Antenna TV Signal Splitter Dillema - Ashburn, VA - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-11-2014, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all,

 

I have a question regarding a curious phenomenon I recently noticed with my antenna HDTV.  First, my setup consists of an HDTV antenna running right into an 18dB amp, then a line out to a wall jack in the bedroom below the attic.  Outside the house, the line from that bedroom becomes the "in" to an 8-way splitter which then feeds all the other jacks in the house.  I have been running this setup for the last two years with no problem, any loss in the line is made up for by the amp.

 

Recently, the signal seems to have quit on all the televisions (and the laptop I use for a DVR) in the house.  I checked the line at each node in the system.  There is signal coming of the antenna.  There is amplified signal coming out of the amp.  There is signal going into the wall in the bedroom.  There is signal coming off that line outside the house.  The signal seems to be lost when it goes into the splitter.  Simple right, just replace the splitter?  Well, I tried that... twice.  No luck.  Whatever splitter I put on the end of the line appears to completely attenuate the signal.  I am a bit confused and would greatly appreciate whatever advice I could get.  Right now, I am getting no TV signal in the house even though as far as I can tell, there is signal coming off the antenna and through the line out to the splitter.

 

Thanks!

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post #2 of 12 Old 05-11-2014, 06:25 PM
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What you're describing is an impossible situation so there must be a error in troubleshooting. wink.gif

I'm a little confused by your description. You're saying you connected a TV to the cable that goes into the splitter and it works? If not, how did you determine that there is signal present at that point?
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-11-2014, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Not a TV exactly, I am using a laptop with Windows Media Center which has a built in digital antenna signal strength indicator. It tells me the strength on a green yellow red scale. But yes, I am hooking it up and testing the signal at each node in the system including the end of the line right before the splitter.

Incidentally, I hope this just turns out to be operator error. That would make it easier to solve. Thanks!
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-11-2014, 07:55 PM
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Start by bypassing the splitter, connect 1 TV, then test reception & see if you are getting a signal. Did this happen as a result of any recent storms?
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-13-2014, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestion, I didn't try hooking the live line right into a TV. I will give that a try when I get home in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, there have been no storms I am aware of, so I am just mystified by the sudden drop in signal over the splitter.
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-14-2014, 09:22 AM
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to an 8-way splitter which then feeds all the other jacks in the house.
It's possible one of the devices in the house has recently failed and is shorting out the signal which will affect the signal for all connections off your 8-way splitter. Disconnect each device 1 at a time and see if the signal comes back after each disconnect of the device.
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post #7 of 12 Old 06-01-2014, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I have returned from a month - long business trip and have begun to test the connections in the house one - by - one as suggested. No smoking gun. Each line, when connected directly to the signal line, works. When I connect the splitter, the signal degrades significantly. The amp seems to be working just fine, so I guess I am back to playing with the antenna and see if it helps?
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post #8 of 12 Old 06-02-2014, 04:47 AM
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First off, the "signal meter" that you're using doesn't show signal power (it shows signal decodability), the one thing that i most affected by both the amplifier and the splitter (plus cable insertion loss). A defective amp can still pass signal although at a much reduced level. There may be adequate signal power left over at the output to run a single tuner, but no enough to power the rest of the distribution scheme.

I'd suggest swapping the amp out and trying again. If it still doesn't work, swap in a temporary coax to bypass the current cabling from the amp's output to the input of the splitter.
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post #9 of 12 Old 06-02-2014, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice!  I didn't guess that I was being duped by the signal strength meter.  I will try swapping the amp out and see what happens.  Hopefully, that will do it.

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post #10 of 12 Old 06-14-2014, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by urbals View Post
Thanks for the advice!  I didn't guess that I was being duped by the signal strength meter.  I will try swapping the amp out and see what happens.  Hopefully, that will do it.
So I swapped the amp I was using with a Winegard LNA 200 preamp/power inserter combo and... The signal actually got worse. Is it possible that the preamp piece is not necessary? I am still on board with the idea that the amp may be the problem, but did I buy the wrong thing to replace it?
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post #11 of 12 Old 06-14-2014, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by urbals View Post
So I swapped the amp I was using with a Winegard LNA 200 preamp/power inserter combo and... The signal actually got worse. Is it possible that the preamp piece is not necessary? I am still on board with the idea that the amp may be the problem, but did I buy the wrong thing to replace it?
You stated your antenna setup was working fine but then stopped working. You did the normal troubleshooting and still no joy. I suspect the problem lies with the antenna. The leads on the matching transformer may be severely corroded or the problem may be with the coaxial cable connecting to it. Remove the cable and check that the inner conductor is clean. You might try a new matching transformer.
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post #12 of 12 Old 06-14-2014, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
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I hope nothing is corroded. The whole antenna end of the setup has been in my attic since I bought it and has never been exposed to the elements. I will check though...
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