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Guide to TV antenna installation

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TV Antenna Basic System Installation Guidelines


TV Antenna Mount               TV Antenna Rotor            TV Antenna Preamplifier

TV Antenna Grounding      Antenna System Diagram     √ TV Antenna Placement


TV antenna installation guidelines for better TV reception.
TV antenna preamplifier, mount, rotor, cabling, grounding and much more including TV antenna installation diagram.

Digital OTA TV now offers more channels all with outstanding picture and sound quality. My advice is to use a quality product, do the job right the first time and you'll only have to do it once. Below are basic TV antenna and accessories installation guidelines.

How to set up a TV antenna

Section #1  TV Antenna Mounting

Choose a stable mount. There are several mounts to chose from. The two most popular mounts because of their stability and adaptability are the 5 foot tripod and the eave mount. .

In high wind areas keep the mast pipe as close (low) to the last mast support as possible. Keeping the mast pipe to within a few feet of the top of the mount is best especially if a larger antenna is in use. If you will be installing a rotor keep the mast pipe between the rotor and the antenna as short as possible. This will reduce the stress on the pivoting portion of the rotor. If a rotor will not be used mount the antenna within 5 feet of the mount for larger directional antennas and up to 10 feet when installing smaller antennas such as the EZ-HD. 

        Eave Mount                         Tripod
                           Eave Mount                                                                              5' Tripod
Section #2     Antenna rotor basics
If you will be using a rotor Keep the top mast pipe above the rotor as short as possible (the pipe between the rotor and the antenna). I usually find that about 3-4 feet pipe length is sufficient to mount the antenna into the rotor. The end result is the boom of the antenna is about 40 to 50 inches above the last mast support creating a stable mount. The less an antenna wiggles and jiggles the longer it will last.
TV antenna rotor
Channel Master Rotor Model 9521
Keeping the mast at a minimal height increases the stability of the antenna and reduces the stress on the rotor. This adds to the longevity to both the antenna and rotor.
The installation order of things goes like this.
Each particular item comes with directions pertaining to assembly and installation.
Install the mount according to the type you have.
You may want to visit:
Assemble the antenna according to the instructions. The TV antenna mounts to the mast pipe using the U-bolt assembly included. Winegard antennas, the EZ-HD and the HD Stacker antennas mount to mast pipe up to 1 7/8 inches.
Section #3     Antenna preamplifier basics
The preamplifier mounts to the mast pipe just below the antenna and is secured using the U-bolt included. Mounts to mast pipe up to 1.5"
TV antenna preamplifier             TV antenna preamplifier bottom view          Preamplifier
In the first picture the TV antenna is upside down on its back with the preamplifier mounted to the mast located in a position that will be below the antenna when it's installed upright.
The second picture is the antenna installed in an upright position with the preamplifier mounted to the mast just below the antenna.
The third picture is the bottom of the preamplifier with the antenna input on the left and the down lead cable that leads into the home on the right.
With the mount, mast pipe, (rotor if necessary), preamplifier, and antenna installed run a short piece of coax cable from the antenna output to the preamplifier input connection labeled "ANT input"
Winegard tv antenna preamplifier.
Bottom side of a Winegard mast mounted preamplifier

Next run cable from the preamplifier output connection labeled "to power supply" to a
ground block.
Ground block
Ground Block
A ground block should be installed on the coax cable down lead at a point just before the coax cable enters your home.
From the ground block output run coax cable indoors to the preamplifier power inserter/supply connection labeled "ANT".

The power supply/injector is included with the preamplifier and is pictured below. It is installed indoors and requires an electrical outlet. Its function is to inject low voltage electricity into the coax cable and supply the mast mounted preamplifier with power via the coax cable. the power injector/supply can be located as little as a few feet from the antenna preamplifier up to 150 feet away. No signal splitters should be installed on the coax cable between the mast mounted preamplifier and the indoor power injector unless voltage blocks are in use. See:
Using voltage blocks
Now run cable from the power injector output connection labeled "TV" to the TV or to a signal splitter for multiple TVs and then from the signal splitter to the TVs.
We offer coax cable in various lengths with the connector ends attached ready to install on our coax cable page. Notice the 2.5 foot piece of cable at the coax cable link, it's great to go from the antenna output into the preamplifier input.
Want to make your own cable lengths? See: How to install coax cable end connectors
preamplifier power injector
Preamplifier power injector

Winegard PS 1503 power injector
Winegard Preamplifier power injector and power transformer
Included with all Winegard preamplifier's.
In the illustration above the bottom left cable is the down lead connection coming from the mast mounted preamplifier. The top connection is to the TV or signal splitter and then to the TV's and the bottom right connection as you can see goes to the electrical outlet.
Section #4       TV antenna system wiring grounding basics
Now run a ground wire from the TV antenna mount to a suitable ground such as a ground rod. The ground wire can be connected using a mast pipe strap or it can simply be securely wound under a bolt on the antenna mount and tightened.
Run a ground wire from the coax cable ground block to the ground. The ground block should be installed on the coax cable down lead at a location near to where the coax cable enters the building.
You can use good quality black electrical tape to secure the coax cable to the mast/mount. I use 3M electrical tape, it's sticks well and holds up to the cold and sun. Cut the tape rather than pulling and breaking it. It will stay put much longer (many years) if you cut it and don't stretch the tape.
Ground wire                  Ground Strap                   Ground rod-ground block-ground wire
>Ground Wire >>>>><                  Ground Strap<<<<                           Ground Block, Rod and Wire
             Ground block                    ground rod
>>>>>>>                 Ground Block>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>                 Ground Rod
Section # 5      Basic TV Antenna System Configuration and Wiring Diagram
Have a question about the information on this page?