Tower Locator Blog


TV Antenna Installation

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

Outside antennas must be grounded for safety and reception. Indoor antennas do not need a ground. Some people ground attic antennas when the cable from the TV to the antenna is greater then about 30 feet. The ground will discharge static electricity, if any.

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. The Federal law allows antennas' to be as high as 12 feet above the roofline (top of the roof).

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

Sponsored links

(1.) Antenna Placement

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

(2.) Mast Mounting

Some mast are designed to connect for extended length.

Angle Bearings
(3.) Antenna Pointing Angle

Attach, aim and secure the antenna. 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
(4.) Antenna Coax Cable

The antenna cable connects directly to a coax ground block, mounted inside or outside and close to the conduit. See (6.) Grounding below.

(5.) Antenna Ground Wire

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

American Wire Gauge Diameters
AWG Diameter
10 0.101890 in 2.58801 mm
9 0.114400 in 2.90576 mm
8 0.128496 in 3.26380 mm
7 0.144300 in 3.66522 mm
6 0.162020 in 4.11531 mm

AWG - American Wire Gauge
in - inches
mm - millimeters

(6.) Grounding

The National Electrical Code (NEC) specifies using the electrical service ground for the antenna earth ground. The coax cable and ground wire run through a ground block connected to the electrical service ground. Outside grounding can use the power meter ground pipe. Inside grounding can use the electrical service panel ground busbar.

Antenna Installation / Outside Ground

Antenna Installation / Inside Ground


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 2020