Question: Attic antenna help, please

DeLighted

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
Hi,
Thanks for your help so far. I lurked here for a while trying to figure out how to switch from cable to an antenna. Hubby and I installed our antenna today and have a few issues.

Our goal: to get CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX and PBS with an attic antenna.
We already got a Roku3 with Amazon Prime, HuluPlus and Netflix accounts. The Roku box is great!

Our TV Fool analysis: TV Fool
http://www.tvfool.com/modeling/tmp/1dda/7b3/29a5fa1/Radar-All.png

The antenna we installed in our attic: Antennas Direct C2-V-CJM ClearStream 2-V Long Range UHF/VHF Indoor/Outdoor DTV Antenna with 20-Inch Mount. Hubby already had an amplifier, though it didn't make any difference. The signal was the same with and without it.

Our problem: We got ABC and PBS (plus a couple of channels we never heard of),but not Fox, NBC or CBS. It looks like we are only getting the "green" level stations on our TV Fool analysis. I'm happy with the picture of those two stations. I'd just like Fox, NBC and CBS too.

Our attic is essentially the 4th floor, so pretty high. Probably 45 feet. Hubby tried moving the antenna around in the attic, but nothing helped. Because the roof is so high, we really don't want to use an outdoor antenna.

Is it worth trying another brand of antenna? I understand that the roofing materials can block a lot of signal. Could we just need a more powerful antenna? If so, what would you recommend?

Thank you!
 

Attachments

nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#2
Which direction was your existing antenna pointed? What is the roof made of? (shingles/tiles/corrugated iron/etc.)

Is it possible to mount on an external non-roof location, such as a balcony (or a wall near the balcony). If so, which way does the balcony face?

You will acheive much better results if the antenna can be outside.

You may be able to use the Clearstream 2, depending on which direction is easiest to receive from.

Do you have a preference on which nearby city you receive your progamming from? We can try to provide advice for that particular TV market if that is the case. While still mentioning other options if cheaper or easier.
 

DeLighted

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#3
Which direction was your existing antenna pointed?

We didn't have an antenna. We had cable service.



What is the roof made of? (shingles/tiles/corrugated iron/etc.)

Asphalt shingles

Is it possible to mount on an external non-roof location, such as a balcony (or a wall near the balcony). If so, which way does the balcony face?

No. There really isn't a good place to mount an antenna outside.

You will acheive much better results if the antenna can be outside.

You may be able to use the Clearstream 2, depending on which direction is easiest to receive from.

That's what we are using and only getting 2 of the channels that we want.

Do you have a preference on which nearby city you receive your progamming from?

Yes. I'd prefer the signal coming from the north on our TV Fool analysis.

We can try to provide advice for that particular TV market if that is the case. While still mentioning other options if cheaper or easier.

Cheaper isn't such an issue. For how much we'll save on cable fees, a good antenna is worth it. Easy is always appreciated.

Thanks!!
 

nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#5
The best direction to aim for is about ~27 degrees magnetic, for the Hartford region stations. Using a large yagi, or a 4 or 8 bay bowtie antenna. A small VHF-high antenna will likely be required for ABC reception from WTNH, this can be diplexed into the system with a UVSJ. A pre-amp will very likely be required. You may get better results if its possible to even have the antenna looking out a window in that direction, i doubt you will get some of these from an attic mount, especially if you have largely failed in your attempts so far.

Stations in that direction: (HD channel, VHF station, UHF station) - given your circumstances its hard to predict with much certainty what would come in from that direction.
WTNH - ABC, Bounce
WCTX - MyNetwork, CoolTV
WCCT - CW, This TV
WVIT - NBC, Cozi TV
WTIC - Fox, Antenna TV
WFSB - CBS, Weather, WFSB Fairfield County (Fairfield County targetted CBS feed)
WEDH - PBS, Encore, CPTV Sports - (same as WEDY or WEDW)

Strong stations possible to come in from side or back:
WZME - MeTV, RetroTV
WEDY/WEDW -
PBS, Encore, CPTV Sports - (same as WEDH)
WFTY - UniMas, Univision




The only way to know for certain what is available to you, is to put up antennas, and tune your TV(s) in!
 
#7
DeLighted,

I would just emphasize this sentence in nbound's excellent summary

i doubt you will get some of these from an attic mount, especially if you have largely failed in your attempts so far.
The C2 is a well regarded antenna. Might be something else in your roof causing a problem.

Also,

A pre-amp will very likely be required.
I would agree with this only if you are the splitting the signal OR you have more than 30 feet of cable between antenna and receiver. If you have just one TV AND less than 30 feet of coax, a pre-amp might easily do more harm than good.

Good Luck!
Rick
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#8
Is there any foil-faced insulation in the attic, or any ductwork that may be affecting the signal?

The clearstream is a pretty decent antenna IMHO, but I would compare it more to a 2bay bowtie rather than a 4-bay. For this situation, it's underpowered. You need to consider that most everything on your TVfool that isn't in the green is a one edge signal. I would first try walking your current antenna around the attic, trying a few different locations. A few feet up/down N-S-E-W can make a big difference with edge signals. If that doesn't get it, then I'd go with nbound-au's suggestion of a 4/8 bay and a VHF-hi antenna, but think you would be better off with a mid-sized combo antenna like an Antennacraft HBU-33, IF you can fit it in your attic.
 

scajjr2

DTVUSA Member
#9
Another thing that should be asked is anything in between you and the stations (trees, buildings, hills, etc.) that could interfere with your reception?

Sam
 

nbound-au

The Graveyard Shift
#10
DeLighted,
I would agree with this only if you are the splitting the signal OR you have more than 30 feet of cable between antenna and receiver. If you have just one TV AND less than 30 feet of coax, a pre-amp might easily do more harm than good.

Good Luck!
Rick
The only reason i suggested this was because its an attic mount and we dont know what losses the roof (~10-20 or more dB) + outside environment (??dB) may equal. normally I would agree though and its always worth a shot without an amp first. :)
 
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DeLighted

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#12
DeLighted,

I would just emphasize this sentence in nbound's excellent summary



The C2 is a well regarded antenna. Might be something else in your roof causing a problem.

Also,


I would agree with this only if you are the splitting the signal OR you have more than 30 feet of cable between antenna and receiver. If you have just one TV AND less than 30 feet of coax, a pre-amp might easily do more harm than good.

Good Luck!
Rick
Hi, Rick,
We do have more than 30 feet of cable, but the amplifier didn't make any difference.

Thanks,
Dee
 

DeLighted

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#13
Is there any foil-faced insulation in the attic, or any ductwork that may be affecting the signal?

The clearstream is a pretty decent antenna IMHO, but I would compare it more to a 2bay bowtie rather than a 4-bay. For this situation, it's underpowered. You need to consider that most everything on your TVfool that isn't in the green is a one edge signal. I would first try walking your current antenna around the attic, trying a few different locations. A few feet up/down N-S-E-W can make a big difference with edge signals. If that doesn't get it, then I'd go with nbound-au's suggestion of a 4/8 bay and a VHF-hi antenna, but think you would be better off with a mid-sized combo antenna like an Antennacraft HBU-33, IF you can fit it in your attic.
Thanks. We tried moving the C2 around and putting it in a window on the second floor, but didn't get more channels. We will take your and nbound-au's recommendation into consideration. Our attic is pretty big. We ordered a "Deep Fringe Advantage 100-Mile Range Outdoor Antenna" based on ratings we read before we saw your recommendations. It is returnable it it doesn't make any difference in our attic.
 

DeLighted

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#14
Another thing that should be asked is anything in between you and the stations (trees, buildings, hills, etc.) that could interfere with your reception?

Sam
Hi, Sam,
Not in our immediate neighborhood. Our attic is a lot higher than anything north of us. It is a fair distance to the towers in Hartford. There are some hills, but nothing anyone would call mountains.

Thanks,
Dee
 

DeLighted

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#15
What is that called in ths US, I was going to ask in the original post as Ive been led to beleive our terms for it: "sarking" or "sisalation", arent the same as elsewhere or mean different things... :)
No. No foil or ducts in the way. Like I said earlier, we tried it in a window on the second floor and we still didn't get any more channels.

Thanks, though.

Dee
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#16
Thanks. We tried moving the C2 around and putting it in a window on the second floor, but didn't get more channels. We will take your and nbound-au's recommendation into consideration. Our attic is pretty big. We ordered a "Deep Fringe Advantage 100-Mile Range Outdoor Antenna" based on ratings we read before we saw your recommendations. It is returnable it it doesn't make any difference in our attic.
What antenna is it? (brand and model). We can tell you how well it may work for you, before you even get it.

[edit] I googled the phrase "Deep Fringe Advantage 100-Mile Range Outdoor Antenna" and came back with the Channel Master CM 3020. Good antenna - It should work for you, although you don't need VHF-lo. Not a problem, it just makes the antenna larger and a bit more expensive.
Let us know how that antenna works out for you.
 
#17
We do have more than 30 feet of cable, but the amplifier didn't make any difference.
Between 30 and 50 feet, with no splitter, a pre-amplifier will make a minimal difference. You wouldn't expect to measure it without a signal meter.

No. No foil or ducts in the way. Like I said earlier, we tried it in a window on the second floor and we still didn't get any more channels.
But then it depends on which side of the house the window is on. The signals absolutely need LOS -- "Line Of Sight" -- between your antenna and the transmitters. The RF waves can pass through some materials with less attenuation than other materials, but almost all the stations below the "green" (that you already get) are 1Edge or 2Edge, so that means they're already refracting around some obstacle -- probably a hill. Just one more obstacle (maybe even a window!) makes it 2Edge or worse -- perhaps a lost cause.

The signals on your TVF report are all over the map, so you can't expect to get all of them unless you have an antenna up on the roof with a rotor. But by chance, the ones you mentioned -- NBC, CBS and Fox -- are all available at 29 degrees magnetic. So if that window was on the north side, and you aimed it a little to the right, and you specifically tried to tune in WVIT (RF 35), WFSB (RF 33) and WTIC (RF 31), and you had no luck, THEN and ONLY THEN did your test prove anything. BTW, you need those RF numbers (the real channel numbers) to manually tune to those channels. The auto-tune might not be reliable for this on some tuners.

If that window was NOT on the north side, you might consider bashing a hole in the north wall of your attic. :becky:

While you're at it, you should also try to tune in WCCT (RF 20) at that same 29 mag degrees. It has CW and This TV -- you'll love it.

Rick
 

DeLighted

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#18
What antenna is it? (brand and model). We can tell you how well it may work for you, before you even get it.

[edit] I googled the phrase "Deep Fringe Advantage 100-Mile Range Outdoor Antenna" and came back with the Channel Master CM 3020. Good antenna - It should work for you, although you don't need VHF-lo. Not a problem, it just makes the antenna larger and a bit more expensive.
Let us know how that antenna works out for you.
Sorry I didn't get back to you all sooner. We were away for a wedding and just got to install the antenna this morning. Eureka!

You are right. It is a Channel Master. I ordered it from Home Depot and posted the description from their web site. When it came, obviously the box says "Channel Master." We paid $127 including tax. Since it will save us $100/month on our cable bill, it pays for itself in 1.25 months. Pretty good return.


Our thinking was to put it in the attic aiming for the New York stations -mostly water (the Long Island Sound) between us and the towers- and we can avoid the roof shingles by pointing at the gable end of the attic. We get 49 channels, both the Hartford and New York stations. So, the shingles must not matter so much with this antenna as it did with the Clearstream 2.

This is a gigantic antenna. Thankfully we have the room in the attic for it.

Thank you all for your help. Both Hubby and I are Delighted!!
 
#20
we can avoid the roof shingles by pointing at the gable end of the attic. We get 49 channels, both the Hartford and New York stations. So, the shingles must not matter so much with this antenna as it did with the Clearstream 2.
Terrific! I think our Aussie friend nailed it from the other side of the globe.

R.
 
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