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How to Make a Digital TV Antenna

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Published on Sep 25, 2008

In this tutorial, I will teach you how make a digital tv antenna that can receive free digital tv as long as you have a converter box or digital capable tv!

Comments • 321

Martin Kuliza
Jesus Christ, are you for Real??.   Ok.  Guys, i'm a not a hater, I'm a Telecommunications Engineer, in simple Terms, on the subject of TV Antenna's and RF Signalling, I'm and Expert of 13 Years,  Let me give all of you some insight (Before you all start saying things like,  "But it worked for me"  or "The Picture is clear without static".   Firstly and Most importantly Unlike Analog Signal, When Digital Signal Degrades  YOU CANNOT SEE IT WITH YOUR EYES ON THE TV, It's not possible,  With Analog we had Snow and Ghosting, This Cannot Happen with Digital, The idea Behind Digital is that the signal can be getting worse and worse, but you will still see a Perfectly arranged picture free of pixellation,  Now when the signal gets so bad that it's get a point of Pixellation, this is referred to as approaching the Digital Cliff, it means that you will shortly see NO SIGNAL if the Signal gets slightly worse, In Engineering terms, if the signal is at PRE BER E-02 You will most likely have not Signal or bad Pixellation, if you are PRE BER E-03 You will have good signal in good weather, PRE BER E-04 is your min for a good signal in most any weather,   NOW MOVING ON, When Antenna's are Made the elements are Cut to Size for that frequency that the channel is on,  Now, Analog Channels were a LOW Frequency, Digital Channels are a High Frequency, Which means that the Antenna Elements will be shorter for Digital than for analogue. The formula that is used to Calculate Wavelength is 300 Divided by FREQUENCY = WAVELENGTH in practical terms (in sydney) Physical Ch 6  AKA Channel 7 Digital has a frequency of 177.50MHz so 300 / 177.50 = 1.69 Metres Divide that by 4 to get the Quarter Wave Dipole Length for your antenna 1.69 /4 =0.42  or 42cm Now for people in sydney, get your tape measure out and measure the longest element on your Digital Antenna from one side to the other do you think its just a coincidence that it happens to be 42cm on the dot. No.. it was engineered for the frequency to resonate optimally when the Element was cut to that specific length, and that specific material was used to gain optimal Conduction from the Signal ON THAT BASIS, these questions need to be asked 1. How long is the nail 2. What is the Frequency your trying to pickup 3. What type of Coaxial Cable is he using   Now. i can answer that , it's RG-59, Piece of Crap from 20 Years ago technology,  UNSUITABLE FOR DIGITAL SIGNAL Here's why Simple Explanation RG-59 Cable has a thinner Centre Conductor, because in the time when their was black and white TV, and then we colour is was all Low Definition TV, Wasnt it and it was all Low Frequency therefore the electrons that Flow through the conductor were not as much as there are in Digital High Definition Signalling with the update to Digital Signalling we introduced RG-6 Quad Shield, which had a much thicker conductor Allowing for more Bandwidth and a Higher Definition Signal to pass through it Hence, if you try to watch HD TV via RG-59, You will get a picture but IT WON'T BE HD.. End of story the cable is Physically not capable of transporting that many electrons through the physical size of the centre conductor This is not even close to how you make a Digital TV Antenna Even if i saw a YOU TUBE VIDEO with a guy who took a few coathangers and some wire cutters and straightened out the coathanger and use the WAVELENGTH formula to calculate the Quarter wave dipole length and he cut them to length and stuck them into a piece of wood side by side at least that would deserve more Intellectual credit than this video and that explanation would do half the job but.. you still need to manufacture a BALUN do account for the impedance mismatch between the cable and the antenna and Voila you have a digital Antenna but any old Tin Can which are primarily made up of alloys and a nail which can be a variety of metals and a nail of random lenght,  that goes into the can with a precise length of ...  "ABOUT THAT MUCH"  LOL is not going to work Here's one for all of you guys Take this Little Hack that you all think works and take a RELIABLE Spectrum Analyzer Let's say a UnaOhm AP-01, Tested and Calibrated and Please Post me photos or do a video that shows the following properties of the Digital Signal Channel Frequency Signal Amplitude  in dBuV PRE BER/Viterbi POST BER/Viterbi Signal to Noise Ratio MER Putting aside the fact, that any indoor antenna worth $5 would shit all over this Hack. this is still fundamentally an indoor antenna, and all indoor antenna's for the most part, Unless your really really close to the transmitter,   Give Unreliable Signals if you are close to the transmitter, then you most likely don't even need a cable, or you cold just dangle a coat hanger out your window that's plugged into the back of your TV But realistically,  this is not reliable THE TITLE IS FALSE this is not how you make an Antenna Fair enough, Good on the kid for trying and thinking out side the box, Credit where Credit's due,  we all start somewhere, and Keep learning but.. this is not how you make an Antenna, and it's grossly unprofessional and careless to tell the world that it is. NOW.. I WELCOME ANYBODY TO PROVE ME WRONG WITH MEASURABLE FACTS Not things like i can see the picture , so it must be good or the channels scanned in ok Facts and Figures and Measurements. otherwise, if any one has any questions, feel free to contact me for reliable advise. sorry for the long post,  i just felt the need to give everyone accurate information so no one gets mis informed and finally , good on the author for trying this is how Engineers are Born,  Keep going but, Get your facts straight before broadcasting to the world that you just made a digital Antenna the only thing that comes close to reasonable discussion that this antenna could be remotely digital is...... it's a short Nail that's your only basis for an intelligent argument, but what frequencies are you setting up for ?
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BrianFalconsFan2
This worked great got 12 channels moved into a new house and won't have cable in till june thanks man
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ixxgunnerx x
 its a can-tenna! O O
Raul Lopez
do i have to hammer my finger too to make it work?
kelly bishop
wow!!!! ths woked for me I got 36 channels and didn't spend a dime...thanks u rock!!
m h
Bullshit. Presumably the nail is the active element in this "antenna". For uhf digital signals you need an accurately tuned antenna and fairly high gain. Considering the coaxial cable is just twisted around the nail and is shorted out in the can, there is no way this can work. Let's see you set up the converter box and tune a few channels.
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Kugruabay
Total bull, learn a little bit about electronics kid then make a how-to video.
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PlayGirl
lose the constant thump thump thump in the background. People are trying to listen, think and learn not hear your thump thump music.
Jerry Carter
Never hurts to try.
Jackie Ortega
great job keep up the great work you do 😎😎😎😎😎😎
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