Amplifier not amplifying? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 11-25-2010, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I got a cheap Philips 24db dual output amplifier that does not seem to have any effect on signal strength. I watch tv over-the-air with a big old outdoor antenna, most stations about 40 miles away, with trees and hills in the way, but I get pretty good reception except for Fox, so am missing some good football. I use a Zenith converter box with my analog tv. (Yes I know I'm outdated!). I expected at least some increase in signal strength but when I compare with and without the amplifier, there seems to be no difference. Tried connecting it both before the box and between the box and the tv. Antenna-to-box cable run is about 15 feet. I use RG-6 cable. Can it be that the amplifier is faulty? Since it's dual output--does it act like a splitter and thus weaken the signal? Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 4 Old 11-26-2010, 05:11 AM
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It's not surprising that amp did no good because you are using it for the wrong purpose. It is for splitting the coax to multiple TVs.

You need a preamp, not a distribution amp. A preamp is installed on the antenna mast, near the antenna. This is so it can amplify the signal before it travels through the length of coax into the house. Here's a very good one, used by many AVSForum members:
http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.asp?mc=03&p=CM-7777
It's not cheap, but you get what you pay for.

The power supply for the preamp goes indoors and plugs into 110v outlet. The low voltage power for the "amp" part out on the antenna mast is sent to the amp via the same coax that your TV signal comes into the house on. Wiring example:
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post #3 of 4 Old 11-26-2010, 06:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, arxaw, live and learn.
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post #4 of 4 Old 11-26-2010, 08:27 AM
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You said it's a 24 dB amplifier, therefore it should amplify the signal by 24 dB which is quite a bit. Probably 24 dB for each of the two ports (model #?). Goes between antenna and converter box. Requires external power of its own (plugs in the wall or requires a coax-fed power supply device like shown in arxaw's diagram). If it's working you should see signal bar increases on some of the stations (unless the bars were already max) and maybe a little improvement on Fox. It may not improve picture quality due to your obstructions (multipath issues). An antenna signal amplifier is not required to be mounted on the antenna mast to amplify the signal but they do perform much better that way IF the cable loss is high (very long and/or low quality cable). That's not a very long cable but there's better quality out there, may not help much though. Also check for kinks or other bad spots on the cable and the condition of the connectors (weathered).

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