Tower Locator Blog


TV Antenna Installation

Contents -- Placement | Mast | Angle | Coax | Ground Wire | Grounding | Parts List

Antenna Restrictions Prohibited
No Antenna Restrictions Federal law prohibits restrictions (by governments, community and homeowners' associations, and other entities) that impair the installation, maintenance or use of antennas used to receive video programming. Masts higher than 12 feet above the roofline may be subject to local restrictions.

References: FCC OTA Reception Devices Rule, and Federal Regulations Title 47, Subchapter A, Part 1, Subpart S .

Sponsored links

(0.) Antenna Placement

As high as possible -- Signal density increases with height.
Relatively clear path to towers -- Obstructions (hills, structures, trees, etc.) can reduce or block signals.

Other Considerations
Indoor Antenna -- Works best on or near a window.
Attic Antenna -- Avoid pointing through metal backed insulation, duct work, etc.
Outdoor Antenna -- Must be properly grounded for best reception and safety.

Do not install an outside antenna near overhead utility lines, especially power lines. The power line electromagnetic fields can cause interference or signal reduction, and the lines are dangerous to work around.

Coax and ground cable lengths can be estimated knowing the location of;

  • Antenna
  • Conduit (outside-to-inside)
  • Coax Ground Block
    • Should be close to conduit.
    • Can be outside or inside.
  • Electrical Service Ground
    • outside power meter ground pipe or
    • inside electrical panel ground busbar.

(1.) Mast Mounting

Some mast are designed to connect for extended length.

Angle Bearings
(2.) Antenna Pointing Angle

When using a compass to point an antenna, account for the difference between True and Magnetic north. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website has detailed information and a calculator for Magnetic Declination. Note that local conditions could effect compass readings. If possible use landmarks to confirm or establish true north.

Sponsored links

Install Coax
(3.) Antenna Coax Cable

The antenna cable connects directly to a coax ground block, mounted inside or outside and close to the conduit.

(4.) Antenna Ground Wire

The ground wire runs through (connects to) the coax ground block and continues to the earth ground.

AWG - American Wire Gauge

(5.) Grounding

The National Electrical Code (NEC) recommends using the electrical service ground for the antenna earth ground. Outside grounding can use the power meter ground pipe as earth ground. Inside grounding can use the electrical service panel ground busbar for earth ground.

Antenna Installation using Outside Ground

Antenna Installation using Inside Ground
Alternative Grounding Systems.


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.

Typical Parts List
Quantity Description Function
1 Antenna VHF-Lo / Hi, UHF
1 Mast & Mounting Hardware mount antenna
1 Coax Ground Block grounding system
2 Ground Clamps mast & service ground
in feet RG-6 Coax Cable RF Signals
in feet AWG 10 Copper (Cu) wire ground wire
1 or more rubber weather boots
or electrical tape
Cover outside
coax connections
mulitple insulated cable straps mount cables
multiple mounting screws ground block / cable straps
mulitple tie wraps / zip ties secure cables

Guide to Antenna Installation video

Top Over-the-Air Digital TV (OTA DTv)
TV Antenna Installation
© Copyright 2018