Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Turning the antenna

Some of us that are older will occasionally tell of the days of "turning the antenna." If you are older, you probably know what I'm talking about.

Back in the days before cable but after the dinosaurs, the only way to watch something on TV was with an antenna. And, depending on how far you lived from the various TV towers, you could find yourself in a situation where turning the antenna was required.

We lived in an area where we could pick up TV signals from both Savannah, Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida. And, if you look at a map, you'll see there's nowhere that exists that can point an antenna at both places and pick up the stations. They're too far apart to allow that.

That meant that a decision had to be made where to point the antenna. Since Savannah was closer, the antenna was pointed to Savannah.

Every now and then, we'd turn the antenna to Jacksonville. Sometimes Savannah would have local programming that pre-empted the network programming. Or the opposite, where Jacksonville had some local programming that we did want to see. Either way, that meant turning the antenna.

But there was another time we had to turn the antenna. After a large storm, the high winds would sometimes have caused the antenna to be pointing in a bad direction. Sometimes the wind would be so strong from a certain direction that enough tension was placed on the antenna where it would either cause the pole to turn, or bend the elements of the antenna. And if one of those were to happen, the preferred thing was for the pole to turn. As troublesome as it was, that is much preferred to a damaged antenna.

The thing is, if as part of your Streaming Life, you have a large outdoor antenna, you'll want to keep in mind that a strong wind can turn the pole, causing the antenna to point away from the TV towers slightly. Depending on how far you are from the towers, that can cause one to lose signal.

So, this bit of advice if you have a large outdoor antenna: if one of the stations suddenly is no longer being received, check the direction of your antenna. You may need to turn it. Just like us old folks had to do during the late Cretaceous.

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