Despite the transition in 2009 to digital and high-definition over-the-air television broadcasting, a combination UHF and VHF antenna is sufficient for your digital converter box or HDTV. You may have access to a number of free television broadcasts, depending on where you live and the quality of your antenna. Build an inexpensive UHF and VHF dual antenna with parts from your local electronic store and receive high-definition programming without the costly cable bill.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Twin-lead cable, 300-ohm, 4 1/2 feet long
- Coaxial cable, RG-58, 50-ohm, six feet long
- Coaxial cable connector specific to your tuner
- Utility knife
- Wire stripping tool
- Soldering iron and solder
- Small piece of twine
- Coaxial cable crimping tool
Strip 1/2 inch of insulation from one end of the twin-lead, exposing both wires. Solder the wires together, creating the bottom end of the antenna.
Measure 1 1/4 inches from the soldered wire ends, and strip 1/4-inch of insulation from both sides of the twin-lead. Take care to leave the exposed wires intact. These wire segments will be the contacts for the feed line.
Measure 16 3/4 inches from the soldered wire ends, and remove a 1/4-inch segment from the right wire only. Remove both the insulation and the wire, leaving a gap on the right side of the twin-lead.
Measure 50 5/16 inches from the soldered wires, and cut back the antenna to this length.
Strip 1 inch of the outer insulation from the end of the coaxial cable. Slice along the side of the inner braided sheath, and twist the sheath to form a wire. Strip 1/2 inch of the inner plastic insulation from the copper wire.
Solder the copper wire to the exposed twin-lead wire segment on the left. Solder the twisted braid wire to the right-hand wire segment. Make sure the twisted braid wire is connected to the same side as the 1/4-inch gap that was cut from the twin-lead.
Crimp a connector to the free end of the coaxial cable that is appropriate for connecting to your tuner's external antenna jack.
Cut a small hole in the insulation at the top of the antenna, and thread a loop of twine through the hole. Use this twine to hang your antenna.
Tips and warnings
- Wrap electrical tape around the twin-lead and coaxial cable solder points to protect the solder joints and weatherproof the antenna.
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