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BFDTerry 16-Apr-2014 6:34 PM

What type of antenna works for me?
Hello Experts!

I am new to this technology, although I have tried to learn as much as I can in a short time via the internet. I am looking to cut the chord with Time Warner and I am weighing my options before I do so. I am hoping that I can get away with mounting an antenna in my attic. I know this is a best case scenario for my situation. I know issues such as aluminum siding, roofing materials, and trees in the area are all factors that work against this. But the benefits of this type of mount do appeal to me. I am looking for any type of guidance in this matter. Thank you in advance!

TV signal analysis results:

GroundUrMast 16-Apr-2014 7:27 PM

I'm concerned about the potential trouble due to the signal blocking quality of aluminum siding. An attic installation is going to reduce your opportunity for reliable reception. Just how much impairment can't be determined except by trying an installation in the attic.

Most of the available signals are UHF frequencies. An Antennas Direct DB8E can be adjusted to have a fairly wide reception pattern. With one panel of the DB8E facing about 295 and the other facing about 330 you can expect a mix of both US and Canadian signals.

The signal from WBBZ can be received with the addition of an Antennacraft Y10713. You would also need a UHF/VHF combiner with this option.

BFDTerry 16-Apr-2014 7:39 PM

I saw the DB8E in my research. Seemed to be my best choice. I saw the example of a suspended attic installation. I guess my course of action would be to attempt that with your suggested directional settings. I really appreciate the guidance in that regard! Worse case scenario the signal is impaired too much and I just switch to a roof top installation and use the same equipment pointed in the same direction. Can't see it not working in that application. If I were to move it to the roof would I still need the Y10713? I am not sure I follow the use of the additional antenna with the UHF/VHF combiner.

GroundUrMast 16-Apr-2014 7:45 PM

The DB8E is a great UHF only design. (Real CH-14 through 51). It does not have intentional support for the reception of real channels 13 and lower.

You can combine a UHF only antenna with the output of a VHF only antenna using a filter network, commonly called a UHF/VHF combiner. Example:

The DB8E would connect to the UHF port, the Y10713 would connect to the VHF port and the output would feed the TV or splitter.

BFDTerry 16-Apr-2014 7:54 PM

Thank you so very much for this advice! This is truly an invaluable resource for those of us trying to switch to OTA HDTV. You have saved me countless hours of trying to figure this out. I believe this is the course I will take! I will update when I get everything up and running.

BFDTerry 1-May-2014 12:35 AM

I was just taking a closer look at the instructions that you gave me regarding the direction to point the panels based on my signal analysis. The 295 and 330 degree directions don't make sense to me. How would i be picking up the signals to the SSE? These are the Buffalo major network signals. I'm probably missing something.

I am about to by the antenna and just trying to get all my ducks in order beforehand. Also, if I were to run the signal right into my existing Time Warner 4way splitter, would I get sufficient signal to my current digital TV's?

GroundUrMast 1-May-2014 1:26 AM

The strong signals from the S & SE will come in through the back side of the antenna. Though it's less sensitive to signals from the rear, it does not completely block them.

Be sure to double check aim using the signal meter function of your TV, the aim points are approximate, just to get you started.

BFDTerry 19-May-2014 5:53 AM

I have installed the DB8E using a chimney mount and ran the coax down to a grounding block and into my basement. I connected the coax directly to a tv to check the signal and received over 30 channels. I then disconnected my Time Warner cable feed from the existing Time Warner 4 way splitter in hopes to send the signal to all of my existing TV sets (5), with the coax running to my cable modem disconnected. There are two additional two way splitter's after the Time Warner main splitter. At this time I was unable to find any channels on the TV's throughout my house. Is this showing the need for a distribution amp? Or is the Time Warner splitter the incorrect passive device to be used? Looking for a little advice to get me to the finish line so that I can finely "cut the cable"!! I am thinking that it really isn't neccesary at this time for the two TV's in my kids room to receive the signal, but I would like to have the capability if desired in the future.

Tower Guy 19-May-2014 4:06 PM


Originally Posted by BFDTerry (Post 44078)
At this time I was unable to find any channels.

Can we assume that you switched the mode on the TVs from CATV to antenna and did a rescan?

BFDTerry 19-May-2014 5:06 PM

I did switch the TV's to antenna and performed a channel scan on them. Furthermore the TV that I did the initial scan successfully was moved back upstairs to its normal spot and hooked back into its normal coax jack and was unable to broadcast any of the already found channels.

Tower Guy 19-May-2014 5:13 PM


Originally Posted by BFDTerry (Post 44084)
I did switch the TV's to antenna and performed a channel scan on them. Furthermore the TV that I did the initial scan successfully was moved back upstairs to its normal spot and hooked back into its normal coax jack and was unable to broadcast any of the already found channels.

That sound like a bad connection or a mistake wiring. You signals are so strong a distribution amp is not needed, even with multiple splitters.

BFDTerry 19-May-2014 5:19 PM

Would the fact that I am using screw on coax fittings be a possible cause? I have heard that compression fittings are preferred. I will go through my connections again. There shouldn't back any issue with the antenna signal following the same path that my cable signal used? A splitter is a splitter whether it be cable or antenna signal? And thank you for the prompt help!

ADTech 19-May-2014 6:18 PM


screw on coax fittings be a possible cause?
Yes, if an error was made. Commonly, a strand of the shield gets shorted to the center. Perform a very careful inspection looking for that along with improper stinger length.


A splitter is a splitter whether it be cable or antenna signal?
If it's actually a splitter and not a diplexer (reverse channel) or some type of filter.

Best thing to do if nothing shows up from an inspection, is to simply use a known good length of cable and jump around each suspect leg of the cabling until you find the one causing the signal loss.

BFDTerry 23-May-2014 4:47 AM

I got everything running!! It was the Time Warner Splitter. Time Warner uses a splitter that handles signals up to 1000mHz. I went to radio shack and bought a splitter that handles a signal up to 5000mHz. Plugged all of my existing coax lines into the new splitter and got a great signal on all of my pre existing TV's. So the lesson learned here is that the cable companies equipment doesn't necessarily work for an OTA application. Thank you for all of the help on this project. Cancelled my cable service yesterday and saved $130/mo!!

GroundUrMast 23-May-2014 5:18 AM

Would you have the Radio-Shack catalog number for the splitter you're using?


ADTech 23-May-2014 9:47 AM

A 1000 MHz splitter is more than enough since OTA only goes up to 700 MHz. While you may have had a defective splitter or a misidentified device, the specification of the upper frequency isn't what fixed it.

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