What should I consider when I choose a preamp? (1 Viewer)

Dishman Dan

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I am looking at either a Winegard or Channel Master preamp for my OTA

antenna and I am confused.One website says that choosing a preamp is

determined on how close the nearest station is. Then I read that the preamp

selection is determined by how long of a cable run there is plus how many

splitters. I am thinking that the cable length and splitters are the factors when

choosing a preamp makes more sense.

Correct me if I am wrong! What all should be considered??? :confused:
 

Larry1

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Aug 24, 2005
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Port Hope, ON Canada
The reason you need to consider any local high power stations is that if the input signal is too large, the pre-amp can overload. If you are going to split the signal many times, then a distribution amp can be added (if needed). I am in what is considered deep fringe, but do have one powerfull station about a half hours drive from me. In my case I needed all the gain (amplification) I can get, so I choose a CM-7777. If not as much gain is needed, then a lower gain amp should be selected.
 

sergei

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Aug 29, 2007
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iowa
I am looking at either a Winegard or Channel Master preamp for my OTA

antenna and I am confused.One website says that choosing a preamp is

determined on how close the nearest station is. Then I read that the preamp

selection is determined by how long of a cable run there is plus how many

splitters. I am thinking that the cable length and splitters are the factors when

choosing a preamp makes more sense.

Correct me if I am wrong! What all should be considered??? :confused:

Unless you have long cable runs then just go with a mast or antenna mounted preamp and don't worry about the cable length or spitters. The reason for preamps years ago was to help elimate snow caused by weak TV signals but with digital signals you either have a signal or not and the preamp may just give you a stronger signal. If you have really long cable runs in the house then you can always add a small distribution amplifier from the output of the preamp to the splitter.
 

Dishman Dan

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Jun 22, 2008
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I am trying for some fringe channels about +/-75 miles away and I do have locals

about 25 miles away. My cable run is fairly long plus I have two 4 channel channel

modulators tied in distributing everything in my house.
 

sergei

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Aug 29, 2007
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iowa
I am trying for some fringe channels about +/-75 miles away and I do have locals

about 25 miles away. My cable run is fairly long plus I have two 4 channel channel

modulators tied in distributing everything in my house.

Getting channels at 75 miles is going to depend mostly on your antenna and how high you have it mounted and a preamp will help and not hurt you.

Are you using the two modulators for satellite channels?
 

turbosat

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 26, 2006
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Oneonta,AL
I have one from radioshack that I bought about 8yrs or so back, it has adjustable gain, and the little unit that attaches close to the antenna. Works fine for me, I was happy with it before things went digital, and seems to still be doing a good job. The stations I'm using it for are about 50 miles or so away from me, but a few days ago I aimed the antenna west instead of north, and scanned in WTOK in Meridian MS, lol.
 

Dishman Dan

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Jun 22, 2008
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Are you using the two modulators for satellite channels?

The one 4 channel modulator has a DSR922, OpenBox S9, Coolsat 6000 and 1 channel open for now.

The other has a SONY 400 disc DVD changer, DVD/HDD recorder with QAM channels, Bluray player with Netflix, Panasonic

DVD recorder.
 

Dishman Dan

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Jun 22, 2008
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I have one from radioshack that I bought about 8yrs or so back, it has adjustable gain, and the little unit that attaches close to the antenna. Works fine for me, I was happy with it before things went digital, and seems to still be doing a good job. The stations I'm using it for are about 50 miles or so away from me, but a few days ago I aimed the antenna west instead of north, and scanned in WTOK in Meridian MS, lol.

I have one of those from my old blown apart Radio Shack antenna #3! I was going to try it on my new Winegard but I need

a 300 ohm to 75 ohm transformer to use it.
 

Dishman Dan

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Jun 22, 2008
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Getting channels at 75 miles is going to depend mostly on your antenna and how high you have it mounted and a preamp will help and not hurt you.

I was receiving Antenna TV out of the Cleveland area before my antenna blew

apart and TV Fool says it is like 81 miles away from me! My antenna was only

about 25 feet high and my new one is a good 30 feet high.
 

sergei

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Aug 29, 2007
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The one 4 channel modulator has a DSR922, OpenBox S9, Coolsat 6000 and 1 channel open for now.

The other has a SONY 400 disc DVD changer, DVD/HDD recorder with QAM channels, Bluray player with Netflix, Panasonic

DVD recorder.

I have 7 Channel Plus 3025 two channel modulators for my satellite receivers plus my two OTA antennas which I feed into a Blonder Tongue 16 way cable splitter which then feeds into my distribution amplifier which feeds into 2 HC-fc Jerrold head end combiners which output to 10 TV set's.
 

Dishman Dan

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I have 7 Channel Plus 3025 two channel modulators for my satellite receivers plus my two OTA antennas which I feed into a Blonder Tongue 16 way cable splitter which then feeds into my distribution amplifier which feeds into 2 HC-fc Jerrold head end combiners which output to 10 TV set's.

Cool setup! :up

I do not have a preamp on my new Winegard OTA antenna - yet. My old Radio Shack had a mast mount amp and my channels came in from the modulators okay. Now when the modulators are hooked up I loose a few OTA channels and the OTA channels come in fine when the modulators are not hooked up. I currently have 5 TVs hooked to my coax run. The ChannelPlus DA-500BID is a distribution amp with 2 inputs for modulators and a CATV input which I assume a OTA signal can go through and has 8 outputs. Do you think that a preamp would work or should I consider something like the DA-550BID???
 

sergei

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Aug 29, 2007
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Cool setup! :up

I do not have a preamp on my new Winegard OTA antenna - yet. My old Radio Shack had a mast mount amp and my channels came in from the modulators okay. Now when the modulators are hooked up I loose a few OTA channels and the OTA channels come in fine when the modulators are not hooked up. I currently have 5 TVs hooked to my coax run. The ChannelPlus DA-500BID is a distribution amp with 2 inputs for modulators and a CATV input which I assume a OTA signal can go through and has 8 outputs. Do you think that a preamp would work or should I consider something like the DA-550BID???

Regardless of the antenna model you have I would have install a preamp, but since you already have it up that may not be possible for you, but if you can then install one as it'll help you the most. I run a preamp on both of my antenna and have no problem with close stations since going to digital. Depending on your setup buying the DA-550BID could give you more options and might help with signal quality on the some TV sets in your house, but at around 150 dollars for it, I not sure if it would be worth the cost.
 

Dishman Dan

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Regardless of the antenna model you have I would have install a preamp, but since you already have it up that may not be possible for you, but if you can then install one as it'll help you the most. I run a preamp on both of my antenna and have no problem with close stations since going to digital. Depending on your setup buying the DA-550BID could give you more options and might help with signal quality on the some TV sets in your house, but at around 150 dollars for it, I not sure if it would be worth the cost.

I can still put up a preamp without much of a hassle. I just am not sure which one for sure along with my modulators and figuring signal loss. A local guy says I should go with the most gain preamp with my situation even with my locals being less than 20 miles away. As for the DA-550BID there are some cheaper than $150 on Ebay. There was a used one that went for $15 plus $5 shipping which I did not see until it was done! :eek:
 

sergei

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Aug 29, 2007
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I can still put up a preamp without much of a hassle. I just am not sure which one for sure along with my modulators and figuring signal loss. A local guy says I should go with the most gain preamp with my situation even with my locals being less than 20 miles away. As for the DA-550BID there are some cheaper than $150 on Ebay. There was a used one that went for $15 plus $5 shipping which I did not see until it was done! :eek:

What model antenna do you have? This would make a different as to whatever preamp is suggested. The ideal thing is to look for one that has the most gain with the lowest noise figure, that what I did.
 

Dishman Dan

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Jun 22, 2008
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I tried my old Radio Shack mast mount unit and the channels come in with 1 coax directly to just a TV. The amp has a variable output with a 10db max gain. When I hook it up to my modulators and splitters I loose some channels but when I tried a Radio Shack distribution amp along with the mast mount unit they all come in. I am not sure if I should go with one of the high gain preamps with 28db gain and see if it would work without the distribution amp or??? Radio Shack does offer Winegard preamps but online only and according to the web they have a high gain Antennacraft model in store. Any suggestions would be appreciated!
 

Jim5506

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That's one of the best VHF antennas out there, but it is a little weak on UHF compared to the 91-XG and other fringe UHF only antennas.

Some just use the VHF side and add either a 91-XG or PR 8800 and the likefor fringe UHF.
 

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