Introduction: Grey Hoverman Free TV Easy Indoor Antenna
Chances are you have a TV transmitter somewhere near you. Look on http://www.tvfool.com/ for local details in North America. You can pick up those channels for free if you know how. Yeah this has been done to death on the internet but I need a very pure signal due to the distance I am dealing with. I will not use wood or metal screws which would cause interference. You could buy an antenna but like most things in life rolling your own is better. There are six channels available to me but the transmitters are over 60 kilometers away. Please join me on my quest to knock $1200 off my yearly cable bill. First gather your materials. Three 5 millimeter thick, 508 by 762 millimeter paper backed foam boards (10" X 30" X 3/16" for you imperialists) These are $1.50 each at the dollar store and 3 meters or 10 feet of solid copper wire in 5 foot lengths... Any thickness will show results but I went with 10 gauge. I got 5 feet of 10 gauge three conductor cable. I coulda got two conductor but for some reason this was cheaper at $1.30 a foot? You can buy wire by the foot at larger hardware stores. Various glues, clamps and measuring devices as shown are also needed. The 70 to 300 ohm transformer thing is required. These cost anywhere from $1 to $12 depending on where you get it. I got mine for $3 at RONA, The Source was $9 and banggood.com was $2.63. I spent $15 to get this stuff not counting the glue and supplies I already had.
Strip the wire. Blah blah blah... safety... sharp.... whatever...
Straighten the wire. Pull it tight, twist it a turn or two. I use a drill and vice.
Draw your antenna on the white foam board. Start with a vertical and horizontal line to mark the center. Draw lines at 127 millimeters starting 22 millimeters from the middle vertical line. Also draw lines at 127 millimeters going up and down.
Bend your wire. Start a bit long and follow the pattern.
Solder your Balun thing to the middle.
Trim your antenna to the lines. The free ends are 142 millimeters. Choose your tape (cheap is OK) and tape your antenna to the board. Please note the straight reflector at the top and bottom that is 6 millimeters from the antenna elements. You can play with this shape if you like. Some are hat shaped.
Mark another foam board so it has a 25 milimeter gap in the middle. Use spray adhesive or double sided tape to attach aluminum foil to the board.Trim the extra.
Cut the two sides out of the third foam board. Only cut the paper on one side of the board to make a hinge. 25 millimeter tabs, 110 millimeter sides. The goal here is to get the reflector 100 millimeters away from the antenna. Add glue. I used spray on photo mount glue which is very easy to work with.
Add some more glue to reinforce. Clamp it and keep it square. After it dries your antenna is finished! You can enclose the bottom and top if you like with more foam board. Make sure you can access the connection point if you do close it up.
Attach the cable to the balun connector.
Tear off a wire like an idiot.... cut a hole in the foam board so you can get at the antenna wires. Solder the wire directly to the antenna and get rid of the crappy crimp on connectors.
Point it at the towers and scan. 3 outa 6... not bad!
Yay though I walk thru the shadow of the valley of death.... adding some height by throwing it into the attic.
Take some time to add something for the future owners to find in the attic. This will go nicely with the gigantic pentagram I painted on the concrete in the basement before I added the sub floor.
Grab the wire with a stick, hook it up, and point it. Do not step up here. You will screw up your insulation or fall thru the celing.
4 outta 6! Got a nice strong signal with no pre-amp! There is no wood and no metal in my build. This is very important for picking up far away signals. You can skip the foil reflector if you live in a large city and you will pick up from two directions. This was a 6 beer, 1/2 shrimp cocktail build. I have a second one in the living room and a giant mess to deal with. The signal coming in is as good as a blue ray disk. So that's cool. I hope you find this useful.
EDIT= And today I get 6 out of the 6 channels available to me! Turns out what you get depends on weather and stuff too. Might have something to do with where the sun is as well. It is early morning and the sun is behind the reflectors now.