Stallions Satellite and Antenna - TV Reception Solutions
TV Antenna Towers

TV antenna towers are primarily used in areas where signals are very weak. They allow the antenna to be mounted high up in the air where the signals are stronger. Towers are usually needed in fringe to deepest fringe areas that are more than 50 miles away from the desired TV or FM stations transmitters. However this distance can vary, depending on the terrain in between you and the stations broadcast antenna(s). There are two main types of TV antenna towers: bracketed and self-supporting.

Bracketed Towers

Tubular Tower-Straight Section Tubular Tower Top Section
Tubular tower sections

Bracketed towers are the most common type of TV antenna towers. Most of these bracketed towers are "tubular-type" towers, similar to the one's pictured to the right. An advantage of the bracketed tower is that they are less expensive than self-supporting towers and some bracketed towers don't require concrete as the base of the tower. Instead, they use "drive stakes" much like a tent does to secure the base from kicking out, along with a bracket mounted against a building to brace the tower. If installed correctly, a bracketed tower can support an average sized TV antenna mounted up to 20 feet above the bracket.

Some disadvantages of bracketed towers are that they must be bracketed or require the use of guy wires to stabilize them since they are not intended to be self-supporting at any height. Another disadvantage is that the height of the tower cannot exceed 20 feet above the bracket unless it is guyed with guy wires.

Unfortunately, most bracketed towers are not installed correctly, making them unstable and dangerous to work on. To see an example of what can happen if a bracketed tower is not bracketed, click here. In another example, nearly 300 tubular-type bracketed towers failed in the early 90's during an ice storm near Lafayette, Indiana, but not a single self-supporting tower failed. This was mainly due to the fact that the bracketed towers were either not bracketed at all or were installed higher than 20 feet above the bracket.

When a bracketed tower is installed, it is very important to make sure that the structure that the bracket will be mounted to is solid and will be strong enough to properly brace the tower even in high winds. This is important because a bracketed tower is only as strong as the structure that the bracket is attached to.

Self-Supporting Towers

Self-Supporting Tower-#8 Base Section Self-Supporting Tower-Top Section
Self-Supporting Tower Sections

Self-supporting towers, although not as common in residential TV antenna installations as bracketed towers, are much stronger and more versatile than bracketed towers. Self-Supporting towers don't need to be bracketed or guyed unless you are going to be installing a taller tower or larger antenna(s) than what the tower was intended to support by itself. Since self-supporting towers don't need to be bracketed against a building, they can be installed virtually anywhere, such as far away from a house or building where they are out of sight or on a remote hill top where the signals are even stronger.

Unlike bracketed towers that get their support from a bracket, self-supporting towers aren't any stronger than their base. Which is one of the reasons why they cost more money. Self-supporting towers need more concrete than a bracketed tower. As an example, a Taco Communications model DMX-28, 24 foot self-supporting tower would need 1.2 cubic yards of of concrete poured into it's 33" square by 48" deep base, while a DMX-68, 64 foot self-supporting tower would need approximately three cubic yards of concrete poured into it's 48" square by 48" deep base.

Self-supporting towers also cost more because they are made with more material than a tubular-type bracketed tower, making them heavier and stronger, since they must support their own weight and the weight of the antenna(s) mounted on them.

More Information

View more information on bracketed towers.

View more information on self-supporting towers.

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