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Suggestion for an OTA amplifier with a SWM?

philly

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21 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Throckmorton

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 04:53 AM

I'm looking for suggestions for an OTA amplifier for the following situation:

I have a SlimLine-5 dish feeding a SWM-8.

The SWM-8 also accepts input of an OTA antenna.

~35' cable run.

At this point, my OTA signal strengths are in the 80s-90s.

This feeds a Zinwell SWS-8 8 way splitter which feeds a couple HD DVRs and a few OTA tuners.

OTA signal strengths here are in the 30s-50s.

One port from the SWS-8 runs ~20' to a Zinwell SWS-4 4 way splitter which feeds another HD DVR and a couple of OTA tuners.

OTA signal strengths here are low enough that I've lost a few channels.


So my questions are these:

What would be the best OTA amplifier to use and where would it be inserted?

Is there an amp that will amplify after the SWM and either pass the satellite signal unaltered or amplify it as well?

Thanks in advance.
HR34-700, HR21-200 + AM-21, HR21-100, HR20-700
SlimLine 5 Dish w/SWM-16
Sony 60A3000 60" XSBR 1080P & Sony 40A4100 40" LCD 1080P
Yamaha RX-V2700

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#2 OFFLINE   mcbeevee

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 06:21 AM

I'm not using the SWM-8, but I do have a dedicated OTA line with a pre-amp (CM7777), then after the amp, I have a 150' run of cable. After the 150', I have a Channel Master (CM3414) distribution amp which bumped my signal strengths to almost match where they were at the pre-amp.

:)

#3 OFFLINE   David MacLeod

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 06:45 AM

thought I had seen before that using the sws splitters for ota caused issues.
I run out of the sws splitter and at each dvr/am21 location an eagle aspen d2200 splits off the ota.
also, the 12 ports of splitters (sws-4 and sws-8) might be losing some.
Dave MacLeod
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#4 OFFLINE   Throckmorton

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 06:50 AM

thought I had seen before that using the sws splitters for ota caused issues.
I run out of the sws splitter and at each dvr/am21 location an eagle aspen d2200 splits off the ota.
also, the 12 ports of splitters (sws-4 and sws-8) might be losing some.

I'm not sure I follow. It seems adding yet another splitter on the OTA line would attenuate it even more.
HR34-700, HR21-200 + AM-21, HR21-100, HR20-700
SlimLine 5 Dish w/SWM-16
Sony 60A3000 60" XSBR 1080P & Sony 40A4100 40" LCD 1080P
Yamaha RX-V2700

#5 OFFLINE   sweep49

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 07:22 AM

I am using a SWM8 with diplexed ota. Have a 7777 Channel Master preamp which I recommend. Also, I am using a Blonder Tongue MVUB-56 distribution amp to boost the signal before it enters the SWM8. This is an older, high quality dist amp I picked up off ebay a few years ago. It has the advantage [for me at least] of just one amplified output leg which I homerun to the SWM8. I use diplexors at each of 3 tv locations to separate the sat and ota signals which go to AM21s. At one set I split the ota signal again to enable PAP.

This works well for me. I am about 40 miles from the tv transmitters. From what I've read you want to amp the signal as early as possible to minimize the error rate. Of course, splitting the signal reduces it 3.5 db [so I've read] each time it is split. There is much discussion about this topic in the ota reception section on www.highdefforum.com.

#6 OFFLINE   Throckmorton

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 07:37 AM

I am using a SWM8 with diplexed ota. Have a 7777 Channel Master preamp which I recommend. Also, I am using a Blonder Tongue MVUB-56 distribution amp to boost the signal before it enters the SWM8. This is an older, high quality dist amp I picked up off ebay a few years ago. It has the advantage [for me at least] of just one amplified output leg which I homerun to the SWM8. I use diplexors at each of 3 tv locations to separate the sat and ota signals which go to AM21s. At one set I split the ota signal again to enable PAP.

This works well for me. I am about 40 miles from the tv transmitters. From what I've read you want to amp the signal as early as possible to minimize the error rate. Of course, splitting the signal reduces it 3.5 db [so I've read] each time it is split. There is much discussion about this topic in the ota reception section on www.highdefforum.com.


Okay, let me be sure I have this right.

You have both a pre-amp and distribution amp before the SWM-8, correct?

Where do you insert power for the amps? Will power for the amps pass through the SWM to the OTA input or do you insert power before the SWM (antenna side) as well?

What do you have between the SWM (other end) and the diplexors? Do you come in to one splitter that feeds each diplexor?
HR34-700, HR21-200 + AM-21, HR21-100, HR20-700
SlimLine 5 Dish w/SWM-16
Sony 60A3000 60" XSBR 1080P & Sony 40A4100 40" LCD 1080P
Yamaha RX-V2700

#7 OFFLINE   sweep49

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 07:59 AM

Yes I have both a pre-amp and the dist amp before the SWM8 Don't know if SWM would pass power, but assumed it wouldn't. I insert the pre-amp power before the dist amp. Then I run the ota from the pre-amp into the dist amp which has self-contained power. In some cases this could be too much boost and cause signal overload, but it works for me given my location and the way I have the antenna pointed.

BTW I use the CM 4228 antenna in my attic, with the rear shield screen removed to make it bi-directional. My signals come from the SE and NW, so this lets me set the antenna in one spot and I don't need a rotor.

#8 OFFLINE   Throckmorton

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 08:16 AM

Okay, thanks.

Putting an amp before the SWM sounds like a good first thing to try for me.

I should probably buy it from somewhere with a decent return policy though. ;)
HR34-700, HR21-200 + AM-21, HR21-100, HR20-700
SlimLine 5 Dish w/SWM-16
Sony 60A3000 60" XSBR 1080P & Sony 40A4100 40" LCD 1080P
Yamaha RX-V2700

#9 OFFLINE   David MacLeod

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 08:22 AM

I'm not sure I follow. It seems adding yet another splitter on the OTA line would attenuate it even more.


here's how I'm set up. from antenna on rotor to cm3444 4 port distribution amp. 1 leg out goes to channel master combiner and is diplexed into swm after pi before sws-4 splitter. using the swm-8 input dropped my signals ~15 % across the board which is why I used combiner. other 3 legs go direct to some tuners.
at each of my 3 dvr's I use the eagle aspen diplexer to cut out the ota and feed am21.

I get stations 100 miles away.
the way you described it originally looked like you were running from the sws splitters to ota inputs. also, way I am setup I actually have less line loss in the system than you and your sws-4 and sws-8 setup.

somewhere here there had been some posts saying that you could not run straight from sws splitter to ota inputs, can't find it now.
also, none of this is actually supported by directv.
Dave MacLeod
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#10 OFFLINE   Throckmorton

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 08:52 AM

Okay, thanks David. I get it now.

So the SWM-8 is more lossy then just diplexing OTA onto the SWM lead-in it seems. That makes sense.

Regarding using the SWS outputs straight to the OTA tuners; it only seems to be a problem in my case after the second SWS. If I eliminate the second SWS and run everything from the SWS-8 everything works just fine.

And that is an option for me... Run 3 cables from the SWS-8 down the hall instead of just 1. This would not be a tragedy if I have to do it that way.
HR34-700, HR21-200 + AM-21, HR21-100, HR20-700
SlimLine 5 Dish w/SWM-16
Sony 60A3000 60" XSBR 1080P & Sony 40A4100 40" LCD 1080P
Yamaha RX-V2700

#11 OFFLINE   David MacLeod

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 09:19 AM

some have reported no loss using the swm ota in, some have reported loss...... so I guess its up in the air :)
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#12 OFFLINE   Throckmorton

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 10:17 AM

As I reread my OP, I see I mis-stated the part about the signal levels.

I get 80s-90s at the antenna before the SWM but 50s-60s after the SWM. So in my case anyway, there is signifigant loss.

I guess I'm hoping that if I amplify the signal there I can still have enough at the other end even after all the splitting.
HR34-700, HR21-200 + AM-21, HR21-100, HR20-700
SlimLine 5 Dish w/SWM-16
Sony 60A3000 60" XSBR 1080P & Sony 40A4100 40" LCD 1080P
Yamaha RX-V2700

#13 OFFLINE   Throckmorton

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 08:26 AM

Well, this is interesting...

I removed my OTA feed from the SWM and diplexed it in after the SWM using an Eagle Aspen Single Port Power Passive Diplexer from Solid Signal. I noticed a signifigant increase in OTA signal strength even through both down-stream splitters.

But my HR20-100 didn't like it. 721 - Searching for Signal. My 2 HR21s had no problem. They are all three fed from the same inbound cable after the SWM and diplexer.

If it's not one thing it's another.
HR34-700, HR21-200 + AM-21, HR21-100, HR20-700
SlimLine 5 Dish w/SWM-16
Sony 60A3000 60" XSBR 1080P & Sony 40A4100 40" LCD 1080P
Yamaha RX-V2700

#14 OFFLINE   David MacLeod

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 12:05 PM

Well, this is interesting...

I removed my OTA feed from the SWM and diplexed it in after the SWM using an Eagle Aspen Single Port Power Passive Diplexer from Solid Signal. I noticed a signifigant increase in OTA signal strength even through both down-stream splitters.

But my HR20-100 didn't like it. 721 - Searching for Signal. My 2 HR21s had no problem. They are all three fed from the same inbound cable after the SWM and diplexer.

If it's not one thing it's another.

I had 1 (out of 2) hr20-100 that acted like that. I ended up using a channel master diplexer on that one. when I got rid of that uni and put hr21-100 there it did not matter what diplexer was used.
Dave MacLeod
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#15 OFFLINE   Throckmorton

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 12:16 PM

Really? I had no idea the brand of diplexer would matter.

I also got an amp that I'm going to try this weekend. If I can push enough signal into the SWM perhaps I can avoid the diplexer all together.

Edit:
This one: Channel Master 4001IFD VHF/UHF Satellite Diplexer/Separator (CM4001IFD)?
HR34-700, HR21-200 + AM-21, HR21-100, HR20-700
SlimLine 5 Dish w/SWM-16
Sony 60A3000 60" XSBR 1080P & Sony 40A4100 40" LCD 1080P
Yamaha RX-V2700

#16 OFFLINE   David MacLeod

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 12:22 PM

as long as you're trying to pull ota straight from the cable coming off swm splitter I think you'll always have odd issues.
push enough signal into it with amp and you might find another set of issues.
who knows, might work.
Dave MacLeod
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#17 OFFLINE   Throckmorton

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 12:27 PM

I got a pair of the diplexers and was going to change that up this weekend.

But what diplexers are you using that worked with the HR20-100?

Is it this one:
This one: Channel Master 4001IFD VHF/UHF Satellite Diplexer/Separator (CM4001IFD)?

I'll do what ever needs to be done but I'm disappointed that I invested in diplexers that are not suited to the task.
HR34-700, HR21-200 + AM-21, HR21-100, HR20-700
SlimLine 5 Dish w/SWM-16
Sony 60A3000 60" XSBR 1080P & Sony 40A4100 40" LCD 1080P
Yamaha RX-V2700

#18 OFFLINE   houskamp

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 12:27 PM

also might try 4' of cable between diplexer and reciever..
diplexing is alway tricky..

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#19 OFFLINE   Throckmorton

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 12:29 PM

also might try 4' of cable between diplexer and reciever..
diplexing is alway tricky..

Okay, I can do that. Right now it's short. Probably less than 12".
HR34-700, HR21-200 + AM-21, HR21-100, HR20-700
SlimLine 5 Dish w/SWM-16
Sony 60A3000 60" XSBR 1080P & Sony 40A4100 40" LCD 1080P
Yamaha RX-V2700

#20 OFFLINE   David MacLeod

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 12:38 PM

I got a pair of the diplexers and was going to change that up this weekend.

But what diplexers are you using that worked with the HR20-100?

Is it this one:
This one: Channel Master 4001IFD VHF/UHF Satellite Diplexer/Separator (CM4001IFD)?

I'll do what ever needs to be done but I'm disappointed that I invested in diplexers that are not suited to the task.


that is the one I had to use. have swm cable coming up to diplexer and then am using 3 foot cable from diplexer to am21 and (now) hr21.
I did try cable length trick on that one odd hr20 and 15 foot worked, but it was not a suitable setup so I tried the CM diplexer.
this was ONLY time the eagle aspen diplexers did not work and was ONLY on that one specific unit.
now, all 3 hr21 and am21 units using the eagle aspen. someone once mentioned to me if you diplex in you need to diplex out, that always seemed to work for me.
Dave MacLeod
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