It would depend on how long the cables are. A 3-way splitter is about $5 at Home Depot so with your strong signals it may be worthwhile to just try it and see. All splitters have some signal loss. On a three way splitter one port will have about 4 dB loss and the other two ports will have 8 dB loss each. If your splitter is marked, connect the 4 dB port to the longest run of coax going to a TV.I've already ruled out using a preamplifier. The signals are too strong where I live. But would a distribution amplifier help me without causing overload? I want to split the signal to three TVs.
So basically, a distribution amp can overload just like any other preamp. What's the difference between these anyways? I know that part of the preamp mounts near the antenna, but besides that, what is the result that each performs?To prevent Overloading the Distribution Amp or the attached TV's (weak signals swamped by IMD Noise), insert a Variable RF Attenuator on its Input (or try 3.5-4+ dB Loss through one...or two...spare RF Splitters):
You only need a small amount of attenuation, since 3rd Order Intermod Distortion Noise is reduced by 3 dB for every 1 dB of Loss, hence 3.5 dB Loss results in 10.5+ dB IMD Noise reduction....and TWO RF Splitters in series results in 21+ dB IMD Noise reduction.
An antenna preamp is designed for only a couple dozen or so channels, while a CATV distribution amp such as the Channel Master one referred to (more commonly called a Drop Amp) is designed for 77 analog channels plus a bunch of QAM (digital) channels.So basically, a distribution amp can overload just like any other preamp. What's the difference between these anyways? I know that part of the preamp mounts near the antenna, but besides that, what is the result that each performs?
Huh????If you'll be looking in the 325-350 degree direction, you'll definitely want to use a high gain preamp, such as the Channel Master CM-7777.
Using GoogleEarth (with TV & FM Icons downloaded from TVFool), I determined your LAT/LOG (to nearest 0.1-mile) and entered into www.fmfool.com. You have FIVE Very Strong (higher than -20 dBm) signal level predictions, coming from the same locations as nearby TV Stations (1 to 2-miles) North and East of you. So YES, you definitely NEED a Full Band FM Filter. Antennas-Direct or MCM-Electronics Filter would be much better than the one from Radio-Shack, which is a compromise to PASS Ch7, which you do NOT need.A lot of this terminology is confusing to me. I'm not an expert at this. So let me see if I understand something...
If I boil all this down, can I put an FM trap AND a variable attenuator before the distribution amp? Won't that filter out most third order interference before it hits the distribution amp? According to what I understand, attenuating just a little bit will help significantly reduce third order interference compared to attenuating the main signals. So if I do that, by the time the coax hits the amp, the main signals (the ones I really care about) will be boosted above the losses before the amp, and the third order interference will be lowered. Does that make sense?
From what I was reading, FM stations may be more the problem than TV stations. That's why I was thinking of adding the FM trap in with the variable attenuator.
Offhand, I don't recall whether TVFool included the Elevation Pattern, incl. Beam Tilt Angle. Can you cite where stan.s.lee said it was NOT included in the calculations??? Or perhaps Longley-Rice model didn't include it because FCC figured it was "good enough" to ONLY do calculations at the Radio Horizon.....which would overestimate signals for many viewers surrounding 5000-ft HAAT Mt Wilson in L.A.
Fol. Article may be of interest, it describes Power Curves for a variety of Beam Tilt Angles:
I guess the whole point is that it's supposed to split the signal into four outputs without causing any reduction in the signal, and that's exactly what it seems to be doing for me. It certainly didn't cause me any overload, which was a primary concern for me. I didn't notice any reduction in signal whatsoever.