Television Specs TV Antenna Installation

TV Antenna Installation

  1. Antenna Placement
  2. Mast
  3. Pointing Angle
  4. Cable Installation
  5. Ground Wire
  6. Grounding
  7. Parts List

There are some basic Standard Practices for installing an antenna and cables to get the best signal, and have a durable and as safe as possible installation. An outside antenna (mast) needs to be properly grounded. The antenna coax cable spiraled down the mast, then a straight run (as straight as possible) to a drip loop before entering the home. The coax ground block should be close to where the coax enters the home. Indoor antennas do not need a ground.

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1 - Antenna Placement

Antennas should be mounted as high as possible and have a relatively clear line-of-sight to towers.

See the Reception Section;
Antenna Placement (Steps to Get It)
Antenna Height Loss (Signal Factors)
Indoor Antenna Loss (Signal Factors)

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.

2 - Mast
Side Mount Roof and Side Mounts

Some mast are designed to connect for extended length. Never connect more the two sections.

Side structure mast mounts using two sets of brackets is much more wind resistant than a single bracket or a roof mount. Roof mounts tend to have water leakage problems if not properly installed.

3 - Antenna Pointing Angle
Angle Bearings

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.

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4 - Cables Installation
Install Coax

RG-6 coax cable is the Industry Standard for TV signals. It comes in 2, 3, or 4 shields. Quad shield (4 shields) should be used for outside cable runs. See TV Coax Cables for other options.

  • Loop the antenna cable around the mast.
    • Secures the cable from wind loosening connection.
    • Extra cable for repairs, new antenna, etc.
  • Tie-wrap cable to mast.
  • Secure cable to siding with insulated cable straps.
  • Drip Loop just before the cable enters the home.
    • Prevents water from collecting at the home conduit.
  • Connections: rubber weather boot or hermetic connector
    • Antenna
    • Cable to cable (if any)
    • To and From Ground Block
Drip Loop Coax Ground Block

5 - Ground Wire

The ground wire should be AWG 10 (Number 10), or heavier, solid copper wire.

Ground Wire
  • AWG 10 (#10) solid copper wire.
    (Diameter: 0.101890 in, 2.58801 mm)
  • Continuous, no splice connections.
  • Run as straight as possible.
  • Bare or insulated.
  • Connects to earth ground.
Ground Clamp

A copper (Cu) or bronze Ground Clamp connects the ground wire to the antenna mast. Don't use an aluminum (Al) clamp. 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
  • Active or Passive Antenna.
  • 2 ground wires:
    • Antenna mast to earth ground.
    • Ground block to earth ground.
  • Some local electrical codes require.
Single WIRE Ground
  • Passive Antenna (no preamp or rotor).
  • 1 ground wire:
    • Antenna mast to / through
      ground block to earth ground.
  • Cleaner installation.


Earth 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).

  • Antenna
    • Mounted as high as possible.
    • Pointed toward broadcast towers.
    • Clear path to towers.
  • Coax Cable
    • Outside Cables Quad Shield.
    • Looped around and secured to mast.
    • Drip Loop just before entering home.
    • Weather boot on all outside connections.
  • Coax Ground Block
    • Mounted near the home conduit.
  • Ground Wire
    • AWG 10 (#10) solid copper wire.
    • Run as straight as possible.
    • Continuous, no splice connections.
    • Bare or Insulated.
  • Grounding Method
    • Active antenna -- Single POINT Ground.
    • Passive antenna -- Single POINT or WIRE Ground.
  • Earth Ground
    • Electrical Service 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.

Typical Parts List
Quantity Description Function
1 Antenna 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