Cable-TV distribution amplifier

Description of the design

Here you will find the design of a cable TV distribution amplifier. Normally, the cable TV signal is strong enough to be split for 2 TV sets using a passive splitter. I wanted to have 5 outlets in my home, so I made a distribution amplifier. This amplifier boosts the TV cable signal with 18dB before the signal is split into 5. The design is based around a MAR-6 MMIC. This Integrated Circuit amplifies DC to 2GHz with about 18dB, uses only 15mA and costs around 4,5 Euro.

The circuit is built on a piece of double sided circuit board with one trace cut out with a sharp hobby knife. It is housed in a standard metal housing, that holds the 6 F-connectors for the HF. A 7805 is used to stabilise the electrical power.

The circuit

Diagram revision 1 (Changed the passive output splitter to better terminate the MAR-6)

The finished and installed amplifier

The electrical power (8..30 VDC - 50mA) enters the housing via a (1n) feedthrough-Capacitor. A single diode protects the circuit from reverse polarity voltage. A 7805 soldered to the housing (GND) stabilises the voltage at 5 Volt. Two 100nF capacitors prevent the generation of spurious signals and noise by the 7805

The HF signal enters via a F-connector. An optional attenuator (0,75 - 20 dB) gives the ability to decrease the signal strength in case you should experience interference by intermodulation products. In my situation, I ended up adjusting the attenuator at the maximum levelů

After the attenuator, the signal passes through a 1nF capacitor to block DC voltages and goes into the MAR-6. The input to the MAR-6 is indicated by a dot on the body and a chamfer to the input leg.

Power is supplied to the output of the MAR-6 through a 100 Ohm resistor and a 6 hole ferrite choke (1uH). DC current will be about 15mA (3,5 Volt DC at the output of the MAR-6). Another 1 nF capacitor blocks DC and only HF signal is sent to a passive resistor splitter, made from 51 ohm carbon film resistors. Input impedance is 50 Ohm for the MAR-6. Output impedance will be a little less than 75 Ohm. The splitter is build as a 'spider web' floating over the circuit board. Each output is has a female F-connector. All F-connectors are soldered directly to the housing.

After closing the lid of the housing, the circuit should be reasonably immune to the 5 x 1.5 kW Digitenne (DVB-T) transmitters built less than 3 kilometre from my house L

Safety ground

I placed the amplifier right where the cable enters our house, and routed coax to all outlets. The housing is connected to safety-ground with a copper wire.

Power supply

For power supply, I use a non stabilised adapter. Unloaded, the output is 8,5 Volt DC, just enough for the 7805 to do its job.



I will not be responsible for damage to equipment, your ego, personal injury or worse that may result from the use of this material and material found on any links on my pages. You are responsible to make sure that your use any of my designs is legal in your country.

Copyright: Erwin Gijzen
Versie: October 2005