A dual-band antenna has economical and space-saving advantages over its single-band counterpart. Dual-band antennas tend to be prominent choices for television applications, receiving VHF and UHF frequencies on a single antenna, for instance. The compact J-pole antenna design is suitable for receiving most television channel frequencies. Build this type of dual-band antenna and reduce the amount of unseemly antenna rods and wires in and around your house.
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Things you need
- Twin-lead cable (300-ohm, 52 inches long)
- Coaxial cable (75-ohm with connectors, 8 feet long)
- Soldering iron and solder
- Wire-stripping tool
- Utility knife
- Electrical tape
Remove 1/2 inch of insulation from an end of the twin-lead cable. Twist the wires together and secure the connection with solder. This point will be the bottom of the antenna.
Measure 1 1/4 inches from the solder connection and remove 1/4 inch of insulation from both sides of the twin lead. Take care not to slice through the wire. These exposed segments will be the feed line connections.
Measure 16 3/4 inches from the bottom solder point, and remove a 1/4 inch gap in the right side of the twin lead. Cut through both the insulation and the right wire.
Measure 50 5/16 inches from the solder connection and cut the twin-lead cable to this length.
Cut the connector from one end of the coaxial cable. Strip 1 inch of insulation from this end. Slice down the side of the braided sheath and twist the braid into a wire. Remove 1/4 inch of plastic insulation from the inner copper wire.
Solder the twisted braid to the right wire of the exposed twin-lead segments. Solder the coaxial copper wire to the left wire. Wrap electrical tape around the connections to protect the solder joints.
Cut a small hole in the insulation at the top of the antenna. Tie a loop of twine through this hole. Hang the antenna from this twine.
Connect the free end of the coaxial cable to the external antenna jack of your digital converter box or HDTV.
Tips and warnings
- Weatherproof the antenna by fitting it in a length of PVC tube and capping the ends. Drill a hole for the cable and seal the holes and caps with silicone sealant. Hang the tube by attaching an eye bolt to the upper cap.
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