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  • 2 Post By Pete Higgins

Winegard LNA-200 BoostXT Outdoor Ultra Low Noise Preamplifier

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Old 09-08-2013, 11:37 PM   #1  
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Default Winegard LNA-200 BoostXT Outdoor Ultra Low Noise Preamplifier

Winegard advertises their LNA-200 mast mounted preamplifier with some pretty impressive specifications :
VHF (Low) Gain: 20 dB, VHF (High) Gain: 15 dB
Power Out (P1db): +15 dBm
Output IP3: +25 dBm
VHF Noise Figure: 3.0 dB

UHF Gain 18 dB
Power Out (P1db): +18.4 dBm
Output IP3: +35.5 dBm
UHF Noise Figure 1.0 dB

They also list its “Maximum Total Input (microvolts)” as “2,024,789”.


Since I have one local FM station on 99.9 MHz @ -13.4 dBm and a local TV station on RF channel 26 (24.1- .4) @ -15.6 dBm that overloads both my Winegard AP-2870 and HDP-269 models I had hoped this new amplifier would live up to its promise –so I bought one. Unfortunately, it didn’t!

I received my new Winegard LNA-200 late Wednesday afternoon (4 Sep 2013). Thursday morning I started to test it. I have a Solid Signal HDB-8X fix mounted on a pushup mast pointed towards Los Angeles. I was using just the UHF portion of an RCA TVPRAMP-1R (#2) configured for separate UHF/VHF inputs and the FM trap selected with the HDB-8X. I have a dedicated RG-6 run from the HDB-8X to a coax switch in my garage. Since it required the least amount of climbing to get at and only took swapping two cables I substituted the new Winegard LNA-200 for the HDB-8X’s RCA TVPRAMP-1R.

Before I took the RCA out of line I ran through the LA channels to verify everything was working. Then I swapped out the power supplies, went up on the roof and swapped out the amps, returned to the garage to power the Winegard and came in to check reception.

The new Winegard appeared to be working except KTLA RF channel 31 (5.1-.3) was missing. Since Winegard advertises this amp to withstand a “Maximum Total Input (microvolts)” of 2,024,789 µV which in a 75 ohm system, I believe, should be a signal level of about +17.38 dBm I wasn’t expecting this. Interesting! Both because the HDB8X shouldn’t have much response to the FM signal and the one strong TV station is almost 33 dBm below the advertised “Maximum Total Input (microvolts)”.

Above the HDB8X, I have a Radio Shack 15-1220 rotor turning a Channel Master CM-4228 and a Winegard YA-1713 High VHF antenna. I usually leave those antennas pointed towards the San Diego stations. I was also using an RCA TVPRAMP-1R (#2) configured for separate UHF/VHF inputs and the FM trap selected with that array. I decided to try the Winegard LNA-200 with the VHF/UHF array. I reconnected the HDB8X to its original RCA (#3). Since the LNA-200 only has one input I disconnected the separate VHF & UHF cables from the array RCA amp and connected them through a UVSJ. The output of the UVSJ went to the LNA-200 input and the LNA-200 output went through a separate RG-6 cable to the power inserter in the garage. I now had the HDB-8X/RCA’s power inserter and the CM-4228/YA-1713/LNA-200’s power inserter feeding opposite sides of the coax switch. The first difference I noted, when I substituted the UVSJ and the LNA-200 for the RCA, channel 26 was coming in with a very watchable SNR of ~18.5. With the RCA amp and the array pointed towards San Diego I don’t receive my local RF channel 26 at all. I am guessing this is due to the signal ingress issue ADTech reported on.

I rotated the array towards LA. As expected, RF channel 26’s SNR jumped to 30. That’s the highest my tuner cards register. When I tried RF channel 31 it was still gone! I went out in the garage and switched to the HDB8X/RCA and channel 31 popped back in with an SNR of 24.7.

Removed from its plastic case, the circuit board measures 3 15\32” X 1 5/8”. The 1 5/8” grows to 2 5/16” if you measure to the ends of the ‘F’ connectors.

Front


It appears to have three active amplifiers (Q1-Q3)
Closeup


Back


In all fairness, I’m reporting on one LNA-200 sample, tested at my unique location. I’m sure it is a good product that would work well for many people. It didn’t show the pronounced overload I experienced with my AP-2870 and to a lesser degree my HDP-269 but in spite of its advertised overload specifications it none the less appeared to be overloading. Additionally, unlike the RCA’s that at least have a metal plate shielding their circuitry, the LNA-200 is completely housed in a plastic case. I’m pretty sure it’s this lack of shielding that allowed local signal ingress when the antenna was pointed 125 deg. away from the received signal.

On the channels that both amplifiers receive clearly, it looked like the LNA-200 might have a few tenths of a dB SNR advantage over the RCA’s, but keep in mind I was comparing the $23.00 RCA’s, connected to a lower fixed mounted antenna, to the CM-4228/LNA-200 mounted 10’ higher, that I can peak for best SNR with a rotor.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:39 AM   #2  
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Nice write-up! Thanks Pete! My AP8700 recently died and I've been debating replacements... Another Winegard off the table... I believe 4 yrs of useful life was too short for my 8700...
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:22 PM   #3  
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Default Re: Lna-200

IDRick,

Quote:
I believe 4 yrs of useful life was too short for my 8700...
I agree, I have a dual 300 ohm input Channel Master (something?) that sends AC up the coax to the amp. that I used the VHF side of for my FM antenna from 1980 until last year. That was 32 years of outside service with never being unplugged! I could still use it but I bet the Noise Figure (NF) is a lot higher than today’s new designs.

I’m not exactly sure what your requirements are, but for my money I would definitely recommend trying one of the RCA TVPRAMP-1R’s. I have four of them and not one of the four shows any sign of overload at my location. They are switchable between single & dual inputs and have an FM trap that can also be switched in & out. The best part is that they are available through Walmart for $21.95, Office Depot for $22.99 and Solid Signal for $27.99 plus $4.95 shipping. I have no idea how long they will last after they’re put in service but other than succumbing to a static discharge I don’t see any reason they shouldn’t last for years.

I bought my LNA-200 on sale from Solid Signal so at least I didn’t have to pay MSRP. With all the advertising hype I expected it would be better than the comparatively cheap RCA’s but it turns out they do a better job.

You can reread my RCA findings here (post #1):

http://www.highdefforum.com/local-hd...amplifier.html

If you do get one, let us know what you think of it.
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Old 09-09-2013, 06:28 PM   #4  
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Thanks for the reminder on your review! My distribution losses total about 11 dB so the RCA would be a good choice using the general thumb rule for selecting preamps (amp needed = distribution losses in dB + 10 dB for overhead). I'll give it a try.
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:09 AM   #5  
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Wow! Thats good info!
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:42 AM   #6  
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Default LNA 200. I got this thread going again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxdie344 View Post
Wow! Thats good info!
Yes, very good information thank you Pete! I revived the LNA 200 thread over on TV fool...

I was directed here to see the results of Pete's testing on the LNA 200. I'm currently using one only because I have an almost 50 foot run of RG6 from my antenna array. I'm not sure if I should be worried about overloading but the noisiness of the amp does concern me

Interesting about the lack of metal shielding. You would think a well-established company like Winegard would have done something with that.

I wish I had my pictures, but I use the RCA PREAMP-1R and I covered it with that heavy duty foil tape. I did it for two reasons. Because the plastic is black and is out in the sun all day I figured the foil would help protect it. I also felt that the foil tape could help shield it from unwanted interference.

Maybe it's a good idea. Cover the LNA 200 with that foil tape?


Last edited by Chiwaukee OTA; 04-12-2019 at 12:01 PM..
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Old Yesterday, 02:19 PM   #7  
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No worries I have a private stash of these.

These are simply amazing preamplifers and the earlier generation do not have that silly power inserter.

If you need one, let me know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDRick View Post
Nice write-up! Thanks Pete! My AP8700 recently died and I've been debating replacements... Another Winegard off the table... I believe 4 yrs of useful life was too short for my 8700...
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