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Service & Repairs
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had installed an 8-way CATV splitter for 3 new locations and of course the signal was poor and only half of the channels worked. The install is located in the attic and this is where the amplifier will be too.

A) Is it bad to install an amplifier in the attic (heat)?

B) Can you suggest a decent amplifier manufacturer?

Thanks.

Using RG6 if that matters.
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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A) Is it bad to install an amplifier in the attic (heat)?

B) Can you suggest a decent amplifier manufacturer?
I wouldn't be too concerned about attic installation, unless you have a really hot one. Minimum standard design spec for semiconductor circuitry is at least 90°C.

For mfg's, I'm drawing a brainblank right at the moment except for ChannelMaster. They're an old and well respected name in the TV industry, and it's hard to go wrong with one of their products.

Just make sure the amp you get is bidirectional, as the set-top box, cable modem etc need to be able to send signals back up the line. Oh, and 1 GHz bandwidth.
 

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Id start with making sure the fittings are cut in clean, I did a few hundred re-wires and some tech stuff when cox went digital in my area and its usualy a bad strip job at the fittings.

Ive seen 2 6 ways put in a house and signal loss wasnt an issue. whats the signal strength coming into the house?
 

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Chief outhouse engineer
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Not my area of expertise, but I just checked last week with a local antenna guy about an attic install and he said they were having trouble with the switch to digital. Attic installs weren't getting enough signal strength.

I live in the boondocks, 40 miles from closest signal and 100 miles to closest metro area. Don't know if that matters.
 

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Around here Channel Plus are rather popular, their amps work well (modulators arn't great though).

Make sure your using snap and seal style connectors not crimp-ons! Longer wire runs need more amplification. Many cable boxes have a built in diagnostics meter that will tell you if the signal is low, incase you don't have a cable signal meter.
 

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Service & Repairs
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Around here Channel Plus are rather popular, their amps work well (modulators arn't great though).

Make sure your using snap and seal style connectors not crimp-ons! Longer wire runs need more amplification. Many cable boxes have a built in diagnostics meter that will tell you if the signal is low, incase you don't have a cable signal meter.
I just bought a compression tool from Klein but I must not have the right connectors because each time the connection is poor. Yes I have type f compression connectors but still a no-go.

I know the splitter needs an amplifier because when I disconnected the 3 new cable runs the other televisions worked fine and in order to get the 3 new lines operating I have to use an 8-way splitter.

is this any good? http://www.techmall.com/Channel-Plus-18db-Fixed-Gain-Amplifier-DA-500A-p/29167.htm
 

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I just bought a compression tool from Klein but I must not have the right connectors because each time the connection is poor. Yes I have type f compression connectors but still a no-go.

I know the splitter needs an amplifier because when I disconnected the 3 new cable runs the other televisions worked fine and in order to get the 3 new lines operating I have to use an 8-way splitter.

Just curious?? What cable (other than saying RG6) are you using. Not all cable is the same and just because it has RG6 printed on it does not make it good quality.

You might want to look hard at the cable itself and then determine the length. The next issue is the connectors. Installing an amplifier will not compensate for having bad terminations.

A signal strength meter would be very helpful in your situation.

The bad terminations you are having could be related to bad cable and not technique................... or both.:whistling

Good luck.

Les
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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Just curious?? What cable (other than saying RG6) are you using. Not all cable is the same and just because it has RG6 printed on it does not make it good quality.
By the same token, cable quality is all too often pointed at as the very first suspect, while in my experience it's seldom the primary cause of problems.

Having seen the quality of many CATV installers' work, when we finally got cable here ~15 years ago, I wired the house and simply had them bring the drop to my coax, outside. The installer was all ooh-and-ahh over the fact that I used RG59/U instead of RG6.

Over the years there have been occasional issues with signal strength/quality, but they have always been caused by something outside the house. And my cable modem and TV card for the PC work just fine, on the third level of two-way splitters down. :thumbup:

I could mention that I was a TV tech for a few years in the past... But since I just did, I won't. :jester:
 

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By the same token, cable quality is all too often pointed at as the very first suspect, while in my experience it's seldom the primary cause of problems.

I could mention that I was a TV tech for a few years in the past... But since I just did, I won't. :jester:


Hey Tin

Would my post have read better if I would have listed the "cable quality" issue further down the list??:laughing:


Les
 

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I just bought a compression tool from Klein but I must not have the right connectors because each time the connection is poor. Yes I have type f compression connectors but still a no-go.

I know the splitter needs an amplifier because when I disconnected the 3 new cable runs the other televisions worked fine and in order to get the 3 new lines operating I have to use an 8-way splitter.
Mag, take that Klein crimper and throw it in the freaking bin!

Go to your local ADI and get these:

http://www.youdoitelectronics.com/id104.htm

Thomas and Betts make the best F-connectors and BNCs I've used, their RCA's arn't the best though. One tool with no dies to loose does all the different ends. I don't think they sell the old style crunchers that I have but the ones listed on the site work great, if your in ottawa soon I think I have 3 or 4 rusty sets kicking around.

As for stripper the T&B and Ideal and Greenlee are all made by some chinese company in different colours, I use a Paladin since it stripes both RG6/RG59 and cat-5/cat-6/cat-7.

I use the T&B "Ultimate" F connector since it does Quad/Double/Single/FT4/FT6 so you only need to stock them for RG6 and RG59.

Gem connectors suck, ICMs are ok, Ideal and decent greenlee/paladin suck.

Bottom line is if it crimps metal around that cable and distortes the di-electric don't use it. If it compresses a plastic ring in the back or an aluminum sleeve in the centre then your good to go. The cable should rip before you can pull the end off.

Before you start buying amps clean up the cable as much as possible, tighten all connections, use good splitters, check your ends for shorts. If you have unterminated ends on your cable adding terminators will reduce leakage.

The amp you listed should work fine, but try to do a little math in your head, using the cable boxes or meters determine how much more signal you need. Then figure out if that 18db boost is the correct amount, that's a fixed booster if 18 is too hot then your going to have lots of distortion and will have to gang up attenuators to fix it.

Cable amps for digital cable must be bi-directional...I think most are now.

Hope that helps.
 

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Service & Repairs
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It does, thanks. Now I'm pissed I wasted $60 on the Kleins.

I have some questions that I need to ask you tomorrow about "leakage" and "the math" as far as CATV goes.
 

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ampman
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I just bought a compression tool from Klein but I must not have the right connectors because each time the connection is poor. Yes I have type f compression connectors but still a no-go.

I know the splitter needs an amplifier because when I disconnected the 3 new cable runs the other televisions worked fine and in order to get the 3 new lines operating I have to use an 8-way splitter.

is this any good? http://www.techmall.com/Channel-Plus-18db-Fixed-Gain-Amplifier-DA-500A-p/29167.htm
sound like a shorted line mabye at one of the crimps
 

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Handle It!
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Sounds like a shortly inserted "F".

The lack of insulation to the rim of the thread bay is the #1 insult to ANY video signal!

What I mean is that if the White core insulator falls short of the base of the "F" head, the threaded part, one CAN and most likely WILL get lines or snow.
 

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Magnettica,

I know you have heard many opinions in this post, here is mine. I use an Ideal crimper and F connectors because they are the most cost effective. Unless you are doing CCTV you won't need BNC. If you purchase the matched set then you will have no problems with your compressions. I would recommend the Leviton amp (cost). All of these are sold at ADI, Platte, and Home Depot.

Make sure you have 75 ohm terminators on all cables that are not connected to TV’s and this will help to clean up your signal and may alleviate the need for an amp.
 

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Service & Repairs
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you but it's already done. Amp went in, all the lines were tested and worked beautifully.

What is the proper decibel level for an incoming CATV line?
 

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There is a manufacturer in New Jersey named Extreme Broadband Engineering. They have an 8 way Unity gain amp (whatever you put in you get out), that is remote powered and is safe to be placed in the attic. Call and ask for Brian and tell him Donavan sent you.
 
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