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Old 10-Jan-2016, 7:07 AM   #1
shoman94
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Pre-amp-Passive Splitter/Amplified splitter

So I was finally able to get FOX after going thru 3 antennas.
Here is my report: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...51347570c1f198

I'm using the Clearstream 4v from BestBuy. I have 3 TVs I need to connect. With a single line and a single tv I have very good signal on all channels except FOX and WPME is about 50% but its nice and clear.
If I add a Pre amp (PA-18) all channels get pixels and are unwatchable....signal strength is the same.
So I removed the preamp..... tried to split and I lose signal across the board. I added a power splitter (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/rocketfi...&skuId=9449135) and with 2 TV's the signal is still good and channels are good. When I add the third tv and see FOX and WPME start to degrade and I get some skips and pixel loss fairly consistent.


Do I need a stronger splitter amp? Would this be better(http://www.lowes.com/pd_79376-63374-...al+amplifier)? 10db gain vs 4db gain on the Rocketfish.
Will the preamp work if I also install the passive splitter?

Thanks in advance.
Jason

Last edited by shoman94; 10-Jan-2016 at 7:24 AM.
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Old 10-Jan-2016, 1:15 PM   #2
ADTech
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The PA18 is probably overloading from nearby FM stations. Other than that, it appears to be an appropriate amp for your situation. You need an FM filter or two, not a stronger amp.

Call any remaining Radio Shack stores in your area and ask them if they have any FM filters still on hand, catalog number 1500321 (15-0321). You have to call, the item is not on their website. The filter must be installed between the antenna and the amp and you'll need a short jumper cable to do that.

If you strike out with RS and don't mind a bit of a wait, fill out the contact form on our website (https://www.antennasdirect.com/custo...p-service.html) with your information and I'll get a filter and cable mailed out to you for free.

FYI, I tested that amp from Best Buy a while back. Its noise figure is so bad (> 7 dB) that there is no reason for the product to even exist, certainly not for antenna signals. It's really not a 4 dB amp, it's a 12 dB amp with an integral 4 port splitter (~8 dB insertion loss). I haven't tested the RCA amp shown, but it's probably a 15-18 dB gain amp with the same type of splitter and corresponding insertion loss.

Quote:
Will the preamp work if I also install the passive splitter?
Yes, as long as you don't make the common mistake of installing a non-power passing splitter between the preamp and its power inserter. If your cabling layout requires the splitter to be installed in that cabling segment, a power-pass splitter must be used.
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Last edited by ADTech; 10-Jan-2016 at 1:26 PM.
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Old 10-Jan-2016, 2:51 PM   #3
shoman94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
The PA18 is probably overloading from nearby FM stations. Other than that, it appears to be an appropriate amp for your situation. You need an FM filter or two, not a stronger amp.

Call any remaining Radio Shack stores in your area and ask them if they have any FM filters still on hand, catalog number 1500321 (15-0321). You have to call, the item is not on their website. The filter must be installed between the antenna and the amp and you'll need a short jumper cable to do that.

If you strike out with RS and don't mind a bit of a wait, fill out the contact form on our website (https://www.antennasdirect.com/custo...p-service.html) with your information and I'll get a filter and cable mailed out to you for free.

FYI, I tested that amp from Best Buy a while back. Its noise figure is so bad (> 7 dB) that there is no reason for the product to even exist, certainly not for antenna signals. It's really not a 4 dB amp, it's a 12 dB amp with an integral 4 port splitter (~8 dB insertion loss). I haven't tested the RCA amp shown, but it's probably a 15-18 dB gain amp with the same type of splitter and corresponding insertion loss.



Yes, as long as you don't make the common mistake of installing a non-power passing splitter between the preamp and its power inserter. If your cabling layout requires the splitter to be installed in that cabling segment, a power-pass splitter must be used.
I'll be calling at 11am when they open.....
Is this basically the same filter? http://www.amazon.com/RadioShack-Rad...ywords=fm+trap
It's a different number than you mentioned.

From my antenna to the splitter in the house is about 35 feet then each run is 35 feet or less from there.

So in your opinion I'm better off to use an FM trap,the PA-18 and a passive 4 way splitter vs no FM trap,no preamp and a better splitter amplifier?

EDIT: I called RS and the 1500321 is an amplifier... So I'm assuming that you meant to use the part number I linked above. P/N-1500024.

My local RS has a few in stock at 1.97 on clearance! I'll buy a few in case something happens to it...lol

Last edited by shoman94; 10-Jan-2016 at 3:17 PM.
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Old 10-Jan-2016, 4:31 PM   #4
ADTech
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Yes, I mis-quoted that part number from memory, you got the right one. Good catch.

Quote:
So in your opinion I'm better off to use an FM trap,the PA-18 and a passive 4 way splitter vs no FM trap,no preamp and a better splitter amplifier?
Yep. You already have almost all the parts, just need the filter/trap(s).
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Old 10-Jan-2016, 4:43 PM   #5
shoman94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
Yes, I mis-quoted that part number from memory, you got the right one. Good catch.



Yep. You already have almost all the parts, just need the filter/trap(s).

Why do you mention traps in multiple?
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Old 10-Jan-2016, 5:44 PM   #6
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In case you need two in series.
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Old 10-Jan-2016, 6:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
In case you need two in series.
Heh..... How would I know that?
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Old 10-Jan-2016, 7:33 PM   #8
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Try one filter first. If the original problem is still there, try adding a second.
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Old 10-Jan-2016, 8:00 PM   #9
shoman94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
Try one filter first. If the original problem is still there, try adding a second.
OK thanks... I bought 3...lol

Can i test this with 30 feet of coax to the antenna?

EDIT: So installing 1 fixed most except 2 channels... 6.x and 51.x

Then I installed 2.... 51.x is good but still fluctuates some signal wise... Channel 6.x is about the same... Maybe a touch better...

Then I installed 3.... 6.x still cuts out and pixelate, no real change. 51.x still fluctuates but no drop outs.

Any advice?

Last edited by shoman94; 10-Jan-2016 at 9:14 PM.
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Old 10-Jan-2016, 9:13 PM   #10
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Put the filter between the antenna and the amp, keeping all cabling before the amp to a minimum for best results.
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Old 10-Jan-2016, 9:15 PM   #11
shoman94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
Put the filter between the antenna and the amp, keeping all cabling before the amp to a minimum for best results.
So installing 1 fixed most except 2 channels... 6.x and 51.x

Then I installed 2.... 51.x is good but still fluctuates some signal wise... Channel 6.x is about the same... Maybe a touch better...

Then I installed 3.... 6.x still cuts out and pixelate, no real change. 51.x still fluctuates but no drop outs.

Any advice?

EDIT: Looks like WMEA radio station freq 90.1 is in the same exact direction as WCSH 6.1. Is that the culprit?

Last edited by shoman94; 11-Jan-2016 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 11-Jan-2016, 2:37 AM   #12
shoman94
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I'm also wondering now if I should be using the Antennas direct FM filter based on this chart...

http://forum.tvfool.com/attachment.p...9&d=1436108763
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Old 11-Jan-2016, 3:48 AM   #13
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Ok now that I have spent a little time watching the channels with the family in bed.

My current setup: CS4V antenna aimed at 28DEG (TRUE) and 20' up and 5 feet above the peak of my metal roof.
2 RS FM traps, PA-18, PA-18 power inserter, 3 way splitter (5-1000mhz)

TVFOOL:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...513421e7b3a772

FMFOOL:
http://www.fmfool.com/index.php?opti...pper&Itemid=29

These issues only start after adding the PA-18 but is it tolerable (sort of) with the 2 FM traps. If I don't use the Pre-amp I cant split the signal to more than 2 tv's without issue and having the PA-18 also increases my weakest signal (23.1) by 5% to 10%.

This is all new to me. I just cut Directv! YAY! lol

6.1(Real-44)- Audio drops/skips randomly... not as bad as the others.
8.1(Real-8)- No issues
13.1(Real-38)- No issues
23.1(Real-23)- Audio drops/skips randomly every 5 to 15ish seconds (Sometimes video is effected but not pixel drops)
26.1(Real-45)- No issues
35.1(Real-35)- Audio drops/skips randomly every 5 to 15ish seconds (Sometimes video is effected but not pixel drops)

This evening,channel 51.1) has the most audio drops/skips.
51.1(Real-43)- Audio drops/skips randomly every 5 to 15ish seconds (Sometimes video is effected but not pixel drops)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg TVFoolReport.JPG (129.6 KB, 357 views)

Last edited by shoman94; 11-Jan-2016 at 9:55 AM.
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Old 11-Jan-2016, 11:32 AM   #14
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Try testing (same TV set) with a straight-through coupler instead of the three port splitter. Repeat testing with at least one of the other available TV sets and see what happens.
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Old 11-Jan-2016, 11:56 AM   #15
shoman94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
Try testing (same TV set) with a straight-through coupler instead of the three port splitter. Repeat testing with at least one of the other available TV sets and see what happens.
I'm 99% sure I did that before installing the splitter but I'll do it again when I get home from work.

Weird though that the channels in question are all on UHF and close to the same channel (23,35,43,44)

Last edited by shoman94; 11-Jan-2016 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 11-Jan-2016, 10:37 PM   #16
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Looks like both Panasonic TV's are better. No noticeable dropouts but the problem channels listed above have large signal fluctuation problems. Some as much as 20%.

On my XBox One I'm still having the same problems but just slightly better. WCSH isn't cutting out anymore but the rest are about the same. This tuner was connected to the 3.5db drop of the splitter originally. Unfortunately I cannot see signal strength on the XBox.


EDIT: I installed a different splitter and the Panasonic's seem to be doing OK and I also switched to a different COAX going to my XBox since I already had 2 lines running there. Nothing has changed with the XBox.... with or without the splitter. So it looks like maybe the splitter was doing something but it did not stop the slight dropouts on the XBox. Is the PA-18 too strong?

Last edited by shoman94; 11-Jan-2016 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 12-Jan-2016, 11:52 AM   #17
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I'm assuming by the amount of responses here I'm shit out of luck?
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Old 12-Jan-2016, 12:00 PM   #18
ADTech
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Quote:
I'm assuming by the amount of responses here I'm shit out of luck?
You should assume that more patience is required. A forum is not a medium for immediate responses.

You mentioned earlier that the antenna is above a metal roof.

As currently installed, is the antenna situated so that the incoming signals must cross the roof to arrive at the antenna or is the antenna mounted so that the signals hit it before crossing the roof?
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Last edited by ADTech; 12-Jan-2016 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 12-Jan-2016, 12:05 PM   #19
shoman94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADTech View Post
You should assume that more patience is required. A forum is not a medium for immediate responses.

You mentioned earlier that the antenna is above a metal roof.

As currently installed, is the antenna situated so that the incoming signals must cross the roof to arrive at the antenna or is the antenna mounted so that the signals hit it before crossing the roof?
Yes it goes across the metal roof. If you look at the attached image above you see where the antenna is placed. It is 5 feet above the peak of the roof attached by a gable end mount.

Just to reiterate though... I don't get these signal fluctuations without the PA-18.

EDIT: I don't expect immediate responses but I also don't see anyone else chiming in. My statement was based on limited responses that I have normally seen in other threads buy some very knowledgeable people as yourself. My post was in no way to insult anyone.

Another question, Can there signal fluctuations be the Pre-amp clipping?

Last edited by shoman94; 12-Jan-2016 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 12-Jan-2016, 3:38 PM   #20
rickbb
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With a metal roof between the antenna and the transmitting tower you could be getting reflections of the signal from the roof. This can cause issues.

You may want to try a taller mast or move the antenna to the other side of the house to eliminate that reflection.

Of course none of that may work, but it needs to be eliminated and trial and error location testing is the only way to do it.
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