How Can You Build Your Own Antenna?


Quick Answer

Consumers can build their own antennas using wood, copper wire, tubing that shrinks when heated, impedance-matching transformers and fasteners. The resulting antennas are capable of picking up digital television signals after being connected to televisions or converter boxes.

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Full Answer

To build an antenna, bend eight 17-inch pieces of bare 12-gauge copper wire into acute angles with 3 inches of space separating the ends to act as the ears. Lay a 32-inch pine board flat on the workspace and thread two 34-inch bare 12-gauge copper wires down the left and right sides of the board in a zigzag pattern to act as phasing bars. Wrap electrical wire around the areas where the phasing bars cross to prevent contact, and thread the ear wires through the phasing bars, four on each side. Connect the ears to the wood with number 8 1/2 wood screws that have been fitted with fender washers.

Fasten the impedance-matching transformer in the center of the antenna, and fasten the phasing bars with screws and fender washers. Make a base to hold the antenna by screwing a 6-inch long, 1- by 4-inch board to the larger board with coarse-threaded screws. To protect the ends of the antenna ears, cover the tips with heat-shrinking tubing, and use a heat gun or open flame to shrink it to the wires. Connect the antenna to a television or converter box using coaxial cable.

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