Choosing a Preamp to mate with RCA ANT751R - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-25-2012, 05:23 AM - Thread Starter
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I've searched this site and others and running out of ideas...

I live in Houtzdale, Pennsylvania (16651) and I have an RCA ANT751R Antenna in my attic. I aimed the antenna and I get a few channels, but the problem is that a few of them appear to cut out at different times (randomly during good/bad weather both).

I assume since I am about 20 miles away, I need a preamp.

I am trying to find out if an RCA TVPRAMP1R would work well. I saw people on this board talking about a channelmaster 7777, but that the company changed the design and it no longer is considered a good unit (as well, I saw people saying these were susceptible to overload).

Currently my antenna is ran down to my TV and I have no splitters in line, however there is a wall plate I installed so there is an adapter or two which may cause some attenuation. I am going to attempt to remodel my living room moving my TV to the opposite wall and at that point I'd like to run cable to a couple other rooms in the house.

Can anybody give me some input on what I should buy? I have a bunch of Amazon credit, so I'm trying to get everything from there so I spend as little cash as possible.
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-25-2012, 07:12 AM - Thread Starter
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By the way... I'm seeing a lot of people posting/asking for TVFool... I never used that before but here it is http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id%3d9900aed3381625

I've used the antennaweb.org, not sure if there is any difference, it seems tvfool lists a lot more channels with a lot greater distances
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-25-2012, 08:03 AM
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Winegard 269 is lower gain and good for dealing with overload at only 20 miles. Or perhaps antenna is not aimed correctly, or maybe a different antenna would work better at that location.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-25-2012, 08:22 AM
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Or.... just mount the antenna outdoors.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-25-2012, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Or.... just mount the antenna outdoors.
Yup, not much signal for a low gain antenna to work with. Outside should work MUCH better.
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-25-2012, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, even though the antenna is saving us at least 30-40 a month, I highly doubt an outside installation would fly with my wife. It is possible I'm not exactly on with the aiming of the antenna.

I looked at a few winegard pre amplifiers on amazon, but I saw complaints that made me think it was a lower quality unit then even the RCA brand.

When I bought the house last year, I was stumbling through lowes and found the RCA ANT751 for about $12, so I figured if it didn't work oh well. I set it up inside the living room on a TV tray and I got about the same channels I am getting now (with more drop outs). I then moved the antenna to the attic, dropped a wire through the wall and it has been that way since. I went back and picked up a second antenna since they were so cheap.

There are a few directions that seem to have channels I want. Would there be any kind of cheap coupler that would allow me to combine the signals? The antennas are exactly the same, and based on what I saw with the pre amplifiers, it seems the pre amp may be possible to combine a UHF and VHF, but if the antenna is providing both signals, would that cause any problems?
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-07-2012, 02:48 PM
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SUBTITLE: An Amplifier Needs a Good Signal as a Foundation...
Quote:
Originally Posted by stingray2772 View Post

...I live in Houtzdale, Pennsylvania (16651) and I have an RCA ANT751R Antenna in my attic. I aimed the antenna and I get a few channels, but the problem is that a few of them appear to cut out at different times (randomly during good/bad weather both).

I assume since I am about 20 miles away, I need a preamp...
.
An important point to note about antennas and amplifiers is that an amplifier can *ONLY* amplify the signal the antenna picks up - i.e. it CANNOT improve the performance / gain of the antenna.

A simple experiment would be to take small TV and a short / 6 foot length of coax up to the attic and see what you have. If everything is great, an amplifier will be able to provide the gain to allow the same quality signal to go through, let's say, 100' of coax and a 2 or 4 way splitter. But, if the picture is crap, an amplifier will do you no good - you need to either move the antenna to a better spot or buy a better antenna.

Good Luck! smile.gif

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post #8 of 12 Old 08-08-2012, 05:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Well I did do some experimenting. My new Vizio TV doesn't have any sort of signal strength meter (from what I can tell), but my old LG does. The meter goes from like bad/normal/good or something like that... anyways, the channels I watch are are slightly better than normal or half ways between normal and good.

I also kept the signal meter up while I had one of the channels up that skipped, and the signal never dropped out.

My wife said recently that even when we had Dish before, this local channel would skip out occasionally - so maybe this issue is unrelated. I've since decided against getting a pre-amp. I am going to be splitting the signal eventually to 2-3 rooms, so I will see what happens after that to decide anything. Based on the signal strength from the LG, it seems like everything may be OK though.
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-08-2012, 05:35 AM
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Even outside, the ANT-751 is just enough antenna for the signal levels at your location. Can't the antenna be mounted on the J-mount where the satellite dish was? Once on the roof, the ANT-751 is less noticeable than a dish.

An amplifier will likely not help.
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-08-2012, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, the dish was at our old apartment. The new place has never had a Dish or Antenna mounted outside. I think from the signal strength I've determined that a preamp isn't going to help.... but based on what my wife has told me, the channel in question has problems using Dish (paying for local channels).
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post #11 of 12 Old 08-13-2012, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Rules View Post

Even outside, the ANT-751 is just enough antenna for the signal levels at your location.
I bought this antenna a couple months ago, and I challenge that statement. I can't judge from my experience -- all my stations that I care about are ~6 miles away -- but my unamplified signal are very strong. However when I did research I found many claims such as the one by this guy that indicate this is a a great performer beyond 20 miles out (what OP is asking about). And the guy I linked says he was even testing an inside mount!

OP, in case it isn't clear - sorry no experience for you, I'm not using an amp with my ANT751R. Good luck.
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post #12 of 12 Old 08-14-2012, 05:04 AM - Thread Starter
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I've saw some reviews as well where they were using it 20+ miles away. I've now got the antenna wire coming from the attic to the basement and then being split and both TV's have good reception (still have the same channels and the TV with the signal meter still has the same signal level).

I'm sure all of you guys have more experience then me, but with this antenna getting what seems like good reception, it is hard to justify what your implying (to buy a different antenna or at the least mount this outside). I'm of the mentality, if its not broke don't fix it. If I start to notice any problems, I'll definitely consider moving or replacing the antenna.
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