TV Antenna splitters

I want to split my antenna cable for 2 tv sets. I am far from the stations and dont get the best reception. I know the splitters tend to cut signal strength a little. I went to buy a 2 way splitter and the store was out of stock. So, I bought a 3 way splitter. Will a 3 way splitter cut the reception more than a 2 way? I figure the 3 way just leaves me a spare connection point for future use, or testing another tv. Maybe I'll hook my FM stereo to it too, because I get crappy reception, being in a house with metal siding and roofing. However, if a 3 way cuts reception more than a 2 way. I might not use it, and just get a 2 way, or possibly an antenna switch instead, since I only use one tv at a time anyhow.
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Get a 75 ohm terminator resistor (Rat Shack is one source -- less than a buck a resistor) and screw that resistor onto the unused terminal in the splitter.
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On Tue, 13 Dec 2005 19:49:34 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

Yes. And to function correctly the unused port should be terminated with a 75 ohm load.
The available signal power will be split three ways, with some unavoidable addition loss. Your best bet would be to add a mast-mounted amplifier. (You do have an outdoor antenna,right?) Your existing cable has some loss that degrades the ratio of signal to noise. This cannot be fixed by adding amplification inside the house but can be overcome by placing an amplifier ahead of the cable.
The explaination of why this is so is beyond this newsgroup but it is the case. With a preamplifier, adding additional loss by splitting the signal two or three ways should not be a problem.

With an outside antenna, the construction of the house has no effect on the signal strength, so this is a non-issue.
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On Tue, 13 Dec 2005 19:49:34 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

Yes. YOu should put a cap on the end of the vacant one. They're cheap. I don't know what they are called. They consist of a cap that screws on and a resistor soldered to the cap, the other end of which goes into the center connector of the splitter. Probably radio shack has them at 3/$2.00 or something. Terminal connectors? (end connectors?)

I don't think you need a swtich. I think it will turn out to be a real nuisance. You'll want to turn on the tv and have to go back to the switch to r everse it. Sometimes you won't be sure if the cable is connected or not, because you'll have a good picture, and you'll go back to flip the switch, and find out you've made it worse.
I have one amplified antenna, and lots of splitters, although I had to replace some of the splitters with amplifiers (which often include splitters) because if you split it too many times (3 double splits in a row seemed to do it. Although maybe a four-splitter wouldn't have, the way my house is wired, that would have been impractical.), the signal gets too weak.
The way to tell of course is to watch the tv.
You can get female-female connectors to bypass the splitter with if you want the best comparison, if you're not sure what it used to look like. You can get speedy connectors that the cable screws onto, and then you can just push the connector onto the splitter or any other female connector.
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mm wrote:

Ideally unused connector should be terminated. Why not use simple signal boosting amplifier? Tony
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Tony Hwang wrote:

Know any good ones? I've had problems with every one I've tried -- they overload and distort, or fail completely in my cold attic, etc.
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CJT wrote:

I have one out at my cabin. One from RS and it has gain adj. pot and FM signal trap on/off. Makes difference in signal quality. Tony
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Channel Master. Never had any problems with their amplifiers.
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VHF is more than getting just a strong signal. Remember that you have multiple stations and they may be coming from somewhat different directions. Multiple element array antennas are tuned for each station. You may wish to borrow or rent an RF signal strength meter to see what your dealing with and to see how much amplification is necessary.
If one station is significantly weaker than the others, then the amount of amplification that you put may cause the other, stronger stations to overload your system. If this is the case, you can put tuned attenuators in the output, or attempt to adjust the passband characteristics of your pre-amp.
The directional component may also need attention if you are getting reflections from mountains, water towers, buildings, etc. that usually show up a ghost images on the TV. An antenna rotator is the old fashioned solution.
Beachcomber
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Can you put it somewhere other than the attic?
(although I have a Radio Shack amplified antenna in my attic, which at least last night was 15 or 20 degrees. I thought the first had burned out, after about 10 years, and bought a second, and I'm using the second 10 years later, but I think the first one was still good after all. Maybe an amplified antenna isn't the same as a signal amplifer. Maybe the latter runs a bit hotter? Although I don't know if that matters.
I dislike Radio Shack for emotional reasons, but IIRC, the one I have from Radio Shack with 4 outputs had a screw for attenuating the output, but I left it at max. I think some tv's can handle what would be overloads in other tvs, and some times my signal goes through the vcr and I use that tuner to supply the vcr. No two vcrs are alike either, it seems, even the same brand..
Like I said in another thread, one of my signal amps is 20 years old, and the other is 12 or 15. Both from RS. I don't think either has ever been off except during power failures and a couple times I didn't pay the bill. One is in my bedroom closet where the cable came in, and the closest place to the bedroom tv that doesn't show. From there, a cable goes to the attic and supplies the almost never used attic tv, and the very often used bathroom tv. Another cable goes through the floor, beside the book shelf, where a splitter serves the living room tv, and the other output continues to the basement club room tv, where there is a splitter and another amp. The second amp serves the laundry room, where there is another splitter and from there to the kitchen tv.
I've had the same tv show on in 3 or 4 places at the same time, and it's nice.
Once I had a party and about 45 of them stayed for the movie, with 20 in the living room, 15 in the basement, and maybe 5 in the kitchen, all watching the same tape. It was nice.
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mm wrote:

Actually best signal boosting amp is mast mounted one vs. in-line type. You can feed the needed DC power to the amp on the mast throught coax feeder. Amplifier boosts noise as well as signal so when signal is very weak, it won't be much of a help. Tuners in new VCR or TV are all synthesized type which is not as sensitive as old analog type. One reason I keep a very early model VCR in front of my TV out at my cabin. Tony
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says...

An amplifier can be used to regain the signal lost in the splitter. These are known as "distribution amplifiers" and have little gain. Any gain in the amplifier can only be used to offset losses in the cable after that point because any noise in the signal will also be amplified. If the signal is already in the noise no amplifier in the world is going to help. Thus, an amplifier should be as close to the antenna as possible.
-- Keith
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snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

It's a device made to do exactly what you describe, without the signal loss. Radio Shack has one for about $20.00. I threw mine away because it was so noisy.
Parts Express www.partsexpress.com (no affiliation) has decent ones. Be careful; PE sells fairly priced, functional products, but they also sell overpriced audiophile crap. ($147.00 duplex receptacle, anyone?)
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Make sure the splitter is a high quality one like the gold ones at Radio Shack. If you are using it for high speed internet make sure it is bidirectional too.

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On Wed, 14 Dec 2005 15:04:52 GMT, "Art"

those are usually crap too. Get the 1Ghz splitters. They probably cost $10+ at rat shack. Home Depot has them, they say 5-1000MHz (or maybe 5Mhz-1GHz, I don't remember for sure). Most any splitter is 'bidrectional'. Some have better port to port isolation than others. I try to use Channel Plus when possible, but also use the Home Depot ones with no troubles.
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RS seems to have improved some of their stuff lately.
wrote:

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On Tue, 13 Dec 2005 19:49:34 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:
:I want to split my antenna cable for 2 tv sets. I am far from the :stations and dont get the best reception. I know the splitters tend :to cut signal strength a little. I went to buy a 2 way splitter and :the store was out of stock. So, I bought a 3 way splitter. :Will a 3 way splitter cut the reception more than a 2 way? I figure :the 3 way just leaves me a spare connection point for future use, or :testing another tv. Maybe I'll hook my FM stereo to it too, because I :get crappy reception, being in a house with metal siding and roofing. :However, if a 3 way cuts reception more than a 2 way. I might not use :it, and just get a 2 way, or possibly an antenna switch instead, since :I only use one tv at a time anyhow. Usually, the packaging or the splitter itself will indicate the amount of signal degradation. For instance, 3.5 db. You will notice that the three way splitters have more signal attenuation, say 4.2 db. So the answer is yes, you will get a weaker signal per device with a 3 way splitter. On top of that, you will have irregularities in the signals if you use a 3 way splitter for only two devices unless you put a cap on the 3rd split. You can get those caps at an electronics supply. The answer, therefore, is to use a 3 way only if you need all three signals, otherwise go back and get a 2 way. And since your signal is weak already, try to get a splitter with good specifications, not just a crummy one. If you aren't completely happy with what you get, you can look into getting a booster amplifier. You can research what to get over at AVS Forums.
Dan
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