Six Ways to Make Your DIY HDTV Antenna Cheap
You want to save money on your HDTV antenna but aren’t sure where to begin? This DIY antenna build shows how simple it can be.
It’s possible to make your own HDTV antenna to receive DVB-T signals. This sounds like a great idea and a huge savings. This sounds great if you’re looking to cut the cord. Is it possible?
It is possible! Here are six methods to build your own HDTV Antenna using household items.
There are many reasons to build a DIY HDTV Antenna
Why not choose a DIY antenna to receive your digital TV signal? Why not just purchase one of the top TV antennas. Instead, use satellite or cable.
There are many reasons to think of:
- You can get TV over the internet for less than cable. However, you will need to cut the cord ( ).
- An antenna that is factory-built will not be affordable.
- You need an antenna replacement right away if your antenna was damaged in a storm.
- You love making your own gear.
There are many options available to you if you want to make your own HDTV antenna. Each one has a different design and can be built using household items.
No matter what your budget, it doesn’t really matter. These four antenna designs are perfect for receiving digital TV signals over-the-air.
After you are done, you will be able receive the usual OTA TV channels. You can pair these free TV channels with a low-cost media streamer such as an Amazon Fire TV Stick, or a Raspberry pi running Kodi.
1. An inexpensive homemade TV antenna made from a paperclip
Amazingly, you can receive photos over the air using a paperclip to make a DIY TV antenna.
The signal strength, distance from the transmitter and weather conditions will all affect this.
You could watch TV with a piece of common stationery if the weather is favorable, your signal strength and transmitter distance are all in your favor.
The video explains that all you have to do is fold the paperclip into an “L” shape. The shorter end of the paperclip should be plugged into a coaxial cable that can then be connected to your TV.
This is the hard part. To achieve roof-height elevation, you will need a long cable. LaneVids, a YouTuber, hangs his cable from the attic and leads the viewer to his main TV. Although the picture is clear and jerky at times, it is still very clear. This homemade TV antenna measures only a few inches in length.
The paperclip may not be necessary in certain cases (albeit rare). This depends on the weather, but some users reported receiving digital TV signals with just a cable.
This may be enough to receive an HDTV signal, even though it should be pointed in the correct direction.
2. DIY TV Antenna for Card and Foil
This DIY HDTV antenna is a more expensive option. It should cost less than $5. This DIY TV antenna has been viewed more than a million times.
This build requires:
- 4 pieces of cardboard/foamcore board (4 at 8×11 inches and 2 at 8×8 inches).
- 1 x Sheet of Aluminum Foil
- This printable template
A stapler and hot glue are also required.
After you are done, you will need an antenna that is lightweight and box-shaped ready to receive TV programs.
The $5 minimum is probably not enough. You don’t have to spend more if you already own most of the materials.
3. Homemade Antenna “Fractal”
This DIY antenna is visually stunning for HDTV reception. It’s probably the most beautiful version of this project.
It is necessary to:
- Aluminum foil sheet
- 1 x balun converter
- 2 x short wires
- 1 x Sheet of clear, flexible plastic
Two printed copies of this template are required for the build. Each copy should be glued to foil and then cut out. These should then be adhered to the sides of each plastic sheet, aligned.
Connect the balun to your antenna by attaching the wires to the “legs”, or stapled to them. Plug in your coaxial cable.
Hackaday has the template available and all the steps to build.
4. The Coat Hanger DIY TV Antenna
Here’s our HDTV antenna project. This DIY antenna is larger and more difficult than other projects but it’s also the most durable. This was built in 2015, and still works.
These are the key components of this build:
- A 3×1 length of wood
- 8 x Metal Coat Hangers
- 2 x disposable barbecue grills
- 18 x screws and 18x matching washers
- Some wire
It is worth noting, however, that this antenna version is more complex than others.
This project will take more time to put together than other builds, as it is larger and stronger. Once the TV is mounted and tested, it will be ready to receive digital TV over the internet.
The signal strength is sufficient to test it downstairs in the video. The results have been perfect since it was moved to the roof space.
For more information, please refer to our HDTV Antenna Tutorial.
5. Big Bertha: Antenna DIY for Long Distance Reception
This homemade digital TV antenna was built in 2009 and is still in use today. The “Big Bertha”, a sturdy and durable antenna, is built for long-term use.
This is because it can receive HDTV signals over longer distances. Big Bertha, unlike the other builds in this list, is best for rural and urban use.
Big Bertha, the coat hanger TV antenna is doubled up and mounted on an aluminium post. While the final result is impressive, it’s huge.
Follow the instructable to learn how to build this DIY TV antenna.
6. DIY Super Long Range TV Antenna
This is a great alternative to Big Bertha if you don’t want to be restricted from rural TV viewing.
It is described as a “Super Long Range Axial/Helical Rural” Antenna. The video below shows the evolution and concept of this DIY TV antenna project. The highlights of the video are summarized at the beginning, even though it is a longer one.
This project requires a long piece of wood, lots of wire and a round barbecue grille.
Although detailed plans are not available for this amazing build, you can still learn enough from the video to make your own.
DIY HDTV Antennas Easy and Affordable
Each of these antenna projects are relatively simple to build, even though they’re listed in order of difficulty. After the antenna is built, it will be necessary to fine tune it. Make sure you know where your nearest transmitter is.
Good TV images should be received as long as the antenna is properly aligned (and at the highest elevation).
Six DIY antenna projects have been demonstrated.
- An antenna made from a paperclip
- The foil and card antenna
- An antenna for fractals
- An antenna for coat hangers
- Big Bertha
- A super long-range DIY TV antenna
These antennas can be used with digital television. You will need a different solution if you want to receive analog signals.
You will also need one if your TV does not have a digital encoder. This should be connected to the coaxial cable that comes with your antenna.
To get started with DIY technology hacks, you might want to read basic fixes before you start.
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