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Old 02-08-2017, 04:25 PM   #1
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What is This Plug?

This plug in has a fitting for a TV coax cable on one end and two small diameter wires in clear plastic leading away to something.

I just bought this boat and it was plugged into a new Samsung TVs antenna input for over the air channels.

I have switched the TV's input from antenna to Direct TV several times in the last week or so and all worked well until yesterday. We left on our first cruise and docked at a nice marina near downtown Sarasota. Plenty of over the air TV channels available but the auto program would not pick up any. Manual input of the strongest channel 10-1 would not work either. The error message said weak signal or no antenna connection.

The Direct TV system was installed right before I bought the boat so I called the company that installed it and asked why I could not get over the air now when I could before? No idea was the answer. I asked what the plug pictured below was attached to? No idea, they just put in the DTV system connected with a HDMI cable and the plug pictured here was already there. Maybe to a rabbit ear, he suggested. Perhaps he meant an antenna hidden inside the sealed cabinet where the TV is mounted? No idea he says.

So I am wondering (all the while DW is asking why no TV?) if something is broken in the TV or the Direct TV, etc?

Then I found in the bottom of the cabinet a connection to hook a regular coax from the boat's on board omnidirectional TV antenna which feeds the stateroom TVs and connect to that and viola...TV and DW is happy.

I don't know why the new Samsung in the salon was not connected to the omni roof mounted antenna and instead plugged this little (pictured below) in to the TV instead.

Without tearing out the cabinets to see where the other end is connected I am asking this collective of boat knowledge for help. What is it?














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Old 02-08-2017, 04:51 PM   #2
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From that angle, it looks like coax cable with a european PAL end. Coulda been left over from another International or Euro TV using same antenna, or the antenna could have come with both type cable ends.
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Old 02-08-2017, 05:15 PM   #3
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The two transparent copper wires have another plug at the other end or you just don't know where there are going? It loots like antenna wires for me.
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Old 02-08-2017, 05:20 PM   #4
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The two transparent copper wires have another plug at the other end or you just don't know where there are going? It loots like antenna wires for me.


Me too
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Old 02-08-2017, 05:23 PM   #5
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Every boat wiring is different after an owner or two. Even factory boats. The only way to answer your question is to trace the wire. Determine what is on the boat, broadcast, satellite and maybe a connection for marina supplied tv.
It could be your po changed plugs for different services.
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Old 02-08-2017, 05:46 PM   #6
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Looks like input to a simple dipole antenna. Check all of your windows and cabinets for some similar clear insulated wire.
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Old 02-08-2017, 06:31 PM   #7
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Looks like input to a simple dipole antenna. Check all of your windows and cabinets for some similar clear insulated wire.
Will that work with digital over the air TV?
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Old 02-08-2017, 06:37 PM   #8
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Will that work with digital over the air TV?


Yes. I use one at home.
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Old 02-08-2017, 07:09 PM   #9
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Yes. I use one at home.
You mean that you pull the wire apart and make a big T like I used to do on my shortwave?

And, why would something like this suddenly stop working?
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Old 02-08-2017, 07:36 PM   #10
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You mean that you pull the wire apart and make a big T like I used to do on my shortwave?

And, why would something like this suddenly stop working?


I did so for proof of concept many years ago when folks stubbornly insisted digital signals could not be received without a settop box. True for old cathode ray screens. I use an old school rooftop antenna like we used when I was a kid with a coaxial connection.

No clue why it would suddenly stop excepting physical damage under the insulation.
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Old 02-08-2017, 07:40 PM   #11
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You mean that you pull the wire apart and make a big T like I used to do on my shortwave?

And, why would something like this suddenly stop working?
Go into the TV setup and make sure ANT is still selected. Then do the channel search.
If selected to CABLE it won't work at all.
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Old 02-08-2017, 07:44 PM   #12
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Go into the TV setup and make sure ANT is still selected. Then do the channel search.
If selected to CABLE it won't work at all.
Yep, it's possible that someone changed a setting on the TV.


It's also possible that the wires are coming from an amplified antenna and the amplifier has lost power.


Really, without seeing what is at the other end, all we can do is guess.
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:29 PM   #13
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This looks like it. I Googled dipole antenna plug and this popped up.

But, why would it suddenly stop working?
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:54 AM   #14
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A dipole antenna on a boat (for TV or FM radio be a very poor choice because it is highly directional and as the boat swings on anchor, the signal will fade in and out. Even in a slip, it would have to be adjustable unless you can choose a slip that provides the orientation required for good reception.


I think if you can't figure out what this device is for and/or can't get your TVs to work properly, you need to call in someone who can figure it out for you. Without actually being there and seeing what you have and how it's connected (or not connected), all we can do is guess.
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Old 02-11-2017, 02:29 PM   #15
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I am traveling now but when I get home I am going to get to the bottom of this. Now, as I said in Post #1, I found a connection to the boat's omnidirection antenna and it works fine. Why the TV was connected to the dipole in the first place remains a mystery.
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:53 PM   #16
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Try this for a theory.
When you arrived tv worked using the mystery plug as antenna.....if I read correctly.
Sounds like its a dipole type antenna, or at least a length of cable acting like one....might have nothing on the end of the cable, cable alone will function as antenna in certain circumstances.
The orientation of the boat suited the mystery plug antenna and the tv worked.
I can't quite get it straight (from the posts) when it stopped working...did you move the boat? Did another large boat come next to you and shield the signal? Did you "touch" the tv controls other than switching from terrestrial to satellite?
If you did the latter the searching process can restart and after that a signal the tv was previously using can be rejected as not strong enough, happens to me all the time in a marginal terrestrial area due to atmospheric changes.
Why was the plug connected? Last guy there...the direct tv man...plugged it in when he left because he's a tidy kind of guy...he only tested the satellite function and it was just chance the terrestrial function worked....or....there is another antenna / amplifier on the end of the mystry cable you didnt find yet.
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:55 PM   #17
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If you put a meter across the plug you should be able to see if there is something connected on the other end. Dipole will be open circuit
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:12 AM   #18
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SB,

The dipole worked just fine getting channels from Ft. Myers 25 miles away until I moved the boat 70 miles north to Sarasota which has locals from here and from Tampa. Checked to see if TV was set to Air and did a channel search. Nothing.

Then I unplugged the dipole and connected to the boat's omni Glomex antenna on the pilothouse which got nothing at home but here in Sarasota gets Sarasota and Tampa with a perfect picture. I unplugged the omni and went back to the diapole to see if it would work here. Nothing.

We'll be home Wednesday and I'll tear into the wood work to find the end of the diapole.
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Old 02-13-2017, 08:19 AM   #19
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If you put a meter across the plug you should be able to see if there is something connected on the other end. Dipole will be open circuit
Yes, but so will no dipole. An open circuit means nothing. Continuity doesn't mean much either. Trace the wire and find where it goes. You don't have to physically follow the entire wire if you can find the other end somewhere.
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Old 02-13-2017, 08:41 AM   #20
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"Dipole" or nothing amounts to the same thing. All I am suggesting is that he determines whether there is a device on the other end of the wire.
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