Home Made HDTV Antenna

Discussion in 'Campsite Electronics' started by skysummit, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. skysummit

    skysummit Member

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    Thanks to YouTube, I put together this simple HDTV antenna last night to be able to watch football games while camping. It's made with clothes hangers, and I'm absolutely astounded on how well it works. All our TV transmitters are about 50 miles away, and we're able to catch 18 - 20 HD channels crystal clear. The total cost was about $6 ($4 for the transformer and $2 for the board). Most people have wire coat hangers hanging around and probably even a board and transformer from the good ole days so it can be built for free.

    I'll probably paint the board gray and also need to rig up a pole to use it on the PUP.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. jerry_ma

    jerry_ma Member

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    NIIIIICE

    I have been looking for an antennae for the tv in my van (its a 92) and this looks like it will fit behind the tv nicely.

    What did you use for the transformer?

    Jerry in MA
     
  3. swordfish

    swordfish Well-Known Member

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    ^^x2
    @skysummit more details on how to, please.
     
  4. StageLover

    StageLover Member

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    About 8 years ago, I built a Gray-Hoverman antenna which is easier to build and, according to sources, has better performance. Information about it can be found at

    www.digitalhome.ca/ota/superantenna/#sthash.7CFIRtHe.dpuf

    and there has been a lot of research done by the participants in the digitalhome forum.

    My build involved a length of 2x4 and some coathangers. The coathangers are bent into lobes rather than cut to make bow-ties. In either case, the transformer is what used to be known as a mini-match. It joins 300 ohm flat lead on one side with 75 ohm cable on the other.

    My resulting antenna worked very well however I only had a couple of HD stations in line-of-sight due to the geography and buildings around me. And, after a year or so, I got and HD box for cable so I haven't used the antenna much since.

    BTW, don't get sucked in by claims that you need a special antenna for HD. The antenna receives the RF TV signal and the content is immaterial. It is the TV that determines the picture format, after the tuner extracts the content from the RF. If you are trying to receive a VHF signal, any antenna tuned for VHF will do. IF UHF, any UHF antenna will do (as long as it will support the portion of the band you are interested in), although some are better than others. But the quality of the antenna affects how well the signal is received, not what can be within the content.
     
  5. skysummit

    skysummit Member

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    The transformer is just your basic coaxial to 2 way flat wire transformer that you can find at Walmart, Radio Shack, Lowe's etc. My local Radio Shack and Walmart were out so I found one at Lowe's. It was about $4.

    Each "bow tie" measures exactly 5 3/4" from each other. Cut the bottom of coat hangers to 14" and then bend them so each section is 7". The spread between the two bends is 5". This puts the bow ties in the exact wave length of HD in UHF bands. If you have any VHF stations, you'll have to add a simple set of rabbit ears to the very top of it and then use a UHF/VHF signal combiner (also found at Radio Shack). Since we only have 1 station here still in the VHF band, I didn't worry about it.

    I followed this guys steps exactly....was skeptical at first, but being such an easy project, I figured I'd try it. Boy am I glad I did!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsqusbPp7tk


    A great website to find what stations are available in your area, their distance from your location, and if they're UHF or VHF is TV Fools. It'll also be handy when camping across the country to see what's available and what to expect.

    http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=29
     
  6. HiFiDave

    HiFiDave Singin round the campfire

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    Those are kewl, work well. I saw many videos and threads on them when I was looking at grabbing off air a few years ago. But I needed something cleaner and easier to deal with. Bought this from MCM for about 20 bucks, put my wifi up on top. Works good pulling in digital T.V.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. backyarddad

    backyarddad New Member

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    How did you attach it to the roof?
     
  8. HiFiDave

    HiFiDave Singin round the campfire

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    Maybe you can see that black "mini" strap there? It's an electrical trade conduit strap, oversize than the mast pipe by a bit. As the roof goes up, it slides along the pipe and holds it all in place. Here's the base, door off an old electrical panel. The raised portion there was perfect for the use after I hole sawed a pipe size hole in it. Toss a nearby rock on it and done deal...quick and easy.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. swordfish

    swordfish Well-Known Member

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    Ohhh Man, are you still in the stone age?
    I will send you one of these for Christmas
    [​IMG]
     
  10. HiFiDave

    HiFiDave Singin round the campfire

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    LOL "stone age". 1000 comedians outta work and ...you're trying to be one.

    Thanks but...keep the trip hazard k? [:D]
     
  11. skeetercampsintexas

    skeetercampsintexas Active Member

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    I just did this...call me lazy but it works. I went to walmart and bought an indoor/outdoor antenna. It came with hardware to attach it to a pole, so I used that to attach it to the angle iron from the battery tray on my pup. I just run coax toy hookup, scan, and good to go. I used to have a pic somewhere but I couldn't find it. If someone really wants to see I can get one up tomorrow.
     

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