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Old 2011-04-18, 10:43 AM   #1
pnear
 
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Question Attic antenna and Aluminum/Metal Roof?

I have a pair of stacked CM4221 antennas in my attic which are doing a good job of bringing in the Toronto and Buffalo ATSC stations.

Our roof, which appears to be two layers of asphalt shingles, didn't make it through the winter and we're looking at alternatives. One of those alternatives is a longer-lasting aluminum roof. However, I expect that this would cause some issues for my attic antenna and I have been informed by my wife that under no circumstances will there be an antenna on our roof.

I just wanted to double-check with the collective wisdom here... is my assumption regarding an aluminum roof interfering with my antenna correct?

Thanks,
Pete
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Old 2011-04-18, 11:20 AM   #2
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Yep. That will most likely completely kill your signals. Strip down the two layers of shingles and start fresh with one layer. You could see a small improvement in signal, and your wife will get what she wants too...no outside antenna.

Or you could just say, "that's fine honey, but I don't want any of my hard earned cash going towards a bottomless pit of cable/sat bills. So if you can devise a plan, even take on a second job to pay for it, then I will pay for an aluminum roof. Otherwise, if you want the roof, and still want the joy of cable/sat free bills, then we have to compromise in some way."

Yeah...it did look good typing it, but in reality...

You could also compromise, and not put the antennas on the roof, but on a j-arm off the side of the house that extends above the roof line. Or strapped to a chimney. Maybe run those options by her.
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Old 2011-04-18, 11:41 AM   #3
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Yep an aluminum roof will act like part of a Faraday cage and really mess up your attic reception. Also if you have aluminum siding it will effectively complete the cage. Even modern insulation that has foil backing is proving to be tough on reception for the same reason.
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Old 2011-04-18, 02:20 PM   #4
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Oh, we've had the chimney conversation as well as some ideas I had to hide the antenna. No dice.

This will make the decision for us - asphalt it is.
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Old 2011-04-18, 02:30 PM   #5
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Hey think of all the money you will save.
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Old 2011-04-18, 02:31 PM   #6
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Exactly! Until the next asphalt roof blows off in a wind storm anyways. ;-)
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Old 2011-04-18, 02:55 PM   #7
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Your dilemma is that you saved so much money on satellite and cable bills that you can now afford an aluminium roof. Tell your wife that if you get an asphalt roof, you will save money on your TV and roof --- your next car can be a Cadillac instead of a Chevy.
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Old 2012-01-31, 11:09 AM   #8
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Default Attic Antenna Installations - Tips, Tricks & Examples

To share and discuss Antennas specifically set up in the ATTIC.

Antennas specifically put in the ATTIC or designed for the ATTIC - DIY do it yourself or manufactured antennas.

To share and discuss Tips and Tricks for setting up antennas specifically in the ATTIC.

Last edited by downbeat; 2012-02-01 at 02:35 AM. Reason: Removed other thread to which OP refers
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Old 2012-01-31, 03:30 PM   #9
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Summary of Install:
I have a four antenna setup (antenna farm) in my attic. Two SBGH for UHF, and two Loop antenna for VHF. Each SBGH is paired with a VHF-Loop. Each pair is connected to a Channel Master 7777 preamp.
The outputs of each preamp flows down ~60' of coax to their respective power-inserters. The output of the inserters are combined through a Holland's splitter/combiner and directly coupled to the input of a Channel Master 3414 distribution amp.
Two of the distro-amps outputs go direct to a bedroom TV and my HTPC. The other two outputs are each split with Holland's splitters to another 3 TV's and my MediaPVR.

Best is to view my OTA page, along with diagram and channel reception here.

To others that want to install in the attic...it's not easy to find a hot-spot, but when/IF you do, then you're good, and can almost get just a good reception as anyone else. My advice is NOT have more than one layer of roofing shingles. You loose a lot of signal when going through the roof. Additional layer of shingles will not help in the least.

Make sure there are no other metal (duct work, etc) in the attic that can act as interference to your signal. Your fighting against building materials that can easily block signals...you need every bit of open space you can get.

I feel I'm living testament that an attic install can be very successful, rewarding experience.

Best of luck to others that are attempting it.
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Old 2012-02-01, 11:10 AM   #10
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I do not have any major ATTIC antenna setups in use yet.

Neither at the house in Kingston, nor at the flop house in Ottawa.

But I have been up in the attic in Kingston doing some experiments for FM radio reception - which might give similar indications for VHF TV signals.

Just went up into the Attic with a half decent, portable battery power FM radio with a rod antenna - and moved the radio and antenna around and tried the rod antenna in different places, heights and orientations. Trying to tune in some weaker FM stations, from different places, who's location and approximate distance I know.

Trying to find the "hot spots" in the attic seems to be very important. Just like with other indoor antenna setups.

So what I learned in that particular ATTIC in the Kingston house, was that the best reception of weaker, furthur FM stations happened, generally, with the rod antenna HORIZONTAL / parallel to the floor beams, and elevated about ONE (1) foot above the attic floor beams.

Horizontal seemed to give some directionality and null out some noise and interference from other stations.

Right directly on top of Attic floor beams - no good.

As I went higher than around 1 Ft above the floor beams, getting closer to the peak of the attic, the signal slowly got weaker.

Now it would be natural for someone to just try to lay or mount a YAGI or Dipole right on the floor of the attic - but that does not seem to work so well.

Then, on two sides of the Attic - we have vertical walls of brick.

Placing the antenna, horizontal right near the vertical wall, about ONE (1) foot up from the floor beams, for signals coming from those directions - seemed to work best.

If the signal had to go through a slanted / shingled part of the roof, it worked best again - about ONE (1) foot off the floor beams, but this time in the CENTER of the ATTIC. Not attached near or on the angled roof beams, but instead, centered in the Attic and hanging in open air in the middle of the Attic, about a foot off the floor.

It is interesting that another member noticed the same thing in his ATTIC.
Raising his home made, 3-Element, ch 6 yagi - up a little from the ATTIC floor beams - helped him receive RF CH 6 Digital (Global in Ottawa) alot better.
(seems to have gotten rid of / greatly reduced digital pixelation every 10 seconds when he had it near the attic floor beams - they think this was due to possible impulse noise from the house / and/or wiring near the attic floor beams - and the antenna being placed right on top / very close to it. )

For now, I am just doing some simple experiments with simple rod antenna or dipoles for now in the attics - but the results are very interesting.

Different attics may work differently ... you just have to experiment and try to find the "hot spots" for the signals of interest.

Metal siding on the eaves and gables of the roof are horrible for signals, and you have to try and stay away from those.

Years ago I got scraps lengths of 3/4 or 5/8 plywood and screwed them down on the Attic beams for the length of the ATTIC, in the middle where the peak is and where the roof is tallest. That made moving around up there much easier and safer. (don't want to fall through between the attic beams).

It seems like many people do ATTIC installs - for many good reasons.

So this thread should become interesting.

P.S. I know there are may other examples of ATTIC installs in various threads scattered around in the OTA part of the FORUM. All very interesting setups.
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Old 2012-02-01, 11:18 AM   #11
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By the way ... Marbles 00

Your attic setup(s) and web site describing and showing everything - I find that really great and interesting ...

A great example of what can be achieved in the ATTIC.

A great learning example for all ...

Thanks.
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Old 2012-02-01, 11:20 AM   #12
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Having the best reception of FM when the antenna is horizontal is not too surprising, as most FM stations broadcast primarily horizontally polarized signals. When you orient a rod antenna horizontally, it's reception pattern will be similar to a dipole - far less sensitivity along the axis of the rod (if the rod is oriented N-S, then very little reception from either direction.) Scattering within the attic will fill in reception somewhat.
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Old 2012-02-01, 01:04 PM   #13
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Default All in one direction!

I installed a DBGH and a VHF Loop in my attic. My antennas are pointed directly at the Buffalo area with Toronto 30 degree's left and Hamilton 30 degree's right. My house is above my neighbors in the direction of Buffalo as well there is complete symmetry in the attic in the direction of Buffalo. I don't know if that helps but it can't hurt.

I get all stations except MyTV and ION, MyTV sometimes but ION rarely so I don't count on them. WGRZ is the only station that gives me trouble a times but that was expected since I am over a hundred miles away and it is known to be difficult. In the dead of winter WGRZ can be finicky along with WKBW causing some trouble.

The loop antenna is used for channel 3 (CKVR), 9 (CFTO), and 11 (CHCH). I was surprised that I get CKVR since it is at a bad angel to my loop antenna. Channel 3 and 11 are weaker but seem to be reliable.

All in all I have 20 very reliable stations.... dropped Rogers cable two months ago and couldn't be happier. I think OTA is for a select group of people, those who don't watch a lot of specialty stations.

Couldn't be happier!

Paul
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Old 2012-02-01, 01:15 PM   #14
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Thanks for the compliment. It was a project that spanned the last couple of years (well since before the last winter Olympics).

It most likely would have been better to raise the VHF-Loops up, but at the time, I was more "gun-ho" at just getting a signal, than to optimize it. Now that I have solid signals for the frequencies that I wanted to acquire...mounting it anymore is less of a priority.

One day I may go back up and mount them, and maybe try and aim the one VHF-Loop in attempts to get WNGS RF7.
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Old 2012-02-03, 01:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Just went up into the Attic with a half decent, portable battery power FM radio with a rod antenna - and moved the radio and antenna around and tried the rod antenna in different places, heights and orientations. Trying to tune in some weaker FM stations, from different places, who's location and approximate distance I know.
If you can buy, beg, borrow or get a Sencore (they pop up on ebay occasionally), much of the guesswork with an attic install can be eliminated. What was once a matter of trail and error to find the optimal location became almost a precise science by looking at the spectrum scan while moving the antenna about -- high and flat is what's desired and I what I got in just a few minutes.

Here's mine (the downward slope on KTVT-11 was before I tweaked the trimcaps on the JoinTenna):

http://www.rabbitears.info/specan/re_nelson/

...and, by way of contrast, a few from Trip Ericson's location at the University of Virginia where there were some reception challenges:

http://www.rabbitears.info/specan/uva/
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