Mast-er of My Domain

Earlier this summer, I learned that GETTV was coming to Boston.  Unfortunately, the transmitter was not within the reach of my attic-installed 91XG, so I decided to move the antenna outside.

Project objectives…

  1. improve reception
    • ION
    • GETTV
  2. minimize exposure to heights
  3. minimize cost

First stop was TVFool.com.  I ran my location report repeatedly increasing the antenna height.  From this exercise, I learned that there was no reasonable height above my roof that would dramatically improve reception.  I decided that the height of the antenna would only be sufficient to clear the roof line.

I studied telescoping and hinged masts as well as guyed and bracket installations before deciding to go with a bracketed 1.75″ aluminum mast on a hinged/swiveling stake.  The mast consisted of four foot, ribbed sections.  Each section of the mast weighed two pounds and was designed to insert onto another.  The overlap was four inches and reinforced.  This made the mast rigid, but light.  Comprised of eight sections, the mast extended nine feet above my roof and weighed less than 20 pounds.  I could stand it up an lay it down without assistance.  I installed a sheet metal screw at each joint to prevent the sections from rotating.

Unfortunately hoisting the mast with eleven pounds of antenna at on end proved to be challenging.  In the end, I installed a pair of screw eyes near my roof line and pulled the top third of the mast into place.  Now it took two people to raise and lower the mast safely, but strength and skill mattered little even with antennas, amp, grounding wire, and coax installed.

Bracketing the mast was not as easy as I expected.  I had difficulty locating 1.75″ mounting hardware.  I ended up modifying the brackets that attach the mast to the house and the hardware that holds the Y10-7-13 to the mast.

I use the guy wires that pull the mast into place to hold it in the brackets, so the mast can be lowered to the ground for service.  I spent less than $250 for the mast, brackets, a grounding rod, and other hardware (grounding wire and guy wire would have cost another $100).  Most importantly, ION and GETTV are rock solid.

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By Len Mullen Posted in OTA, Tip

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