Step 7: Mount dipoles and mount transformer

Place and screw down each of your fractals to the corner screws.

Attach the impedance matching transformer across the two center screws and tighten them down.

BUILD COMPLETE! Test and enjoy!
I have made some new elements using a paper template I made in Gimp (photo editor). I used small solid core wire from telephone wire and it was solid enough, small enough, and malleable enough to bend into the intricate shape required at the selected center frequency (554Mhz - as this is the mean of the digital UHF over the air TV channels in my area) and iteration of the chosen fractal design. Which is repeated triangles. <br> <br>Photo attached. It may be hard to see with the photo taken in low light, the color of the cardboard, and the color of the copper with tape over it to hold it in place. But you get the idea. <br> <br>At that size the elements are pretty fragile, so they have to be handled carefully. <br> <br>I have also attached the template in png format. For it to print the proper size, you have to open it in a photo editor like Gimp. The template isn't perfect as i made it by hand with a mouse, but it is close enough for human hands and a needle nose for bending of the elements. <br> <br>Enjoy.
<p>Understand this is an older project, but it was exactly what was required as it was time to cut the cable cord. Not only used parts of this plan but also incorporated the best of similar designs out there. I'm no expert, but have done enough tech builds to get the feel of what looks important in other designs. Ended up with a hybrid design that used both the small and large fractal shapes plus two sets of bow ties. Added the reflector and it works great! The big change in my shapes is that I filled in more of the interior so as to capture more signal with more surface area in my elements. Made a jig to help in the bending process - but with 8 gauge wire it was a tough process. Made it through with vise grips and pliers. Probably made some mistakes, but it works. Thanks to all who shared their hard work so the rest of us could copy and have fun with it.</p>
<p>By the way, getting consistently great results from towers about 30-60 miles away and when the atmosphere is cooperating, actually got signals from about 200 miles away. This last only happens occasionally and not the normal performance of this design. Not bad for an attic mount. Since this is feeding multiple TVs, added a amplified splitter to compensate. In my initial tests without an amp, this fed 1 TV a strong signal on its own and got the occasional distant signals without the amp as well.</p>
<p>A few things other designers thought was important:</p><p>The moisture in wood conducts electricity so the main upright in this build is leftover decking material that is more plastic than wood fiber. Thought about some PVC lumber, but that stuff is expensive!</p><p>Another plan thought it important to maintain the spacing of the phase lines when they cross. My plan has half inch stand offs for the phase lines and a full one inch spacer where they cross. One line goes over and the other under to maintain that distance and presumably cuts some crosstalk.</p><p>One designer wanted 9 1/2 inches between the main elements, but I opted for 8 as my attic is a bit cramped for vertical space.</p><p>Read where different lengths of elements were better at different frequencies. I did not do much of the math. Frankly this build was more for fun and experimentation. Instead I decided to go with the hybrid approach as that would give me three very different lengths for the elements. I hoped that would provide a good range of frequencies. The lowest channel I get is 8 and have seen channel 61 on those rare nights when long distance signals come in.</p><p>Decided to use small carriage bolts to secure the elements to the phase lines.</p><p>If this were to be used outside, probably best to use aluminum and PVC for the framework as the wind would catch this and tear it up!</p><p>Drilled a hole so I could put the balun on the back. Don't know if this helps anything,but it allowed me to put a short coax line between the balun and the amplified splitter and mount the splitter on the back of the reflector.</p>
<p>One more thing. Most plans that specified reflectors indicated the optimum distance between the elements and the reflector was 5 1/2 inches. Note: Reflectors make antennas highly directional, so try your build without the reflector first to find out if it is truly necessary. I used hardware cloth but others use aluminum foil, metal cooking grates, and thicker bar stock for the reflector material. The purpose of the reflector is to increase the signal strength so if your build needs just a bit more signal to clear up certain stations, this may be just the ticket. Also since the reflector makes the antenna directional you might need one if you live in an area where co-channel or adjacent channel interference is an issue. In my case, we have some adjacent channel interference between channels 30 and 31. Since both towers are both in the same direction, my reflector cannot assist and block one. Wonder why the FCC allowed this issue? </p>
Can i see a bigger picture of your build ? I am trying to design an antenna that reaches at least 80 miles
<p>Here is a picture without the reflector. Hope this helps.</p>
<p>Here are the templates I used for the jigs. Each segment is one inch.</p>
<p>I kept mine the same size as my whisker antenna to compare them. This antenna does have better reception and it is only about 1/2 as wide as my other. As for bending the stars I simply made a pattern and used finishing nails on the corners to bend the wires. He bought antenna I have received 2 channels and this one receives all 8 of my local channels including ch10 (192mhz) 30 miles away. Now I'm trying to get the next station at 60 miles. Thanks for posting this and thanks to tg5690 for sharing your pic, I will be using some of it in my next build </p>
<p>I recently built a 4 DP &quot;whisker&quot; antenna and it works better than expected, I can reach about 30 mi with it. It does currently get ch 10 (192 mhz) which is the local channel for us so I need to be able to get it. Now my question is this- the whiskers are 10&quot; long so each wire is cut at 20&quot; and bent to give me about 4&quot; between each whisker tip. When I design my fractal antenna would I still cut the wires at 20&quot; and bend them or does the fractal design create a longer wavelength because of all the bends? Also would I keep the closest points of the fractal antenna 4&quot; apart? I tried using the antenna analyzing tool MMANA-GAL but as I am new to this I don't know how to use it properly</p>
<p>Hello Everyone! I just wanted to drop in and let you all know a few things that happened with the project recently. I have attached a picture of a build I did on Plexiglas which is one more iteration smaller.</p><p>Also, this antenna was showcased in the March 2015 issue of Popular Science:</p><p><a href="http://www.popsci.com/learn-defy-cable-company-diy-hdtv-antenna" rel="nofollow">http://www.popsci.com/learn-defy-cable-company-diy...</a></p><p>There are some more things in the making, but i will hit you with them when it is a reality! </p><p>Let's keep the wonderful collaboration going! I can't wait to see more of your designs!</p>
OK I'll try this again. <br> <br>I built the fractal antenna shown in the attached picture. Works great. I am 35 miles south of Milwaukee, WI and I receive 20 - 30 stations clearly. I can get Chicago stations but I must rotate the antenna. <br> <br>Please comment on the circular design that I plan to build. Will it work if there are 20 fractals on the large diameter and only 11 on the small diameter. The large circle is 20 inches in diameter. The small circle is 18 inches in diameter. The fractals are approximately 3 inches tall. <br> <br>Thanks for posting you instructions for the fractal antenna. Much better than my V shaped coat hanger design. <br> <br>Sorry if I get multiple images. ??????
<p>You want to design Antennas, I suggest you use a program like, MMANA-GAL to simulate it before you build it. <a href="http://hamsoft.ca/pages/mmana-gal.php" rel="nofollow">http://hamsoft.ca/pages/mmana-gal.php</a><br>A couple of observations on your idea.<br>1. You have to be careful with the feedpoint impedance. Your TV equipment uses 75 Ohms. Most antennas, like the fractal and loop antenna I posted above will have a 300 Ohm feedpoint. This is the reason we use the adapter. More specifically a BalUn. In this case a 4:1 BalUn to convert 300 to 75. <br>2. Your design assumes that the feedpoint will be 75 Ohms, I guarantee it will not be. This is why you have to simulate it before you build it. <br>3. Antennas want to be balanced (in most cases), your design will be imbalanced so the feed point will have to be moved to achieve balance or a suitable feedpoint impedance.<br>If there is an impedance mismatch (antenna to receiver) the amount of signal present at the TV will be much lower. <br>For example if you connect the 75 Ohm coax directly to the feedpoint of the fractal antenna I posted (which has a 300 ohm impedance) you would experience 4.087 db loss. Every 3 dbs of loss is a halfing of the signal. Therefore, you would loose more than half your signal. <br>I hope this helps.</p>
<p>Your statements are correct, but your math is wrong.</p><p>75 vs 300 ohms gives a SWR of 4 and a miss match loss of ~1.9 dB.</p><p>A SWR of 8 gives the ~4 dB loss you stated.</p><p>A point you didn't cover is that SWR of greater than 3 can interfere with the tuners ability to decode the digital symbols and resulting in a much higher apparent signal loss (signal quality ).</p><p>You are absolutely right about modeling and simulations.</p>
<p>Hello,</p><p> I was wondering if you could help me out with a few doubts I have.</p><p>1. Is the design (like for example the one in this instructable) dependent on the location (city/country/continent)?</p><p>2. If it is, what details do I need to find out in order to design an efficient &quot;HD&quot; antenna (transmitted frequencies or other stuff maybe)? If so, any suggestions on how to look them up?</p><p>3. Do I need a BalUn regardless of the design of the fractal/antenna I make or is the design dictating if I really need it? I ask cause I found a &quot;box&quot; design in youtube where they basically just stapled the narrow end of the antenna to the coaxial, no balun, but then you mentioned that most antennas will need it.</p><p>Thank in advance for your help! :D</p>
<p>Thanks for your comments. I have moved on from the circular design. It did not work as well as the rectangular design. I built a larger (More Fractals) antenna which worked quite well but it was large and not very attractive. </p>
<p>Gerry, I am a HAM radio Extra class operator, and have studied antenna design a lot. My hobby relies on it very much. One thing that is not mentioned in this instructable, partly because it is out of the scope of it, is that even number of elements tend to work better. Keep that in mind when creating antennas. Also when you have stacked elements it is a good idea to have half of them out of phase to the others. <br>What this means is that if you call one wire A and the other B, have A going to the left side of two elements and then to the right side of the other 2 elements. You can see this in the design I posted a few days ago in this forum. Good luck and have fun experimenting. That is what it is all about!</p>
<p>The circular fractal antenna that you have showing in a diagram - did you make it yet? How did that work out? </p>
<p>Can't you paint this shape using liquid conductive paste? </p>
<p>You could, but it would be very thin. The thiness might limit the antennas bandwidth (frequency range). This antenna needs to receive from (470-698 Mhz) which is pretty wide.</p>
<p>Here is my version 8 elements. After building it I found that I had poor reception in the HI-VHF (7-13 {174-216 Mhz} area. While there are not that many DTV channels that use this range, here in Orlando, Fl, one of the major channels is Channel 2 and it uses DTV Channel 11 (198-204 Mhz). The frequency is not quite UHF, in fact it is very much VHF. This Fractal antenna is designed as a great performer in the UHF range (470-698 Mhz), but not so much n the lower frequency range. <br>In order to remedy this I added a full wave loop designed around 195 Mhz, which also the center frequency of the HI-VHF range. I then connected it to the end of the phase lines. This works because at UHF frequencies the loops impedance is so high it does not effect (much) the UHF part of the antenna. And the same is true for the UHF's section impedance when using VHF frequencies. <br>I put it together and tested it and all the channels listed on antennaweb.org were viewable.<br>This antenna works almost as good as the huge Grey-Hoverman/Cat Whisters I presently use. <br>Pictures attached.<br>1. Antenna on my jig board<br>2. My design on paper with loop dimensions<br>3. My Cat Whisker Antenna</p>
<p>hi friends, </p><p>Am going to do research in fractal antenna can anybody say what recent problem in fractal antenna? and how to find recent problems in fractal microstrip patch antenna?</p>
<p>Very nice instructable, clear and concise. </p>
<p>I got a 6' coax for $4 and the transformer for $3 off of ebay, both shipping quickly from the US.</p>
<p>I'm late reading this blog but I find it a good and helpful. I cant wait to do this It is a good thing I've read this &lt;a href=&quot;http://rcaantennas.net&quot;&gt;How to Install Antenna&lt;/a! I can't wait to do this! </p>
<p>Making a jig on a board using small nails or screws would make this go very quick and very repeatable. I can't wait to do this!</p>
<p>Holy CRAP! This is COOL!!! I want to try and make this stuff! I'm finding it's answering questions I've had when reading all the posts. This is GOOD!!!</p>
<p>I took some copper wire and an old coat hanger to create my fractal antenna. It works really well, certainly far better than a standard ~$15 antenna and references suggest it works as well as the best of indoor antennas and even a decent amount of outdoor antennas. I did notice that initially my reception was lower than anticipated, but I upgraded the cable used to connect the antenna to my TV and that fixed those problems which were likely due to poorly shielded cables.</p>
<a href="http://usemyreviews.com/hdtv-antenna-review/" rel="nofollow">http://usemyreviews.com/hdtv-antenna-review/</a> can help a lot!
Hy guys! May I do the Fractals with 12AWG wire? Because this wire we have! <br>Txs <br>Peace
Just made 2 of these 'fractal stars' design that is in ToriAmos' post to add to my original Ruckman design antenna and gained about 5-10% signal strength on all channels. Very impressed :). I added them to the screws that held the transformer terminals. The 5 major network channels now come in @ 80-100% from 70-90%. One new local lower powered station strength went from 50% - 65-70% and is now watchable. I made them with 20 inch lengths of coat hanger wire so there's about 1/2 inch between bends, they take up about 5 inch x 5 inch square area. If I would have made them 10&quot;x10&quot; square area you would need about 40 inches of wire and 1 inch between bends. Hope this info helps.
I've made a version of this using &frac14;&quot; adhesive-backed copper foil tape (the kind used by stained-glass hobbyists) applied to a sheet of acrylic, (without a reflector) and the results were both beautiful (think &quot;Copper Snowflake Sun-Catcher&quot;) and impressive. By printing out your template and lining it up with match lines I put on the backside of the acrylic sheet, I was able to apply my strips of foil directly over it in the appropriate places. The adhesive is NOT conductive, but a few well-placed needle pricks soon cured that problem. Once I found the &quot;sweet spot&quot; in my bedroom window, it was performing just as well as my Gray-Hoverman (with reflectors!) while taking up a fraction of the space. It's an elegant little solution for apartment dwellers! I can't thank you enough! <br>
I've modified the design to increase fractals, adding another set of fractal &quot;whiskers&quot; giving 3 sets per side and iterating the fractal shape several more times, while still fitting into the same compact space.<br><br>bending the wires is a little time consuming, but in theory it should add more stable reception. i thought it might be helpful if anyone else was curious about increasing the fractal bends.<br><br>Attached here is a pdf for use as a guide / template.<br><br>Also, this can easily be mounted to cardboard, pexiglass etc and placed INSIDE the project box, to conceal the antenna.
On the 2nd design fractal antenna. The distance between the bends is much less that the 1&quot; on the 1st design. What should the distance between the bends be on the 2nd antenna? <br> <br>Thanks,
Are there a couple of segments missing from the free end of each loop? It seems like there should be 5 small identical loops within each main loop. I have a modified version and would really appreciate it if someone could tell me if I have done it right.
for this design do you use all 6 fractals or could you use four like in this ible?
At what size should I print this template to achieve the same center channel as the one from the main instructable?
I printed mine at the default printer setting for a full 8.5 x 11 page. hope this helps.
So, does the image take up the whole page?
If you print with no scaling it should take up a little more than half the page. mine came out centered on the sheet of paper, with the longest edge measuring around 6 inches.
Thanks for the help, and thanks for an awesome Instrucable.
Using this design, how would I attach the dipoles and transformer
you would attache dippoles the same way as the original, at the apex or top of the fractal &quot;star&quot; pattern.
I used your increased fractal design. I got very good reception from an 8x10&quot; surface area. I did not get notably better reception than this design: http://uhfhdtvantenna.blogspot.com/<br><br>but the fractal design is smaller and safer (no pokey bits sticking out).
Both designs are electrically the same. One design just happens to take up less space, which will let you cram more antenna into the same space--which makes them work better. More antenna == more gain == better reception
update: the original design gave me 56 channels. <br><br>with increased fractals (like the pdf above) i now get 88 scanned channels (southern california). that's a pretty significant improvement.
I have used DIY homemade antennas within the last two years to receive HDTV with no complaints. Decided to try out this new antenna model for kicks and giggles. With the increased fractal resolution, along with a reflector, we were able to pick up channel 38.1 beaming from Santa Barbara, CA directly from San Diego, CA, over 170 miles away. Signal strength and quality were both &gt; 50%.<br> <br> With the reflector and this type of antenna, directionality is key. By shifting the antenna's azimuth by only 12 degrees East, we lost Santa Barbara and began picking up Mount Wilson's signals (pretty much all Los Angeles channels), also from San Diego (only 100 or so miles away); still damn good, however, reception is tightly locked, though also *very* stable. Sans reflector, there is an increase in the number of channels from adjacent broadcast antennas, with additional stability introduced from the fractal design.<br> <br> Great job.
Hi jkunken. Your input on the Fractal antenna caught my eye since I live in the San Diego area as well. If I may ask, on these channels your getting from Santa Barbara and LA area, is your antenna still the same size (perimeter) as the one shown being made here with just more fractrals? And is it mounted outside and elevated? You could be in a vary good spot for reception. Since I want to make one of these as well, I'm waiting with antisipation. Thank you. Garrison
Hi garrison111, <br>we used the increased fractal design as a basis (same perimeter). We then mounted the antenna on the focal point of a Dish Network satellite dish, with the dish facing North, from San Diego. The dish sits on our balcony; second story, though we also have trees in the way. It has been several months since the system was put in place and we still receive 50+ channels, mostly from Los Angeles, though we also receive adjacent channels from San Diego.
Thank you for replying jkunken. I'm sorry I didn't get back sooner. My Mother is recovering from surgery. Using the focal point of the Dish Network sat dish was brilliant! Because of the dish being a parabolic shape, it means everything being reflected is hitting the antenna. Great Idea! I have several questions if I may ask. Where would I look to get get a used sat dish? Is the antenna still mounted in a vertical (up-right) position or is it turned 90 degrees on it's side as shown in one of these photos that someone did? Are you able to get any lower band channels, say 2 ~~ 13? <br> I few years ago, I bought and put up the most powerfull antenna that Wineguard makes. I live a little way down from the top of a hill in National City. The antenna, 9 feet by 14 feet was raised 48 feet from the ground. I was able to get a lot of channels out of LA as well but they were unstable coming in out all the time. The wind from a storm in Dec of 09 blew my telescoping pole system in half. And that was the end of that. But you managed to do the same thing with far less. Are your LA channels and beyond stable? Thanks for your input jkunkin and waiting your reply. garrison 111

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