How to Position a Digital Antenna to a Signal

by Adrian Grahams
Accurate antenna alignment is essential for reliable digital TV reception.

Accurate antenna alignment is essential for reliable digital TV reception.

Reliable digital television reception depends on a well-sited and properly-aligned TV antenna. Before aligning your antenna, you will need to know the direction of your nearest digital TV transmitter. This is easy to find with TV "transmitter locator" websites. You also need to know if your antenna is directional or multi-directional. Directional TV antennas are best for long-range reception from a single transmitter and must be aligned precisely. Multi-directional antennas can pick up signals from multiple transmitters at nearby sites and require less precise alignment. The easiest and quickest way to ensure you receive the strongest possible digital television signal is to align your antenna accurately with a digital TV signal meter.

Disconnect your TV and all connected equipment from the AC power supply.

Use a ladder, steps or platform to reach your TV antenna safely.

Connect your digital TV signal meter to the television antenna, carefully following the manufacturer's instructions.

Find the clamp or mount attaching your antenna to its mast.

Gently loosen screws or bolts by just enough to allow slight movement of the TV antenna from left to right.

Find the correct bearing of the TV transmitter with your compass.

Slowly move the antenna until it points in the right direction. (The vertical or horizontal rods, known as directional elements, are at the front of the antenna.)

Watch the signal strength reading on your antenna signal meter and adjust the position of the antenna to get the maximum signal level.

Firmly tighten screws or bolts to secure the antenna in the correctly aligned position.

Tip

  • check A signal meter will give the most accurate alignment but you can also align your antenna using just a compass, providing you know the location of the nearest transmitter.

Warnings

  • close Position your ladder on firm, flat ground and consider asking a friend to help by steadying the ladder while you climb.
  • close Always disconnect all TV equipment from the AC power supply before working on your TV antenna.

Items you will need

About the Author

Adrian Grahams began writing professionally in 1989 after training as a newspaper reporter. His work has been published online and in various newspapers, including "The Cornish Times" and "The Sunday Independent." Grahams specializes in technology and communications. He holds a Bachelor of Science, postgraduate diplomas in journalism and website design and is studying for an MBA.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera tv antennas image by JoLin from Fotolia.com