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Hi Davesworld,

Regarding separating FM, @WileyOne1 tracked down where to order one about six months ago, per this post in a separate thread:


Good Luck! ~~ Statmanmi
It's still there, thanks!
 

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Hi, this is Javier with Televes. I am happy to respond any questions about the Avant X unit. It's a pretty straightforward device, basically just program the channels to be filtered from antenna connected, configure the output channel desired for each and the overall level, and automatically adjust. Example below:
I received an Avant X about a week ago. I have been somewhat successful setting it up but I have some questions and would also like to share some of my experience.

My rabbitears.info page:
NY Phil Allentown

I currently have a Winegard HD7698 antenna pointed toward NY with a Kitz Tech KT-500 preamp.
I also have a Channel Master CM-5020 antenna pointed toward Philly with another KT-500 preamp.

Both of these are on my rooftop. The 5020 is at about 35 feet and the 7698 is around 45 feet up.
Thick trees all around but not very near the antennas.

The 5020 is pointing toward Philly over rooftop solar panels with Solar Edge Optimizers about 15 feet below so those don't help. (reception but they do help the electric meter)

Using a laptop to program the Avant X. Seems easy to work the program.

I input the RF Channels. Hard to keep from confusing the RF channels with the display channels. For example, NY Channel 13 is RF 12 and Philly Channel 12 is RF 13. But in ASuite I really just want RF channel 13 to remain RF Channel 13 and the same for RF12. I just needed to make sure I am using the 5020 for RF 13 (Philly) and the 7698 for RF 12 (NY).

Speaking of RF12 and 13, I was having trouble receiving both of them with the Avant X at first.

Before the Avant X I received RF12 from NY fine but I could not receive RF13 from Philly ever since installing the solar panels.

After installing the Avant X, my reception of RF12 from NY was worse but I was on the cusp of getting RF13 from Philly.

To fix RF12 from NY, I was able to manually boost the signal 3db in ASuite so that it comes in great. An increase of 2db was not enough. It needed all 3db to fix it.

For RF13 from Philly, manually boosting the signal did not help. Instead, I split the antenna signal after the KT-500 and sent it into the Avant X twice. Most of the Philly channels I had in Input Two and then included RF13 with only one or two other weaker channels as Input Three and that did the trick!

With this setup I can receive RF 36, 35, 34, 32, 27, 25, 24, 18, 12, 11, 8 and 7 off the 7698 antenna and
RF 31, 30, 28, 26, 13 and 9 off the 5020 antenna. RF 6 and 33 are on the cusp. When it gets warm I hope to move the KT-500's from the attic to the mast for a slight improvement.

I found that the Avant X would power a Kitz Tech KT-200 I had lying around but would not power the KT-500 preamps. I'll try that again in case I did something wrong but it didn't seem to work on those preamps for me.

Now for the questions:
After finding that 3db increase would fix RF12, I tried simply increasing the overall output by 3, 5 and then 7 db but that did not do the same thing as increasing RF12 by 3db. Why not? Why is it that boosting RF12 by 3db relative to the other channels was different than boosting the overall signal? So when I boost a single channel or several channels individually, is that at the expense of the other channels so long as they have room to spare?

After the adjustment process, I fully expected all the channel signals to my Tivo or TV to be at the same high level but they were not. Does that mean I am doing something wrong? In the adjustment tab in ASuite there were no levels below the set level after adjustment so no errors. I did get that when including a channel with too low of a signal.

I have adjusted the overall output level higher to the point that it overloads the tuner so I know it is doing something. However, lower levels and smaller adjustments to the overall output don't seem to change the signal levels indicated at the Tivo or TV. Is that because all I have to monitor signal strength is the TV tuners?

OTA is a bit of a mystery and that is half the fun of it. The Avant X seems like a great tool but I would like to understand it a little better to get the most out of it. Thanks.

I've learned a lot from reading these forums so hope this helps someone as well.
 

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A few responses to the last post, that I hope will help:

- The Avant X is able to provide 12Vdc/50mA powering to its inputs. This is fairly standard worldwide and works with Televes active antennas and preamps. Other preamplifiers that need different voltages or maximum currents will not be able to be powered directly from the Avant X, and one will need to use a suitable power inserter ahead of the Avant X input if wishing to use such a preamp.

- It is very important for the main output of the Avant X to be loaded with a 75 ohm terminator load during the adjustment process. The reason being the Avant X reads the levels at that output as it progresses through the adjustment and sets the individual filter gains. If this output is not properly loaded the power reading will not be accurate and the adjustment not correct. Each time the Avant X is re-adjusted this main output needs to be loaded with a 75 ohm terminator. Input signals need to be connected at this point too of course, otherwise the unit will just max out the filters' gains and be totally out of adjustment when input signals are connected. This is a fairly common user error.

- It is correct that what needs to be programmed in the Avant X are RF channels, not virtuals. With the frequency shifting capabilities of the Avant X this opens the possibility of ingesting two same RF channels from different markets, and make them available in the output w/o co-channel interference, by moving one to a different available frequency.

- After the adjustment, bars in the adjustment tab that fail to reach the programmed value indicate input signals out of specs (-20 to 40dBmV).

- After the automatic adjustment, the Avant provides an extra +/- 3dB adjustment to individual filters for some fine tuning manual post auto-adjustment.

- The MER degradation from input to output in the Avant X is minimal and typically of <1dB, but it still needs to be taken into account. An RF channel that's right on the cliff and on the cusp of being decodable directly off of an antenna, might not be suitable for further processing.

- The Avant X is able to correct 60dB differences between RF channels provided they are between -20 and 40dBmV at the input of the unit, except in the case of strictly adjacent channels in the same input. In this case the Avant X is able to correct a maximum of 30dB differences between channels. This is a corner case but one that is important to consider if one is receiving two strictly adjacent channels in the same input with a bigger difference in level.

- Once an output level is set, the Avant automatically controls it's gain to maintain that output level as possible within' the AGC range.

Hope these help.
 

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After reading all the discussion between largely the same players on multiple forums I decided to purchase an Avant X. I am running two Antennacraft HDX 1000s and a Televes Dat Boss Mix. I hope to add a Date Boss LR Mix pointed towards Cleveland Ohio. I’m a little North of Pittsburgh. I don’t know if it will fit in my attic. Since I’m shootings for fringe signals I also don’t know if it will work installed on this mux. If it doesn’t I have other means to integrate the television channels into television viewing. The other three antennas should combine nicely.
 

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"- It is very important for the main output of the Avant X to be loaded with a 75 ohm terminator load during the adjustment process. The reason being the Avant X reads the levels at that output as it progresses through the adjustment and sets the individual filter gains. If this output is not properly loaded the power reading will not be accurate and the adjustment not correct. Each time the Avant X is re-adjusted this main output needs to be loaded with a 75 ohm terminator. Input signals need to be connected at this point too of course, otherwise the unit will just max out the filters' gains and be totally out of adjustment when input signals are connected. This is a fairly common user error."

Well I can raise my hand here. I scratched my head all afternoon why I was having so many problems getting this thing to tune properly. This is it.
 

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I saw that advice on one of the forums so I bought five 75 ohm terminators and had them ready. I have them on all the inputs that were not connected to an antenna plus another one on the main output. The test output I have connected to a tivo roamio. The channels look good. It just puzzles me that the signal levels are all over while the graphs that have been posted after adjustment make it look like they should all be the same. I am in a deep fringe area so none of my signals are super strong. Seems like it makes no difference if I remove the weaker signals from the filter. So I don't think it is because there is too much difference between my strongest and weakest signals. Maybe my 75 ohm terminators are not 75 ohm? I guess I could use a digital meter to check it. I also thought that it would be nice to know if all the signal levels should be about the same if I have it set up correctly. I don't have an osciliscope or real signal meter, just what is on my LG TV or the tivo roamio. Is that other user's experience that all signals are at approximately the same level after adjustment?
 

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That is kind of what this does, right? I wish it had more information about the input values and signal levels.
 

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Well I just checked the terminators and they are indeed 75 ohms. Thank you for your response. At least I know now for sure that I am still doing something wrong. Expecting to receive a USB-C to micro USB male to male cable this weekend so I can adjust it with my phone. It is a hassle to set up a laptop but will be a cinch to just hook up my phone. And even more helpful once I stash the Avant X in the attic which is a little difficult for me to access.

The Avant X came with a micro USB male to USB-A female cable. It should have worked plugging a USB-C male to USB-A male cable into that one but my phone would not recognize the Avant X as being attached to it. Couldn't see any setting on my phone preventing it so I'll see if the direct cable will work.

I will probably try setting it up with just two or three channels and check the levels. Then add channels one or two at a time and see if that works or if there is a tipping point somewhere that is throwing it off.

I don't have to terminate the test output when adjusting do I? Thought I saw someone adjusting it with the test output hooked up.
 

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The only output that needs to be terminated during adjustment is the main CATV+TV output, the test output will not affect the adjustment. Best practices dictate to terminate all unused inputs/outputs anyway, if only to avoid dust buildup in the female F connectors.

3096153


The input specs of the Avant are from -20dBmV to 40dBmV. The unit is able to balance signals coming in within those margins. This is clearly seen in an spectrum analyzer but the adjustment tab in the software provides information. After adjustment, the bars in the adjustment screen will reach the programmed output level provided the input signals are within range. If bars in that screen fail to reach the programmed output level that's indicative of them being under the -20dBmV input lowest level.

3096154
 

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Quick example with just a small indoor antenna on the back of the shop (please disregard the poor signal quality and horrid multipath and fading present on these multiplexes):

Input spectrum > Programmed channels screen > Adjustment result screen > Output spectrum

You'll see the output spectrum is filtered and only the programmed RF channels are present, cleaning up everything else from the input feed, and all the programmed carriers are adjusted to the programmed 45dBmV power. This level is also maintained over time via AGC in the Avant X. Note the output spectrum readings were taken off the -20dB test port (hence the 25dBmV values).

This is just an example with one antenna. Up to four can be connected, and frequencies shifted if same RF channels are being received from different inputs/markets.

Input spectrum:

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Programmed channels screen:
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Adjustment result screen:
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Output spectrum (as measured on the -20dB test port):
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Using the rabbitears.info link I posted above, I set dBmV for the Units and sorted by Signal Power. The weakest station I am getting most of the time is RF25 at about -37 dBmV. The strongest station is RF3 at about 4 dBmV.

The KT-500 amplifiers add 35 db so the range would be roughly -2 dBmV to 39 dBmV for my weakest to strongest stations.

I know rabbitears is only an estimate, some channels are off axis for the antenna plus other local factors affect things too. However, as long as I include only channels that are in that range the Avant should be able to process them yes?

And it appears to be doing just that because I see in the adjustment tab that almost always the channels are all adjusted to whatever level I set. But even when they are all at the same level on the adjustment tab, the channels register different signal levels at the TV or the tivo.

I am just a layman so not sure if there is something I am not considering or not doing. Thanks.
 

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Using the rabbitears.info link I posted above, I set dBmV for the Units and sorted by Signal Power. The weakest station I am getting most of the time is RF25 at about -37 dBmV. The strongest station is RF3 at about 4 dBmV.

The KT-500 amplifiers add 35 db so the range would be roughly -2 dBmV to 39 dBmV for my weakest to strongest stations.

I know rabbitears is only an estimate, some channels are off axis for the antenna plus other local factors affect things too. However, as long as I include only channels that are in that range the Avant should be able to process them yes?

And it appears to be doing just that because I see in the adjustment tab that almost always the channels are all adjusted to whatever level I set. But even when they are all at the same level on the adjustment tab, the channels register different signal levels at the TV or the tivo.

I am just a layman so not sure if there is something I am not considering or not doing. Thanks.
IF you are expecting the signal meter on the tv set, and the signal meter on your Tivo to correspond, that likely will NOT happen.

There's NO standard for manufacturers to say that the rf signal level setting is the same between devices at any particular level.

For instance, your tv set may show a channel to come in at 100%. Your Tivo at the same time, may show that channel is 72%. That's just the way it is.
 

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Can’t really speak to what the TV meter may reflect. Each manufacturer seems to show something different. If the Avant puts the bars at the programmed level that means that’s the power they’re coming out of the unit at n
 

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IF you are expecting the signal meter on the tv set, and the signal meter on your Tivo to correspond, that likely will NOT happen.

There's NO standard for manufacturers to say that the rf signal level setting is the same between devices at any particular level.

For instance, your tv set may show a channel to come in at 100%. Your Tivo at the same time, may show that channel is 72%. That's just the way it is.
I see what you mean across devices. I was just referencing the only type of signal levels I can access besides the Avant unit itself. The thing I don't understand is whether I should get different signal levels on the tivo for different channels after the Avant has done its magic. For example, Channel 13 might be at 52% while Channel 21 is at 72%. From what I can gather, if I get that, I have probably done something wrong.

It doesn't seem to be the 75 ohm terminating thing. Based on my poor analysis of dBmV levels it doesn't seem to be too much of a gap between weakest to strongest signals. So I am just trying to isolate what could be giving me those differing signal levels. Mind you the reception is improved, it just isn't registering like I expected. Also want to make sure that my expectations aren't what is flawed!
 

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I see what you mean across devices. I was just referencing the only type of signal levels I can access besides the Avant unit itself. The thing I don't understand is whether I should get different signal levels on the tivo for different channels after the Avant has done its magic. For example, Channel 13 might be at 52% while Channel 21 is at 72%. From what I can gather, if I get that, I have probably done something wrong.

It doesn't seem to be the 75 ohm terminating thing. Based on my poor analysis of dBmV levels it doesn't seem to be too much of a gap between weakest to strongest signals. So I am just trying to isolate what could be giving me those differing signal levels. Mind you the reception is improved, it just isn't registering like I expected. Also want to make sure that my expectations aren't what is flawed!
Make a chart of your channels. Now, write down the average signal levels you are getting on each one. Now, correlate that with your Rabbitears report. Are they showing the kind of average that the weaker ones have the lowest level? (as I would expect)

If so, then IMO, that means that the incoming signal levels don't fall within the Avant X's adjustable range, so it's not able to boost the weakest ones enough to measure the same levels. So then, you'd need to figure a way to boost them, or just live with it.
 

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@TelevesTech, I do have to say the manual that comes with this unit needs to be rewritten. This discussion, as well as others, is required to set this amplifier up properly. The discussion that got me the information I need to configure my setup is over on the satellite guys forum. As this amplifier is shipped, most people are going to connect the antennas, follow the manual, and conclude this unit does not work very well when really the problem is poor documentation.

1. Put the warnings upfront - Tune the amplifier with the supplied 75-ohm terminator on the output. I read the manual as the amplifier has to have a 75-ohm load, don't try and tune it with the output open and unloaded. So I installed the amplifier in my system, believing I have it properly loaded for tuning. I did not.
2. Put the recommendations upfront.
3. Explain what each item does in the A Suite software. As much as it says it is intuitive, it's really not. Explain all the buttons and options. I still don't know what the equalizer does. I have external power injectors for my antenna because they require more power than this unit supplies. The buttons on the top of the A-Suite configuration page say nothing about external power to your antennas. I falsely assumed that off / on / auto meant just that. The input is off or on or using automatic tuning. Not that the input is injecting power to drive the antenna preamplifier.
4. Explain the technical limitations discussed in the various forums around the internet, including this one.
 

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You get it after working with it a while but it would be helpful to have it explained better up front.

For example,
The Read button in ASuite means that ASuite will read whatever configuration the Avant currently has into ASuite.
Selecting Send in ASuite will send whatever configuration is currently showing in ASuite to the Avant.
Open will open a saved configuration from the computer storage location.
Save will save the open configuration in ASuite to computer memory, NOT the Avant.

When you select Adjust, ASuite will check to see if the configuration is different from the Avant unit and if it is, it will update it and then adjust and send that to the Avant. If the configuration is the same, it will adjust and send that to the Avant.

Adjusting the individual RF channels up or down by up to 3 db is like an over ride of the automatic adjustment. ASuite accepts that over ride and sends it immediately to the Avant. If you select Adjust again, that wipes out any over rides. When you over ride a particular channel up or down, ASuite flashes "adjusting" on the screen just like it does when you press the Adjust button. That led me to believe that it was adjusting every channel again but I think it is just sending the over ride to the Avant rather than readjusting everything just because you over rode one channel's setting.

Though there is an Adjust button on the Avant, it is not necessary to use it if you are using the ASuite program which has its own Adjust (virtual) button to select.

ASuite is pretty simple so that after you get used to it, a modern phone is more convenient and plenty good to make any changes without bothering with a laptop or something.

Just some random thoughts on what I think I picked up correctly after working with it a little.
 

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@TelevesTech, I do have to say the manual that comes with this unit needs to be rewritten. This discussion, as well as others, is required to set this amplifier up properly. The discussion that got me the information I need to configure my setup is over on the satellite guys forum. As this amplifier is shipped, most people are going to connect the antennas, follow the manual, and conclude this unit does not work very well when really the problem is poor documentation.

1. Put the warnings upfront - Tune the amplifier with the supplied 75-ohm terminator on the output. I read the manual as the amplifier has to have a 75-ohm load, don't try and tune it with the output open and unloaded. So I installed the amplifier in my system, believing I have it properly loaded for tuning. I did not.
2. Put the recommendations upfront.
3. Explain what each item does in the A Suite software. As much as it says it is intuitive, it's really not. Explain all the buttons and options. I still don't know what the equalizer does. I have external power injectors for my antenna because they require more power than this unit supplies. The buttons on the top of the A-Suite configuration page say nothing about external power to your antennas. I falsely assumed that off / on / auto meant just that. The input is off or on or using automatic tuning. Not that the input is injecting power to drive the antenna preamplifier.
4. Explain the technical limitations discussed in the various forums around the internet, including this one.
I agree there's room for improvement in the documentation. The clientele of this device has traditionally been more on the professional antenna installation side, and that seems to be the right balance for that demographic. For end customers the manual could be clearer.
 

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I agree there's room for improvement in the documentation. The clientele of this device has traditionally been more on the professional antenna installation side, and that seems to be the right balance for that demographic. For end customers the manual could be clearer.
I'll leave you with this note. I was a professional that engineered and built out one of the largest terrestrial backhaul broadcast signal networks in the U.S. for a major satellite provider. And as the documentation is written I was stumped. I knew enough to go looking for answers. I'm going to add some notes to this thread later for other people to find at a future date.
 
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