What happens if you install an antenna upside down?

It has become popular in recent years to put logos and stickers on TV antennas so that you can tell which side is up. This also helps the manufacturer advertise a little bit, although the advertising value is probably pretty minimal. So, what happens when you mount the antenna upside down?

With most antennas, it doesn’t matter.

Most TV antennas look the same whether they are right side up or upside down. Traditional yagi and log periodic antennas like our HD8200XL look almost identical from both top and bottom:

If you look closely you’ll see there’s a horizontal brace that appears above the antenna in this picture. However, I’ve seen this antenna installed upside down and it hasn’t made a bit of difference.

Look a little closer

If you look at our popular Televes line of antennas like this DATBOSS you’ll see that there is definitely a top side and bottom side. The top side has a row of directors that is longer than the bottom side.

If you install this antenna the wrong way it’s not going to work as well. It will still work but it’s not going to work as well. Of course the purpose of an antenna is to work as well as possible so if your antenna’s upside down you might want to put it right side up.

Panel antennas like this Antop model will generally work identically whether right side up or upside down.

The only issue here is that the balun is contained in a box on the back which specifically has the cable exiting from the bottom. It isn’t going to be water resistant if you connect it upside down. Still, if you’re determined to hang it from an eave and you’re willing to do a little waterproofing you can at least be assured that the antenna’s performance isn’t going to be impacted.

Think about mounting options

Generally the best thing to do before mounting an antenna is simply to think about your options. It’s not usually necessary to mount an antenna upside down. In some cases you’re opening yourself up to corrosion or reduced performance at some point in the future. Mounting the antenna the way it’s designed is going to give you the best results over the long term.

If you need other choices for mounting in order to make sure your antenna is right side up, check out the excellent selection of mounts and mounting accessories at Solid Signal. You’ll find everything from the simplest home mounts to extremely heavy duty commercial mounts. If you’re confused about your options, call us at 888-233-7563. You’ll get to speak to a tech at our 100% US-based call center.

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 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.