DIY HD Antenna


It’s been a while since I’ve seen any new antenna hacks. On the lumenlab forums, [pitman2] started with a measurements from a commercial antenna and drew up a set of plans for making a decent antenna for OTA HDTV signals. Pictured is an antenna built by [squeeto] – it’s made from copper wire, synthetic building wood and cheap cooling racks. Thanks to [Protcron] for the tip.

Comments

  1. Crash says:

    Nice. Finally a hack worth Hack A Day. Very informative.

  2. Crash says:

    And, how about not posting 20 minutes before the next day? Why don’t you post again in about an hour and get a good pattern going, since you seem to be up around this time anyway.

  3. Lambda_drive says:

    I agree you shouldn’t be posting the hacks so late, but I guess we should at least be happy that SOMETHING was posted.

  4. phreakre says:

    Could you two complain a bit more about freely published information, please?

    Nice hack, keep it up.

  5. Tim says:

    Does anyone have a good site for “antennas 101″ or “antennas for dummies”? I would like to learn more.

    Thanks,
    Tim

  6. David J says:

    How much do the materials affect performance? In other words, would 14 (or 8) gauge copper wire provide better reception than a coat hanger. If so, would the difference be enough to justify the extra cost?

  7. David J says:

    tim,

    here is a pretty good site:
    http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/basics.html

  8. s800 says:

    No, the material would not improve the reception characteristics.

  9. atrain says:

    Just built this with a couple modifications. It works surprisingly well, surpasses the quality of my powered amplifying antenna.

    I only used one thing of wood in front, nothing on the back. It was the only piece of wood i had spare. Overall, I’m quite happy with it, but I still cant get most of the channels on my dvd-rw. (they appear very clear on my tv)

  10. Hey, what’s the thing you are using for a scatter plane? ;-)
    In general, I think the yagi antenna is much easier to build at home comparing to a bow-tie array (less wire for the same gain). Don’t have to deal with the scatter plane.

    “How much do the materials affect performance?”

    Copper is generally better than alluminium. As for the wire diameter, it almost does not matter at all… For large diameter wire the bandwidth is slightly larger and the antenna is less likely to be broken by wind.

  11. dan says:

    when the antenna is made,where d you connect the cable of the antenna???i have basic tv from cox,will that interfear with my regular channels???? T.U.

  12. John E. Minnard says:

    I like this site.

  13. miles says:

    I have built 2 of these*, the most expense is in the Balun and the cable (high quality co-ax is very important), I have got some very good stuff from the second-hand store at times, for 1/10th the price new, although you may need to remove corrosion, or cut the end off and replace the connector.

    The picture shown handily illustrates a problem with the design of the 4-antenna model, if you connect the balun in the center of the antenna the reception improves tremendously.

    * a DB4 and DB8 version. The DB8 is just “double high” model with the center the same as your picture with above and below on crossover vertical wire. I am able to get digital stations up to 70 miles away from indoors :). I used cardbaord and aluminum foil for my “scatter” and it is very important for directionality when dealing with a distant station that is being overpowered by a near station, or HD reception on a tricky channel.

  14. miles says:

    Oops, I think I may have meant DB2 and DB4, instead of 4/8.

    I was contemplating the 8, but lack of an elegant way to connect the second panel*, a suitable outdoor scatter material and the potential that it wouldn’t improve the reception in a linear fashion*.

    * the union of the two panels may negate any gains from the additional elements, the additional elements make the unit quite bulky and tedious to build.

  15. tke248 says:

    Here is my take on building one it is a little larger http://www.combobulate.com/freehdtv.php

  16. Ken Kichi says:

    Has anyone considered using a shopping cart for parts? I wonder if soldering a coaxial cable to a whole shopping cart would bring in good hdtv reception or not? Lazy but serious.

  17. Gnarus says:

    I built this sans the reflector and it still pulled in more stations than my store bought “amplified” yagi. It cost $45 and the “I built this from junk” out preformed it.

  18. Ray says:

    Use graphite paint (EZ-Slide) to paint an antenna on any surface. Use graphite glue (Google wire glue) to secure your leads.

  19. Luisa says:

    What the best site on how to do it on building an antenna, those DIY that easy to follow. And thanks in advance

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