Even though there’s actually quite a lot of services that completely replace the way we watch TV, it’s no secret that TV reception is actually hit and miss lately. There are a lot of people who actually prefer watching TV in a traditional way, with an antenna there are a ton of benefits. But, getting a signal isn’t always easy, especially if you live somewhere where you have quite a bit of interference. You may think that an antenna or a satellite dish will help, and even though they might, the price of admission is quite high.
So, how do you solve this? What if we told you that you can actually make an antenna out of things you’re very likely to have in your household? To add to that, it won’t cost a lot, and it’s very far from being difficult.
Not a doit yourselfer? Well we also have a guide for you to purchase the best outdoor tv antenna. A Guide for installing an outdoor tv antenna.
Below, we at SerifTv have developed a guide that will show you how to make one. It is loosely based on the Antennas Direct DB4, which is discontinued, but was an antenna that had incredible reception. Now, before you begin, you’ll want to read through the entire guide. This will ensure you have the tools and materials at the ready, and you know what to do.
The first step is to see where you’ll be putting the antenna. Ideally, you want it on a rooftop. If you can’t do that, you may put it on a balcony, but try to have it as high as possible. Also, make sure you have access to the place where you’re putting it, as you’ll need to work there, too.
It may be smart to gather all the materials before you get started. The essentials are a piece of wood (3.5 feet long, 1” x 3”) as well as eight screws and washers, as well as eight coat hangers. Start with the screws, you’ll want two rows of four. Each row should be .75 inches from each side of the wood, one from the left, one from the right. The screws at the top should be 2 inches from the top, and the second, third and fourth in every respective row should be 5.25 inches apart from one another. Don’t screw them all the way in, though.
This is where the eight wire coat hangers come in. You’ll want to cut their tops off, and unfold them into what is basically a piece of wire. It will be around 14 inches long, and you should fold it in the middle, so you have a V-shaped piece of wire. Each arm will come out at roughly 7 inches long, and the tips should be 3 inches from one another.
The wire coat hangers should be attached to the screws. All you need to do is slide them down until you get to a point where the screw is basically resting at the base of the “V”. All of the hangers should be sticking out directly, and they must not be touching each other, as this can cause problems.
The next part is to grab two lengths of insulated copper wire. This is how you want to run it: the wire should cross over between the screws at the top, and the second topmost screws. Then, it should go back between the screws at the bottom, and the second bottom-most screws. Since the wire is insulated, make sure you strip the insulation where it touches the screws, and also strip a piece of insulation at the center of both wires, between the second and the third screw. At this point, you can go ahead and tighten the screws we said you shouldn’t tighten earlier. Make sure both the hangers and the wiring are kept firmly in place.
When you’re done attaching the hangers and wire on one of the sides, it’s time to go to the other side. Here, you’ll need a pair of 15” x 9” metal grill screens, along the length of the wood. Make sure the hangers don’t touch the grill screens.
Back to the first side of the wood. You’ll need to connect an ohm transformer to the stripped part of the wire, at the center. This is basically the last step of the way, and the only thing that’s left is to mount the antenna.
With a DIY antenna, you don’t actually have a mounting bracket to make things simple. You’ll need to find a way to attach it to the roof. If you have some kind of a pole on the roof, the simple method is to attach it to that. If not, you’ll need to find a way of securing it to the roof, and making sure it doesn’t fly off with the first wind.
Once you’ve found a way of securing it, you should have it point towards the broadcast tower you want to receive the signals from. A service such as TVFool will allow you to find the towers you have in range, and make things easier. Oh, and make sure you ground it.
When everything is set up and mounted, you need a coaxial cable that connects the ohm transformer on the antenna to your TV. Attach the TV end to the “Antenna in” jack, and voila, you’re good to go. You should be able to receive all the new signals that the tower you’re receiving from broadcasts.
If you aren’t really handy with tools and don’t have patience, you may be better off with buying one. However, if you prefer going the DIY route, the guide above should have you a fully functional outdoor TV antenna that works admirably. Good luck, and enjoy watching free TV!
Joseph is an electrician with 10 years of experience he moonlights as a writer and works for Serif TV on some key articles.