Amplifer suggestion (1 Viewer)

steve617

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 29, 2005
102
0
I have a Winegard 7082P and I am trying to pick my locals and it does a great job in clear weather. My stations are VHF and UHF 5,11,19, 39 was thinking about adding a amplifer perhaps the Winegard HDA 200. 5 is strongest signal. Just wondering if the HDA 200 would boost my signals or what other options do I have. Thanks
 

WallFishTV

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 3, 2010
48
0
Upstate SC
I mostly use an inexpensive skywalker +25 indoor amp($26 retail) on most multi tv installs. Some times this is not possible(no dry location easy acessible to wire junction). In wet locations I use a weatherproof wineguard amp(ret.$75) that can be installed in the elements. In deepfringe areas I use a channel master preamp(ret.$100) that installs directly at antenna. I've experimented with all kinds of amps and these seem to be the best IMO.
 

Tower Guy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 1, 2005
705
77
I have a Winegard 7082P. Just wondering if the HDA 200 would boost my signals or what other options do I have.

You'd be better off with a preamplifier at the antenna. The Winegard AP 8700 would be my choice for your situation.

An amplifier right at the antenna has two advantages. The system noise figure will be lower because the loss of the downlead won't matter and the impedance match between the antenna and the amplifier is less important and hence more efficient with a short jumper from the antenna to the preamp.
 

JB Antennaman

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 12, 2009
44
0
Western Pennsylvania
Let's back the bus up and start at the beginning.

In order to get a better understanding of where you live, we would need a street level address of your location. We would need to know how high above ground you are going to mount your antenna and we would need to know how many splitters you are going to use and how many connections you are going to put on that splitter and how long the cable runs are going to be. What make and model of wire you are going to use and what kind of terminals you used on the coax.

Giving us a list of virtual channel numbers does nothing for us as far as advice goes. We cannot look at station licenses, we cannot look at what is between the transmitter and the receive antenna.

Here is a basic lesson in reception. If there is anything between you and the transmitter that is 3 or more stories high, it could block your signal. Trees with leaves on it can block your signals. A hill or mountain, or if you live down in a valley - can make you loose or not get your signals, depending on how the signal refracts into your area. The time of day and month of the year and weather all is variables to your reception issues.

It is best to use a large antenna and no amplifier in a suburban area then to use a amplifier and a small antenna. Amplifiers do not compensate for a lack of signal. All amplifiers does do is amplify the signal to over come long lengths of wire. UHF - half or more of the signal can be lost in 100 feet of wire depending on the frequency and the type of wire you use. There is good RG 6 and not so good RG 6. It is best to use a wire of known quality that has the lowest amount of loss and has a solid copper conductor and not just a copper clad aluminum conductor. Sealing all terminal ends and using good crimping Techniques has as much to do with good reception as the antenna.
You could have the best antenna in the world and a poor conductor and still have a crappy signal. The same is true with amplifiers. If you use a distribution amplifier and you butt crap into the amplifier, all that is going to come out the other end is more crap.

Using a omni directional antenna in a suburban area, to compensate for no antenna rotor - when you need a antenna rotor will only promote multipath issues and co channel interference if there is several stations that are on adjacent channels.

So it is best to use the best antenna to do the job. Just as you would not buy a 1/2 ton truck to haul a 10 ton trailer. So you wouldn't buy a cheap antenna to try to receive signals 50 miles away.

The problem with the 7082P is that it is bass ackwards. After the DTV transition, most stations abandoned the VHF and moved up into the UHF.
At the same time, some stations that were in the UHF, moved down into the VHF where electricity costs are cheaper. It does not take as much power to transmit VHF as it does UHF, but UHF is better for digital television because it is less susceptible to electrical noise. Such things as ignition noise from everything from a lawnmower to a automobile to electric lines and electric fence chargers to lightning, even a light switch inside of your house being turned on or off will disrupt VHF reception.

Virtual channels are a imaginary channel number that the station was associated with before the DTV transition. Your channel 6 might be real channel 44. You might think that you still need a VHF antenna, when in some cases there are no VHF channels in your area.

That is the main reason why recycling your old antenna isn't always a good idea. You have to know which frequencies the station is broadcasting on and which direction they are transmitting in and you have to point the antenna directly at the strongest portion of the signal if the signal is weak and you might need to point the antenna away from the strongest part of the lobe of the signal if the signal is too strong or use some type of attenuator to knock it down.

That all requires a antenna rotor and mounting the antenna 10 feet above the main roof or your house to get as far away from electrical noise as possible.

The same is true with splitters. when you use a splitter you loose about 3.5 db of signal in a 2 way splitter. 3 Db is about 1/2 the signal.
At the same time, as the splitter gets bigger, the signal is divided more and more until you have nothing left coming out of the splitter.
Not all splitters are equal, some are unilateral - which means that if you walked into the splitter in the input port, two of you would walk out the other end, just that both of you would only be half as big. Your heads and your hands and your legs and your feet would still be 1/2 as big as the person that walked in the one end of the splitter.
With a cheap splitter or one that is not unilateral, the person walking into one end comes out the other ends with parts of unequal size. The problem with that is that one television might still work ok and another television in a different room might have little or no reception at all. That is not a good thing.

So knowing all the variables is the only way to suggest which antenna and which amplifier will work best for you. Just asking for a bigger amplifier will not solve your reception issues.

A amplifier cannot amplify a signal that is not there. With digital it is all or nothing. Either you have a picture perfect signal and sound or you have signal degradation or you have no signal at all. Sometimes with UHF - you can physically see the lights blinking on the transmitter tower and not have any signal - if the signal is up higher in the air then the receive antenna.

Just think of it like a flashlight. If you shine the flashlight up in the sky, it does not shine down on the ground. If you point it in front of you - it does not shine behind you. If you make the beam really wide, it does not shine out very far in front of you. Even when you make the beam very narrow, eventually the beam stops and travels no further. That is how UHF works.

VHF is like sound. If you scream - a person around the corner of a building can still hear you. A person on the second story can hear you and a person inside of a building can hear you. A yell can go up over one hill and down over the next.

Unless you are on the Buggs Bunny / Road Runner show, you cannot shoot a shotgun around the corner of a building or shine a flashlight into the side of a mountain and have the beam of light come out the other side.

So anything that can block a beam of light can also block your television signal.

Now do you understand why we need a exact physical address?
 
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steve617

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 29, 2005
102
0
I have had the antenna for 8 months it is a 7080P. RG 6 cable 2 TV's one is about 50 feet the other is about 60 feet. I have a splitter about 10 feet from one and the other is about 15 feet away. My antenna is 20 in the air.

In clear weather I get about 95 percent signal on 5.1, about 82 percent on 11.1, and about the same on 19, and 39. In very cloudy weather 39 is hard to get drops in the 65 percent range.

Aiming to 39 it is points just above the eave of my house 10 more feet would probably do the job. Just dont want to really go that high.


my channel f is on 5.1, 11 is on 11.1 19 and 39 is on their UHF band.
 
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meinename

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 9, 2008
587
0
Portland, OR
'Kay steve you can edit your address out now.

We were looking for this initially:
TV Fool

His channel 19 is on RF Ch. 27 and is in the same direction as 5 and 11
So that rules out a UVSJ and a UHF-only aimed for 39
 

Tower Guy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 1, 2005
705
77
In very cloudy weather 39 is hard to get drops in the 65 percent range.

You have an antenna aiming dilemma. Channel 39 is plenty strong, but the stations from multiple directions suggest that you selected a fixed aiming by trial and error. To get the most number of stations, you would have ended up aimed east.

The classic solutions for your situation are a rotor, or a second antenna (UHF only) and an A/B switch.

Coupling the antennas together to work as one with a splitter probably won't work. A Jointenna tuned to channel 38 (39's RF channel) can't be had. The Tinlee AC-7 will work fine. Expect to pay about $100.
 

steve617

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 29, 2005
102
0
When it is clear I can point my antenna to the east and get all channels. When its cloudy to get 38 I have to point it directly to its tower. Then if its very very cloudy its hard to get. The problem is to aim it toward the tower our roof is between the antenna and tower. I bought a 5 foot section I am going to add to the mast that should help. I dont use a rotor however I do turn my antenna when needed.
 

JB Antennaman

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 12, 2009
44
0
Western Pennsylvania
UHF - like a flashlight requires a clear field of view for proper reception.

Some building materials, even a piece of aluminum flashing 6 inches wide can make your roof opaque to those signals. Proper reception requires the proper amount of height. In some cases, the difference between 25 and 35 feet of elevation equals about 10 DB of gain.

To get good digital reception, you want to have your antenna pointed in the proper direction - which requires you to use a antenna rotor and it also requires you to mount your antenna 10 feet above the main roof of the house - in fringe reception areas.

So you already answered your own question.
 

Splicer

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 18, 2007
231
0
When it is clear I can point my antenna to the east and get all channels. When its cloudy to get 38 I have to point it directly to its tower. Then if its very very cloudy its hard to get. The problem is to aim it toward the tower our roof is between the antenna and tower. I bought a 5 foot section I am going to add to the mast that should help. I dont use a rotor however I do turn my antenna when needed.

Tower Guy said:
The classic solutions for your situation are a rotor, or a second antenna (UHF only) and an A/B switch.

Coupling the antennas together to work as one with a splitter probably won't work. A Jointenna tuned to channel 38 (39's RF channel) can't be had. The Tinlee AC-7 will work fine. Expect to pay about $100.

Adding 5 feet may be just the ticket you need. Or it may make your reception worse. You will find that many people advocate going high. "the higher the better" you will hear quite frequently. Well I want you to also know that height can also be detremental to your signal, and you could try lowering your antenna and have an equal chance of gaining better reception.

Tower Guy, in my opinion is on the right track. Ignore JB Antennaman as he just likes to spout off knowledge that you already have, or is completely irrelevant to your situation. Let me explain how everything should fall into place.

First off, lets tackle your primary question and that is about a specific amplifier. In my opinion, yes, an amplifier is needed in your situation. However the amplifier you are asking about isn't what I would recommend as it has too high of a noise level for my liking. At the same time, you do need a signal boost, but you don't want too strong of a boost, and 24dB is more than you will need and could cause more reception problems up to and including overdriving your tuner and you getting no picture.

I would stick with a low noise, medium-high gain amplifier, such as Amazon.com: Motorola Signal Booster 484095-001-00 Bi-Directional RF Amplifier:?@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41HG8Q6hI6L.@@AMEPARAM@@41HG8Q6hI6L which is an absolutely wonderful, high quality amplifier that you will install before your 2 way splitter. I have been using these in my antenna installs when a signal pre-amp is required, with great success. I also use one for my own system.

Now, on to your aiming issues. I don't care for the antenna you have unless you plan to use a rotor. When using a rotor or when only one direction is neccessary, then the antenna you have is a great choice (depending on location of course). The thing I personally don't like about using a rotor, is that you have to wait for the rotor to turn the antenna before you get any kind of a picture at all, now that everything is digital. When it used to be analog, the picture would sort of 'fade' in so it wasn't as bad. I also am not thrilled with the cost and additional equipment to make everything work. These are the primary reason I avoid rotors if possible. In fact, I have yet to install a rotor at any of my customers installations.

What I practice, and use at my house, is multiple antennas. I dislike joining 2 antennas with a splitter as it usually creates more issues than it solves. Depending on the desired channels, and the location of the transmitting towers, dictates the type and number of antennas needed if you don't use a rotor. There is a method that, again, many will say is not a good solution, but I can attest to the method working wonderfully, and many of my customers will agree as they have the same setup.

In your case, this is what I would do; I would keep your current antenna and aim it at 87degrees true azimuth for reception of your VHF stations and FM reception. Get a second UHF only antenna like the Antennacraft U-4000 UHF/HD 4 Bay Bowtie TV Antenna (U4000) - Antennacraft - U4000 - 716079002110 - and mount it under the combo antenna (about 3', no less than 2') pointed at 216 degrees. I really like this antenna. First it is very inexpensive and it comes with a 3' mast extension. Second, it is a very high quality unit with excellent construction. And it works very well. I haven't had any complaints.

To join the 2 antennas, use a balun (matching transformer) on the U4000 and RG6 jumper to the combo antenna. The combo antenna will have 2 baluns attached. Run the jumper from the U4000 to one balun, then attach the cable going in the house to the second balun. Using RG6 from the second balun to inside the home, once inside, find a place to mount the pre-amp before the 2 way splitter. I generally mount them to the back of the cabinet/stand/equipment rack at the main TV location. Connect to the input of the pre-amp and run the output to the input of the 2 way splitter. One output of the splitter to the main TV, and the other output to the secondary location.

Now this way may or may not be appropriate for your situation and if it isn't just install everything in the order listed and that is all that matters. Utilizing this setup will allow you to 'channel surf' without the need for waiting for the rotor to turn the antenna, and alot less complicated than rigging the rotor to work from 2 different locations in the home as well as enable different channels to be viewed on each set while not affecting the opposite set.

Wow! I just realized how long this is! Sorry but I wanted to be thorough. Look around for the best price on the pre-amp. Also, the difference between a pre-amp and a regular amp, is a pre-amp has a seperate power supply and an amp has a built in power supply. Pre-amps have the lower noise level of either type. If I were you, the first thing I would do is get the pre-amp. Then I would just connect it without doing anything else and see how that works out. If it does what you need, don't sweat doing anything else. If you still have problems, then try positioning the antenna higher or lower and see how that works. If everything else fails, I would do what I suggested above. Always try the cheapest way first. I am a firm believer in the KISS principle as it usually is the best. Good luck, sorry for the length, and come back if you don't understand or need to clarify something.
 

JB Antennaman

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 12, 2009
44
0
Western Pennsylvania
The best is to only use a amplifier as close to the antenna as possible
with the highest gain in the area that you are interested in receiving
(UHF) with the lowest possible noise and both at a reasonable cost.

The KEY is that you want a relative "good" level of input at your receiver
(TV) with the minimum noise.
A mast mounted amplifier (doesn't matter if it is called a amplifier or
preamplifier) is the best when you are in a remote area.
In theory it is best if you amplify a "good" signal to a higher level than
a "poor noisy" signal to a higher level. When you start out with crap and
amplify it you just end up with more crap.
All cable has loss and the higher up that you go in frequency (VHF to UHF)
the more loss that the cable has.
If you start with a low level signal at the antenna and then butt it into
coax cable you are going to have less come out at the end than went into it
from the antenna. The amount of loss depends upon a number of factors,
cable type and cable length are the two most important. Cable is rated in
db loss per 100' at X MHz (frequency). RG-6 cable is the cable most used
in TV use. Like all things there is good RG6 and not so good. Belden
1829AC Coax - Series 6 has a loss of 4db/100 feet at 500 MHz (TV Channel
18)
Channel 32 is 580 MHz Channel 52 is 700 MHz a 5 db loss At TV channel 2
the cable would have a loss of 1.4db. So at channel 18 you loose more than
1/2 the power in 100' of cable between the antenna and the TV.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly about pre amplifiers.

On paper, the Winegard pre amplifier has a lower noise factor then the Channel Master. But the Channel Master has a housing that is made of metal and will last longer than the Winegard pre amplifier. Both are good pre amplifiers, but the selling point for me for the channel master pre amplifiers is the built in switch and FM trap. You can use the amplifier with one UHF / VHF antenna or you can combine two signals with the pre amplifier for one UHF and one VHF antenna.
 

Splicer

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 18, 2007
231
0
Again Steve, ignore JB Antennaman. All he does is yap about things that have zero to do with your question. He says it makes no difference what a pre-amp is called. Well, it does. A pre-amp and an amp are two different things. That is the reason for not being call by one name. He continues his giberish saying that you will lose half of your signal strength going thru a 100' section of RG6. AGain, while irrelevant, it is untrue. He seems to think of the cable length like it is a 2 way splitter and it is not. The amount of loss being half, lees, or more is based solely on the amount of beginning power and nothing else.

So just ignore his rants and nonsensical gibberish. I really can't stand people that post untrue things acting like they know what they are talking about. So sorry your thread got hijacked by him.
 

Mr Tony

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
288
35
Mankato, MN
well its true
JB posts this huge long "good to read in the crapper" posts that have NOTHING to do with the issue or topic at hand. I posted once about a station going off the air due to no money for digital and he posted about something local to him about stations getting ad money etc
 

boba

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 12, 2003
11,351
1,033
Dorchester, TX.
Kevinw you will find as you read these posts thatJB Antennaman's post can usually be skipped over with out affecting the actual information in the post.
 

steve617

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 29, 2005
102
0
Yesterday I got the antenna raised 5 ft that was enought to gett up above my roof line. Made a big difference in cloudy weather yesterday I was able to get a 88 on the station that was not staying in. Looks like my next best option would be to got with the bowtie towards 38 and my main antenna towards the other stations. When pointing to my other locals they were in the low to mid 90's.
 

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