Anyone ever build a homemade antenna?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by seedspreader, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    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?
     
  2. busybee870

    busybee870 Well-Known Member

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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
     

  3. snowshoehair

    snowshoehair Well-Known Member

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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..........
     
  4. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

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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 !!:hobbyhors...so..if you have a liliac bush give it a try
     
  5. Mrs Katzenchix

    Mrs Katzenchix Well-Known Member

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    We made this homemade antenna a few weeks ago. [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWQhlmJTMzw"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWQhlmJTMzw[/ame]
    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.
     
  6. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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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!
     
  7. EDDIE BUCK

    EDDIE BUCK Well-Known Member Supporter

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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:help: Eddie
     
  8. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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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.
     
  9. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  10. Mrs Katzenchix

    Mrs Katzenchix Well-Known Member

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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...
     
  11. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    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
     
  12. artificer

    artificer Well-Known Member

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  13. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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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
     
  14. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    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?
     
  15. Mrs Katzenchix

    Mrs Katzenchix Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  16. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    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.
     
  17. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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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
     
  18. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  19. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  20. idahodave

    idahodave Well-Known Member

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    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.