BACK TO BASICS: Plumb and Level

Plumb and level. Two very important terms when it comes to installing any antenna, and that includes cell booster antennas and satellite dishes. It’s an important starting point for any project.

Plumb means that it’s straight up and down. It’s super important for satellite dishes because you aim them by rotating them around. When you’re getting that pole ready to accept a dish or antenna, measure it over and over again. If it’s being mounted to an eave or roof, measure it carefully before you drill — you don’t want extra holes. Many mounts have the ability to adjust in one direction so you can make some sort of adjustment, but you need to start out being really close before you drill. If you’re using a tripod for a temporary install, you can usually use the collar bolts on the tripod to make some adjustments, but try to start on the flattest possible surface first.

Level means that it’s straight from side to side. If you’ve properly plumbed the mast it should be very close to level as well. It’s possible to make minor adjustments to the antenna itself by adjusting the way it mounts. In some ways, being 100% level is a little less important but if you’re not level it’s going to be much much harder to adjust your antenna perfectly and if a TV antenna doesn’t start level, chances are it’s going to tip more and more as the years go on. Satellite dishes are designed to balance themselves even when they’re tipped.