Saturday, January 3, 2015

Living Room Antenna Move

Channel 5 sucks...  This is a phrase my wife and I were udering quite frequently.  All of our channels came in crystal clear, except for Channel 5.  It took a bunch of research and a lot of testing to get to the end destination we are at today.

The Past

We've gone through several different kinds of antennas in order to get the clear reception on Channel 5.  We started with your basic, college dorm room rabbit ears.  They worked OK, but they sat on the fireplace ledge and looked pretty amateur and ugly.  So we tried a $50 antenna from AntennaWeb.  This worked better, but still saw pixelation during rain storms and or even light breezes.  And of course the football game is on Channel 5 when all of the family is over the for holidays.  A very bad time to go down.

Then I finally came across the Antennacraft HDMS9100.  This thing is awesome.  We initially put this in our attic and it captured signal great.  Then we put the house on the market and moved it to the basement.  This is by far the worst spot for an HD antenna.  Not only did 5 not come in well, but 8 was starting to fade as well.  So the ultimate decision after deciding to stay in the house was to move the antenna to the deck outside.

The Solution

The HDMS9100 has a control unit which allows you to adjust the direction of the antenna to better suite you signal needs without having to go outside.  This control box is currently dangling in the reduced size rats nest that is the left living room cabinet.  The box is connected to the Tivo for viewing.  Then the line to the antenna goes through the cabinet floor and into the basement.

In order to move the antenna outside, I needed to make sure that a minimum amount of coaxial cable was actually outside.  This is necessary as I have had experience with rabbits/wild animals eating the sheath off my old coaxial cables hidden under the deck.  So I drilled a 2/3" hole through the foundation in the closest corner of the house.  I ran the cable through and immediately up to the deck where the antenna rests.  I filled the remaining space around the cable in the hole with Great Stuff to keep the cold and bugs and water out.

That's it!  I tuned the amplified guided antenna to Channel 5 and now everything is right as rain.  All of our channels are coming in clear, even during a massive rain/lightening storm.  

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