There is no standard answer to this question. Why let me detail
- The technical specification of the antenna offers the only slight clue to the answer. It is measured in gain(How much signal it collects). The only problem is this measurement is not linear and can only be a guide at best. Personally, I have tended to ignore this specification because an environment in which the antenna is mounted can change the numbers. It is theoretical only and pretty useless in my experience.
- What size is the transmitter that the antenna is going to be looking at to provide the signal? As I call them Baby, Mummy and Daddy bear. There is a massive difference. Baby bear might be 5 Kilometers and Daddy bear might be 100 Kilometers plus.
- Is the signal travelling in a Horizontal pattern or a Vertical pattern? Again a horizontal signal will do better.
- What type of environment are we lining up our antenna in? Sand or volcanic. BIG BIG difference in result. Volcanic assist signal while sand absorbs it.
So my best guidance is: If you are going to predominantly using it on the East coast where the people live and the transmitting towers have to cover a bigger area then a non-amplified is worth trying. Worst scenario you add the amplifier later. If however, you intend to get into the middle of this great country then save the frustration and disappointment and go for a Nomad antenna straight off.
RF Consultant Founder
Wilkgard Technology Group P/L