by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
You have just installed your new room loop system. You have carefully followed the instructions and hooked everything up correctly. Your excitement mounts. You plug in the loop amplifier, turn on your TV, switch your hearing aids to t-coil mode, and … nothing happens. Where did you go wrong?
Over the telephone, I have helped many, many people troubleshoot their home loop installations. Since I obviously can’t see what they have done, I have to rely on their verbal explanations. I carefully go over with them exactly what they have done. Everything seems to be hooked up correctly, but the system just won’t work.
Eventually, I realize I’ve got to get down to the nitty-gritty—to the very basic basics—things that I thought were common knowledge; things that are so basic that they go without saying. Let me explain.
In my experience it goes without saying that you need to strip the insulation off the ends of the loop wires before inserting them into the loop amplifier clips. (That’s why I never said anything!) However, I have found that a few people, especially the ladies, don’t realize that insulation is there for purpose—to prevent electricity from flowing where you don’t want it to go. Therefore, when you want electricity to flow from the end of a wire, you need to strip the insulation off the ends of the wire.
Here’s my tip. If you have hooked everything in your new loop system up correctly and your system still isn’t working, double-check that you have stripped the insulation (about ½” is all you need) off the ends the wires before you put them into the loop amplifier clips. That may be all that it takes. Now, enjoy your home loop system!