How to Make a TV Antenna Out of Speaker Wire

By Edwin Thomas

Broadcast television is still alive and well, and getting a good signal is just as much of a problem as it ever was. Antenna kits are still just as expensive, too--and needlessly so, since with a little speaker wire, anyone can build his own TV antenna at home.

Things You'll Need

  • Speaker wire
  • TV lead wire
  • Scrap timber
  • Pocket knife
  • Insulating tape
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Twine (optional)

Step 1

Split your speaker wire in two with a pocket knife. This kind of wire comes in two cables (red and black) that are conjoined by insulation, so separate them.

Step 2

Determine the length of wire you need. An antenna like this one will boost reception for all channels, but will be really good at receiving one channel. The optimum length becomes shorter for higher channels. Channel 5 needs two lengths of wire that are 2-1/2 meters long; Channel 12 needs two lengths that are only 2/3 meter long.

Step 3

Make a simple frame for the wires out of scrap lumber, or whatever other material you can make work. How you assemble this depends entirely on your needs: indoor or outdoor, roof or ground-based. The only fixed aspect is that the main arm needs to be long enough to support your antenna wires. Use nails to hold it together, and possibly twine wrapping or scrap lumber crossbars to provide some rigidity.

Step 4

Strip the insulation off the ends of the speaker wires with your pocket knife, then cut to the desired length. Run them along the support arm of the frame to form a loop, and splice them together at the ends of the support arm. The two wires should now be joined on the ends of the arm, but still open at the bottom of the loop.

Step 5

Cut a piece of TV lead wiring with the pocket knife. Strip the insulation from one end, then splice this end to the open wires of your antenna. Cover this with insulation tape.

Step 6

Plug your homemade antenna into your TV.