Stacking TV Antennas

By Greg Martinez / February 7, 2021
Stacking TV Antennas

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You’ve probably heard the term antenna stacking, but what does it mean exactly, and is it a good idea? Let’s take a closer look at the concept and see some examples.

“Stacking antennas” means setting up multiple TV antennas, either on the same mast (vertical stacking) or adjacent to each other (horizontal stacking), and combining signals from both antennas to view the channels from all of them.

This certainly sounds like a good idea. You just buy two or more antennas, point them in different directions, and receive even more channels on your TV.

There are some complexities however. Read on to find out ways to do this.

Can You Hook Two Antennas to One TV?

To unpack all this, let me first illustrate the concept by describing the most common scenario of combining antennas: getting signals from different directions.

You might have a Yagi-style antenna on your roof right now that’s pointed at a group of towers, say to the north.

Outdoor Yagi antennas like the Winegard HD7695P are great for picking up distant stations but typically have a reception beam width that’s narrower than 90 degrees (and many times, much narrower).

On your signal report, you might’ve noticed other groups of stations in different directions, but alas, you’d need either a multidirectional antenna or a second unidirectional antenna like another Yagi to get those.

In the end, you might decide to mount a second unidirectional antenna to pick up the other group of stations, and hook up both antennas to your TV.

Two unidirectional antennas

3 Reasons Why People Combine TV Antennas

Technically speaking, TV antennas can be combined in myriad ways to achieve different scenarios.

For instance, they can be vertically or horizontally stacked; you can amplify one or both antennas; you can aim them in different directions or in the same direction.

Despite these different configurations, there are three common scenarios in which consumers stack antennas:

A. They’re trying to receive TV signals from stations outside of their current antenna’s reception beam.

B. They’re trying to receive on another frequency band (e.g., trying to get a low VHF signal broadcast by a particular station if their existing antenna is UHF only).

C. They want to increase their total antenna gain in the hope of upping their signal quality and maybe even getting some more channels — by aiming both in the same direction.

Most people add extra antennas for achieving scenarios A and B above.

Admittedly, some are also trying increase their total antenna gain (C). This involves some technical challenges — such as understanding horizontal and vertical signal polarization, estimating the size and shape of both antennas’ reception capture areas, etc. —  and can bring mixed success.

If you want to increase your antenna gain, it may be easier and less complex to simply get a higher-gain antenna with a wider reception beam (with possibly a preamplifier), rather than trying to combine two smaller ones.

In fact, high-gain, multidirectional antennas like the Antennas Direct DB8e HDTV Antenna are actually stacked antennas. In this article, I’ll be focusing on the more common scenarios for combining antennas (i.e., receiving signals from another direction or on another frequency band).

Most people attempt to combine a maximum of two antennas (rather than say, three or four), so that’ll be my base case.

Ways to Stack TV Antennas

Let’s first look at some special considerations for antenna stacking, before learning how to mount them.

Should You Stack TV Antennas Vertically or Horizontally?

Does it make a difference whether you install your second antenna on top of the other or place them side by side?

Some would argue that, because TV signals are generally broadcast with a horizontal polarization (in the US at least), a vertical stacking arrangement is better suited because it gets better gain for this type of polarization.

Personally, I’d first try a vertical arrangement of antennas on the same mast (if possible), before trying with a horizontal placement.

However, many people also succeed with horizontal stacking (that is, placing the second antenna nearby or on the other side of the roof or attic). It really comes down to your local situation — yes, TV signals are horizontally polarized but there are other factors to consider.

For example, perhaps your signals are coming through a nearby forest, causing interference.

You may find that placing the second antenna in another area of your home gets better results.

So, the jury’s out when it comes to generalized answers regarding vertical vs. horizontal stacking.

But at the very least you should ensure they’re both sufficiently separated to minimize interference between them.

Separating Antennas to Minimize Interference

Although they’re passive receptors, antennas generate a subtle electrical field that can interfere with the reception of another antenna placed too close.

Vertically stacked antennas

They need to be separated by a certain distance corresponding to the size of the UHF or VHF wavelengths they’re capturing.

This comes out to around 1/4th of the size of the wavelengths they’re receiving.

Now, each individual frequency within the UHF and VHF bands has a unique wavelength size, so when calculating the separation it’s useful to think in terms of the maximum wavelength size your antennas will receive.

The maximum wavelength of a UHF signal can be over two feet, while VHF wavelengths can span over six feet in length.

In fact, various elements on an antenna (like dipoles, reflectors, etc.) are proportionately sized in relation to these wavelengths to precisely capture radio waves.

It’s best practice to keep around 2 – 4 feet of separation between any two stacked antennas (whether UHF or VHF antennas).

Although one might think you should mount a VHF antenna even farther away (because of its wavelength), in general the interference caused by both antennas probably won’t be substantial enough to affect your signal.

But it’s still a good idea to not mount them too close to each other.

Here of course I’ve mentioned a minimum distance. You can mount your antennas even farther away, putting more distance between them to further reduce potential interference.

What You’ll Need

There are some factors to consider when combining antennas.

I’m summarizing them here but will go into greater detail below:

  • Which type of second antenna should you get?
  • When combining the signals from both antennas, should you use a diplexer or signal combiner? This will depend on whether you’re trying to achieve scenario A or B above
  • Antenna coaxial cable — these should be of the same length and type for both antennas!
  • Whether you want to amplify your antenna line or not

If you’re vertically stacking your antennas on the same mast, your configuration might look similar to the diagram below.

Vertically stacked antennas on the same mast
Vertically stacked antennas

Acquiring the Second Antenna

When starting your project, you’ll either have an extra antenna on hand, or you’ll need to buy it.

If you’re combining antennas to get stations in other directions or on another frequency band, there are no special considerations for choosing the second antenna (other than that it can actually pick up the other stations).

For instance, if you have a UHF-only antenna and you want a second antenna to get that public channel that’s broadcast on high VHF, then read the fine print of the antenna to ensure it can actually pick up those frequencies (RF channels 7 – 13 in this case).

Let’s now look at the type of signal combiner you should get for both antennas.

The type you’ll get will depend heavily on whether you’re combining antennas to get different frequencies (scenario B) or just to get channels from another direction (scenario A).

Combining Signals: Diplexer

A diplexer is a device that receives separate feeds and combines these into one signal in a more sophisticated way than a normal signal combiner would (see below).

For instance, a diplexer might take into account the signals’ frequencies and apply multiplexing.

Diplexers are prevalent in the world of satellite TV. They’re less common in the OTA consumer market however.

So why would you need a diplexer for your TV antennas?

You’ll need it for combining signals from antennas with different frequency bands (UHF with VHF — or scenario B above).

A good diplexer for OTA television is the UHF/VHF Signal Combiner by Stellar Labs.

It takes signals from one UHF-only antenna and combines these with signals from a VHF-only antenna.

Stellar Labs 33-2230 UHF/VHF Signal Combiner

You mount this device directly on the antenna mast — between the antennas to help ensure the antennas’ coaxial cable lengths are equal. The diplexer box is actually inside the black waterproof case you see in the image.

After mounting your antennas, you’ll attach their coaxial cables to this device, by plugging them underneath in the two IN ports. The device has an OUT port for running a coaxial to your splitter, TV, or converter box.

As with many diplexers for the OTA consumer market, this one operates passively so it doesn’t come with an AC power supply.

Also, you should use it for its stated purpose: combining a UHF with a VHF antenna.

If you try another combination, say, two UHF antennas, the device won’t allow the UHF signals to pass through the VHF port.

Combining Signals: Signal Combiner or Coupler

Another type of device is an ordinary signal combiner (also called a signal coupler).

It’s generally a simpler device than a diplexer, in that it “indiscriminately” combines signals from two antennas receiving from any frequency band.

In this way, it acts more like a reversed splitter — with the two ports normally going out to the TVs now acting as inputs for the antennas.

You use a signal combiner or coupler for scenario A above.

You can connect any type of antenna band to any of the inputs. For example, you can connect a coaxial from a UHF/VHF antenna into one port, then a UHF antenna into the other.

A very good signal combiner is the Winegard CC-7870 Antenna Coupler:

An even simpler device is the Channel Plus 2532 2-Way Splitter/Combiner:

If you’ve seen other pages of this site, this device may seem familiar because it’s a splitter I recommend for distributing an antenna signal to several TVs.

Despite their simplicity, these kinds of combiners work surprisingly well for a lot of people.

Which Combiner Device to Use?

When deciding whether to use a diplexer or combiner, I would first consider the frequency bands of my antennas.

A Word on Signal Loss

In my article on boosting antenna TV signals, I go into the concept of signal loss and how an amplifier can mitigate this problem.

Basically, all devices and cables you’re using will introduce some (fractional) amount of loss, potentially degrading your TV signal.

In that article, I advised getting a splitter with the exact number of output ports matching the number of TVs you plan on hooking up.

That way you don’t experience unnecessary signal loss, as unused device ports still cause losses.

The same principle applies to diplexers and signal combiners. You should avoid buying a device whose number of IN ports exceeds the number of antennas you’re joining.

Antenna Coaxial Cable

While stacking antennas works most of the time, some customers are nevertheless unable to get their combined antennas to work properly.

I suspect some of this has to do with phase problems.

Let’s visualize this for a moment. TV signals propagate outwards from transmission towers as waves that oscillate up and down, and once received by an antenna, these signals continue travelling down the coaxial cable to the combiner device.

When multiple antennas receive signals, it’s important the signals arrive at the combiner at the same time.

When this is the case, they arrive in phase with each other. If they arrive at (even slightly) different times, they’re out of phase.

Two TV antennas receiving out of phase signals from different sources
Two TV antennas receiving out of phase signals from different sources

Signals arriving out of phase resemble multiple waves overlaid on one another whose peaks and troughs aren’t in sync, thereby weakening or even cancelling each other out.

It’s therefore essential to connect the antennas to the combiner device with coaxial cables that are of the same type and length.

Even if you mount one antenna a distance further away from the combiner device than the other, you should still use the same length of cable for both antennas, coiling the cable of the closest antenna if necessary.

Regarding cables, for maximum performance I recommend tri- or quad-shielded RG6 coaxial cable, such as the PHAT Broadband Internet Cable.

(This cable has excellent characteristics for TV but note that its length is 50 feet — your combiner will likely be closer to your antennas than that. If you buy this cable you’ll need crimping tools to cut off the proper lengths. Amazon offers its own branded tri-shielded coaxial cable that comes in shorter lengths, the smallest of which is 4 feet long.)

Using an Amplifier with a Signal Combiner

In some situations you may want to attach an amplifier device (a preamplifier or distribution amplifier) somewhere along the line in order to boost your TV signal.

The diagram below shows a typical setup with vertically combined antennas using a preamplifier device attached to the mast:

Vertically stacked antennas
Vertically stacked antennas

The trick here is knowing whether your diplexer or signal combiner allows “pass-through” of electric current on the coaxial cable that’s amplified.

By default, splitters and signal combiners are designed to stop surges travelling up the line from your TV (if it’s faulty, for instance) to the antenna.

However, many of them will have one clearly labeled IN port that allows you to attach an amplified coaxial cable.

This means: make sure the combiner device you’re purchasing allows pass-through of current if you intend on adding an amplifier to the line.

For example, the Winegard CC-7870 Antenna Coupler mentioned above allows you to attach an amplified cable to one of its IN ports (as does the diplexer).

If you recall, many preamplifiers have a separate power supply called a power inserter that you plug into a wall socket further downstream near the TV.

If you want to install a preamplifier for one of the antennas, make sure to attach the antenna’s coaxial into the combiner device IN port labeled as pass-through.

That way, when you plug in the power inserter closer to the TV, it will power the entire line up to the antenna that you want to amplify.

All in all, signal combiners will add some complexity to your intentions for amplification.

For example, if you had previously used a preamp for the first antenna, you might afterwards find there’s no need for amplification after having added the second antenna.

Some people end up troubleshooting their amps somewhat more in a stacking situation in order to find the right signal-to-noise ration that brings in clear channels.

How to Connect Two Antennas to One TV

Installing a second antenna to join with your first one involves first making sure it functions properly with your TV, before combining the signals of both antennas.

You’ll need the same tools and will probably do the same steps as when you installed the first antenna.

If you’re vertically stacking the antennas and need a taller mast, keep in mind that the diameter of the new mast may differ slightly, and possibly be too wide for the mounting brackets you’re currently using for the first antenna.

Make sure you have all the necessary parts before starting.

If you’re installing the antennas yourself, you should consider asking one or two people to help out. They can assist with testing or with moving the antenna and observing the quality of signal on the TV to speed up the steps.

IMPORTANT: Safety should be your number one priority when installing an outdoor TV ant​​enna on your roof.

Step 1: Find the Best Place to Set Up the Second Antenna

As I mentioned earlier, you’ll need the appropriate antenna to pick up the extra stations you want.

Finding the best antenna for your needs is an extensive topic I’ve covered here, but suffice it to say it’s best to verify the second antenna will get the stations on its own before you join both together.

To that end, you’ll also need to pick an appropriate place, which goes back to the earlier discussion in this article on whether you should vertically or horizontally stack the antennas.

Your main criteria should be choosing a place that offers signal strength that will be sufficient for overcoming any loss you’ll encounter from the signal combiner and the rest of your setup.

Personally, I always try simply mounting the second antenna on the same mast as the first (it’s in the same spot that’s optimal for the first antenna after all) but you may find this doesn’t deliver the needed signal quality in your situation.

If you’re installing the second antenna in your attic, keep in mind that reception may be affected due to the structure of your home (e.g., multiple layers of insulation, or radiant barriers).

Ultimately, you may need to test and change the antenna around in a few places before the installation is finished.

Step 2: Mount the Second Antenna

If you’re attaching the second antenna to the same mast as the first, check the mast’s stability and tighten the screws or bolts that hold it to the surface.

Also make sure the mast will be secure enough (especially if it’s on your rooftop) to not sway or get toppled during strong gusts or thunderstorms. Give it a strong shake.

As previously mentioned, you should ensure the two antennas are separated by a distance of approximately 2 – 4 feet.

If you encounter reception problems later, you might come back and move the antennas farther apart to see if reception improves.

If you’re installing the second antenna at another location at your house, try to minimize cable length by drilling holes through ceilings, walls, or floors as needed to reduce the run to your TV.

Also, avoid sharp turns in the cable as you run it through the house.

TIP: When mounting two antennas on the same mast, you should place the antenna with weaker reception higher up.

Step 3: Connect the Second Antenna to the TV

Disconnect the first antenna from the TV or converter box, and run a coaxial cable from the second antenna down to the device.

You should test the position and direction of the second antenna to ensure it can receive the channels you want.

Knowing that the second antenna functions on its own will help isolate issues later if you encounter poor reception after joining the two antennas.

After connecting the second antenna, run a channel scan and note the list of channels. Change the antenna’s position or aim as needed to improve reception.

Step 4: Attach Both Antenna Coaxials to the Signal Combiner

Attach the diplexer or signal combiner to the mast or whichever place is relatively central with respect to both antennas.

Remove the cable you previously lead from the second antenna to your TV in the last step, and attach the coaxial cables from each of the antennas to the respective IN ports of the combiner device.

If one of the antennas has a preamplifier, take care that you’re attaching that antenna’s coaxial to the combiner’s correct IN port with “power pass-through” indicated.

As mentioned earlier, ensure that both antenna coaxials are of equal length and type; otherwise you may get phase problems such as multipath interference (ghosting).

Step 5: Run a Coaxial Cable from the Signal Combiner to Your TV

At this stage, you know that both antennas are functioning correctly (independently) and you’re now basically setting up the rest of the reception system, including any amplifiers and splitters along the way.

Connect the coaxial cable from the combiner’s OUT port to your TV or converter box. The digital tuner on your TV or converter box should be getting the combined signals from both antennas.

Turn on your television and run a channel scan. The channels you receive should correspond to the signal report you might’ve gotten for your location from

Check also the signal strength of each channel to make sure they’re strong to begin with.

If you’re not getting the full list of channels you’re expecting, you might have to diagnose the issue and make changes.

Amplifiers (either a preamplifier or distribution amplifier) are known to sometimes cause issues with signal combiners as they may add too much noise to the line.

If you’re using an amp, I’d suggest you unplug it and rescan your channels as a first troubleshooting step.

Step 6: Ground the Second Antenna and Weatherproof Parts

Once everything’s working correctly and you’re satisfied with reception, make sure to check that the antenna parts, coaxial cable connections, etc., are sufficiently weatherproofed.

Not taking this step can cause the equipment to corrode and degrade at a faster rate than otherwise, affecting your TV reception.

Hopefully both the mast and coaxial cable of your first antenna was grounded.

Make sure to also ground the second antenna (both the mast and cable) to reduce the risk of damage from surges during thunderstorms.

Why Install a Second Antenna When You Can Get a Rotator?

Rather than stacking antennas you may consider attaching the mast to a motorized rotator instead.

Rotators are devices that change the direction, within a horizontal plane, of a directional antenna.

Typically you operate these using a remote control, allowing you to change channels from your couch.

An example of a rotator is the RCA VH226F Outdoor Antenna Rotator with Remote:

Like any other solution for the problem of capturing signals from stations that are far apart, there are both pros and cons to rotors.

The main benefit of using a rotor is the ability to conveniently re-orient an antenna towards a transmission tower from the comfort of your living room (via remote control).

There are some downsides, however:

  • Rotors introduce some mechanical complexity to your TV reception and can wear down or malfunction after several years of use, requiring repairs or the installation of a new one
  • If you plan on recording a program that’s transmitted by a certain station, the antenna needs to be oriented towards the correct tower before the recording start time
  • If you have multiple TVs, rotating the antenna to a different position might interrupt someone else’s simultaneous viewing on another TV in your home.

Concluding Thoughts

A second directional antenna allows you to expand your list of channels to include stations outside your normal reception range.

It’s not without its complexities however, and while it can work in most cases, some people have to do some troubleshooting to get it to work.

After installing and using the antennas, make sure to periodically check up on the state of both antennas to ensure they’re secure, clean, and out of reach.

Rob Van De Meeberg - September 24, 2019

I’ve been using a franken antenna that has worked pretty good, and contrary to assembly described in this post, but is subject to a lot of Radio interference from Trains, planes, and heavy trucks machinery in the area, as well as direction sensitivity.. And looking for ways might improve it,, But can’t find some parts locally, like as signal coupler or inline noise filters..

I was just using a small 20″ ? remote control yagi style antenna, but it blew over in the wind and got pretty much destroyed.. (On an about 18′ high mast). and usually got all local OTA channels, some better than others and or with need to adjust it for some…

I happened to have a large 6′ Chevron/yagi style that didn’t appear to work as good as the remote powered unit and with signal amplifiers after installing it..
So mounted the broken powered antenna under it and just hooked it up with a couple wires to the where a couple elements were broken off. and to the cable connector for the large antenna… No remote control direct with it anymore and adjust it with a rope when need to or wind blows it out of reception…
I also have another small 4 bay flat antenna mounted under it also just connected with a couple wires, and mounted 90 to the man antenna,, but pretty sure no benefit to that right now because no transmitters from where ever that is pointed and will try putting it direct opposite so both north south where most transmitters are and only about 5-10 degrees out from my location. It doesn’t appear to improve any reception when it’s pointed north or south… and the main usually loses some stations east west.. but still maintains some as good..

I’ve recently lost reception of some stations in the US that used to easily get, 28.1-28.4 and after those station supposedly improved or upgraded their systems for Digital TV… Was better before… Now can barely get them where my antenna used to get them and moving it opposite sometimes gets them enough to watch about a minute.. but most of the time just get low signal messages and hoping to get them in again with possible improvements to my antenna and maybe not have to wait for them to fix the problem, Similarly trying to figure out how to eliminate some of the radio interference from passing planes and trains.. or drop outs.. That occur regardless of weather or antenna direction and when pointed where normally gets the best reception..

Greg Martinez - September 24, 2019

Hi Rob, that sounds interesting. Commercially sold antennas are designed to reduce interference as much as pick up radio waves so anything we clobber together ourselves will sometimes get all that unwanted interference. But it sounded like a fun project.

That’s quite a stack you ended up with! Combining several antennas can be tricky as I pointed out in the article and require trial and error. I’m surprised the reception didn’t improve with both antennas pointing in the opposite direction, as that’s what I would’ve done. But your setup demonstrates that the higher you mount an antenna, usually the better reception you’ll get.

Renea Fisher - October 1, 2019

How many antennas can you possibly stack on one pole?

Greg Martinez - October 2, 2019

As many as you want. While you need to keep 2-3 feet of vertical separation between them, try not to stack too many thereby stressing the pole they’re mounted on.

Mr. Perkins - October 8, 2019

what are the possible issues with stacking antennas?

Greg Martinez - October 9, 2019

Well they shouldn’t be too close to each other otherwise you’ll get excess interference. Also if the separate coaxial cables connecting them to your TV aren’t the exact length and type, phase problems might reduce or prevent reception.

Paulo Thornton - November 2, 2019

I want to buy an outdoor antenna but I don’t have an attic and I don’t want it to be on my roof, can I stack it on my neighbors pole about 35 meters from my house? will It get any interference with the other antenna?

Greg Martinez - November 3, 2019

Technically this would work but you would need to overcome some issues. Coaxial cables longer than 50 feet will start to lose signal so you may possibly need to amplify the antenna. Also, keep the stacked antennas at least 2 to 3 feet apart. Good luck!

Ken Owens - November 25, 2019

Great stuff you got here. But I have a question, can you stack two completely different antennas together?

Greg Martinez - November 26, 2019

Definitely! Just make sure the coaxial cables used for connecting them to your TV are the same length and type to avoid or minimize phase problems.

Mark - April 26, 2020

How could I go about stacking antennas when I need both to be amplified (to receive signal in each direction)? I have the winegard combined with 1 input that allows for power. 1 of my antennas has a built in amplifier (digitenna). Thanks!

Greg Martinez - April 26, 2020

Good question… that Winegard only has 1 IN port for an amplified line. Adding a 2nd amplifier downstream (nearer your TV for instance) might work… or overload the line with noise if it’s not warranted. But the latter solution is the only way I can think of if you need to more amplification.

MARK CAMPASSI - May 20, 2020

Greg, I have two UHF antennas on opposite side of my house, pointing in opposite directions. One is 160 feet of RG6 and the other is 40 feet of RG6 before they combine to go inside. Can each antenna have a preamplifier, or will two preamplifiers conflict?

Greg Martinez - May 21, 2020

Hi Mark, assuming your reception is suboptimal and you need to amplify the feed, I’d rather use one preamplifier for both antennas (as pictured in the diagram in the article above), and if absolutely needed then attach a distribution amplifier down the line nearer your TV(s).

Daniel Connolly - August 21, 2020

TV Fool is out of date and not being updated.

David Eastwick - August 25, 2020

Hi Greg,

I am using an Antennas Direct DB4e on an 8 foot mast from my roof gable. I would like to add another DB4e vertically stacked pointing in the same direction for a little more gain. What should the vertical air spacing be between the two antennas? 3 feet minimum is recommended for vertically stacked yagis, but does the same rule apply for bow ties?

Greg Martinez - August 26, 2020

Hi David, bow ties make little difference in this case – what’s important is the wavelengths you’re capturing (VHF FM wavelengths are around 10′ long for instance so theoretically the two antennas should have that separation distance), but oftentimes the signal will be so strong that a little weakening due to interference from the other antenna won’t be enough to overcome the signal. Plus with error correction in digital TV you’ll either get the channel or not, unlike in analog days when the picture may have been only partially visible. I would separate them by at least 3 feet and see if that works; otherwise increase their separation but if you’re not getting channels then I really don’t think it’s because of mutual interference from the antennas, rather other factors.

Jim Navotney - March 9, 2021

“stacking antennas” is using two identical antennas pointed in the same direction to get increased gain.
And the only way to do that reliably is to use a real “COMBINER” designed for that purpose and using the exact same length coax on either side.
When you try and use two antennas pointing in different directions, you can easily cause out of phase signals to cancel each other causing weaker signals or no signal at all.
Using ONE antenna and a rotor is always the best choice.
Combing a UHF antenna with a VHF antenna is easily done with a vhf/uhf combiner that can be purchased from Antennas Direct or Channel Master.

Shirley - April 7, 2021

Do boosters wear out I am losing channels.????Tv. Booster is inside.

Greg Martinez - April 7, 2021

Boosters can wear out for sure, but if it’s inside the likelihood is a lot less that moisture has somehow seeped inside. You might want to check the antenna and any connected cables for wear or moisture getting into equipment.

Paul - May 26, 2021

I would think combining two antennas with a simple splitter would add 3 DB+ of noise figure to both antennas which would defeat any antenna gain you are expecting by stacking. The phase problem is real so same length cable and type are important. But if you use two different antennas you can’t know the phase is the same. It might be the same phase between different antennas on one RF channel, but out of phase on another RF channel. It is best to buy a stacked antenna where the manufacturer has figured it out. If you are just trying to get more channels by acquiring a second directional antenna and aiming it in another direction then phase should not matter. Presumably the second antenna signals are 10db stronger than the first antenna on the channels you are trying to get. And vice versa . An antenna beam pattern, from antenna manufacturer, is useful to determine this. But this is not always perfect as a signal could bounce off a building which means you could receive your signal on the other antenna where you didn’t expect it.

Greg Martinez - May 26, 2021

Definitely agree it’s a complex question and best left to those who know what they’re doing.

John Jurgens - January 3, 2022

I have two problems with my TV reception. Maybe you can help. I live in the Puget Sound area in South Kitsap and I have an open shot to the Seattle towers toward the NE from me. Also some of the channels I want to watch are on towers to the north north west.
1) I am using a HDB8X-N1 mounted on the second story deck. I can scan and get up to 70 channels. If I can get it at the sweet spot I can get the channels from both towers. Usually one tower direction is stronger than the other so I get one selection better than the other. I am considering stacking a couple of antennas. I could easily do them on a horizontal stack. What would be a good antenna to go with the one I am using? I have also tried to adjust the two panels so they are in a slight v pattern. Is this working for or against me?
2) I think I am suffering for something that is disrupting my reception for King 5 (DTV 25). The picture would pixilate and then drop out periodically. Sometimes it would go all goofy for an hour or so then be just fine for hours. Sometimes the signal would be fine for a couple of months and then it would act up. It seems like someone was keying up something that was tearing up the frequency. I feel if there was a problem with my setup why would it be good for periods and bad sometimes. Why wouldn’t it be broke all the time.
I have tried everything I can to make sure my setup is as good as it can be. I have talked to a lot of people and they all say it is a problem on my end. I think not but I have no way to prove it. I did find someone with a spectrum analyzer who would come out but I never could get them here when the problem presented. Any ideas? Is there a posibility something/someone can be disrupting my DTV signal? It mosly happens on DTV 25 but it has also happens a bit on other channels.
Thanks for listening,

Greg Martinez - January 4, 2022

Hey John, don’t know if you’ve checked out, but it’s a good resource for investigating these kinds of problems. In fact I wrote an article about how to use it: I checked it out for your location (South Kitsap) and found a station emitting out of NNW (K26IC-D). Is that correct? It’s broadcasting on UHF and the signal strength is described as ‘Fair’ so I’d look at some unidirectional antennas like the RCA ANT751R. And point your existing antenna to the NE. But it appears on the signal map there’s only one station you want to get? So the question is how important is this station to you and do you want to make the extra investment. Regarding adjusting the panels, the only comment I have is you just have to see what works – if adjusting them to bend slightly inwards helps you get better reception then I would do that.

According to that signal map, King 5 also has only a ‘Fair’ signal strength so it doesn’t take much to interfere with it. It’s admittedly hard to tell what the main factor is, but sometimes shifting weather patterns are known to interfere with signal (e.g., changing air pressure conditions and heavy rains occurring somewhere else). If you’ve checked factors on your end (like if the interference occurs when the street lights turn on and off) and can’t find anything, then I’d definitely look at possibilities outside the home.

Rick - June 3, 2022

Great article. I was aware of the nuances of ‘joining’ two antennas pointed in different directions and how to avoid it but I wanted to confirm this, and your article does just that.

I’m located N/E of Toronto, Ontario and I’m in a position where I get a LOT of channels from Buffalo NY pointing the antenna S/E of me. But there are also a lot of Toronto area stations that won’t come in on that antenna. So I need to point a second antenna almost 90° (S/W) from the first so that they come in. I hope to test this out on the ground first with properly phased connections and a combiner so that all the channels will come in at the same time on one TV.

So, I’d like to add a “Cons” comment for using ROTORS on TV antenna’s as opposed to co-phasing multiple antennas…..

All the TV’s in my home are digital (ATSC) and HD. When you hook up an antenna to them and scan the channels, you’ll pick up the channels available in the direction the antenna is pointing to.

Now if you change the antenna direction to point to other channels, (like in my case where the two directions are 90° apart, the first ones won’t come in unless they are very “local”. So you have to re-scan the TV again.

This never has an “additive” effect to the TV channel list. The TV cleans the slate so to speak, and then scans in the channels coming in from the new direction. Change the antenna back to the first direction, and you have to go through the whole ‘re-scan’ thing again and again.

To me, this is a major downside to using a rotor.

Greg Martinez - June 3, 2022

Yes I have to admit it’s true that you’ll need to re-scan channels with positional changes of the rotor. Good point.

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