Correct pointing direction of TV Aerial viewed from the garden

I have got from an internet page the exact bearing in degrees to which to point my Aerial straight at the Freeview Televsion Transmitter Station. I've downloaded a compass app to my android phone, so i know north and south etc.
The aerial is up on the wall at first floor height. I can reach the aerial to change its direction from an open bedroom window.
Is there any way i can *exactly* point the aerial to the recommended bearing, by sighting it from the rear garden? Since i cannot lay the phone on the aerial and read the phone at the same time.
Thanks.
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Tie one end of a ball of string to the base of the aerial. Throw the ball of string down into the garden. Go down into the garden and assuming you have a lawn hold the other end and walk around until the string is at the correct bearing. Drive a stake into the lawn and tie the string to that. Go upstairs and adjust the aerial until its parallel to the string. In the absence of a lawn attach the string to the fence, object, trees etc in the garden at the correct bearing.
michael adams
...
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Not "parallel". Just at the same bearing as the string

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On Fri, 14 Aug 2015 16:36:54 +0100, john west

IME pointing the aerial directly at the transmitter doesn't necessarily give you the best signal. There is a significant hill between us and the transmitter that obstructs line-of-sight reception, and nearly all the aerials on this side of the hill point to one side of the hill. I presume some sort of diffraction takes place. Also, aerials are never so sensitive that they need precise alignment. A degree or two either side makes not a lot of difference. The best way to align the aerial is to use a signal strength meter, but unfortunately good ones are only afforded by professionals. The alternative is to check the strength/quality values using the TV itself, moving the aerial a little and re-checking, until you get the best result.
--

Chris

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On Fri, 14 Aug 2015 17:10:38 +0100, Chris Hogg wrote:

On the subject of signal strength meters.
(Amazon.com product link shortened) B00LGWN87S
Just over £20 on Amazon - may be cheaper elsewhere.
I have one (IIRC a certain Bill Wright mentioned it) and it worked very well for aligning an external TV aerial. I have a "swinging needle" meter for aligning the satellite dish, so I don't remember trying this (although it was a while back).
We now use it in the camper for aligning the TV aerial at each new site - and it is quick and effective.
It should be sensitive enough to align your aerial.
Cheers
Dave R
--
Windows 8.1 on PCSpecialist box

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On Fri, 14 Aug 2015 16:36:54 +0100, john west

You don't need to *exactly* point the aerial at the transmitter.
What I did was to look for a landmark that was at approximately the correct bearing, and point the aerial at that. In my case it was a bridge, but it could be a tree, hill etc.
Then see if you've got a stable picture. If you have, then that's all you really need. IME with digital TV, good enough is good enough: providing there's no drop outs or artifacts you don't gain anything by improving signal strength or quality.
But if you're like me you'll want to get the best signal, so see if your TV has a built in signal strength and quality meter. Mine had, so I spent half an hour getting that about as good as I could. But really it made no difference to the picture quality.
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Download Google earth then on that you can draw a line between you and the TX concerned and you can then scroll it right back to where you live and then see where the aerial needs to be pointed by reference to something in your garden or a nearby house etc.
Most TV aerials aren't that sensitive to directional errors of a few degrees. Height is far more important...
--
Tony Sayer



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The aerial is on the wall beside the window. The Op can't stand behind the aerial to point it at anything. Hence my suggestion of lining it up with a piece of string. Providing he can reach out maybe using a cane and can loop string around the base of the aerial there should be no problem. Whether he actually needs to point to the exact bearing or not is an entirely different question. And not the one he asked.
michael adams
...
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What's wrong with the Simpsons method?
Homer tweaks the direction of the aerial whilst Marge watches the TV and shouts when best picture is seen. No need to lie on the ridge like Homer in this case!
Mike
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Caecilius wrote:

There are often problems if an aerial is mis-aligned, even if it is receiving a strong-enough signal. 1. There might be no 'margin of error' so if the signal strength drops reception might be affected. 2. The directional characteristics of the aerial are defeated, so anything coming from the direction the aerial is looking has a gain advantage over the wanted signal. This could be CCI or other interference. 3. For the same reason even interference from other random directions is more likely to have an effect. 4. Pick-up of reflected signals is more likely to have a visible effect.
Bill
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On 14/08/2015 16:36, john west wrote:

Print out a satellite image from Google maps of your local area. Draw a line from your aerial position towards the transmitter (using the bearing information) See which local landmark, say, half a mile away, the line passes through. When you adjust the aerial point it towards your chosen landmark. Use a phone camera to look down the centre boom of the aeril to see if it is pointing at the landmark.
As others have said, some localities require the aerial to be pointed 'off bearing' to avoid obstructions in the direct transmitter path. Often just checking where all your neighbours aerials are pointing can give you an idea. However, around my way aerials seem to be pointed towards one of four transmitters. The local aerial installers don't seem to realise that there is almost a clear line of site to Bluebell Hill and attempt to put in large aerials to get Crystal Palace which is blocked by nearby town centre tower blocks.
--
mailto: news admac {dot] myzen co uk

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As long as it hasn't been a stream of cowboy riggers following each other blindly;!..

That usually happens over a long time period like round this way when it was Crystal place then Belmont followed by Sudbury then the mighty sandy heath opened up and most all bits of misplaced metalwork in the sky sort of worked a bit better..
But even then the channel 5 Cambridge relay came and has now gone still a few random aerials on that!..
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On 14/08/2015 16:36, john west wrote:

Earlier replies have given some good advice obviating the need for a compass.
If you do use the compass app, do test it out first, as they are not renowned for accuracy without some faffing about involving 'figure of eight' gyrations of the phone. Even then, you're probably screwed if the phone is in a case using magnets for the sleep/wake function.
--
198kHz

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On 14/08/15 16:36, john west wrote:

Of course. Drop a plumb line from as near the aerial as you can, and where it hits the garden, pout your phone down and see where its pointing. Then pick some object in the garden that is along that bearing, or indeed depending on where you are any salient object outside your garden along that line. The further away the better.
Then point the aerial at that object.
Remember the beam width on all but the most enormous aerial will be quite broad - 5-10 degrees out wont make a huge difference. In my case what was more important was to align a null towards the OTHER transmitter I could sometimes get signals from that I didn't want.

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On 14/08/2015 16:36, john west wrote:

Few aerials are directional enough to make it that critical. You would be better off aligning it using the signal strength / quality readout from a TV decoder.
--
Cheers,

John.
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snipped-for-privacy@nowhere.null says...

If you have any visible landmarks - including houses - which are visible from your window, see here:
http://www.macfh.co.uk/JavaJive/AudioVisualTV/TerrestrialTV/TerrestrialCalcul ator.php
or, if it wraps,
http://tinyurl.com/32txwbo
Enter your post code and transmitter (from the drop down lists) to calculate the details.
Now scroll down to the bottom and select OS Map
Scroll the map so that the green place marker is in the centre, then expand the scale fully.
The marker will be add the post code centre, so grab the marker and drag it so that the green line passes through the precise position of your aerial.
You can now see where the line passes the other landmarks.
--

Terry

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On 16/08/2015 21:08, Terry Casey wrote:

Yup JavaJive's site is rather nifty, and I have used it for getting sat dishes pointing in about the right direction in the past.
However having spent many hours sat on roof tops with my trusty DTV signal meter[1], I have found that even supposedly highly directional aerials are not *that* directional. You will certainly be able to find a sweet spot, as you rotate and check the levels. But its surprising that even being (say) 10 degrees off either direction is not normally that noticeable.
[1] Swires "Terry"
--
Cheers,

John.
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