Homemade HDTV Antennas From PVC Pipe

By Ron Roberts

The amount of do-it-yourself TV antennas in the era of HDTV are numerous. This is because the basic principles of antenna design remain the same whether the signals are HDTV or conventional TV. They are both radio waves, so proven radio wave tenets can allow you to produce an over-the-air antenna that often exceeds the signal strength of cable or satellite service providers.

Whiskers

The key element to a PVC antenna are the metal conduits that attract the TV signals. These V-shaped wires are sometimes called whiskers, but they are solid wires that can be made from spare metal hangers or copper wire for better conductivity. The key is to have the gauge of the wire be equivalent or heavier than a metal hanger.

PVC Benefits

PVC pipe is both lighter in weight and more weather-resistant than wood. PVC pipe antennas can therefore be placed outside with less concern about weathering. PVC does not conduct any electrical signals, either, so there is less danger that it will cause any shorts or deterioration of the digital images.

Connections

The connections for an HDTV antenna from PVC pipe are basic and important. The interconnecting wire strands are the only thing that joins the wire whiskers that are the antenna elements. They also serve as the connection point for the balun, or UHF/VHF adapter, that provides the connection point to your digital television.

Reception

This simple, elementary HDTV antenna using PVC pipe can pull in over-the-air signals that are stronger than the ones cable or satellite providers charge for. With good placement, these antennas also pull in more channels than can be received with many store-bought antennas and, in this age of increasing digital media costs, continues to provide HDTV signals to an HDTV for free.