Newbie question: I've found a CDA 10/10N-TE Drop Ampilifier on the street. I googled it up and found out that it's a "low-noise linear distribution amplifiers, providing various gain and output options all with extremely low distortion."

But what's a Drop Amplifier? And what's it good for? Can I use it to improve my cable TV picture?

Alternatively, what parts of it can I recycle as a newbie electronics hobbyist? :)

  • \$\begingroup\$ if you found a car exhaust pipe on the street would you consider using it on your car as a spare? \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Nov 29, 2013 at 10:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ possible duplicate of Taking apart old electronics \$\endgroup\$ Nov 29, 2013 at 10:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are two parts to this question: One is probably too specific to be of any interest to future visitors (what is the Acme frobulizer-37 mark 2 widget), the other part has already been answered (salvage). \$\endgroup\$ Nov 29, 2013 at 10:33

1 Answer 1


A drop amplifier provides amplification to counter the signal strength loss or "drop" in cable TV distribution networks, typically caused by splitters and length of cable.

The CDA10, for instance, provides a 10 decibel fixed amplification for the signal range from 54 MHz to 1 GHz, thus covering pretty much the entire range of carrier frequencies used in apartment / last-mile cable networks.

The drop amp is unlikely to inherently improve your cable TV reception: However, if there are splitters between the cable head-end equipment and your receiver unit, as is almost always the case, the best place to put it is before the nearest splitters, to boost the signal a bit before it gets attenuated by the splitter.

However, this isn't an out of the box solution, as your cables may already be running at designed signal strength, in which case a device like this will clip the signal and possibly cause deterioration, or even interruption of service.

If that part was found "on the street", then most likely it is no longer operational, and hence was trashed. If it "fell off a truck", however, you might consider returning it to the local cable operator.


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