I installed an Antennacraft U-4000 in my attic recently for OTA reception throughout my whole house. The antenna height is roughly 21-25' above the ground, with no major obstructions towards the nearest station antenna cluster. The antenna is unamplified and run into a 1 to 8 splitter in my equipment closet (says 12 dB on all the outputs, but is not powered - I'm not sure if it's a passive amp or not). The splitter puts the cable all around the house. I have an iView OTA DVR box upstairs and the built-in tuner on my Panasonic TH58PX600U plasma downstairs. They both agree with signal quality levels, so the tuners appear to be fine.
The issue: My UHF reception is great, with most channels at 100% strength, and the weaker ones at ~70-80% strength. My VHF pretty much sucks.
Here's what I'm working with:
The main VHF channels I want are KHOU (ch 11) and KTRK (ch 13). I was thinking the U-4000 had enough gain in the upper VHF to get me those channels, but it appears not. I'm at about 20-25% strength on KHOU and 0-10% on KTRK (can't even get a pic).
This is a pic of the U-4000 install, complete with some poor TIG welding of a mounting bracket on the bottom. The antenna is pointing at ~116-118 deg at the front of my attic, about 21-25' AGL. One of my potential issues is the tech shield (foil barrier on plywood roof decking). I aimed the antenna to get the best shot out of a ~6' x 4' pitch that has no tech shield on it. Unfortunately that's smaller than most VHF wavelengths, which might explain some problems. The only other option is to move the antenna back to the back of my attic about 14-18' AGL. This would have it well below the tech shield, but it'd be going through all of the 2nd story of my house to get line of sight to the towers. That would put another 50' run of RG-6 in between the antenna and splitter (25' now). I don't think an amplifier on the antenna is going to get me anything here correct?
So my question - what sort of VHF antenna do I need to pull in these two stations? I don't need 100% signal strength, but something in the 50-70% range to get watchable TV is the minimum. Will a set of VHF rabbit ears work? How would I install that in the circuit? Do I need a reverse splitter/signal combiner?
Hopefully that's enough detail without going overboard. Thanks for any help guys!