Introduction: Digital Antenna to Receive Local Channels
The thing we missed when we cancelled our cable were our local channels. Funny how you don't realize how out of touch you can be until you don't get local news or, believe it or not, local commercials. When I was looking for a solution I found out that antennas will work as long as they are made the right size. This antenna gets 7 channels in a 30 mile radius.
Step 1: Figuring Out What You Need
the first thing to do is go to tvfool.com and put in your address. your postal code is enough but the closer you get to your actual address the better the results. This will tell you what local channels you can expect to receive. To find out what frequency (mHz) your lowest channel is go to tv frequency table . Then go to wave length calculator and put in the mHz for the lowest channel you should be able to get. The wavelength is how long you need to cut the wires for you antenna. If you are fairly close (less than 20 miles) from the stations you can use 1/4 or 1/2 wave antenna, just cut the wavelength measurement in half or 1/4. My local channel is London (ch 10) so I need 192 mHz. The calculator says this is a 61" wave length so, because I am 26 miles away, I decided to try a 1/2 wave antenna.
Step 2: The Build
Sorry about the lack of pics here but I got in a groove and just went it. I just used 12/2 house wire and stripped the coating off but it probably would work with the coating on as long as the wires are bared where they meet. Coat hangers or any other wire stiff enough to stay will also work. I made a pattern to bend the star shapes and made 8, then used screws and washers to hold them to the board along with the connecting wires. I'm not sure why ,but the connecting wires do need to cross at the top and bottom between the wires and the 75/300 OHM converter (the small block with the push-on end and 2 screws) needs to be centered. Where these wires cross they need to be insulated so they don't touch. I kept the stars about 8" apart but I don't think it matters too much as long as they are evenly spaced so the signal is balanced. You also don't need to bend the wires into a shape, they can just be bent in half so they look like cat whiskers.