Although you could just drill a hole in a 2×4 in your attic and bolt it on (like I did originally), if you want any sort of aiming capability, you’re going to need something else. My simple solution will let you rotate your antenna in 360 degrees, and should cost under $3 if you have some nails and PVC cement handy. It appears this should work for the DB2 or DB4 antenna as well, but the frame could be scaled down in that case.
To set up this aimable antenna mount you’ll need the following:
- A fairly large attic – the DB8 antenna 43 x 28 1/4 x around 6 inches, so larger than this
- Simple tools including a hammer, a drill or drill press, and a saw
- PVC cement
- Nails – should be between 2 and 2 1/2 inches
- A 10 foot section of 3/4 inch PVC pipe
- 2 3/4 inch PVC elbows
Cut the PVC pipe into (2) 28 inch sections and (1) 34 inch section. Drill a hole slightly larger than the nails you will use in each 28 inch section of pipe. Holes should be centered 1 1/2 inches from the end. Attach the PVC as shown with PVC cement; the 34 inch section should be in the middle. Drilled holes should be perpendicular to the long piece of pipe – pointing directly towards the ground if you were to lay the frame on it’s side.
Let the assembly dry, then take into your attic to install. Nail the top piece of PVC pipe to a beam in your attic as high as you feel comfortable. Align the end of the PVC with the edge of the 2×4, this should roughly center the nail. Pound this nail in then do the same for the bottom PVC pipe. The holes that you drilled previously really come in really handy here since the nail can be started without holding it. When working in the attic you really want every advantage you can get! (seriously, be careful!)
Once this is done, attach the antenna to the vertical PVC pipe using the included bracket. When complete, you will be able to rotate your antenna in whatever direction you desire.
After installing this, the installation may sag a bit. Probably not a big deal as it’s not going to be exposed to any elements in the attic. However, if I was going to make another one, I would add another 34 inch section to make things more stiff. Additionally, or possibly as an alternative, instead of one nail per 28 inch section, 2 could be used. This would make each PVC joint resist bending individually.
Although I don’t know if it would live up to building codes and deed restrictions, a stronger version of this could probably be used outdoors, attached to a tree or other upright support. The spouse approval factor of a design like this being outside a house is definitely questionable.
Besides this improvement from the last post where I simply mounted it to a 2×4, I also bought an actual crimp tool designed for the job as well as some RG6 crimp connectors. Using this tool instead of a Leatherman and a connector I ripped off of another cable gave things a much more solid connection. The coaxial cable running to the TV was also shortened somewhat, which should improve the signal as well.
I’ve definitely been able to see a difference in where the antenna is aimed as to what channels can be picked up and at what strength. For me, it seems a direction nearly identical to what I had it in originally was a good orientation, but for many this won’t be the case.
After posting this on Reddit, someone mentioned that they had done nearly the same thing by simply hanging a single piece of 1″ PVC pipe from the rafters. What a great simple solution. In this case, my roof is too high to easily do this, but for those with a bit lower roof, hanging a piece of pipe like this might be the way to go.
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