Question: question about pre-amp and distribution amp


DTVUSA Jr. Member
Hello forum,

I live in a duplex and want to put up an antenna that my neighbor can also split off of. I am intending to use a gable mount and go up about 8 feet above the roofline. According to the antenna test I need a large directional (blue and violet color code.) All of the installation is straightforward to me but my question is about using an amplifier. Do I use BOTH the pre-amp and then the distribution amp downstream from there? Or would having just the distribution amp without the pre-amp suffice? So, one or both?

We cannot answer your question without knowing what antenna you intend to use and seeing your TVFool plot so that signal strengths can be estimated.

Generally, use one type of amplifier only but ONLY IF NEEDED. It is very, very rare that an installation actually needs both types of amplifiers.

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
:welcome: Greg,

Please go to TV Fool and run a free antenna survey using your street address or GPS and the maximum possible height above ground level that you can install an antenna. Then, post the resulting page (URL) here for us to study. That website will automatically conceal your personal information for your security.

I would suggest a single preamp. Your proposed use of CS antennas might work. I could probably do better for less money, but since you have yagi phobia give it a try.
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DTVUSA Jr. Member
HaHa, it's not me with the phobia but my landlady. I had to show her the different types of antennas and she wanted me to go with as compact of a setup as possible. Thanks for the help. I already have the CS5 and tomorrow getting the CS4 and amp. I'll let "y'all" (even though we don't say that in Oregon haha) know how it goes. Thanks again.


Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
Set up to one TV first and see how that goes. I suspect it will be okay - just point to 45 degrees.

How many times will the signal be split, total?


DTVUSA Jr. Member
I'm still trying to fine tune it just using 1 TV no splits at all just yet. The VHF channels are coming in at full signal strength (anyway the cell phone looking icon on my TV is showing full bars.) I'm having issues with the UHF channels coming in weak and pixelization. If I turn it oh so slightly I can get the icon to show 3 bars and get channel 2 (actual RF channel 39 I think) but lots of pixelizations.) If I turn it oh so slightly the other direction I get 1 bar on nearly every channel, 2 goes out completely but I don't get ANY pixelizing. I don't get it how I can have a higher signal with pixelizing but turn it a little get no pixelizing but showing a weaker signal. That doesn't make sense to me!
A clean weak signal can win over dirty strong signal. I've never seen it on a display's signal indicator like that, but others have. There is no standard as to what the signal meter on the display is actually indicating. Most of them I've seen are a pretty good indicator of signal quality. I ran across one a couple weeks ago that was totally worthless. Three bars strong muti-path signal or one bar of clean signal arriving at the same time from the same direction. The one bar clean signal wins. The CS4 is a pretty tight beam width antenna. Your ABC and CBS signals are pretty far down the list 2nd edge. As you are learning aiming, placement, and height can sometimes be tricky. Higher is normally better, but not always when working with non line of sight signals. A couple of feet can sometimes make a big difference. I hope you find a simple solution to the problems you have encountered.
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