There are some basic Standard Practices for installing an antenna and cables to get the best signal and have a safe (as possible) and durable installation. Outside antennas must be grounded for safety and reception. Sometimes attic antennas are grounded when the cable run is greater than 30 feet. Indoor antennas do not need a ground.
|1 - Antenna Placement|
Antennas should be mounted as high as possible and clear of obstructions.
Also see the Reception Section;
• Antenna Placement (How to Get It)
• Antenna Height Loss (Signal Factors)
• Indoor Antenna Loss (Signal Factors)
|2 - Mast|
Side structure mast mounts using two sets of brackets is stronger (more wind resistant) than a single bracket or a roof mount. Roof mounts tend to have water leakage problems if not properly installed.
• Circular tubing. |
• 18 gauge galvanized steel.
• 1.25 inch outer diameter.
• 5 - 6 feet long.
Some mast are designed to connect for extended length. Never connect more the two sections.
|3 - Antenna Pointing Angle|
A smartphone compass app can be used to locate True North to determine antenna pointing angle. When using a magnetic compass account for the difference between True and Magnetic north. See NOAA's Magnetic Declination Website. Note that local conditions could effect magnetic readings. If possible use landmarks to confirm or establish true north.
NOAA -- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
|4 - Coax Cables|
Quad shield cable should be used for outside runs. See TV Coax Cables for options (RG-6, RG-11, RG-59).
A rubber weather boot or hermetic connector should be used on all outside connections;
-- cable to antenna,
-- cable-to-cable (if any),
-- cable to and from ground block.
|5 - Ground Wire|
The ground wire should be number 10, or heavier, solid copper wire.
|ANTENNA / CABLE GROUND WIRE|
A copper (Cu) or bronze Ground Clamp connects the ground wire to the antenna mast. The ground wire can be connected to the earth ground with a ground clamp or a bonding termination.
AWG -- American Wire Gauge
|2 - Grounding|
There are 2 methods for grounding antennas and outside cable systems;
Single POINT Ground is specified for all outside antennas in some local electrical codes, and sometimes preferred for active antennas (preamp and/or rotor). Single WIRE Ground is a littler cleaner installation and common in passive antennas (no preamp and/or rotor).
Single POINT Ground
Single WIRE Ground
The National Electrical Code (NEC) specifies the electrical service earth ground be used as the antenna and cable earth ground. The service ground is the electrode conductor ground rod or ground pipe running directly from the power meter into the ground. Some codes allow the power service earth ground be picked-up inside the home from the Breaker / Fuze Panel ground bus bar. The ground block can also be inside but close to the home conduit.
An antenna mast or cable within 5 feet of a swimming pool must be bonded to the pool bounding grid (ground).
|7 - Tools & Parts List|
Basic tools needed include a ladder and assorted screwdrivers, wrenches, sockets, and maybe a hammer etc. You will also need a wood and/or concrete drill, and appropriate drill bits and screws.
VHF / UHF (RF 02-69)
VHF-Hi / UHF (RF 07-69)
UHF (RF 14-69)
|1||Mast & Mounting Hardware||mount antenna|
|1||Coax Ground Block||grounds coax cable|
|2 - 3||Ground Clamps
copper (Cu) or bronze
|mast & earth ground rod|
|in feet||Coax Cable (RG-6, RG-11, RG-59)||Television RF Signals|
|in feet||AWG 10 Copper wire||ground wire|
|3 or more||rubber weather boots||Cover coax connections|
|mulitple||insulated cable straps||mount cables|
|multiple||mounting screws||ground block / cable straps|
|mulitple||tie wraps / zip ties||secure cables|
TV Antenna Installation