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Plopping an outdoor antenna into the attic

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by mm, Mar 7, 2010.

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  1. mm

    mm Guest

    Is there a problem letting an outdoor tv antenna sit on the floor
    joists and insulation of an unfinished attic? As long as the surface
    is dry, does it matter what supports the antenna?

    I have a friend whose tv reception is pretty bad since the digital
    conversion. Even the major network stations in Baltimore go out on
    her sometimes (as they have for me). She's taken to watching tv on
    the net.

    She doesn't want an antenna on the roof, and the hatch leading to her
    attic is too small for me to enter. Not because I'm fat, which I am,
    but because my chest is too big, front to back, for the hatch, even
    though my rib cage is not fat. Maybe a half inch total front and back
    more than it ever was. (It's not that I'm big-chested either. Her
    hatch must be strangely small.)

    So I was thinking I might be able to stand below the hatch (just a
    square hole with a piece of plywood to stop the breeze), raise an
    outdoor antenna into the hatch, use a 1x2, maybe with a notch cut in
    the end to unfold each element after it passes the hatch, and lay the
    whole thing down on the attic floor.

    This sounds tricky, and I want to look at my antenna again, but I'm
    not too worried about the tricky part. (Last year, I had a broken
    outside floodlight that was two high to reach with a standard 15-foot
    extension ladder, but I changed it without using any ladder, from
    inside the attic and from the ground outside.)

    I just want to make sure that, other than losing 4 extra feet that it
    could be mounted higher (if we got some lanky guy to go up there), it
    will work okay on the floor, or maybe on a cardboard box on either
    side of the hatch.

    After my success last night, with your help, improving the sound in my
    bedroom tv, I finally got around tonight to bringing my new, pretty
    big, outdoor antenna into the attic, unfolding it, and connecting it.
    I used to get 10 stations, and now I get 9 more plus maybe 6 more
    substations. Some are duplicate networks or in languages I don't plan
    to watch, but still, I'm quite happy. Because I haven't yet cut the
    2x4 to mount my antenna higher, and out of my way, it's sitting on two
    cardboard boxes, but not on the floor.

    Thanks for any help you can give.
  2. mm

    mm Guest

    No, it's a modern house, but there is something to lose by trying.
    She's a pain in the neck. I like her and I'm glad to do her favors,
    if I can get in and get out. But if she buys the antenna -- I'm not
    paying for it -- and then there is little improvement** she'll be very
    unhappy, and almost blame me for being wrong about what would work.

    **That's a separate possibility, even if resting on the floor isn't a
    problem. I have to look her address up on
    Good point. I don't think I even looked when I had my head up there.
    Like I say, she's a pain in the neck. (Fortunately for me, she
    doesn't read Usenet) She has another ex-boyfriend ready, willing, and
    able to put one on the roof. And annoyed at her for her not being
    willing to let him. I consider myself laid back and "understanding"
    because if she doesn't want it, I do understand.

    He's not that small even, but I guess he's smaller than I am. But I
    get stuck at the middle of my breast bone and there is practicaly no
    flesh there, at most a quarter of an inch and there must have been at
    least an eighth of an inch there when I wasn't fat. I can't check out
    my back well, but despite the expression, fatback bacon, as best I can
    tell, I don't think my back is actually fat. Just my belly.
    Maybe so. I'll mention it.
  3. D Yuniskis

    D Yuniskis Guest

    Even if not used for storage, what good is the opening if folks
    can't get *through* it??! (e.g., wait until there is a roof leak
    and you **need** to get up there *now*... :> )
  4. mm

    mm Guest

    Good point.

    Also, I have no trouble getting through the hatch into my own attic.
    I could be a lot fatter and still have no trouble.

    (I do barely make it past the closet shelf, with the ladder resting on
    the shelf and the front wall of the closet behind me. That's because
    I'm fat. But that wasn't a problem at her house. And leaving my
    attic, facing away from the shelf, no problem.

    I should measure my hatch and her hatch. And maybe there was some
    good reason they made it so small.

    Hmmm. Checking maps, including the radar map, I see
    that for her address, they only have 7 stations in the green area and
    2 in the yellow, a total of 9, a lot less than I had. Even if I say
    the antenna will be 40 feet high, far higher than she would like, that
    just puts 5 in the yellow area, a total of 12 stations. Plus 4 of the
    five are the same networks she gets locally, and the one that is
    independant, it says in Wiki plays reruns from the 60's and 70's. I
    get that on another station and she has expressed no interest in them.

    Maybe she's stuck. Or I should get her an omnitdirectional antenna
    that can be mounted on a piece of tubing screwed to the frame of her

    I think she has gotten more stations than I have most of the time I
    have known her, but that has changed.

    Her job is in jeopardy now as well as some of her assets and she
    really can't afford cable now. This tv thing is just salt in the
  5. Guest

    I see several points that should be made.

    If she is in an area with limited reception, the higher the
    antenna, the better the reception. It's a simple equation. She can
    accept having the antenna on the roof, or suffer with inadequate
    reception. Squeezing an antenna into the attic is a half-assed

    A second point is why you continue to put up with "a pain in the
    neck". Perhaps you should 'man up' and face the facts. At age 60,
    there are 9 men for every 10 women. At age 70, there are 8 men for
    every 10 women. At some point you should ask yourself if the benefits
    of this relationship are worth the aggravation.

  6. mm

    mm Guest

    Okay. I'll look closely. At least I can get my head in there.
    She'll have to live with that.
  7. mm

    mm Guest

    I'll look into all these things. Thanks.Her construction is pretty much like mine, and the attic antenna is
    working well for me.
    I'm glad you said that. I'll have her send the bills to the address
  8. mm

    mm Guest

    She knows all this. She doesn't want an antenna on the roof.
    Therapy? We're going to have therapy? Goodie!
    Yeah, but you're talking about 10 70-year old women. This one is
    decades younger than I am.
    Thank you, Ann Landers. When we have more time, I'll explain
    friendship to you.
  9. PeterD

    PeterD Guest

    Dear dog, way too much information!
    Why not hire some skinny kid? That's what I'd do.
    I don't think it is bad to use that antenna there, but think you
    really should have someone there to aim and angle it for best
    reception. Realize as well that attic antennas don't (IMHO) give quite
    as good performance as a roof mounted one.
  10. mm

    mm Guest

    Thanks for the suggestions, and thank you Peter also. I'll try to put
    them to use.
  11. mm

    mm Guest

    Good idea. Obvious but not thought of. :( Thanks.
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