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.

19 thoughts on “DIY HD Antenna

  1. 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?

  2. 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)

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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