How to Make a Homemade HDTV VHF Antennaby 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.
Items you will need
- Thin plywood
- Tape measure
- 2 x 4 inch board
- Metalized duct tape
- Wood screws
- 300-to-75 ohm transformer
- 14-gauge copper wire
- Wire cutters
- Metal coat hangers
- ARRL Antenna Book; American Radio Relay League; 2005
- HDTV For Dummies; Danny Briere and Pat Hurley; 2007