HDTV antenna of a different color

hdtv-antenna-of-a-different-color

We’ve seen our share of commercially available HDTV antennas that work really poorly. For at least four years now we’ve gone without cable television, using a coat hanger antenna we made ourselves to record over-the-air broadcasts. But it’s a pretty ugly beast — we’re lucky enough to have an attic in which it can be hidden. If you’re in need of free television and don’t want an eyesore of a an antenna try building this foil and cardboard version. Even it if doesn’t work at all you’re only out about ten bucks.

The expensive part is the matching transformer which converts screw terminals to a coaxial cable connection so that it may be connected to your HDTV. You’ll need a few nuts and bolts, but we assume you can beg, borrow, or steal the tin foil, cardboard, and glue that round out the parts list. Glue, measure, cut, fold, fasten, finished! You’ll be watching horrible summer TV in no time!

If it doesn’t perform as expected just reuse that connector and try your luck with a fractal antenna.

15 thoughts on “HDTV antenna of a different color

  1. I created my antenna with a piece of coat hanger. I took two pieces, stuck one in the center of a male/female converter, bent it at a 90 degree angle, and wrapped the other one around the outside of the converter.
    They stick out on opposite sides, and blammo, everything is working perfectly. no issues.

  2. To save money even further, you could just solder a coax cable to the feed. I do this about ten times a day when I’m testing S11.

  3. I’ve been building much better antennas than that out of leftovers from my workshop for years. I also build my own matching transformers.
    One of the joys of being a ham, I guess. It also helps to have a vague idea of how RF actually works…

    1. But where did that guy get it from in turn? Because I have a sneaking suspicion this is only the beginning of a long trail.

  4. Copy of a common design. you can buy pre made ones off of amazon.com for $30.00 shipped and getting them outside make a huge difference. Yes even renters can sneak an antenna up.

  5. these are cheap on ebay. sure size and shipping can be a turn down. but still I don’t know if it compensates.
    but these are great to build for friends because you can do it in every kitchen because you always have around the materials.
    I do this often to improve wifi reception. some minutes of hacking with wires, aluminium foil and much better signal everywhere in the house.

  6. “…steal the tin foil, cardboard, and blue…”

    Hmmm, never tried stealing blue before. If I have problems finding blue, could red stand in as a suitable substitute? Or would I have to use cyan?

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

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