How to Make a Homemade HDTV VHF Antenna
By Nichole Liandi
With an HDTV, an antenna, and a station broadcasting HDTV programs, you can enjoy the stellar picture of high-definition for free -- no cable or satellite bills. If you're a do-it-yourselfer, you may enjoy making this homemade HDTV antenna. It requires only a few parts, is easy to make, and provides outstanding performance, especially when you're trying to pull in a weak signal.
Cut a 36 x 24 inch rectangular panel from thin plywood with a saw.
Cut a 48 inch long piece of 2 x 4 inch board with a saw.
Nail the 2 x 4 board onto the panel, centering the board along the axis of the longer side of the panel. Line up the short end of the panel with the end of the 2 x 4, so that 12 inches of the 2 x 4 board extends past the end of the panel.
Cover the side of the panel that is attached to the 2 x 4 with metalized strips of duct tape.
Measure six inches from the end of the 2 x 4, where the 2 x 4 intersects with the panel. Screw in a pair of wood screws, backed by washers, side by side at the 8-inch mark. Measure 6 more inches down the board, add two more screws and washers, and continue until there are four pairs of screws and washers in the 2 x 4.
Add another pair of washers and screws halfway between the second and third pairs of screws and washers, attach the terminals of a 300-to-75 ohm transformer underneath the screws.
Cut two 30-inch lengths of bare 14-gauge copper wire. Following the illustration, connect the wire between the screws on the 2 x 4. Put a small piece of tape where the wires intersect.
Cut the head off of four metal coat hangers with a set of wire cutters, then cut them in two to create eight metal V-shaped antenna elements. Slide one of each of these underneath the screws and washers, with the open end facing out, and tighten down with a screwdriver.
Set your antenna up vertically, connect the antenna cable to the transformer, and aim it at your TV station's antenna. See Resources for a good tool to assist in aiming.
- ARRL Antenna Book; American Radio Relay League; 2005
- HDTV For Dummies; Danny Briere and Pat Hurley; 2007
Based in Virginia, Nichole Liandi has been a freelance writer since 2005. Her articles have appeared on various print and online publications. Liandi has traveled extensively in Europe and East Asia and incorporates her experiences into her articles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from West Virginia University.