SCTE 161 2022

Drop Amplifiers

Executive Summary
This specification provides the mechanical and electrical requirements of a drop amplifier primarily used within the premises..


The purpose of this specification is to recommend mechanical and electrical standards for broadband radio frequency (RF) devices whose primary purpose is to amplify signals presented to an input port and deliver the amplified signals to one or more output ports. The devices are also required to pass signals in a different range of frequencies in the return direction and, optionally, may provide amplification of such return signals. The specification’s scope is limited to 75 ohm devices whose ports are provided with F connectors. The most common use for such devices is on-premises RF signal distribution.

Devices covered by this specification include products commonly known as drop amplifiers. They may be mounted within network interface device (NID) housings on dwellings or independently within dwellings. They are not intended to be cascaded with other drop amplifiers.

Two levels of compliance are specified. Devices meeting all electrical, mechanical and environmental specifications may be specified as meeting the requirements of this specification without qualification. Those meeting electrical and mechanical, but not the environmental requirements specified in Section 6 may be designated as meeting this specification with the suffix “For indoor use only” and the products must be marked as specified herein to guide users in their appropriate application.

The specification is not intended to apply to specialty devices, nor is it intended to limit or restrict any manufacturer’s innovation and improvement. The scope of this specification does not include drop amplifiers with MoCA functionality.


Drop amplifiers are used to amplify the broadband signal to overcome excessive passive loss due to long coaxial cable lengths or splitter loss within a premise. This standard provides the key characteristics of the drop amplifier.

Intended Audience

This document is intended as a technical guide for the minimum device requirement for proper operation of a drop amplifier including technicians, manufacturers, and end users.