AVS Forum banner

Attic attenna, north of Boston

268 Views 12 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  chs4
A local dealer recommended an "8 bay" 36" x 36" UHF only attenna for HD reception in my area (Seacoast NH). As the crow flies this is only about 45 miles to towers. Is it plausible that an attic installation would provide enough signal strength? How important is orientation of attenna ...is it likely that a fixed installation would be adequate for the major network feeds? Feedback from anyone whose been there would be appreciated.
Not open for further replies.
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

See the Boston Tower thread for tips, including some URLs.

You may be able to get away without a parabolic, but "you will loose at least 6dB through most roofing materials,

considerably more at some frequencies." You'll need a pre-amp most probably too.

The thread will give you a bead on direction. Direction is VERY important.

Good luck,

See less See more

Thanks for the direction. Checked out the Boston tower thread. You look like a long time member. I'm not sure I fully grasp the concept of "threads" (grasping @ threads, am I?). A new member wouldn't be able to locate a thread from the main forums page, right? And I saw references to thread "division" or "splits". What does that mean. Did the Boston tower "thread" and all the other regional market threads unravel from the Momma and Poppa thread of HDTV hardware? Am I so soft headed that I feel a bit overwhelmed by all the jargon of this (very cool)website? Yes. Truly a wealth of information but somewhat hard to dig out.

Even having searched the Boston tower thread I remember only one indirect reference to an attic attenna. Are there no attic attenna folks out there?
Thread is just the stream of messages. The Boston thread is actually spread across 3 messages, each of about 7+ pages. I think we are getting near getting bumbed to a new message.

Some of the posts by prjoy talk about sites to check distances & expected signals.

Also try www.antennaweb.org.

You are pushing it distance wise and attic will reduce signal strength more. Try the web sites.

See less See more

When you have a minute take a look at my own attic installation.

I am approximately 25 miles from the Boston broadcast towers in Needham, MA, and about 35 miles from WMUR in Manchester, NH and WENH in Durham, NH. At this distance with my setup I receive the following:

CH Network Affiliate Signal

20-1 ABC WCVB-DT 95-98%

30-1 CBS WBZ-DT 85-90%

31-1 FOX WFXT-DT 80-85%

42-2 NBC WHDH-DT 85-90%

59-1 ABC WMUR-DT 75-80%

80-3 PBS WENH-DT 75-80%

Obviously your situation could vary greatly from mine based on specific terrain issues in your area. For all of the Boston area stations my line-of-site is actually through a pretty thick treeline, yet I'm still able to achieve the results above.

If you have any specific questions please feel free to ask.

See less See more

Thanks, thanks, thank you. I figured it could be done. Obviously I'm closer to WENH, similar distance to WMUR and a bit further from Boston. I still need to do alot of research on antennas. Why wouldn't the CM4228 be better (since target is bigger)? Does the square shape lack multipath rejection features? Just too darn big to ship? No VHF capability? Is everbody using their UHF/VHF attennas for FM and analog as well? I would think an attenna specialized to UHF would work better as better net for intended fish. Your comments appreciated.

PS Leaves on trees when your signal strength was measured?

Attic antennas can work, but you are lucky if they do.

I am only 12 miles from Needham, and my fringe Winegard works just great in my attic, until it rains. Then I get

a loss of sound or pricture several times per hour.

I had to go outside and put up a far more directional antenna to avoid this problem.

At 45 miles you are in the fringe but a preamp could make

up for your wall losses and work fine, if the terrain around

you is ideal.
See less See more

Nice looking attic installation!

- Bob
Am interested in an attic antenna installation but I have trusses rather than rafters and joists. They are 24" OC (22-1/2" apart) with internal support members. this eliminates a rotor.

I live about 20 miles from the local signal towers (Detroit, MI) with all in the same general direction.

Any suggestions (thanks in advance)?


Tom Taylor
Hi waverider,

I'm not far from you (in Madbury) and have an attic installation. I'm not home and don't remember the model numbers but I'm using a directional 108" Radio Shack UHF antenna, an FM omnidirectional antenna, and a Channel Master 2-input preamp to combine the two. (I only have one coax downfeed and also needed the FM antenna). I'm aimed towards Boston and get mid 80-90 readings on my E* 6000 for WBZ. WHDH, WCVB, WFXT signals are a little lower, and depending on weather, I'll sometimes get pixellation on those.

Because of close proximity to WENH, it comes in (during the few hours they broadcast) even though I'm not aimed in their direction and now that WMUR has upped their power, I get them also, again, even though the antenna is not pointed towards them.

I live 35-40 miles from the towers in Boston and receive all Boston stations via a Rat Shack antenna (2nd to largest uhf/vhf they make) located in my attic. I am also in a valley with a 3 story condo across the street from me which is facing ENE relative to my house. My antenna is basically pointed at the 3 story condo and I receive all stations using a Channel Master pre amp with mid 80's to low 90's for signal strength.

--Andy Garabedian

[This message has been edited by andyg (edited 08-23-2001).]

You are probably right that the CM4228 is a "better" antenna as far as distance is concerned. Personally I went with the CM3023 since I didn't necessarily need the extended range of the 4228 (60 miles). Based on my limited antenna knowledge I believe the 3023 is more directional, so if multipath is an issue you may want to take this into consideration.

The signal ranges I quoted were from a couple of days ago, so the trees are as full as they ever will be. I'm sure I lose some signal strength due to the trees and the attic install, but again I'm close enough to the towers for it not to matter too much.

You should be able to receive all of the Boston networks with a stationary antenna. If you go with the CM4228 you may also be able to pick up WMUR-DT & WENH-DT, but they are about 90° west of the Boston networks. FWIW, I'd invest in a rotor at the outset. This gives you the most flexibility down the road as more DTV stations come online.

Keep us posted...

See less See more
Originally posted by Bob Hess:

Nice looking attic installation!

- Bob
Thanks Bob!
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Not open for further replies.