Attic antenna suggestion for Directv LCC

cypherstream

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Due to the CBS dispute I received a free DirecTV LCC. It came with the Winegard amplified flatwave antenna. I currently mounted this right at my gable vent, which is just vinyl material with an integrated bug screen. This side of the house faces east towards Philadelphia, however I have a few large pine and maple trees in the back yard as well. I installed an electrical outlet in the attic because those Winegard nitwits did not put F-connectors on either end of their USB powered inline amplifier, so everything is currenty connected and working. I get CBS in the 40-60% signal range depending on time of day and while there are some ocasional glitches and pixelation, I would like to try something better than the flatwave antenna.

I'm attaching the radar output from tvfool. I'm really looking to get a more stable picture and one that may hold up in the weather so if the satellite signal is lost from snow or rain, we can still use OTA. I'd prefer to attic mount the antenna, and I know its just regular house wrap and plywood up in the triangular shaped attic space, as opposed to the foam pads they put on the house prior to our replacement of aluminum siding with vinyl siding a few years ago. I would also consider splitting this two ways, one into an SDR just for fun and to see what kind of signals I can find out there.

I've been recommended the ANTOP 400-BV which is pretty expensive, the LAVA HD8008 and Channel Master CM-4228HD (which would definitely be attic mounted). Any experience with these? What about something that looks simular to the CM-4228HD but cheaper, like this Xtreme Signal HDB-8X (Amazon product) or any kind of look alike, or antenna with lots of elements on it.

I realize I will probably never get WPVI channel 6, not many people can get that and unfortunately they will not be repacked higher up to a better frequency I think due to conflicting RF usage in alternate markets (Baltimore and New York).

With the Flatwave I get channels 3,10,17,60,65 in the Philadelphia market.
 

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Wireless Engineer

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Mar 18, 2019
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Since you need low and high vhf as well as uhf, a Channel Master Advantage 45 channel 2-51 antenna with a Winegard LNA-200 preamp is likely your best choice.
UHF only antennas like the bowties will work great on uhf but you will not get any of the vhf stations.
And the Antops and 8008 are strictly short range antennas.
 

Jim5506

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Your signals are 2 edge (partially blocked by terrain) and 6, 8 and 9 are in totally opposite directions making all three a challenge to receive at the same time.

Putting the antenna in the attic is another problem it ordinarily cuts signal in half.

The Flatwave antenna is too small to be any good on VHF-low such as channels 2 and 6.

Looks like you are pointed ESE toward Philly and 6 should be ab easy get with the correct antenna.

My recommendation is to get a full spectrum antenna such as the Channel Master Advantage 60 or preferably the 100 and put it outside above your roof and point it toward Philly and you should get most of the stations there. Add a pre-amp if needed, but probably not.
 

cypherstream

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Thanks. My biggest concern is cbs and after repack yesterday cbs signal is now off of a temporary tower only 420kw as opposed to the original tower which was higher and 1000kw. I was able to get CBS watchable for some of last night but mostly the signal is breaking up too much outside of a 9-11 pm window to be watchable at all. I know the flatwave isn't going to cut it, but for the channels I did pull in with it, and its size I was quite surprised.
3,8,10,17,29,35,39,60,65,69 all come in (with 3 being the hardest, post repack). I should check tvfool if they updated the power and frequencies. The shifts just happened yesterday so I'm not sure how fast they update the database.
 

Trip

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TVFool stopped being updated more than a year ago. Use the new RabbitEars search map.

RabbitEars.Info

I've updated it this morning to reflect the latest in what I know to have changed.

(And, for clarity, the old channel 26 signal was an omni at 790 kW. The temporary facility is directional at 420 kW. When they finish building the new signal, it will be an omni at 1000 kW.)

- Trip
 

harshness

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May 5, 2007
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Your signals are 2 edge (partially blocked by terrain)
I think you may be understating the impact of edges. I find that 1 edge is a reach and 2 edges is really hard -- especially with DTV.

Having a full palette of 2 edge and tropo is just nasty.
 

Comptech

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Jun 26, 2006
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Trip, not bashing here, but how do you come up with the data? RabbitEars.Info Using a stellar labs VHF Hi antenna, WHNS is one of my strongest signals. Out of all shown in my local area, only WLOS gives me fits. Single TV attached and no amps. Small mountains and lots of trees here. I do not get the repeaters in WNC.
 

Trip

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Trip, not bashing here, but how do you come up with the data? RabbitEars.Info Using a stellar labs VHF Hi antenna, WHNS is one of my strongest signals. Out of all shown in my local area, only WLOS gives me fits. Single TV attached and no amps. Small mountains and lots of trees here. I do not get the repeaters in WNC.
That's certainly interesting. WYFF and WHNS both look a lot weaker than I would have expected them to be based on your location, although it does look like the Longley-Rice coverage map for WHNS agrees that near you, if not at your exact location, there are areas where local terrain will chew it up.

I'll dig into it a bit when I'm home later.

- Trip
 

cypherstream

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Using Rabitears.info which signal strength unit of measurement do I need to use to try and calculate signal strength with appropriate antenna and cable loss? I think TVfool stated it in dB and you want it as close to 0 as possible. The only thing you add in is antenna gain, which is usually in the antenna specs. I think the rule of thumb is subtract about 3 to 3.5 dB for simple plywood and vinyl siding if attic mounted.
 

harshness

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May 5, 2007
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I think the rule of thumb is subtract about 3 to 3.5 dB for simple plywood and vinyl siding if attic mounted.
Attic mounting is perhaps less a factor of siding as it is of roofing. Fiberglass roofing is likely at the low end of impact while aluminum may contribute to a Faraday cage.

Due to differences in climate and building codes, a rule of thumb is difficult to defend.
 
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