MAKE subscriber William F. Dudley Jr. sent us a link to his plans for building a Gray Hoverman UHF Antenna. Why would you want/need a UHF antenna? He explains:

Assuming you get your television “over the air”, i.e. from an antenna, then after the transition to digital television, sometime after February 17, 2009, channels 2,3,4 and 5 will cease transmitting on their old frequencies in the VHF band (approx 52-76MHz) and will start transmitting on new channel assignments in the UHF Band. For example, in the NY Metro area, that means that channels 2,4, and 5 will now be at UHF channels 33, 28 and 44. So even if you never had any interest in UHF before, if you like watching WCBS, WNBC, or FOX television from NY City, you’ll need to be interested in UHF now. Note that these reassignments are true nationwide, though the actual UHF frequency that 2,3,4 and 5 will be reassigned to depend on what other channels exist in that market.

Build of Gray Hoverman UHF Antenna

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy person’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

  • J.R.

    About 40 stations will remain in the low-VHF (channels 2-6) after the transition.

  • Dr

    It’s interesting that you post this. I’m not going digital. I keep my TV in the closet so this won’t be so hard, but do want to see somethings, debates, news in an emergency.
    I gather there will be a lot of channels that will still be broadcasting in low-power mode after the transition. Thanks!

  • wonder-wheeler

    Unpainted, untreated pvc pipe becomes more brittle and changes color to a dark brown in the areas most exposed to sunlight. It also may sag somewhat and can be especially brittle when very cold. Although this color change often takes several years – maybe 5 to 10 depending on the climate. Schedule 40 last longer due the thicker wall, compared to the eggshell-like sprinkler grade class 125 (called various terms). Schedule 80 costs 4 times or more that of schedule 40 and is usually too expensive for normal use.

    1. try substituting electrical pvc for the plumbing pipe as the grey electrical conduit has a sunlight resistant material added.

    2. try spraying the finished plastic assembly with a can of special vinyl paint available at auto supply stores. It is sold to spray paint vinyl seat covers. It bonds much better to pvc than ordinary spray paint although neither type lasts forever. As this is an antenna, I would avoid silver and bronze colors, as while these block sunlight well, they might conduct electricity in some cases.

    Gary Wheeler AIA

  • mlange.myopenid.com

    Tuned (resized) properly, that could make a killer Ham Radio antenna :)

  • Gilberti

    Whenever I hear the acronym UHF, I can’t help but think of Weird Al Yankovic.

  • Jack of Most Trades.

    I see it’s available in 2X2 size, primed, and it’s designed for outside trim.
    I’m going to be playing with various antennas for the UHF range when it gets warmer, this one, the ubiquitous “Youtube DTV Antenna” and a few other designs. I already receive 9 and 11 in my local market and want to see if I can pull in Chicago from the other direction.
    I have 2 LPTV stations in my area, one which be converting to DTV, and the other, which broadcasts non-stop Jeebus-Junk and would useless in an emergency anyway.