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Discussion Starter #1
I'm about to try an attic install for two antenna's. I built a very simple prototype that worked remarkable good, so now I'm going to build two robust versions.

I know attic install is not ideal, but in my case, practical. If I don't get the results that I could from an outdoor install, then I'll cross that bridge if I have to.

So, I'm going to combine two antenna signals into a combiner. Ultimately, I'm going to run the signal into a dual HD tuner. I've been looking into the Hauppauge 2250 that would install in my computer, which would be located in the basement. In this case I'd have to run RG6 cable from the attic down a cold air return into the basement.

I've since started looking at the Silicon Dust HDHomerun dual tuner. If I go this route, what is best? With the HDHomerun, I could locate that in the attic right next to the antenna's, and then run an ethernet cable down the cold air return to where my router for my home network is.

Basically, if I go with an external style tuner, rather than an internal tuner card, does it make any difference if I'm run a 100' of RG6 to the attic to the antenna, or would I get better results with a minimal run of RG6 and a long run of ethernet cable?

Also, is it essential to have good access to the external tuner (for resets, etc)? If it were in the attic, that would be a pain to get to. The basement is the best for this.
 

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With the HDHomerun, I could locate that in the attic right next to the antenna's,
That's provided you have a 120V receptacle in the attic to provide power to the HDHomerun. The other issue you will have to think about is the HDHomerun's temperature capabilities...it could fail in the extreme attic heat in the middle of the summer. I just looked quickly on their website for this info, but couldn't find anything. You may have to contact Silicon Dust to find out if it will be able to handle the temperatures.
 

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hackzaw, I'm guessing that the benefit you wish to get from putting a set top unit like an HD HomeRun up in the attic is to keep every last bit of signal (lowest coax loss) right?
Marbles_00 said:
it could fail in the extreme attic heat in the middle of the summer
Given the temperature and inconvenient access issues I would think very hard about whether or not 2 or 3dB of signal is worth the potential harm to the device itself. Is a preamp part of your planning, hackzaw? If so, don't bother putting any STB up in the attic at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Exactly right stampeder. My thought was that I could either have a long run of coax and have a STB in the basement with easy access, etc. Or I could have a very short run of coax, and locate the STB in the attic, with terrible access. I hadn't thought of the temperatures up in the attic. As far as a 120 outlet, I could either run wiring for an outlet up there (not sure about code), or just run an extension wire also from the basement.

I could go with a preamp. I don't know anything about preamps, but if it would help both signal loss from simply being an attic install, and also help the longer run of coax from basement to attic, then I'm in. Would I locate the preamp in the attic?
 

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Would I locate the preamp in the attic?
Yep, they are more robust and can handle extremities better. The supply for the pre-amp would be located somewhere in your basement or close to the tuner (however it is most convenient).
 

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Maybe someone would have to model this, but putting a preamp in the attic in the summer may negatively affect reception. Higher heat = more thermal noise, increasing the noise figure of the amplifier.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yep, they are more robust and can handle extremities better. The supply for the pre-amp would be located somewhere in your basement or close to the tuner (however it is most convenient).
I'm not sure I follow Marbles. Would the pre-amp be physically located in the attic? You mentioned "supply" for the pre-amp. What do you mean by this. Let's presume the STB tuner is in the basement. I'd have a coax out to preamp. Is this also in the basement? Then from preamp another coax up to the attic to the two antenna's?
 

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The preamp has a power supply, or power inserter that is used at the "base" location. This supplies power to the preamp through the coax line. This way you can have the supply close to your tuner, and the pre amp as close to the antenna as possible. Below is an image of the Channel Master 7777 (left) and its power supply/inserter (right):


Basically the preamp is like any other electronics needs some sort of power source. The preamp's supply regulates the 120VAC to something like 12VDC (zero frequency...well minus some AC ripple) and this travels up the coax to power the preamp. Though the intended use of most preamps is out on the tower near the antenna, that is why I say it can handle the extremities better than other household electronics as it is exposed to the extreme elements/weather conditions. Could it fail in the extreme heat of the attic...sure, but it will most likely fair better than the HDHomerun.

@iblackford
I never thought of that, though I sure didn't notice any degradation in quality or quantity over the summer with my attic setup.
 

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The HD Homerun isn't cheap at about $170+tax. If treated nicely, they probably last forever. I wouldn't put it in an attic at -20 degrees in winter and +50 degrees Celcius in summer. It is an electric TV tuner that generates heat. It would be like locating a TV in your attic. It might get cooked. They aren't designed for outside.

My vote would be for the pre-amp. They are much more basic devices, cheaper to replace, and are designed for the extremes of our climate. Besides that, a pre-amp will probably solidify your reception and provide you with total freedom on where to locate your HD Homerun and other TV tuners. No more worries about line losses.

With an HD Homerun in the attic you wouldn't have to worry about RG6 line losses, but you'd always be worried about some costly electrical device frying in your attic. It would add more anxiety than it would alleviate.

When I get my HD Homerun, I'm going to locate it in the basement in the electrical closet containing the house's breaker panel, my modem, my router, and my OTA 8-way splitter (five TVs + HD Homerun Dual Tuner).

Enjoy your OTA!
 
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