Homemade TV antenna

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.


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.


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 has owned a home-flipping business for more than two decades. She uses her construction and interior design experience to write friendly, conversational home and lifestyle articles for Daltile, Marazzi, Lowes and numerous other publications. She also enjoys writing for children, and has been featured on the cover of Humpty Dumpty magazine.