Diy outdoor digital TV antenna

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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Diy outdoor digital TV antenna
(Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

A digital TV antenna is designed to receive free TV being broadcasted by television towers many miles away. A Do-It-Yourself (DIY) digital TV antenna can be used outdoors once it has been made from a few supplies found around the house and from a grocery store. A coaxial cable is also needed, but otherwise no special electronic parts or tools. The picture from the DIY digital antenna will look as good as any purchased antenna because digital TV receives a signal without any ghosting or other problems associated with non-digital TV antennas.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Newspaper
  • 794gr empty coffee can
  • Hammer
  • Metal nail, 4 inches long
  • Duct tape
  • Ruler
  • Coaxial cable, 50 feet long
  • Wire cutters
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder

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  1. 1

    Place a sheet of newspaper on a table to protect its surface. Stand the empty coffee can on the newspaper. Measure three inches up from the bottom of the can. Hammer the nail halfway through the side of the can at the three inch mark.

  2. 2

    Cut off one end of the coaxial cable with the wire cutters. Make a two inch slit at the cut end on the outer insulation with the blade of the utility knife. Pull the outer insulation away from the inner sheath. Pull the inner centre wire out from the inner sheath with your fingers. Strip a half inch from the end of the inner centre wire with the wire strippers.

  3. 3

    Heat up the soldering iron for five minutes. Wrap the end of the exposed inner centre wire around the head of the nail. Apply a drop of solder onto the exposed inner centre wire where it meets the head of the nail. Let the solder cool for a minute.

  4. 4

    Hammer the nail all the way into the side of the can. Solder the inner sheath of the coaxial cable to the side of the can. Let the solder cool for a minute. Place a strip of duct tape over the head of the nail. Smooth the strip of duct tape down onto the can with your fingers. Unplug the soldering iron.

  5. 5

    Place the DIY digital antenna you have just made outside on a window sill or on a lawn chair. Aim the open end in the general direction of the broadcast towers. Wind the coaxial cable from the DIY digital antenna into your home. Screw the end of the coaxial cable onto the coaxial input on the back of the high-definition TV.

Tips and warnings

  • Placing the digital antenna so that there is some cover over it will protect it from being moved by rain striking it.
  • Do not place your digital antenna where it could be struck by lightning.

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