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Most powerful signal booster available?


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Old 03-05-2005, 16:43
ajb3000
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In October I will be moving to a poor reception area, and to make matters worse I will only be able to use a set-top aerial. So my question is, what is the most powerful signal booster around? I'm hoping to get a few digital channels (BBC Mux is reasonably strong here), and then the best analogue picture I can for the other basic channels.
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Old 03-05-2005, 16:57
David (2)
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Some of the indoor portable (table top) aerials have very powerfull built in boosters - often with a handy LED power light. If you going to use it in a fixed location, best to avoid the battery powered versions and get a Mains powered one.

Just a note, but have you checked your post code on the freeview web site. If it says you cant get a signal, then there is not much chance that any indoor portable aerial will be good enough.

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Old 03-05-2005, 17:35
ajb3000
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I already have a Telecam directional indoor antenna which I believe to the best available, but doesn't have a booster which is why I'm looking at external ones. The postcode checker says I should get 4 Muxs with a rooftop aerial, so I'm hoping for a couple of them with an indoor aerial and a powerful booster, and hopefully a watchable channel 5 analogue picture.
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Old 03-05-2005, 17:41
SteveMcK
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Originally Posted by ajb3000
I already have a Telecam directional indoor antenna which I believe to the best available, but doesn't have a booster which is why I'm looking at external ones. The postcode checker says I should get 4 Muxs with a rooftop aerial, so I'm hoping for a couple of them with an indoor aerial and a powerful booster, and hopefully a watchable channel 5 analogue picture.
No signal booster can create a signal which isn't there. If the aerial isn't picking up enough signal, a booster won't help, and will probably make matters worse by adding extra noise.

There is no cure for a poor aerial, except a better one. Can you even go for a loft aerial if an external one isn't possible?
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Old 03-05-2005, 18:01
ajb3000
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Nope, it's a rented student house. As I said, 4 Muxs are available in the area, but will be weak with an indoor aerial, so I want the best signal booster available. Does anyone know what this might be?
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Old 03-05-2005, 18:33
kev
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Originally Posted by ajb3000
Nope, it's a rented student house. As I said, 4 Muxs are available in the area, but will be weak with an indoor aerial, so I want the best signal booster available. Does anyone know what this might be?

Ouch - if you are in a 4 multiplex area (unless your are in Ferryside) you will be in the fringe of the service area so an indoor aerial is likly to be as useless as a chocolate fireguard.
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Old 03-05-2005, 18:42
Steven L Hunter
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Maybe it would be a good idea to get Cable TV or Satellite TV if you can't get Freeview.
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Old 03-05-2005, 20:18
ajb3000
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Geez people, all i want to know is the make of the best signal booster I can get, for my analogue channels and digital if i can pick them up. The BBC Mux is a lot more powerful than all the others round here, so I should be able to get that, and any others would be a bonus.
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Old 03-05-2005, 21:24
chrisjr
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This amp has 26dB of gain which is pretty high by most standards.

Mind you if you really are in a poor signal area and are compounding the "sin" by trying to use a set-top aerial I very much doubt it will make a jot of difference.

In poor signal areas there is no substitute for aerial gain. This is the best way to ensure you get a signal that is decently above the noise floor. Remember a set-top aerial will produce a signal many dB lower than a roof top aerial simply because it is inherently lower in gain and is in a less than optimum location. In fact the reduced signal you get can easily negate the gain of the booster. i.e. set-top aerial + booster produces no more signal than an unamplified roof aerial.

And if the signal you are trying to receive is so weak as to be very close to or below the noise floor then no booster yet invented will do anything to improve matters.

By all means buy yourself an amp and try it. However you must be prepared to be disappointed unless you are lucky and get a room on the top floor with a window facing the transmitter. If you are on the ground floor on the wrong side of the house you may get nothing at all!
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Old 05-05-2005, 16:52
cliveuk
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Originally Posted by ajb3000
Geez people, all i want to know is the make of the best signal booster I can get, for my analogue channels and digital if i can pick them up. The BBC Mux is a lot more powerful than all the others round here, so I should be able to get that, and any others would be a bonus.

You asked for help and you got some, they are warning you it could well be a total waste of time and money so there is no need to throw yours toys out the pram.
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Old 09-05-2005, 19:11
Psion123
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In simple terms, I could find you an amplifier with almost infinite gain (by stacking several in series). If there is nothing to amplify - i.e. no signal in the first place - it would be a complete waste of time.

Please read and take in what others have posted for you.

Not even the small ads in the back of Saturday newspapers can re-write the laws of physics.
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Old 10-05-2005, 12:04
GiMBOJETSET
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Has anybody actually tried a lot of amp's using Freeview? and can give a direct comparison between the amp's available for digital.

I'm using a bog standard digital amp from Argos, living in an area supposedly without Freeview reception however with the amp I can get all mux's most of the time.

Just got me thinking if there was a better amp than the one I already have.
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Old 10-05-2005, 12:17
Booboodoggy
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Dont just look at Amplifiers look at the freeview boxes themselves - the Philips box (dtr 1000) has a "killer pulse chip" built into it that helps stop the breakup especially if an indoor aerial is used, also the mains transformer is seperate helping the box to run cooler than most. (helps stop lock up) Remember when you amplifiy signal you also amplify interference - cannot recomend an amplifier but might be worth looking at the ones available that can be adjusted as sometimes it is possible to over amplify some MUX's so one again they wont work.
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Old 10-05-2005, 15:33
GiMBOJETSET
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I got the Humax Fox which is better than most on reception in my book.. so I've already irradicated that possability.

I note what u say though on variable gain amp's that's sumthing worth having.
The Amp I got run's off the mains and has an external transformer.
My biggest problem is getting the signal strength up as I'm in a frindge receptiption area but not much in the way of interferance from cars etc.
I think if I could find an amp with an improved 10% ish on what I got then I would see a dramatic rise on reception stability.
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Old 10-05-2005, 20:07
Booboodoggy
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IF you can get the best aerial possible as like the others say you can not boost something that is not there to start with, aerials with X-X-X-X type elements are roughly 4 times the strength of normal \-\-\-\- types
I live on the very fringe of the Hannington transmitter and if i remember correctly it uses a wideband group aerial to receive the old analogue channels---

these are the transmitting frequencies for Hannington (digital)
WH (Wideband Horizontal), 50 , 43 , 40 , 46 , 44 , 41
Group B Covers Channels 39-53 so you might find a good Group B aerial will provide a better signal response as its tuned more finely to those frequencies.

http://www.beststuff.co.uk/slx3p.htm

Found this one looks good for money
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Old 11-05-2005, 18:30
The Sack
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shit in, shit out
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Old 12-05-2005, 09:26
Ignite
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A few things that have been missed here are to do with the noise figures of the amp itself. I've seen 20dB amps with a noise figure of 6dB. Others have a figure of <3dB. This is going to have some level of effect over the total effectiveness of the system. You should always aim at the highest gain and lowest noise. Also, put your amp as near to the aerial as possible in terms of the cable run. Masthead amps are far better than behind the set amps as there is some noise introduced by the cable run.
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Old 21-05-2005, 14:36
ntscuser
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What he said. In my experience indoor boosters sold as being "10db gain" in reality are "up to 10db" gain which often equates to 0db gain or even a net signal loss at higher channel numbers. For analogue you will need a log-periodic type aerial to avoid ghosting (Telecam or similar). These also have very low gain. The requirements for clear digital and good analogue reception in weak signal areas are often incompatible.
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