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.

Step 1: 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.
We used bow tie antennas in the 60s to pick up the UHF signals when they started transmitting them. Now I simply stripped ten inches of shielding from the end of my previous cable run and taped it to the window on the side of my home where the majority of the towers are located. It's omnidirectional, and a vertical position works best. I can pick up 43 channels where I live in the city because I live on a hill overlooking it. Obviously this won't work for rural areas where you need to go directional, and use a a rotor. I pick up signals up to 46 miles away. Just keeping it simple.
<p> Everyone has said that you have to use the 75 to 300 Ohm Matching Transformer.</p><p> I was wondering about that so I left it out and just stripped back the wires on the coax and hooked it up. I kept getting dropouts so I figured I would buy the transformer. I found it made exactly zero difference. I get one channel and there is no other transmitter close to me. I live in the mountains. Has anyone else had any experience with removing it? No, I don't want some technical explaination on why you need it. I just wonder if anyone has tried it like I did and found no difference</p>
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.
<p>Simple. Perfect. Thanks!</p>
I was just looking to do something like this. Thanks

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Bio: The things I make are somewhat minimal in complexity, but I still manage to make some pretty rad gadgets.
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