I Can See Clearly Now

  • 15 comments

I’ve gone digital. No, I have not been digitalized. As far as I know, my body is still 97% analog. I’m talking about digital TV. Some of my shows use to come in a little fuzzy. Now they come in sharp. It’s a big deal you know. Everyone should be able to see all the imperfections of their favorite actors and actresses.

Digital TV requires a stronger signal than analog so I had to replace my rabbit ear antenna with a real antenna. You know, one of those metal thing you stick on your roof — like in the old days before there was cable TV, Madonna, or pit bulls with lipstick. I ordered and installed the ClearStream2 antenna (made by Antennas Direct). The antenna is awesome. Now I can pickup 23 stations off the air. I feel like I’m stealing from the cable company. And just like cable TV, I don’t watch most of the channels I’m now getting.

I was too cheap to pay an extra $20 for the antenna mount and mast. Instead, I constructed my own with scrap pvc pipe from my old sprinkler system. If you don’t have pvc tubing lying around, you can buy it at Home Depot. The cost of the pvc pipe, 90° connector, pvc cement, and fasteners is only a few dollars.

Installation Tips

  • Use AntennaWeb to determine which direction to point your antenna
    A compass would be helpful, but not needed. If you don’t have a compass, you can either use the AntennaWeb map to get an idea where to point your antenna or climb up on your roof and look for the transmission towers.

  • You don’t need to mount the antenna on your roof
    In general, the higher you mount your antenna, the stronger the signal. However, I’ve noticed that there was only a slight improvement from the roof (30′ up) compared to where I originally tested my pvc antenna mast (10′ off the ground). You can mount the antenna lower if you don’t have any obstructions between the transmitting towers and the antenna.

This concludes my manly post. No daddies were harmed during the writing of this incredibly manly post. However, one daddy almost cried like a little girl when he was trying to get back on the ladder from the roof.

ClearStream2 antenna

Update: 2009.09.27

A big wind storm blew my antenna in a different direction. As a result, I had to add a pvc T-connector and secure the pvc pipe in two directions. See photos below.

Before with two fasteners in one direction
antenna secured with pvc pipe in one direction

After with four fasteners in two directions
antenna secured with pvc pipe in two directions

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

15 thoughts on “I Can See Clearly Now

  1. Now THAT is a cool-looking antenna. We’re lucky, I guess, to be able to pick up all the Spokane digital signals through the rabbit ears sitting behind our TV. That’s NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, WB, and some weird stations I’ve never heard of, all showing up in glorious hi-def.

    I still find them hard to watch, because of the ads. I just hate ads now, after five years of relying on mostly DVDs.

  2. Nice home made mount. I try to make everything my self but it usually ends up costing me more. Also not sure what my wife thinks since I am a computer geek trying to be a handy man.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *