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Ham-made TV Antennas work better

Jan 13th 2013, 21:05

K4DUB

Joined: Nov 7th 2007, 14:15
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
We've all seen these little boxed-up, plastic-covered, so-called Hi-Definition Digital TV Antenna products on the store's shelves that cost anywhere from pocket change to a small fortune, right? As radio amateurs we all know that RF antennas only see RF waves...they don't care if the signal contains digital, analog, black & white, color, hi-def or whatever kind of information. That's just physics.
As hams, we know that precise measurements, good electrical connections and good grounding are essential factors in building, tuning and maintaining virtually any antenna system worth its salt. That said, I can't imagine spending good money on a piece of plastic junk at Walmart that probably wouldn't outperform a coat hanger for long distance TV reception. I may be wrong about that so correct me if that's the case. Either way, I'd bet there are plenty of great TV antennas out there, designed, built and used by radio amateurs that are far better performing antennas than most of the products we see in department stores or even Radio Shack. Oh, I know Radio Shack sells some good outdoor antennas that work just fine, especially when erected at high elevation and connected to an amplifier. But I'm interested in what we can build at a very low cost, with easily obtainable materials that will perform as well as any other antenna...short of a monster Yagi design. You know, a reasonable size and preferably indoor-friendly. Even a good outdoor design would be welcomed.
So, are any of my fellow hams here willing to divulge the secrets to fabricating the ultimate Ham's TV Antenna? Thanks for your suggestions.
Dub, k4dub
73
Jan 14th 2013, 01:32

W0BTU

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I fully agree. We can certainly make our own antennas for OTA TV reception.

I made my own from the plans at http://m4antenna.eastmasonvilleweather.com/Drawings/PDF%20Drawings.html . The antenna is indoors on a balcony overlooking my living room, and solved about all our OTA TV reception issues in this very rural area far from any TV stations. I used bare #14 copper wire and screwed it to a piece of 1.25" PVC pipe I had. There's an old broadband "TV-type" 300/75 (4:1) balun mounted at the feedpoint; and from there, about 12' of RG-6 coax goes down to the TV below. No preamp.

Some of the following links are excellent sources of info about "DTV" antennas. Others, I'm probably doing somewhat of a disservice by posting them, but I don't have time to go back and weed out the inferior designs. The digitalhome.ca forums, frontiernet.com, and m4antenna were the best, IIRC. The "mclapp" fellow in the forums seems to be quite knowledgeable, and he's the guy who has the EZNEC files of "HDTV" antennas (which I did not examine) and lots of helpful info on his site.

http://m4antenna.eastmasonvilleweather.com/Drawings/PDF%20Drawings.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8jsDxNgHn4
http://news.consumerreports.org/elec...v-antenna.html
http://uhfhdtvantenna.blogspot.com/
http://www.digitalhome.ca/ota/superantenna/design.htm
http://www.frontiernet.net/~mclapp/Antennas/Computer%20Models/
http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=100137
http://www.frontiernet.net/~mclapp/Antennas/
http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=81982
http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=140206
http://www.tvantennaplans.com/
http://m4antenna.eastmasonvilleweather.com/index.html
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.r...863ccbd4?hl=en

73, Mike
www.w0btu.com
Jan 15th 2013, 18:59

K4DUB

Joined: Nov 7th 2007, 14:15
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Hello there, Mike, thanks for all those links and suggestions. I'll definitely check them out and build something that looks good for my situation.
Dub,
73
Jan 18th 2013, 13:20

N0NB

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Several years ago I put up a Winegard I bought online from http://dennysantennaservice.com/1454594.html So far so good. While I could probably build one this was a put it up and forget about it proposition. My available time didn't allow for experimenting.

73, de Nate >>
N0NB.us

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