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Thread: In-Line Amplifier alternatives (to RCA D903)

  1. #1
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    In-Line Amplifier alternatives (to RCA D903)

    Hello,

    So, about to launch into my first antenna project to boost range on my reciever (USB DVB-T) and I think I got a decent handle on what I want to do. However; among other things one issue particularly sticks out for me - the in-line amplifier.


    Seeing that the RCA Inline Amplifier (D903) appear to be the most comonly used I wanted to get a few myself, I mean - why invent the wheel again or try outsmart smarter people on this forum?


    Here is the issue:
    The RCA D903 appear to be discontinued, I can find new and used ones on E-bay and Amazon - but none will ship to Europe (Sweden specifically). So, hoping for some assistance finding alternatives that will work.

    I've looked at some alternatives such as Eagle Aspen 500335 950-2150 Mhz In-Line Amp but feel like I need to consult the experts (you guys) first.

    Appreciate any assistance.

  2. #2
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    Are you sure you need an amplifier?
    What RF sources are around you? The USB DVB-T has got plenty of amplification, but no inbound filter.
    If you are in a RF-noisy environment, which is in cities frequently the case, a 1090MHz filter brings more than an amplifier.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIN67630 View Post
    Are you sure you need an amplifier?
    What RF sources are around you? The USB DVB-T has got plenty of amplification, but no inbound filter.
    If you are in a RF-noisy environment, which is in cities frequently the case, a 1090MHz filter brings more than an amplifier.
    Well, I'm located next to a military airfield as well as a commercial - not sure if that is a good enough answer relating to my RF-environment. Maybe I need to outline in more detail what I'm about to do.

    Current setup:
    Raspberry Pi 3 with USB DVB-T dongle and stock antenna in bedroom window - see images.
    IMG_0727.jpg
    ESCF1_DVB-T_Stock_Antenna_range_160404.png

    The range is not terrible given it's location - range rings are at 50kms.

    Intended setup
    My intent is to install an antenna on the roof of my house - reasons would be obvious (beyond the fact that wife comments on "that ugly box and wires" in the window).

    So whatever antenna I decide to make (Spider, CoCo etc etc) it will be mounted outside and DVB-T dongle will be pretty far away either on the Raspi or NAS server wich is inside = X meters away.
    My approach is not to get away as cheap/simple as possible (this is fun) so I don't mind tinkering with gadgets (needed or not).
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
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    With RF environment I meant TV senders, GSM towers, Police, Firestation, Taxis etc... all those who are emitting unwanted signals.

    Hmm... Your wife should not be ignored.
    She will probably hate EVERY box an EVERY cable running along in HER home. Think about that!
    How comfortable do you feel going onto your roof?

    How far is that roof from your router? Is it in a WiFi range?

    My approach was to put power supply, Raspi, and receiver in an IP67 box directly on the roof, close to the antenna.

    The box needs only a power plug and has no other cables in your home. Everything is forwarded wirelessly. Kiss your wife for me!

    The antenna is a simple Jpole like that one:
    DUMP1090-Antenna2.jpg
    Since by design it is strongly resonnant and has a short, it is pretty insensitive to parasitic lower frequencies. So i did not need a filter, nor an amplifier.
    It is slim enough to fit into a standard PVC tube, so it's easy to make an outdoor design with standard electrical installation means.

    The final result looks like that:
    Kombimesstelle.jpg

    (here I have also included a noise-meter to feed the noise pollution of my neat neighbor EDDL to EANS.net)

    The Pi is fully remote controlled from my notebook (sudo apt-get install xrdp on the Pi and remote desktop on the Windows notebook)

    Regards.
    Last edited by RIN67630; 2016-04-04 at 09:17.

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    The WAF is maybe priority #1 in most home brew DIY's .

    In terms of RF noise - we'll have to see, I would think there is some with 2 ATC control towers (ESSL + ESCF) and numerous GSM masts in the vicinity.

    My house and backyard is all covered by my own WiFi (TPLINK ARCHER-C7 v2)...I can happily sit in my garden with my iPhone browser pointing to port 8080 on my Rpi.

    My plan was to mount a pole (hollow 2-3" dia) on side of house that extends up over the roof top by a fot or so - primary goal is to give antenna "omnidirectional" conditions.
    Whatever antenna I make goes on mounts that attaches to pole - cable runs back outside or inside pole through house wall into attict then through attict ceiling into *drumroll* closet where I have WAF permission to keep a NAS. I estimate we are looking at +15m of coax here (hence the Amplifier need).

    I will be looking at a DC inserter as well - anything that enhances the performance from antenna to dongle will be looked at. Just to be safe and "because I can" :P

    Nice setup with the Raspi! Plug-n-Play for real!

    But - my first hurdle is obviously to find an alternative to the RCA D903 amplifier ^^

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    it becomes pretty clear that I lack some coverage - I hanged my indoor antenna out the window and reset my maxrange stats. The feed will thrive on in a roof top mounted position.
    ESCF1_DVB-T_Stock_Antenna_outsidemount_range_160404.png

    EDIT:
    Adding some photos of house:
    IMG_0731.jpg
    Wall mounted pole/pipe where vents are that extends up above roof.


    Bonus below - yeah, static noise, 2 x Blackhawks disturbing my feed.
    IMG_0730.jpg
    Last edited by Laban; 2016-04-04 at 10:03.

  7. #7
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    @ Laban:

    Eagle Aspen 500335 950-2150 Mhz In-Line Amp seems OK.

    DC inserter:
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/381461511533
    Last edited by abcd567; 2016-04-04 at 12:10.

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    Quote Originally Posted by abcd567 View Post
    @ Laban:

    Eagle Aspen 500335 950-2150 Mhz In-Line Amp seems OK.

    DC inserter: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/381461511533
    Hello abcd567, thanks - I'll give it a shot and report back when tested.

    On order:
    Eagle Aspen 500335 950-2150 Mhz In-Line Amp
    ARPI-2000 Power Inserter
    Last edited by Laban; 2016-04-04 at 12:05.

  9. #9
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    DC Inserter + AC/DC Adapter:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/251211006217 (12V only, may not be suitable on long run of coax)

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/231194818253 (12V only, may not be suitable on long run of coax)

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    Quote Originally Posted by abcd567 View Post
    DC Inserter + AC/DC Adapter:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/251211006217 (12V only, may not be suitable on long run of coax)

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/231194818253 (12V only, may not be suitable on long run of coax)
    What's your definition of a "long run of coax"?

    The ARPI-2000 with a remote feeding DC adapter seem to give me a wider range of voltage (not sure I need that though).
    http://www.antronix.com/files//DS-1020-SS_ARPI-2000.pdf

    Also, would I be paranoid if grounding the antenna cable?
    http://www.antronix.com/antronix-Products-Grounding.php
    Last edited by Laban; 2016-04-04 at 12:53.

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