How to Build an All-Channel TV Antenna
By Marshal M. Rosenthal
Digital television has the advantage over analog in that it receives all of the broadcasts being transmitted with full signal strength and none of the interference inherent in the now outdated system. You can build your own digital antenna that will receive over-the-air broadcasts without needing to have extensive electronic or mechanical skills. A few hardware items and tools are all that is needed and about an hour of your time. Your digital TV antenna will work with your existing cable box or satellite receiver or even directly in your high-definition TV.
Put newspaper down on a table. Put the empty coffee can on its side down on the newspaper, with the open end facing to the left.
Measure 9 inches up from the closed end of the empty coffee can.
Hammer the nail through the side of the empty coffee can at the 9-inch mark. Stop hammering when the nail is three-quarters through the side of the empty coffee can.
Cut off the connector from one end of the coaxial cable using the wire cutters. Strip off an inch of insulation from the center core of the coaxial cable with the wire cutters.
Wind the exposed center core of the coaxial cable around the nail on the outside of the side of the empty coffee can.
Hammer the nail the rest of the way into the side of the empty coffee can.
Put a piece of duct tape over the nail on the outside of the empty coffee can. Smooth the duct tape down onto the side of the empty coffee can.
Place the empty coffee can that is now a digital TV antenna outside, for example, on a window in your backyard or on a tree branch.
Snake the coaxial cable that is attached to your digital TV antenna into your house. Attach the connector on the end of the coaxial cable into the coaxial connection on your satellite or cable receiver or into the coaxial connection on your high-definition TV.
- Wear protective gloves when using the hammer to protect your fingers.
- Do not place your TV antenna where it is higher than other objects nearby--this could make it attractive to a lightning strike.
Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology maven with more than 15 years of editorial experience. A graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography with a Bachelor of Arts in photographic arts, his editorial work has appeared both domestically as well as internationally in publications such as "Home Theater," "Electronic House," "eGear," "Computer and Video Games" and "Digitrends."