Users of TV antennas have, for the longest time, bothered with one major issue – range. Range can significantly impact the availability of TV channels, as well as how well you’re receiving them, so the implications are pretty big. Sure, nowadays there
are some really good outdoor TV antennas with great range, but if you’d rather
save some money, that’s not your best choice.
To help you out, we’ve made a DIY guide on how to make a TV antenna booster. It works for both indoor and outdoor antennas, and you can make it out of very basic materials. It also doesn’t require too much skills, so you should be set to go regardless of how much DIY experience you have.
Before we get into the how, let’s take a look at who actually needs one. You may think you do, but your problem may stem from something else.
To begin with, if you’ve got a directional antenna, you should first check how well it’s adjusted. Maybe a wind or bad weather moved it and it’s no longer receiving the full signal? In this case, a mere readjustment will do.
If you’re using an outdoor antenna, you should also inspect it, physically. It may be damaged, or there might be something on it that’s blocking it, or preventing it from receiving the full range.
If you’re struggling with your TV watching experience, and none of these things is true, then yes, you should consider the best amplifier. So, let’s take a look at how to make a TV antenna amplifier. Oh, and one important thing. Make sure you read through the entire guide before you begin, so you know exactly what you need and what you’re getting into.
First things first, materials. All you’ll need is cardboard and some aluminum foil. If you’re using it outdoor, you might want to grab something to cover it as well, since neither of these materials is waterproof. In terms of tools, a pen or marker, and a sharp utility knife or scissors are all you’ll need. There’s no specific knowledge
required here – all you’ll need is to be careful and follow the instructions word for word.
The first thing you’ll want to do is take your marker, or pen, and your piece of cardboard. Draw a circle on the piece of cardboard. Once you’re done with this, also draw a pair of semi-circular projections. There should be two of these, on either side of the circle. They should be located just above, and just below the midpoint of the
circle. When compared to the circle, they shouldn’t be too large.
The next step is to grab some more cardboard, and cut another piece of it into a rectangle. The length should be a bit longer than the circle’s diameter. The width, however, should be a bit less than the circle, but it should extend further than the projections you drew at either end of the circle. With this, you’ll be making a reflector, so consider it when you’re thinking about the sizes and how they relate to your
Grab the two pieces of cardboard, and cover one side of each with the aluminum foil you have. Next, you’ll want to fold the long piece of carboard around the circular piece. Then, fold the circle in half. You should cut slots in the rectangular piece, and the projections on the circular piece should fit in those slots like tabs. Once
you’re done with everything, the entire “contraption” should remind of a semicircle.
The next step is to fold the circle’s outside edge. You should form a lip, one that extends through the entire length of the piece. You’ll have the foil-covered circle suspended in the other piece. Grab what used to be the circle, and is now a semicircle, and cut a small hole in the middle. Don’t make it too large – just the antenna should fit inside. Attach the amplifier over your antenna, and you’re good to
We know – cardboard and aluminum foil sound more like a conspiracy theory than something that has an actual effect. However, knowing how to make a TV antenna amplifier like this is actually a pretty useful thing, and you’ll notice that signal reception is quite a bit better. You will get a bit more range, but more importantly, you’ll get a much higher quality out of your TV channels.
Joseph is an electrician with 10 years of experience he moonlights as a writer and works for Serif TV on some key articles.