New HDTV Antenna Installation in Attic

DB8 antenna new versionIf you’re going to cut cable like I have, one thing that is important is being able to receive broadcast TV signals (especially if you want to watch college football).  Although we should be able to get all the major networks in our area, only NBC would come in clearly with a small indoor antenna.  After installation of the DB8 antenna was completed in our attic, 20 digital signals were found by our receiver!  That’s without any aiming, which will be the next step.  Right now we get NBC flawlessly – CBS and Fox pretty well.  A huge improvement.

Assembling the DB8 antenna wasn’t particularly hard, but the included directions weren’t great.  One thing that is initially confusing is that the picture on the box uses the old DB8 model with coaxial cables connecting everything, where what you get is a “new” DB8 with a strip of metal connecting the two sets of antennas.  This picture from HDTVPrimer (which has a rather in-depth review of this particular antenna) shows the new DB8.  As you can see, there are no coaxial cables.

When assembling everything, pay close attention to the orientation of the parts and which way they are facing.  If you’re careful, everything should go together smoothly.  It’s probably a good idea not to tighten any of the included wingnuts too much until you have everything in place. Apparently this doesn’t always go as well as it should.  The warnings on the manual had this to say:

Warning Do not attempt to install if drunk, pregnant or both.  Do not throw antenna at spouse.”

How politically correct of them not to assume it’s the husband throwing the antenna at the wife.  Also, are you really supposed to drink when you’re pregnant?

DB8 antenna mounted in atticAfter assembly, I put this in the attic where coaxial cable was already run with the intention of use with cable.  The antenna could be mounted directly over the TV, making the cable run as short as possible so that’s where it was attached.  Although I gave up any adjustablity at this point, two 5/16 inch holes were drilled in a 2×4 supporting the roof and the brackets were used as shown to keep everything level.  I’ve got a better idea for installing the DB8 that will be adjustable, but that will be for another post.

The longer the cable is and the more splits it has in it makes the signal weaker, so I connected the leg of cable coming straight out of the wall directly to the antenna.  This neglected the other coaxial outlets, but they’re not used at this point anyway.  This Youtube video (not mine) has a good explanation of how to strip and crimp cable.  In a pinch, you can use a Leatherman to do this – I did.



Antenna point antenna searchAlthough I haven’t taken advantage of it yet, has a really neat resource where if you put in your zip code or several other ways of identification, it will show you where the transmitters near you are.  It points them out using a Google-maps powered interface, so it’s pretty easy to see where everything is.  I plan to adjust everything soon, as the ABC signal still eludes me, so check back to see my results!

It should be noted that mounting the antenna outdoors is the preferred method as there will be some signal loss.  On the other hand, attic installation may allow you to shorten your coaxial cable which will improve things.  It’s all about your individucal situation.
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