HDTV Antenna constructed of baling wire and duct tape - CHEAP

More and more people are foregoing cable and satellite television to save a bit of family income, realizing that there is plenty of free television out there to watch.  Many of those people are purchasing overpriced and underperforming commercial HDTV antennae, when you can make a simple antenna yourself out of an inexpensive 3' or 4' long 1" X 4" or 2" X 4" board, some short wood screws and washers, and some inexpensive metallic wire (galvanized "baling" wire works just fine), and a couple of short pieces of tape (electrical tape; or if you want to truly construct a quality product, of course consider duct tape to go with your selection of baling wire).  You also want to find a piece of heavy cardboard about 2' X 3' in size, enough aluminum foil to cover one side of the cardboard, and some spray mount or other adhesive to glue the aluminum foil to the cardboard.

As far as tools go, you'll need a drill with a bit to match the size of your screws, a screwdriver to match your screw heads, needlenose or pointed pliers, and wirecutters.

As explained in the OPTIONAL last step, it is possible to construct two of these antennae facing different directions and obtain signal from multiple sources and directions.

This is a variation of the plans that are found on-line at another website at

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Measure - mark - drill your board

Picture of Measure - mark - drill your board
Measure and mark your board in the manner shown, and pre-drill with the appropriate size drill bit starter holes for the screws that will hold the antenna to the board, which essentially forms the "spine" for your antenna

I moved recently and while I previously had a 'profe$$ional' roof mount installation my new place was not going to accommodate such a setup. I cobbled this together last night from some odds and ends then just generally shoved it in to a window. Receiving 19 of a potential 26 channels which I am sure I can improve on with a little tweaking and/or getting this up in to the attic.

My son was impressed....'hey Dad how did you know how to make that?'..... instructables son, instructables.

thank you for posting.

TBriggs009 months ago
Other designs that I use.

Use this site to find the best direction for your area to point antenna

Great website for HD antenna design
I made it with fencing wire and it works GREAT!
I get a lot more channels than before, and all crystal clear.
I did not add the reflector, and I wrapped the whole thing with electric tape.

Thank you so much!

: )
ktriplej1 year ago
I built one out of scraps and all I can say is thank you. It works!
I made one...a smaller version that hangs on an interior wall. Without the backing. Smaller...only 16" long but every single channel still comes in. Pretty cool!!!!
Tv antenna.jpg
Nicely Done.
MacGyver would be proud.
carlos66ba2 years ago
I have built a similar antenna and it works EXTREMELY WELL in the UHF, but not so well (for the sizes of this particular model) in VHF.
weblar (author)  carlos66ba2 years ago
One of the comments I read relating to the original design that I modified for this Instructable was that the lengths of wires for the "Vs" in the original design favored either UHF or VHF (right now, I don't recall which); but the commentator suggested the alternative wire lengths in order to accomodate a broader range of signal.

I am able to pick up and watch television stations from Channel 2 (the lowest station I can pick up, and one of the stations further away from me - over 130 miles) to Channel 50 (the highest available station, and again far away - over 150 miles) using the antenna dimensions/wire lengths depicted in this Instructable.
Excellent! I am quite sure the lengths you are using are best for UHF, but then again, you know it works and that's what counts!

When I built an antenna like yours (almost identical!) it worked very well in the UHF but I could not get any VHF. Then the design I used for a DIY VHF was more like this:

I built it out of wood and some copper wires and put it in the attic, and worked wonderfully well.

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?


PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!