Referring specifically to question Transmission line for UHF TV antenna

I don't see any problem with the question, but apparently there is possibly some disagreement. I took it as a which part is better for the job kind of question, similar to "which is better for high speed logic chips, TTL or CMOS" or "are vacuum tubes or transistors better at surviving EMP".

Am I looking at the question in the proper way or am I missing something? Further is there any reason why such questions shouldn't be asked on the forum?


2 Answers 2


I think Kellenjb nailed it in the comment:

I didn't see any attempts from the OP to care to understand transmission line theory. I took it at just wanting to know what was the best way to hook it up. Your answer also supports that this really doesn't have anything to do with electronics design, rather only how to hook up some consumer electronics. Go into some actual EM theory and it will very much be on-topic.

It's been demonstrated on many sites that there's something different about educational Q&A and "solve my problem for me" Q&A. The former builds communities, the latter requires paid contributors to keep itself alive. Someone asking about TTL vs. CMOS will likely be interested in learning about why one type is faster than the other. It would still be off-topic if someone without interest in learning why CMOS is faster than TTL, or about the various improvements on TTL technology that are faster but still use BJT-based design. Consumer electronics is simply one area where this sort of attitude is extremely common.

I'll leave the post open until it accrues more close votes or consensus is reached on this meta post, but I don't believe that we should allow questions like this one.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess the one aspect of this particular question that made it different in my mind is that the poster took the time to research the question before asking it and referenced his source (ARRL handbook). \$\endgroup\$
    – JonnyBoats
    Mar 10, 2012 at 13:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JonnyBoats, every poster should take time to research, it is actually why you upvote a question. If you highlight down and upvote they are meant to be used to determine if the poster researched their question. Just because someone takes the time to research, not matter how positive a thing that is, does not mean their question fits. I think your answer though took the time to both answer the poster and make a generally usable answer for the community we want. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Mar 11, 2012 at 14:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk -Thank you for your kind words. I feel I now understand much better what is appropriate for EE stackexchange. It is much different from Stack Overflow where "how" questions dominate; here we want "why" type questions focused primarily on understanding. \$\endgroup\$
    – JonnyBoats
    Mar 11, 2012 at 16:53
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @JonnyBoats, again, I think how works well if they are asking a design question. We have a fine line to walk with consumer electronics. If we start going to far into consumer electronics the large group that exist that want to know more about them will quickly dominate. We need to keep somewhat focused on design. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kortuk
    Mar 11, 2012 at 19:47

I like the question. The OP is clearly approaching the problem from an engineering point of view, and wants to know not only how but why a solution will work. Referencing the ARRL Handbook, baluns, ribbon cable, and the difference between "balanced" and "unbalanced" lines isn't something the common consumer will do. This question addresses a common problem in radio transmission.

Questions that garner quality on-topic answers should stay on this site (and get upvotes!). Questions that don't warrant a quality answer aren't any use to most people, and this includes overly simplistic questions. Where is the line between quality and crap answers? I'll let you know, by voting ;) ...


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