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Need recommendation on 8 port bi-directional cable TV amplifier

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I need to split an analog cable TV signal 7-8 ways.

In my test set-up it would be helpful if I could connect my cable modem to the splitter as well.

I figured since I was splitting that many signals(6+modem in test, and 7 or 8 ways in the final set up) I should get an amplifier.

I looked on ebay, since I didn't know where to start really, and found the following products:

Viewsonics 8-Port ProFormance VSMA-608c-10R Signal Booster

0-1000 MHz
Forward Boost:
+4.0dB
Each port is +4dB higher than the input signal - approximately DOUBLE.

5-42 MHz
Return Path Loss:
0.0dB

Return Path Distortions:
Second Order: -73dBc
Third Order: -55dBc
@60 dBmV Output
Fully DOCSIS 2.0 compliant

PDI-804AR-6KV
Bandwidth Forward: 54-1000 MHz
Gain - Forward: 4 dB
Passband Flatness: ± 1 dB
Return Loss: 16dB min.
Noise Figure: 2.4 dB
RFI Shielding: >- 123 dB

Port to Port Isolation: > 25 dB
CTB - Forward: - 73 dBc
CSO - Forward: - 60 dBc
Max Output: 25 dBmV

Bandwidth Reverse: 5-42 MHz
Gain - Reverse: - 1.5 dB

ELECTROLINE EDA-FT08100 XSP
Forward Passband 54-1000 MHz
Return Passband 5-42 MHz
Forward Path Gain 3 dB
Return Path Loss 0 dB
Surge Protection 6000v

Any recommendations or comments would be helpful.
post #2 of 18
I use a Channel Vision CVT-2/8 PIA-II with Comcast analog/digital cable; comparable specs to those you listed, and works great. A couple of Comcast techs suggested it's better to split off the cable modem PRIOR TO any line amplifier (i.e., feed the amp from one output of a high quality 2-way splitter).

Tony
post #3 of 18
I also use the Channel Vision CVT-2/8 PIA-II with great results, also splitting off the cable modem before the amplifier. Highly recommended.
post #4 of 18
Ditto on the Channel Vision CVT-2/8 PIA-II.

The sole purpose of the amplifier is to compensate for the loss of the long coax runs. You only need a few dB of gain - not the same situation as an LNA (Low Noise Amplifier) used for an OTA antenna.

I have about 50' of quad-shielded coax running from the amp to 8 different locations. It's part of my homebrew basement "distribution panel" with 1 amp for OTA and 1 for CATV, along with ethernet and telco.

Don't worry about the details. The specs are in the ballpark and all the right features are listed. The fact that the PDI-804AR-6KV lists a lot more specs is indicative that the design may be more "professional", but I don't know anything about it (CTB = Composite Triple Beat, a CATV intermod measurement).

Note: 4 dB is about 2.5x gain. 3 dB is 2x gain (10 * log(2) ).
post #5 of 18
It looks like all the amps the OP listed have active return (meaning the return path loss is zero) Basically they amplify the return path (for cable modem, VOD, etc) so it makes hookups a no brainer. It eliminates the need to split the cable modem before going to the amp. (I couldn't find the manufacturers spec sheet for the PDI but am thinking the 804AR stands for active return)

The Channel Vision being suggested does not amplify the return path so it isn't an apples to apples comparison.

Electroline is the amp that many cable companies install when your signal needs a boost. In my experience most cable companies use pretty decent equipment. This was contrary to what I expected as I figured many big companies would go with the most economical solution but I guess for the cable company to cost of rolling out a new truck visit outweighs the cost of the equipment so they want to get it done right the first time.

Electroline's whole business is to supply CATV signal equipment to the MSOs so they know their stuff.

Personally I use the EDA-2400 and I'm very happy with the quality of the signal. I usually get them on ebay for $10-$20 range, but the EDA-FT08100 is a new high end product so your options are limited and electroline hasn't really sold to end-users until recently so they don't have a big distribution channel. cabletvamps.com sells them.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
My application is this:

I'm going to be running 8 short runs out of the amplifier/splitter. The cable TV signal will come into the amplifier/splitter then 6 runs will come out of the amplifier/splitter and go to a PC with 6 tuners in it(runs should be 2ft), one to a digital cable box(2ft) and one to a TV near by(10ft).

Do I even need a amplifier for that?

BTW where did you guys buy your Channel Vision CVT-2/8 PIA-II and how much did it cost?

I would only need the active return path for testing the set up in my computer room, but I guess I could just split off the cable modem first, as suggested. More work, but should save me $30-60.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
After thinking about it, since my runs are so short, I probably don't need any boost, I just need 0db loss.

Looks like I can get a ELECTROLINE EDA-UG 2802 pretty cheap on ebay:
http://electroline.com/en/products/d...fications.html

What do you guys think?

Also, does anyone know what a "optional power inserter" is? It has something to do with remote powering.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richthofen View Post


BTW where did you guys buy your Channel Vision CVT-2/8 PIA-II and how much did it cost?

http://www.asihome.com/ASIshop/produ...roducts_id=155
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
That's a tad expensive for a return loss of -13.

CHANNEL VISIONCVT-2/8 PIA-II
Amplifiers & Splitters
Parameter Condition Min Typ Max
Gain-Antenna
@ 100 MHz - 4.0
@ 1000MHz - 4.0
Gain-Modulator
@ 100MHz - 2.0
@ 1000MHz - 2.0

Return Loss IN
5-40MHz - -13
54-750MHz - -11
750-1000MHz - -13
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richthofen View Post

My application is this:

I'm going to be running 8 short runs out of the amplifier/splitter. The cable TV signal will come into the amplifier/splitter then 6 runs will come out of the amplifier/splitter and go to a PC with 6 tuners in it(runs should be 2ft), one to a digital cable box(2ft) and one to a TV near by(10ft).

Do I even need a amplifier for that?

BTW where did you guys buy your Channel Vision CVT-2/8 PIA-II and how much did it cost?

I would only need the active return path for testing the set up in my computer room, but I guess I could just split off the cable modem first, as suggested. More work, but should save me $30-60.

As long as you aren't further splitting down the line and only have the 1 8-split, most of the time you are ok just going with passive splitter. If you have an 8-split followed by even more splits, that's when I would definitely start looking at amplifiers. With just an 8-split, you are kind of on the edge, and it could go either way, but many times the PQ is fine.

If you are recording analog then you should examine the PQ closely as there is gradual degradation, snow, lines, etc.

If you are mostly using digital, then it will be very obvious if there is a signal problem as you won't get any picture or you will get lots of blockiness.

Keep in mind if you split off the cable prior to the amp, you are losing a bit over 50% of the signal strength (-3db or more) If it works out fine, then no big deal but if there are PQ issues, remove that first split and see if there is any difference.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richthofen View Post

After thinking about it, since my runs are so short, I probably don't need any boost, I just need 0db loss.

Looks like I can get a ELECTROLINE EDA-UG 2802 pretty cheap on ebay:
http://electroline.com/en/products/d...fications.html

What do you guys think?

Also, does anyone know what a "optional power inserter" is? It has something to do with remote powering.

The contribution to signal loss due to the length of your cables is usually dwarfed by the signal loss from the splits themselves.

You can also check out cabletvamps.com for electroline products, but ebay auction usually gets the best prices.

The professional amps all receive power via a power adapter that plugs into the wall and connects to the amp using coax (RG6) cable. Normally this requires separate RG6 run from the power adapter location to the amp. However the power inserter allows th power to share the same RG6 run as the cable signal. There is a special port on the amp that knows how to separate power and cable signal. The Power inserter has 3 ports, one port is for cable signal + power, and the other 2 ports split out the power and cable signal onto 2 separate lines.

When I bought my EDA-2400 it came with the power inserter. However many folks sell it separate. In your application it doesn't sound like you need it.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.

I bought a ELECTROLINE EDA-UG 2802 for $30 on ebay.
post #13 of 18
Sorry for bring up an old thread but I have a very similiar need.

My setup is a pvr computer setup that will currently have 5 tuners. In the future I may stack another pvr on top and add several more tuners to my over setup.


This is all going to be used for analog tv. I will NOT have a cable modem, and wil definately not have paid high def cable in anywhere in the near future. I may do OTA hd but I would not need a strong return path for that.

So my need to to really just get the strongest signal I can to the tv tuners. I want the best picture possible.

Being all my tuners are going to be in the same area. I am thinking of mounting the splitter about the same 2 feet behind. So there will be a moderate line coming from telephone pole. Something like 50 feet then the splitter, and then 2 feet runs.

Being it is such short runs I really do not need any great boost in power, I just do not want the signal and noise issues that associated with passive splitters and this many splits.


I really want the best tv signal as possible, but do not care to pay for features I will never use. (ie strong return path values).

Anyone have any recommendations that will fit my need.
post #14 of 18
Assuming your initial line signal is adequate, you don't need cable modem capability, and need up to 8 splits (future proof), sounds like the Electroline 2802 would be just about perfect. cableamps.com is a reputable dealer and runs EBay auctions as well so you could well get it for less than the website price with a little patience. As many have said, the Electroline stuff is commonly used by the CableCo's themselves and are very solidly built particularly compared to the Radio Shack amps which tend to be noisy and have been known to cause problems both upstream and downstream.

I use it to feed 8 separate nonHD TV/VCR/TIVO including a few 75 foot cable runs without problems. I run the power supply from inside the house connected to a UPS, then a coax to the Electroline in the attic where all the lines distribute to their destinations. The UPS there allows my signal to stay active to the TIVO's which are also connected to UPS so in case of short power outages, I still get full recordings. I bought several of the 350VA APC's for $20 each when Office Max had them on sale a few months ago -- one of the best deals ever for multi TIVO houses to keep those Hard Drives a bit happier.
post #15 of 18
I use the Electroline EDA FT08100.
Only problem, the wall wart power supply case cracked. (it still works)
post #16 of 18
seems to be alot better than the 5 splitters i have in my house. only downside is running cable all from one location.
post #17 of 18
I haven't read all posts; however, I have noticed one thing missing from what I have read: Signals coming in. How do you know what type of amp or splitter to use when you do not know what your analog, digital, and data channels are coming in at?
Another thing I have noticed was the mentioning of using a non-amped line for data transfers (modems). This is not neccessarily true. Depending on what type of amp used, the data line may need/can be used off the amp. You need to take into concideration the three main signals being used by the modem; signal-to-noise ratio, transmit power, and receive power (SNR,TX,RX[in dbs]). These three signals determine the consistancy of the modems activity. The only way to boost your mbs is to be the only guy on the node (local service area, ie about three city blocks). Otherwise, a dedicated drop (incoming line from the tap) will boost the mbs.
These are just a few major points that need to be concidered. If these signals are not known, one could be spending way too much on an elaborate amplified splitter when all that may be needed is a re-work of the current splitters used by the cable companies.
BTW, the cable companies would rather send out a truck than use good equipment. When I run into somebody who knows what they are talking about when it comes to cable, I feel embarassed installing these crappy modems and amps. I think my turds are worth more on ebay than the amps they give us.
Hire a pro guys.
post #18 of 18
i'd also think try gettin an 2-way and 8-way from a cable guy when u see one and hook up like you want, see how everything work.

have the incoming to the 2 way, one leg to the modem, the other feeding the 8way.

it really just depends on how ur levels are, sometimes they are high, some are low, u really dont know and might not even need one. and if so, i personally would suggest just running a 2-way, 1 to modem, 1 to amp then to an 8-way... if possible
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