Introduction: OTA HDTV Antenna From Construction Waste

Picture of OTA HDTV Antenna From Construction Waste

How to make a free*, fast and easy OTA (over the air) HDTV Antenna from Construction Waste.

After finding i no longer watched tv and had turned to the Internet for entertainment i had decided to stop giving Rogers my money. Altho after a few months i started to miss it, and with an idea my roommate had and me remembering new flat screens have Digital tuners built in i was on a mission to get my basic local channels back. 

We stared with a basic set of bunny ears and found the signal was not to strong for some channels so i had decided to make my own, *lucky i work in construction and have scrap materials available at my disposable, so the plan was a go.

Step 1: Materials/Tools

Picture of Materials/Tools

For this project you will need:

- Scrap 1 5/8" steel Stud/Track
- Scrap Wood 
- Kelly screws
- Drywall screws
- Medium gauge wire
- 300 Oms to 75 Oms Transformer

And a few tools:

- Drill w/ Phillips bit
- Utility Knife/Side Cutters
- Measuring tape
- Tin snips

Step 2: Making the Frame

Picture of Making the Frame

Start buy cutting 4 equal lengths of Track and Stud.

For this step the size dose not matter, as my design was limited by the amount of track i had. So to say, Its as big as you shortest peace.

I went with 12" of track witch gave me 1 foot wide sections and 24`stud for a hight of 2 feet.



Step 3: Making the Frame Cont.

Picture of Making the Frame Cont.

This is ware some knowledge of construction comes in handy. if you have none, just follow along.

Start by assembling the Track and Stud in to squares or in my case a rectangle. 

Stud sit in side of track and goes vertical apposed to track witch goes horizontal.

After you have your shapes, fire some Kelly screws in to each of the joints on both sides.

Step 4: Assembling the Antenna

Picture of Assembling the Antenna

After you have your two frames, you will want to attach them to each other but at the same time keeping them insulated from each other as each frame will be attached to deferent leads from the Transformer.

I used a scrap 2x2 of Pressure treaded Wood. you can use any wood you have laying around, shape and size do not matter.

Attach both frames to the wood using Drywall screws making sure the screws do not touch each other in side the wood, just stager them by an inch or so from the screws on the other side.


Step 5: Assembling the Antenna Cont.

Picture of Assembling the Antenna Cont.

At this point its time for the techy stuff... kinda.

I used a 300 Oms to 75 Oms Transformer otherwise known as a Coaxial to RF adapter to separate the leads in the Cable line (coaxial) to each Steel frame.

Using a Kelly screw, i attached it to the wood, you can use tape, glue or what ever you have on hand.

Step 6: Assembling the Antenna Cont.

Picture of Assembling the Antenna Cont.

Now that you have the Transformer in place its time to start installing the Wire. 

First start by adding a line of Kelly screws on each stud about 2-3 inches apart. Make sure to stager one on each frame and have one less Kelly screw to keep a triangle pattern going.

At this step i only striped the ends of the cable, i suggest stripping the whole cable of its shielding for better signal absorption.

*I had done this after the photos where taken*.

Wrap the Wire around the Kellys and tighten them down. then do the same with the end of the Wire on the Transformer.

Step 7: Installing the Antenna

Picture of Installing the Antenna
Time to climb to the roof and get your self some HD over the air TV!

Using TvFools.com you can get a map of you local signal broadcast location and tailor you placement to best suit you needs.

I just zip tied it to the existing cable line poll facing the biggest cluster of channels, all of witch are the ones i want. 

Install and TV Setup Video:



Thanks for the View, hope you enjoy :)

Comments

miked2001 (author)2016-01-27

Given the metal frame, the capacitive coupling of the wires to said frame
and the acute angles in the wires, that calculation would require a masters
degree in antenna design and is probably beyond the scope of a simple DIY
project from scrap parts I think this is an AWESOME instructable and a great
starting (or finishing) point for others.

You did more correct than not. Maybe a wire length of 1/4 wavelength per
side would be a great place to start as opposed to a random length, however
keep in mind many indoor reception antennas are only a 1/10 wavelength and are
constructed of at least two different antennas in the same package, one for VHF
and one for UHF.

I have only one question, does it do what you need it to do? (rhetorical
question ;)

Kudos, keep the ideas flowing.

philip42 (author)2013-04-08

While this will work, it's basically a "random wire" antenna.

If you optimize the dimensions for the HDTV frequencies you can get much better performance for a given size antenna.

Drunken_Kitten (author)philip422013-09-30

yes i know. it was just a toss together project and i was still able to pick up all the OTA HD signals in my area/city.

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