How to Build Your Own Digital Antenna

By Tim Raud

If you're having trouble picking up a digital television signal with your current antenna, build your own antenna at home. Digital antennas work better when they are unobstructed by trees or buildings. You might not be able to do anything about the obstructions near your home but a custom-built antenna can offer better reception than the typical digital antenna.

Things You'll Need

  • Electric drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Wire cutter
  • 6 wire coat hangers
  • 3-by-20-inch board
  • 1/4-inch diameter, 2 1/2-inch-long U-bolts
  • 20 3/4-inch long screws and washers
  • 3/4-inch diameter, 24-inch-long iron pipe
  • 3/4-inch pipe floor flange
  • 75- to 300-ohm transformer

Step 1

Mark and drill 1/16-inch screw holes in the 20-inch board. Measure 2 inches from the top and make a mark; from that, measure 5 3/4 inches and make another mark. Do that twice more for a total of four marks that are each 5 3/4 inches apart. Measure in a half-inch from the side of the board to the marks you made, so each screw hole will be drilled a half-inch from the side of the board. Do this for both sides of the board, making a total of eight screw holes.

Step 2

Cut the hook off of four of the wire coat hangers and then cut them in half to create eight V-shaped wires. Each side should be about eight inches long with a three-inch-wide opening. Sand off any paint at the bottom of the "V" so it will make better electrical contact.

Step 3

Cut the hook off of each of the last two coat hangers and straighten out the wire. You should end up with two 22-inch-long wires.

Step 4

Place a screw and washer in each hole. Before driving the screw all the way in, attach the two 22-inch-long wires in between each screw and washer. Cross the wires in between the first two sets of screws and again between the last two. Sand the wires at each connection point.

Step 5

Connect one of the V-shaped wires to the screw and washer at each connection point so that they are facing outward. Tighten the screws so that all the wires hold steady and have a good electrical connection.

Step 6

Drill two more screw holes in the center of the beam. Attach the transformer to each side of wire contact points with screws and washers. This will be the connection point to your TV.

Step 7

Attach the iron pipe to the back of the wood board with the three U-bolts, two screws in each to tighten the U-bolts. Space them out along the pipe evenly to make it sturdy.

Step 8

Drill holes in the wood base and screw the metal flange securely to the base. Attach the pipe into the metal flange and screw it in.

Step 9

Plug the TV connector into the transformer and turn the TV on.