How to make a dual-band antenna

Written by adam quinn
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How to make a dual-band antenna
Minimise unsightly antenna rods and wires with a dual-band TV antenna. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

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.

Skill level:

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
  • Twine
  • Electrical tape

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  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    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.

  4. 4

    Measure 50 5/16 inches from the solder connection and cut the twin-lead cable to this length.

  5. 5

    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.

  6. 6

    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.

  7. 7

    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.

  8. 8

    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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