Hi, folks. Although I live in West LA, I have been following this thread with interest because I do not get very good OTA reception from the Mt. Wilson stations (apparently due to the fact that we're sort of in a valley and behind the tall buildings in Century City).
I have a Hughes E-86 and am currently using a Radio Shack VU-120XR outdoor antenna (I tried the cheaper 15-2160 first, but didn't get enough of a signal), with the coax from the antenna running to an outside diplexer by the satellite dish, and then into the house through a single coax line, where it then gets split by another diplexer to run into the antenna input on the HDTV D* receiver. The signal strength is passable, but not great: can't get the loca Fox at all, and only KCBS tops out at 93-100% SS; the rest vary from 40's and 50's, with frequent drop-outs, to 60's and 70's, which appear to hold the signal, but obviously with not much to spare.
So I am thinking of adding a pre-amp, and I have seen the recommendation to get the Radio Shack 15-1171. Went down there today to pick it up, and I just want to make sure it's the same one folks are recommending, because it is labelled, "Bi-Directional Cable Amplifier" and carries a $49.99 price. The 15-1170 (which I thought I read on this thread was more expensive but less effective) is called an "In-line Signal Amplifier" and sells for $29.99. Is it indeed the 15-1171 that I want to try?
Also, I want to make sure that I am locating it properly in my set-up. Since I have no ready electrical outlet connection on the roof, I was planning on having the pre-amp inserted between the inside diplexer and the receiver, just as the final length of coax is about to be connected to the receiver. My understanding is that I don't want to connect the pre-amp to the single coax in between the two diplexers, because that will interfere with the satellite signals. But I think I also read that it's best to hook the pre-amp up as close to the antenna as possible, which in my case, frankly, seems impossible, since I don't know how I would get the electricity to run from inside the house up to the roof at that point. The 1170, if I read the instructions correctly, seems to solve this problem by having two separate pieces, one that gets inserted near the antenna and the other that connects to the power nearer to the receiver inside the house.
By the way, I've got about 30 feet of coax run from the antenna to the outside diplexer, and another 20 feet or so from the outside diplexer into the house and to the receiver.
Any confirmation/suggestions on which pre-amp to use and how to set it up in this system? Thanks.