Serious hum problem. Help

Long time no post...

I just moved, and hooked up my system to my housemate's television. The TV gets its cable signal directly from outside- ie through an RF cable, no cable box. Whenever I plug the RF cable into the TV, the hum is awful. Changing the input on the amp or switching cables out makes no difference. I bought a new, shielding RF cable, but it didn't help at all.

Any ideas?

A Jensen transformer.
A quick trick to try and see if this is a ground loop through your cable (almost definately is) is to hook up two of those old adapters that convert from 300 ohm antenna wire to 75 ohm f connector (you know, the ones that came w/VCRs. hook them up to each other back to back, so that you can hook up coax to each end of the pair and place them in line btwn the TV and the cable coming in. you should get a significant reduction in hum. Then go for the jensen or the mondial magic, or even the $0 rat shack cable isolating transformer and you should be good to go.
I had a similar problem and the ground loop isolator (below) solved it completely. Only $18.
Bd -- that's the cheapest one I've seen so far -- good show!!

BTW - no matter what isolkator you use, make sure to ground the antenna or cable company side of the isolator to a good ground.
One other idea occurs to me. If your TV has a 3 prong plug try a cheater that eliminates the ground and see if that solves the problem. Also you may check where the cable enters the building and see if they(cable company) used a grounding block and check that connection. Just another idea.
Hi folks,

Thanks for your help. I installed a ground rod outside and connected to the cable splitter with some copper wire. Nothin' doin'. I'm not sure I set up the ground rod correctly- can someone give me a run down on how grounding a system works?

If I can't make this happen, I'll get one of the isolators you've mentioned above. Thanks again for all the help!
I had no luck with the grounding solution you're trying. I had the cable company install a new ground to the service, tested the continuity of the ground, installed another ground wire myself to the cable splitter in my listening room. None of it had any effect. The ground loop isolator recommended above was the solution - totally eliminated the hum I spent months fighting with.

One caution though, I tried multiple isolator options, including one recommended by another audiogoner that's "cobbled together" from 2 Ratshack antenna dividers, and one from Parts Express. The first didn't work at all (though I didn't use the same exact parts the other guy used . . . sorry I don't recall who), and the Parts express part suppressed bandwith causing graininess to the picture, and preventing access to the digital on demand functions of my cable service.
Here's the Parts Express isolator I tried:
It worked effectively to remove the hum,and is only $9.85, but lacks the bandwith to handle my Comcast digital cable service (which btw is really squirrelly and act up at the slightest difficiency in inside wiring).

So, Nsgarch - while your compliments are appreciated, if I had sprung for one of the more expensive transformers months ago, I coulda saved myself hours of time I wasted fighting with penny-wise fixes ;-]
Bd -- forgive me, I failed to mention the cheap fix (i.e. any kind of 75 ohm isolation transformer, homemade or commercial) doesn't pass digital cable signals.

I knew that, just forgot to say so. I don't know how the new isolator units work or if they can even be duplicated by DIY.

Thanks for the "heads up" on the MCM Ground Loop Isolator.
Had the same problem with the coax cable causing the hum (and I also have Comcast as my digital cable), that you were having, and was considering getting the Mondial MAGIC Box ($99) but MCM Ground Loop Isolator solved the problem for much less money.

Once again, thanks.
i had the same problem and eliminated it at no extra cost to me. i used the power conditioner's (power strip's) coaxial "in" and "out" between the wall and the cable box. i suppose you need this coaxial feature on your strip or conditioner, but it works for little or no money. maybe it is grounded separately. dunno.
revision on that last comment. i too have comcast digital cable and there is a problem transfering information when using the power conditioner's coax in and out. back to the drawing board. the mcm product looks like the best option.
Fickle75, I understand from some other members' posts that if you have HD cable, that most of the cable ground isolators won't pass the HD signal ;--(( Bummer!

As for the "coaxial "in" and "out" between the wall and the cable box" it depends on the particular power conditioner unit. In most of them, the "coaxial in and out" just runs the cable signal thru a filter, but it doesn't really isolate the ground, so hum is still created due to the ground loop thru the cable system.