TV Antenna Aiming: Hard Vs. Easy

Here’s an absolutely hilarious but true story about aiming TV antenna. It all started when my dad had to realign the antenna on top of our house. A tornado warning in the mid-1970s sent high winds ripping through our small, mid-Michigan town. Our log periodic antenna being blown off its setting was among the damage to the area. This left use with nothing but static on our TV screen; it was like the movie Poltergeist. There was only one solution: Jacob “Pops” Buckler, Sr. had to climb up on the roof to readjust the TV antenna. The old man told me I had to help him and that’s where the real fun began…

The TV Antenna Aiming Plan

It was simple, really. Pops would go up on the roof and readjust the TV antenna while I stayed inside, eyes glued to the TV screen. The moment a clear picture returned, I was to shout out the open window so he would know. This would allow him to lock the antenna in the “golden direction” to return TV to the Buckler household. For most people, this would’ve been easy-peasy.

Looking back on it now, this plan was a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, I was an easily-distracted kid with a pesky habit of screwing up even the easiest of tasks. Unfortunately, I was the only one available to help since Mom was busy doing something else. So, without a second thought to the contrary, Pops climbed the antenna tower like it was a ladder and got onto the roof. For my part, I sat down in front of the TV and waited for something to happen.

Up on the Roof…

… I could hear Pops stomping around above my head. There was static on the TV for at least five or 10 minutes while he tinkered around. Throughout the process, he kept shouting, “You see anything?” I would shouted “no,” and he’d go back to what he was doing. After a few more minutes, he locked on to a channel. As it so happened, it was playing Lidsville, my favorite Sid and Marty Krofft show when I was a kid.

Pops said, “What about now?”

“I see something, but it’s blurry,” I replied.

As Pops kept at it, Lidsville eventually came in clear as a bell. As a result, I got caught up in the plot, which involved the evil magician HooDoo’s efforts to defeat the good hats. Sure, it might sound silly now, but to a kid growing up in the 1970s, it was the very definition of entertainment. Watch the intro and tell me if you could’ve resisted such an amazing show:

TV Antenna Aiming and the Pain it Causes

I got so caught up in the Lidsville hijinks that I completely tuned out my dad’s shouting. The more I didn’t respond, the louder he got. He soon took to stomping on the roof and blasting forth a seemingly endless stream of profanities that I was barely aware of. This cacophony roused my mom, who yelled my name in her trademark high-pitched shriek. That snapped me out of my daze and I shouted, “It’s clear now.”

My dad came down from the roof and made his way back to the living room. Mom jumped him for cursing and, more importantly, putting a small crack in the upstairs ceiling. I said something like, “That’s because you were stomping on the roof,” and both their anger shifted onto me. They scolded me for daydreaming when I should’ve been helping Pops, and I knew better than to open my mouth again. All in all, it could’ve been worse… like the time we removed that old antenna from the roof.

What Pops Really Needed for the Job…

… Was this Sure Lock signal finder from King Controls. It’s so accurate, it would have made aiming the antenna so quick and easy. More importantly, he wouldn’t have needed me to sit in front of the TV and wait for a clear picture. It’s plug-and-play nature makes it very easy to use even for Pops, who struggled with technology. Case in point, I begged him to buy a gas-powered wood splitter but he said “no” then made me chop more firewood instead! (Stubborn ox!)

The Sure Lock wasn’t available in the ’70s, so Pops couldn’t have benefited from it anyway. The good news is that amateur cord-cutters and professional installers can benefit from it today. It’s very easy to use; it just connects directly to your TV antenna output. This allows you to use the dials to fine tune your antenna’s direction. A convenient LED light will tell you where the signal is strongest. Yes, it’s as easy as that.

Do You Want to Cut the Cord?

If you’re interested in the Sure Lock signal finder, then you’ve probably cut the cord or you’re thinking about it. Solid Signal is the (pronounced “thee”) No. 1 source of products and information for cord-cutters. We carry the widest online selection of TV antennas and related equipment. We also offer education, information, and tutorials for cord-cutters on everything from installing to aiming a TV antenna. In other words, we’re here to help you get all the free TV you can. Just give us a call at 888-233-7563.

About the Author

Jake Buckler
Jake Buckler is a cord-cutter, consumer electronics geek, and Celtic folk music fan. Those qualities, and his writing experience, helped him land a copywriting gig at Signal Group, LLC. He also contributes to The Solid Signal Blog.