Install Advice



I have just completed an install for a single television connection in our home. We have no plans to add any additional sets for this connection, and the cable runs on the exterior of our home before entering in through the wall to the wall next to the television.

Although the picture and sound are incredibly clear on our HD set, we are having issues with signal breakup. Any thoughts or suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated.

My TVFool Summary: TV Fool

Type of Antenna: RCA ANT800F Outdoor Antenna that is rated for 65 miles

Type of Antenna Wiring: existing wiring from Dish system that runs approximately 55 feet from the antenna to the television set

Channels I am Trying to Receive: The major network stations in Minneapolis / St. Paul that are on the signal line~ 321 degrees that appear in the green area of the report

Amplifiers: the antenna came with a signal amplifier that is placed at the connection between the television and the incoming line.

Additional Information: I have an aluminum sided house that has a small wooden deck off my dining room. The home between my house and the towers is also metal sided.

The antenna is mounted on the back of our home and is pointing at the correct angle, but it is at the edge of our roofline, just above our deck. We get a good signal for about 90% of the time, but then get some break up of the signal that lasts for a few seconds before getting full reception again

Questions I have are:

1. What is the likely cause for the signal break up?

2. Would an additional or stronger amp help?

3. Because of the metal siding, would I be better off mounting the antenna on the outer side of my wooden deck as far away as possible from the house even if it will now be below the roof line?

4. Any other suggestions you might have would be of great help.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
:welcome: Dan,

You can use the existing Dish coaxial cable as long as all other Dish-related deviced are removed from the coaxial path from your antenna to your TV set.

Metal siding and roofs can be a problem because they act as unpredictable signal reflectors, so getting your antenna well above your roof or to the side of the home may help. Maximum antenna height isn't always the answer to signal reception: lowering an antenna a few feet may stabilize a particular channel. As an example, I receive one station with my antenna about 10 feet above my roofline and only within an 18" window. Any higher or lower and the signal breaks up.

We rarely recommend any amplifiers for an initial antenna setup because they can contribute problems. All amplifiers add their own 'noise' to received TV signals and at some point, tuners cannot decipher signals from noise. Secondly, strong signals may be overamplified to the point tuners cannot decipher the signals. Receiving digital TV is not about signal strength, it is about signal quality and a weak clean signal always trumps a noise high-level signal.

In most home setups, amplifiers are mounted immediately below the antenna to overcome the signal loss in a lengthy coaxial cable run. One of my antennas has a coax run of about 115 feet and I receive a channel 75 miles away, split 4-ways around my home using no amplifiers. I suggest you remove your amplifier from your setup and see what difference it makes. Next, try moving your antenna up, down and sideways to find a 'sweet spot' to mount it.

If there are channels you want to receive but your tuner has not yet detected, perform a 'scan for new channels' every time you move your antenna, and they may appear. It is time consuming but well worth the effort. Please keep us posted on your progress.

I had to look up the ANT800F to see what it is. While I could not quickly determine if the amplifier is built into the antenna or not it most likely is. If that is the case removing the power insert will kill the signal. I took a few minutes to read a few of the reviews on Amazon it sounds like it will not work without the amplifier. The RCA ANT800F is a so called omni-directional which in theory means they receive equally poorly from all directions. The truth is most so called omni directional antennas are not truly omni directional, and will require some experimentation with placement, and aiming. One review I read suggested keeping the antenna at least 2 feet from metal. You have two high VHF channels that could be troublesome on such a small antenna.


Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
True, the 800f will not pass a signal if you remove the power supply, and the 2 VHF channels are not well received with those small flat panel antennas. Add to that metal siding on OPs home and the neighbors, there are bound to be problems.

Is it possible to get the antenna up higher on the roof? My only other thought is to replace the antenna. nearly 50 miles is quite a stretch for such a small antenna.
Mn_Dan, there's no way we woulda recommended an omnidirectional antenna for that Fool report. They are limited to slightly over 4 dBi in gain. Still, your signals are strong enough it could have worked -- if it weren't for the metal between you and the towers. If you can fix BOTH problems, you're practically guaranteed all those stations at 321°, and probly a few more.