Homemade TV Antenna

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Introduction: Homemade TV Antenna

About: I am a retired old geezer with way too much time on my hands for my own good.

This TV antenna is not only omnidirectional, but also compatible with the new digital television. I actually get more stations with the new digital television signals than the old system. I get 35 channels and I an a long way from any large city. Some of the stations are over 60 miles away.

Construction is simple using copper tubing, PVC pipe and minimal tools. Tools include a hack saw, drill (hand or electric) screw driver and tape measure.

Step 1: Making the Antenna Step 1

Start with some 3/8 or 1/2 inch copper tubing. Bend a half circle in a 26 inch diameter with an additional 1 inch extra on each end. Flatten the inch on the ends and bend them OUT. Now make another half circle and bend the ends IN.

Step 2: Step 2

Take a 1/2 or 3/4 inch PVC cross (depending if you used 3/8 or 1/2 inch copper tubing). add a piece of PVC to each connection so you can bolt the flattened edges to two of the PVC ends and the middle will fit into a notch to support it. Notice the two pieces of copper tubing do NOT come into electrical contact with each other except for the 300 ohm matching transformer.

Bolt the cross to a 2" PVBC end cap. Use a lock washer or double nuts so it doesn't loosen up. Glue the cap to a 20 foot piece of 2" PVC pipe.

Connect a 300 ohm matching transformer to the two pieced of copper tubing as in the picture. Connect cable to transformer, tape and run down the 2" PVC pole.

Drive a piece of pipe in t ground with about a foot above the ground and set the antenna mast over it and firmly mount the mast at roof level. As long as you mount it at the edge of the roof and don't go over 20 feet you don't need guy wires. if you go higher I would suggest adding some guy wires.

Trees between you and the station could reduce the signal so you may have to go above trees for log distance stations.

If you use a metal pole, it should be grounded to the ground rod by your electric meter.

11 People Made This Project!

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169 Comments

0
Mizark20
Mizark20

Question 1 year ago on Step 2

So the circumference of 26 inches will pick up uhf and vhf? Would it make a difference if I made a ridiculously large version of this? For instance 10ft circumference. If it was going to be larger what would a circumference larger than 26 inches that would still pick up uhf and vhf signals? I don't know the math to this. Thanks!

0
xsie
xsie

Answer 2 months ago

The diameter is 26” which makes the circumference around 82”

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lshaffer1
lshaffer1

Answer 1 year ago

it wouldn't help because , making the element too long would throw it's frequency off, you'd make the antenna resonate at a lower bandwidth. so to improve the signal, height would be what you want to do to make your antenna work better VHF and UHF are ' line of sight ' signals. so the higher up away from obstructions would make the antenna 'hear' better. just think of being able to see the transmission tower. the better the antenna can "see" the areas where the transmitters on the horizon are the better it will work.- good luck.

0
rbodell
rbodell

9 months ago

I think a lot of people are getting too technical. This is made from junk. Since tv band is so wide, an inch is not going to matter. I have made these without a tape measure. I have made them out of wire taped to the ceiling, I have made them out of aluminum foil. Instead of going to the hardware store, look in your neighbors junk pile.

0
Arcadeva
Arcadeva

11 months ago on Step 2

I made this omni, Thank you for the instructions!, from Indonesia

IMG_20210111_091836.jpg
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Elangoj
Elangoj

Question 1 year ago on Introduction

Hi,

1) Could this be used for FM radio reception at 98MHz?
2) How to calculate length of tube? i.e formula to calculate.

Thanks.


0
rbodell
rbodell

Answer 1 year ago

hope this helps, my math is 6th grade from 60 years ago LOL, add subtract multiply and divide. I asked a ham operator how big a circle I needed and he said 26" so I made my first out of an aluminum rim so whatever you come up with for length just bend each one in a half circle and make sure they don't electrically connect. They don't have to be mounted this way, I have nailed them to my attic floor but the higher the better. If anybody is a boater, when you swing on the anchor and the picture fades in and out, Mine didn't.. That was the reason I built my firstone. Then I found I was getting more stations that the people onland were.

https://www.instructables.com/community/How-do-you...

0
Elangoj
Elangoj

Reply 1 year ago

Hello rbodell,
Noted.
Thank you for your reply. Let me try out something similar at my home. Thanks again.

0
bigdaddyjkttcs
bigdaddyjkttcs

Question 1 year ago on Step 2

Instead of copper tubing can one use solid core copper wire??

I guess I’ll find out, lol.. I’m about to give it a go!!

0
flyznest
flyznest

1 year ago on Step 2

I built one of these in 2014 and it worked absolutely amazing... far better than the amplified metrostar I previously owned. I just moved to another home and built another.... In the center of Tucson I get 50 stations... this includes channels from towers in mountains to the north, west, and south. Very omni directional.

I am trying to figure out HOW this works, though. Normally you narrow your band as much as possible and choose a frequency in the center of that band... in this case the uhf tv band is 470-810 so center would be 640mhz... 300M/640M=.69m=18.5in.... At 26", this antenna sits around 450mhz. Thats outside of the UHF tv range all together... It took me a lil while to realize that this was designed to be the center of the entire TV range... 54-806, including all bands. The problem here is that the signal gets exponentially weaker as you move away from the resonant frequency... so much so that the thing should be totally dead in the higher end of UHF, and VHF low. Its exactly resonant on the HAM 70cm band(almost like it was designed tobe there), so any hams in the area should be interfering with it. THis thing should probably perform horribly, yet it works really well.... how? am I missing something?

0
lshaffer1
lshaffer1

Answer 1 year ago

prob. acts as a gain antenna . my Analyzer doesn't cover anything above 2 meters. - things get wonky in UHF. so it must be a multiple ? but it's not really long enough for VHF. I wonder if adding a set of extra elements would make it better than ever. like a set of folded dipoles a set of 'bays ' one for VHF and one for UHF. it would probably overload the front end of the tv tuner ? by having too much gain? most of the front ends of these TVs are really sloppy and broadbanded. but seem to be sensitive.

0
rbodell
rbodell

Best Answer 1 year ago

I have no idea why it works so good. I originally built it to get tv on my sailboat when it was anchored and swinging in the wind. My guess is that by being omnidirectional, it gets weaker stations normally rejected on the side of the beam type antenna that most tv sets use.

0
michaelkurdziel61
michaelkurdziel61

Question 1 year ago on Step 1

Can this antenna be painted without affecting the reception?

0
lshaffer1
lshaffer1

Answer 1 year ago

a coat of paint will not harm it. I'm a Ham Radio Op, and I've used paint on many homebrew antennas. ( I've used clear coat on a lot of connections to keep it from oxidizing.

0
mawil1013
mawil1013

Question 1 year ago on Step 2

I'm planning your antenna, I was going to use all 3/4 galvanized pipe for the mast, rather than 20' of PVC pipe. Then use a threaded PVC cap screwed directly onto threaded metal pipe. Will the all metal pipe cause an intererence problem?

0
lshaffer1
lshaffer1

Answer 1 year ago

you'd need to isolate the element from the mast, because it will make the antenna too big (long) and would reduce efficiency. just make the last few feet PVC - the transformer at the antenna's feed stops the coax from making the antenna too long and reduces the OHMs to a usable 75 ohms . and the use of coax. ( it's all to keep the element in tune to the frequencies that you are after to receive.

0
CBKing
CBKing

1 year ago on Step 2

I always like to see a "Stuff Needed" list on DIY projects. Makes it easier to shop... Looks like a good project, I will use it when Cable is "out".

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diamondcraigd
diamondcraigd

Question 2 years ago on Step 1

Does it have to be copper or can it be any metal , it seems most antennae I've seen are aluminum

0
rbodell
rbodell

Answer 1 year ago

I have made them out of everything, steel bike rims to copper tubing. They all seem to work fine