What type of masthead amplifier?

WhiteChristmas

Novice Member
Okay, I've done loads of googling and a lot of reading on this forum and I now know a masthead amplifier may help - but my question is, which type?

I have a loft mounted aerial (not ideal, I know, but currently my only option). Using a Philex tv meter, the maximum number of lights I get is three out of four (although, thinking about it now, I'm not 100% sure I had the connections in the correct way around - does that matter too much?). The coax from the aerial plugs into a booster behind the tv, which in turn plugs into the back of the media center pc.

Anyway, after moving the aerial around, I now get a better signal than I previously had however I still get the occasional breakup on HD channels, which, being a perfectionist I'm not happy about :)

I understand that removing the booster and replacing it with a masthead amplifier would be better but will this give me a better quality signal (I understand that quality and strength are two different things)?

My postcode is KT12 3LP if someone would be kind enough to decipher what the numbers on the Wolfbane website mean and if this in turn means I should go with a low noise (1.4db) or a regular (3db) amp.

Or have I got this all completely wrong and wasted all morning googling?

I appreciate your help.
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
Masthead amplifiers have more gain than a distribution amplifier typically 10-20dB and lower noise and should be fitted as close as possible to the aerial but the power can be anywhere (usually at the remote end of one of the coax downleads). Distribution amps rely on a decent signal at source and recover the losses of multiple splits. Choose a variable output type like this kit

Vision 2 Way Masthead (10-20dB) + PSU (Vision V20-1220 KIT)
 

WhiteChristmas

Novice Member
Masthead amplifiers have more gain than a distribution amplifier typically 10-20dB and lower noise and should be fitted as close as possible to the aerial but the power can be anywhere (usually at the remote end of one of the coax downleads). Distribution amps rely on a decent signal at source and recover the losses of multiple splits. Choose a variable output type like this kit

Vision 2 Way Masthead (10-20dB) + PSU (Vision V20-1220 KIT)
Thanks for the help - this was the kind of info I was looking for as I might have bought completely the wrong type (or at least one that wouldn't have been any better than the booster that's sitting behind the PC already.

Now I need to sort out the rats nest that is all the cabling behind the PC, which probably doesn't help the signal...!

By the way, there will be a commtel combi booster going on ebay once the masthead amp is fitted! :)

Thanks again for your help.
 

Member 470573

Novice Member
Masthead amplifiers have more gain than a distribution amplifier typically 10-20dB and lower noise and should be fitted as close as possible to the aerial but the power can be anywhere (usually at the remote end of one of the coax downleads). Distribution amps rely on a decent signal at source and recover the losses of multiple splits. Choose a variable output type like this kit

Vision 2 Way Masthead (10-20dB) + PSU (Vision V20-1220 KIT)
Good choice, although if the OP would like to make a saving, it would be lovely if he could choose ourselves as we are some £10 cheaper :)

Vision 2 Way Variable 10-20dB & PSU, Masthead Amplifiers & PSUs, Masthead Amplifiers - Tradeworks Ltd
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member

Member 470573

Novice Member
Must admit did not do any sort of search other than to find an example. That's a good price incidentally :smashin: however the picture shows a single output masthead amp not a dual output.
:)

Yeah I've been trying to find a good quality one, however you have just bumped it up my to do list :smashin:
 

WhiteChristmas

Novice Member
Good choice, although if the OP would like to make a saving, it would be lovely if he could choose ourselves as we are some £10 cheaper :)

Vision 2 Way Variable 10-20dB & PSU, Masthead Amplifiers & PSUs, Masthead Amplifiers - Tradeworks Ltd
It's a shame you didn't post this yesterday as I would have happily purchased from you. Don't worry though, I always do my research to find the lowest price. Unfortunately (I could be wrong), I don't recall your site coming up in my search.

Thanks again for your help everyone.
 

meggie_dude

Novice Member
My advise would be to ensure you get a good amp with variable amplification. Don't just go for the one with the largest gain that is locked at that one amplification setting
I settled one on 'the bay' - the "Wolsey 2 Way 10-25db Freeview Digital Masthead Amp +PSU" which was £19.99 incl P&P.
I found that ramped up to the full 25db amplification I got a bad signal. Similarly set at 12db - also bad signal.
The signal was best somewhere halfway through the amplification range.
 

WhiteChristmas

Novice Member
I installed this last night. I took my time and chopped up my co-ax cable and attached f-connectors where required. Hooked up both outputs so the two downstairs televisions are fed from the one aerial now instead of two. I even split the feed in the lounge to feed the two freeview tuners in my home theatre PC.

WOW - what a difference - the picture is perfect on all televisions/tuners. I didn't make any adjustments to the amp, I just left the setting as it was.

I'm really pleased with this and can't thank you enough for the recommendation! It's a shame I didn't ask this question before as it would have saved me fiddling about with boosters (and now having to stick it on ebay :)).

Chris
 

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