Friday, November 14, 2014

Article Number: 9879


| Cable TV |

| and The Black Art of Radio |

| by Thomas Icom |


Chapter I:


Wireless Reception of Cable TV Signals


How to Get Free Cable TV Legally



The difference between cable TV and regular TV can be seen in cable TV's

"official" name, Community Antenna Television (CATV). Basically, with CATV,

the cable company installs a TV antenna, and a satellite dish at a good

receiving location somewhere (they call this place a "head-end"), and then

re-transmits the TV signals over cable to customers' homes and businesses.

CATV systems use frequencies between 108-400 Mhz. to send their extra

channels through the system. The mid-band (channels 14-22) is between 108-174

Mhz., super-band (23-36) is between 200-290 and hyper-band (37-53) is between

290-400 Mh. (These ranges are approximate.) To keep the CATV signals from

interfering with the regular services on those frequencies. the cable company

must keep leakage from their system down to an absolute minimum. This is

easier said than done, and no matter how hard they try, CATV systems still

leak to some extent, however minimal it may be.

With equipment available from your local Radio Shack along with your TV,

you can pick up low-level CATV signal leakage and get free CATV service

without having to pay an installation fee or monthly service charges. This is

all perfectly legal because you (currently) have the right to receive radio

signals that come onto your domain, and in all reality the cable TV company

shouldn't be letting these signals leak out of their system to begin with.

When attempting this you should be aware that if your cable TV company is

competent, you might not find an area in your neighborhood's outside plant

that has enough leakage to get a good signal. Also, the way the government

has been acting lately, one never knows when they might decide people who

experiment with low-level RF signal reception are a threat to society. If

such a thing does occur, make the necessary preparations before one of those

UH-60 Blackhawks full of men with MP5SD3s lands on your lawn to bring you into

"protective custody".

How to Do It(!):


Your wireless CATV reception station will need the following:

- Fringe reception TV antenna

- 10-20 db gain TV reception amplifier. Preferably one with an amplifier

module that mounts near the antenna and a remote power supply. The two

piece models offer better amplification as they amplify the signal before it

gets noise from going through the coax.

- Cable TV converter box

- Cable descrambler for your system, if you want to receive "premium"

channels (optional)

- television (obviously)

- Good quality RG-6 (or better) coax cable with connectors and 75-300 Ohm

transformer if your TV doesn't have a 75 Ohm antenna input

- TV antenna mast and other materials for mounting the antenna on your roof

The system is put together as follows:







(If 2 pc. AMP)

If your CATV descrambler is also a converter, then put it where the CABLE

CONV. goes. If it is one of those types that descrambles channel 3 from a

separate converter than hook it up in this fashion:



Once you have your system put together you have to find a leak to receive

off of. The cable companies find leaks by driving down the road with a field

strength meter. You can do this by walking under the cable and stopping where

you see a peak on the meter. You can get a field strength meter for under $50

at Radio Shack. However, unless you use a tuned field strength meter you will

also register any strong RF source. If you have a portable TV such as a Sony

Watchman, you can tune to a channel that you normally won't receive and walk

around until you get reception.

On a side note, many of those portable TVs that use an analog tuning dial

(as opposed to a channel selector knob) often are able to receive mid-band

cable channels without a converter box. (The Sony Watchman Model FD-10A can.)

To check if your portable TV can do this, examine the TV's VHF (Ch. 2-13)

tuning selector. The mid-band capable TV's have only 1 band for VHF

selection. To get mid-band with these TV's, simply tune between channels 6

and 7. You will also be able to pick up various types of voice commo from 88-

174 Mhz, although the selectivity and sensitivity on portable TV's suck for

picking up narrow-band FM voice. You might fare better getting in some of the

stronger FM broadcast stations on 88-108 though.

When looking around for a good CATV leak, check under junction boxes

where the main line is tapped to run cable drops to subscribers. They often

degrade from being exposed to the elements. Also check around the homes of

neighbors who you feel might have added extra CATV extensions to their houses

wiring plant. If they have an antenna on their roof, then chances are they

took the wiring plant that was hooked up to their antenna, and hooked it up to

the cable system. The cable company generally uses good quality (expensive)

materials when installing cable in someone's house. Most people when

extending their system go to a department store or Radio Shack, and buy the

cheapest (low quality) stuff they can find. This often leads to CATV leakage.

Usually, the CATV company doesn't notice the leakage from a home unless it is

really severe, as their detection equipment consists of a field strength meter

and a 1/4 wave antenna. And since their readings are taken while going 40 MPH

down a road, the signal from inside a house set back xxx feet from the road is

usually not strong enough for them to take notice. You on the other hand, are

using an antenna that has 100 times more gain than theirs, and are amplifying

the signal your antenna picks up even more.

Once you've found a leak, aim your antenna at it. You should then be

receiving free cable TV. The reception may not be perfect, but what do you

expect for nothing? To get better reception, try one or more of the


1. Position your antenna closer to the source of the leak

2. Use a higher gain (bigger) antenna

3. Use a more powerful amplifier

If your leak still isn't adequate or you haven't found one at all, then

use the following technique. Be careful with this one, as it will royally

piss off the cable co., FCC, FBI, FAA, NSA, PUC, and your local chamber of

commerce if you're cable co. happens to a member. Not to mention that if you

get caught, you could be charged with vandalism, theft of services and

possibly sedition. You'll need the following:

- straight pin

- 8-10 foot length of magnet wire (length not critical)

- "liquid black tape", Newskin (liquid bandage), or similar spray-on

insulator material

- soldering iron and solder

- crazy glue

To start, solder one end of the length of magnet wire to the blunt end of

the straight pin. Then apply the insulator material to the straight pin,

except for the pointed end. Let the insulator dry. The insulation on the pin

is the important part, as it is needed to prevent you from accidently shorting

out your neighbors cable line.


| ^-solder here ^-magnet wire

|<-apply insulating material


^-leave tip clean

When that's done take assembly and crazy glue over to your neighbor that

has cable TV. Find a nice run of coax and push the pin in. Make sure the tip

has good contact with the center conductor of the coax. Then unroll the

magnet wire and crazy glue it to the coax in a way that it won't be


What you just did was add an antenna to your neighbors cable. You will

now be able to enjoy the use of your wireless cable TV setup. The main

problem with this setup is that the resulting "leak" will most assuredly be

noticed by the cable co. who will come over and inspect everything. Your best

bet is to install this device during the early evening and remove it the next

morning before the repair crews hit the road. This way, it is less likely to

be detected, unless your cable co.'s repair crews work at night.

Chapter II:


How to Piss Off Your Cable Company

and Give Your Neighbors Free Cable TV


Radio Shack sells a device which will enable you to do just that. It

will also let you use any standard TV for cable reception without having to

purchase separate converters for each TV, or run coax.

Go to R.S. and pick up a Model 15-1281 Cable TV Block Converter. This

handy little device will take your mid and super band channels and convert

them to UHF TV broadcast band frequencies. Hook it up to your cable system,

and attach a good UHF TV antenna to the "TO UHF" f-connector.


! RS 15-1281 !

! !



! * * * !


To Cable ! ! To UHF

System------+ +------ Antenna

It is important that you use a good high gain antenna or you will not get

any range.

What you are doing is taking the cable channels 14-36 and retransmitting

them over the normal UHF TV channels. This way, any non-cable compatible TV

can receive them. The range isn't too great though. Expect about 300 feet or

so under ideal conditions. Antenna type, height, placement, and the receiver

set-up will have a lot to do in determining your range. There's a lot of

possibilities for the experimenter here. Optionally, you might also want to

contemplate adding a small 1-5 watt amplifier to the UHF output (Get the info

from The Motorola RF Devices Manual, available for free from Motorola. Call

your local rep. for info.)

The End


If you have any questions, you can contact me on the following BBSes:

Landfill - 914-HAK-VMBS

Uncensored - 914-761-6877

The Implosion - 914-762-6954

Blitzkrieg - 502-499-8933 NUP: Columbian Coke

Dark Shadows - 203-628-9660

I'll be u/ling more updated info to these boards as I get it, as well as

printing it in Cybertek: The Cyberpunk Technical Journal. For those of you

who are unaware, Cybertek is a hardcopy newsletter which covers practical

aspects of technology and survival. Get a photocopy from someone who has it,

or get a subscription for $15 (6 issues) by writing to:


P.O. Box 64

Brewster, NY 10509



Although this g-file is for educational purposes only and should not be

construed as a suggestion to commit illegal acts; I have a feeling that the

establishment doesn't give a shit about the bill of rights. That being the

case, I suggest everyone follow standard C.Y.A. guidelines. Remember, freedom

only exists for those who choose it.

Please distribute this g-file (intact) by any means available.

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