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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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