Pie-tenna, the Simplest HDTV Antenna Possible, Possibly.




Introduction: Pie-tenna, the Simplest HDTV Antenna Possible, Possibly.

About: Working my dream job in the Telecom industry, so chances are, i'll never have time to respond to comments or messages, nothing personal.

Pie-tenna was born out of a desire to make as simple an HDTV antenna as possible.

Retail antennas are too expensive for what they are. And other antenna plans? Who wants to measure, make fractals and really, who keeps baluns on hand anymore? So, after much googling, and patent searches......

The only supplies you'll need are a disposable aluminum pie plate, and a section of coax, with a connector on one end. The only tools, a CD, a pair of scissors, and some thumbtacks.

The video should be self explanatory, if not, ask.

Redneck Contest

Finalist in the
Redneck Contest

6 People Made This Project!


  • Tiny Home Contest

    Tiny Home Contest
  • Metalworking Contest

    Metalworking Contest
  • Creative Misuse Contest

    Creative Misuse Contest

44 Discussions

I watched the video but don't understand what you do with the thumbtacks and where the pie-tenna actually goes. Where do you put it so that you get reception? And are there any impediments to reception, such as concrete basement walls?

Wow, that was easy. Mocked this up in under 5 minutes, with just tin foil and cardboard. I live in a fringe area, but managed 8 channels. Doubtful a indoor antenna bought would do better.

i'm so mad i did what you did in the vid and it didn't get any stations at all, it appears that everybody's else's works... so frustrated

1 reply

i did use tin foil but otherwise nothing please answer ASAP

I was out in the country with no antenna and no pie plate, so I tried this with a loop of 4 conductor speaker wire about 9" in diameter. Both hot and ground were connected to different wires in the same end of the loop. I got 40 channels.

Did not work for me! Followed instructions to a T, even made some adjustments when it wouldn't work, still didn't work. Super pissed. :/

Awesome! I just made one out of aluminum foil and it picked up most the stations around my home just as the one I ordered on line. I used a splitter and some wire to connect to the foil. Taped the foil to some cardboard and hot glued the splitter to the cardboard then connected. Works great! Thanks!

Did you mod a coax cable to have only one connector (strip the wire casing on one end)? Or did you buy it with only one connector? (I've been having trouble finding one like that)

Made this with cardboard and tinfoil. Connected coax to antenna with paper clips. As you can see, this is a total hack-job but it works beautifully. Didn't even mount it, just rested it on the edge of my bookshelf. Picture attached of setup and me watching the green Bay game.

1 reply

Great if you have that strong of a signal near by. Something like that is very low gain though - I'm using an 8-bay bow-tie to get signals from over 100 miles away, and no pie-plate antenna will do that. Possibly some coat hangers and an oven liner?

1 reply

Apples and bananas. This you can hide indoors, disguised as a picture or whatever your imagination allows. An 8-bay *anything* is going to be ugly - even in an attic. Outside, I have a > 24" folded dipole in PVC that pulls in everything broadcast in my native language (12+ stations) from almost 50 miles away. It's almost invisible and virtually weatherproof.

I made one and got 14 channels and decided to buy a real one, an RCA digital antenna. It only got 7 stations. The one I made outperformed it hands down, so I returned it and the one I make. Thanks.

Too cool! My Xfinity (cable TV) service went out several times over the past month - again today. We're hosting Thanksgiving and I used this Instructable to see if we could get the game tomorrow. It works! I now get 20 channels. Many thanks!

My brother said that if you are in front of the antenna you could get cancer. Is this true? Btw I made it and love it!

3 replies

You brother has been misinformed. The same TV signal is around you even without an antenna. Think of taking a shower. Then you get a glass and let it fill so you can water your plants. The glass is the antenna, (Collector). So you brother is still wet, with or without an antenna. pun intended!