Picture of 4 Quick, Makeshift HDTV Antennas
How to build makeshift HDTV antennas from scrap parts. Credit for the bowtie type antenna design goes to the Solid Signal Blog. I don't claim to have invented these designs, but I see that there aren't many quick, makeshift antenna tutorials here on instructables, so I just thought I'd try to share their setups. Parts you may need:
1. 75 to 300 Ohm Matching Transformer ($1 to $3 on Amazon.) (It should adapt from twin lead to coaxial)
2. Two #6 or similar screws.
3. Small piece of wood board
4. Coax cable.
5. Two metal wire coat hangers.
6. If coat hangers are insulated, you will also need a wire stripping tool, if not, just use sandpaper to remove paint coating as needed.
7. If your are building the long-wire antenna design, you will need around 16 feet of enameled copper wire, which you can easily salvage from old stepper motors or transformers.
8. if you are building the simple loop antenna, you will also need a thick piece of copper wire because although coat hanger wire works fine for bowtie antennas, it is not optimal for any sort of loop antenna.
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Step 1: Bowtie Antenna: 1. Cut the coat hanger wire to size

Picture of Bowtie Antenna: 1. Cut the coat hanger wire to size
Cut hangers into two 20 inch pieces of wire and straighten out the wires as much as you can.

Step 2: Strip or sand hanger wire.

Picture of Strip or sand hanger wire.
If the wire you're using is insulated, use your wire cutter tool to strip a 1 inch section off the middle of each of the pieces of wire. If your coat hangers were just painted and not insulated, just sand a 1 inch section in the center of both pieces of wire so that the metal is exposed well.

Step 3: Fasten the parts together.

Picture of Fasten the parts together.
Bend each of the two pieces of wire like in the attached picture, and cut the wire so that each line is 8 inches long. then, use the screws to pin the two leads of the matching transformer to the wooden board so that the wire can conduct into the transformer/coax adapter. The distance between the two screws should be around 1 inch.
Wow, this antenna got more channels that the GE enhanced HDTV (12940) I bought. Still missing some channels. But I am amazed at the performance.
punkypie1 year ago

Simple. Perfect. Thanks!

johng6521 year ago
I was just looking to do something like this. Thanks