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I am awaiting the delivery of my first HDTV this coming week, and I am planning on hooking up an antenna to get OTA HDTV. According to antennaweb, I should get all the locals fine (yellow), but there are several green/red/blue stations that I would like to get, and I would prefer to not have to install an outdoor antenna (plus I don't know about neighborhood covenants I may not be allowed to!).


Anyway, I have a rectangular house with a long, straight roof line and an open attic, and I was wondering if there are any suggestions out there for DIY antennas (antennae?) that I could install in (or even all over) my attic, or perhaps running the length of the roof peak line (30-35 feet, straight line). I have seen the infamous youtube video ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWQhlmJTMzw ) for making a shorter antenna, but could this theory be multiplied to make a much larger, even-more-effective one? Or could several of those be joined with a diplexer? And what about VHF (my understanding is that the video is a UHF-only antenna)?


I wouldn't be opposed to stringing wire around up there quite a bit (if the overall cost remained less than a store-bought attic antenna of equivalent reception ability). Any advice is appreciated.
 

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The more posts I read the more amazed at how many, many people are told by their neighborhood and neighbors what they can and cannot do on their property. Why does anyone live in such restrictive places???


Was going to share inexpensive way I built our first 22 ft outdoor antenna and how it picks up great reception up to 100 miles away but, sorry, never mind.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by imjay /forum/post/13010756


The more posts I read the more amazed at how many, many people are told by their neighborhood and neighbors what they can and cannot do on their property. Why does anyone live in such restrictive places???

Actually, according to the FCC, HOA's are not even allowed to have a rule that restricts reasonable antennas. So, the OP can put up a "reasonable" antenna wherever he choses on his house.


"As directed by Congress in Section 207 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Federal Communications Commission adopted the Over-the-Air Reception Device Rule concerning governmental and nongovernmental restrictions on viewers' ability to receive video programming signals from direct broadcast satellites ("DBS"), multichannel multipoint distribution (wireless cable) providers ("MMDS"), and television broadcast stations ("TVBS").


The rule is cited as 47 C.F.R. Section 1.4000 and has been in effect since October 14, 1996. It prohibits restrictions that impair the installation, maintenance or use of antennas used to receive video programming. The rule applies to video antennas including direct-to-home satellite dishes that are less than one meter (39.37") in diameter (or of any size in Alaska), TV antennas, and wireless cable antennas. The rule prohibits most restrictions that: (1) unreasonably delay or prevent installation, maintenance or use; (2) unreasonably increase the cost of installation, maintenance or use; or (3) preclude reception of an acceptable quality signal."
 

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If you only need a few channels, you can build your own Yagi antenna:
http://www.wfu.edu/~matthews/misc/dipole.html

Folded Dipole + Reflector + one or more Directors.


It is fairly narrowband and hence is only optimized to receive either one lo-band (CH2-6),

three adjacent hi-band VHF (CH7-13) or 5-10 adjacent UHF channels.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjpjpjpj /forum/post/13005367


I am awaiting the delivery of my first HDTV this coming week, and I am planning on hooking up an antenna to get OTA HDTV. According to antennaweb, I should get all the locals fine (yellow), but there are several green/red/blue stations that I would like to get, and I would prefer to not have to install an outdoor antenna (plus I don't know about neighborhood covenants I may not be allowed to!).


Anyway, I have a rectangular house with a long, straight roof line and an open attic, and I was wondering if there are any suggestions out there for DIY antennas (antennae?) that I could install in (or even all over) my attic, or perhaps running the length of the roof peak line (30-35 feet, straight line). I have seen the infamous youtube video ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWQhlmJTMzw ) for making a shorter antenna, but could this theory be multiplied to make a much larger, even-more-effective one? Or could several of those be joined with a diplexer? And what about VHF (my understanding is that the video is a UHF-only antenna)?


I wouldn't be opposed to stringing wire around up there quite a bit (if the overall cost remained less than a store-bought attic antenna of equivalent reception ability). Any advice is appreciated.

Why spend the cash? It's so easy...
See this site

http://uhfhdtvantenna.blogspot.com/
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...5#post12788845
 

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pjpjpjpj, there's more to it than simply "stringing wire around" and bigger isn't neccessarily better. There are some measurements that need to be followed fairly close, but it's not rocket science and building the antennas referenced (the 2-bay and 4-bay) are well within the abilities of most individuals. They can pretty much be built with very common tools and a very small amount of hardware. I got the most information from the Lumenlab link, but it is rather long and takes off on a few tangents...the first few pages have the basic information in the and message #228 found on this page gives the specific measurements of the Channel Master 4221 which is the basic model for the diy antenna.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wireman134 /forum/post/13014914


Why spend the cash? It's so easy...
See this site

http://uhfhdtvantenna.blogspot.com/
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...5#post12788845

I hear ya, Wireman134.



I think in some situations it's an economic issue...when you can definitely build a *very* good antenna for less than $10 *if* you have to buy the screws, washers, and balun...wood and coathangers can be had for nothing but I do like copper wire. Though copper prices have increased drastically you still may be able to find the meager amount needed at a construction site that a builder will give you. Other times I thinks it's an issue of "I want to try that!" mentality.



My daughter is still enjoying the 4-bay I built her...I built it out of rustic wood and bare copper wire...it's used indoors and she likes the "atmosphere" that it gives off (plus the fact that it works quiet well!). A friend in Ohio just finished a 4-bay and so far is very pleased with it's performance and will probably still see even better reception with it once he gets it into the attic.


I just rigged up an old Dell CRT monitor and a Samsung TS360 satellite receiver at work (recycled hi-def...I oughta get a tax credit for it!!!
). I need more than a set of rabbit ears for it, so...yelp, I'm gonna built a 2, maybe 4-bay for it and see how it goes. I'm going for a very lightweight version using copper wire soldered at the joints using a mapp torch (rather than screws and washers) and attach this to a very lightweight piece of wood with zipties.


Ok, so maybe I could buy an antenna and be done with it...but, tinkering is fun, too, and the old ham in me tends to leak out once in a while.



Ed
 

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You know, you can buy a complete doghouse at the hardware of pet store, or you can draw and build one yourself. Guess which is more satisfying and fun? Many guys (I should say "people" or "folks", but let's face it, it's 95% guys) like to see what they can fabricate. It's the caveman gene...
 

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Bow ties are used for VHF transmission, so there's no reason (aside from finding a place to put the thing) you couldn't use them for reception as well.


It's amazing how good an antenna you can get using scrap material. I built a biquad (romex, coax, cardboard, aluminum foil) which was able to get two middle-distance stations (one at a time, the antenna had to be tuned), and a facsimile of the center of a PR-4400 (balun, tape, cardboard, aluminum foil, shoebox, staples) which got both without tuning.


For real use I use a CM4221, the others are just for fun.
 

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I am just happy I had a long co-ax cable lying around for tonights game. It picked up Fox and the local NBC as well. So I get them two local HD currently. Hopefully they will be piping down Dish soon so I do not have to buy an antennae for the local ABC and CBS stations. Worked to get the game though....
 

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Discussion Starter #13

Quote:
Originally Posted by tyromark /forum/post/13016503


You know, you can buy a complete doghouse at the hardware of pet store, or you can draw and build one yourself. Guess which is more satisfying and fun? Many guys (I should say "people" or "folks", but let's face it, it's 95% guys) like to see what they can fabricate. It's the caveman gene...

Exactly why I want to do it myself, tyromark.



Attached is my antenna listing. I am mostly concerned about getting VHF channels 5, 9, 12, and 19, and UHF channels 38, 48, and 64 (all basically the same direction and yellow, so hopefully not a problem). But I would also like to shoot for some of the Dayton/Springfield stations, which (though basically the same direction) are the opposite direction, blue, and are a mix of VHF and UHF.


I have a two story house with an attic, and I am pretty much at the top of a hill, located in north-central greater Cincinnati (45241).


So my question is, if I want my equipment indoors (attic or otherwise), and I am trying to avoid a rotor (I would rather have multiple antennas than a rotor), and I am willing to buy it OR make it... what would any of you suggest (and if your answer is "you won't get the blue with an attic antenna", so be it).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjpjpjpj /forum/post/13030424


Exactly why I want to do it myself, tyromark.



Attached is my antenna listing. I am mostly concerned about getting VHF channels 5, 9, 12, and 19, and UHF channels 38, 48, and 64 (all basically the same direction and yellow, so hopefully not a problem). But I would also like to shoot for some of the Dayton/Springfield stations, which (though basically the same direction) are the opposite direction, blue, and are a mix of VHF and UHF.

Looks to me like all of these should be attainable with something like a 4-bay bowtie...DIY, CM4221, DB4, etc.,. A minimal setup would give you all the major networks.


I'm curious about something...are you shooting for the analog or the digital channels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjpjpjpj /forum/post/13030424


I have a two story house with an attic, and I am pretty much at the top of a hill, located in north-central greater Cincinnati (45241).

Does your house have a metal roof? Stucco? Metal insulation in the attic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjpjpjpj /forum/post/13030424


So my question is, if I want my equipment indoors (attic or otherwise), and I am trying to avoid a rotor (I would rather have multiple antennas than a rotor), and I am willing to buy it OR make it... what would any of you suggest (and if your answer is "you won't get the blue with an attic antenna", so be it).

What have you got against a rotor? They certainly make life more simple.



If you're wanting to try fishing for some distant station then you'll probably want to go with an 8-bay bowtie or a large corner reflector like the XG91 In this situation it would definitely be to your benefit to have two antennas...the 4-bay for the locals and an 8-bay w/pre-amp for the distant "blue" stations. The 8-bay w/pre-amp would cause problems for the close-by stations.


Shoot. Build yourself a 4-bay, stick it in the attic and see how it works.
That'll tell ya volumes about your situation....just do a good build.



Best wishes,

Ed
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjpjpjpj /forum/post/13030424


Exactly why I want to do it myself, tyromark.



Attached is my antenna listing. I am mostly concerned about getting VHF channels 5, 9, 12, and 19, and UHF channels 38, 48, and 64 (all basically the same direction and yellow, so hopefully not a problem). But I would also like to shoot for some of the Dayton/Springfield stations, which (though basically the same direction) are the opposite direction, blue, and are a mix of VHF and UHF.


I have a two story house with an attic, and I am pretty much at the top of a hill, located in north-central greater Cincinnati (45241).


So my question is, if I want my equipment indoors (attic or otherwise), and I am trying to avoid a rotor (I would rather have multiple antennas than a rotor), and I am willing to buy it OR make it... what would any of you suggest (and if your answer is "you won't get the blue with an attic antenna", so be it).

Most of the network DTV broadcasts are duplicated from Dayton and Cincinnati so direct a 4 bay bow tie toward 215*. Build it with 8 1/2" bow tie elements with a larger reflector of say 36"X22" to help with the VHF channels. Being 10 miles from transmitters you should get those VHF high band broadcasts. These antennas are sort of multi directional and pull in signals from 90 degrees regularly.


Analog is going away in one year so the DT channels are what you want
 

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I know it's a weird place to post this, but I need help.


I went over to lumenlab to check out the DIY antennas. I registered and everything, but never received the validation email. The one contact I found over there comes back as an undeliverable email address. I've tried everything I can think of even registering a new account with a different email and still a no go. Without validation you can't look at any of the linked pics.


Anyway if anyone is a member or knows of a good email for some of their mods, I'd appreciate some help.


I'm using the same user name over there; girdnerg


Thanks,

Rob
 

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girdnerg, I did the same thing yesterday, except that I got a little further than you. It allowed me to register, and I got the validation email. I clicked to make it active, and then when I tried to go in and look at pics, it still wouldn't allow me to.


I've gone back today, on my work computer, to see if it just took some time, but no dice. It's frustrating.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mackelroy /forum/post/13036058


girdnerg, I did the same thing yesterday, except that I got a little further than you. It allowed me to register, and I got the validation email. I clicked to make it active, and then when I tried to go in and look at pics, it still wouldn't allow me to.


I've gone back today, on my work computer, to see if it just took some time, but no dice. It's frustrating.

There might be a membership required. I can log in, maybe you have to post a question. Can't view pictures also...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the help everyone - the TV arrived this morning, so I am anxiously waiting to get home from work and hook it up.


Last night I built a 4-bay bowtie antenna ("DB4" type), without even adding a reflector (I was in a hurry - took me about an hour). I will hook it up tonight and see how it does, just leaning against the wall behind my TV armoire. When I finished it last night, I hooked it to the analog antenna input on my current TV, and was able to get channels 9 (ABC) and 12 (CBS) crystal clear, with the antenna leaning against the front of the armoire. Channel 5 (NBC) was pretty snowy. But I figure, if those things are designed to be "centered" around the mid-range frequencies (30s or 40s), then the ability to pick up analog channel 5 at all should be a promising indicator, right? Most of my digital channels are in the low- to mid-30s.


I'll give it a shot and report back. If it is disappointing, I will deconstruct and add the reflector... and after that, move the whole thing to the attic (although I may need an amp).


Hey, in case I need an amp, here's a question: since the whole thing would be an indoor set-up, could I just use one of those plug-in units (from "back in the day") that was used when splitting your cable TV to a bunch of different sets? I think I still have one of those in storage from my college days (4 bedroom apt plus living room - it had 1 "in" and 5 "outs"). And if that would work, would there be any issues if I did not have TVs hooked to every "out", but only one or two of them?


For you guys at the end of this thread: coincidentally, I registered successfully with Lumenlab the other day myself... no problem... maybe you just had a glitch. Good luck!
 

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Just curious as to how far apart you spaced your bowties at the center? I'm attaching a pic of one I built, and I spaced them 5 3/4 inches apart, based on the youtube DIY instructions. Basically, what I created was that antenna, but with a reflector made of cage wire.


However, I saw another similar antenna build on a blog, and that one had the bowties spaced 7 inches apart at the center. I'm curious if one way is better than the other.


What I have seems to work ok in my living room. I'm going to put it in the attic tonight so I can catch LOST in HD.


My TV doesn't have a signal strength meter, which is kind of a bummer.


Anyone have thoughts on the spacing issue?
 
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