According to the report I should -very- easily pull in local signals. However, the best I've been able to do is pull in most of the "green" signals on the primary azimuth heading and they have mixed signal strength. I have tried attenuators of various sizes before and after the distribution amp (thinking it may be -too- strong or that I might have multipath issues. The attenuators did nothing to improve the signal strength or quality. When the picture breaks up I have very low signal strength. I have tried using 4 different antennas at this point in 3 different locations:
1) Offbrand medium directional antenna. Doesn't seem to pull in anything; was hanging in the attic when I moved in.
2) DIY 4-bay bowtie (design referenced a few posts back). Results in slightly less signal strength than the very large directional antenna.
3) "Very large" Terk directional antenna (8ft long, maybe 6-7ft wide). It's a UHF/VHF/FM design and looks very similar to THIS
4) Indoor loop + bunny ears antenna
1) Channel master 1->8 distribution amp with 4dB gain. Unused outputs are terminated. From the distribution amp, there is ~ 30 ft or so of RG-6 to the TV/tuner.
2) Channel master 7778 preamp (makes maybe "1 bar" of signal strength difference... at best). Yes, it's plugged in and the power injector is wired correctly (incorrect wiring = no signal).
House location details:
House has 2 large attics and is covered in vinyl siding. There are 2 large, dense trees right between the LOS of the attics and towers (5-10ft from the exterior of the attics). Additionally, there is another house in the way, a large stand of pine trees, and a regional airport ~1/2 mile away (all between the towers). The house is in a slight depression but the attic would have a clean LOS to the towers if there were no trees or other homes in the way.
Locations & results:
1) Indoors in back attic; this is the furthest location from the distribution point. Approximately 15-20ft off the ground. The antenna is connected to 100ft of RG-59, into a wall connector (quality of terminations is unknown), and then through 75+ feet of RG-6 to my distribution amplifier. This has been the best location so far. Antennas 2&3 result in a watchable picture with occasional picture break-up on 43. 49 comes in very clearly but 46 and 47 don't come in at all (same azimuth!). Adding the pre-amp doesn't resolve the signal strength issues.
2) Indoors in front attic; ~75ft of RG-59 to distribution amp. Quality of terminations is unknown. This attic is a huge pain to navigate but has slightly less obstructions between the attic and towers. This is 1-2 bars lower in signal strength versus the back attic.
3) Front yard. Only the airport and pine trees are in the LOS here. 100ft of RG-59 to the distribution amp. About the same as the front attic in picture quality. This would not be an acceptable permanent location; I just did it as a test.
4) Inside very close to TV; ~8ft of RG-6 between the antenna and TV. Very poor signal strength.
1) Is my next step an antenna mast on the roof (prob. use an eave mount)?
2) If so, what brands are recommended? Any installation how-tos or recommendations/tips?
3) Would mounting the large Terk cause any problems? Should I use the preamp? There will be at least 100ft of cable (good solid core RG-6) from the antenna to the distribution amp.
Note, here is my original post on the issue (same tower, different signal strengths despite TVFool ratings): http://www.avsforum.com/t/1352044/strange-reception-pattern-help