TV Antenna Buzzing

karmajOctober 23, 2010

Last night I was outside and realized that my TV antenna was buzzing and making a cracklng sound. I did not see any sparks. It is a standard TV antenna. I am in rural Montana and the reception here is generally poor. There are no other antennas for at least 100 yards. The weather was pleasant last night - no lightening although a little moisture in the air. Is this dangerous? What is causing the buzzing? The only electrical devices on in the house at the time was the front porch light, refrigerator, hot water heater, microwave plugged in. The TV was not on.

Any help to this mystery would be appreciated.


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never heard of that. the crackling doesnt sound too good, though.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 12:45PM
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That actually sounds like a discharge.

If correctly installed the antenna has a DC connection to the earth grounding rod.

At RF where it is operating it is NOT grounded.

If the local voltage of the earth changes then the antenna can become a discharge path.

Long before an actual lightning bolt forms there is local discharge from the earth to the air.

If you drive some ground stakes a decent distance apart and then run wire between them you can often measure very high voltages between the stakes.

During an active thunderstorm VERY high voltages.
As a charged cloud move above you a current flows in the earth (called a displacement current) induced by the now moving 'static' charge in the cloud.

You should check the condition of the antenna's lightning arrestor and the connection to ground, but it sounds like things are operating as they should.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 1:00PM
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Maybe it was excited about the new fall TV schedule...

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 1:22PM
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