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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Re: Amplified TV Antennas?

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js305

01-10-2014 05:45:33
184.79.57.233



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I know you don't want to put an antenna outside but if you were getting most of the stations with rabbit ears you would be most pleased at the increase in stations and quality with the smallest antenna outside. Or, if you have an attic (without a metal roof on the house) you can put one up there. It doesn't take much.
A booster amplifies whatever it sees. If you are getting a crappy signal to start with you will only amplify the bad part with the good part. The key is getting a clean, although weak. signal to amplify. Move your antenna that you have been using around to different locations first. Moving it just a few feet might make a lot of difference. It's not rocket science but sometimes it feels like voodoo instead.

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jdemaris

01-10-2014 06:00:23
70.194.11.152



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 Re: Amplified TV Antennas? in reply to js305, 01-10-2014 05:45:33  
What you said about the amps is not true. It can be true for a line-amp but is not true for a pre-
amp. A signal may be "weak" and not "crappy" as you put it. If very weak - it will be totally lost through connectors and the coax before it gets to the TV. The purpose of a low-noise signal preamp is to mount it ON or as close as possible to the antenna and it can make a night-and-day difference in reception. Adding a "line" or "distribution" amp further down the line or at the TV will not do the same job. Once that weak signal is lost - no amp will get it back. I don't know what the "crap" is in the signal you refer to. Preamp transistors make some unwanted noise but they usually make up for that in 15-30 dBs in signal gain.

I've got a tower with three 12 foot long TV antennas (VHF low, VHF high, and UHF). Nearest transmitter towers are 60 miles away with mountain tops in the way. With no preamp I can get just one channel. With a 30 dB preamp - I get over 30 channels.

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PJH

01-10-2014 07:37:31
50.40.239.62



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 Re: Amplified TV Antennas? in reply to jdemaris, 01-10-2014 06:00:23  
"I've got a tower with three 12 foot long TV
antennas (VHF low, VHF high, and UHF)."

John, I'm curious - your three antennas are in one location? Sounds like you're using fixed position antennas, all on one tower, - no rotor. I've heard that the modern TV's don't work well with a rotor - that they go into "search mode" every time the rotor is tweaked. Maybe I'm jumping to conclusions about your setup? Could you explain exactly what you have?

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jdemaris

01-11-2014 06:05:08
70.194.6.11



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 Re: Amplified TV Antennas? in reply to PJH, 01-10-2014 07:37:31  
To be more accurate - we've got 9 TV antennas set up at 3 different locations. Our house is built into the side of a mountain and we have no line-of-sight to any TV towers anywhere. There are signals available from three different directions. Albany, Utica, and Binghamton. The reason why we have three different sites is because there is no one spot on our 100 acres that can "see" all the signals. So, three different spots and each spot has three antennas. The closest antenna site is 300 feet from our house and the furthest is 1000 feet. I had to use RG11 coax and a few line-amps to make it work at 1000 feet.

No rotators. The reason is - I've yet to find a rotator that works when it's below zero F. Years back we had two rotators. Both new. One a Channel Master and the other an Antenna Craft. Neither would work when it got down to zero F. There is also the issue of having a TV tuner that allows multiple channel scans and remembering previously added channels while adding new while rotating. Some TVs allow it and some do not.

The antennas I have now work like this. Each one of the three separate areas has all three antennas on a preamp and run to the house through one coax. I.e. all antennas are connected together. At our house we have an A-B-C coax switchbox. So, there is only one set up antennas hooked to our TVs at any given time. All our TVs allow mulitple channel scans so switching from A to B or C is never a problem. All the possible channels are already registered.

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Clodbuster

01-11-2014 10:26:24
66.146.251.56



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 Re: Amplified TV Antennas? in reply to jdemaris, 01-11-2014 06:05:08  
I will declare that you "Win the Internet" for today!

That is some serious engineering and a really good explanation of it too.

I shouldn't complain about maybe needing to put one up on my house......



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PJH

01-11-2014 09:35:58
50.40.239.62



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 Re: Amplified TV Antennas? in reply to jdemaris, 01-11-2014 06:05:08  
Thanks for the explanation John. 1000 feet is impressive.

I've been putting off erecting a tower and new antenna, but the wife's patience is wearing thin, and it's quickly moving to the top of my list.



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