How to Make a Digital TV Antenna

By Billy Brainard

Welcome to the world of high definition television. With analog signals becoming outdated, HD is now taking your TV viewing experience to a whole new level. With the sharp picture, vivid colors and clarity of the images, your movies will never look the same. The right equipment is the first step to enjoying this new technology. One of the most cost-cutting ways to getting started is knowing how to make a digital TV antenna. Once complete, your movies will come to life and you'll enjoy it more knowing you built the antenna.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Screwdriver
  • Hand saw
  • Wire cutters
  • Welded wire garden fence (14 gauge)
  • Staple gun
  • Electrical tape
  • 2-inch wood screws
  • Washers (sized to fit the screws)
  • 3-4 spare metal/copper coat hangers
  • Sandpaper
  • 75/300 Ohm transformer(balun)
  • 1"x2" piece of wood (48" in length)

Step 1

Cut the 1" by 2" inch piece of wood to 48 inch in length. Measure from the center and mark every 7 inches a location for the four bowties to be mounted.

Step 2

Cut the head of the coat hangers off and straighten the wire. Cut the wire into 14 inches pieces. Sand the center of each wire about 2 inches. Bend the wire in the middle to the shape of a V so that each side is exactly 7 inches long and the sanded area is in the center of the bend.

Step 3

Screw the 2-inch screws with washers about three-quarters of the way into the wood, two at each mark. This will be used to mount the V shaped bowties to the wood.

Step 4

Cut the welded wire garden fence into a 2 x 3 foot square and flatten out any curves or bends in the fence. Center the backside (side opposite the screws and washers) of 1 x 2 board over the the fence long ways with the narrow part of the fence being the two sides. Staple the fence to the board at each end and every 3 inches.

Step 5

Mount the bowtie rods on each screw location, skipping the middle set of screws for the transformer. Make sure that each V shaped bowtie is identical in shape and size so the antenna will be properly phased.

Step 6

Using the remaining coat hangers, connect one coat hanger to the top left bowtie and cross over to the right side and connect the same wire to the two middle bowties and the center screw on the right. Cross back over to the bottom left bowtie and tighten each connection. Make sure that the coat hanger is sanded where it makes a connection with each screw.

Step 7

Repeat the above process, only starting with the top right bow, cross over and connect the left side middle bowties and center screw. Cross back over to connect the bottom right bowtie. Make sure that the coat hanger is sanded where it makes a connection with each screw. Use the electrical tape to insulate where the wire cross over the wire in the above step so they do NOT make contact.

Step 8

Connect the transformer to the two center screws. Complete one final check of each bowtie and make sure the distance or spread is the same measurement on each bowtie.