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TV antenna and wind turbine interference

TV antenna wind turbine interference
For more than a decade and over 1,000 TV antennas installed in the wind turbine fields, 
we have leaned a lot about wind turbine and TV antenna reception interference. 

In Michigan we have contracts with the wind turbine company and in some cases the wind turbine company pays for the entire TV antenna upgrade.

So what is wind turbine interference? 

Wind turbine interference causes pixelation. The video picture is interrupted with random squares within the picture. The audio may also be interrupted. Occasionally, if the wind turbine interference is severe enough you can completely loose reception.

How can I tell if I have wind turbine interference? 

Without the proper testing equipment the best way you can determine wind turbine interference is by observation. Does the interference get worse when the wind blows harder? Does the interference reduce or go away when the wind is calm and the turbines stop turning? If you answer yes to these questions, you have wind turbine interference. 

What can I do to reduce TV antenna wind turbine interference?

It starts with the TV antenna. Never expect an omnidirectional or multidirectional antenna to work good in the turbine field. The antennas that work best are directional antennas. The more directional the antenna the better the results. The reason for this is a directional antenna rejects turbine interference from the sides and rear of the antenna. Also, directional TV antennas offer higher forward signal gain resulting in much better performance. The antenna we use is the HD Stacker antenna >.  We have switched out hundreds of antennas of all makes and models and the Stacker antenna in every case improved the reception. In areas near to the TV transmitting towers, where the TV signal is strong, the EZ HD antenna > has worked well. The EZ HD antenna is a directional antenna but does not have the reception range of the HD Stacker antenna. 

Does a preamplifier/booster make a difference?

Yes, we have determined a preamplifier in every case reduced turbine interference. Not only does a preamplifier improve performance, the brand of the preamplifier matters. A few years back we were called into the turbine field to a previous customer to repair a weed wacker damaged cable. They informed us the reception had been good over the past ten years but a couple channels had issues at times. Years earlier we had installed the HD Stacker antenna with a Winegard AP 8700 preamplifier. My son Tony said to me, hey dad, maybe switching out the preamplifier will help. Since the time of the original installation Winegard improved their preamplifier by lowering the noise figure produced by the amplifier. We changed the preamplifier from the AP 8700 to the
LNA 200 preamplifier >. It worked, the signal quality reading on the TV signal meter improved. The slight pixelation present with the AP 8700 preamplifier was gone. 

Does antenna rotation help? 

Do I need a rotor? If the TV transmitting towers are located in different directions you will need a rotor. If all TV transmitters are located within 20 degrees of each other in the same direction, probably not.  However, our experience has shown that within the turbine field turning the anenna just a few degrees may make a difference and improve performance. 

Does coaxial cable improve performance? 
Yes, the quality of the coax cable > will improve performance. Why? The center wire of the coax cable carries the TV signal. The center wire should be solid copper, not steel wire covered with a thin layer of copper. I think everyone knows, copper is a better conductor than steel. Also, the braid and shield of the cable are very important. One of the main purposes of the braid and sheild of the cable is preventing interference from entering the cable. 

There are some who say,  wind turnbines don't interfere with TV reception. 
They may blame cell service or anything else they can come up with. To these people I will ask this, why does the interference go away when the wind goes calm and the turbines stop? 

That's about it. This what we have learned about TV antennas and wind turbine interference. I think if you follow the suggestions above you can enjoy free TV within a turbine field. I try to provide accurate and honest information throughout this website. I feel I must say this. In rare cases perfect reception may not be available on all channels in some areas within a turbine field.