How To Check If Antenna Cable Is Working – Step By Step Guide

Coaxial cable, often referred to as antenna cable, is a vital part of the whole Television system. If you are asking how to check if antenna cable is working, it might be a bad coaxial cable symptom.

Anyone would ask this only if they are not getting good reception, right? Sometimes the fault may be not the coaxial cable but the antenna itself. Still there are high chances a bad coaxial cable is your main problem.

There are some symptoms by which you can assume your coaxial cable has gone bad. For assurance you can check the coax using a multimeter. If you want to do it on your own, stick around to the end of this article to get the step by step guide.

How Do I know If My Antenna Cable Is Working

You will get absolutely error free reception and presentation on the TV if your antenna cable is working. That requires no further introduction. But if you are having issues with your TV you can check the cable by a multimeter.

Bad Coaxial Cable Symptoms

If you are asking how to tell if coaxial cable is bad then here are some symptoms of bad coaxial cable. By these you can recognize a bad cable very easily. 

  • Snowy or blur picture
  • Vertical bars
  • No picture at all
  • Double images
  • Curvy liner or images fluctuating

How Do You Test An Antenna Coaxial Cable With A Multimeter

The best way to test an antenna cable or coaxial cable is by using a multimeter. It is a very common thing in every household garage. So, you can find it handy to use for checking a coax.

You might be wondering how to test cable signal with multimeter. Follow the step by step guide below to test a coaxial cable with a multimeter.

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Things You Will Need

To check coaxial cable using a multimeter you will need a good multimeter that’s working, two multimeter leads, an alligator clip and the coaxial cable.

  • Turn On The Digital Multimeter And Connect The Leads

Turn on the digital multimeter and make sure it is in the ohm settings. Connect the red lead in the ohms jack and the black lead to the com (common) jack.

  • Check If The Probes Are Good

Before examining any coaxial cable, you have to check whether your diagnostic materials are in good health. To check the leads touch the two probes together. If the reading is saying 0 ohms or 0.1/2 ohms your probes are fine.

So, you can proceed to the next step.

  • Take A Good Look At The Coaxial Cable From Outside

Take a very good look at the coaxial cable and see if there is any leakage or penetration on the cable’s body. Besides, check your coaxial cable knot and central conductor or coaxial cable connectors on both ends. 

If everything is fine and there isn’t any flaw go for the next thing to do. It is checking the coax with the leads.

Take one probe and touch the coax cable’s knot and another probe to the central conductor. The reading should be 0 ohms, which means a dead short.

  • Grab An Alligator Clips And Check Them

Now, take an alligator clip and inspect it first. To check it, connect one probe to one end of the alligator clip and the other probe to the other. If you get a reading of 0 ohms on the multimeter or a bit more than that then it’s fine.

  • Connect The Alligator Clip, Multimeter Leads And The Coax Cable Together

Once you make sure your alligator clip is in good condition, move on to check the coaxial cable now.

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Connect one end of the alligator clip to the coaxial cable knot in one side. Then connect the other end of the alligator clip to the coaxial cable internal connector on the same side of the cable.

Now take the other end of the coax which is free and connect it to the two lead probes of which relates to the multimeter.

After connecting all the holds for some moment to get the accurate read on the multimeter. The reading should say 0 ohm or a bit more than that is fine. It means there is enough continuity throughout the cable and there is no weak signal

Using a multimeter to check a coax cable.

How To Test Coaxi Cable Without Multimeter

A lot of people look for other options to check if the antenna cable is working other than using a multimeter. You can use coaxial cable testers in that case. They are manufactured to help in these situations.

You can consider a DSS-01 coax cable tester for inspecting your coax.

  • Get A Good Quality Coaxial Cable Tester

Firstly you have to get a quality coax cable tester. There are plenty of them in the market. But you have to choose the right one. Otherwise it won’t help you in any way.

  • Connect The Coax Cable To The Tester

Connect the coax to the tester just as you connect a coax to the Television in the coax outlet or like Internet Modem in the dedicated port.

  • Turn On The Tester

Turn on the tester and wait for a while. Approximate 10 to 15 seconds will be enough.

  • Diagnose The Result

The results in DSS-01 Coax Cable Tester express itself with light and beep in some models.

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If it is showing green light, your coaxial cable is fine and able to deliver the right amount of signal frequency. On the other hand, a red light means your coax has gone bad or there is a very weak signal.

The coaxial cable testers which use beep show the result in a different way. It usually pops up a light to tell you the cable is good and beeps to tell you about the good signal level inside.

  • Remove The Cable From The Tester And Install It

When you see that your coax is good, remove it from the tester and install right away. If it has gone bad and you have a faulty cable look for another good coax to use.


I hope now you know how to check if antenna cable is working. Whenever you have bad coaxial symptoms don’t delay and get your coax checked right away. 

You can either use a multimeter or a coax cable tester for it. If everything is fine but you still are not getting proper signals, seek professional help immediately. You can also use a modem to test coaxial cable for internet connections. 

After  diagnosing your coax, if it turns out fine but you still have the issue, maybe it’s time to test your antenna signal.

This is all about it. Let us know about your thoughts on this writeup in the comment section below.

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