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What does an Antenna Installer do?

Article Details
  • Written By: Michael Lawrence
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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An antenna installer is a person who is paid to set up antennas in people's homes or businesses. For many years, antenna installers worked primarily with analog television and radio antennas. In more recent years, digital services have become more common and analog television has been discontinued. As a result, the most common type of antenna installation is for digital and high definition (HD) television.

Even though the type of signal has changed, the installation performed by a professional antenna installer is fundamentally the same. An antenna installer often begins by working with the customer to identify which type of antenna will be used. Antennas are selected by using a color-coded scale that rates their effectiveness based on the installation location's proximity to broadcast towers and reflecting structures, and the corresponding strength of the signal.

An antenna installer usually works on the roof of a home or business. Before setting up a permanent installation, he or she begins by temporarily facing the antenna in the direction of a primary broadcast source, usually found through free services offered by the Consumer Electronics Association and the National Association of Broadcasters. The antenna installer then connects a wire to the antenna, runs it to the television set, and tests the clarity of the picture.

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HD signals are extremely sensitive to direction and obstacles. An antenna installer typically needs to be able to adjust the antenna — and possibly even move it entirely — before a permanent installation is attempted. Once the optimal location is determined, the antenna installer can then complete the installation process.

This usually involves fastening a wooden or metal mast to the roof, typically on the chimney. Once the mast is in place, it is secured against heavy wind with the use of guy wires and base plates. Once this is done, the antenna is secured to the mast and the wire is secured to the roof and sides of the building. Typically, the antenna installer will drill a hole in the wall for a clean-looking installation.

Antenna installers typically need to be sensitive to the proximity of large metallic objects that could interfere with the antenna's reception. As much space as possible usually is left between those objects and the antenna. In places where broadcast towers are more than 70 miles (about 113 km) away from the antenna, the installer may be required to raise the antenna well above the level of nearby houses in order to receive an acceptable signal.

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