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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to use a distribution amp with an OTA antenna in the attic, possible one port or 2 port versions. Which models are recommended for low noise specs and better design circuitry? Considering EDA Electroline, Motorola, PCT/Channel Master, CE Labs, and PDI Sat. Most of these versions can be used preamp style with a remote power supply. Any thoughts or suggestions here?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So nobody has a dist amp recommendation? The brands I mentioned all have decent reviews. Obviously better than the Walmart and Radioshack versions. Just looking for some real world experinces. Will probably use preamp style with a remote power supply.
 

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I've used the Channel Master 3414 & am very pleased with it. It works like a charm with a mix of strong & weak signals from the same direction. It actually provides better performance than having the TV connected directly to the antenna. Also works much better than the Winegard HDP-269 with 2-4 sets connected.
 

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The Channel Master 3414, which is actually a PCT PCTMA24PN, is an excellent amplifier. Although, if you already have the splitter you need, a single output drop amp would be just fine. The Evolution EVO1-AMP-1 is an excellent amp as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Rules  /t/1416743/distribution-amp-recommendations#post_22155825


I've used the Channel Master 3414 & am very pleased with it. It works like a charm with a mix of strong & weak signals from the same direction. It actually provides better performance than having the TV connected directly to the antenna. Also works much better than the Winegard HDP-269 with 2-4 sets connected.
I have heard good reports on the PCT/Channel Master dist amps before as well, and it is good to hear that it deals well with both strong and weak signals without overloading. I have both strong local as well as some weaker , distant signals, so that may be a good recommendation to consider. But I've also heard the Motorola amps were good, and wasn't sure about the Electroline.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerSC  /t/1416743/distribution-amp-recommendations#post_22155750


The brands I mentioned all have decent reviews. Obviously better than the Walmart and Radioshack versions.
I know this sounds like total heresy so please hold off on the flames. But you asked for real-world experiences: For almost ten years now, I've been using a basic Radio Shack RF amp at the RG-6 coax distribution point in the garage of my two-story house. Four sources feed this amp: One is a long run of coax to a 'pre-digital' Radio Shack VHF/UHF antenna mounted up in the attic. Two more sources come from the modulator outputs of a Dish Network 622 receiver in the family room set to Ch. 60 and 64. The fourth comes from the S-video output of a Dish Network 211 receiver in the MBR, fed through a Channel Master RF modulator on Ch. 16. The four sources are combined at the amp input through a simple reversed 4-way coax splitter... no fancy joiners. This setup provides off-air signals plus three "house" channels.


The output of the Radio Shack amp runs to a two-way splitter, and from there into 8-way and 4-way splitters that feed coax outlets in every room of the house. I have a bunch of older SD sets connected that (thanks to the demise of analog OTA) now receive only the three house channels, plus five HD sets and/or Dish receivers with built-in ATSC tuners that receive OTA digital plus the house channels. This cheap little RS amp works perfectly: All 3 house channels are sharp and clear on both SD and HD sets, and all the digital tuners receive nice strong OTA signals from every digital station in the area (all about 30 miles away).


This little unit does everything I need, has run 24x7 for ten years without a glitch, and gives me nice sharp signals at 16 outlets (I'm fussy about quality, too). With all due respect, I can't see paying many times as much for a more expensive brand with theoretically better specs and design.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by rvonder  /t/1416743/distribution-amp-recommendations#post_22186356


I know this sounds like total heresy so please hold off on the flames. But you asked for real-world experiences: For almost ten years now, I've been using a basic Radio Shack RF amp at the RG-6 coax distribution point in the garage of my two-story house. Four sources feed this amp: One is a long run of coax to a 'pre-digital' Radio Shack VHF/UHF antenna mounted up in the attic. Two more sources come from the modulator outputs of a Dish Network 622 receiver in the family room set to Ch. 60 and 64. The fourth comes from the S-video output of a Dish Network 211 receiver in the MBR, fed through a Channel Master RF modulator on Ch. 16. The four sources are combined at the amp input through a simple reversed 4-way coax splitter... no fancy joiners. This setup provides off-air signals plus three "house" channels.

The output of the Radio Shack amp runs to a two-way splitter, and from there into 8-way and 4-way splitters that feed coax outlets in every room of the house. I have a bunch of older SD sets connected that (thanks to the demise of analog OTA) now receive only the three house channels, plus five HD sets and/or Dish receivers with built-in ATSC tuners that receive OTA digital plus the house channels. This cheap little RS amp works perfectly: All 3 house channels are sharp and clear on both SD and HD sets, and all the digital tuners receive nice strong OTA signals from every digital station in the area (all about 30 miles away).

This little unit does everything I need, has run 24x7 for ten years without a glitch, and gives me nice sharp signals at 16 outlets (I'm fussy about quality, too). With all due respect, I can't see paying many times as much for a more expensive brand with theoretically better specs and design.
Not all Radioshack products are bad, and obviously the version of the amp you purchased 10 years ago works well and suits your needs. Which is good. But if I were purchasing a dist amp today, I would choose either Channel Master/PCT, Motorola, or Electroline. I believe the current RS version has a higher noise figure, and not necessarily as good reviews. But the Antennacraft antennas they sell are designed well, but the build quality may not be as good as Winegard.
 

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As DTV DXers, a friend and I use the Electroline EDA-2800 with 8 ports. Electroline also makes 1, 2 and 4 port models. Just make sure you terminate any unused ports. The 8 port model allows us to use multiple tuners while looking for distant stations. So far, this distribution amp handles the weak DX stations as well as the strong local stations. My friend is 15 miles from the local Indy antenna farm while I'm a short 5 miles from it. Stats on the various models http://www.mjsales.net/pdf/electroline.pdf I purchased mine from Amazon.
 

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A "good" noise figure should have a number attached to it. Otherwise, it's just an opinion without any data to back it up.


Keep in mind that distribution amps are not designed for super sensitivity as are pre-amps - they're designed for handling large amounts of signal without overloading since they're generally re-purposed cable system amps.


A "decent" distribution amp would likely have a measured noise figure in the 3-6 dB range,
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The Motorola BDA single port version has a stated noise figure of 2.0, which is very good for a dist amp. And it can be used like a preamp with a remote power supply. And I believe the Ce Labs 6001 may be even lower.
 

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Motorola's spec sheet is 2.5 dB nominal, 3.0 dB max. Pretty good NF.


Quite frankly, it's probably a much better amp when used as a pre-amp than the really popularly recommend one(s). It's certainly better than the most popular line of distribution amps that's commonly recommended.
 
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