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How to aim an antenna?

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Old 04-21-2013, 08:41 AM   #1
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Default How to aim an antenna?

Used to be, in the days of mechanical tuners, you could aim an antenna just by moving it around and seeing how well it came in - the each change in direction or other details brought instant change (the same way you could spin the tuner on your car radio and get a snippet of each station as it went by).

Now with my current Sony HDTV flat screen there is such a delay in the TV reacting to moving the antenna that it is very hard to figure out what result the changing the aim is having. The set doesn't seem to automatically retune or something so you got to tell it to each time you move the antenna. Even then, there seems to be different levels of tuning, and if you just poke in the channel number it doesn't seem to do as good a job as if you tell the TV to do a full channel scan.

I seem to recall some TVs have (or maybe it was had, back when antenna ruled?) a function built in just for this purpose, where you could select a station and the TV would act like a signal strength meter as you move the antenna around.

It seems with my TV the only way to tune it is to make an incremental adjustment, shift away from the station then back again in hope of making it retune, then say the hell with it and wait 20 minutes while it does a rescan. This makes the process tedious and of limited use.

Am I missing something?
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:17 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kylemorley View Post
Used to be, in the days of mechanical tuners, you could aim an antenna just by moving it around and seeing how well it came in - the each change in direction or other details brought instant change (the same way you could spin the tuner on your car radio and get a snippet of each station as it went by).

Now with my current Sony HDTV flat screen there is such a delay in the TV reacting to moving the antenna that it is very hard to figure out what result the changing the aim is having. The set doesn't seem to automatically retune or something so you got to tell it to each time you move the antenna. Even then, there seems to be different levels of tuning, and if you just poke in the channel number it doesn't seem to do as good a job as if you tell the TV to do a full channel scan.

I seem to recall some TVs have (or maybe it was had, back when antenna ruled?) a function built in just for this purpose, where you could select a station and the TV would act like a signal strength meter as you move the antenna around.

It seems with my TV the only way to tune it is to make an incremental adjustment, shift away from the station then back again in hope of making it retune, then say the hell with it and wait 20 minutes while it does a rescan. This makes the process tedious and of limited use.

Am I missing something?
You need a signal meter. You are correct in the fact the ant. needs to be moved, as the signals are directional. If you have several stations in the area you live, try a multi-directional ant. It will only get local channels, but may solve your issue. If nor local, then you may wish to get a rotor to get distant signals. Once all the stations are locked in, it should not rescan. But, I feel a multi direction ant. is the answer. add a booster also!
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:38 PM   #3
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In addition to a magnetic compass, one antenna pointing aid I use to visualize orientation with respect to mounting location is TV Fool in conjunction with Google Earth. Google Earth displays bearings with respect to true north and TV Fool lists street level bearings with respect to both true & magnetic north.

Especially if you don’t have access to a magnetic compass, bring up your address in Google Earth and using the <Tools, Ruler, Line>Tab, draw a line corresponding with TV Fool’s true bearing in the direction to the station of interest. Make sure you are pointing your antenna roughly along that line to optimize orientation for the station of interest. This should get you within a couple of degrees and be well within the beam width of most, if not all, commercially available antennas.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:43 PM   #4
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Have you gone through the various on-screen menus on your Sony tv (typically in the antenna/setup area) to see if it has an antenna signal strength meter built-in? Something that looks like this:
http://i496.photobucket.com/albums/r...IMG_0222_1.jpg
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