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How to Make a Tin Foil TV Antenna

Updated February 21, 2017

Television reception is sometimes a finicky thing that needs a little boost. Television antennae can be costly if you have to purchase then brand new, but you can easily make your own at home with a little spare time and a few items you already have lying around the house.

Take the wire and cut off two approximately 12: sections. The wire is necessary to support and stabilise your tinfoil. Bend the sharp ends under or smooth them off so they don’t cause injury to anyone.

Cut two sheets of tin foil around 12 inches long, and wrap the tin foil securely around each piece of wire, leaving two inches or so unwrapped at the bottom. Secure the tinfoil with the clear tape to keep it from sliding off the wire.

Make sure that the inputs on the back of your television are clear of obstructions and not damaged or broken. Place the bottoms of the wire on the inputs and twist the ends with the pliers to secure the wires to the television. Make sure to fully wrap them so no sharp ends stick out. Secure them with more clear tape if needed.

Turn on the television and bend or move the wires until the picture becomes clear. You may need to adjust them multiple times to get the right picture. Always step away from the television and remove your hands from the wire to be sure that just the wire is picking up the signal.

Once you have a good signal, take the pliers and tighten the wires down as firmly as you can to ensure they do not move or shift on you. You can use more tape to hold them down or secure them if necessary.

Tip

Be sure your television is in working order and all parts are functional. Attaching an antenna to a non-working television will not give you good results. Use caution when working with cut wire and pliers. Avoid sharp ends so as not to cut yourself.

Warning

Do not play with any protruding wires or broken pieces. You can be seriously injured by malfunctioning electronics.

Things You'll Need

  • Tinfoil
  • Spare wire (Coat hangers work well)
  • Pliers
  • Clear tape
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About the Author

Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.