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Does my OTA TV Antenna Need to Be Plumb?


Jim Gell

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I took my ubiquitous Winegard crank up antenna off from the front bedroom area to mount solar panels. The roof and interior ceiling where I plan to reinstall it slope 1/2 inch per foot. I may replace the head unit with a Razar in the future, but for now I will keep the King Jack head on it. I also have my WiFi Ranger Mobile antenna mounted on the mast below the King.

 

Wingard's installation instructions say to buy, from them, special wedges for the roof and the ceiling so it can be mounted plumb if your roof and ceiling slope.

 

If I just mounted it perpendicular to the roof rather than plumb (perpendicular to level) without the wedges, what would be the harm? The King is 12 inches long.

 

I saw a comment in Amazon reviews that stated "They say it needs to be within 2% of being level to work correctly".

 

Will the antenna being 1/2 inch lower on one side, rather than perfectly level make any significant difference in reception?

 

Jim

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I suspect that the answer depends upon the quality of over air signal you have. In fringe areas it probably will. The wings work best when at right angle to the signal pattern, or at least in theory. If it were mine, I'd set it up on the ground and then put the 1/2" spacer under one side to see how far out of horizontal it is and then decide. I'd not think it would matter a great deal, but................... :huh:

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Jim:

 

Think of the antenna as a beam pointing out into space. It will work best if it is pointed directly at the source of the TV signal. Can it function if slightly misaimed? Sure, just like in the old days when we used to climb on the roof to adjust TV antennas at home. The degree of aiming error you can tolerate will depend on the signal strength and other factors. Can you live with it slightly tilted? Probably, it just won't be as effective in weak signal situations as it might have been.

 

Joel

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Alrighty, I was thinking I should take your advice and try to buy the parts to install it plumb so the antenna will be level. However, I can't find any reference on Winegard's site as to the slope the wedges will compensate for, other than a statement that greater slopes may need multiple wedges. It could be that the wedges will over compensate and I won't get the antenna plumb after spending the money on the parts. I may also need to replace the worm gear shaft for cranking it up and the plastic directional rotation "tube" that were cut to fit the roof without wedges. It looks like all the parts I may need to mount it plumb would cost at least $50+. If it made the mast plumb, and that really makes a difference in reception, it may be worth it.

 

I tried calling Winegard to see what slope their wedge is designed to compensate for. After being on hold for next technician for 5-10 minutes, I was directed to leave a voicemail.

 

I also took a look at the roof/ceiling in bedroom where the antenna was originally mounted. Lo and behold, that area has the same 1/2 inch per foot slope, only in the opposite direction. Apparently Travel Supreme did not see fit to use the wedges.

 

Jim

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Winegard just called back. Even though I left my simple question in a succinct voice mail they started out with "How can we help you?" (Don't you just hate that?) I told them my roof has a 1/2 inch in 1 foot slope and I needed to know what slope roof their Sensar wedge is designed to compensate for? He said he did not know, but would ask. Hold.... He came back to say "they have an exterior wedge and an interior wedge. Which one do I need?" I told him I would need both, but only if it will work on my roof, and explained my question once again. Hold.... He comes back after a few minutes. "We don't seem to have that information. But if your roof slopes this is designed to straighten up the mast." Me - "Do you have the dimensions of the wedge? Him - Well, I see that one edge is 7/8" and the other is 3/16" . Me - "Great, now can you tell me how long it is between those sides?" Him - No, but it would be the same as the antenna base." Thank you/Thank you.

 

I measured the base and it's 9 inches long. A little math tells me that the slope of the wedge is 0.9167 inches in a foot.

 

So essentially, the wedge would over compensate to very nearly the same off plumb tilt in the opposite direction.

 

I doubt I will find a "half size" wedge, and I don't feel inspired to make one, so unless someone posts an idea I am missing, I am going back to plan A and installing it perpendicular to roof with the antenna slightly off plumb.

 

Jim

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