While antennas will always perform better when they are located outside, sometimes it is more convenient for a variety of reasons to use an antenna located in the attic or roof space within the house.
When locating an antenna in the attic or roof space, there are several precautions that can be implemented to ensure that the performance that is gained is the best for the circumstances.
It is also best to be aware of the limitations of using an antenna or aerial located in the attic or roof space.
Attic antenna installation precautions
When installing an antenna in an attic or roof space there are several points that should be accounted for.
- Remember the additional attenuation: When installing an antenna in an attic or roof space it should be remembered that there will be a wall or tiles between the antenna and the outside. These will add additional attenuation, and this will increase with frequency. It is often difficult to assess the actual amount of attenuation, but it may mean that an antenna with a larger gain is required, or possibly a pre-amplifier may be needed.
It should also be remembered that the level of attenuation will increase when the roof tiles are wet, and worse still if they become covered with snow. This could result in the loss of reception for a TV signal.
- Keep away from internal wiring: There is often internal wiring within the attic or roof space. Make sure that the antenna is as far away from these as possible so that they do not affect the performance.
- Avoid placing antenna so that signal passes through objects in the attic: For directional antennas like Yagis - the most common type of antenna for TV installations, it is necessary to ensure that the antenna is placed in the attic so that the signal path does not pass through a solid object - even wiring can be an issue. In some countries it is common practice to have a cold water tank in the attic. Ensure that the signal is not required to pass through this, i.e. it is not in the signal path.
- Keep away from sources of interference: There can be sources of interference in the attic. Even wiring can carry interference from elsewhere in the house, so try to keep the antenna as far away from this as possible. Fluorescent lights can be a source of considerable interference, so remember to keep the antenna as far away as possible from these, and not orientated so the antenna is directed towards one.
- Remember wiring and objects from the floor below: When installing an attic antenna, it is very easy to forget the wiring for the rooms below. This wiring will typically not be so obvious and can easily be forgotten, but it can give rise to interference and may affect the antenna in other ways.
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