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Attic antenna

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#1
Even after scanning for 25 years I still have a newbie question. How much on average do you lose with an attic mounted antenna? I have a antenna farm on the roof now and am thinking about a easy attic mount for a living room casual use scanner.
 

SAR923

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#2
If it's a shingle roof with no aluminum backed insulation between the roof truss beams, there's very little signal loss. Certainly it would be fine for a use like you describe.
 
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#3
I use a home brewed uhf yagi in the attic and it picks up several digital trunked systems from 30+ miles away clearly. I was surprised how good it worked when I installed it. Its feed with about 15 ft of 9913 coax. Give it a try...ya never know you might get luck like me.
 
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#4
I had my discone type antenna mounted on top of my house with a ten foot mast. I moved it to my attic and cant tell the difference. I have an asphalt shingle roof.
 
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#5
I did a test with my Austin Spectra all-band mobile antenna to determine the attic degradation. First I mag mounted it to the centre of my car roof and took signal strength measurements on weak stations across the spectrum. Then I took the same antenna and mag mount, then stuck it on the metal air conditioner unit in my attic and again took signal strength measurements. I got a two to three bar lesser reading in the attic than I got on top of the car roof. My roof is typical asphalt shingles with no metal or other obstructions. The difference was more pronounced on 800mhz than on other bands.

Of course, if you're doing typical urban or suburban listening, without great distance expectations, it won't matter. But if you're trying to cover a four-county area, then it may cost you a system or two. Although, a better antenna -- like one especially made for base applications, will perform better, negating the 2 bar loss.
 
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#7
I would definitely go with a base station antenna, and not a mobile antenna. You can fit a discone in just about any attic, and they are available everywhere. Some Radio Shacks even carry them in-stock, although that is becoming less common as they seem to have forgotten that RADIO is their first name. They need to change their name to "iPod and Cellphone Shack", but I digress.

Anyhow, in Katy, you should do very, very well with an attic mount antenna. You might start to get a little static from weak stations west of downtown. Especially the 800mhz systems. And especially on days when your wood shingle roof is waterlogged (which is about 359 days a year in Houston, isn't it, lol? Those wet shingles -- with the aid of any tall, thick trees around you -- will suck up those high frequencies pretty quickly. But you'll do fine on UHF and below.
 
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