Introduction: Grey Hoverman Free TV Easy Indoor Antenna

Picture of Grey Hoverman Free TV Easy Indoor Antenna

Chances are you have a TV transmitter somewhere near you. Look on http://www.tvfool.com/ for local details in North America. You can pick up those channels for free if you know how. Yeah this has been done to death on the internet but I need a very pure signal due to the distance I am dealing with. I will not use wood or metal screws which would cause interference. You could buy an antenna but like most things in life rolling your own is better. There are six channels available to me but the transmitters are over 60 kilometers away. Please join me on my quest to knock $1200 off my yearly cable bill. First gather your materials. Three 5 millimeter thick, 508 by 762 millimeter paper backed foam boards (10" X 30" X 3/16" for you imperialists) These are $1.50 each at the dollar store and 3 meters or 10 feet of solid copper wire in 5 foot lengths... Any thickness will show results but I went with 10 gauge. I got 5 feet of 10 gauge three conductor cable. I coulda got two conductor but for some reason this was cheaper at $1.30 a foot? You can buy wire by the foot at larger hardware stores. Various glues, clamps and measuring devices as shown are also needed. The 70 to 300 ohm transformer thing is required. These cost anywhere from $1 to $12 depending on where you get it. I got mine for $3 at RONA, The Source was $9 and banggood.com was $2.63. I spent $15 to get this stuff not counting the glue and supplies I already had.

Step 1:

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Strip the wire. Blah blah blah... safety... sharp.... whatever...

Step 2:

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Straighten the wire. Pull it tight, twist it a turn or two. I use a drill and vice.

Step 3:

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Draw your antenna on the white foam board. Start with a vertical and horizontal line to mark the center. Draw lines at 127 millimeters starting 22 millimeters from the middle vertical line. Also draw lines at 127 millimeters going up and down.

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Bend your wire. Start a bit long and follow the pattern.

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Solder your Balun thing to the middle.

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Trim your antenna to the lines. The free ends are 142 millimeters. Choose your tape (cheap is OK) and tape your antenna to the board. Please note the straight reflector at the top and bottom that is 6 millimeters from the antenna elements. You can play with this shape if you like. Some are hat shaped.

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Mark another foam board so it has a 25 milimeter gap in the middle. Use spray adhesive or double sided tape to attach aluminum foil to the board.Trim the extra.

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Cut the two sides out of the third foam board. Only cut the paper on one side of the board to make a hinge. 25 millimeter tabs, 110 millimeter sides. The goal here is to get the reflector 100 millimeters away from the antenna. Add glue. I used spray on photo mount glue which is very easy to work with.

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Add some more glue to reinforce. Clamp it and keep it square. After it dries your antenna is finished! You can enclose the bottom and top if you like with more foam board. Make sure you can access the connection point if you do close it up.

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Attach the cable to the balun connector.

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Tear off a wire like an idiot.... cut a hole in the foam board so you can get at the antenna wires. Solder the wire directly to the antenna and get rid of the crappy crimp on connectors.

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Point it at the towers and scan. 3 outa 6... not bad!

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Yay though I walk thru the shadow of the valley of death.... adding some height by throwing it into the attic.

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Take some time to add something for the future owners to find in the attic. This will go nicely with the gigantic pentagram I painted on the concrete in the basement before I added the sub floor.

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Grab the wire with a stick, hook it up, and point it. Do not step up here. You will screw up your insulation or fall thru the celing.

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4 outta 6! Got a nice strong signal with no pre-amp! There is no wood and no metal in my build. This is very important for picking up far away signals. You can skip the foil reflector if you live in a large city and you will pick up from two directions. This was a 6 beer, 1/2 shrimp cocktail build. I have a second one in the living room and a giant mess to deal with. The signal coming in is as good as a blue ray disk. So that's cool. I hope you find this useful.

EDIT= And today I get 6 out of the 6 channels available to me! Turns out what you get depends on weather and stuff too. Might have something to do with where the sun is as well. It is early morning and the sun is behind the reflectors now.

Step 17:

Comments

BeachsideHank (author)2017-07-23

Balun quality varies considerably and does make a difference in the quantity of channels captured:

https://www.instructables.com/id/A-Scrap-TV-Become...

I find that as the seasons change, so too does the number and quality of the captured channels, so a rescan may be helpful a couple of times a years, also I found that an indoor rotator is also a nice add- on:

https://www.instructables.com/id/A-Microwave-Oven-...

Thanks for the info. I'm glad I got a good balen. I will keep an eye on my local stations and scan when needed.

Well written, and humorous Instructable.

But, the word is "balun", as in Balanced/Unbalanced.

Thank you, always nice to know why things are the way they are.

Mohammade9 (author)2017-08-04

installing in the attic is a good choice.
I stood my SBGH antenna outdoor (6 metres height or 3 metres above roof) then it was struck by lightning killing my laptop and USB hub, also burnt the antenna element ],:
so sad remembering I had got 21 analog TV channels with chicken wire mesh reflector:

http://meprakarsa.blogspot.co.id/2016/03/first-tv-super-antenna-gray-hoverman-in.html

Peterthinking (author)Mohammade92017-08-06

Yes it is very windy here too and also since my antenna is on foam and paper outside is not an option. Thankfully I can get everything available in my area without mounting it outside. Sorry to hear about your laptop.

BertD28 (author)2017-08-02

Nice job! I like the pentagram and stick figure idea. :)

Peterthinking (author)BertD282017-08-03

Thanks! Just willow sticks. Like the Blair Witch movie. I hung it on my door on Halloween. But I think it's new spot above the smallest bedroom is a good home. Some day that thing is gonna scare the hell out of someone!

Peterthinking (author)2017-08-01

For further distances try my (sorta) parabolic trough reflector design that fits this antenna. It is actually a shallow circular section reflector and has a focal point precisely tuned for this antenna. Mount it 102 millimeters behind the antenna.

https://www.instructables.com/id/Grey-Hoverman-Free-TV-Parabolic-Reflector/

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