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Old 2-Dec-2015, 12:20 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2015
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Pre-Amp AND Distribution amp ? An unusual Situation

Links to earlier threads :

Now, I would like to apologize in advance for the long-winded nature of the following, but I would like to describe my situation exactly in order to receive specific advice.

First off, I would also like to apologize for not yet sharing the results of my antenna installation -- I receive exactly what I expected as per my TV fool report --- all broadcast towers along the 191 degree direction line -- WRGB, WXXA, WTEN, WNYT, WCWN, WMHT, WNYA, and all associated sub-channels -- for a total of 21 channels....crystal clear, and all in Hi-def.

Now, to delve into my situation -- firstly, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I initially only fed two television inputs --- my 60" main LCD TV, and a tuner dongle on my computer so I can watch my football while I play on the computer I was told that with the hi-gain Channel Master CM-7777 pre-amp, I should not have any problems feeding those two inputs, and a few more if needed......and that was exactly correct --- I had excellent reception at both inputs. Then I figured --- hey, wouldn't it be great if I could stream that OTA signal delivered to my computer out over the internet so I could watch that football game on my tablet or laptop while at work And so I did......AND IT WORKED GREAT !

So, on now to my issues, and how I got there ....To begin with, I just HAD to show off what I could do with my tablet and antenna installation to my sister who is located 40 miles further north in the wilds of the Adirondacks -- totally out of reach of any antenna reception with anything less than a 200' tower She rather wistfully mentioned she wished I could send that antenna signal to her, as she had recently become disabled and is now on a fixed income, requiring her to cut back on her expenses -- cable for one. I told her nothing could be easier, I can stream the OTA signal directly to her ROKU --- and so I did.

The issue -- in order to be able to stream OTA to my sister AND watch TV on my computer AND potentially stream a separate OTA signal to me or my wife whilst at work (or otherwise away from home), AND provide DVR capability to all involved, I had to add some tuners to my computer/server setup -- a BUNCH of tuners --- and so I did.

Here is what I threw on my computer to accomplish what I wanted (what I had accumulated in my parts box over the years ):

One Hauppauge 1595 dual tuner dongle (ATSC/QAM)
One Mygica U6102A Hybrid Tuner Dongle (Digital ATSC/QAM, Analog Tuner for FM)
One Avermedia A180 PCI tuner card (ATSC/QAM)

All fed through a 3-way RCA splitter.

(oh, and by the way --- I am receiving FM signals remarkably well -- pulling in stations 75 miles away -- even with the FM signal trap on the Channel Master Pre-Amp enabled)

Now, what is happening here is --- although I receive even the marginal stations acceptably on my main LCD tv --- the more marginal signals are not being received on the tuners connected to my computer properly -- they are pixellating and tearing pretty badly --- which did not occur before I added the 3 way splitter and the extra tuners. This lead me to believe that I now need some sort of distribution amplifier to service the 4 ATSC, 4 QAM, and one analog tuner connected to the computer.

My question is --- will not the hi-gain output of the Channel Master CM-7777 pre-amp overdrive any distribution amplifier I add to the tuners on my streaming setup -- is there a way to annenuate the feed to the distribution amplifier from the hi-gain pre-amp so that the signal does not overdrive the distribution amp ?

What should I do here ? What CAN I do here ?

Last edited by NthrnNYker; 2-Dec-2015 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 2-Dec-2015, 2:48 PM   #2
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is there a way to annenuate the feed to the distribution amplifier from the hi-gain pre-amp so that the signal does not overdrive the distribution amp ?
Sure is.

Install it at the input of the distribution amp and you can dial down the signal if required.

Our distribution amplifiers, CDA4 ( and CDA8 (, can withstand very substantial signal levels without themselves going into distortion. Installing the attenuator at the amp's input is a prudent safeguard against overload, though.

Here's an generic drawing showing how such an arrangement might be set up. The variable attenuator would go between the preamp's power inserter and the input of the distribution amp:

It is very possible that the problem is something other than the raw signal power, the main thing that an amp will address, so be aware of that potential.
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Last edited by ADTech; 2-Dec-2015 at 2:53 PM.
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