How to Boost an HDTV Antenna Signal
Living outside the city or even in the city inside an apartment can make it difficult to receive OTA (over the air) broadcasts. The key to improving and boosting the signal reception for your HDTV is having an antenna with a reflector. Building an HDTV antenna with a metal reflector will improve the signal reception, as the reflector will act as a net, to catch and reflect the signals back to the antenna's elements.
Things You'll Need
- 12-gauge copper wire, 5 feet
- Measuring tape
- Wire cutters/strippers
- 2 x 4 wood board
- Wood saw
- 14 wood screws, 2 inch
- 14 washers, 2 inch
- Electrical tape
- Metal grate, 24 x 36 inches
- 75-Ohm balun
Measure and cut eight, 14-inch pieces of copper wire. Bend each of the eight pieces of wire directly in the middle, in the shape of a V. Bend them so each leg of the V is exactly 7 inches long, and there is a 3-inch spread between the end of each leg, or at the top of the V.
Measure and cut the 2 x 4 wood to 40 inches. Lay the board flat on the table and label one end as the top front and flip the board over and label the same end as top back. This will help direct us in the Steps to follow for assembly. The 2 x 4 board will serve as the mast.
Lay the board so the top front is facing up. Measure down from the top and make a mark at the 4-, 8-, 12- and 16-inch measurements. Make the mark for each measurement, about 1 inch from the right edge of the board. Repeat this Step to make four additional marks down the left edge.
Attach one V-shaped wire to each mark from Step 3, using the screws to clamp the washers down on the bend in the V-shaped antenna elements. Attach them so the legs, or ends, of the V point away from the mast, but do not fully tighten the screws at this point in the assembly.
Cut a 20-inch length of copper wire, and attach it underneath the screw in the top left corner, cross the wire over and connect it to the two middle screws on the right side. Cross the wire back over and attach it underneath the screw in the bottom left corner. Repeat this step to attach a similar wire, starting with the screw in the top right corner and finishing with the screw in the bottom right corner. Where the wires cross in the middle, wrap them with electrical tape to keep them from touching.
Connect the 75-Ohm balun to the third set of screws from the top. Connect one wire from the balun underneath each screw. Tighten down all the screws on the antenna. The balun will allow you to connect your coaxial cable from your HDTV to the antenna.
Turn the mast over so the top back is facing up. Lay the metal grate, centered on the board so the length of the grate (36 inches) runs parallel with the length of the mast (40 inches). Slide the grate until the end is flush with the top edge of the mast. Attach the grate to the mast using the screws to clamp the washer down on the grate holding it in place.
Attach the coaxial cable from the HDTV to the female connector on the balun and position the antenna in place and test for reception.
Tips & Warnings
- Avoid positioning the antenna next to any electrical lines or cables as this could cause interference, and contact with them could result in serious injury.