DON’T DO THIS: Wall up an antenna

So the other day… 

This guy complains that he’s not getting very good reception with his large antenna. He explains that it’s one of the large flat ones like our HDB8X. I thought maybe he had distant VHF stations, since the HDB8X and other antennas like it don’t have really great VHF performance.

It didn’t take long to realize that the real problem was aiming. There wasn’t a VHF station anywhere near him. I saw that some of his stations came from one direction and some from another, so I asked him how the antenna was aimed.

“It’s pointed east,” he told me. The stations were due south and due west. I told him I was confident that I’d found the problem. Reaim the antenna southwest, and you’ll have a lot more success.

“I can’t…” he told me. “My wife didn’t like the look of it, and there was no way to put it outside, so I drywalled over it. East is the only direction I can point it. Is that a problem?”

Oh, dear.

Don’t drywall over your antenna, and if it’s inside, don’t mount it in such a way that you can’t aim it toward the towers. That’s just not going to work.