About a year ago we (the family) built a digital TV antenna from
instructions on the internet. We put it in the window and it work pretty
good, but the favorite channels are weak, fading/freezing... So with the
money I save getting free TV reception I would like to put up an antenna
Problem is I don't want to climb a tower or anything like that, at least not
to the part on top trying to wrestle an antenna on a mast. So, with some
inspiration from the army rigging publications on Iggy's website, I thought
perhaps I can make a hinged base for the tower and then stand it up with
rigging techniques. Maybe if I use 4 guy wires instead of 3, 2 could be in
line with the hinge axis, the rear one would be set the calculated length to
tighten up when the tower is somewhat vertical, and the 4th guy wire would
be left long to pull the tower up. Perhaps something to level the load and
pull the tower up straight, trying to prevent bending loads.
Another possibility inspired by the rigging manual would be to construct a
long (maybe 50 feet), light duty (wooden?) boom, pull the boom up, steady
with guy wires, and use it like a crane with block and tackle to lift the
antenna tower. This would eliminate the need for the hinged tower as the
boom would be able to lift the tower and I could lower it onto the base.
An offshoot of this idea would be to set up a sturdy timber that could be
used with block and tackle, hoist, or similar that would be able to lift all
the load I would want in my Ford Ranger truck. A pole is tempting since one
pole with guy wires would be able to handle most of my machinery. An
alternate idea is to construct an A-Frame, possibly wood, that I can use
with a hoist to lift anything I would want in or out of my truck.
Looking for info on Homemade cranes I came across this one that looked neat
for what it is:
The rigging manual ideas can be adapted to rig some handy shop cranes for
lifting our heavy toys. Might even be able to make a pickup truck crane
with a wooden boom, a hoist to control the angle of the boom, and a winch to
lift. Harbor freight already sells something like this, It could probably
have more lifting capacity at the extended positions with a come-a-long
taking some of the load off the end. Could come in handy at auctions... I
guess Iggy can just trailer his forklift to the auctions, but for the rest
of us poor folk....
You are trying too hard to get the antenna up higher. What leads you to
believe the reception will be better with the antenna up there? Digital
and analog use the same UHF frequencies so why a "digital" antenna?
If you are sure you want higher, use a 40 or 50ft push up mast. each
section being 10 ft, only 1 foot is overlapping.
Set up the fully nested masts with guying at the 10 ft level, using 3
guy wires and good ground anchors. Adjust until the set is exactly
vertical. Then attach the antenna to the top of the top mast, and/or
attach the antenna rotator. Then attach three guy wires to each of the
remaining sections guy rings while the set is still nested. Use a step
ladder to reach the mast tops.
Then climb up the step ladder so you can pull up the innermost/top
section and lock in place with a cross pin in the matching hole of the
next larger section.
Then do the same with the next larger section, and then again with the
next one. If the very first section is properly guyed and is exactly
vertical, the whole thing will stand by itself.
Then begin attaching each of the guy wires to the same ground anchors,
or other anchors, if you wish. Adjust each set so the mast remains vertical.
In about an hour, you can have the whole thing all set up. Next time you
can do it an half the time.
"mark" wrote in message
Google for "falling gin pole"
I saw some interesting youtube videos with failed tower raisings. :-) I
wouldn't take failures as a reason not to use a gin pole though, just to be
careful using a gin pole. Just like driving, even though there are many
wrecks I still drive a car, I just make extra effort to be careful but
realize an accident can still happen.
This is a good question, and you can check the calculations in advance
at "tvfool.com" Simply plug in your address and try out various antenna
heights to see if you can expect any improvement in your reception.
Jack Myers / Westminster, California, USA
microHelen: That quantity of facial pulchritude sufficient to launch one
I have looked there before and knew I could get more stations & channels
with a better antenna setup, but I never compared at various heights. I
tried the tvfool.com signal calculations and found out I should be able to
get nearly as many stations with a 20 foot height as I could with 40 foot
height. Maybe if I can get an antenna around 20 feet up with a mast or
tower and a rotor I should be able to get 13 digital stations versus 14 for
a 40' height.
I can get the channels tvfool.com says I should at my current antenna
elevation (4 digital stations) but since my house has aluminum siding the
signal is mostly through the window.
I may need to check, but I live outside city limits out in the country on
4-1/2 acres of land. There are tall poles all over my land from the power
company, they have a substation across the street and a main line running
across my property. I doubt if anyone would even notice if I put up a pole,
mast, or small tower. However I should check before I find out I should
Currently I get a few channels good, more channels not too good, and other
channels if I position the antenna a certain direction out the window. My
window won't handle much bigger antenna so I'm wanting to use a bigger
antenna outdoors. Where I plan to locate the antenna would position my
aluminum sided house between the antenna and the station unless I elevate
the antenna above the house. I plan to get a new roof this year so I don't
want to mess with a roof mount at this point.
I thought I read something about digital channels on the upper VHF band and
UHF. If that's the case then eliminating lower VHF should eliminate the
need for the largest elements on the antenna.
I've pretty much settled for a lower height, maybe 20-25 feet or so. I'd
have to figure out the total price for the mast versus a short tower, sounds
like mast needs a lot of guy wire. I don't care for the idea of leaning a
step ladder against a pole and trying to climb it with a rotor and antenna,
sounds worse than climbing a tower unless I rented a man lift or bucket
truck. It would be a lot easier to rig to stand a 20ft mast or tower. I
guess my preference over all would be a free standing pole or tower and a
winch crank up carriage that raises the antenna, rotor, and signal amp to
the top. No climbing and can crank down for service!
I want to get high enough to clear the house but I have huge Oak trees, 36"+
diameter at base and taller than any tower I want to mess with. I'm
thinking maybe best bet is under the heaviest part of the foliage but over
the house might be my best bet.
I have thought about an antenna array using directional antennas pointed in
the direction of the stations instead of a rotor. I'm not sure what I would
need in channel filters to pass only the channels I want from each antenna
and block noise from interfering with the signal from the other antennas.
Try searching for "amateur radio antenna tower" and you'll get a lot
of hits for towers. see
Even got some articles about building your own. With pictures even.
I'd suggest a street light pole. They are made of stainless and are light
for thier approximately thirty foot length. I hoisted mine up using the
standard rigging methods onto a concrete pad with four leveling bolts. No
reason not to have an antennea on there instead of the light. I may *pay*
(gulp) to have the bulb changed if it ever burns out.
My HDTV antenna evolved from hinging down to telescoping. When lowered the
rotator is at the ground and the antenna is within reach on the roof. The
antenna raises to 50 feet.
The rotator is hinged to the triangular base that slides up and down in
simple guide rails. It no longer needs the hinge but I think the rotator
should be free to wobble and self-align if the mast isn't straight. A block
and tackle raises it.
The guy lines are visible only as the three faint light diagonals crossing
under the handrail below the round twinlead standoffs. They pass over
pulleys at the top and down the mast to tieoffs at the base, where I can
adjust and tighten them all at once. Each has a small weight attached under
the standoff that keeps the diagonal run from sagging and catching on
shingles when I lower the antenna.
I'm in a metro area and the local transmitters are on a mountain, so I
get by with a 20' mast with an amplified saucer on top for OTA
channels. My place has aluminum siding, too. I just made a T with
some treated 2x4s and bolted a roof tripod to that. It and the mast
tubing are from RS. It sits on a concrete slab that originally had a
storage hut on it and the mast has 3 ground anchors and 6 guy wires.
Has been up for about 10 years now in 100+ mph winds. Have to tighten
the turnbuckles occasionally, but no maintenance otherwise. if I need
to, I can tip the thing down across the top of the T, very easy to get
up and down. I used hooks on one end of the turnbuckles. Have the
satellite dish on it now, too. The wooden T just sits on the
concrete, it's not bolted down at all. Very handy when adjusting
rough satellite dish orientation, just tap the leg the desired
direction, then tighten up the turnbuckles.
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