How to Make a TV Antenna and Amplifier

By John Heller

TV reception can be touch and go at best. Reception can, however, be dramatically improved using an amplifier and an antenna. It is completely possible to to build your own amplifier and antenna for television reception with a little hard work.

Build a TV amplifier

Step 1

Use pliers to straiten out wire hanger. Make sure you wear the rubber gloves to protect your hands from damage. Straighten out the wire as well as you can.

Step 2

Tightly coil the straightened wire hanger around the ferrite magnet. Try to keep the coil around the concave part. Make sure to leave about six inches of the wire sticking up from either side of the magnet and that the coil is completely touching the magnet. Once this is done, wrap electrical tape tightly around the entire thing, totally covering the magnet and coil. Wrap it several times so the layer is thick and all-encompassing.

Use cut pieces of wire insulation sleeving to cover three or more inches of the wire protruding from either side of the coil wrapped magnet. Cover the protruding wire with the sleeving and then use electrical tape to fix the sleeving to the protruding wires. Cover the rest of the protruding wire with electrical tape as well. Your amplifier is now finished. Set it next to your TV to improve reception.

Build an Antenna

Step 1

Strip about one half an inch off either side of the speaker wire. Use the wire cutter to do this, and try not to strip more than half an inch on each side.

Step 2

Tightly wrap the bulb end of the sewing needle with about half the wire, making sure the stripped metal portion is making good contact with the metal of the sewing needle. Now wrap the bulb end of the needle coiled with wire in electrical tape, leaving an exposed one-inch piece of needle at the non-wire-wrapped end.

Attach the other end of the wire to the antenna, wrapping the rest of the wire around it. Wrap until the needle and antenna are flush. Wrap the antenna and coiled wire with tape, totally covering it. Attach the needle to the antenna where the wire brings them together. Attach them together at a ninety degree angle in an L shape and your antenna is done. Plug the one-inch non-tape-covered portion of the needle into the back of the TV where you would connect an antenna. Set the amplifier next to it to further improve reception.