TV Antenna


1 - Antenna Placement
2 - Mast
3 - Pointing Angle
4 - Coax Cable Installation
5 - Ground Wire
6 - Antenna 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.

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1 - Antenna Placement


Antennas should be mounted
as high as possible,
clear line-of-sight to towers.

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.

Also see:
Reception / Signal Factors /
-- Antenna Height Ground Loss
-- Attic and Room Antenna Loss.
Hardware / Antennas.

2 - Mast

TV antenna mast are typically;

Circular Tubing
• 5 - 6 feet long.
• 1.25 inch outer diameter.
• 18 gauge galvanized steel.
Never connect more than 2 sections.

Some mast are straight tubing. Some mast are angled, commonly called a J mast. Many J mast have built-in mounting hardware that can be adjusted for roof or side structure mounting.

Side Mount

There are various types of mast mounting brackets that come with different stand-off spacing lengths. Use a spacing that ensures the clearance needed.

Chimney Mount
Roof Mounts Two secured straps with mounting brackets wrapped around a chimney. Do NOT use if chimney exhaust is from a fire place, wood or coal burner, or other excessive heat source.
Eave Gable Mount
Roof Mounts Homes with a roof eave can use an Eave Gable mast mount. It uses 3 mounting points and a cross bar on the side of the home where the roof top peaks.
Side Structure Mount
Roof Mounts The mast is mounted to the side of the home using 1 or 2 mount points. Two mount points have much better wind resistance. Insure the mast stand off spacing clears any obstructions.
J Mast / Mount
Roof Mounts Mast and mounting hardware in a single assembly. Adjustable mount angle to set for side structure or rooftop mounting. Mast diameter is typically 1 inch and 20 inches long. Single point mount.
Tripod Mast / Mount
Roof Mounts

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 - Coax Cable Installation

Install Coax

RG-6 Quad Shield coax cable is the Industry Standard for outside TV cables.

  • Antenna Connection
    -- Use a WEATHER BOOT to protect connector.
    -- LOOP the 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
    -- Use INSULATED CABLE STRAPS to secure to siding.
  • Coax Ground Block
    Ground Block
    • Antenna cable goes to ground block.
      Another cable runs to home conduit.
    • Ground block close to home conduit.
      -- Leave enough space for a drip loop.
    • Protect connections with a weather boot or hermetic connectors.
  • Home Conduit
    Use a DRIP LOOP just before the cable enters the home.
    Prevents water from collecting at the conduit.
    Drip Loop

Also see Hardware / Cables section.
-- TV Cable Types
-- Signal Loss and Calculator
-- Signal Splitters
-- Connectors
-- Coax/Twin-lead Adapters

5 - Ground Wire

The antenna mast and the coax cable should be grounded by connecting them to the electrical service earth ground. 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.

AWG -- American Wire Gauge

A copper (Cu) or bronze Ground Clamp connects the ground wire to the antenna mast. Don't use an aluminum (Al) clamp.

Install Hardware Ground Clamp

6 - Antenna Grounding

There are 2 methods for grounding antennas and outside cable systems, Single POINT and Single WIRE grounding. 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 when using 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.

Single POINT Ground
Single WIRE Ground

Earth Ground

The antenna and cable ground wire connect to the electrical service earth ground rod. The service ground rod runs directly from the power meter into the ground. A ground clamp or a bonding termination is used to connect the ground wire to the power service ground rod.

Bonding Termination

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 outside connectors
      -- antenna, ground block, cable-to-cable.
  • 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
1 - 3 Ground Clamps
copper (Cu) or bronze
mast & earth ground
A bonding termination can
be used for earth ground.
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
multiple insulated cable straps mount cables
multiple mounting screws ground block / cable straps
multiple tie wraps / zip ties secure cables


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TV Antenna Installation