Hello, checking back. I installed an antenna and rotor in my attic and I now get great reception.
I may have paid more for the antenna than necessary, but I am tickled pink with how well everything works. I now get these channels nice and clear: 4 (1-4); 8 (1-4); 10 (1,2); 11 (1-3); 16 (1-4); 17; 30 (1-3). I can also get channel 2, but it is not clear, nor do I care as the programing is the same as 16. Channel 4 does have some occasional quirks, but, in most cases, I am able to fix them with the antenna rotor.
I purchased this antenna at Best Buy:
It may (likely) be no better than one which cost half (or less than half) as much, but it was there and so was I, so what can I say. At least it works (and it does have a little VHF bar that apparently does the trick for FOX...if I am getting my FOX from the VHF tower East of me by Red Lake Falls (sort of) instead of the UHF station down by Fargo, which I think I am, as, reportedly, UHF FOX is a dicey pull in Grand Forks) All I know is that the FOX stations (10-1 and 10-2) now come in clear as a bell.
(and I was able to watch the Vikings fall apart with perfect reception... I hope that my putting up that antenna had nothing to do with their turn south).
I decided to install an antenna rotor. I didn't know if it would be useful or not, but as long as I was doing it, I decided I could just as well be hung for a sheep as a goat. I figured that locating the rotor in the attic would at least mean the thing would work well and long whether it was needed or not. (I have had problems with rotors exposed to wind and weather). And, as it has turned out, the rotor has, in my case, proven very useful for getting good reception with channel 4.
Generally speaking, just pointing the antenna SSE has worked very well for all stations. But, once in awhile, channel 4 gets squirrely and there is some pixel breakup. By rotating the antenna, sometimes more to the South, sometimes more to the East, I am usually able to dial the station back in. There is no pattern that I have been able to discern other than I have to stay between 100 and 180 degrees in order to find the new sweetspot. But, 90 percent of the time, somewhere around 150 degrees, give or take, works for all my stations.
I don't know what the issue is with channel 4's occasional lapses, but the rotor has proven very useful in dialing it back in when it goes squirrely (though once in a great while, nothing works).
The channel 4 tower is located SSW of me, but if I aim the antenna SSW, I get nothing. My guess is that in that direction, the roof shingles of the house come into play and they able to block 4's weak signal (the tower is approximately 90 miles away). But, the entire East half of the sky, 0-180, is blocked only by the uninsulated wood walls of the attic. So, my guess, (uninformed guess), is that I am picking up a reflected or indirect signal from channel 4 and that sometimes the dynamics of that reception, whatever they are, change and a little tweak in the antenna's orientation can cover the new situation.
I don't know what or why. But, I do know that rotating the antenna usually can improve the situation whenever channel 4 is acting up (though there are some nights when nothing helps, though such times are rare).
Anyway, that's my story. Thanks for your help and information.