The problem with watching Tv outdoor is you might not have a proper antenna. Many of us might find it out of our budget or even interested to make one on our own. So here we have the methods on how to make an outdoor tv antenna.
How To Make An Outdoor Tv Antenna – Step By Step Guide
Before making an outdoor TV antenna, it is good to know how it works. The antenna intercepts the radio waves from the television station of the channel we wish to see. The antenna converts them to small radio frequency alternating current. This gets applied to your TV’s tuner. The tuner extracts the signal and we view the channel. Now let us see the steps needed to make our outdoor TV antenna.
Method 1: An Outdoor Antenna (Db4)
This method will help us build an antenna called the DB4. It is a commercial antenna and it can get a very good reception. There are even chances of it picking some HD signals in areas. So let us see how to do our DB4 TV antenna.
Before starting the process, it is important to find the right location for the antenna. Try to keep it in a higher place that is about 30 feet above the ground level. The higher we place the antenna the better signal we can get. Rooftop is one good place to keep the antenna but there are many other options too. Choose a convenient place and make sure it is a bit high.
Get a 1/3 inch wood and make sure it is not very irregular or rough. Get the screws and their washers ready. Now fix the 8 screws in 2 rows of 4 each along the length of the wood. Be very careful as the placement of the screws is quite important for the task. Make sure they are set as mentioned below
Both the rows must be about 0.75 inches from the right and left ends of the wood. The top screws of the row must be 2 inches from the top. The remaining three screws down should have a gap of 5.25 inches between each of them. The screws should be firm but not very tight to the wood. This is to connect the other components after which we could tighten them.
Now we must work on the wire coat hangers. Cut the tops of all the hangers and unfold them. We must get about 14-inch lengths of it. Now we must get a “V” shape out of them. All we need to do is fold them in the middle. But make sure the arm is about 7-inches long. Each tip in the arm should have a gap of 3 inches. After getting the shape, connect the wire hangers to the screws. We should slide them down until the screws get rested on the base of the “V” shape. The hangers should be sticking out without any contact with each other.
Take the copper wires and run them along each row of screws. Make sure the wires cross over at the gaps between the first and second screws. Then they must cross back at the gap between the last and second last screw. Check the places where the wire is in contact with. Now strip the insulation in the middle of both wires. You can find them between the second and third screws. Now as we finished stripping, we can tighten the screws. This will make sure our wiring and hangers get held tight.
After tightening the screws, flip the wood board. Get a pair of metal grill screens that are about 15/9 inches in size. Now screws these screens along the length of the wood. Be careful while doing this as the screens should never have any contact with the coat hangers.
Get the ohm transformer and connect it to the center of the wires. It should be in the points where we stripped the insulation away. Place the antenna in the location we chose at the beginning. Get the coaxial cable connected to the antenna that is the ohm transformer in our model. Connect the other part to the “Antenna In” jack on our TV at the back. We have our TV antenna ready to use.
This will complete our job and we can now check our TV for connections.
Here is the list of things needed to complete our DB4 TV antenna.
- 1/3 inch wood board
- Screws and matching washers for them
- Measuring tape
- Wire coat hangers
- Copper wires
- Some tool to tighten screws
- A pair of 15 by 9-inch metal grill screens
- Ohm transformer
- A pencil or marker for marking the measurements
- A long coaxial cable to connect the antenna and the TV.
Method 2: A Wire Coat Hanger Antenna
This is a quite easy and famous method to make an antenna. A wire coat hanger antenna is a very cheap and good method to make an antenna. Even though the connections look simple, the user can get a good signal from this antenna. The time is taken to make this is also very less and it won’t take more than an hour to finish. So let us check out the steps needed to complete the wire coat hanger antenna.
Get some good wire hangers and try to choose a material for the reflector. The wire hangers are available in almost every store around us so getting them is not a problem. A metal grate or a good piece of wood can be our reflector for the antenna. Get the other needed materials like the washers and transformers ready too. Decide whether we need an indoor or an outdoor installation also.
If we need an indoor antenna we can use a 1 x 4 for easier moving of the antenna. For the outdoor one, a 2 x 4 would be apt. Now after identifying the location and getting things ready, it is time to start working. Get the reflector ready by wrapping them with aluminum foil. The reflector can be of any material but make sure it gets wrapped well. On the back, fix the foil using a duct tape. Then place the reflector and position it at the center. Screw it to the 1 x 4 or 2 x 4 that we are using for our antenna. This will improve our reception.
Now it is time to mark the bow tie placements. The ideal mark will be about 7 inches so start marking from the top of the 2 x 4. Now mark each 7-inch section and we may have four such marks. Now draw a line at the 3.5 inches mark and this would fall between the second and third mark. This line is where our matching transformer gets attached.
Straighten the hangers and cut off the curved tops of it as that is not needed by us. Now cut away the irregular loops at the other end of the hanger. Now make sure each straight length is about 14 inches. Fold them in the center to get a “V” shape. Fix the screws along with the washers. Do not tighten it till the end but make sure the screw is firm enough. The washers should not have any contact between them.
Now take the hangers and screw it to the board. Connect all the parts in the same way. Run the wires from the other bow tie and the one down through the third bow tie. Make sure at the crossing points at least one wire gets insulated.
Tighten each of the screws now make sure the “V” angle is parallel to the reflector. Now it is time to get the transformer and attach it at the line we drew. This should fall between the second and third screws.
This completes our indoor antenna. Connect the TV jack and our transformer with a wire. Now place it in a corner or behind the screen if it is an indoor model. If it is the outdoor model, place it in the rooftop or anywhere 30 feet above the ground level. But make sure wherever we place there is a good signal so that our model works. Check with the TV if the connections are right.
These are the steps needed to make a wire coat hanger outdoor TV antenna. This is a very cheap and time-saving method to make our antenna.
Here are the things needed to make a wire coat hanger antenna.
- A 2 x 4 or a 1 x 4 (if the user wants an indoor antenna)
- Reflector. It can be wood or metal grate or even old oven shelves.
- Screws and washers
- Some tool to tighten the screws
- Measuring tape
- A transformer that is a UHF or VHF adapter
- Something to cut off the hanger tops
- A pencil or marker for marking the measurements
- A long coaxial cable to connect the antenna and the TV
Some Other Methods To Make An Outdoor TV Antenna
There are many other methods to make antennas too. Here is a gist of many other simple methods that would help us get a neat outdoor antenna.
1. A Paperclip Antenna
This may sound crazy but yes it is possible. We can receive signals with the help of a tiny paperclip. But this will depend on how good the signal is and factors like the weather too. But is all these are favourable, this is possible. All we need to do is unfold the clip and plug the shortest end to a paper clip. The other part of the cable gets connected to our TV. Now place the clip at a very high place where we may get a better signal. If the direction is right and the weather is good, we may get to see the channel.
2. A Card And Board Antenna
This is also an easy method to make an outdoor TV antenna. It is very cheap but again the conditions must be favourable. All we need is a few pieces of board, hot glue, stapler, and a sheet of aluminium foil. We may also need a printable template to help us build the antenna. We try to make a box with the board and use the foil to make it act like a reflector.
3. A Fractal Antenna
These antennas can work very well and is not an expensive method. We need two printed copies of the template and glue it to the foil. Glue them to each side of the plastic sheet and line them up. We may need some aluminum foil, a balun converter, and a few short wires. Get the wires glued or stapled to the design and connect them to the balun. Now use the cables to connect the TV and the antenna. Place the antenna in the place at 30 feet above the ground.
These are a few other methods to make an outdoor TV antenna. But the output of these methods relies on many other factors.
A house without a TV is impossible to find in the 21st century. An antenna is very important to run the TV. But many of us may find a dish antenna, not in our budget or there may be other reasons too. This is where we may need to make an outdoor TV antenna. This is not a complex process like how it looks. All we need to spend is on buying the right components. If we follow the right steps as mentioned above, we can get a good working antenna. Have a good time building your antenna and hope you get it right.