DON’T DO THIS: Mount an antenna by wrapping it up in cable

So the other day…

This customer buys an antenna from us. We ask, of course, if they need something to mount it with. They say no, it’s replacing an existing antenna. Of course we ask a few more questions, because not every antenna works with every mount and we want to make sure the customer has a good experience. And that’s when we find out that the customer has mounted their old antenna to a tree by wrapping the coaxial cable around it over and over until the whole thing stays put.

Oh dear.

My only regret is that I wasn’t able to get a picture of this. But, how do you tell someone you want a picture so you can use it over and over to tell people what not to do? It’s a pretty dicey proposition if you want to provide good customer service. Which of course we do.

Folks, please don’t do this.

First of all the whole reason this customer was replacing an antenna was it wasn’t working very well for him. I don’t know what kind of antenna this was, but really, if you wrap any antenna up in cable it’s not going to work well. You’re probably going to break the cable for one thing. For another thing if you cover up part of the antenna (and this is what was done here) it’s not going to be as effective. I don’t terribly approve of mounting antennas to trees but TV antennas aren’t as sensitive as satellite dishes so the slight movements of a tree aren’t going to hurt reception. It’s more like, you’re not really helping the tree here.

Antennas and trees just don’t mix

In general, antennas may look like good places to mount antennas or even satellite dishes, but they aren’t. Because, folks, trees grow. That means the place you put the antenna is going to move. You may be able to re-aim the antenna when it does, or you may end up having to re-mount the entire thing.

Not to mention, you’re not doing the tree any good by strapping something to it. It doesn’t give the bark room to expand and can cut into it. If you’re actually driving bolts into that tree, you’re hurting it even worse. I get it, folks, it’s a tree. But if you have a tree that’s large enough and old enough to hold up an antenna, why would you want to damage it?

So here’s how it ended

In this case, we did end up selling the customer a tripod mount and suggesting they run new cable from the antenna. They reported back to us that all their reception problems were magically solved! No word or comment from the tree on all of this.

If you’re ready to get the best in accessories and maybe just save a tree, check out the great selection you’ll find at Solid Signal. Or, if you have questions, just give us a call at 888-233-7563 during East Coast business hours.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.