9-Feb-2010, 7:48 PM
I have found myself completely confused after spending several days looking through posts and sellers websites. Can anyone give their feedback , experiences or reccomendations for an antenna. I have included my signal analysis below. I would prefer a j mount vs a mast. Anyone have experiences using a j mount in high winds?
Thanks in advance.
9-Feb-2010, 11:58 PM
I would prefer a j mount vs a mast. Anyone have experiences using a j mount in high winds?
Hello and welcome!
J-mounts are generally pretty strong, so the problem is not with the stability of the mount. The issue with TV antennas on a J-mount is more likely going to be related to how the antenna attaches to the pole.
Most TV antennas have pretty long antenna elements and are usually designed to attach to a pole/mast near the center of their boom. This means that if antenna is attached to a J-mount pole, there needs to be lots of space around the pole to accommodate the volume of the antenna. In most cases, J-mounts are installed in places where the necessary clearance just isn't available.
Even if the J-mount arm extends above the roof (or chimney, or whatever it is mounted on), it's generally not a good idea to have the antenna so close to other objects. The general rule of thumb is to try and keep the antenna 4-5 feet above the roof to minimize any interaction between the antenna and the building materials (especially nails, metal bracing, wire mesh, and other conductive components).
There are some TV antennas like the Antennas Direct Clearstream 2, Channel Master 4220, and other 2-bay or 4-bay bowtie style antennas that do not have a boom and therefore do not require that much space on the "back" sides, but these antennas are only effective on UHF channel (14-69). You have a few VHF stations to worry about (WTSP ch 10, WTVT ch 12, and WEDU ch 13), so these antennas are not suitable for your situation.
What you need is an antenna like the Winegard HD47694P or Antennacraft HBU-22. This is about as small as you can go for reasonable performance on both VHF and UHF. Aim the antenna at compass heading 160 degrees (south) and your should get just about all the channels down into the "yellow" zone on the channels in your report.
As for high-winds installations, here are some tips/recommendations:
1) Keep the mast as short as possible. About 5-10 feet is good so that the antenna is off the roof, but no higher than necessary.
2) Use a larger diameter, thick walled pole for the mast. Most antennas and mounts are designed to clamp on to a pole up to 1.5 inches in diameter. The wall thickness of the pipe can add a lot of strength (and weight) to the setup.
3) Be sure to choose a strong mounting base for the mast. Wall mounts at the side of a house can be very strong. Tripods can also be very strong, but require screwing into the roof of your house (risk of leaks). If you go with a wall, eave, or chimney mount, you can add extra sets of brackets to give the base more mounting points for added strength.
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