I'm trying to make sense of the mess of TV aerials (all shapes and sizes) and cabling on the (shared) roof of our tenement.

One potentially useful cross-checking piece of information I have is that the aerial I'm looking for is a "32 element digital" - it's also a "wideband" - put in ~5 years ago (in anticipation of the transition to digital; I'm in the UK). But what does the "32" actually refer to ? If I count the number of metal struts, should there be 32 ? Or does it refer to something hidden away out of sight in the "hub" the cable goes into, or a more abstract concept like the number of channels receivable ?

2 Answers 2


Yes- it the number of rods sticking out of the main antenna. 16 on one side 16 on the other side.

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These rods help remove ghosting, provide a clearer overall signal.

They all have their own purpose and lengths are very precise and specific. These should not be bent, extended, shortened or connected to anything else in any way will cause poor signal. Pigeons and birds do not affect reception as they do not cause direct induction of the circuit.. but a fat bird can bend the antenna and cause some issues.

Even though that is the concept it does not always refer to any exact number. Sometimes 3 spokes can be counted as 1 element because they act a single "element"

It will not have anything to do with number of channels- this depends on your region, the version of the set top box (old Freeviews cannot pick up many new channels) best use the FreeView HD ready boxes for best compatibility.

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Hope that helps you out.

  • 1
    Aerial successully identified :^) Admittedly by following wires, but it was reassuring that what it led me to does indeed have 16 "struts" each side.
    – timday
    Aug 6, 2012 at 16:21
  • 1
    Log periodic array. Essentially a series of alternating dipoles arranged to give wide-band response and act like the directors and reflectors used in a Yagi-Uda antenna. Aug 7, 2014 at 7:26

In antenna design, 'elements' refers to the parts which convert the radiated signal to an electrical signal, so in this case it means the number of metal bars.

They are arranged at distances which will increase the amplitude of the wavelengths you want, and generally more elements gives you a greater signal strength (up to a point)

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