I once lived between two absolutely awful neighbors. My neighbor to the South was an evil divorced woman who came from a family with a long history of criminal activity. For example her father paved his driveway with stolen tomb stones. She on the other hand would hook her hose up to my out door spigot and water her garden and lawn and fill her pool when ever I went away. At first I couldn’t figure out how my water bill would quadruple on months when I was away. Then I once caught her in action.
My neighbor to the North had unleashed dogs that would only shit on my lawn. These dogs loved jumping up on my car and sleeping on the hood and roof. It was like living next the Bumpas family.
The house I lived in was a duplex. I rented the up stairs to my brother. We were both radio heads. Our attic had various lengths of wire that was used as antennae that corresponded with short wave bands. We were able to listen to stations all over the world. There were a great many other things you could tune in with a good S/W radio, which I won’t go into here, but you radio heads know what I’m talking about.
One year I read about TV amplifiers. These were devices that would boost TV signals. Our town didn’t yet have cable and our television watching consisted of channels 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 12 and 13 from New York. Seven channels, and some barely viewable UHF channels.
I went to our electronics shop and ordered a TV amplifier. When I hooked it up I was able to get stations from Philadelphia, Boston, Albany and probably 20 UHF channels from every area between. Suddenly I had a choice of 50 TV stations to watch. This inspired my brother who took it up a notch and found an antenna amplifier that had some wild power above and beyond the unit I had. His not only pulled in a stronger signal, but it also seemed to broadcast as well. When he switched his amplifier on, the TVs in the houses right next to ours went to what looked like a scrambled image like the photo above and the speakers emitted a bold electrical hum. No TV channel could be seen or heard. It was like a jamming station. Being hooked to the same antenna my signal was a clear as a bell. I could now see TV from Washington DC.
I remember one neighbor coming over to see if my Apple II was putting out some weird interference. I turned off my computer and went to his house, and it wasn’t that. I knew full well what the problem was.
I did get my brother a device like I had that didn’t interfere, but he still kept the old one for spite. If either neighbor was a prick, they didn’t get to see the last 15 minutes of their favorite TV shows that evening, or maybe for that week if they were especially evil.
Oddly neither neighbor ever asked me if I was having trouble with TV signals. They blamed the interference on a local industry.