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electronic stud finder to detect roof joists?

This spring I will take down all my roof antennas in order to get a new roof installed.  When I put the roof tripods back up, I want to ensure that the lag bolts engage the roof joists whenever possible, not just the plywood roof sheathing.  One tripod will be in an area where there is no attic underneath because of a cathedral ceiling.  Consequently, I don't have the option to add any reinforcement from underneath the roof.

Electronic stud finders detect a change in dielectric constant when you move the stud finder to an area that has a wooden stud behind the wall.  I'm curious if anybody on this list has successfully used an electronic stud finder to locate the joists under a roof.  I think the change in dielectric constant would be much more subtle when you have to sense through the thickness of the shingles and a layer of 1/2 inch plywood (composition shingles, not wood shingles).

I suppose I could just buy an electronic stud finder and return it if it doesn't work.  But it would be nice to know in advance if it's likely to work.

Wayne Estes W9AE
Mundelein, IL, USA
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