Cheap TV Antenna Preamp That ReallyWorks?


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Old 08-07-12, 11:48 AM
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Cheap TV Antenna Preamp That ReallyWorks?

Is there a TV antenna preamp that really works. Years ago I tried one I could afford from Radio Shack and it actually weakened the signal. I don't need to split the signal and it does not have to be outdoor but under $30 is necessary.

Background. I use to use an outside antenna with a rotor but one Sunday the squirrels finally broke it beyond repair. Desperate for my TV fix I hooked up a simple bare bones rabbit ears just till I got a new outside antenna. It worked so well I abandoned the idea of a new outside antenna.

Well Channel 11 decided to upgrade their transmitting antenna for better signal strength which for me had just the opposite effect. At times it is almost like one of those old time cartoons with the guy standing on one leg with his tongue out holding the rabbit ears so the signal is good. So I'd like to try an antenna preamp to see if I can reduce the fiddling to get a signal on 11, the station I watch most.

Yes, I have rescanned a couple of times with no change. Yes, better at night but still not good. No, haven't tried a different DTV converter box but it worked fine till they changed their transmitting antenna. No, I don't want to install another outside TV antenna for the squirrels to use as a jungle gym and landing pad for Evil Kinevil jumps.
 
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Old 08-08-12, 04:03 AM
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Hit up MCM Electronics for this one. We've used them in installations and they work OK for the price. You also need to buy the power inserter.
 
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Old 08-08-12, 06:47 AM
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Just what I was looking for. Thanks, Rick.
 
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Old 08-08-12, 07:17 AM
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The main thing to remember with an amplifier is that it can only amplify what you put into it. So if you feed it a garbage signal from your rabbit ears, all it's going to give you is amplified garbage. They are designed to be installed at the beginning of a long run or before a large splitter in order to offset loss in the line/splitter. They are not designed to work miracles on a crappy signal. This is especially true with digital. When you amplify a weak and distorted digital signal, you actually make it worse.

You could always install the antenna in the attic, that would greatly improve your signal while keeping it out of reach of squirrels..
 
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Old 08-08-12, 07:43 AM
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Metal roof and not enough clear space in the attic. (Attics here generally aren't built for snow load so restricted hight.)

The signal is digital so garbage is less of a concern then in the analog days. The signal is either strong enough or not. That is the display freezes as the strength drops. I can see the signal strength on a built in signal strength meter display. The problem is when the signal strength drops below a set amount the display freezes. This can easily be seen.

Thanks though for the reply.
 
 

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