How to Get More Channels With a Homemade Antenna

by Melissa King

Cable and satellite television provides you with an almost endless variety of shows, but as service providers raise prices and cut channels, you may decide to return to basic TV. You don't have to settle for just one or two channels with basic television. Making your own homemade TV antenna allows you to pick up on channels previously unavailable to you. The antenna also boosts your television's signal, so you see and hear your favorite shows more clearly.

Step 1

Bend each 17-inch copper wire in half to form eight pairs of ears. Spread the ear tips three inches apart.

Step 2

Put a piece of heat-shrink tubing over the end of each ear tip. Shrink the tubing with a heat gun.

Step 3

Saw the 38-inch pine board into two pieces, a 6-inch piece and a 32-inch piece. Place the 32-inch pine board flat on the floor or table. Arrange four pairs of ears on each side of the board, with the tips of the ears facing outward. Thread the two 34-inch copper phasing bars through the ears as if lacing a shoe.

Step 4

Put one washer over the center of each pair of ears. Use a drill to secure the washers with screws.

Step 5

Wrap a small piece of electrical tape over the intersecting phase bars. The electrical tape prevents contact between the bars.

Step 6

Drill two washer and screws next to each other in the center of the board. Wrap the ends of the impedance-matching transformer (IMT) around the washers.

Step 7

Use two coarse-threaded screws to attach the 32-inch pine board to the 6-inch pine board, forming a base for the antenna.

Step 8

Connect a coaxial cable to the end of the IMT. Connect the other end of the cable to your television's converter box. If you have a digital-ready television, connect the coaxial cable directly to the TV instead.

Adjust the antenna until you pick up channels. Make further adjustments to get the best-quality picture.


  • Purchase most of the supplies needed to make this antenna at a hardware store. Visit an electronics or computer shop to find the impedance-matching transformer.

Items you will need

  • 1 pine board, 1 by 4 inches thick, 38 inches long
  • Saw
  • 2 copper phasing bars, 34-inch lengths
  • 8 bare 12-gauge copper wire, 17-inch lengths
  • 10 round-head wood screws, 8 1/2-inch
  • 2 coarse-threaded screws
  • 10 fender washers
  • Heat-shrink tubing
  • Heat gun
  • Electrical tape
  • Drill
  • Impedance-matching transformer (IMT)
  • Coaxial cable

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