Attic Antenna Installations - Tips, Tricks & Examples - Page 5 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #61 of 93 (permalink) Old 2012-02-20, 10:42 PM
 
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Thanks for all the great tips.

Antennas Direct C2V antenna pointed @ curved building NE. DB4e pointed SSE. Cable free since May 2011.
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post #62 of 93 (permalink) Old 2012-02-26, 12:36 AM
 
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I know this is an old thread, but...

Does anyone have any information as to my chances of obtaining reception using a CM4228 facing the asphalt shingle backside of an asphalt shingled roof covered with solar panels? Sorry but I'm referring to a chimney mounted antenna.

solar panel side /\ asphalt shingle side

Last edited by MapMaker; 2012-02-26 at 12:44 AM. Reason: realized this is an attic mount thread after posting
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post #63 of 93 (permalink) Old 2012-02-27, 09:13 AM
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MapMaker, Am I understanding you correctly and the antenna will be pointing towards the roof? Will it be above the peak of the roof?

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post #64 of 93 (permalink) Old 2012-02-27, 08:04 PM
 
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Roger1818

I can't really answer your questions with any accuracy, I would have to guess the antenna would be close to equal with the ridge or a bit below it. I took a photo today (a picture is worth a thousand words) but apparently I can't attach it. The existing chimney mount, mast, and 2 old antennas will all be replaced with new. I can only guess the existing pole is 9' and the new one will probably be 10' or whatever HomeDepot has.

Last edited by MapMaker; 2012-02-27 at 08:09 PM. Reason: spelling error
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post #65 of 93 (permalink) Old 2012-02-28, 09:09 AM
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MapMaker, assuming the solar panels are on the roof facing south (a logical location in the Northern Hemisphere), the chimney is on the north side, and you are wanting to receive weak signals to the south (common for Canadians wanting to receive American broadcasts), you will definitely want the antenna above the peek of the roof (optimally with a few feet clearance to avoid reflections off of the roof).

What is your reason for choosing a CM-4228? It is a very tall antenna and if you aren't sure it will clear the roof line, you might want to choose a shorter antenna. What antenna is currently installed and why are you replacing it?

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post #66 of 93 (permalink) Old 2012-02-28, 11:28 PM
 
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Roger1818

Your assumptions are correct. The only difference is that the chimney is about 15-20' north on a lower roof, perpendicular to the roof with the solar panels,
like this /\__п___ (a rough text approximation of the roofline with chimney)

I bought the CM4228 just before Christmas and I am able to pick up 20+ stations from a ground level window 2 storeys below the solar panel roof.

The current antennas are a 30 year old cheap VHF from Radio Shack with a small UHF mounted under it that looks very much like an original Hoverman.
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post #67 of 93 (permalink) Old 2012-02-29, 09:07 AM
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What are you able to receive with the original antennas? If in good condition, the original Hoverman may be a keeper. As for the VHF antenna, what you do with it depends on your location (I have no idea where in Canada (assuming it is in Canada) West Hill is). You could keep it, or if you don't need VHF-LO, it could be replaced with a smaller VHF-HI antenna. If the antennas are in good condition, upgrades to the baluns, coax, etc may be all that is necessary to improve things.

If the chimney is 15-20' north of the roof peek, that could help as it may give the signals enough room to bend around the roof. Obviously getting the antenna above (or in front of) the peek would be better though.

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post #68 of 93 (permalink) Old 2012-03-03, 06:13 PM
 
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Roger1818

We are in the Hwy 401 & Neilson Rd area of Toronto.
TVFool: http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...0b86a72ee78345

The original antennas gave us excellent reception of Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo stations for many years and only fell out of use because, like sheep, we stupidly opted for cable. Now that our senses have finally returned, with the realization we won't really miss watching the lifestyles of misfits and idiots, it is time to upgrade to the CM4228 antenna.

I'm thinking of playing around with remounting and redirecting the old antennas (300 ohm cable and baluns to be replaced at that time) in order to receive local broadcasts from perhaps Peterborough and Barrie. I have to do more reading/researching on this before I solidify any plans though.

Putting the antenna south of the solar panels would cause an unacceptable deterioration of the power generated by the panels. I guess signal bending/additional height is my only hope. I think I might also "squeak" past the corner of the hip roof.

Thanks for your help.
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post #69 of 93 (permalink) Old 2012-03-05, 12:01 PM
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MapMaker, I still don't understand why you think you need to replace your antennas. This is probably better discussed in the thread for your part of Toronto, but I think the 4228 is the wrong antenna for you. It is very directional and you have about 60 degrees between the Toronto and Buffalo stations. If it is in good condition, I think you will be happier with your old Hoverman. If you do need to replace it, I would go with some type 4 bay or similar (combined with a VHF-HI antenna).

Getting back on topic, any chance of mounting the antenna beside your house, possibly using a peek mount? Wouldn't shade the solar panels, and would peak around them.

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post #70 of 93 (permalink) Old 2012-03-05, 11:46 PM
 
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Thanks, I will post in future in the ON - City of Toronto Metro Area <OUTDOOR Antennas Only> - OTA

As for mounting it beside the house, because of the "hip" roof this would not be feasible.

FYI I already have the CM4228, purchased from the OTA forum's sponsor, after reading the OTA forums till my eyes bled. My test reception pleases me so I'm thinking that putting it up on the roof can only make it better. The old antennas may be a bonus.
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post #71 of 93 (permalink) Old 2012-03-21, 11:25 AM
 
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If you don't have a Sencore or other field strength meter...

You can still fine-tune the antenna location in the attic, but you will need to do some prep work.
I like to use a laptop computer and a USB tuner stick. It's not too hard to get the laptop up to the attic, and with this setup you can use a freeware program called TS Reader. TS Reader will give you a lot of information about the quality of the signal (which is usually more important that quantity, especially in the attic). I have found that, in the attic, very small spatial adjustments (up/down, right/left, clockwise/counterclockwise) can make a HUGE difference in reception quality.
If you don't have a laptop, you can also use a small portable LCD ATSC TV; I found one for only 30 bucks (7" screen), but unfortunately the signal meter is not very helpful on that model. So I have used it with a CECB, which at least has a somewhat better signal meter.
If you don't want to drag electronics up there, you can use a CECB that has a audible signal meter. If you set it up on a TV that is within earshot of the attic, and crank up the volume, you can fine-tune the antenna by sound. The downside is that you would have to go back down and change the channel in order to make sure that you have them all.
About cable routing: You might find that your vent stack has firebreaks installed in the wall, which will stop you in your tracks. Cold-air returns are fine as long as you are routing the cable OUTSIDE of the duct. If you put the cable inside the duct, the force of moving air could cause it to bang around inside the duct, which would be very creepy. If you find that running the cable inside the house is going to cause a lot of headaches, it may be best to cut your losses and go outside the structure. If you do a good job of securing the cable along corners and break lines, and paint the cable to camoflauge it, it shouldn't look too tacky.
Attic installs work very well as long as the signal is strong enough to overcome your home's material loses. You have year-round access to the antennas (ironicaly, it's a lot nicer up there in winter than in summer), you don't have to weatherproof everything, and your equipment will last forever. I have also found that the right attic location can better combat co-channel interference compared to an outdoor mast, which will be fully exposed to the interfering signals.
One more thing- if your attic is small, or has a lot of trusswork in the way, it might be better to go with a panel-style antenna instead of a Yagi. Yagis generally like to have a lot of empty space around them, and don't perform as well if there are two-by-fours getting up in their business.
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post #72 of 93 (permalink) Old 2012-03-21, 12:28 PM
 
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Attic reception

Quote:
can better combat co-channel interference
No problem in ATSC, unless the co-channel is a NTSC channel.
Quote:
go with a panel-style antenna instead of a Yagi
That I agree, a 4 bay antenna does a good job.
.
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post #73 of 93 (permalink) Old 2012-03-21, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lithOTA View Post
Cold-air returns are fine as long as you are routing the cable OUTSIDE of the duct. If you put the cable inside the duct, the force of moving air could cause it to bang around inside the duct, which would be very creepy.
Huh? Most cold air returns I have seen don't use any ducts inside the walls as they use the studs and walls to create a big duct. Down in the basement they tend to attach a piece of sheet metal to the bottom of the joist when running parallel to them and only use a duct when running perpendicular to the joists. Now the cable could still rattle against the walls or studs, but you can't really get outside the "duct" without going over to the next stud (but then you need to deal with the fire break).

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post #74 of 93 (permalink) Old 2012-03-21, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOUVAL View Post
No problem in ATSC, unless the co-channel is a NTSC channel..
I disagree. Co-channel interference can be a problem with ATSC. The interfering channel will be considered noise to the desired channel, so if the relative signal strengths make the SNR too low, you won't get a lock. Getting back to the OP's comment, I am not sure if I agree with him as attic mounting will likely attenuate both the desired and undesired broadcasts similarly so the SNR will remain the same.

Adjacent channel interference is much less of a problem with ATSC than it was for NTSC, but even then it can cause problems if the adjacent channel is significantly stronger than the desired channel. This won't happen if the stations are broadcasting from the same or similar location with similar ERP.

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post #75 of 93 (permalink) Old 2012-03-25, 02:24 PM
 
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It's been almost a year since i installed a DB8 in my attic. I've
had excellent results and pull in over 20 channels. Here are points of
my install that some may find useful:

- measure your entrance into the attic and make sure the antenna you're
going to use will fit. A AD DB8 was good in my case because it requires
assembly, i assembled 2 halves first, then assembled the rest in the
attic.

- since i was replacing Rogers, i wanted to simply disconnect the Rogers
feed in the basement and connect my antenna feed to serve the house.
I've used the return ducting before in my previous home for network cables,
and never had a problem with cable "banging". Because this house has a number
of bends. I wasn't going to do this myself. Just search for "cable install"
on Craigslist or Kijiji to find someone to install it. It cost me $60 for
someone to feed the cable from the basement up to the top floor return vent.
I then drilled a hole from the top floor return vent duct to the attic and
fed the cable into the attic from there.

- for the attic i bought a few items. Breathing masks, you definitely need
these if you have blown insulation. For ~$10 you can buy a cheap paint overall.
This will keep the mess off your clothing. LED headlamp, safety boots. You'll
want to do the install before summer as it gets hot up there ! Install the
antenna at the highest point possible.

- to align the antenna, TS Reader is probably best as mentioned by lithOTA. i
did it the other way, by taking the phone up in the attic and had another
person reading the % from the main TV of various channels while i adjusted the
antenna. Since there's great losses in the attic i also added a CM7777 preamp.
Then took the readings again for final adjustments.

Attic install, Antennas Direct DB8e/VHF Retrofit, CM7777(old) preamp. Over 25 stations solid. Cable free since May 2011.
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