Instructables

TV antenna

Is it possible to make a tv antenna from an old router? I have an old router and a tv antenna. I am trying to do this because my stupid cable provider won't pick up a second CBS. Then my TV tower fell about 5 years ago. Last month I found this station. It's 79.2 miles away. My little indoor TV antenna pick it up at NIGHT, on CLEAR skies only. (Not in the day) and I have to hold the antenna. I know routers would be didgital (if that has anything to do with it). My tv does have the digital tuner. On digital I can't pick it up, but i do somewhat on analog.

Goodhart6 years ago
As far as television frequency is concerned, it depended on absolute line of sight and restricted to about 30 miles as the crow flies. Unlike many radio frequencies, which can use cloud cover and the ionosphere to bounce the signal back to earth, the TV signal must be sent through a satellite to get if much further then the limits imposed by it. The higher tower, the further away one can reach.
popit (author)  Goodhart6 years ago
Would a car antenna possibly work? If I would buy a car antenna and hook that to the TV will that work?
Goodhart popit6 years ago
Think of it this way, depending on the frequency you are looking to pick up, determines to some extent the type of antenna you use. The "higher" grquencies have a shorter wavelength and the antenna needs to be matched to this to some extent. Radio and tv reside in this area ( Radio tv frequencies chart ) with tv somewhere between the 7 MHz to about 1,000 MHz {a gigahertz ?), if I remember correctly.

Now, just like pouring liquid into a bottle, if the liquid is to viscous, or thick ( lower frequency with larger wavelength) it will not go into the bottle (the antenna won't pick it up well). Now, the reason one doesn't need a different antenna for each channel is that one can create an antenna that picks up "full wave, half wave, quarter waves" and thus tune in the channel.
popit (author)  Goodhart6 years ago
If this helps me explain, I can only pick the station up when I point the antenna at the floor it pick it up. If there wouldn't be a good enough antenna to build then How much would an outdoor antenna cost. (plus I will need the mast: the pole.) The channel # is "15"
uguy popit6 years ago
Channel 15 frequency is 476-482MHz
if you go to the Cheap Yagi web site at:

http://www.fredspinner.com/W0FMS/CheapYagi/vjbcy.html

You should be able to make a very usable antenna for very little cash outlay.
This site is mainly for Ham Radio Frequencies but you should be able to extrapolate some dimensions from the examples there. Gud luck.
uguy Goodhart6 years ago
Goodhart, sorry to disagree with you but over the air TV signals can at times use ionospheric reflections to extend reception range. Over the air TV signals are not sent via satellite to in home TV sets. Only those from dish type systems. How does he receive. signals at night and not during daytime from the same station. It's because some stations increase power at night. The distance is the same, line of site is the same. I routinely receive TV signals from as far away as 90-100 miles on an outdoor ant. at about 20 feet.
Goodhart uguy6 years ago
Uguy, if you were actually disagreeing with me there would be a BIG problem, but fortunately you aren't really (just JOKING !!). :-)

No, really I don't think you are disagreeing with me, but rather you are simply "qualifying" what I said and adding more to it.

You use the words "can at times", and I agree (depending on frequencies).

some stations increase power at night

This I did not know, since many radio stations do the opposite (I have a heck of a time getting Philadelphia NPR at night, but no problems during the day).

Back in my Shortwave days, it was always a thrill to pick up someone from "across the pond" using a widdle 15 W unit. But the ones that could do it on 5 w were the true "bouncers" LOL

It also depends greatly on the antenna / amp system too. When I was younger and my Dad bought a "new" antenna for the tv, we went from having 5 channels to watch to having over 20 (a thrill in those days). So, I am sorry if I sounded as though longer distances could NOT be achieved, I was being too general I suppose.

uguy6 years ago
A wireless router works at much high frequencies than does an over the air TV system. I'm afraid a router would not provide any better reception than any hunk of metal of similar size and shape. What channel is the station you desire? From the channel number you can find the frequency and built a simple single channel antenna that should work for 79.2 miles.
ry259206 years ago
Honestly, it would be better to just build an antenna to recive signals than to break a perfectly good router.
popit (author)  ry259206 years ago
Actually the router is half broken. But is it possible to use a satellite dish? If I would buy a satellite and connect it the TV would it act as an antenna? If the dish wouldn't work, what would be the best antenna to make. I have tried many antenna and they don't work. The indoor antenna I got is better. (but not good enough).
ry25920 popit6 years ago
Just build a wireless antenna except put a cable hook up insted of a usb. Any comment?
popit (author) 6 years ago
Could I be able to use an old satellite dish as a TV antenna? If you would connect wires to it and plug it into the TV it would work, wouldn't it?
NachoMahma6 years ago
. Not sure what you are trying to do but I don't see any way to use a router (even a wireless one) as a TV antenna. . If you can pick up the station at night with rabbit ears, then a good directional and/or amplified antenna (Google "TV antenna") ought to get you a half-decent picture during the day. As Goodhart said, it's pretty much a line-of-sight deal, so the higher your antenna, the better signal you'll get. . Back in The Good Ol' Days (before cable was so popular), we used to do pretty good with a directional antenna and rotator in the attic. If you're just after the one station, you won't need the rotator. . If you get a 300 ohm antenna, get the highest quality balun you can find/afford. . If you use an amplifier, put it as close to the antenna as possible.