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I am looking to install an antenna in my attic.

What sort of meter can I purchase or ,better yet, rent that will allow me to check my signal strength without incessant trips back and forth to the living room?

I have seen satellite strength meters but I am not sure that would apply for OTA UHF signals...


Thanks
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick0725 /forum/post/0


inexpensive signal meters for off air are not available.

http://www.solidsignal.com/prod_disp...rod=DIGIAIRPRO


would be nice...a meter like a radio shack sound pressure meter. goes up when signal goes up and goes down when the level goes down. simple and stupid.


aim the antenna to the compass heading from antenna web for your exact address and tweak slightly from there. or print the map with the stations, line it up to your house/ street, and go from there.

The DIGIAIR is for NTSC signals, it may be blind to 8VSB modulation.
 

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While you may not have the equipment, I used two cell phones and a Mac to align my antenna on my weakest channel. I used AppleScript to have the Mac tell me the signal strength coming from EyeTV every 5 seconds while I was up in the roof. blog entry


The resulting alignment was pretty reliable until the high winds and ice storms of the last week.
 

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How about calling from your cell phone to a spotter downstairs on the landline?

Or use family radios/walkie talkies.


Or hooking your receiver box to a Slingbox and watching the results of your work on a wireless laptop in the attic.
 

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Yep, a laptop with a USB receiver works the best (OnAir-GT is great).


If you don't have a laptop, spend the $80 on a rotator, if you can manage to fit a rotator/antenna in your attic.
 

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I had this problem in a slightly different way: I have a Hauppauge 1600 in the bedroom of my apt. but my antenna had to be in the next room.


I had a WiFi network and a PDA that could run VNC, the remote control app. I ran the Hauppauge signal monitor while looking at the screen on my PDA. Then I twiddled my antenna for "best" results.


I have a brutal reception environment with trees and brick, and this helped immensely.
 

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If you're in an area where aiming is critical, with the all-or-nothing nature of digital reception, I'd recommend including a rotator in any new rooftop antenna installation, even if you normally don't need to use it. Then aiming the antenna initially is no hassle, and if the wind turns it a bit too far, you can fix it easily.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtbell /forum/post/12915344


If you're in an area where aiming is critical, with the all-or-nothing nature of digital reception, I'd recommend including a rotator in any new rooftop antenna installation, even if you normally don't need to use it. Then aiming the antenna initially is no hassle, and if the wind turns it a bit too far, you can fix it easily.

The original poster is doing an attic install but I agree that the rotor would be a good investment. Everynow and then I like to swing my 4228 around to the south and see if any tropo is coming through from the gulf coast.
A rotor would also help if you have some stations spread out from each other substantially.


Having said that, this is a po-man's option for an analog-only, b/w meter. Add a piece of coax to hook to your antenna and SHAZAMMM!!!! Of course, if you wanted a fancier "po-man's meter" that you would probably use this one time then you could go with one of these that has both digital and analog capabilities (and a color display)...Wallyworld has a great return policy, save the packing.



I know, I know...those don't really qualify as meters. And the larger ones would be problematical on a ladder or whatever. But but for us poor-joes out here they might be good enough till somebody builds a better mousetrap or designs the "Hardee's biscuit" for the tv antenna-meter world.



FWIW,

Ed
 

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I use two cell phones and the strength meter in my Dish Network STB. The STB OTA strength meter is very precise. However it jumps around a lot. However I believe that is because the reception jumps around. I would stand at the top of my ladder and move the antenna an inch or so. Then my Son would tell me the strength range. I would repeat this process for optimal reception.


Rick R
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabex /forum/post/9520411


I am looking to install an antenna in my attic.

What sort of meter can I purchase or ,better yet, rent that will allow me to check my signal strength without incessant trips back and forth to the living room?

I have seen satellite strength meters but I am not sure that would apply for OTA UHF signals...


Thanks

Simple solution. No fancy-schmancy and grossly overpriced electronic gizmos are needed, nor do you need to pay someone to install it. You only need a good compass and the antennaweb or tvfool website. If you know your antenna beamwidth pattern, determine the bearing to which you would need to point the antenna to maximize the number of channels to be picked up. If all of them are at the same bearing, it's easy. If multiple bearings that exceed the antenna beamwidth, then you may need a rotator.


You use the compass to determine the azimuth pointing angle. Be sure to keep the compass away from ferrous metals like the mounting pole when making azimuth measurements, else the compass can point the wrong direction and throw you off angle.


I did this one time when installing my bowtie outdoor antenna and got a near-perfect signal level on the majority of my local transmitter towers. Didn't have to go up/down/up/down/etc........The signal strength will vary from one station to the next as the power level sensed by your ATSC receiver varies with the output power of the channel at the source, the gain of your antenna at that specific frequency, the range from the tower, and the frequency response of your coax line. All of this is assuming that you have a clear line of sight between the towers and your antenna. You don't really need all of that over-priced stuff to align onto the towers in your area. Yeah, I know, you want an attic install. The same principal holds, but I recommend using the compass outdoors so you can get a bearing of where you need to point the antenna in the attic. Most OTA antennas aren't that sensitive in beamwidth, like a satellite dish.
 

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I have a signal quality meter on my Tivo Series 3 receiver. Since it has no RF output I connected a channel 3 modulator to the composite video out and then ran a cheap R-56 line out to an old 12 inch black and white TV next to the antenna mast. I had to run AC to the old TV and set it to channel 3, then could turn the mast while watching the signal meter.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Intheswamp /forum/post/12915658


Of course, if you wanted a fancier "po-man's meter" that you would probably use this one time then you could go with one of these that has both digital and analog capabilities (and a color display)...

A small LCD/TV is easier to haul up the ladder, if more expensive. I used my 19" Westinghouse monitor/TV for this purpose a couple times.


It would be nice if there could be small portable LCD TV's, but the market only seems to care about bigger and bigger screens. Of course, small, portable sets would probably rely on a single rabbit ear and wouldn't have an RF input.



We really need something better. When I was helping a friend out with his antenna several months ago, we were talking on the cell phone and counting bars on the screen. "How many bars now? 6? Ok, now? 7? Ok, now?..." you get the idea.


I'm sure one of these would work, but for a cool $7k or so.


http://www2.rohde-schwarz.com/en/pro...el_.03%29.html
 
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