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omnidirectional TV antenna

How to Make an Omnidirectional TV Antenna

Updated On July 5, 2021

When you want to watch your favorite sports, news, and cartoon channels on your television, there's nothing better for you to own than an omnidirectional TV antenna. It's economical and receives signals from all directions. Watching NBA and NFL games has never been easier and cheaper! But a frugal hack to watching TV is making your own omnidirectional tv antenna, rather than buying one from a store. If you don't know how to do it, you're in luck because we've got your back! In this article, we have outlined a step-by-step guide to making your own omnidirectional TV antenna. You may also want to check what is an omnidirectional antenna.

omnidirectional antenna

Method 1

What You Need:
  • Coat Hangers
  • A board
  • Copper Wire 
  • Wire Cutter, Plier
  • Balun 

Step 1: Grab an iron coat hanger, preferably one with bendable hooks. Ensure it isn't rusted or corroded and doesn't have any paint or gloss on it. Take a pair of wire cutters, and slice the hook off of the hanger. You can also use a sturdy plier for this job. Use the pliers to straighten the hook. You can place the hook on a board and bend it into a straight wire.
 
Step 2: Cut the straightened wire into eight equal portions. Ensure that they are at least 14 to 15 inches long. If you're running short, you can slice up another hook from a hanger and make up for the deficit. Now, place the plier at the center of each wire piece, and bend it downwards. Try to shape it like the alphabet V.  

Step 3: Bring out a board of the size 1x4, and cut it to 36 inches. You can do this with any tool that can nearly slice a sturdy board. Use a scale, or a measuring tape, and a pencil, and start marking points at an interval of 5 inches, on both the left edge and the right edge. Take the very top of the board as the first point, with the bottom being the fourth one. When you're done, you'd be glaring at a board, with four points on the left, and four on the right, with a difference of 5 inches between each. Measure again to ensure everything is in place. 

Step 4: Place the shaped wires on each of the points that you marked on the cardboard in such a way that the hands of each wire face outward. Use a ring washer to secure the wires on the board so it doesn't lose its position when you pick it up or move it. There is no need to tighten the screws completely; we just need to secure the wires for now.

Step 5: Bring a piece of copper wire, with insulation removed from one end of it. Use the bare end to cover the screw that you have just placed on the top right. From there, bring the wire to the left and loop the two left-middle screws on the board. Now bring the wire to the bottom right and loop it in as well. Repeat the exercise until all the screws have been looped into a network. For the left portion, repeat the same steps, by first looping the top left screw, then bringing the right middle screws into the fold, and then finally, the left bottom one. Tighten the grip a little by tugging the wire once you're done. Cut the extra wire if you're left with any once you're done with this step. Make sure everything is secured in its place.

Step 6: Connect a balun lead to the top screws, and one to the left and one to the right. This time, tighten the screws completely and ensure that the wires have been secured on the board. Now connect the coaxial cable with the balun and the TV. Switch it on, and move the board to capture the signal. Test the DIY antenna from a spot with optimum reception.
tv antenna

Method 2

Under ideal circumstances, you could also make an antenna using a paper clip. But for this, you'd need to ensure that you're relatively closer to the transmitter, have perfect weather conditions (absence of rain, hail, snow, or thunderstorm), and have excellent signal strength. If all these boxes check out in your case, you can most definitely execute this method. For this, bend a common paper clip to an L shape. The shorter end will be connected to your coaxial cable, while the other end will be connected to your television. The key here is the height. To catch the on-air signals, you'd need to put the receiver at the highest point possible. Your DIY antenna is no exception to it. For this, you can go for an extraordinarily long cable. This will allow you to establish a connection at a roof's height.

Note: The DIY antennas have reaped excellent results. But the common factor here is ideal weather conditions and little to no physical obstruction between the transmitter and the receptor. If there are fewer trees, buildings, and other such factors between your house and the broadcasting station, your homemade antenna will perform excellently. Likewise, the weather conditions are needed to be ideal. This entails no rainfall, snowfall, or thunderstorm. You can take some precautionary measures to build a protective frame for the antenna, though, but the efficacy of the same cannot be guaranteed. Though, it's worth a shot. (1, 2, 3

Conclusion

Often the question is do omnidirectional antennas really work, and making your omnidirectional antenna can be tricky but a highly rewarding task. You don't need a special skill set for it, just the basic handyman dexterity and the right tools, and you're good to go. In this article, we have mentioned two methods to making your own TV antenna. The first is more productive than the other one, but it's also more lengthy. However, if you're willing to put in the hours in making it, you can enjoy all your favorite on-air shows without paying an arm and a leg for it.
References
(1) DIY - https://www.housebeautiful.com/lifestyle/a22567439/what-is-diy-meaning/
(2) transmitter - https://www.britannica.com/technology/transmitter
(3) receptor - https://study.com/academy/lesson/receptor-definition-function.html

About the author 

John Temple


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