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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have two HR 10 250's with an attic antenna that suddenly no longer provide a strong enough signal to watch OTA HD locals. I kind of doubt that all 6 stations suddenly have the same problem.

Any ideas what I can check that I may have forgotten? It has been a long time not havng to mess with these issues. All the coax is visually connected except for the attic. (That is a real chore to get to and I doubt it fell off.) Can an antenna amplifier be checked easily? I have one at the distribution panel.

Thanks for any help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Jim,
It was the amplifier. Good call! Is there a way to tell if I need it? I still get good looking pictures? I don't know if it was put in becasue there was prewiring for quite a few runs around the house or, maybe they had one on the truck to get rid of, or?
 

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rick peterson said:
...Can an antenna amplifier be checked easily? I have one at the distribution panel.

Thanks for any help.
Typically, when the amp is at the distribution panel, it has been installed to compensate for distribution loss. IOW, if you need to feed a lot of rooms, the amp keeps the levels properly high on the subscriber side of the splitter (at the set). If you are now just feeding one or two locations, you probably don't need it (assuming use of a smaller splitter with less loss).

If the amp were mast-mounted, that would be an indication of low signal at the receive point, and probably would not be put in unless it was necessary (meaning it is still probably necessary).

If reception is not as good with the amp removed and barreled through, you may need a replacement. Here's how to be sure: Get a $29 RatShack UHF/VHF amp (try for one with an FM trap or add the FM trap separately) and put it in place, and get a $8 variable attenuator from them, too, which can fine-tune reception levels and can give you 10-20 more on the meter in many cases. Put the attenuator in line just before the Tivo input and watch the Tivo metering screen as you rotate the control (try this on your worst channel, then your best channel).

If the reception meter reading increases steadily as you rotate the control from 0 dB towards -20 dB, then you absolutely don't need the amp and can take it back for a refund. If the signal goes steadily down as you rotate the control, then you absolutely should keep the amp in line. If it goes up first and then down, try the test again without the amp. If you can get a reading without the amp as high as you can with the amp (attenuator adjusted for best peak reading), you don't need the amp (keep the attenuator in line). If you do get a higher reading with the amp, you probably do need the amp (and may not need the attenuator).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My favorit local PBS was still not right and I thought it was them but not sure. The audio was good but the video was stop action.

Turns out that about the same time my antenna amp went out, the PBS station had a loaner decoder installed which wasn't set up quite right for all the different receivers out here.

So it was my amp plus the one station having problems which they have resolved.

I contacted the PBS engineering department and they were very glad for the input and went to work to solve the problem with me.

GO PBS!
 
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