In these heady days of HDTV, you can both save money and have a lot of fun by building a DIY VHF TV antenna from ordinary wire coat hangers. Your only expense might be 60p, to buy a VHF/UHF adaptor at a dollar store. You don't even need a reflector backing to the antenna to receive VHF channels (2 through 13) over-the-air in high definition, and that can allow for placement of the DIY antenna behind the flat screen where it can be hidden from view.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 1-inch x 4-inch length of wood
- 10 wire coat hangers
- 10 screws
- 10 washers
- Metal cutters or pliers with cutting section
- Tape measure or ruler
- Marking pen
- Wire strippers
- 75-ohm coaxial cable
- UHF/VHF transformer/adaptor
- Electrical tape
Cut a 1X4 to 41 inches in length.
Measure 7 inches from the top of the 1X4, and make four marks, 5-inches apart down each side on the wide side of the board.
Drill pilot holes at each mark, 3/4-inch in from the outer edge of the board.
Take 10 wire hangers. Unhinge and straighten them. Cut off the curved and squiggly ends of each hanger with the wire cutters.
Create eight straight hanger lengths 14-inches long, and bend them in half to form eight "V"s.
Screw each of the 8 V-shaped hanger sections to the marks on the board, using a screw and washer for each V, and making certain the washers do not touch one another. Use half-inch wood screws.
Shape the two remaining straightened hangers into elongated "U" shapes to connect from one side of the board to the other, interconnecting the four "bow ties."
Attach each wire under each of four washers, beginning at the top left hanger/washer. Cross over to the second right hanger, and connect under washers two and three on the right side. Finish by connecting the wire end under the fourth washer on the left side. Reverse and repeat this sequence with the remaining hanger, beginning with the top right hanger position
Wrap electrical tape on one of the interconnecting hangers at each of the two crossing points to prevent shorting.
Screw down the VHF/UHF adaptor to the two interconnecting hangers to secure the adaptor, and plug a 75-ohm coaxial cable into the cable end of the adaptor.
Connect the coaxial cable to the cable/antenna input on your flat screen TV, position for greatest signal strength, and enjoy stronger VHF (and UHF) OTA signals for free!
Simple, Effective, Free HDTV
Tips and warnings
- Use unpainted wire hangers. If using painted hangers, be sure to scrape the paint off any connecting points on all hangers.
- Each hanger "V" should be 3-inches wide at its widest point
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