Instructables

Simple and cheap UHF Antenna (Folded Dipole / Bowtie)

Picture of Simple and cheap UHF Antenna (Folded Dipole / Bowtie)
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This is really simple, It's not for those who have a very weak signal, but for those who already have a TV with an internal tuner and just want to use all the available features. Also, why buy an expensive antenna or spend more time building a bigger more complex one if this little thing may be just right for you?

If you know for sure you will need a really good antenna, I would suggest this other tutorial.



You don't need more than:
a balun impedance adaptor (close look below);
1m long rigid copper wire;
a stantard shoebox (if there is a standard);
some aluminum foil
a plier and some utility knives.

Oh, after the antenna is ready, you will connect it to the tuner through a RG-6 coaxial cable with F connectors, so you just might buy some of that at the hardware store too.

Step 1: Active elements

Picture of Active elements
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I call this antenna a folded dipole / bowtie because it looks like a bowtie, but it works more like a folded dipole.

You pluck 4 holes on the sides of the shoebox (the shortest sides, near the bottom). They should make a rectangle that is nearly 12cm X 30cm. Then you use them to shape a bow-tie with the wire and keep the ends near the centre.

Then you expose the conductor, cutting off a small section of the plastic coating (which you may keep to cover them once the balun is inserted).

Inserting the balun may be tricky, but it was pretty easy once I figured out I could use the plier to fold the conector's tips, use a small spike to widen the plastic coating and stick the balun's conectors right in it. You can always solder them later if you you're up for it.

 
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