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Anyone tried the Winegard LNA-200 Boost XT preamp?

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  • Anyone tried the Winegard LNA-200 Boost XT preamp?

    I'm curious as to whether it's as good as hey say it is.

    Its claim to fame is that it has separate amplifiers for VHF and UHF bands, thus allowing each of the bands a different rate of gain, with the result that strong UHF local signals will not weaken VHF reception, and vice versa.

    They also claim a very low noise figure and the ability to deliver 2 volts(!) RF output without overloading.

    Overload is becoming an increasing problem as wireless data services (e.g., LTE) move into much of the spectrum that used to be for television, and thus, open to amplifiers that were designed to amplify those frequencies because they were being used for television. The repack will only make that worse.

    Yes, 700 MHz low pass filters will alleviate overload today, and 570 MHz low pass filters could be used after the repack, but I don't think low pass filters will be obtainable. One retailer that had offered them was bought out by a wireless carrier, who promptly discontinued the filters.

    Contrast this with the UK, where they are introducing new data service above 800 MHz (!). In the UK, people close to the new wireless services will get free low pass filters, and viewers who have amplifiers on their rooftop aerials will receive low pass filters installed on their roof, by a crews that come to their homes, at the expense of the wireless carrier with no charge to the homeowners!
    Comparing Sporadic-E skip to skip on the AM and shortwave bands is like comparing apples and oranges.

    Comparing tropo to skip is like comparing apples and bacon cheeseburgers.

  • #2
    Yes, I tried the Winegard LNA-200 a few years ago when it first came out and replaced the HDP-269. The HDP-269 was rated at 12 dB gain and around 3 dB noise figure. But due to my close proximity to the Indy antenna farm I found the LNA-200 had too much gain and it caused overload issues, so I no longer use it. Mike G. and I have found the discontinued HDP-269 to be a better preamp in high RF locations. I currently have two separate UHF antenna setups and one VHF-hi setup on my tower and I'm still using a separate HDP-269 preamp on each setup. I have since given away the LNA-200 and I don't remember testing it in a lower RF location for a comparison.

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    • #3
      I don't know if I should give my opinion about this since I'm not really qualified with the second rate DXing set-up that I have and terrible location but here goes anyway. I purchased two of these at the beginning of the season. I installed one on my 6' dish mounted in the front of my attic. The second one I mounted to my Channel 2 quad loop. On UHF the results seemed dead even at first to the Winegard AP-4700 that I replaced it with. The signal levels on the Clarks Summit translators, 30 miles distant, were about the same as the AP-4700. Since the amp is both VHF-UHF the dish delivered some signal on hi-band VHF. I consistently got a sub-decode from WBNG-7, 60 miles North of here on the dish! It also gave me an excellent signal from, "tricky-to-receive" local channel 8 translator. After 2 months of lackluster results I put the AP-4700 back. The AP-4700 didn't do much better than the Boost. I'm still using the Boost on the quad loop, but nothing fantastic is being received on it. Bottom line to all this babble is this 2016 season has been so incredibly crappy on TV for me that I believe this is partly responsible for my poor results. Final verdict, it seems about the same as the previous versions of the Winegard amps. and would probably work well for someone in a decent location with a good antenna set-up. I have neither of these! It really seems to shine on hi VHF, too bad I don't have a good antenna to really test it with.

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      • #4
        Today I took the preamp apart and cut the foil to disconnect to FM trap. Well, it improved the frequency coverage, but it still drops off about 105. There must be some other parts in the preamp that cuts down on the FM gain. But I did point the FM6 the FM6 at 102.3 (11 miles-25 KW LOS) and the Sony still holds its own, with no overload. So if I can find another low noise preamp, I might have better luck. One thing though, it seems with the preamp I have better signals on analog, but popping into HD is not as easy. Probably the addition of noise from the preamp.

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