How to Make a Strong TV Antenna

By Alice Godfrey

A TV antenna must be able to pull in the signal being sent by a local broadcast tower many miles away. To make a strong indoor TV antenna, use a series of wires that can work together to receive the broadcast signal. Supplies from a hardware store will be needed, as will tools from around the home. Your homemade antenna will work using the same principles found in commercially purchased indoor antennas. Also, by being inside, it will be protected from the elements that could render it ineffective, including the remote possibility of being struck by lightning.

Things You'll Need

  • 2-by-4 wooden board, 1 foot
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • 8 metal rods, 1 foot
  • Pliers
  • 8 metal washers
  • 8 metal screws
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • 2 stripped electric wires, 14 inches
  • Electrical tape
  • TV transformer
  • Coaxial cable, 10 feet

Step 1

Place the wood horizontally on a table. Measure 3 inches in from the upper left corner. Make a dot on the wood with a pencil. Repeat this procedure, only from the lower left corner.

Step 2

Measure 2 inches across from the dot at the top of the wood. Make a second dot at the 2-inch mark. Repeat this procedure along the top of the wood two more times.

Step 3

Measure 2 inches across from the dot at the bottom of the wood. Make a second dot at the 2-inch mark. Repeat this procedure along the bottom of the wood two more times.

Step 4

Measure halfway across one of the metal rods, using a tape measure. Grip the halfway mark with a pliers. Pull the ends of the rod down at a 45-degree angle. Repeat this procedure with the other metal rods.

Step 5

Place a metal washer over each of the dots on the wood. Screw a metal screw halfway into each washer, using a Phillips screwdriver.

Step 6

Wind the end of one of the two stripped electric wires around the screw at the upper left corner of the wood. Run the wire around the next screw at the bottom of the wood and then around the next screw at the top of the wood. Continue to do this until you reach the bottom right screw. Wrap the end of the wire around the bottom right screw.

Step 7

Wind the end of the stripped electric wire around the screw at the bottom left corner of the wood. Run the wire around the next screw at the top of the wood and then down again to the next wire at the bottom of the wood. Repeat this procedure until you reach the top right screw. Wrap the end of the wire around the top right screw.

Step 8

Place the bent area of a metal rod around each of the screws. Angle the ends of the rods on the screws at the top of the wood away from you. Angle the ends of the rods on the screws on the bottom of the wood towards you. Screw in the screws, using the Phillips screwdriver.

Step 9

Wrap a strip of electrical tape around each wire where it crosses over the other. Wrap the two exposed ends of the TV transformer each around a wire. Wrap a strip of electrical tape around each wire from the TV transformer to secure it to the other wire.

Step 10

Screw an end of a coaxial cable into the coax connector on the TV transformer. Screw the other end of the coaxial cable into the "Ant-in" input on the back of the TV. Stand your antenna next to the TV. Rotate the antenna so that it faces in the direction of a window leading to the outside.

Tips & Warnings

  • Place the antenna on a window sill, rather than on the wall or floor, if the cable can reach it.