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With the DTV transition upon us, there couldn’t be a better time to pick up some coat hangers and some wood and make yourself a kickin’ DTV antenna as featured on Make: television. Of course, you’ll still need a digital converter box, but here’s a simple, low-cost project that can definitely improve your reception. Check out the segment, and then download the PDF for detailed plans on howto make one yourself. Let us know how it works!

Here’s the PDF, and be sure to check out more great comments our original blog post.

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Comments

  1. ehrichweiss says:

    We lost over 75% of our local channels thanks to DTV. Horrible thing is, we’re less than 4 miles from the city’s largest transmitter and yet can’t get their signal clear enough to tune them in(we’re in a massive RFI zone that the FCC apparently has no intention of doing anything about). I rely on that particular station in case of tornadoes(radio doesn’t show pictures of where they’re at and where they’re headed, ya know) so I’m kinda screwed at the moment. In crappy weather our satellite comes in more clearly than any OTA station.

    umm, thanks FCC…we could lose our lives because some idiot wants HTDV broadcast via 4G to his freakin’ cell phone.

  2. Maker Dino says:

    This design remonds me of an outdoor TV antenna I made for my family when I was about 14. It worked great and brought in several channels that we were on the “fringe” of. Suddenly we had a few TV stations to choose from instead of just one! You would go outside to the front porch where the antenna mast was mounted, manually rotate the mast to the marked position for a given channel, then go back inside and watch TV. I learned it all from a book my shop teacher had on TV tech. All I did was apply a math formula to the frequency I wanted to recieve and I had my dipole length and reflector spacing. I erected a few FM antennas as well.

    Thanks for bringing back fun memories! :)

    1. John Park says:

      Thanks for sharing that, how wonderful!

  3. ronny says:

    the conversion, and my adapters that i didn’t even need, lead to the next question. is this analog to digital converter only capable of tv broadcast frequencies, or can it be used from record player to computer?

    they make record players that do that already, but they average about $200. i’m thinking about a hack with hardware i already own.

  4. Cindy says:

    I have an older color tv that has a 9 inch screen that I have enjoyed while getting ready for work in the mornings. Needless to say, I could no longer use it due to the conversion. I had already purchased a converter box in case we wanted to try and continue using it. Well, because I didn’t have an antenna, I was searching for a cheap one that might work,When I ran across your site on building the DTV antenna out of coat hangers. I showed it to my husband and he went right to work on building one.He is quite a perfectionist, so it took alittle longer but was well worth it. We had to spend $5 for another connector, but this thing is amazing! We now get 13 channels that are chrystal clear when before we only got 3. It was fun just to see if it would work. Now I can put off getting another tv for awhile.Thanks so much!

  5. Kevin Loucks says:

    I made one of these with a couple of differences. I used some old 10 ga. copper wire and I made the “V” sections 7 inches long instead of 8 inches. I will have to make another one at the 8 inch length just to see which is better. The seven inch gives me 11 stations and I only had reception from two stations on a store purchased antenna.

    Thanks for a great show.

    Kevin L

  6. Zenith Dtt901 says:

    Thanks for that Will try it out-High end digital antenna’s are expensive and if I can get the same kind of reception with this, it’ll be fantastic! Save me quite a bit of cash.

    Love your site!

  7. Drew Dickey says:

    Some people have asked about using Copper instead of wire hangers.

    I too would like an answer to that question, as well as…

    What gauge copper wire would be best? 10G or 14G, or any other size?

    Would stranded copper be better? if it were tinned?

    Maybe aluminum wire from an old trailer house?

    Seven Inch, or eight inch?

    This is a quarter wave antenna. Would half wave work better?

    So many questions, so few answers…

    1. Hi Drew,

      Thanks for your comment. We try to answer the questions as best we can, but often times the Make: Online readership has way more experience and expertise than our small staff. I would direct your questions to the group in large and see what comes back.

      Meanwhile, we’ll try to dig up some answers for you.

      Thanks!

      Nick @ Make:tv

      1. Drew Dickey says:

        That sounds good. Maybe another question to add to the pot?

        If copper is best, would soldered connections be better also?

        Thanks