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 Post subject: The worst excuse for a TV antenna ever? The "Little Wonder"
PostPosted: Dec Thu 07, 2017 5:48 am 
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Several years ago, I was reading through a topic on another web forum dedicated mainly to (amongst other things) over-the-air TV. The topic concerned cheap, questionable or poor quality TV antennas. Amongst the posts was one from a user asking if anyone remembered the "Little Wonder" saying "little wonder they pulled it off the market".

I did some searching and what I discovered was what I believe to be one of the greatest examples of ignorance and foolishness the world has ever seen. This "TV Antenna" seems to have consisted of nothing more than a power cord with the end of it connecting to the 300 ohm twin lead antenna screws on a TV. This August 1973 CPSC recall states that the product "contains no safety device" which means it must have been discovered to have no isolation transformer or anything, but that's beside the point.

Surely, a run of electrical wiring from the electrical outlet back to the electrical panel (plus whatever length of wiring there may have been up the circuit from the outlet it was plugged in to) would make for a HORRIBLY and UTTERLY inefficient antenna for VHF/UHF. Right now, all I can ask is HOW did something like this even make it to the market? Did anyone actually fall for this?

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 Post subject: Re: The worst excuse for a TV antenna ever? The "Little Wond
PostPosted: Dec Thu 07, 2017 5:54 am 
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I remember reading a report on those. The one they disassembled actually had parts in it! A small piece of window screen, and styrofoam.

Bob

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 Post subject: Re: The worst excuse for a TV antenna ever? The "Little Wond
PostPosted: Dec Thu 07, 2017 6:44 am 
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Something Mr Haney would sell to Oliver.I would love to see BigClive do a teardown and see what he has to say about this piece of rubbish.No isolation.Somebody could get fried with it,It will never work with this DTV format..More likely it will receive analog through the wiring. Notice most clock radios have the FM ant wrapped around the line cord for reception.

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 Post subject: Re: The worst excuse for a TV antenna ever? The "Little Wond
PostPosted: Dec Thu 07, 2017 7:22 am 
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Actually, I recall a small disc cap connected between one of the prongs to the antenna balun. The other prong was plastic.

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 Post subject: Re: The worst excuse for a TV antenna ever? The "Little Wond
PostPosted: Dec Thu 07, 2017 3:47 pm 
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IN Theory, it might work in a strong signal area with a low VHF RF noise level on the power lines and in the house wiring. About as well as a random wire, perhaps. Very random. Maybe even comparable to rabbit ears. Totally luck. This is assuming it is actually correctly made with safe isolation.


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 Post subject: Re: The worst excuse for a TV antenna ever? The "Little Wond
PostPosted: Dec Thu 07, 2017 4:15 pm 
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20ya these were in yard sale box lots, just a 400v ceramic coupling cap. Works 20 miles from TV tower where I am. Gets a signal in a concrete tenement apartment o.k. There is still antenna crap like this around, just has the word "digital" in the ads... :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: The worst excuse for a TV antenna ever? The "Little Wond
PostPosted: Dec Thu 07, 2017 5:51 pm 
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The advertisement shows VHF/UHF channels.
What happened to the "UHF" stations?
During the 1970s I recall watching Uncle Floyd on channel 68 on UHF. I think it came out of New Jersey.

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 Post subject: Re: The worst excuse for a TV antenna ever? The "Little Wond
PostPosted: Dec Thu 07, 2017 10:20 pm 
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I recall they sold similar devices into the '90s or maybe even early 2000s. It was a little black box that plugged into the wall with a coax output that advertised something like "turn your house wiring into an antenna". I think I somehow ended up with one, and as expected, it was totally worthless. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: The worst excuse for a TV antenna ever? The "Little Wond
PostPosted: Dec Thu 07, 2017 11:53 pm 
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They don't work... Little wonder.

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 Post subject: Re: The worst excuse for a TV antenna ever? The "Little Wond
PostPosted: Dec Sat 09, 2017 6:30 am 
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decoflair wrote:
The advertisement shows VHF/UHF channels.
What happened to the "UHF" stations?
During the 1970s I recall watching Uncle Floyd on channel 68 on UHF. I think it came out of New Jersey.


Channels were a designation of rotating frequency switch selector when there were only 12 frequencies designated for VHF. There was no channel 1. Then when UHF was introduced it was a frequency inverter / reciever to create a frequency for channel 2 or switchable to channel 3. The selection depended on which area of country used one or the other channel. The converter it self was an analog reciever with a tuneable frequency that started at much higher frequencies but arbitrary number of 14 and progressed up to around 70 or somewhat higher ( I forget right now).

The station was only the designation that was assigned by the FCC. Being of course called the stations call letters or call sign. To prevent interference from other local stations the frequencies in one area could not overlap.
both VHF AND UHF are still used but of course over the air stations are now digital and that allows narrower band width. So most station now have what are called sub channels such as KTBS channels 9-1, 9-2,9-3 ECT.
If I have left out something go ahead and correct any errors I have made.

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 Post subject: Re: The worst excuse for a TV antenna ever? The "Little Wond
PostPosted: Dec Sat 09, 2017 1:47 pm 
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Radiosmoker, thanks for the information.

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 Post subject: Re: The worst excuse for a TV antenna ever? The "Little Wond
PostPosted: Dec Mon 11, 2017 1:02 am 
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Snake oil comes in many flavors, passed down from an ancient recipe. And as tech progressed, we saw new derivations of the same ol' scheme for separating gullible consumers from their money.

If you don't like the idea of connecting your TV input to the house wiring, or maybe your house isn't wired yet. No worries, there's alternatives right up your alley!

First we have the amazing SIA antenna that made the news. Electronics Illustrated for March, 1968 carried the inside report.
Attachment:
SIA.jpg
SIA.jpg [ 122.5 KiB | Viewed 283 times ]


Fast forward to July, 1970 EI for another pair of mystery signal grabbers.
Attachment:
SpecialTV.jpg
SpecialTV.jpg [ 109.39 KiB | Viewed 283 times ]


Onward to the present, this was the ad I saw while reading this thread. :lol:
Attachment:
NuthinNewHere.jpg
NuthinNewHere.jpg [ 30.75 KiB | Viewed 283 times ]

At least Allan gets a shilling from the last one if we take the bait and click... I wonder if that's a pic of the "inventor?"
-Ed


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 Post subject: Re: The worst excuse for a TV antenna ever? The "Little Wond
PostPosted: Dec Mon 11, 2017 2:14 am 
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How is that free TV key thingus doing these days? It looks one step up from a hunk of aluminum foil to me.

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 Post subject: Re: The worst excuse for a TV antenna ever? The "Little Wond
PostPosted: Dec Tue 12, 2017 1:24 am 
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My dad bought some kind of flat square RCA antenna thinggee for HD last year and was trying to use it for an extra TV that was for OTA broadcasts. Well it was able to get a signal from local stations about half the time, at best. For some reason in the evening it went kaput. I think he should have dug out rabbit ears and essentially got the same results or better, but those do not look hi tek or whatever and rabbit ears are not "digital". Now if you can come up with novel looking rabbit ears and say they are digital, I dunno, make them from square tubing or something, you could make a fortune before common sense catches up with you and the market dries up.


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 Post subject: Re: The worst excuse for a TV antenna ever? The "Little Wond
PostPosted: Dec Tue 12, 2017 2:06 am 
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I got a table top "digital" antenna. Poor TV antenna, decent FM audio antenna.

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 Post subject: Re: The worst excuse for a TV antenna ever? The "Little Wond
PostPosted: Dec Tue 12, 2017 1:15 pm 
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"Turn your house wiring into a giant TV antenna" things were commonly advertised in the back of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics (and other magazines) in the 50's and 60's.

RRM


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