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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im in the Madison Wisconsin area (west side) and I just picked up the incredibly hard to find samsung DTB-H260F OTA receiver, I purhased an indoor/outdoor antenna from radio shack seems to work well but im going to get the one the reviews really like which is the 15-1880 amplified antenna, Ive been reading about a "preamp" what does this do in this situation and will It benefit me to put one in this setup? also does anyone locally know what stations I should be getting for both hd and analog stations, like I said im a total novice when it comes to this stuff so I could definately use the help
 

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I think a pre-amp is basically useful in three situations:


1. You have a long run of coaxial cable (50+ feet) between the antenna and the receiver, in which case putting a pre-amp at the antenna overcomes the signal loss in the cable.


2. You want to split the signal in order to feed more than one device. A two-way splitter gives you half the original signal in each branch, minus a bit more for "insertion loss", for a total loss of about 3.5 dB. A four-way splitter gives you 1/4 the original signal, minus the insertion loss, for a total loss of about 7 dB. A pre-amp overcomes this loss.


3. You have a weak signal (from a distant or low-power station) which gives you a low signal/noise ratio, the noise being introduced by the input stage of the receiver. If you amplify the signal enough, the "noise" part of the signal/noise ratio becomes the noise introduced by the amplifier. If the amplifier's "noise figure" is significantly lower than that of the receiver, you thereby increase the signal/noise ratio, which makes it easier for the receiver to decode the signal.


For a pre-amp to work well in any of these situations, you need to use a low-noise pre-amp such as a good Channel Master or Winegard (about 2-3 dB noise figure). I've never used Radio Shack's pre-amp but I think I've read that it's noise figure isn't very good.


Try your antenna and receiver without a pre-amp first. If you can get good reception, fine. If you can't, you should first consider getting a more sensitive antenna, and/or moving it ourdoors. A pre-amp should be a last resort. I use a Channel Master 7777 myself, which is about as good as they come, but most of my stations are 50-80 miles away, so I need all the help I can get.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by funlvr1965 /forum/post/0


I purhased an indoor/outdoor antenna from radio shack seems to work well but im going to get the one the reviews really like which is the 15-1880 amplified antenna, Ive been reading about a "preamp" what does this do in this situation and will It benefit me to put one in this setup?


The 15-1880 is an amplified antenna, so you cannot add another preamp to it. Also, the 15-1880 has been discontinued, which is a shame, because this is the best small indoor antenna I have ever owned. However, you may be able to find one used on ebay, such as this one: Item number: 300070657435



On the other hand, if you are in a difficult reception area, you would be much better off with an outdoor antenna such as the Channel Master CM4228, which is one of the best for fringe area reception. And best of all, it's really not a large antenna, so it's easy to mount. And as a last resort, if you can't mount it on the roof, you can use it in your attic. Just keep in mind, that a preamp is necessary with the CM4228, especially if you are using a long run of coax to connect it to the receiver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good ideas guys thanks, my local radioshack can locate another 15-1880 in another store so I think im going to wait for that one to come in and bring back the one I have now which seems to work fine in my basement but im not sure how many stations im supposed to get if im setup correctly, like I said this is only my second time doing this, the last time was when I lived in DeerPark long Island in New York 3 years ago but then I had the samsung 151 and a huge radioshack antenna on the roof on the house where I rented an apt, also im assuming that either way getting a preamp wont hurt please let me know if im wrong, im always like a bit of overkill but if it will degrade the signal if I dont need it then I wont mess with it. " Dibenzylacetone " nice to see a fellow Long Islander on the forum, I had to leave though, too expensive, just got back from jersey 2 weeks ago, still crowded and crazy traffic better for me here in the midwest but I will always be a NYer at heart, thanks again guys for the helpful info anything else I should know?
 

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"seems to work fine in my basement" --- you are really hurting your chances of getting good reception using an indoor antenna in a basement or even low to the ground. VHF and UHF TV signals are "line of sight" transmissions and the ground is an excellent barrier to receiving the signals.


Even an indoor antenna located higher in the house with a longer cable to the TV might work better. But the very best solution is an outdoor antenna, even if it is mounted very low on the roof for esthetics. The cheapest outdoor antenna will out perform even the best indoor antenna in the basement.


check www.antennaweb.org and enter your full address to see what is available. Sort the results for digital transmissions only and see what you should be receiving.
 

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Every amplifier adds some amount of noise and distortion. Excessive signal levels make these much worse. Often, any amp at all can be a problem.


Cascading two amps (like adding another amp to an "amplified" antenna) is usually a disaster. Too much amplification in a single amp can be just as big of a problem, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
has anyone had experience with this antenna, Im seriously thinking about using the radio shack 15-1880 amplified antenna (indoor) because of the great reviews the one in the pic is another one from radio shack, also amplified but can be used as an indoor/outdoor antenna I received full strength signals from the samsung STB-H260F OTA receiver but im wondering if its better if I use this one outside instead of the 15-1880 inside, im about to go pick up some coax cable whats the best type I should use? or are they all the same, I can go to radio shack or home depot and whats the max lenght I should use? I dont want to have to use anymore amplification or lose signal
 
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