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Old 8-Jul-2015, 2:41 PM   #1
Ranchman
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Help for selecting a new antenna

New guy here. Iím so glad I found this site.
I need some help selecting a new antenna. Hereís my report.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...8e033ae180e82d

I have a very old antenna from the early 80ís in the attic at one end of a very long ranch style house. Itís hooked up to 4 HD TVs. The TV closes to the old antenna getís many channels. The other TVís lose channels the further away from the old antenna. My goal is to at least have all of the TVís the same. I plan on placing the new antenna on the roof at the middle of the house.
Any suggestions on a good antenna would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, Ranchman
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Old 8-Jul-2015, 4:37 PM   #2
Tim
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If you are getting good signals from your current antenna to the closest TV, then maybe a new antenna is not your best option. Can you tell us a little more about how your system is set up? For example: Do you have a 4 to 1 splitter with a different RG6 cable going to each TV? How long is each run? Or do you have multiple 2 to 1 splitters? RG59 cable instead of RG6? Any way you can post a picture of the antenna? The more information you can provide, the better the responses will be.
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Old 8-Jul-2015, 5:50 PM   #3
Ranchman
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I have a 4 way splitter 40-2150 MHz at the antenna. Attached to the antenna with a 75 to 300 converter. (two wire to coax) The antenna is about 8ft long made by RCA. It's blue. Distance from antenna to TV 1st 12ft, 2nd 24ft, 3rd 35ft this connection goes from antenna to a wall outlet then to the TV. Last is 55 ft I disconnected this one at the 4 way for now. I'll try and post some pictures. The cable is all old been in the house at least 25 years. Not sure what it is.

Thank you for the help
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Old 8-Jul-2015, 6:12 PM   #4
Tim
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Since you are getting good reception at TV1, for the next step I think I would get an F81 barrel connector and connect your antenna to the other TV cable runs one at a time and see what you get.


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Old 8-Jul-2015, 6:33 PM   #5
Ranchman
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I'll get it and give it a try. Just to make sure I understand. I replace the splitter with the barrel connector and try each TV separately.
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Old 8-Jul-2015, 6:54 PM   #6
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Yes, this will help you determine if the splitter or the cable is at fault.

David
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Old 8-Jul-2015, 7:55 PM   #7
Tim
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Originally Posted by Ranchman View Post
I'll get it and give it a try. Just to make sure I understand. I replace the splitter with the barrel connector and try each TV separately.
Yes sir, that is correct.
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Old 9-Jul-2015, 4:31 PM   #8
Greenish Apple
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Another thought about splitters, they split the signal, then split it again inside. So you have one outlet with -4db and the others with -8db. It could be that the other TVs are connected to the higher loss outlets.

Maybe a CM 3414 distribution amp would help instead of the splitter. It pushes the available signal to all TVs.

David
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Old 9-Jul-2015, 4:37 PM   #9
Ranchman
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I got a F81 and hooked up the TVs one at a time and received all the same channels on each TV.
I then replaced the F81 with a 2 way splitter that I had and 2 TVs received all the same channels again.
When I use the 4 way I lose channels.
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Old 9-Jul-2015, 4:47 PM   #10
Tim
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You could try replacing the 4 way splitter first. They are relatively inexpensive. For example the Ideal 4 way splitter at Home Depot or Lowe's is about $7. That could possibly resolve the issue if your old splitter has a defect. However, if the four way splitter is causing too much signal loss then I second Greenish Apple's suggestion of the Channel Master (also sold as PCT) CM-3414 distribution amp to replace the splitter. You can pick them up for less than $35 online. The home center stores usually have some other brands of amps available, but I think the build quality of the Channel Master is much better.

Last edited by Tim; 9-Jul-2015 at 4:55 PM.
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Old 9-Jul-2015, 4:47 PM   #11
Ranchman
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Originally Posted by Greenish Apple View Post
Another thought about splitters, they split the signal, then split it again inside. So you have one outlet with -4db and the others with -8db. It could be that the other TVs are connected to the higher loss outlets.

Maybe a CM 3414 distribution amp would help instead of the splitter. It pushes the available signal to all TVs.

David
Would that unit require an outlet? Close to the antenna?
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Old 9-Jul-2015, 4:50 PM   #12
Ranchman
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Originally Posted by Tim View Post
You could try replacing the 4 way splitter first. They are relatively inexpensive. For example the Ideal 4 way splitter at Home Depot or Lowe's is about $7.

If that does not resolve the problem then I second Greenish Apple's suggestion of the Channel Master (also sold as PCT) CM-3414 distribution amp to replace the splitter. You can pick them up for less than $35.
I have another 4 way 5-900 MHZ. Different than the new one from radio shack I was using I'll give it a try.
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Old 9-Jul-2015, 4:55 PM   #13
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Would that unit require an outlet? Close to the antenna?
Yes.

Power is need is at the splitter location for the "easy" version of the install. If you do not have a power receptacle within easy or convenient (<25' where you can simply run a coax line) distance, then you will need to use a remote power inserter and you can power the amp from one of the outlet locations where a convenient outlet is available. PCT sells a power inserter as an accessory. You can also use a sat/TV diplexer, it will work the same.
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Old 9-Jul-2015, 11:58 PM   #14
Greenish Apple
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Yes, the CM 3414 needs power so it can add db instead of remove them as the splitter will. It maintains the signal from point B to point C.

David
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Old 10-Jul-2015, 12:38 AM   #15
ADTech
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The 4 port distribution amp is actually a ~15 dB amp in front of a four-way splitter. Final output should be around ~7-8 dB HIGHER power than it was at the input. The noise floor is also raised by the amount of the amp's noise figure.
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Old 10-Jul-2015, 1:05 AM   #16
Greenish Apple
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Why not use the distribution amp instead of the splitter (and not loose db)?

David
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Old 10-Jul-2015, 3:15 AM   #17
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Tanstaafl.
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Old 10-Jul-2015, 3:24 PM   #18
Greenish Apple
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I don't recognize that acronym.
--- ah, "There Ain't No Thing As A Free Lunch"
(it should be T.A.N.T.A.A.L. or TANTAAFL)

Still, the splitter will create ascending losses.

I have a Monster 3-way splitter that has -5.7dB on all out-ports, whereas cheaper splitters have -4/-8/-8dB (if they are marked).

David

Last edited by Greenish Apple; 22-Jul-2015 at 2:22 PM. Reason: Found definition & Use Uppercase for acronyms...
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Old 10-Jul-2015, 6:26 PM   #19
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Quote:
I have a Monster 3-way splitter that has -5.7dB on all out-ports, whereas cheaper splitters have -4/-8/-8dB (if they are marked).
Yes, that is the difference between a balanced and an unbalanced three port splitter.

My previous point is that you WILL loose signal power in a splitter (insertion loss) regardless of whether there is an amp in the circuit or not. The whole point of the amp is to provide adequate gain so that the splitter's insertion loss no longer dominates since the amp's gain is greater than the splitter's insertion loss, plus there's a bit of extra gain to cover downstream signal loss due to more cabling, etc.

The net cost of the amplification is a raising of the noise floor by the amount of the amp's noise figure, operating costs (electricity), and the acquisition cost of the amp.
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Old 10-Jul-2015, 7:32 PM   #20
rabbit73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranchman View Post
I have a 4 way splitter 40-2150 MHz at the antenna. Attached to the antenna with a 75 to 300 converter. (two wire to coax) The antenna is about 8ft long made by RCA. It's blue. Distance from antenna to TV 1st 12ft, 2nd 24ft, 3rd 35ft this connection goes from antenna to a wall outlet then to the TV. Last is 55 ft I disconnected this one at the 4 way for now. I'll try and post some pictures. The cable is all old been in the house at least 25 years. Not sure what it is.






http://pctcorporate.com/images/stori...6a_Ver%202.pdf

Do I need a power inserter to use this amplifier?
http://support.channelmaster.com/hc/...his-amplifier-
Quote:
No, in 95%+ of the situations, it will not be necessary to use the power inserter since the amplifier is usually mounted near a power outlet. There are no performance advantages to using the power inserter Ė it is only used to allow the unit to be remotely powered when the amp canít be located near a power outlet. A power inserter is used to back feed power to the amplifier through one of the RF output ports. This allows the amplifier to be mounted at a location where power is not available. The output port that is used to back feed power is usually marked as RF Out/DC In or something similar.

It is important that if the power inserter is used that it is installed correctly. The PCTMPI1G power inserter has markings on the label to show the correct way to connect the cables. The side marked ďTo AmpĒ should never be connected to the TV. This port will have 12VDC on it, and it is possible that older TVs can be damaged by that voltage. Newer TVs should be protected, but not all may be protected.
You don't need a splitter. The 3414 is an amp and splitter combined in one unit.

For the above diagram, I'm assuming you have all four coax lines in the attic. If you only have one coax line in the attic, then you would use a 3410 in the attic connected to the power inserter down below, and then a 4-way splitter.

The illustrations I have used are for the PCT amps, because the Channel Master instructions don't show how to use the power inserter. PCT bought out Channel Master and also makes the 34xx series amps. The only difference is the stupid black label on the CM amps that is nearly impossible to read.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 3414 power normal.jpg (72.7 KB, 1936 views)
File Type: jpg PCT-MPI-1G (2).JPG (29.6 KB, 724 views)
File Type: jpg 3414 power remote.JPG (164.8 KB, 1249 views)
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Last edited by rabbit73; 10-Jul-2015 at 8:37 PM.
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