An ode to antennae

If you’re anything like me, you hate to see old technology go to waste. I’ve often heard folks lament as I perused the electronics section at a thrift store, “oh that’s a cool TV, but there’s no connector!” Pshaw I say to them, it’s got one of the best connectors in the world. It’s got an antenna. This is a quick tale of one such occurrence, that ended with me purchasing an 80s era pocket TV.

You can file this under ridiculous hacks, as there’s an element of absurdity to it. I’m stringing together a few pieces of kit you’d find at your local thrift store, to great effect. In order, you’ll need

  1. Some way to get a signal in RF format (think a NES connector) The US government ran a rebate program for RF modulating TV tuners for years to great success, so you see plenty of those at thrift stores.

  2. Some way to get that signal into your TV (the antenna)

That’s about it. Once you have your signal in RF format, you’re already broadcasting. R.F. = Radio Frequency, and that’s just what your antenna was designed to pick up. Often, you can simply unscrew the old antenna, and touch the end of an RF cable to the hole where the screw was.

The things I do when I have ten minutes free, amiright?