How to Build Your Own Antenna Amplifier

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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How to Build Your Own Antenna Amplifier
(Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

A TV antenna receives television signals through the air and transmits them to the TV's tuner for viewing. A weak signal can keep the TV from displaying the best possible picture. Build your own TV antenna amplifier to improve the signal reception. A few household items will be needed, as well as some supplies readily available from a hardware store or hobby shop. Adult supervision is necessary if a child is involved in making the amplifier since cutting edges and power tools will be used.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Wire coat hanger
  • Pliers
  • Newspaper
  • Ruler
  • Ferrite "doughnut" magnet, 2-inch diameter
  • Electrical tape
  • heat tube shielding
  • Scissors
  • Hot air gun
  • Masking tape

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Unwind the two wires interlocked at the hook of the wire coat hanger with pliers. Straighten out the wire coat hanger into a rod. Place a sheet of newspaper on a table to protect the surface. Place the wire coat hanger rod horizontally on the newspaper.

  2. 2

    Measure 8 inches in from the left side of the rod. Place the rod against the concave side of the magnet at the 8 inch mark. Wrap the hanger rod 4 times through the hole in the magnet--pliers may be needed to accomplish this if your fingers are not strong enough. Secure the rod to to the magnet with strips of electrical tape.

  3. 3

    Cut a 6 inch piece of heat tube shielding with the scissors. Place the heat tube shielding over the end of the rod closest to the magnet. Push the heat tube shielding up against the magnet.

  4. 4

    Turn on the hot air gun. Aim the air stream from the hot air gun at the heat tube shielding to shrink it onto the rod. Turn off the hot air gun after 20 seconds have passed.

  5. 5

    Measure 8 inches from the rod on the right side of the magnet. Cut the rod at the 8 inch mark with the metal shears. Dispose of the excess rod in the trash.

  6. 6

    Cut another 6 inch piece of heat tube shielding with the scissors. Place the heat tube shielding over the end of the rod on the right side of the magnet. Push the heat tube shielding up against the magnet.

  7. 7

    Turn on the hot air gun. Aim the air stream from the hot air gun at the heat tube shielding to shrink it onto the rod. Turn off the hot air gun after 20 seconds have passed.

  8. 8

    Unscrew the antenna's coaxial cable connector from the coax input on the back of the TV. Place the antenna's coaxial cable on the newspaper. Heat up the soldering iron for 5 minutes.

  9. 9

    Solder one end of the rod to the centre contact wire on the antenna's coaxial cable connector. Let the solder cool for two minutes. Wrap strips of electrical tape around the coaxial cable connector to secure the rod to the connector.

  10. 10

    Place your homemade antenna amplifier against the back of the TV and secure it with strips of masking tape. Insert the rod at the other end your homemade antenna amplifier into the coax input on the back of the TV. Secure the rod into the coax input with strips of electrical tape.

Tips and warnings

  • Work gloves can protect your hands when dismantling the wire coat hanger and using the hot air gun.

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