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  • Bender

    Here is a question wouldn’t your design be better if it was more directional? Like if you had a back reflector plane like the one I made here?

  • Osric

    Seriously, all those good folks had to take the plunge and buy their digtal converter box. They now have to replace their analog coat hangers with digital coat hangers.

    OK everyone, off to visit your Digital Dry Cleaners so you can stay up with the new technology.

    • burak

      You have a great site. thanks

  • Bob Boerner

    Just a general question…what audio codecs do the torrent files use? I ask because when I try to play the episodes with my new Western Digital HD TV player, the video displays fine but the audio does not.

    Here is the device I am using:

    here is the huge thread about the device and its capabilities:

  • Make: television

    @Bob Boerner

    Looking at the specs it should play fine.

    The Audio Codec for the HD .mov file is
    ACC, Stereo (L,R) 48,000 kHz

    Are you working with the HD .mov file or the iPod .m4v?

  • Bill

    I watched this episode the other day and I remember electrical tape being used to insulate two wires. I don’t see any mention of this in this .pdf.
    Can you tell me what wires are to be insulated and where??

    • tomreedtoon

      You insulate the two long coathanger wires where they cross in the middle of the board. That’s two places.

  • Jim Cox

    I just made the coat hanger digital TV antenna. Once completed, I hooked it up to the converter and TV here in the “bedroom studio/ham shack” of my one story rural Indiana home. Even sitting on a table inside the house, it worked great getting the local channels, some of which aren’t so “local” as they are 30 – 40 miles away. ‘Works much better than the rabbit ears setup I tested for comparison.

    I presently have cable but I made this one for my son who lives in the projects of a nearby town and cannot afford an elaborate entertainment setup. I may build another in case my cable provider and I have a falling out. I can only imagine how well it would perform on top of our forty foot tower.

    Btw, I used a Christmas tree stand for the mount. And, yes, the crossovers should be insulated. A piece of electrical tape between them does the trick.

    They can say what they want for debunking the “digital” antenna. It’s all about the right dimensions. Thanks for a great alternative antenna, guys!


  • Roy Jacobsen

    After getting frustrated by a $100 “omnidirectional” antenna that didn’t tune in a couple of local stations, I put this one together, and it works great. Right now it’s just sitting on my living room floor, leaning up against a bookcase, and it’s outperforming any other antenna I’ve ever tried.

  • Roy Jacobsen

    By the way, there’s a missing dimension line in the PDF. On page 2, there should be a horizontal line showing that the first screw holes are two inches down from the top of the board.

    Also, step 5 (on page 4) should mention that the wires should be insulated wherever they cross in the middle of the board.

  • Gary

    We’ve always had difficult TV reception where I live (Shoreview, MN). Since the broadcast antennas are close by, you would think reception would be good, but not so.

    I simplified the mounting a bit. Instead of a 3/4″ thick board, I used a 2×4, added about 6 inches to the length and drilled a 1/2″ hole in the bottom. Then I put a 1/2″ dowel sticking up from the wood base. The 2×4 sits on the dowel eliminating the need for the flange and pipe.

    Total cost to me was $.75. The cost of the transformer.

  • CMHDave

    I have all the pieces for this pretty much in place but I want to test out a minor modification before I post final pictures. To start with, the rabbit ears I have on the TV set now pull in our local PBS station with an 18-20 signal strength out of 100. I’ll measure what kind of signal strength I get with this as described. My minor modification is using cookie cooling racks from the dollar store (2 for $1) as a back “reflector” to further mimic the DB4 design. I am not sure if it’ll make an iota of difference but it doesn’t hurt to check.

  • Chris

    I bought a $100 non-amplified antenna (Winegard Square Shooter) from a local electronics shop. It was overkill since I’m just outside the city. 2 days later I saw this post. I built the antenna tonight and placed it in the same spot. I measured the signal strength on both using a function on my TV and this antenna is a couple of % better than the store bought one on every channel. Ha! I’m mounting it in the attic, so this one will work fine.

  • lance lopas

    Where can I get the transformer?
    I cant find any hangers here localy….. will 2.63mm thick wire work? (I have close to 100 ft of it & its all straight) If so how long are the V shaped pices? Any help would be greatly appriciated..

  • MakeFan

    If anyone is interested in a simpler antenna design, get a length of wire, the longer the better, and throw it in your attic. And connect the wire to the center lead of the coax going to your tv, don’t connect anything to shielding. I am not kidding, it works extremely well, no design, no muss. You can imagine my surprise when I saw that this was a recognized antenna design at Wikipedia:

    • Zack Hofstad

      I second the “copper wire sticking out the of the tv” method. I stripped down all but 3′ of a 20′ length of coaxial cable, plugged it into my tv, and voila. Granted, it’s not pretty, but I strung up the wire in my garage for the tv there, and the reception is incredible.

  • Britain W.

    I unbent a paper clip and crammed it into the back of my converter box. I get everything in the yellow zone on AntennaWeb for my address. The PBS is a little pixely sometimes.

    Of course, the TV is on a upper level of the house near a window, so I wouldn’t necessarily try this stunt down in the family room, but it bodes well for if I ever actually source some wire hangers and try this antenna.

  • williethewisp

    just wondering, what type of transformer is used, and where would i get one, as this seems like a nice project to make :)

    cheers in advance

  • jim

    You can take the transformer from your old rabbit ear set if you make this antenna, since you won’t need your old rabbit ears anyway.

  • Lance lopas

    I dont have a old set of rabbit ears! where do i get a transformer????????

  • Anonymous

    Uhg. If you can’t figure out how to get ahold of the transformer then you probably shouldn’t be doing the projects. Go to Radio Shack or GOOGLE “75 to 300 ohm matching transformer”.

  • Phillip Torrone

    hello anonymous commenter, you wrote “Uhg. If you can’t figure out how to get ahold of the transformer then you probably shouldn’t be doing the projects. Go to Radio Shack or GOOGLE “75 to 300 ohm matching transformer”.”

    please be a little more supportive, for many folks this is their first project or they’re not expert makers yet – we all started somewhere – keep it encouraging and inclusive :)

  • williethewisp

    lol, missed that on the pdf, (materials list) but cheers for the help…

  • anonymous

    I saw this project on the TV show (on the old rabbit-ears), and decided to give it a try. I didn’t have any of the materials, so I went around to a couple of stores to pick up the coat hangers, bolts, transformer, etc. The total cost to me was $15, and it works much much better than the rabbit-ears I used to find out about it in the first place! Excellent project for a newbie, and getting the transformer was simpler than I’d thought it would be: any decent electronics store should have one for about a dollar. Thanks, MAKE!

  • lance

    Can i use 1 antenna for 2 tv’s with a splitter?

    Also does the antenna need aimed? Or is it non directional? I live inbetween 2 difrant countys & get signals form both…..

  • Make: television

    @ lance,
    Not sure about the splitter question, we haven’t tried that yet. You should give it a shot with a splitter, and let us know how it works!

    We also didn’t experiment much with aiming the antenna (mainly because we were getting pretty good reception as is). But based on some of the comments we’ve gotten already, seems like adding a back reflector has really helped some.

  • Andrew

    Thank you MAKE! You have relieved me from so much frustration of trying to get a good reception! Plus, we now get PBS! Hope to see the show on WQPT or iPTV (Quad Cities) soon! Thank you, thank you, thank you again! :-)

    A splitter works for me. I will most likely try a second splitter to go to another room.

    To elaborate, the splitter I’m using now goes to two separate digital converters. Both converters hook up to a DVD/VCR combo. One converter outputs to the player’s coaxial input and the other outputs to the auxiliary (AU) RCA input (RCA output available on the type of converter I have).

    I can record the AU channel on the VCR and watch another show from the other converter on TV channel 03. I can check what is being recorded on the AU channel on TV channel 00.

    I can also reverse the above set up. I can watch channel 00 and record channel 03. However, the VCR does not have to be on if I’m just watching channel 03 and not recording.

    Other notes: I can set the VCR to record AU or 03, but the correct digital converter has to be left on the channel I want to record. I have to block the infrared receiver from the remote if I’m changing channels. Also have to be careful to leave the volume up on the converter; if it is too low even turning up the TV might not make it loud enough.

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