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You would think mounting an antenna would be as easy as plugging the coax cable into the back of your TV and letting it scan for available channels.
While this may be the case with some indoor antennas, it’s far from what you would do when you want to mount and use an outdoor antenna effectively.
Outdoor antennas often call for using certain tools, and for finding the right antenna mounting bracket for the kind of mounting you intend to do.
Let’s take a quick look at the different antenna mounting styles and brackets that you might need to go with several outdoor TV antennas.
- Which is the Best Way to Mount Your Antenna?
- The Different Types of Mounting Brackets (Options) Available
- Attic Mounting
- Side, Roof, or Chimney Mounting
Which is the Best Way to Mount Your Antenna?
The answer to this question depends on a number of factors:
Do you live in an urban setting close to broadcast towers (say, within 10 or 15 miles)? If so, then you’ll find that probably all you need to do is hang your antenna out the window, and you’ll get enough high-quality channels for your viewing convenience.
If, however, the nearest broadcasting station is about 50 miles or more away, then you have your work cut out for you.
To effectively mount an outdoor antenna in such a setting, you would probably have to install it on your roof. Or at least somewhere high enough where it can receive those signals despite the distance, as well as geographical or terrain interference factors such as trees, tall buildings, and such.
The mounting style and kit needed often will depend on the kind of antenna you buy.
All-in-one antenna kits like the PBD WA-2608 Digital Amplified Outdoor HD TV Antenna can be mounted by non-professionals as they contain not only the right mounting tools, but come with built-in features right out of the box, like preamplifier and rotator.
The Different Types of Mounting Brackets (Options) Available
When it comes to antennas, the most widely accepted rule of thumb is that the higher, the better.
More often than not, you’ll find that mounting your antenna on your roof, on your chimney, or on some other high ground (that’s elevated at least 15 or 30 feet high) will give you better results. This calls for specialized tools and parts.
Antenna Mounting Bracket Options
When it comes to antenna mounting bracket options, there are four different mounting systems:
- Clamping system
Now let’s look at the different mounting possibilities, and the types of brackets and options available:
Suitable Mounting System: Rotary or Pole Mounting. You might also use the Clamping System in some cases.
You may decide to not mount your antenna on the roof, but instead set it up in your attic.
This is convenient for a couple of good reasons: easy installation and access, as well as avoiding a hassle with your homeowner’s association—though I must say you’re perfectly within your rights to install an OTA antenna on your roof!
If you’re going to mount an antenna in your attic though, the fact that it likely will be level with the roofline of the house means that it’ll be high and thus away from outside obstructions.
The type of mounting option will depend on the size of your attic as well, but you’ll find that using a pole mount or a rotary mounting system may be the answer.
However, if you have a smaller attic, then you might want to consider using the Clamping System to keep that antenna bolted down between floor joists.
Here are some excellent mounting bracket options for those intending to go for an attic mount:
Side, Roof, or Chimney Mounting
Suitable Mounting System: Rotary, Stand Mounting, or Pole Mounting.
These are by far the most common locations for mounting an antenna.
While they do have their own conveniences, such as proper antenna elevation, some challenges come with installation in such locations.
For starters, when it comes to mounting an antenna on your roof, you’ll need to do much more than just “get up there.” There’s naturally some planning to be done to avoid hazards such as overhead electrical lines, as well as slipping, which could lead to falls.
You’ll also need to drill holes in the roof or building itself to screw in the antenna mounting bracket and through which to snake the coaxial cable that leads down to your TV.
Remember it’s best to think through everything and to do the job properly. If you forget to use a grounding rod (or at least don’t properly ground it), you put your antenna and house at risk from static electrical discharges during storms.
This is why you may consider hiring an antenna professional to get the job done. However, for you DIY types out there, here are the kinds of mounting brackets you may need:
This kit basically allows you to attach two antenna masts together at 90-degree angles. So, either a horizontal antenna pole to a vertical mast, or a vertical pole to an existing horizontal railing.
This is a mast on which you can mount the antenna itself.
This Channel Master 3079 Antenna Mast and Pole Mount allows you to effectively attach your antenna mast to the roof or chimney.
Here’s a video of a technician installing a J-mount bracket to the side of a chimney:
The Channel Master CM 3092 3 ft. Tripod TV Antenna Mount is well designed to fix the TV antenna mast in place and keep it from swaying. It works well with roof mounts.
The RCA VH226F Outdoor Antenna Rotator with Remote is a rotary mounted system that conveniently orients your antenna in the desired direction via remote control.
The reason we’re mentioning a rotator is because it comes with a drive unit that you mount on your rooftop, into which you insert the antenna mast.
NOTE: You can read more about how to purchase and set up a rotator in my guide on antenna rotors.
So which antenna mounting bracket should you use? This really depends on the kind of antenna you have, where you intend to mount it, and the kind of convenience you want.
Any one of these brackets will work just fine for the specifically indicated locations. Of course, most antennas come with their own mounting brackets and instructions on where to mount them.
That, however, doesn’t mean that you can’t go DIY and use your preferred mounting bracket.