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How to - Coat Hanger TV Antenna

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This topic contains 46 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by GW_Justice GW_Justice 1 year, 3 months ago.

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  • #74966
    GW_Justice
    GW_Justice
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    Time to get ready for the digital armageddon. I just added a converter to the upstairs TV, and I needed an antenna. I used a rabbit ear antenna for the another set, and got OK reception, but it faded out sometimes. Instead of paying for an expensive booster antenna I searched the net and found these instructions for building your own. The antenna I found and built gave a much improved signal.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWQhlmJTMzw

    This is my version of the antenna, almost the same but with some refinements.

    antenna.jpg

    The instructions on the Tuber are OK but you will have problems if you don’t modify some parts.

    The board will split if you try to use the drywall screws shown in the vid, for sure if you use pine. I suggest using bolts and nuts, about ¾ inch longer than thickness of the board. I used a hardwood board and self-tapping machine screws, but just because I had them on hand. Bolts and nuts are better.

    The vid showed the guy using long screws, that would probably end up with the board screwed down to the floor. Don’t do this.

    I used a bit of insulated 12 gage wire for the parts that connect the bow-ties. It just seemed like it would be simpler to make it bend into place. It also gives me insulation for the parts where the wires cross and they are not supposed to touch.

    I also put a dab of anti-corrosion grease at all the connection points. Just a refinement to make it work longer, not vital.

    I was able to build this antenna with parts I had in the house, so it cost me nothing more than a couple of hours construction time. If you have basic hacker skills this is a good winter day project.

    #254892

    Rockmastermike
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    Excellent suggestion!

    Frankly, I’ve found just ONE pair of those “bow ties” works really well for DTV (which is almost all in the UHF now in columbus). You can also fold the ends of the bowties together and do a Folded Diapole. “The Shack” sells a nice one for $3. Did you just happen to have that matching transformer lying around? I had to buy one for $5, ’cause I only had a broken one in the house.

    But, yeah. I can vouch for this design. With some modification you can make it look like ART or something and in C-bus you will be able to pick up 11 channels of digital crystal clear TV.

    #254893
    GW_Justice
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    Yea, I did have a matching transformer laying around, I have boxes of this sort of junk (maybe too much).

    A single bow tie is good for the near transmitters (I think 4, 6, 10 have their digital transmitters on the same towers as the standard), but you need something better to get OSU, which I think is north of Polaris, and 53, by Circleville.

    There are also plans on the net to add a back reflector (just a flat metal thing) to this antenna and get more focused and longer reception. I think it is possible to get Dayton DTV from Col. But if you do that, you would then have to fiddle with changing the direction of the antenna for different channels.

    #254894

    LauraA
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    i have very bad tv reception, though i rarely watch tv. thanks for the how to. i might just try it:)

    #254895

    misskitty
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    you can also get one or two of the vouchers there giving away towards little converter boxes. You can even use on line retailers some have free shipping also.

    #254896

    Rockmastermike
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    GW_Justice wrote >>
    Yea, I did have a matching transformer laying around, I have boxes of this sort of junk (maybe too much).
    A single bow tie is good for the near transmitters (I think 4, 6, 10 have their digital transmitters on the same towers as the standard), but you need something better to get OSU, which I think is north of Polaris, and 53, by Circleville.

    I dunno. I get WOSU and WHO53 just fine (as well as 4,6,10,28,51…). But I have the bowtie up pretty high in a second floor room, so that might make all the difference. On the first floor With the single bowtie it gets periodic signal dropouts on 53. I’m using a cheap-ass converter box up there, not even sure of the brand.

    That multi-bowtie array really IS a very cool design. Thanks for sharing it.

    Kitty: this is an antenna that is used to feed the signal into the converter box. You will still need one of those (in february).

    -M

    #254897

    misskitty
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    oh I see hmm well that sucks I didn’t realize you still need a antenna for it. Thanks for letting me know I almost pitched my rabbit ears

    #254898

    misskitty
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    .

    #254899
    GW_Justice
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    I think misskitty’s not knowing about the need for an antenna when you switch to digital with a converter is common. Many of the broadcast TV users have no knowledge of the technical details of using a TV beyond pulling the TV out of the box and following the quick setup instructions. Adding a converter box is a step up in complexity than many can’t make.

    I read that there is a bill in Congress to delay the conversion to all digital TV, pushing it back to May. I’m guessing this will happen.

    As the the real solution to getting all of the low-tech knowledge people set up with converters – maybe the whole broadcast TV industry will need to set up a service of free tech support that will go into users homes and just do the work. If the industry will benefit from the changeover, they should pay to help the last 10% make the change.

    #254900
    lifeliberty
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    https://www.dtv2009.gov/

    coupons are all used up, there’s a waiting list for people to get some coupons when other people’s coupons expire.

    #254901
    somertimeoh
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    Well, that’s dumb! I thought getting the converter would work sort of like a cable box does, eliminating the need for antennas. Lame!

    #254902
    sixby9is42
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    I’m surprised at how many people don’t know that converter boxes need to be plugged into an antenna. I guess there’s no way to find out what people know until you truly test them.

    #254903
    lifeliberty
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    somertimeoh wrote >>
    Well, that’s dumb! I thought getting the converter would work sort of like a cable box does, eliminating the need for antennas. Lame!

    the converter box does in a way act like the cable box, it interprets a way for the tv to read the signal. for converter boxes, the signal is brought in through an antenna, for a cable box the signal is brought in through the cable line.

    #254904

    Rockmastermike
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    the signal has to come in SOMEWHERE. Anything that recieves any kind of radio signal has to have an antenna.
    “Cable TV” is the same kind of radio signal, it just runs the antenna feedline all the way back to the station by way of a big signal repeater/agregator called a “cable company”.

    #254905
    somertimeoh
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    Oh I gotcha. Cable box = cable company manages the antenna. Converter box = individual manages the antenna.

    Why are people surprised no one knows this? Who really thinks about this crap? I’ll be honest though, until I met Jim I didn’t know there were actually people that existed without cable boxes :)

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