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Friday, December 19, 2014
 
 
 
 
 
 Solid Signal  How to Choose the right Pre-amplifier
Untitled Document

Choosing the right amplifier for your TV Antenna

Before you pick out the proper amplifier, it should be known that the job of the amplifier is to make up for signal loss from cable runs and splitters.

The idea here is to choose an amplifier that has enough gain to make up for the signal loss. Here are some rough estimates of loss:


Cable Loss -
RG6 Coax Cable - 6dB per hundred ft.
RG59 Coax - 10dB per hundred ft.

Splitter Loss
2-Way Splitter 4dB
3-Way splitter 8dB
4-Way Splitter 8dB
8-Way - 12dB

Even if ports are left unused on a splitter, there is still the same amount of signal loss.

TV Antenna Signal Loss


In the diagram above the RG6 cable length totals 100ft on the longest run for -6dB. The signal also passes through a 4-way splitter where it gets reduced by 8dB, totalling 14dB at the TV. Any pre-amp 14dB or stronger would make up for the signal loss in this home.

Below are some terms used to describe certain qualities of a Pre-amplifier

Gain: This is the most important factor in picking out a pre-amp because you want to make sure your gain is equal to or greater than your signal loss. For instance. If you have 100ft of RG6 cable , which has 8dB of loss, you want to make sure you amp is at least 8dB or stronger. Amps range from about 12-30dB.

A warning about high-gain amps. The higher gain amps are not necessarily better. If you only have 15dB of loss on your longest cable run, and you use a 30dB amp, you can overdrive your tuner with too much signal.

Noise figure:
This is almost as important as the gain. When an amp is added to a system, a small amount of signal noise is generated. The higher the noise figure, the lower the sensitivity of the tuners being used to pick up the signal. Channel Master’s CM7777 is sought after for it’s low noise figure. (Around 2dB on UHF) This is a good noise figure. A high noise figure would be 4-6dB.

Frequency VHF UHF FM:
This one is pretty simple. If your TV Antenna is VHF/UHF get a pre-amp that passess VHF/UHF. Using a VHF/UHF Antenna on a VHF only or UHF only amp will result in one of those frequencies being blocked

High input:
This feature is important for those under twenty miles, who want to make up for cable, but don’t want to overdrive their tuner. The best example of this feauture is the HDP-269

FM Trap:
FM Traps will strongly reduce FM Signal. This is used to knock down the signal level of strong local FM stations that may be causing interference to your TV station. FM Traps are either fixed, or switchable.

Connection Type: All modern pre-amps have a 75 OHM F-connector, the alternative was a 300 OHM Twin lead cable, but most of those models have since been continued.

Dual Input:
These amps have two inputs, one for VHF and one for UHF. This allows you to join a VHF and UHF signal with almost no loss.



Pre-amplifier Comparison Chart.

Pre-Amp Model

Frequency

Gain

Noise

FM Trap

Dual input

AP4800

UHF

28 dB

2.7 dB

No

No

AP4700

UHF

19 dB

2.9 dB

No

No

AP8275

VHF /UHF

29/28 dB

2.9/2.8 dB

Switchable

No

AP8700

VHF/UHF

17/19 dB

2.8/2.8 dB

Switchable

No

AP2870

VHF/UHF

17/19 dB

2.9/2.9 dB

Switchable

Yes

AP8800

VHF/UHF

29/19 dB

2.7/2.8 dB

Switchable

No

AP3700

VHF

17dB

2.6 dB

Switchable

No

AP8780

VHF/UHF

17/28 dB

2.9/2.7 dB

Switchable

No

HDP-269

VHF/UHF

12 dB Avg.

3 db Avg.

No

No

CM7777

VHF/UHF

30 dB

Unknown

Switchable

No

CM7778

VHF/UHF

16 dB

Unknown

Switchable

No

CM0068DSB

VHF/UHF

16/23

3.0/2.2 dB

Tunable

No

10G201

VHF/UHF

16/22 dB

3.0/2.6dB

Switchable

No

10G202

VHF/UHF

29 dB Avg.

3.0/2.6 dB

Switchable

No

TVPRAMP1R

VHF/UHF

16/22 dB

N/A

Switchable

Optional

PA-18

VHF/UHF

15 dB Avg.

2.8 db Avg.

No

No

CPA19

Hi-VHF/UHF

18.4/17.3 dB

1.7/2 dB

No

No


For information on How to Install a Pre-Amplifier- Click Here



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