How to make a better indoor antenna with aluminum foil

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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How to make a better indoor antenna with aluminum foil
(Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

An indoor TV antenna must be able to receive signals coming from a TV broadcast tower that could be hundreds of miles away. You can make a TV antenna using aluminium foil that will provide a quality picture on your TV. You will need a few supplies that can be found around the home, along with a coaxial cable adaptor that can be obtained from a hardware store or a computer or electronics supply shop. The indoor TV antenna you will build will let you watch free TV whenever the television set is turned on.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Newspaper
  • Paperclips
  • Cardboard
  • Stapler
  • Scissors
  • Coaxial cable adaptor
  • 8-x-10-inch photo frame box
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Cellophane tape
  • 10-by-4-inch cardboard scrap
  • Construction paper
  • Utility knife
  • Coaxial cable

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place a sheet of newspaper on a table. Remove the clips on the back of the photo frame holding the cardboard backing. Remove the cardboard backing from the photo frame. Place the cardboard backing on the newspaper, with the end facing toward you.

  2. 2

    Measure halfway across the width of the cardboard backing. Make a mark with the pencil. Draw a vertical line down the cardboard backing at the halfway mark. Draw vertical lines to the left and right of the halfway mark, measuring a half inch from the halfway mark.

  3. 3

    Draw a horizontal line across the cardboard backing at the halfway mark.

  4. 4

    Tear off 24 inches of aluminium foil. Cut the aluminium foil into six 4-inch strips with the scissors.

  5. 5

    Fold each strip of aluminium foil in half, lengthwise. Continue folding until the strips of aluminium foil are about 1/4 inch wide.

  6. 6

    Cut an 8-inch section from each of four strips of aluminium foil with the scissors. Fold each of the strips of aluminium foil that were cut at the middle to form an “A” shape.

  7. 7

    Place the “A” of a strip of aluminium foil on the middle of the vertical line to the left of the vertical halfway mark on the cardboard backing, and above the horizontal line. Tape the two ends of the strip of aluminium foil to the cardboard backing with strips of cellophane tape. Repeat this procedure with a strip of aluminium foil to the right of the halfway mark on the cardboard backing.

  8. 8

    Repeat this procedure with strips of aluminium foil to the left and right of the halfway mark on the cardboard backing below the horizontal line.

  9. 9

    Place one end of one of the uncut strips of aluminium foil on the “A” at the top left of the cardboard backing. Place the other end of the uncut strip of aluminium foil on the “A” at the bottom right of the cardboard backing. Attach the strips of aluminium foil to each other with paper clips.

  10. 10

    Place the cardboard scrap on the centre of the cardboard backing. Angle the cardboard scrap so the the top end touches the ?“A” at the upper left corner and the bottom end touches the “A” at the bottom right corner.

  11. 11

    Place the other uncut strip of aluminium on top of the cardboard scrap so that one end is on top of the “A” at the upper right corner and the other end is on top of the “A” at the bottom left corner. Clip the strips of aluminium foil together with paper clips.

  12. 12

    Place the ends of the two wires coming from the coaxial cable adaptor onto the ends of the two strips of aluminium foil that are going past the “A” at the left and right side at the bottom of the cardboard backing. Attach the wires to the strips of aluminium foil with paper clips.

  13. 13

    Staple the two wires coming from the coaxial cable adaptor to the cardboard backing to secure them in place.

  14. 14

    Tape the sides of the coaxial cable adaptor to the cardboard backing with strips of cellophane tape.

  15. 15

    Cut a piece of construction paper to the same dimensions as the cardboard backing with the scissors.

  16. 16

    Attach one end of the coaxial cable to the connector on the coaxial cable connector.

  17. 17

    Cut a small hole in a corner of the photo frame with the utility knife.

  18. 18

    Place the cut piece of construction paper into the photo frame. Place the cardboard backing into the photo frame on top of the piece of construction paper. Close the clips on the back of the photo frame.

  19. 19

    Snake the coaxial cable out of the hole in the photo frame. Connect the other end of the coaxial cable to the coaxial connector on the TV.

Tips and warnings

  • Heavy-duty aluminium foil is less likely to break while being manipulated for the TV antenna.
  • A home network can interfere with the TV signal.

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