How to build a TV antenna amplifier

Written by louise balle
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How to build a TV antenna amplifier
(tv buttons image by Adam Borkowski from

This is a crude yet useful homemade TV antenna amplifier that is much safer and easier to make than trying to construct a complicated amplifier using circuit boards and soldering tools. "Amplifier" here is being defined as a connection that will make your TV reception stronger. Ferrite magnets are commonly used in radios and act as resistors, which means they help stop high frequency noises from entering or leaving electronic devices. So in theory, a "magnetic amplifier" should help to transfer energy from your antenna to your TV more efficiently and control static noises. While this crude "amplifier" may or may not be as effective as a store-bought amplifier box, it's a nice fix for someone who is looking for a cheap, quick way to improve their TV signal.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Ferrite magnet (with concave sides) or ferrite bead
  • Wire hanger
  • Wire insulation sleeving
  • Electrical tape
  • Pliers
  • Rubber gloves
  • Plastic box
  • Secondary table

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  1. 1

    Put on your rubber gloves and untwist your wire hanger. Use your pliers to straighten it out as best you can. You will need the entire length of the hanger.

  2. 2

    Carefully and tightly coil your wire hanger around the concave part of the magnet or ferrite bead at least four times, leaving at least 6 inches of wire sticking out of either end of the magnet or bead. Be sure that the wire is completely touching the magnet or ferrite bead on each coil.

  3. 3

    Wrap black electrical tape around the magnet or bead so that the entire piece is tightly covered with several thick layers of tape.There should be wire protruding from either side of the magnet or bead.

  4. 4

    Cut off two pieces of your wire insulation sleeving to fit each protruding wire, yet leave at least a couple of inches of the wire exposed for your connections.

  5. 5

    Slide your insulation sleeving onto each side. Use more electrical tape to secure the sleeving at the base.

  6. 6

    Place a small, secondary table next to your TV and be sure that the surface is completely clean. Lay your homemade amplifier on this mat and put your TV antenna on the table as well.

  7. 7

    Stick one end into your TV's cable outlet. Connect the other end to your TV antenna. Place your plastic box over the amplifier for cosmetic and protective reasons.

Tips and warnings

  • You want to insulate the wire hanger for safety/precautionary reasons.
  • Buy black insulation sleeving to match your black electrical tape so that the amplifier will look halfway decent near your TV. You can also spray paint the magnet amplifier whatever colour you want.
  • Insulation sleeving is not a common item sold in stores; it is mostly used by electricians. You can probably find insulation sleeving on eBay.
  • If you have small children in the home, keep your amplifier on a higher surface so that they won't be tempted to put the piece or wire in their mouth.
  • Do not leave the coiled magnet exposed; it should be securely taped.
  • Use rubber gloves at all times, and beware of electrical currents.

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