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  #1  
Old 11/05/08, 10:59 AM
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Anyone ever build a homemade antenna?

CROSS POSTED IN SHOP TALK, but I know that this gets more traffic.

Ok, disregard the fact the only DTV will be broadcast in February.

Anyone here ever build their own TV antenna. I've been studying it a bit, but have a few questions.

I have the formula for building dipole antennas tuned to specific channels. Now, assume I use that antenna wire, build those various dipoles for the channels I want... do I just tie them all into the same 75 Ohm Cable converter to screw into my tv?

I was thinking about taping them to a pvc frame for an outdoor antenna... would that work?

Anyone ever make your own antenna before?

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  #2  
Old 11/05/08, 11:02 AM
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i lived in a mobile once just hooked the wore to the tv, and tAPED IT outside to the mobile, i guess the mobile acted as the antenna

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  #3  
Old 11/05/08, 11:56 AM
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my experience was just like busybee's - except it was my hobby dog kennel (do not ask ) which had a metal roof. In the house with a fancy schmancy rotating signal boosting antennae, we barely got the big three network channels-in the kennel without even rabbit ears -we got EVERYTHING - including FOX. It was crazy. Had to be the metal roof. It also tuned in radio stations from all over the place -this was back in Texas and we even got radio stations from Nebraska and up into Canada!

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Old 11/05/08, 12:15 PM
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Woo Hoo!!

I'll bet you couldn't get the remote control away from the dog! Oh, that give me an idea..........

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  #5  
Old 11/05/08, 01:04 PM
 
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I had to laugh when I saw this.. many years ago before cable TV etc here in the mountians all we could get on TV was 1 station. We had an antenna outside and my husband would walk around the house until we got the station to play well to watch. One day he was so fed up with doing this he just threw it up into the air and it landed in a liliac bush near the house. After that we were able to get 3 stations fairly well !!...so..if you have a liliac bush give it a try

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  #6  
Old 11/05/08, 01:15 PM
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We made this homemade antenna a few weeks ago.

It works pretty well, certainly better than the rabbit ears we had, and very cheap to make. We have a lcd hd tv & now get almost all channels with 80-100% reception.
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  #7  
Old 11/05/08, 01:25 PM
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I once fastened a several foot length of field fence to the roof, then ran a copper wire from the TV to the field fence. WOW it worked GREAT!

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  #8  
Old 11/05/08, 01:28 PM
 
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How about putting a wound-up piece of foil from one rabbit ear to the other.Anything more advanced than that is pretty much out of the question round here Eddie

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  #9  
Old 11/05/08, 04:26 PM
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Can't watch video's here.

To everyone else... uh... "thanks"?!?!

And PLEASE someone come in with some real answers... I look forward to those.

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  #10  
Old 11/05/08, 04:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seedspreader View Post
CROSS POSTED IN SHOP TALK, but I know that this gets more traffic.

Ok, disregard the fact the only DTV will be broadcast in February.

Anyone here ever build their own TV antenna. I've been studying it a bit, but have a few questions.

I have the formula for building dipole antennas tuned to specific channels. Now, assume I use that antenna wire, build those various dipoles for the channels I want... do I just tie them all into the same 75 Ohm Cable converter to screw into my tv?

I was thinking about taping them to a pvc frame for an outdoor antenna... would that work?

Anyone ever make your own antenna before?

I have never built a TV antenna, but have built many CB antenna's for 27mhz. Never having built or studied a TV antenna, but just thinking about it---it or most factory ones are built in a Beam type antenna, meaning you would have to point it towards the TV station for it to work its best and I feel this type antenna would be better than a di-pole type because a beam type would have more gain. I would feel if you built a di-pole type that you would need to hook to the "one" antenna for the channel you are planning to watch for the best reception, But then Again I will Say---I never Tried building one and a CB antenna transmitts as well as receives and I Do Know if I built a antenna for 27mhz and 30mhz they could not be hooked together because it would affect the Swr's. Have fun and let us know how it works out.
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  #11  
Old 11/05/08, 04:55 PM
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Too bad you can't see the video.

The antenna we made is exactly like this one except without the aluminum foil covered back piece. http://uhfhdtvantenna.blogspot.com/ Maybe the back piece improves reception...we might modify ours when we get the time...

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  #12  
Old 11/05/08, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seedspreader View Post
CROSS POSTED IN SHOP TALK, but I know that this gets more traffic.

Ok, disregard the fact the only DTV will be broadcast in February.

Anyone here ever build their own TV antenna. I've been studying it a bit, but have a few questions.

I have the formula for building dipole antennas tuned to specific channels. Now, assume I use that antenna wire, build those various dipoles for the channels I want... do I just tie them all into the same 75 Ohm Cable converter to screw into my tv?

I was thinking about taping them to a pvc frame for an outdoor antenna... would that work?

Anyone ever make your own antenna before?
First off, Your typical TV antenna is a YAGI not just a bunch of dipoles connected together. Second while you can calculate dipole length, at TV freq the difference between channel to channel is not to important. You will need a dipole for UHF and one or VHF centered on each band. To get any gain out of the antenna you need to look at how to build a yagi.


here are a couple of starter sites for building yagi's.


http://www.skyscan.ca/3ElementYagi.htm
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  #13  
Old 11/05/08, 04:59 PM
 
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Take a look at:
http://www.hamuniverse.com/multidipole.html or http://www.angelfire.com/mb/amandx/dipole.html


It looks like you connect all of the wires for one side of the dipole together at the center. The other end of each dipole wire is left unconnected. The other side is the same.

Why aren't you going with a yagi antenna?

Michael

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  #14  
Old 11/05/08, 06:15 PM
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I once found directions in a old popular science magazine(1927?it was near an artical on building a color TV) and followed them it involved cutting triangles out of alluminum foil and glueing them bowtie fashion to a cardboard backing and then wiring it all shoelace fashion in a crisscross fashion and running the two ends of the wire to the back of the TV.

Worked better than Any thing Ive bought

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  #15  
Old 11/05/08, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs Katzenchix View Post
Too bad you can't see the video.

The antenna we made is exactly like this one except without the aluminum foil covered back piece. http://uhfhdtvantenna.blogspot.com/ Maybe the back piece improves reception...we might modify ours when we get the time...
Do you have to rotate your antenna to get all the channels you normally do, or do you live somewhere where all the channels come out of the same spot?

Oh, and are you receiving non DTV channels with this also?
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  #16  
Old 11/05/08, 07:43 PM
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We get analog as well as DTV signals with this antenna. As I posted earlier, there are a couple of dtv channels that sometimes don't come in well (under 70% reception and the image breaks up). But if we adjust the antenna manually, they come in fine.

Again, I don't know how this compares to a YAGI, but it was much better than the antenna we bought at the store.

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  #17  
Old 11/05/08, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs Katzenchix View Post
We get analog as well as DTV signals with this antenna. As I posted earlier, there are a couple of dtv channels that sometimes don't come in well (under 70% reception and the image breaks up). But if we adjust the antenna manually, they come in fine.

Again, I don't know how this compares to a YAGI, but it was much better than the antenna we bought at the store.
Unless I can find a much clearer (better pictures & directions) of the YAGI specifically for TV, I'll probably be building this one. Do you have it in your attic or outside?

I don't have an attic (to speak of) so may just mount it outside.
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  #18  
Old 11/05/08, 09:25 PM
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Is your goal is to build the antenna or get a better TV signal? If you just want an antenna, go on ebay get on of the cheap amplified HDTV antennas and put it on the roof.

Depending on where your located your going to need 8 or more driven elements for TV. The mechanical of making your own is going to be a PIA. If a set of rabbit ears is working then good stick with that, if not then your going to need a gain antenna and good coax to feed it. A simple dipole isnt going to cut it. By the time you get it outside and get coax to it your going to have lots of signal loss over no gain from the dipole.

If money is an issue, check freecycle or craigs list, TV antennas are usually given away

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  #19  
Old 11/06/08, 02:49 AM
 
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Not TV antennas specifically but I've built numerous antennas for VHF and UHF Military aircraft, UHF SATCOM, Low Band VHF, Wi-Fi, UHF industrial control systems, HF among others.

Unless you have access to free aluminum and hardware it's probably going to be less expensive to just buy a good UHF/VHF TV antenna. It will probably be better than what you build yourself too. The good folks at PCT International (channel master) and Winegard (winegard and antennacraft) spend an awful lot of money designing and testing antennas and they're usually quite good.

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  #20  
Old 11/06/08, 08:56 AM
 
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Please forgive a slight thread hijack ....

Is there a way to improve the FM antenna on a boom box that has just a whip antenna? Way out in the sticks, the reception is pretty lame.

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  #21  
Old 11/06/08, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quint View Post
Unless you have access to free aluminum and hardware it's probably going to be less expensive to just buy a good UHF/VHF TV antenna. It will probably be better than what you build yourself too. The good folks at PCT International (channel master) and Winegard (winegard and antennacraft) spend an awful lot of money designing and testing antennas and they're usually quite good.
I'll second that

Look for a used one...Maybe a Freecycle or Craigslist wanted listing with a offer to take it off the roof.

As far as the boombox, look for a place to connect an external antenna, sometimes it's a 3.5mm jack.
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  #22  
Old 11/06/08, 10:22 AM
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The TV antenna that you see is not a true Yagi. It is a modified " Log-periodic" where the releflectors and "active elements" alternate left and right sides, are of variable length, and thus is of wide band or broadband reception, and is of nature directional. It is difficult at best to scratch build. The next best design might be the discone which is easy to build (sic). If you only have one station in mind, you could build a yagi on that frequency, but I think you want to get all available, right? Another problem with television, is that the frequencies are not in the same band. See the wide band nature below.

VHF Band - Ch. 2 - 13 ; 54 - 216 Mhz
Low Band - VHF Ch. 2 - 13 ; 59 - 88 Mhz
Mid Band - UHF Ch. 14 - 22 ;121 - 174 Mhz
UHF Ch. 95 - 99 ; 91 - 120 Mhz
High Band - VHF Ch. 7 - 13 ;175 - 216 Mhz

IMHO, I would try a newer used commercial antenna, aimed at the city of interest, or a discone at reduced signal gain because of its omni directional design.

L

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Old 11/06/08, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seedspreader View Post
Can't watch video's here.
To everyone else... uh... "thanks"?!?!
don't mention it - we're only here to help - well, somne of us anyway!
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  #24  
Old 11/06/08, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Wheaton View Post
Please forgive a slight thread hijack ....

Is there a way to improve the FM antenna on a boom box that has just a whip antenna? Way out in the sticks, the reception is pretty lame.
Take a long wire, strip about two inches and wrap that around the whip. Helps sometimes.
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  #25  
Old 11/06/08, 06:17 PM
 
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I'm a die-hard DIYer and a ham radio operator, but for a TV antenna I'd jump on the 'buy it' bandwagon. You can probably find an old antenna pretty cheap or free, and if it's in good condition it should still work just fine. Or, buy a top quality new one for under $100. As mentioned channelmaster and winegard both make a wide variety of excellent antennas to suit any situation.

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  #26  
Old 11/06/08, 09:25 PM
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TV antennas are that expensive/hard to get right eh?

I found a tower and an old antenna on freecycle. Still going to build the one that I said earlier. At this point, I just want to do it and see how it does vs. the one I am going to get off of Freecycle.

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  #27  
Old 11/06/08, 09:56 PM
 
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I watched the video and wrote down the parts and directions. I will post the text and make up a picture to show you.

------------------------------------------------------
Plus, I'll try to do it this weekend.
------------------------------------------------------

Supplies.

6 wire clothes hangers
12 washers and 12 wood or drywall screws
2 1/2 to 3 foot piece of 1 x 2 board.
Tape Measure/Ruler
Cordless Screwdriver
Sandpaper or knife
Pen/Pencil
Pliers with wire cutter
Section of Coax Cable with ends
Balun, also called a UHF/VHF Transformer (radio shack)

Cut off the heads of the coat hangers and bend the remainder into straight pieces.
Cut these into (8) 14 inch pieces. This will leave 2 long pieces remaining from the 6 hangers.
Clean off the center sections of the 14 inch pieces until you have bare metal.
Measure 2 inches down from the top of the board and mark it.
Measure 5 43/4 inches and mark on each sides of the tape measure.
Measure another 5 3/4 inches and mark each side again.
Measure once more to another 5 3/4 inches and mark each side again.
Put x's on each mark
So you have 4 sets side by side

Take one of the long wires and bend it.
Start at the top mark on the right.
Move to the 2nd mark on the left
Again to the 3rd mark on the left
And then bend back to the 4th mark on the right
Mark the wire at the 4th mark and cut it off
Use this one as a templete and bend the second long wire.
On both long bent wires clean off the ends
and also each bend to the bare metal
And then a section directly between the 2 bends.

Bend the 14 inch parts in the middle at 7 inches.
The ends of the V should be about 3 inches apart when bent
Take a V and secure it with the screws and washer at the top
right mark. Put one of the long sections under the v and tighten really good.
Cross over to the 2nd left mark and then 3rd left and then 4th right.
Do the same with the opposite.

Attach your uhf adapter to the center V's .

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Old 11/06/08, 10:16 PM
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Wow, thanks bnlfan,

That's great. I wouldn't have caught the crossing from the other blog... I mean he talks about it, but it's not clear where it crosses.

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  #29  
Old 11/07/08, 12:08 AM
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Looks like it should work on UHF stations....

One thing I noticed in the drawing is the feedpoint is at one of the middle dipoles, I think it should be centered between them. Might check the original design.

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  #30  
Old 11/07/08, 01:50 AM
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By the 14 inch dipole affect of this antenna it would be UHF channel 14 and up

Feed point does not matter "that much " recieving. Critical transmitting.

Just 2 more cents

L

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