How to Make a Gray-Hoverman UHF Antenna

Written by adam quinn
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How to Make a Gray-Hoverman UHF Antenna
Though resembling an alien, the Gray-Hoverman antenna design will boost your television reception. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

In the 1950s, Doyt Hoverman designed and patented a television antenna that was sold commercially throughout the next few decades. Resembling a giant insect or alien creature, the antenna eventually fell into obscurity. Recently, a group of amateur antenna builders rediscovered the Hoverman antenna and, using modern computer antenna modelling, redesigned the antenna for improved efficiency and signal strength. The Gray-Hoverman antenna was born.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Wooden board, 1-by-4, 4 feet long
  • 6 machine screws, 1/4 inch, 3/4 inch long
  • 6 nuts, 1/4 inch
  • 12 washers, 1/4 inch
  • Electrical wire with insulation removed, 14-gauge, 10 feet
  • Matching transformer, 300-ohm to 75-ohm
  • Coaxial cable, 75-ohm, 12 feet long
  • Power drill and 1/4-inch bit
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Permanent marker
  • Tape measure
  • Wire-cutting tool
  • Protractor
  • Length of twine

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Instructions

    Preparation

  1. 1

    Measure and mark a line across the board, 7 inches from the end. Mark a second line 10 inches from the first, and a third 10 inches from the second line.

  2. 2

    Measure and mark 5/8 inch in from either side of the board at each marked line. You should have six symmetrical marks on the board, two on each line, 5/8 inch in from the sides.

  3. 3

    Drill 1/4-inch holes through the board at the six marks. Insert a screw through each hole, with washers on both sides of the board. Tighten the nuts loosely to the screws.

  4. 4

    Cut the electrical wire in half. Measure and mark 5 1/2 inches from the end of one 5-foot wire. From this mark, measure and mark six 7-inch segments along the wire.

  5. 5

    Bend the first 7-inch mark to a 90-degree angle. This should be the second mark along the wire. Bend the second 7-inch mark to 90 degrees in the opposite direction. Bend the third mark to 90 degrees opposite the second. Bend the fourth mark opposite the third, and the fifth, opposite the fourth. The wire should have three peaks and two valleys.

  6. 6

    Lay the wire horizontally with the three peaks facing up. Bend the initial 5 1/2 inch and the last 7-inch marks, so that the ends of the wire are pointing down, perpendicular to the horizontal plane. Clip the last segment of the wire -- the right-hand leg -- to 5 1/2 inches, matching the left leg.

  7. 7

    Perform the same procedure with the remaining 5-foot wire.

    Assembly

  1. 1

    Mount the wires to the screws on the board. To do this, orient the board vertically. With the legs facing out, mount the three peaks of each wire to the three screws along the vertical length of the board. The wire peaks should be resting on top of the washers. Tighten the top and bottom screw pairs.

  2. 2

    Connect the terminal forks of the matching transformer to the middle screw pair on the board. The coaxial jack on the transformer should be facing down. Tighten the middle screws to the board.

  3. 3

    Drill a 1/4-inch hole at the top centre of the board. Tie a loop of twine through the hole. Hang the antenna from the twine.

  4. 4

    Connect the transformer to the external antenna jack on your TV using the coaxial cable.

Tips and warnings

  • Cover a 2-foot by 4-foot rectangle of poster board with aluminium foil, and mount it to the back of the antenna as a reflector. This will boost your signal reception in one direction.

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