Pie-tenna, The simplest HDTV antenna possible, possibly.

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video Pie-tenna, The simplest HDTV antenna possible, possibly.
Pie-tenna was born out of a desire to make as simple an HDTV antenna as possible.

Retail antennas are too expensive for what they are. And other antenna plans? Who wants to measure, make fractals and really, who keeps baluns on hand anymore? So, after much googling, and patent searches......

The only supplies you'll need are a disposable aluminum pie plate, and a section of coax, with a connector on one end. The only tools, a CD, a pair of scissors, and some thumbtacks.

The video should be self explanatory, if not, ask.
stuckonails4 months ago
Made this with cardboard and tinfoil. Connected coax to antenna with paper clips. As you can see, this is a total hack-job but it works beautifully. Didn't even mount it, just rested it on the edge of my bookshelf. Picture attached of setup and me watching the green Bay game.

Cool antenna. My question is, "Did the Pack win?"

Great if you have that strong of a signal near by. Something like that is very low gain though - I'm using an 8-bay bow-tie to get signals from over 100 miles away, and no pie-plate antenna will do that. Possibly some coat hangers and an oven liner?

Apples and bananas. This you can hide indoors, disguised as a picture or whatever your imagination allows. An 8-bay *anything* is going to be ugly - even in an attic. Outside, I have a > 24" folded dipole in PVC that pulls in everything broadcast in my native language (12+ stations) from almost 50 miles away. It's almost invisible and virtually weatherproof.

rha2071 month ago

I made one and got 14 channels and decided to buy a real one, an RCA digital antenna. It only got 7 stations. The one I made outperformed it hands down, so I returned it and the one I make. Thanks.

czarjim4 months ago

Too cool! My Xfinity (cable TV) service went out several times over the past month - again today. We're hosting Thanksgiving and I used this Instructable to see if we could get the game tomorrow. It works! I now get 20 channels. Many thanks!

pparker45 months ago


wwhitt2 years ago
My brother said that if you are in front of the antenna you could get cancer. Is this true? Btw I made it and love it!
breedm wwhitt2 years ago
Pie tins have long been known to be carcinogens!

Maybe that is why they are not considered edible.

You brother has been misinformed. The same TV signal is around you even without an antenna. Think of taking a shower. Then you get a glass and let it fill so you can water your plants. The glass is the antenna, (Collector). So you brother is still wet, with or without an antenna. pun intended!

Emitter or receiver antenna? Emitters... emitts... signals with a frequency, intensity, amplitude... and they can be dangerous depending on the type of the signal, moreover the real problem is the power in the signal. A simple light with 100 mc of intensity won't hurt, but that one with 1.000.000 surely will burn your sking. Is the light dangerous?

Receivers are so dangerous as having nothing because the waves are spread everywhere. The antennas only focuses the incoming signal to increase the levels to be usable for the devices.
So, they aren't dangerous.
snoopybr made it!9 months ago

I Like that. It's simple and functionaly. I used a aluminum paper (!) glued on cardboard, with 2 screws to fix the wires... It's works! Thanks! ------------ É ótimo. Simples e funcional. Usei uma folha de papel aluminio colada num papelão de embalagem, com 2 parafusos pra fixar os fios do cabo. Funcionou! Obrigado! Canoas - RS - Brasil

tyzh1 year ago

Will cardboard wrapped with aluminum foil work? Is it possible to make this omnidirectional? Like 2 or 3 of them put togetter? Thanks

edgrolvr1 year ago

This totally works! Amazing. I have a digital tv but no cable service and have had rabbit ears on my tv forever. The reception was spotty at best. I made this antenna in less than 10 minutes and I get all the previous channels + a few more with PERFECT reception.

Eleyan1 year ago
When you say HDtv are you meaning Analog or digital, please.
I've just picked up an old antenna of mine and am getting nowhere
with using it, even with a HD set top box. Melbourne is now Digital signal only.
breedm2 years ago
My rabbit ears can't seem to be able to pick up ch 8 in my area, a Hi-V station, despite my close proximity to the transmission tower. Would this be able to do a better job of picking up hi-v broadcasts?
fizprof breedm1 year ago
nope... you need a loop of diameter of about 22 inches for channel 8 VHF
tom55552 years ago
Made this with a 10 inch pie pan. Comments below say 8 inch should have been used. I am missing one slightly lower power OTA station. Would redo-ing with an 8 inch pie tin make a difference?
UHF digital TV frequencies are centered around 600 MHz (ok...maybe 550 for people outside of Utah). This makes the ideal diameter for a "ring" antenna to be jsut over 6 inches... so the 8in pie plate + the about 4in hole of the CD makes it a somewhat "wide-band" ring antenna for the digital TV frequencies. 10 in is too big...
Ottoclav1 year ago
could i just connect a 75-300 ohm transformer to the pie plate ends instead of stripping coax?
zappenfusen2 years ago
Video instructables should be banned!
I used to think video Instructables should be banned until Kipkay and Giannyl proved it can be done better than many written ones.
I liked the idea, I liked the information, but-
My .pdf download option does me no good with video only. Both written and video combined are a rich solution to a poor compatibility problem.
No way! Best Instructables soundtrack ever!
cwaggoner1 year ago
It works great! When we have a weather outage it sure is nice. Thank You.
> So, after much googling, and patent searches......

Might I suggest an Instructable on efficient patent searching for the gleaning of sweet ideas?
Is this a case of the bigger the better or is this example about the limit?
Tool Using Animal (author)  bobby sissom2 years ago
Ideally, the inner circle can remain the same, the outer circle should be about 8 inches. I was just working with the constraints of the material. I might post an idealized antenna instructable, in video format, just for zappenfusen, in the near or distant future. After all, I didn't think I'd be 2 years since my last instructable.
Do the cheapness of material,I believe i will give this a try but i am located in the deep woods.I will offer up my results when I am done,I am curious enough to give it a go.I have a DB8 started but only halfway complete,if this is marginally successfull i might just never finish the other lol
dchall82 years ago
Would aluminum foil work as well?  How important is it that the antenna be flat?  Should you glue it to something flat?

I assume you were crimping the wires to the pie plate there toward the end of the video.  Is that correct?  Your arm covered what you were doing. 

Is this a directional antenna?  Do you mount it horizontal or vertical?

Tool Using Animal (author)  dchall82 years ago
Yes, I'm crimping, and then jammed the tacks through to secure, any conductive material should work. Flatness is important, as is mounting with the opening down. Yes it's a directional antenna, you can use to find where the transmission towers are relative to you, for me, 90% are at 102 degrees, so I just mounted to an east facing wall
temper2 years ago
aaaah the delights of living under a HDTV transmission tower...
Tool Using Animal (author)  temper2 years ago
If ,by under, you mean an average of 15 miles, yes, I live under a transmission tower.
rimar20002 years ago