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Are TV antennas suitable for discussion here?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Thirties, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. I'm using a Terk HDTVa amplified rabbit ears indoor digital antenna to get my digital signals over the air through my digital converter box. All is well except for one channel (channel 5 in the Bangor Maine area indicates 0-5 signal strength). The images are excellent indeed. so clear, I gave up the idea of buying a new flat tv. I'll keep my 27" Sony.

    some folks tell me to wait until after June 12 to see how things settle, transmission-wize, before I get any antenna work done.

    I am planning, after June 12, to get my electrician to wire up my attic for coaxial and 110v so I can either mount the Terk up in the attic, or buy a better antenna and have that installed if the Terk is not good enough.

    I'm tempted by the omnidirectional antennas for the attic. These look like a plastic garbage can lid. They have 110v and coaxial ports. you set them up horizontally (flat), and they pull in everything in a full 360 degree area (minus chimney, etc.)

    Do any of you have any experience with one of these in an attic?

    According to antennaweb, all the stations I need to pull in are in the arc between 339 and 49 degrees, and the farthest distance is 25 miles.

    If this is not the right forum, can you please direst me to where I might get some info?

  2. MavsX

    MavsX The Dude Abides

    Jan 19, 2009
    Arlington, VA
    i think this is the correct forum. I have no idea though. Good Luck man

  3. srhoades


    Jul 14, 2000
    Sure, they fall under "legacy" hardware. And I have no idea either.
  4. hooter


    Mar 19, 2005
    I'm not sure what you need for your application, but there is a lot of good information here. They steered me in the right direction.

    Also do a search for Channel Master Antennas. Some of the guys on the avsforum have them rigged for 360 degrees.
  5. fireguy129

    fireguy129 NRA Member 2008

    May 31, 2001
    Northeast Pa, usa
    I think I can weigh in with some advice, we're an antenna installation contractor for one of the bigger dealers. I checked your zip on It looks like you're at most 16 miles from the transmitters. Granted, I used the zip for Bangor Maine, so I may be off a bit. The channels listed in green are able to be picked up with a decent set top antenna, as you're finding out. We generally shy away from the attic mounts for a variety of reasons. One, you can loose up to 50% of your signal strength by going through asphalt shingles, felt paper and plywood. Also, a directional antenna is tougher to aim if it doesn't line up with your roof line.
    If I were you, I would look at something comparable to a Winegard ss-3000 for indoor use, or possibly a ss-1000 if you can put it on a corner of your house. Definitely stay away from anything amplified, as you're too close and will overload your converter box and loose the signal. Any questions pm me.
  6. podwich


    Sep 7, 2000
    You've already been to, but they do give recommendations as to type of antenna for the desired station. Find the most difficult to receive that you want and buy the antenna recommended.
  7. With 5 bucks in parts I built an antannae. Involved a 2x6, 6 coat hangers, some screws/washers, and a co-ax thingy from radio shack that splits into 2 wires. I get 9 or 10 HD channels, and 1 or 2 analogue. Keeps me and the GF happy. Gets FOX, NBC, ABC...

    I can post a pic of the ugly thing if needed. Had a long co-ax cable so it sits out on the balcony.
  8. rhikdavis

    rhikdavis U.S. Veteran

    Jul 22, 2002
    In Remembrance
    Metal coat hangers are quickly becoming or have become obsolete. Ever locked yourself out of your car and tried to find one! Time to hoard'em!!
  9. TrailGun


    Dec 10, 2004
    I tried the omni-dish (with pre-amp) in the attic, but it wasn't
    any better than rabbit ears. We're only 10 miles from the transmitters,
    so the roof is probably eating the signal.

    Our local PBS station is broadcasting their digital signal at reduced power
    until June 12 due to budget restraints - can't afford running both analog & digital

    I'll wait on buying a new antenna until the stations finalize their setup.
  10. Tailgun, I'm waiting as well. Our CBS station is also doing low-power digital with analog until 6/12. And I noticed the Radio Shack omni was no better, even worse than our Terk dig-antenna.
  11. fireguy129

    fireguy129 NRA Member 2008

    May 31, 2001
    Northeast Pa, usa
    The pre-amp can be overloading the converter box as well.
  12. I've heard that an attenuater (sp?) is good to have for that reason.
  13. chrismartin


    Apr 9, 2003
    Hampton, VA
  14. fireguy129

    fireguy129 NRA Member 2008

    May 31, 2001
    Northeast Pa, usa
    true, but you're using the attenuator to counteract the amp. We've installed about 3 attic mounts, they were all heartaches. The outside omni's usually went very well, as long as we had line of sight.
  15. Cali-Glock

    Cali-Glock Mountain Man

    Feb 11, 2002
    California Sierra Mnts
    The new digital switch over will leave a lot of folks in the dark. I applied for my converter box coupons two years ago and have had my boxes almost two years... but I later learned that no stations intend on being able to reach me or any of my neighboring towns in the sierras. We are not alone apparently the Wall Street Journal and other papers have written a number of articles about those who will be left in the cold.