Attic Installation Tips

While you have the legal right to erect an antenna on property you either own or control, many people will still install antennas in attics for aesthetic reasons. Your rights regarding antenna installations on your property are explained in more detail on the FCC's web site. In general you can lose up to 40-50% of your signal's strength from an attic installation due to the loss from roofing materials, but with proper installation and the right antenna you can overcome some of this loss and be successful.

Mounting the Mast

1-¼" conduit makes a great antenna mast. The material can be metal or PVC. Conduit scraps from a local hardware store can be used to secure the mast to trusses or joists using standard deck screws. This will give you some flexibility should you need to relocate the antenna.

Avoid using wire or twine to hang the antenna, as this will make positioning of the antenna more difficult. If you can't find 1 ¼" pipe, don't worry, all of the antennas we sell, have mast clamps that adjust from 1" to 2" in diameter. We offer 30" and 40" tall "J" Mount Masts that can be attached to any solid surface. This offers a very flexible and compact mounting option for tight spaces.
"J" Mount Mast

Before purchasing the antenna, make sure you have enough space to be able to rotate it for the strongest signal.

Keep It Away From Metal

It will be important to keep the antenna away from metallic surfaces. Air handlers, ductwork, electrical conduit and data wiring can all present interference with the digital signals. Try to keep as much distance as practical from these objects (6 feet or greater distance is ideal). If you have foil backed or "solar shield" insulation in the roof joists, then you will need to replace the insulation in the area surrounding the antenna or place the antenna outside. The digital signals will not pass through metal surfaces.

If you have a metal roof, installing your new antenna in the attic will be very difficult and have a low probability for success.

Overcoming Loss from Roofing Materials

Since signals will be weakened by just about any roofing material, utilizing a higher gain antenna is typically the first step in overcoming signal loss. The effective range of most antennas is lowered by 10-15 miles with an attic installation, so you may consider getting a more powerful antenna than you would typically need with an outdoor antenna.

Investing in a low noise pre-amplifier can also improve the signal levels. Antenna mounted pre-amplifiers are always preferred as they amplify the signal at its strongest point. It is also important to use amplifiers designed for high ambient temperatures. Checkout our selection of pre-amps.

Combining It With Your Existing Attic Antenna

UHF and VHF antenna may share the same mast. Try to keep at least 5 feet of separation if possible from your exiting antenna. If you don't have enough space for this, the antennas can be placed on separate masts.

Combining the antenna can be done using our UHF/VHF combiner box. This will be necessary to prevent overlap between the two antennas.

UHF / VHF Combiner Box