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Old 11-Apr-2014, 11:51 PM   #1
packhead
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Antenna recommendation for attic

Hello.

Here's my report: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...5b9449c72ebdcb


I'm looking for an antenna for my attic, primarily to pickup the channels out of the Chicago market (315 degrees). The other channels aren't as important.

The house is new construction 2014, and the attic is pretty open. I've got RG6 quad running from the attic down to an 8 port amplifer in the basement, which then connects to a HD Home Run and to sets around the house.

I started looking at antennas and became slightly overwhelmed with the choices. Looking for some recommendations on what to pick up.

Of all the channels listed, the most important to us are 12 (CBS), 31 (Fox), 29 (NBC) and 44 (ABC).
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Old 12-Apr-2014, 12:49 AM   #2
GroundUrMast
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Placing the antenna in the attic will start you at some disadvantage. How sever will depend on the materials used in the roof construction.

If you must mount in the attic (the HOA and city can not prohibit or impede you... http://www.fcc.gov/guides/over-air-r...n-devices-rule), then use the largest antenna that will fit. I'd suggest the Antennacraft HBU-55 and a RCA TVPRAMP1R preamplifier at the antenna. I'd forgo the use of the amplifier in the basement and use a passive splitter instead.

Your HDHR will provide excellent signal metering functions. http://forum.tvfool.com/showthread.php?t=820
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Old 12-Apr-2014, 1:00 AM   #3
teleview
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The Chicago Tv stations are Weak signal strength and South Bend Digital Broadcast Tv Stations/Channels are Medium to Weak Signal Strength at your reception location , in the Yellow and Red reception zones.

Attics and the inside of buildings Are Not a reception friendly environment and Never Will Be a reception friendly environment.

For reception of the Weak Signal Strength Chicago or South Bend Digital Broadcast Tv Stations/Channels.

Will require a Large Tv Antenna , with the antenna inside the attic or above the roof outside of the attic.

Install a , http://www.antennacraft.com.

HBU44 antenna aimed at about 320 degree magnetic compass direction.

Here is how to aim antennas , http://www.kyes.com/antenna/pointing.html.

Use a Real and Actual magnetic compass to aim antenna , do not trust a cell phone compass.


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If reception situations happen with the HBU44 antenna in the attic that are not resolvable with antenna aim adjustments and antenna location adjustments in the attic.

Then move the HBU44 antenna to Above the Peak of the Roof in such a manner that the attic and roof and building are not , obstructing , impeding , blocking , reception in the directions of , North West , West , North , East North East.

Above the roof the HBU44 antenna is aimed the same direction for the Chicago Stations , about 320 degree magnetic compass direction.

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Here are some above the roof antenna mounts.

http://www.ronard.com/909911.html.
Use the , ronard(911) , 5 foot tripod antenna mount.

http://www.ronard.com/34424560.html.
Use the , ronard(4560) , eave antenna mount.

http://www.ronard.com/ychim.html.
Measure around the chimney and use a , ronard(2212) , ronard(2218) , ronard(2224) .

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As always tress and tree leaves plants and plant leaves have a Negative Effect on Broadcast Tv Reception and so do buildings and other obstructions in the directions of reception including your own , attic , roof , building.

Some and not al Negative Effects are.

Absorbing and Blocking Reception.

Multi-Path Reflecting Tv Signals Bouncing All Around.

The Best Practice for Reliable Reception is to install the antenna at a location that has the least amount to no amount of obstructions of any type or kind in the directions of reception including your own , attic , roof , building.

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The Tv's Must Channel Scan for the , ATSC-Digital Broadcast Tv Stations Channels , often named the ~ Antenna Channels ~ ATSC Channels ~ DTV Channels ~ Air Channels ~ in the Tv Setup Menu because the Tv transmissions travel through the Air from the transmitting antenna to the receiving antenna.

Some digital tv's will Automatic channel scan for cable tv channels.

DO NOT channel scan for cable tv channels.

Go into the Tv Setup Menu and select and channel scan for the ~ Antenna Channels ~ ATSC Channels ~ DTV Channels ~ Air Channels.

Last edited by teleview; 12-Apr-2014 at 10:06 PM. Reason: Clarify information and typos.
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Old 12-Apr-2014, 1:22 AM   #4
packhead
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The roof is a plywood deck with asphalt shingles. It's a pre-constructed truss roof as well, so while there's lot of space, there's lots of 2x4s as part of the structure.

I would prefer to mount the antenna in the attic. HOA/City doesn't require it, but I would rather not attach it to the outside.

Is there a reason for the antenna you recommended instead of something more like the ClearStream 4 (or a similar bowtie type antenna)? Only reason I ask is I'm currently using an antenna very similar to the one you mentioned. It's very difficult to get into the right spot (I just came down from fighting with it to pickup a station, which I can't because of the truss layout), and it seemed like one of the bowtie style antennas would be significantly easier to manage in the attic. I think the only VHF channel I have to contend with is CBS, which is at the high end.

Just curious. Thanks!
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Old 12-Apr-2014, 4:08 AM   #5
GroundUrMast
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The CS4 is a very capable UHF only design. Other bow-tie designs are also UHF only, though a few (CM-4228) will offer some H-VHF capability.

The HBU series of antennas are designed to cover both UHF and H-VHF. The HBU-55 is the most capable of the series, with the greatest gain. In the attic, you'll need every bit of gain you can find in an antenna. Amplifier gain is not the same, it adds some noise to the signal, antenna gain does not.

You could try the CM-4228 which will have very good UHF performance. If you don't succeed with the signal on real CH-12, would you have room for an Antennacraft Y10713?
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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 12-Apr-2014 at 4:10 AM.
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Old 12-Apr-2014, 4:19 AM   #6
packhead
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I've got an "old school" antenna up there now, probably 15 years old or so -- pre-DTV, and the elements are what make it hard to work with. Very wide. I think the HBU-55 would fit alright in the attic, I'm just wondering how I will mount it. I would need a rather large arm I think to get it far enough away from the 2x4s to be able to successfully aim it.
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Old 12-Apr-2014, 5:08 AM   #7
packhead
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Also, FWIW, here's the current readings im getting off of my HD Home Run with the amp in the basement:

Channel 12 - 73% Strengh, 73% Signal Quality, 100% symbol quality
Channel 24 - 57% Strength, 55% Signal Quality, 100% symbol quality
Channel 29 - 55% Strength, 54% Signal Quality, 100% symbol quality
Channel 44 - 65% Strength, 62% Signal Quality, 100% symbol quality
Channel 51 - 59% Strength, 64% Signal Quality, 100% symbol quality

The antenna is just currently laying in the attic ontop of the insulation and I'm sure it isn't aimed close enough. When I lift the antenna up by hand about four feet other stations come in and the percentages go up quite a bit more.
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Old 12-Apr-2014, 6:21 AM   #8
GroundUrMast
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My experience with the HDHR tuner has been that a signal quality level below 60% is likely to have enough errors to be troublesome when recording. Stable quality at 70% or higher usually translates to near perfect viewing and recording.

The signal strength indication can be helpful as you're aiming the antenna initially.


For what it's worth, the antenna has no awareness of the modulation type. There is no such thing as a 'digital' antenna. You can use a 30 year old antenna to receive the new signal format if it's still in good condition and covers the bands used by the current broadcasters. (UHF is the most common choice, but as in your case, there are plenty of DTV stations on VHF, both high band and low band.)
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Old 12-Apr-2014, 2:31 PM   #9
packhead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
My experience with the HDHR tuner has been that a signal quality level below 60% is likely to have enough errors to be troublesome when recording. Stable quality at 70% or higher usually translates to near perfect viewing and recording.

The signal strength indication can be helpful as you're aiming the antenna initially.
Yep, that's been my experience. I do have the newer HDHR Plus with their new tuner, which seems to pick up stuff very nicely. But it does get picky it seems if I get under 60%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GroundUrMast View Post
For what it's worth, the antenna has no awareness of the modulation type. There is no such thing as a 'digital' antenna. You can use a 30 year old antenna to receive the new signal format if it's still in good condition and covers the bands used by the current broadcasters. (UHF is the most common choice, but as in your case, there are plenty of DTV stations on VHF, both high band and low band.)

I realize there isn't a "digital" antenna; I'm more referring to just the size of it. The elements must be about 1 1/2 or 2 feet in each direction from the center of the antenna. It makes it super difficult to get in the right spot in the relatively tight spaces between the trusses. I wouldn't be opposed to the HBU-55, especially if it will pick up the channels I'm wanting. I only have one channel in the VHF range I care about -- real channel 12 out of Chicago, nor do I care about the South Bend stations. I only need to pickup the main stations out of Chicago, which is why I had looked at the bowtie -- because of the ability to install it in the attic and it's ability to pickup all the UHF channels I want and hopefully the one VHF (real channel 12) I want.

Do you have a recommendation for a mount/mast to use to attach the HBU-55 in the attic to some trusses? I would need a mount that could come out either at an angle (45 or so) from the mount, or at a 90, run a foot or so away from the mount, and then take a turn up to hang the antenna (if that makes any sense at all.. )
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Old 12-Apr-2014, 6:51 PM   #10
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In an attic I've use thin wall electrical conduit. I simply drilled a couple of holes through, near the end of the tube and used screws to attach to a rafter. The tube then hung from the top. I've even used nylon twine to hang the antenna, but adjusting aim is cumbersome.

Wood dowel or plastic pipe is also an option.

Some folks prefer a store bought solution. The J-pole used for many satellite dish installs can be used. It can be hung from above if that works in your application.

If we were neighbors, you'd see an HBU-44 or equivalent combinations of UHF +VHF antennas above my roof.
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Old 12-Apr-2014, 10:14 PM   #11
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With the HBU44 installed above the roof , test reception with 8 way distribution amplifier , No preamplifier.

How many Tv locations will be connected??
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