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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to put up an OTA antenna. Just got down off the roof and it is very treacherous--I'd rather stick with an in-attic antenna.


So, I'm about 35 miles west of Chicago. Anyone got a recommendation for a good HD-compatible antenna that will give me decent reception from an attic?


Note: The house was a tri-level that got an addition (to make it a Quad-level,) so I have two attics. The higher one (in the addition,) has a shiny material on the wall (insulation) facing Chicago -- I am wondering if this would block the signal more than in the original, but lower attic.


I really want to get this done today -- trying to make the Enterprise premiere (found out last night that there are *NO* satellite (C-Band OR DirecTV) stations carrying UPN!)


Thanks in advance!


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STOP DFAST


[This message has been edited by ScottK (edited 09-26-2001).]
 

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The shiny material on the face of the insulation, if it is silver shiny, may be a metal foil face. If that is true it will cut down the signal *big time*. I have usually found a roof top location yields 2 to 3 times more signal, if you have foil faced insulation it may be more. With my clients I strongly suggest roof top locations, because I know I will get call backs on attic antennas for reasons like not getting all the stations or picture freezing. Keep in mind the station with the worst results will always be on the station you want the most.


That said, have you considered a "wall stand off" sort of mount that you can attach to the exterior wall of your house? They come in 4", 8", and 12" at Radio Shack, and if you have deeper roof overhang you can get bigger ones at supply houses. Radio Shack also has an eave mount that would keep you from getting on the roof.


Attic installations are also limited by how big an antenna you can get into the attic. Often bigger UHF antennas like the Channel Master 4228 and 4248 cannot fit into the attic scuttle opening.


Let us all know how things work out...
 

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I live in the Houston area, probably 40-50 miles from transmission towers. I am using a Channel Master 4228 UHF antenna in my attic. It works quite well. You'll find a lot of good reports on it in this forum (there's how I found out about it).


The shiny stuff, presumably aluminum foil, may very well block or degrade the signal. Fortunately you have more than one option, so just try it.


You can find a description and picture of the 4228 on www.channelmaster.com. It also includes a dealer locater.

It's about 4'X 4' square (somewhat reminiscent of the gate to a chain link fence, but much lighter), and relatively convenient for moving around in an attic.



If you decide to buy on the web, consider www.warrenelectronics.com I received it in exactly 7 days (remarkable since I ordered 2 days before the WTC tragedy).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for all the input.


I called all over and drove to several Home Depots (that wouldn't answer their phone.) About 3:30 and I was running out of time, so I went back to RadioShack and picked up their 2nd best (supposedly rated to 190 miles) Yagi.


I completed assembly about 5:45 (1.25 hours until showtime) and just stuck it on a portable workbench in the back yard and ran the coax through the back porch down to the TV.


While a couple of the channels (my bigscreen hasn't been touched by OTA--just BUD and my HTPC) were subpar, the UPN station came in beautifully.


So I'll live with mounting it on the roof -- probably do it this weekend.


But thanks for all the input. The lower attic wasn't viable as the antenna I finally got was indeed to large for it. The upper attic had the space, but then there was the foil insulation.


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Scott,

I am in Downers Grove and I also picked up my antenna from RS. Instead of putting my antenna on my roof, I put up a 3/4 galvanized pole up about 25' and mounted my rotor and antenna on there next to my house. This mounting style helps reduce house lightning strikes and gets me the best reception possible. The cost of the pipe was only $20.


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Kipp


IS THAT A REMOTE CONTROL IN YOUR POCKET OR ARE YOU JUST HAPPY TO SEE HDTV?
 

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Scott,


As the earlier posts stated you may have an issue with the foil-backed insulation, so you may want to avoid that section of your attic.


I am approximately 30 miles from my local broadcast towers and I am succesfully using a ChannelMaster 3023 UHF antenna mounted in my attic. This antenna is identical to the aforementioned CM4248, but it comes in two pieces so there was no problem getting it into the attic.


I consistently pull in all of my local stations with signal strengths in the 85-95% range. More than adequate to lock a signal.


You can take a look at my installation here .


FWIW, DISH offers both WSBK (Boston) and WWOR (New York) UPN affiliates as part of their superstation package. (if you qualify)


If you have any specific questions about the antenna installation feel free to ask.


Chip
 

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I placed an antenna in my mother’s attic, she is in St. Charles, it was a Gemini UHF VHF combo. You will need to use on of those also because you need WBBM-DT channel 3. Make sure you use a pre-amp up at the antenna. You can go to my sight www.dtvconsultants.com for more information on Gemini and antenna pointing information.


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Jim Burns
www.dtvconsultants.com
 

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Here's a link to a thread about my attic installation, including pictures:

http://www.***************.com/cgi-b...&f=55&t=000188


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Tom


Sony SAT-T60 DirecTc>ic>Vc>oc>f> w/2.5 (126 hours)

Sony SAT-T60 DirecTc>ic>Vc>oc>f> w/2.5

Sony SAN-24MD 24" elliptical dish
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by kippjones:
... Instead of putting my antenna on my roof, I put up a 3/4 galvanized pole up about 25' and mounted my rotor and antenna on there next to my house. This mounting style helps reduce house lightning strikes and gets me the best reception possible. The cost of the pipe was only $20.
OK. The cost was $20 for the pipe but didn't you dig a hole, pour a footing and then bury it all? I have a mast for the BUD in the back, (not viable for the Antenna, as it's lower and I'd have to create some sort of stand-off thing for the pole) so I have some idea as to what goes into planting something like that. Did you set up some support wires as well?


Now. As far as lightning -- if I get a good, thick piece of copper and ground the hell out of that thing, won't that take care of the strikes? I have a Monster surge protector as well.


How safe am I? My BUD hasn't been hit as far as I know (Knock on wood!)


Also -- since pretty much everything from here is mounted on the Sears tower, is there a need for a rotator?


[This message has been edited by ScottK (edited 09-27-2001).]
 

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a rotor is a good, cheap investment anyway. allowing you to finetune without being up on the pole, and allowing you to use the antenna for distant college radio stations, listen to your neighbors on their cordless phones, tuning in to some future stations in some other direction, all sorts of good stuff.



oscar

HOME THEATER CREATIONS
 

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Hello Scott,


I bought that same Radio Shack antenna that you did and I put mine in the attic. My towers are about 35 miles away and I have beautiful reception. It is very important how you aim that antenna however.


Good Luck,

Paul
 

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Actually no footing was necessary in that the actual load (weight of antenna, pole itself, rotor and cables) is a minimum. I was able to drive the first length of pipe into the ground five feet. Here in Chicago, the frost line is 42" so as long as you go deeper than that you will not have to worry about movement. The mast goes up along the side of my home about three feet to the side and is secured 12 feet up with a strap. It is a very simple set up that is very effective.


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Kipp


IS THAT A REMOTE CONTROL IN YOUR POCKET OR ARE YOU JUST HAPPY TO SEE HDTV?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Can anyone articulate just how dangerous having the antenna on my roof is? Is there a significant danger as opposed to having it on a pole?


I was always told that if you grounded it correctly, there was no more danger than if it wasn't there...


Any thoughts?


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Quote:
Originally posted by Jim Burns:
Make sure you use a pre-amp up at the antenna.

I am using a CM 3017 without a preamp (I am not sure what these look like) mounted in the attic. When I first hooked it up about 6 months ago it worked well for our only digital station 31 about 20 miles away. The last several months it works intermittently. At night seems better. Sometimes it is unwatchable due to extreme stuttering (loss of signal lock, etc.) The signal meter on my Dish 6000 with OTA shows signals in the 70's at times and then drops out to nothing and looses lock.


Any ideas?


I was wondering if it could be multi-path problem, problem with my OTA tuner, could be lack of gain, or just need to be outside. There is no metallic coverings in the attic. I have it suspended from the ceiling on a PVC (non-conductive) pole.


Is there a way to see/measure if my actual signal is strong enough? I assume the 6000 meter just drops out when it looses lock, etc.


Any guidance would be appreciated.





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Gary


STOP DVI/HDCP!

DVI/HDCP! ~= HD-DIVX!!!

DO NOT SUPPORT JVC or anyone else who supports this!
 

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I looked at the channel 31 digital with little to no lock last night. I switched to 10 analog and saw a major ghost and a smaller second ghost. I assume my problem is multipath but I am not sure of my signal strength.




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Gary


STOP DVI/HDCP!

DVI/HDCP! ~= HD-DIVX!!!

DO NOT SUPPORT JVC or anyone else who supports this!
 
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