maximum number of antennas hooked to a pre-amp

dave73

DTVUSA Member
#1
Since I'm currently dealing with crybabies on avsforums (not gonna go into detail at the moment), I'm gonna try & ask this on this board. How many antennas can safely be hooked up to a pre-amp & still work? I currently use the RCA pre-amp, model# TVPRAMP1R. At the moment, I only have my Philips suburban/rural antenna hooked to it,while my other antenna (Winegard HD-1080) won't be amplified, due to 1 station not needing it. In the near future, I plan to add a UHF only antenna for South Bend stations, as I live on the fringe of their coverage area. I currently get WSBT 22 nearly every night & most mornings with my Philips antenna pointed toward Chicago (this antenna amplified). So it's picked up off the side of this antenna. It could be possible this station might be picked up off the side of the unamplified Winegard antenna pointed at WYIN. I want South Bend's WSJV 28, WSBT 22 much better than what I get now, WNIT 34 (RF 35), & WNDU 16 (RF 42). This antenna is amplified mainly for WWME-LD on RF 39 (PSIP 23.2) and while I don't care about WOCK-CD (RF 4), I get that station too with the pre-amp, or I wouldn't get it at all, since it only broadcasts at 300 watts, while WWME-LD is 15kw, but needs the pre-amp to get that station too.

My pre-amp is capable of amplifying separate VHF & UHF antennas as well as a VHF/UHF combo antenna. Now can more than 2 antennas (if set to separate VHF & UHF antennas) or 1 antenna (if set to common, or combination) overwork a pre-amp, and cause it to stop working?

This is my TV Fool Chart at what is capable of being picked up in my area. The only channels I'm interested in getting are: WNDU 16 (RF 42) NBC, WSBT-TV 22 CBS, WSJV 28 Fox, & WNIT 34 (RF 35) PBS. These 4 channels need amplification to get since they're about 60 miles from my home, and do come in from time to time, with WSBT coming in the most, due to being on 22. WNDU used to also be a regular when they were on 16, but they chose to stay on 42 since they would have lost coverage in order to protect WYIN Gary Indiana on RF 17, had they returned to 16. WYIN has a null toward South Bend, because they originally had to protect WNDU when they were on 16. The only reason I didn't list RF channel for WSBT & WSJV because that's also the RF channel for those 2 stations. I'm only concerned about South Bend stations at 88° - 90°, while retaining Chicago stations at 333° - 336° (especially WWME-LD, & probably whenever WCUU-CA goes digital).
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#2
Dave,

I am sorry you received some attitude-issues on another Forum. I've also been there and done that.

The concept of capturing FREE OTA is simple in some places and dreadfully complicated in other places. That's the way it works (or no it doesn't work)!

I create antenna systems that do not require ANY amplifier help. Your TVFOOL report is very similar to mine. However, to be able to receive the stations I currently capture, I had to design three different indepedent antenna systems to receive channels from 5 different compass points. This includes a dedicated (old-style) CM-4221 on a rotor that captures 16 channels. The other antennas I specifically designed and built do the rest.

Ultimately, I wired my home for three different (switched) antennas. BUT ... In your situ ... it looks far easier than my home setup or many others I have setup over the years.

A (modern) combination VHF/UHF antenna might get you satisfactory results. My second thought is a high-gain-high-band VHF Yagi and a high-gain UHF antenna combined with a USVJ. This can be done using only one coax downlead, but an antenna rotator (rotor) will be required.

Good luck and please keep us posted.

Jim

Psssssst, Dave ... trust me. Fall back and regroup. A clean low-strength HDTV signal ALWAYS TRUMPS an amplified TV signal (added noise) ...

PS From the top of your post: regarding the maximum number of antennas (safely) on the same pre-amplifier? Assuming they are split using a UVSJ, that makes two: one VHF and one UHF.
 
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dave73

DTVUSA Member
#3
Dave,

I am sorry you received some attitude-issues on another Forum. I've also been there and done that.

The concept of capturing FREE OTA is simple in some places and dreadfully complicated in other places. That's the way it works (or no it doesn't work)!

I create antenna systems that do not require ANY amplifier help. Your TVFOOL report is very similar to mine. However, to be able to receive the stations I currently capture, I had to design three different indepedent antenna systems to receive channels from 5 different compass points. This includes a dedicated (old-style) CM-4221 on a rotor that captures 16 channels. The other antennas I specifically designed and built do the rest.

Ultimately, I wired my home for three different (switched) antennas. BUT ... In your situ ... it looks far easier than my home setup or many others I have setup over the years.

A (modern) combination VHF/UHF antenna might get you satisfactory results. My second thought is a high-gain-high-band VHF Yagi and a high-gain UHF antenna combined with a USVJ. This can be done using only one coax downlead, but an antenna rotator (rotor) will be required.

Good luck and please keep us posted.

Jim

Psssssst, Dave ... trust me. Fall back and regroup. A clean low-strength HDTV signal ALWAYS TRUMPS an amplified TV signal (added noise) ...
Since this antenna setup is hooked to 2 TV's, a rotor is out of the question. My eventual plan is to have separate VHF & UHF antennas for Chicago. UHF is only needed for South Bend since that's always been a UHF only market, & that market was only allocated 5 full power stations (16, 22, 28, 34 (non-commercial), & 46 under the old allocation table). 46 is the only one I don't care to get since it's a religious station. LeSea Broadcasting of South Bend, IN owns 46, WHME-TV already owns LP stations WHNW-LP 18 in Gary, IN & WHVI-LP 24 Valparaiso, IN, & carry their World Harvest Television network. I don't care for those stations, & wouldn't care if they never went digital. So I have no intention of having antennas toward downtown Gary or toward Valparaiso. Just Chicago, Cedar Lake, IN (where WYIN's tower's located), & South Bend are the directions I plan to have antennas. The only reason WYIN is well south of me is because they can't afford to locate in Chicago. They already pursued that option in 2003 & bought their transmitter & antenna. Lease costs on a Chicago skyscraper prevented that move, & had to stay at their site in Cedar Lake, IN. So that's the only reason I have a separate antenna just for that station. Before the separate antenna, WYIN was picked up off the back & west side of the combo antenna, & their signal dropped out a lot.

I know how much of a frustration it can be for people in most markets having the towers in several directions. The Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo, MI market is one of those market. Milwaukee, WI is another market with the towers in several directions within a 10 - 15 mile radius. In that market, with the exception of WWRS Mayville, WI (RF 43), all Milwaukee area stations are on one of the towers in Milwaukee or Shorewood. WWRS can't locate in Milwaukee in order to protect co-channel WCPX Chicago (also on RF 43)

As for having my antenna amplified, it's needed because WWME-LD otherwise doesn't come in, nor does WOCK-CD (rarely watch this station, but occasionally watch English language programming on Korean network, Arirang on 13.2), as I mentioned is only 300 watts. I can't have a tower where I live at, and since I'm in a mobile home, I can't have my antenna too high above the roofline. So 20-25 ft. off the ground is the most I can do.

Now the problem I'm having on AVS Forums has to do with the color of my text. Some people on that board are using the retro look, and complain that the green text hurts their eyes. The retro look looks horrible, and the yellow text hurts my eyes more than the green text. Get this, some of those same people got a moderator to remove the green color. That pissed me off. People whining about a stupid color.
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#4
No amount of antennas can "overwork" a preamp and cause it to stop working, unless you're talking multiple phased yagis aimed at a transmitter right in your back yard.

What will happen if you're just combining everything on the same band is that you'll have losses due to reflections (signals being transmitted out the other antennas) and multipath. This is why the rotor is the best solution if you need gain in several different directions.

But It looks like you really only need two directions. Given your TVFool, I'd just aim the antenna at the weaker station and work from there. You may be able to find somewhere in between that gets both stations with some compromise.

I have a similar situation here. See my http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29&q=id=81a3014da1c266

My desired stations are everything out of NYC at 134 deg.

But off the side lobes I also get WTBY and WRNN reliably. I even get KYW pretty often.
 
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