About how good are pre amps specifically the radio shack one?

J

jmcgee_jr

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
May 3, 2004
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Kirkland, WA
I live in the sticks in vermont I have a radio shack UHF antenna only and from a town about 35 miles away I get about 60% or so on my dish network 811 I am wondering will the radio shack preamp I bought put me up into the 80% range and help me get a better signal from some other stations or no?
 
J

jmcgee_jr

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
May 3, 2004
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Kirkland, WA
Well I installed it but it didnt help me at all I sitll only get 49-55% on my 811 so I guess im screwed :( no OTA HD for me. I mean isnt the Radio Shack UHF only antenna pretty good. This is the antenna I have

http://www.radioshack.com/product/i...057.2032187.2032189.2032205&parentPage=family

It says 75 Mile Range is that realistic? I mean if you do antenna web for me it shows the Littleton PBS station listed. 315 Powder Spring Rd Groton VT 05046.
 
Last edited:
BCHandy

BCHandy

New Member
Feb 5, 2006
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North East Maryland
The antenna you have is pretty good. It is extremely directional though. It has to be pointed correctly at the tower. I have it and I live 40 mile from the tower. I have the radio shack amp also the good one. I live between Baltimore and Philadelphia. I have two of them pointed in different directions and can pick up the local channels from both city. But if they are not pointed in the correct way I do not get the signal at all. Try to get the antenna as high as possible and mounted securely.
 
M

Mike0616

SatelliteGuys Pro
jmcgee_jr said:
..............

It says 75 Mile Range is that realistic? I mean if you do antenna web for me it shows the Littleton PBS station listed. 315 Powder Spring Rd Groton VT 05046.


The 75 mile range should be taken with a ton of salt. The "ratings" that antennas carry, including the color codes, are like EPA gas mileage numbers, they are under special conditions that you will NEVER achieve.

I tried that antenna with the towers located about 15 miles away, and since there is a pretty decent amount of "clutter" between me and the towers, was useless. I went to the combine Rat Shack 90/70 (http://www.radioshack.com/product/i...+antennas&x=5&s=A-StorePrice-RSK&tab=features) mile version and DID manage to get all the stations clearly. You may wish to get a higher performance antenna before you start loading on the amps and preamps.
 
snaggerbob

snaggerbob

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 16, 2004
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Taylorville,Illinois
Try a channelmaster 4228 antenna with a 7777 pre amp. It works for me. I'm 30 miles from the antenna farm.
 
J

jmcgee_jr

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
May 3, 2004
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Kirkland, WA
Mike I will get a new antenna I am really suprised that this antenna doesnt work well though. I only got a preamp cause waltinvt who lives close to me has one as well so I figured id need one. I will pick up a new antenna today.
 
J

jmcgee_jr

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
May 3, 2004
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Kirkland, WA
I am in a very hilly/mountainous area though so I was thinking I should get the biggest antenna I can get specially once the other towers go live in 2006.
 
arxaw

arxaw

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 27, 2004
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Arkansas Ozarks
Then, get a 4228 instead of the 4221, and install it as high as you can. Both the 4228 and the antenna you have require very precise aiming. The 4228 will have much better gain over the entire high VHF & UHF channel bands than the RS antenna you currently have.
http://www.warrenelectronics.com/antennas/4228.htm

Radio Shack's antenna and amp ratings are really exaggerated. Channel Master's gain ratings are closer to what you can actually expect to get.
 
ronjohn

ronjohn

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 17, 2005
788
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I have used that antenna(The RS one) and it worked pretty well for me 60 miles from the towers in Atlanta. I originally used an RS pre-amp. It was no better with the pre-amp than without. I changed to a ChannelMaster 7777 and the change was incredible. The antenna has since been damaged. I am probably going to replace it with a CM3671.
 
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Bulbman2

Bulbman2

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 18, 2005
74
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ota antenna/ pre amp

I live in Michigan and I use a cm4228 antenna with a cm pre amp. I can pull in all high defitions uhf stations in a 65mile range plus channels 6 and 10. This antenna is a uhf only but most hd signals are in uhf range. I do use a rotor because the local cbs station is 3(2) wwmt and has lousy performance and is vhf. I am in galesburg michigan and pick up lansing, grandrapids and south bend with no trouble. I believe that it is well worth your time and money to buy the best you can. Something that will last for over 10 years =3650 days might cost you about 5 cents a day.

Good luck



John
 
arxaw

arxaw

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 27, 2004
211
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Arkansas Ozarks
jmcgee_jr,
What VHF channels (actual RF numbers)?
The CM4228 usually works fine for highband VHF channels 7 thru 13, and UHF, of course. More gain on high VHF than that RS antenna.

If you want an amp, get the CM 7777 VHF+ UHF preamp. High gain/low noise.
 
J

jmcgee_jr

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
May 3, 2004
219
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Kirkland, WA
Well sincei already have the radio shack pre amp Ill keep that and try to find a local vendor that sells CM antenna. THe VHF is 3.
 
ronjohn

ronjohn

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 17, 2005
788
13
You can try the RS pre-amp with the antenna you have already, but based on my experience you will not see much of a difference. I would think you will see more improvement with the CM7777 amp and your antenna, than a new antenna with the RS amp.
 
J

jmcgee_jr

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
May 3, 2004
219
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Kirkland, WA
Ok well I called warrenelectronics I am going to order a 4228 and a 7777 I will return the RS pre amp since i still have the receipt for it. the Channl for 3 is WCAX the VHF channel is their NTSC signal not DT for DT it will be 53 but that wont be for a while so I need VHF coverage. But I will worry about that later so I ll get the 4228.
 
ronjohn

ronjohn

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 17, 2005
788
13
Where do you have the antenna mounted? How far away is it from the rcvr?

The pre-amp is used to get the signal from the antenna to the rcvr. It won't make the antenna receive better, just get that signal through the coax cable to the rcvr. The signal level drops quite a bit thru coax runs for upper UHF frequencies. The pre-amp boosts the received signal level from the outside part of the preamp to the inside part of the preamp. If the antenna will not receive enough signal, a preamp will not help. If the antenna receives enough, but it is lost in the coax run a good preamp will help. The RS preamps put so much noise on the line that they do not help very much. The CM preamps are able to get the signal in to the rcvr.

I found this out by taking the rcvr out to the antenna. At the antenna, I was able to receive everything very well. Inside I was not. This told me that the antenna was working fine. I connected the RS preamp, which I already had. It did not help. I replaced the coax between the antenna and the rcvr. It did not help. When I used the CM preamp everything came through very well. I added a rotator, because with a directional antenna I had to go outside and rotate it to two or three positions depending on which group of stations I wanted to watch.

EDIT: I posted this before I saw that you ordered the 4228 and 7777. It still is a pretty good way to see where your problem is. Good Luck.
 

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