famous for EMI / RF noise. First thing to suspect if you have weird reception issues that come and go.

The other day (forget the channel), but my wife started up the vacuum cleaner. Interference.

I’ve also seen microwave ovens and 2.4Ghz wireless headphones (trash on the WiFi).