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Picture of Build a Large DB8 HDTV Antenna: Big Bertha
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Update May 2015: this antenna was built in 2009. It is now 2015. We still have it and it's still doing it's job. I've since put an amplifier on the mast and we now can get that fringe channel lightly to the left of the others without any longer having to use the rotor to turn it. Actually, I leave it set facing the fringe channel and the stronger ones are the ones that compensate. I go up on the roof to check things every couple of years and so far all is well. I would recommend stainless hardware throughout if doing this. My plated stuff is doing well but stainless would have given many, many years of carefree use. Oh, I also now have a 60" Sony Bravia LED instead of the old Sony analog TV we had at the time of the original construction.

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Original Post

We've had Cable TV and Cable Internet. It seems that there is less and less on cable than there ever was. Cable in my area is $49. I eventually cut down to basic for $20 and supplemented with Netflix. Netflix is excellent by the way but that's another story. We also have my macintosh connected to the TV so we can Hulu any program that played recently.

I'm finding that even basic cable has little 'value'. By value I mean I get the basic local channels and a bunch of junk otherwise. The channels I look at I could get for free if I used an antenna. Hence, I've decided to minimize.

Here in Southern Maine the TV stations are mostly in Portland about 30 miles away. Some are further, about 50-60 miles away. Most HDTV antennas work for 30 miles and a few claim to get up to 60 miles. I decided that I need more antenna than that. Something where 60 miles might be the limit but a doable and good limit. I've decided to produce a DB8. A DB8 antenna has 8 receiving elements, or 4 pairs of elements. It's basically two DB4 antenna's combined. The last picture in the segment is a commercial one.

What follows is my foray into the world of HDTV antenna construction and trying to squeak the most out of it for a moderately fringe TV area I live in.

BTW, the last segment contains all kinds of HDTV signal information and links to places to assist you in learning more. I was a teacher for 30 years (no I don't want any help with my grammar, I said I used to be a teacher) My job was simplification and clarity. I hope this instrucatble is up to that.

 
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Step 1: Plans and measurements

Picture of Plans and measurements
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27array measurements1.jpg
I want to give credit to this website for the dimensions for the antenna. And the diagrams uploaded as part of this instructable. At the site you can find a bit more information.

http://www.frontiernet.net/%7Emclapp/Antennas/diagrams.html

The measurements should be exact or as exactly as you can get them. I will describe the materials as the steps to building this occur. Most of the actual antenna construction part can be purchased at Home Depot which is where I got the raw construction materials.

The first diagram gives the overall dimensions of one array.
The second diagram shows the wiring and dimensions of the wiskers
The third diagram shows the measurements of the wiring

I suggest you print these three pages.

Step 2: Building the reflector

Picture of Building the reflector
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The reflector can be made of any metal. You could use a solid sheet but in a big wind it would be a problem. And all that is really needed is horizontal bars or wire that are separated by no more than 2 inches vertically. Anything larger than that and it would exceed the wavelength and would not reflect the signal to the wiskers. I found some 36" wide rolls of something called galvenized wire netting at Home Depot. It's got 1/2 inch squares of stiff galvenized wire that is welded at each crosslink. The 36" is perfect for the width of the array. Wider could be used but it would go wasted as the reflected signal wouldn't hit anything useful.

Unroll 40 inches (for the hight) and cut it with snips. To reinforce the sides (40" side) I used thin 1/4" wide angled aluminum trim. I placed one side of it under the mesh and pounded it over with a hammer.

Picture 2 shows this more clearly. I then turned it over and pounded the other side to flatten the mesh as the aluminum tended to curl in the direction of pounding. Do the same thing to the other side.

4th picture
Next, use two, thick, 1inch wide X 36 inches long aluminum bar to reinforce the top and bottom. As the measurements show the two sides of the array are wings that will be slightly folded in. Place the bar in a vise and bend 10 inches of the bar 2 1/2 inches forward. Do the same to the other end. To assist, make a wedge 10 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide out of hardboard to act as a guide. Or just measure it. Make another angled brace for the bottom of the array.

5th picture
To prepare to install the two bent top and bottom braces, measure 10 inches of the side of the mesh and bend it slightly on the edge of the workbench. Do the same to the other side.

6th picture
The bar is on the bench with a final angle check. Drill small holes. 2 on each end of the angled bend and one in the center of entire bar. I used 3/4" size 8 machine screws and nuts with washers on each side to bolt the bar to the FRONT of the mesh. Bolt one to the top and one to the bottom.

Step 3: Spline

Picture of Spline
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For all the solid bracing you could use a number of materials. Wood would work but it might rot over time. I chose to use plastic board. It's the stuff they often use to do the eves of houses now. It's white, tough and work much like wood. It's also pretty expensive. It's up to you.

Cut the spline the hight of the reflector (40") and drill and bolt to the top and bottom of the BACK of the reflector. Be sure to use a washer on the spline side. I also used a small lock washer. I expect wind will rock the reflector back and forth and don't want the nuts coming loose.

The pictures below just show three views of this step.

Step 4: Preparing forward whisker brace

Picture of Preparing forward whisker brace
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The V shaped wiskers will need to be mounted ahead of the reflector. A brace 29" long (the distance from the top to bottom wisker is 27") is made from the same material as the back brace.

Picture 1
Use a large drill (forstner bit works nicely) to drill a recess for each of the eight wiskers. use the diagrams from step two to determine the distance apart they should be. About a 1/4" deep should be enough. Notice that the recess is of the side of the brace. This is to accomodate the wiskers sticking out.

picture 2
Drill the center of the recesses to accept a machine screw.

Step 5: Preparing phase line and whiskers

Picture of Preparing phase line and whiskers
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Phase line: the wires that connect the wiskers together. See the diagram. I used #12 copper house wire.

Whiskers: The wires that produce the V shaped elements. I splurged and purchased some bare solid copper #6 wire off the roll at home depot. I bought 30 feet of it and have about 2 feet left. I bought enough because we're building two of these things here and hooking them together. If you're only building one then 16 feet should be sufficient with a bit left over. I built two so I could connect them together and maximize my signal collection. One of these is good for 30 mile reception.

You can use smaller wire for the whiskers but it might no stay in the correct configuration over time as movement of the antenna might alter their shape.

Use the phase line diagram in step 2 to determine measurements.
I stripped the plastic of the house wire to obtain a length of plastic coated white and black copper wire. I wanted the plastic coating to stay on the wire everywhere except the place where it connected to the whiskers with a screw.

shape the two wires as shown in the diagram. Make loops where it will go under a screw. make sure the loops coincide with the depressions you drilled in the front brace. Be sure to make a loop for the center. This is where the antenna wire will connect when it is mounted on the roof.

Picture 1 and 2
I wanted the plastic insulation off the loops but cutting it off was getting tedious. So, I fired up the propane torch and melted it off. With a little sandpaper the loop came clean.

Pictures 3 and 4
Cut 8 pieces of the #6 copper wire for the wiskers. In the end each whisker should be 9 1/2" long. So cut it the wire 18". I found that an extra inch helped out. You can always cut any excess length off after.
Bend the wire in half around a bolt in a vise. and pound it together, then use pliers to spread the whiskers apart in a V shape.

Picture 5
Seat the V of the whisker in the recess, Place the phase line wire loop over it, add a screw, with washers on both sides and squeeze it in place by tightening the nut. Do the same for all 8 whiskers.

Step 6: Mounting the whisker spline to the reflector

Picture of Mounting the whisker spline to the reflector
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The following pictures are just various views of the same thing. The whisker spline mounted to the reflector. this mounting can be accomplished many ways. You could cut pieces of plastic pipe and use it as spacers for example. I decided to use some more of the plastic board to create a fin between the splines. I thinned it out a bit on my planer (if it looks thinner to you).

It is attached to the rear and front spline with 2 inch galvanized sheetrock screws. 5 or 6 on each side. It seems solid. Be sure to notice the measurement parameters on the diagrams for how high it needs to be raised.

Also notice the whiskers have been bent forwards 2 1/2 inches to coincide with the wings of the reflector. In actuality, this thing could have been made flat. But only the reflector directly behind the whiskers would have deflected a signal to them. The bent configuration creates slightly more reflection and therefore slightly more signal to the whiskers. But not much. Remember, I'm looking for fringe signals. You may not be in that position. Stations might be closer for you.

Step 7: Ganging two arrays (optional)

Picture of Ganging two arrays (optional)
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As you can see in the following pictures I created two reflectors to put them together to make an array. One reflector will work perfectly well for up to about 30 miles from a station. Two arrays won't give you double the distance but almost. And I'm counting on the design of these antennas to actually be over 30 miles for one and at least 60 miles for two.

I ganged them together using think 1" aluminum angle bar. I simply drilled and bolted them across the top and bottom of the flat bar braces. I used two screws on each side, so four screws for the top and four for the bottom.

The center of this whole thing is where my U bolts will be placed to mount to the mast pipe. If you use only one reflector then it would go in the center of that reflector.

These reflectors can also be mounted one above the other on the mast but you'd need a longer mast pipe and doing so might facilitate having to use guy wires to steady it in a wind. Alignment is fairly specific for HDTV signals. A bobbing, waving antenna might be an issue.

If you decide to just have one antenna then skip to the section on connecting them. It will be simpler.

Step 8: Connecting your antenna array

Picture of Connecting your antenna array
Please remember that all connection instructions are your responsibility. If you feel uncomfortable on a roof doing this or with grounding properly for lightning then have it done professionally. Basically this means that I absolve myself all responsibility in this area.

Antenna mast
How you mount your antenna is your business. There are several mounting masts available. I'm mounting mine to my chimney. Using a set of stainless straps that wrap around the chimney for just this purpose. My chimney isn't being used. If yours is, especially for wood or coal I suggest another spot. Your antenna will be soon covered with soot if you use the chimney. Two things are important.

One is that if you can get higher, the higher the better. Mine will be 10 feet above the roof. Remember though that anything much over that should have guy wires to steady it.

Secondly, if the stations are not all in one location, like a city, then you'll need an antenna rotor to turn the antenna the desired direction to the station. See the last chapter of this instructable to find out where your stations are located.

Connecting the antenna
If you just made one antenna then you'll only need the balun, lightning arrestor and coaxial cables. Connect the two leads of the balun to the too center loops of the antenna phase line. Connect with screw, nut and washers keep it loose or drill and bolt it to the standout board if you want. connect the other end to a short coaxial cable. Screw a lightning arrestor to the pipe and connect the other end of the coax to it. The other terminal on the arrestor goes to the TV or DTV converter box.

If you've got two antenna's like I do then you'll have to use to balun's and a splitter (or in this case a splitter acting as a combiner) mounted between the antennas. the diagram should explain this.

I recommend that all connections either be wrapped nicely with electrical tape, or coated with silicon II that hardens (outdoor silicon caulking is fine) or use coax with weatherproof boots on the connections.

Grounding your mast
It is very important that you ground the antenna and mast. You'll need to get a ground rod and connector made for this and a length of aluminum grounding wire. Attach the ground wire to the antenna mast with a screw or clamp and run it to the ground rod that has been driven into the ground. Securely attach it to the ground rod with a screw clamp made for this.

Step 9: Up on the roof!

Picture of Up on the roof!
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This series of pictures just shows the assembled antenna up on the roof.

The first picture shows one of many ways it can be done. I have an unused chimney that is large and strong. I chose a chimney strap system. It consists of two corner brackets and stainless straps that go around the chimney. Turnbuckle type bolts let you tighten it. The mount is strong. You can also get roof mounts in various configurations. One of the best and least invasive are the brackets that mount on the side of a house at the peak. No holes in the roof and you can screw into solid wood.

The second picture shows one half of the array and how the matching transformer is connected. I attached the leads with stainless steel machine screws with washers on both sides and a nut. Then ran the bolt through the white plastic to brace and bolted the connection to it.

The third picture is of the splitter being used as a combiner. A coax from each elements matching transformer is connected here so they antennas can be 'combined' into one cable. This splitter actually degrades a bit of the signal but the second element will bring in enough extra signal to make it worthwhile.

The fourth picture: Bolted to the mast pipe is the coax grounding lug. The short length of coax from the splitter is on one side and the other side is the  coax to the TV.  The ground wire is connected to the lower pipe and goes to a ground rod. There is a grounding screw on the grounding lug that the ground wire can be attached to. My wire is attached to the mast below the rotor.

Here you also see my channel master rotor. Where I am the signals are within a 20 degree arc with some of them being 180 degrees to the rear.

The fifth picture shows the entire antenna from the front.

Step 10: The visual results

Picture of The visual results
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The digital tv converter box I chose is the Digital Stream DSP7700P Digital Set-Top Box. There are many to choose from. Some have much better reviews than others. But, there are enough horror stories for each box to make you think that all of them will be a lemon. And at this time not many are available since the government coupon deadline is over. This one seems to be working well.

The second picture shows the back of the converter box. Simple really. Coax antenna in and coax out to TV or you can connect your TV via the analog RCA jacks. Your choice. The box has an on button and channel up/down buttons. It comes with a infrared remote that has more bells and whistles. The instructions are sequential and fairly clear. You can see a signal strength and scan for channels that lock in when done. There are full menu items for a variety of functions.

Where I live in  Southern Maine there are three locl channels NBC, ABC, and CBS that are 25-35 miles away. I live on a lake and therefore a valley that is low and surrounded by hills. Trees are also all around my house and the leaves are still on them. My antenna is about 20 feet above ground.

There are three public television stations 7-35 miles away and Fox movie station where american idol exists. So, the wife would like to get that. The only problem is that Fox is 62 miles away. Definitely a fringe station.

The closest station NBC has a signal strength of 88-90 and very strong. ABC and CBS have lower but still strong signals. ABC is further away but the antenna is atop Mt. Washington so, a good signal. Picture three shows the signal strength for NBC.

The fourth picture shows the signal strength for Fox at 62 miles away. The signal strength is 30% which is more than enough for viewing. A strength of 5-10 should be enough but with this station at least 18 is needed. With digital signals the picture is usually always good if you can see it. Snow on the screen is only for analog signals. At 18 though some blocky artifacts can sometimes be seen. This signal was supposed to be the litmus test for my antenna. My neighbor with a db4 an amplifier can't get this station.

The last picture is of the trees in the direction most of my stations need to deal with. Trees aren't good but the antenna seems to not be bothered by them. The leaves will soon be down.

Overall the construction experience has been pretty good. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot in the process. I hope the info here is correct. I'm no expert for sure. I ended up getting the three networks and Fox, three public television stations, and a couple of smaller local stations. BTW one of the good ones ABC is a VHF not UHF station. This often requires a VHF antenna. The strong signal along with the strong antenna seems to make this unnecessary. After the weekend I will be giving Cable TV back their signal.

Thanks for reading,
Dan


Step 11: Digital signal strength 101

Picture of Digital signal strength 101
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There are tools on the internet to help you determine the stations in your area, their power, distance, and your chances of getting them to show on your TV.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=90

I suggest you try 'TV Maps' link. Type in your address, height of your antenna and you can determine your chances of reception.

You'll also see a list of stations in your area. If you choose one you'll see a color coded map of signal strength from the station to your location. The list shows the distance in miles and and important number NM or noise margin. The antenna we're making should have a gain of at least 15, hopefully more. Think of the NM as the loss of the signal to your house. It could be hills, leaves, walls or weather. It's also distance and location of you and the signal tower. The goal is to get a net gain of at least 0. At zero you'll get a signal. For a reliable signal a higher number is beneficial. 5-10 means you'll probably get a signal over 0 consistantly.

So, take your antenna gain. Let's use 15 and add the NM For the positive numbers it's no problem. The negative numbers might be another issue. An antenna of 15 db hoping to get a stations that's -11 db leaves a net gain of 4. Marginal but a reliable steady signal is possible at this level. The thing is every splitter, length of cable, branch in front of the antenna, Snow in the air, and many other factors can lower the db of gain bringing that gain of 4 down to 0 or lower meaning loss of signal.
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Divet2 months ago

Does it matter which wire is on top at the crossover? Do you alternate?

deceiver (author)  Divet2 months ago
No, as long as they are not touching (Insulated from each other).
deceiver (author)  deceiver2 months ago
Some TV's will show you a signal strength in db. 0-100. At the same time check a channel with one antenna then the other. Of course to make it good science it would have to have similar parameters. Same tv, about the same time, same height, same location, etc. Good luck. Fractal stuff should yield some good results from what I've read.
deceiver (author)  deceiver2 months ago
Yes, I see where it says that. Actually, it doesn't matter for signal integrity. If someone were to use bare wires then it would be important that they don't touch which is probably why I added it years ago. If yours are covered by insulation then they can touch, mine do. It shouldn't make any difference. Thanks for clarifying though. Someone else might have the same question.
PeterD13 deceiver2 months ago

Thank you both, I'll be building two more of these soon. Knowing that will make it a little simpler.I'm putting together a couple fractal antennas as well to compare, though I don't have any good way to measure the actual performance of each individual antenna.

Divet deceiver2 months ago

So the 1 inch air gap is necessary even if the wires are insulated?

deceiver (author)  Divet2 months ago

Hmm.. no. I don't think I mentioned any air gap in the instructions. If insulated (plastic coating) the wires can be touching.

PeterD13 deceiver2 months ago

The diagram for the phase lines states to keep 1" of space at crossover, nothing mentioned that insulated lines would negate this. I interpreted it the same way and place a 1" block of wood between insulated 12 ga copper at crossover.

brent.batali3 months ago

Great diy project!! I have what might be a stupid question. I looked up my address on antennaWeb to determine where to aim this antenna (if I decide to build it or buy it). All of the channels range from 156-180 degrees from my house 15-64 miles away. If I built 2 or even 3 of these and instead of combining these as one large flat panel but instead had a slight angle to each attachment would this work instead of a rotor? Trying to keep my wife happy with this "getting rid of cable thing" and if she has to push a button other than the remote... wouldn't be the end of the world, but it would definitely open up the conversations every time I want to spend money on golf

Pilgrimm3 months ago

OK, it's six years on, but Instructibles never throws anything away.... (just like me!) Your 'ible is Brilliant! Simple, easy-to-follow instructions, cost-conscious, and lo and behold... It Works! (The Real Test) I built a smaller version 3 years ago because the commercial antennas were ridiculous. Works OK, and it was free, beyond cost of materials - about $20.00 including shop scrap. I'm retired, live south of Hartford, CT (and I get a couple of NYC stations - 140 miles) and this will do nicely until Social Security starts to supplement my TV costs. Many thanks. And may the force be with you!!

Goofus525 months ago

In making your whiskers you used 6 gauge wire. I have a bunch of surplus solid 12 gauge wire laying around, so would it be the same if I braided to 12 gauge wires together to make each whisker? I know it'll take a little time but in this case, time is cheaper than money.

deceiver (author)  Goofus525 months ago
I only used heavier wire so that It wouldn't sag, or bend over time. I suppose you could twist a couple of 12's together. It would probably be pretty resistant to bending. It shouldn't affect the signal any as far as I know.
mtsav8or5 months ago

Thanks for posting this build. It answered a lot of questions I had about connecting multiple antennas to create an array. What are your thoughts about connecting two antennas facing in opposite directions? My closest stations are positioned almost 180 degrees from each other. I know I could add a rotor but I'm looking to setup a DVR system and want to record channels from both directions at the same time. I haven't tested an Omni directional but I'm in WV and live in a valley with 400 feet of hills in all directions.

deceiver (author)  mtsav8or5 months ago
Yes you can. A digital antenna mounted on top of each other pose no interference issues with the other antenna. A rotor is an option but it you want two antennas and the stations are 180 degrees from each other then you'd never have to move them.

If on of the stations are close compared to the other maybe a smaller antenna might work in that direction. If that's the case it would save a lot of work and expense. Remember the digital signal will either be on or off. No snow or weak signal issues like VHF used to be. If you get it then it's good.

Not sure if you can help me. Am trying to get rid of cable, and purchased two Leaf50 HDTV antennas, which get signals up to 50 miles away. With the Leaf50, I get the basic channels I wanted, except for NBC. NBC broadcasts from 70 miles away. Is there some way I can enhance these Leaf50's so they can get a signal from that far away? I don't think some kind of antenna outside, on the roof, or in the attic can hook up to both tv's of mine (1 upstairs in the living room and 1 downstairs in the family room), right? Please write me back at jeannebeans@gmail.com. Thanx!

deceiver (author)  laura.brown.3557445 months ago
70 miles is the absolute limit unless you are up high. Digital TV is line of site pretty much. Higher up and you can do further because you can get beyond the ground level curvature of the earth. Your leaf antenna is a good indoor antenna but not like one of the larger roof mounts. When you see reviews of any antenna you'll see people who love them and those who hate them. The reason is that someone in the middle of a city where all the stations are, will get a signal for 50 stations with something very small. While others with huge antennas but living far from stations will think it doesn't work. Yours is good for signals maybe up to 30 miles away. 50 would be pushing it.. unless you're up very high. You can put this antenna or one on the roof hooked up to two tv's. You just need a splitter (radio shack, walmart a few bucks) You lose a couple of decibels of signal but it does work well. Too hook it up you connect the coaxial cable into one end of it and there's two connections on the other side of it that go to each TV. A larger antenna, mounted fairly high up on the roof with a splitter and maybe a mast mounted amplifier 'might' get what you want. It all depends on the terrain (mountains?), distance to the station, and another factors is how much power the station is transmitting with. There are links at the end of my instructable that will let you type in your zip code and it will tell you the possibility of tuning these stations in. It takes into account the topography of the land, asks you how high you'll mount it, and a bunch of other factors. It is pretty accurate actually. Good luck with this. The other option is to have a smart TV and get a service like HULU that lets you look at last nights tv programs the next night. It works well and is about $8/month. Let me know what you end up doing and if you have any luck with it. If something isn't clear here please don't hesitate to ask for clarification.
Ray.P.Waddell8 months ago

Is 19ga 1/2" hardware fabric good for the reflectors?

deceiver (author)  Ray.P.Waddell8 months ago

yes, as a matter of fact that's what I used. it's 1/2" squares of galvanized mesh. Anything's okay as long as it's no more than 1" square mesh. And of course any solid metal would probably be taken out by the wind.

The mesh you're talking about is still bendable but stiff enough to last the test of time. And being galvanized is important in the weather but won't affect the signal at all.

john.wraith.510 months ago

This is definitely one of the better home built antennas, I am currently building one similar to the DB8E on a PVC frame and can tell you have done the research on this.

one small comment though , I think you meant to say cut the wires at 19 not 18 ( unless i am not understanding correctly)

One thing I havent found any info on the whiskers being swept forward increasing directionality, also when making an array did you come across any info on the distance between them?

Outstanding job on both the antenna and instructions

deceiver (author)  john.wraith.58 months ago

You're right about the 19" instead of 18". Thanks for pointing that out. The reason for the bent whiskers and background signal reflector is that if the reflector and whiskers are flat, the reflector will reflect the signal directly to the back of the whisker. It would only have to be the width of the whisker.

By raising the whisker higher above the reflector and tilting it forward, the reflector can be made larger with more area reflecting onto the whisker. Think of it this way. The further you move the whisker away from the mesh, the more it begins to act like being closer to a focal point.

Now, this isn't a direct TV reflector! There's a point of diminished returns. If the whisker is an inch above the reflector then flat is good. A little higher lets you add more reflector maybe getting more signal to the antenna collector (whiskers).

vuk651 year ago

Great Job! Did you try only one antenna before you set up the array to see if it made a difference? Also, I would like to put mine in the attic. Can I use foil sheet on cardboard as a deflector? I have already made an antenna but I really like your design!!

deceiver (author)  vuk651 year ago
Tried only one smaller one.
out of the wind anything metallic should work.
Dano6691 year ago

I am on a hill, on my street. It is 139miles to Boston from town. My LOS is not real good, unless Boston is more direct across the water. I know driving down I295 there is a nice hill, about 295' elevation. I do believe that I am on a high point in town though. The humidity is having a factor in it as well, normally can get most of the station down there at 75% or better, when we are about 50% humidity.

deceiver (author)  Dano6691 year ago
A hill of that height would be like having an antenna mast that high. Low humidity is better. The more moisture in the air, the more the signal is absorbed. 139 miles is a long ways. Even an elevation like yours doesn't seem high enough to overcome the earth's curve. Are you sure it's Boston? I'm 90 miles from Boston and can't get them.
Dano6691 year ago

Hello, I am also in Maine, South of Augusta. I was wondering how high you have your antenna and which stations you were picking up? I recently paired up a couple of 8-bay antennas and now find myself receiving a lot of Boston channels on top of those from Maine. I was wondering, if it was something to do with the weather. Not sure how much longer my DX-ing will be going for, I hope a long time.

deceiver (author)  Dano6691 year ago
Weather only hinders signals. It wouldn't help. I'm impressed that Boston stations would come in. You're what, about 200 miles from Boston. The only way that is physically possible is if your elevation is very, very high. Anything over 70 miles, line of sight at sea level should not be possible because of the curvature of the earth. The distance to Boston form around Augusta is only available with a good antenna and elevation. Bravo for you if you have that situation.

If you are then the Maine stations are pretty much on the coast in line with Boston.
Wooodyii21 year ago

Hello again, Is a splitter and a combiner the same thing? I have seen splitters at the store with 1 input to 2 outputs, but nothing 2 inputs to 1 output. How much roughly do you think the antenna itself cost you? Lastly, would drywall corner bead be good enough for the parameter of the antenna or is the aluminum angle the way to go?

deceiver (author)  Wooodyii21 year ago
yup, splitter/combiner is the same.

I've seen stiff and very thin drywall corner bead. You'd have to judge yourself depending on what you find.
Wooodyii21 year ago

Hello, and great write up. I will be making 2 of these within the next week and both will be twin arrays. Is there any thing you would have done any differently for better signal or is this pretty much the pinnacle of the design?

Sorry, one more thing. The distance from the antenna to my tv is probably going to be about 40 to 50 feet. Is there any other steps or details I should be aware of because of the distance? Thank you

deceiver (author)  Wooodyii21 year ago
There will be a slight loss with longer cable. check it out and if you're not getting the stations you expected to then an antenna amplifier would help. If everything works okay though, why the added complexity and cost.

Thanks for the info. Stainless it is then.

deceiver (author)  Wooodyii21 year ago
Actually no. I probably would have mounted it a little higher if I could. I might have forgone the rotor as i don't seem to need it with stations almost in the same direction. I'm fairing well so far but to do it again and some day I probably will do this. I'd splurge for some stainless steel screws/bolts and such especially where wires connect.

Good luck.
rambler501 year ago

I made 3 of them 1 for me 2 for a friend. They do a great job, they look very professional.

deceiver (author)  rambler501 year ago

I'm so glad it worked out for you. My antenna is still working great after all these years. That, with cutting the cable, amazon prime, hulu plus, and a mac mini downloading other stuff and we're very happy with our entertainment bill with only internet being payed for.

deceiver (author)  deceiver1 year ago

Hey, post some pictures huh?

An updated link for the diagrams
http://m4antenna.eastmasonvilleweather.com/Drawings/PDF%20Drawings.html
Oh, yes forgot to mention since it was going in my attic, I made mine out of 1/2" PVC pipe for the frame, and an aluminum window screen for the reflector. The array mount was a 3" wide piece of pine. I used 45 degree connectors which I sawed "nearly" through and bent out to the right angle
I built this and boy does it work great, even in my attic!

Since I live in an area where there are a few channels in the high VHF range I modified the antenna a little so that the last pair of wiskers are were cut to 29" and bent to 14.5 V 14.5.

Since the focus for those frequencies is further out, I also made the piece of wood that the antenna array is on sit at an angle to the reflector, with the top of it about 6", and the bottom out about 15".

It's best to experiment with the distance from the reflector gets the best signal by moving piece of wood around while you have a TV attached till you get all the channels you are looking for.
where did you get this plan from. or is it of your own design.
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