How to Install an Antenna Preamplifier

Are you a first-time cord-cutter who needs to install an antenna preamplifier?  Everything you need to know is in this antenna preamplifier installation guide.

A TV antenna preamplifier is a device that’s used to compensate for signal loss from a long cable run.  You’ve probably read our guide to choosing the right TV antenna amplifier and have determined that a preamplifier is the device you need to improve your TV signal.  Now it’s time to install it, and Solid Signal is here to help.  We’ve created this easy-to-follow guide to help new cord-cutters like you install your preamplifier.

Recommended tools

We suggest you use RG6 Coax Cable with a solid copper conductor for your preamplifier install.  Cables that have a copper coated steel conductor will work too but cannot support long cable runs.

Installation

Even if you’re new to cord-cutting and antenna TV installation, you can use this guide to hook up your preamplifier in six easy steps: 

  1. Your preamplifier should be installed as close to the antenna as possible.  It´s most commonly attached to the mast using a U-bolt clamp that’s included with your preamplifier.
  2. Next, connect a short coax cable to the antenna, then connect the other end to the input on the preamp labeled "ANT. Input" or “VHF/UHF.”
  3. Now run a cable from the output of the preamplifier, usually labeled “TV OUT” or something similar.  This should be the cable run that goes from the outside into the building.
  4. Once the cable is inside the building, the power supply or power injector should be installed in-line.  Connect your coax cable to the port labeled “From ANT.”
  5. Once you have the cable connected to the input on the power injector, there should be one open port labeled “To TV.”   This is where you will connect your coax cable that leads out to the TV or splitters.
  6. Make sure there aren’t any devices installed in-line between the pre-amp and the power supply.  These can block the voltage that’s being sent up the cable to power the amp, which results in an 80 percent reduction in signal.

Troubleshooting

If you’ve installed your preamplifier properly and receive worse signal than before, one of these issues might be the cause:

Over-driving your tuner: If you have TV stations within 25 miles, it’s possible to over-drive your TV Tuner with too much signal.   Please see our article on choosing the right TV antenna amplifier for more info.  The symptoms of over-driving will be a nearby channel with no reception, whereas you might still receive weaker stations.

Amp is not getting power: Device installed between the preamplifier and power supply that do not state “power passive” will block voltage, remove these items if needed.  Even other amplifiers installed between the preamplifiers and power supply can disrupt signal.  This can also be caused by using low-quality cable, especially RG59 that does not have a solid copper conductor.  Those cables cannot pass the voltage up to the amp over long runs. It’s possible that a coax cable can be damaged and still send a signal but not pass voltage.  Try replacing the cable between the preamplifier and power supply

Not getting FM: Many preamplifiers have the ability to block out FM through a feature called an FM Trap.  This is often used when an FM Transmitter is within 10 or so miles and is interfering with TV reception.  FM runs on a frequency between 6 and 7 and can affect nearby stations.  To receive FM, make sure to set the FM Trap to “OUT.”

For More Preamplifier Help

When it comes to installing your TV antenna preamplifier, we’ve provided this helpful guide for cord-cutters.  While these easy, step-by-step instructions take you through the installation process, we understand that you still might have some questions along the way.  If so, just give us a call at 877.312.4547.  Any one of our product experts will be glad to help you as you install your TV antenna preamplifier.


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