Introduction: 10$ Tv Antenna Hack !!

Picture of 10$ Tv Antenna Hack !!

Make a better than avarage tv antenna that costs over 70$ using only 10$ worth of household items that work even better than a normal antenna !

Step 1: Step 1

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You will need an old desk lamp that costs less than 5$ new.

Step 2: Step 2

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Now Inside the lamp you`l find a small light bulb socket , unscrew it , it only has one screw holding it !

Step 3: Step 3

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You will find that the socket is connected by 2 electrical wires one + and one - cut them off but don`t pull out the cable inside the lamp neck !

Step 4: Step 4

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Now concentrate on the back of the lamp, using a drill you can make a 2,5 square cm hole , but since i did not dispose of a drill i just broke a hole in the back of the lamp ! either way is good as long as the hole is 2,5 square cm.

Step 5: Step 5

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Take 2 ordinary table spoon forks that usually costs around 50 cents each , now straighten them up so that they don`t have that small curve .

Step 6: Step 6

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Now bend the fork tips bend the 2 outer tips at 90* and the 2 inner tips only at 75* .

Step 7: Step 7

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Now hold the forks together , if you did everything right then it looks like a steel spider shape !

Step 8: Step 8

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Take a simple shoe lace !

Step 9: Step 9

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Wrap the shoe lace around the forks to hold them tight together !

Step 10: Step 10

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Remember the wire that we left in the lamp ? well take it and connect it 2 the forks , one cable on each fork !

Step 11: Step 11

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Now take the forks with the cable and insert it to the lamp where the socket was and place it tight in the hole.

Step 12: Step 12

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Take an old pair of rabbit ear antenna from an old radio or stereo or buy it for aprox. 4$

Step 13: Step 13

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My Lamp had a very small support leg similar to a jaw and i simply added the rabbit ear antenna for extra signal and better reception !

Step 14: Step 14

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Take a short tv cable with a qd3013 adaptor at one end

Step 15: Step 15

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Now connect the rabbit ear antenna wires with the fork wires to the tv cable make sure all your connections are clear and well made , you can add shrink tubing to make the insulation look better or just use rubber duck tape !

Step 16: Your All Done !

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My Lamp Received 8 Clear Channels even a few that only work with big parabolas ! try it it's easy and simple and really cool to use !


Myself (author)2007-09-07

Wait, what? First, the terminals in the lamp aren't negative and positive, since it's AC, they're hot and neutral. Please learn about electricity before you hurt yourself. Second, what purpose does the reflector serve? At TV frequencies (VHF is 50-88 and 174-216MHz, UHF is 470-698MHz), the reflector and active elements in your design, if it can be called that, don't even resonate. Why did you use forks, specifically? Again, they're not even close to resonant at the frequencies of interest, and they're not spaced in such a way that parasitic effects would be useful. Please learn how antennas work before telling people how to build them. Third, lamp cord's characteristic impedance isn't controlled or specified, but because of the close spacing between the conductors, it's likely to be fairly low. I couldn't find any info on what a QD3013 adapter is (the Earthling has stolen the space modulator?) but in the picture it looks like a balun, and if you're feeding the balanced side with a low-impedance feedline you're going to lose most of your signal in the resulting impedance mismatch. Please learn about transmission lines before using the wrong type in your design. Fourth, when you join the rabbit ears' feedline with the lamp cord, what tuning procedure do you follow to make sure things end up in phase, rather than cancelling each other out? A quarter-wave more or less cable makes all the difference in the world! And anyway, since TV signals span such a wide frequency range, multibay antenna setups are considered bad practice, unless very carefully engineered, because interference that's constructive on one channel is likely to be destructive on another channel. Fifth, have you attempted to measure or quantify the antenna's performance, compared to plain old rabbit ears? It's mostly a rhetorical question, because anyone who's read this far is probably either laughing or crying, and knows that the only part of this construction that's actually likely to improve TV reception is the part originally made as a TV antenna. But still, I'd like to see some pattern plots. If you've actually come up with a superior design, an elegant solution truly worthy of the word "hack", please, don't be shy about backing it up!

tooday11 (author)Myself2016-10-15

get over your self..."myself'

BonnieS39 (author)Myself2016-03-11

Uhh, I'm pretty sure this is meant to be a joke. HA HA

Laral (author)Myself2013-03-28

Although all you say is true, why would you even dignify this sham with a technical analysis? It is way over this guy's head. Either this is a very funny joke, or standards, if they exist, have fallen below the floor here. :) This is right up there with the torn beer can TV antenna. LOL.

Cameron657 (author)Myself2010-08-02

I totally agree. This thing does not even follow the most basic principals of antennas or science in general. Logically the only thing he's picking up is with the rabbit ears, or maybe (nudge-nudge-poke-poke) the real reason he's picking up reception is through a wall socket hidden behind the TV connected to an outdoor antenna. o_o

lucianoabcd (author)Myself2007-09-15

Hey Myself you seem to know about this topic, so let me ask you a question: I was using a TV with the normal rabbit antenna and I could tune only one channel which was quite blurry. I tried removing the rabbit antenna and putting a long (5 - 10m) (cable?) wire which goes outside the house and ends up attached to a piece of metal, in the roof. Now I'm getting that same channel excelently, plus one bad channel and another acceptable one (the latter two channels were completely absent with the normal rabbit antenna.

Do you think this makes any sense (ie like longer wire = better reception) or it was just good luck? Do you have any tips to improve my antenna?

Thanks dude

Myself (author)lucianoabcd2007-09-15

It's mostly luck. One factor is that the TV itself, and other electronic devices in your house, produce noise which acts as interference. By getting part of the antenna farther from them, only part of the antenna is gathering strong interference, while all of it is essentially equidistant from the transmitter you're trying to hear, so that'll improve things somewhat. The main thing is resonance, though. If you got lucky and ended up with the length of your antenna system being a multiple of one quarter-wavelength at the frequency of interest, it'll actually work pretty well. The trick is that TV channels cover such a wide range of frequencies, it's very difficult to design an antenna that performs well for more than a few stations at once. Pick up any getting-started-in-ham-radio book. They all talk about antenna design, and most of the beginner stuff is pretty well written. Try internet searches with terms like "antenna elements" "antenna basics" "antenna homebrew" and so on. Since TV is such a broad chunk of spectrum, you might want to learn about "multiband antenna design" too. Knowledge about radio signals is one of the most useful things you can learn. Radio's been big since the turn of the last century, and it just keeps getting bigger. With terrestrial TV and satellite radio and GPS and wireless networking and cellular phones and keyless entry and garage door openers and RFID and FRS and pagers and aircraft band and toll tags and now even USB is going wireless, there's nothing you won't be better at with a good understanding of how radio works. Find your local ham-radio club and just show up at their next meeting to see who they are and what they do. Before you know it, you'll be signing up for storm-spotter training...

lucianoabcd (author)Myself2007-09-16

Thanks a lot for all that info. I'll check on the topic (you made me see there's much more than tv to antennas!!!)

97bravo20 (author)2016-07-30

If this project didn't work for you, you probably made the hole greater than or less than 2.5 centimeters. The instructable specifically says to make sure to make the hole 2.5 centimeters. Even if you use a machete to make this hole as the author clearly did, don't forget.... IT MUST BE 2.5 CENTIMETERS !!!!

Engr. A.K (author)2015-01-25

not good idea

valveman (author)2008-05-30

I have difficulty in believing this works. No indication of element measurements to ensure you are tuned for the VHF/UHF range. If anything, the forks are doing nothing and the only receiving you are getting is from the rabbit ears.

tomb5 (author)valveman2014-10-29

I made a antenna for my portable ATSC tv using a plain wire and it works.

valveman (author)tomb52014-10-30

Yes wire cut the the correct length should work fine.

zonemad96 (author)valveman2008-08-16

it does work but just slightly better then the antenna its self the forks idk about but take a can make a hole in the side stick a wifi usb stick through the hole inside then use a usb extender and the signal improves same here but using the lamp and with the tv signal

Cooldeal (author)2011-07-05

I understood all the steps and instructions very well and did this but my two coat wire antennas works better than this. Something about it won't pull in better than my rabbit ears so I got a set for $10 which has ears and UHF thingy and now my TV picks up good. So I put that one on my metal recycling heap. It was fun though and my neighbor laughed at me so hahaha.

soldering iron (author)2010-12-01

These days there are many free channels on internet. There are also some software that can help you to watch television on PC, or if you prefer big screen you can connect your computer to your LCD TV with cable.

!Andrew_Modder! (author)2007-09-08

:-\ your still using, NOT cable???? i thaught everyone wit a tv these days atleast have basic cable :-| well. nvmd

spa31rky (author)!Andrew_Modder!2010-08-26

HOW does one get "Basic Cable" when you live in a cabin in the mountains about 17 miles from a town? Ya don't. You must rely on the good Free Air TV signal. unless You want to pay a good price for a dish system. NOT!!!!

WoR (author)!Andrew_Modder!2008-11-09

There is hardly anything on to watch so why bother? There is much more content on the internet and you can control it, so why sit in front of a TV flipping channels for hours.

We don't have either cable or satellite. We live near Orlando, FL, and receive about 12 channels with rabbit ears. We (maybe just David) spend too much time on the computer to watch TV. Thanks, David and Evelyn. (this comment used "check spelling")

When your only cable choice is Comcast, you try to go without as their "basic cable" plan is nothing but local channels, shopping rubbish and MSNBC - if you're lucky. I bet after 2/17/2009 you'll need a box for anything at all. Note that many apartment dwellers can't get satellite like those on the building's north face.

for me comcast is poop the image is bad sometimes and you call someone they give you useless crap and say did it work well no unpluging my tv didnt make a diffrence!!! and then they callout someone and their like theirs no problem it could be groundhogs or something hitting the cabel like what the ???

macwhiz (author)wi-fi astronomer2008-06-27


hiue (author)!Andrew_Modder!2008-03-16

well i dont have cable.o.O .

!Andrew_Modder! (author)hiue2008-03-16

(o_O) spooky

whats the point if you can get like 30 channels with a 200$ outside tv antenna and a 20$ converter box it may not seem like alot but comcast basic is like 12 channels and 1 is shopping so i meen after like 2 and a half years its all most as mutch money as the cabel

well i am it's just a thing i made :) maybe it's ok for countryside !

:-P ok

suyashugare (author)2008-12-05

Can any one help me in programming USB to read and write data using C code

Fred82664 (author)2008-09-05

lol 2,000 channels and still nothing on worth watching THANK YOU Al Gore for inventing the internet,at least online one can all ways find something to invest there time in for whatever there needs may be! I dont have a TV and well just dont need or want one as long as there is internet ,who needs a TV .

Vary good instractable I will say that for it

mf70 (author)2008-08-29

OTA digital is fantastic, at least in metro areas.

GENUINE, FREE HD, multiple sub-channels with useful programs (Personally, I like seeing where the thunderheads are heading.), and crystal clear reception on any channel. Weak channels generate JPEG tiles or audio dropouts.
In my position, I'm not seeing all the stations I could hope for, based on the predictions at . I suspect the large hospital nearby is scrambling the signal. I'd like to know how to detect ghosting with a digital set.

Grady (author)2007-09-14

Are your forks touching, at any point? If so, wouldn't this cause a shock? Forgive me, but that sounds like a lot of work, with NO guarranty that it would be safe. Am I right or wrong?

zonemad96 (author)Grady2008-08-16

wrong its safe lol a my dad hit a comcast line with a lawnmower and he was touching the frayed wire and my mom was like to the comast dude he will get electructed and the comast dude sticks the wire on his tounge and say see no electricty and the cabel he uses in the vid is the same except thicker rubber on the outside i think i could be wrong

Scott_Tx (author)2007-09-07

instead of ruining table lamps and cutlery just use a flat piece of metal and some wire.

aKaMaKaVeLy (author)Scott_Tx2007-09-07

Not that easy....that way u dont get maximum signal...

aKaMaKaVeLy (author)Scott_Tx2007-09-07

dude that's primitive... remember i have the rabbit ear as a booster + the disk like shape of the lamp is an advantage ! + forks !

Goodhart (author)aKaMaKaVeLy2007-11-19

the "disk" on those things are for show (and so, to sell you the stuff) only. It rarely has any function whatsoever.

Scott_Tx (author)aKaMaKaVeLy2007-09-07

Ahhh, I see.

Patrick Pending (author)2007-09-12

I think this is a wind-up.

chooseausername (author)2007-09-08

why don't you show the picture on the TV ?

watch the video you can see a picture :)

The only non blurry picture displayed on your TV that I saw is the "Search channel" screen ... all the others are blurry.

Copyright , i cant show the channel or it's content !

Unless you're in a special juridiction, when it's for demonstration or educational purposes, you have the right. It's called "fair use". And, in this case, you would only show a sample for educational purpose ...

the video is submited 2 wich dose not allow me to present copyrighted material !

Maybe you could take screen-captures of your video and post it as a sequence of one or several images on this site ? Without an actual pictures of the reception (and a comparison with real antenna reception), one can hardly guess if it worth sacrificing a pair of forth and a desk lamp ... and thus, this makes your instructable and your work useless.

Chavez0001 (author)2007-09-08

looks like a toy yagi antenna

sorinescu (author)2007-09-07

cool trick. I have heard about that but I never knew how to make it.

About This Instructable




Bio: Overclock
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