I added a preamp

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by DouglasPHill, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. DouglasPHill

    DouglasPHill Well-Known Member

    1,750
    146
    Feb 10, 2005
    St Louis, MO

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    When I got my Bolt I put an antenna in my garage attic and ran about 60 ft of double shielded coax to my Bolt. I'm about 55 miles from transmission towers. I got the channels I expected but sometimes there would be pixilation, particularly bad on a couple channels.

    I had not realized that the signals were so low powered that the 60 ft of coax was hurting things. Did some reading up on preamps, glad I did, first obvious thing, you want your preamp as close to the antenna as possible, rather than something near your tv. So I bought a preamp and connected it to the antenna with 1.5 ft double shielded coax, then connected the 60 ft cable to that.

    At the tv I installed the power source for the preamp, have no idea how that works, and power source is also a cell filter to remove cell phone signals. The preamp has a little led on it so you can tell you're getting power to it. Made a big difference in the signals getting to my Bolt. Hoping it solves the pixilation issues. Will follow up.
     
    krkaufman likes this.
  2. matonanjin

    matonanjin New Member

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    Aug 26, 2020
    I am looking forward to your follow up. I am going to have to do something similar. My main transmission towers are only about 7-20 miles from me, to the south, so I get a strong signal. But I am going to put an antenna on the north roof of my house to get a Fox station about 90 miles away. (So that I can get Bears games that it carries the my local Fox station doesn't carry)

    One thing that I learned is that the quality of the cable makes a huge difference in signal strength. You are apparently aware of this from your comment, "double shielded coax". But what kind of cable? I mentioned running a long cable run of RG6 to an installer and he suggested, for that run, RG 11 instead.
     
  3. DouglasPHill

    DouglasPHill Well-Known Member

    1,750
    146
    Feb 10, 2005
    St Louis, MO
    RG6
     
  4. MrDell

    MrDell Active Member

    170
    45
    Jul 8, 2012
    Rhode Island
    May I ask what preamp you are using.... I heard channel master was pretty reliable. I am in a very good area for OTA reception but there are a few Boston stations that are right on the edge and I think an amp will do the trick... Thank you for your feedback.
     
  5. DouglasPHill

    DouglasPHill Well-Known Member

    1,750
    146
    Feb 10, 2005
    St Louis, MO

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    I had it down to this one (the one I bought) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07SRP6X7Q/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    and this one https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003P92D9Y/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1
    The first one has a cell signal filter which was why I chose it. I have heard good things about Winegard preamps but went with a lower price alternative.

    Have only had it installed for a few days so might not be a good indication of quality yet.
     
  6. MrDell

    MrDell Active Member

    170
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    Jul 8, 2012
    Rhode Island
    Thanks so much for your feedback.... going to give it a try.. getting a little chilly up here in the Northeast ... hoping for a decent day to get the job done
     
  7. DouglasPHill

    DouglasPHill Well-Known Member

    1,750
    146
    Feb 10, 2005
    St Louis, MO
    I noticed that the red light on my preamp was not on. Went to the filter (power source) and it had power. Unplugged it, made sure all the connections were good, plugged back in and the light on the preamp was back on. Earlier the house had lost power for a second. My hypothesis is the preamp doesn't like the power to flicker. Am keeping eye on it.
     
    MrDell likes this.
  8. lart2150

    lart2150 Member

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    Jul 8, 2002
    Chicago, IL.
    You could put an appliance timer on it or a smart outlet and have it turn off at something like 3am every day.

    Regarding lte filters thanks to the recent repack lte has moved down to 617mhz aka channel 38. The last phase of the repack finished in July. it looks like Channel Master has a filter that blocks 599mhz and higher but some markets use physical channel 37 but that would be blocked from this filter 36 would also be partly blocked. It looks like st louis has KSDK on 36.
     
    DouglasPHill likes this.
  9. JackMcC

    JackMcC Active Member

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    Aug 11, 2019
    The lower the noise figure on the pre-amp, the better.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. DouglasPHill

    DouglasPHill Well-Known Member

    1,750
    146
    Feb 10, 2005
    St Louis, MO
    So far having no signal pixelation as before preamp.
     
    krkaufman likes this.
  11. DouglasPHill

    DouglasPHill Well-Known Member

    1,750
    146
    Feb 10, 2005
    St Louis, MO
    Oops, spoke too soon. This evening all of the channel 11s are really bad pixelated.
     
  12. phox_mulder

    phox_mulder I get paid 2watch TV

    5,971
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    Feb 23, 2006
    Salt Lake...
    If it's just one channel, perhaps they are operating on lower power to do some work on their transmitter?
     
    DouglasPHill likes this.
  13. unclehonkey

    unclehonkey Well-Known Member

    2,307
    1,627
    Dec 20, 2012
    Mankato, MN
    NOBODY uses RF37 as that is for radio astronomy
    RF36 is the highest frequency being used in the US. Dont know where you got the info about the filter as the CM site says it passes up to 609MHZ
    TV Antenna LTE Filter | Channel Master

    Frequencies Pass 5 - 609 MHz
    Frequencies Block 610 - 2000 MHz
     
  14. DouglasPHill

    DouglasPHill Well-Known Member

    1,750
    146
    Feb 10, 2005
    St Louis, MO
    You're right, the 11s are coming in strong today
     

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