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Homemade TV antenna

Updated April 27, 2018

Homemade antennas have been tried and tested since the invention of the television; from a simple pin or paper clip, to tin foil-wrapped rabbit ears, to an elaborate assembly of coat hangers screwed to a plank. A homemade antenna works best if it is further away from the TV, and placed high indoors (outdoors would be better, but without a surge protector, this may damage your television and would be a fire hazard), so have enough cable to reach the desired destination. With a length of cable, and a beer or soda can, you can make yourself a simple homemade antenna.

Cut the can in half lengthwise from top to bottom using tin snips.

Strip one end of the coaxial cable to expose a few inches of the copper wires.

Attach the exposed wires, one to the inside of each can portion, with electrical tape.

Set each can portion cradled over the edge of a stand, such as the back of a chair. The can halves should be a couple of inches apart. Tape the cans into place.

Connect the other end of the cable to the television.

Place the can antenna stand in a high location where you can still see the TV, such as on top of a table. Turn the television on and rotate the stand until the channels come in clearly. Note the direction of the antenna. Place the chair in the determined direction in a desired location, such as an attic; the higher the better.

Tip

Taping the cans high on the inside of a window with the cut edges against the glass may also work, instead of using a stand.

Warning

Do not cut yourself on the sharp edges of the can as you work.

Things You'll Need

  • Empty beer or soda can
  • Coaxial cable
  • Stand, such as a chair
  • Electrical tape
  • Tin snips
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About the Author

Lorna Hordos is a home-flipping business owner and freelance writer. She writes friendly, conversational business, home and lifestyle articles for Bizfluent, azcentral, Daltile, Marazzi, Lowes, Philips Lighting, WordPress.com and numerous other publications.