66% or better

Gray Hoverman UHF antenna

ant

With the impending digital switchover, many of you will find yourselves not only in need of a new converter box, but an antenna as well. Just like everything else, there are plans out there on how to build your own. [William] has gone through the effort of documenting his design and build of a very nicely made version. He used PVC for the frame and a wire mesh or chicken wire reflector. Good job [William]

Comments

  1. sly says:

    that is huge… and the parts list is less than an equivalent commercial version. when I get my own house, I may well build one like this.

  2. andrew says:

    i’d really like to know the gain of that antenna, i couldn’t find it in the writeup.

  3. Tom says:

    The wire mesh he used is called hardware cloth.

  4. sp says:

    I’d have thought with all that work he would’ve used brass or stainless screws.

  5. sp says:

    That’s a UHF only antenna. While most stations are temporarily transmitting their digital signals in the UHF band, many will be switching back to their VHF assignments after analog goes dark. See the following document for the allocations “after the switch” http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-07-138A2.pdf

  6. Cyrozap says:

    @kitten
    that has absolutely _no_ relation to the post at all, you are just spamming.

    In other news, nice! I might try it.

  7. epicelite says:

    Who doesn’t have cable?

    • cam says:

      Who doesn’t have cable? how about anyone living in a rural area? How about farmers? You know, those people living somewhere outside the city without whom you would simply have no FOOD to eat!!! DUH! Don’t you think they might like to watch some TV after a long day working to put food on your table?

  8. Mike says:

    >Who doesn’t have cable?

    People who dislike paying to watch commercials.

    As for the hack: you can just buy eight-bay antennas for less than $100. The hack I’d like to see is a fractal antenna designed for VHF reception.

  9. hogiewan says:

    @epicelite – I have cable for most channels, but I don’t want to pay for digital for price and because I have a dvr computer that I don’t want to have to reconfigure to use a rented box just to get a few HD channels. I built a similar antennae out of stuff in my garage and I get the local HD stations for free

  10. Wwhat says:

    Shouldn’t one use nylon screws or something for such things? I mean the screws will change the behaviour of the antenna won’t it? Especially if they contact the wire and stick out a lot. Or is that part of the design?
    Or doesn’t it matter at all?

  11. Grovenstien says:

    Wow this is one ugly monster! Nice build, great write up, but i wouldn’t want that strapped to my house!

    I guess this is for the dedicated and not for a snob like me :p

  12. mr_hp67 says:

    You may want to consider sealing up the open
    ends of the PVC pipe. 100% guaranteed that all
    kinds of bugs will set up camp inside the pipe
    the way it is now. If at some point in the future
    you need to bring it inside the garage to work
    on, it’ll make for less surprises if no vermin
    is inside it.

  13. fartface says:

    @sly it works great if you live someplace that does not have wind. The hoverman is a great TEMORARY antenna. The one I built 2 years ago broke in 1/2 this winter and has been flopping around for the past month now. the Commericial wineguard antenna I got for $59.00 next to it is still working great and undamaged.

    If you want to build a temporary antenna, this route is good, if you want ot put it 20 feet in the air and not have to screw with it for the next 5 years, go buy one.

    P.S. these dont work for the VHF channels. I have several DTV channels that are in VHF so I still need to have a larger antenna beam up there.

  14. nubie says:

    If you order from an Ace Hardware warehouse you can buy a DB-4 style antenna for $36 after shipping.

    http://www.google.com/products?q=020572042215

    There is a “new style” that uses only horizontal slats and is claimed to offer improved VHF reception.

    That said I used the plans available at Lumenlab.com forums and made mine from 2×4 blocks, coat hangars and machinist’s cloth.

    I rolled up the sides of the machinist’s cloth and put 3 lengths of coat hangar horizontally so it is fairly rigid in both dimensions.

    It will gladly pull in a solid signal from 65 miles away while sitting on the desk by my TV.

    However the VHF reception isn’t much good. I think there are plans on Lumenlab.com to modify it for VHF reception, something about scaling up the bow-ties and re-positioning them for the wavelength.

  15. Orv says:

    @epicelite: Cable networks re-compress their HD feeds at a lower bitrate so they can pack in more channels. HD received with an antenna has a superior picture. So for people who really care about quality an antenna is often a better solution.

  16. j.r. says:

    About 40 stations will remain in the low-VHF (channels 2-6) after the transition.

  17. Josh says:

    @sp Good luck finding self-drilling screws for plastic in brass or stainless without paying a high price. Zinc works fairly well for outside work.

    @epicelite You’d be surprised who doesn’t have cable. Anyone on a farm or the outskirts of town probably won’t even have it offered to them.

    This appears to be a pretty massive antenna. The municipalities around here won’t allow for such a monstrosity to be mounted on the outside of a house.

  18. Wwhat says:

    I was about to bitch a lot about animala’s post, but that today.com isn’t THAT bad, so I leave it at: ‘commentsections are not adspace’
    And if you legitimately wish to direct people to something that you personally think is worthwhile at least tell them what it is you link to.

  19. My dtv antenna is an unfolded paperclip stuck in the center of the co-ax input in the back of my tivohd. I get amazing reception, but the broadcast towers are 20 miles from me and unobstructed.

  20. Jippers says:

    how about integrating some fractal design. Would be nice to see if you could get better gains with a smaller design.

  21. 300ohm says:

    I have designed and computer modeled a vhf-hi and uhf combo version of the Gray Hoverman. Ive also design and computer modeled a fractal version of the GH too. And there is a vhf-hi and vhf-hi fractal version of the GH too. As far as it lasting and how it looks, that is the responsibility of the builder. In other words, if it looks crappy and doesnt hold up, you have no one to blame but yourself, heh. There are some very good looking lasting builds of the GH. All this info and more can be found in the threads at the home of the GH at http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=186

  22. Anonymous says:

    Who doesn’t have cable (or satellite)? About 20 million households. I’m one of them. While I already have a homebrew array, I might want to give this gray-hoverman a go. It’ll give a lot better performance than my 4 bowtie array.

  23. Duncan Hill says:

    @epicelite “Who doesn’t have cable?”

    Err… the vast majority of the British population. What a knob.

  24. robert says:

    For VHF you need a BICONICAL antenna, Buy it or Built it by Yourself.

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