TV antennas have always been a controversial thing in every household. Its task is to facilitate proper signals to your television. But a TV antenna does everything except promote a signal to the TV. People have spent hours fixing their TV antennae in the hope of improving the signal strength. Mostly they come back frustrated. We spend a lot of our hard-earned money on buying these faulty antennas again and again. Due to the increased charges of our cable company, people prefer to use antennas for signal reception. But what if those antennas are not working too?
After pondering a lot, I came across a brilliant idea. Why not create a DIY HDTV antenna? Hence, I rummaged through the web and came across a DIY on a modern-looking HDTV antenna. Trust me, it turned out so well. Here I am sharing the tips and tricks to build a simple HDTV antenna out of cardboard and aluminum foil. So, here we go!
How to DIY Build HDTV antenna network
Step 1: All that you need for making the HDTV antenna:
- Cutting materials, scissors, box cutter
- Aluminum foil
- 2 screws with washers and nuts
- 4 or 6-foot cable
- 75 to 300 Ohm VHF/UHF matching transformer
- Paint or paper for decoration purposes
Step 2: Next you need to cut out the main piece for an HDTV antenna
You have to cut out a piece of cardboard, which will be around 13×14 inches. There is no specific pattern for this cardboard piece. When you cut the piece out, do not forget to attach a piece of aluminum foil at its back. You can use any glue to attach the aluminum foil to the piece of cardboard and then simply smoothen it out. Then you need to flip it back and paint it or decorate it. But this is up to you whether you want to decorate it or not.
Step 3: Now cut out pieces of cardboard for the main antenna.
First of all, carefully cut out the pieces of cardboard according to the patterns shown in the pictures. For this purpose, you can trace the pattern on your cardboard and then cut it out. You may have to use a box cutter for this purpose. Keep in mind that you will need two cut-outs of cardboard pieces. One should be longer, and the other two should be like the wings attached to the longer cardboard piece. Also, do not forget to cut out two mountain bracket pieces.
Follow the same procedure with the aluminum foil. Just remember to use scissors instead of a box cutter this time.
By now, you should have made two main cardboard pieces along with wings, similar two foil pieces, and two pieces of mounting brackets.
See also: Best Omnidirectional TV antennas
Step 4: Now, get ready to give shape to the wing.
Look at the pictures carefully, and you will notice dotted lines or dashed lines on the pattern papers. These marks represent score marks. You have to fold the pattern inwards and mark your cardboard wings following these dotted lines. The next step is a bit complicated, though, but not impossible. Take your box cutter and cut the cardboard, but not completely.
As you are done with the four score marks, you can flip over the cardboard and give proper shapes to the wings. Have a look at the pictures, and you will have a clear idea.
After you are done shaping the wings, use a little glue at the scored area so that it remains secure. Keep in mind that the sides of each wing should be perpendicular to each other. The wings may tend to spread out a little bit. So you better use a bit hot glue to keep them in place.
Step 5: Now, you have to attach the foil to the back pieces
This has to be done very diligently. Attach the foil pieces with wings on the backside of the cardboard pieces. Use glue for this step. Be careful not to cover the entire long, middle cardboard piece. Try to flatten out the foil as much as possible. With my experience, I can say that it will be beneficial to apply a thin layer of glue to attach the foil paper with the cardboard. Do not forget to set the piece side so that it gets dried.
Step 6: Then comes the time of painting and mounting brackets :
Now, you have to paint the mounting brackets. They have a close check on the main piece (13×14 inches long from left to right). Make sure that it is dry. Then set it in front of you, so that is length is 13 inches and the height is 14 inches. Then cut out the area where the brackets need to be fitted. You can use box cutters for this purpose.
Then you can paint the other two main pieces which are having wings on their sides. Allow them to try for some time. You can refer to the images to understand how I placed the mountain brackets on the slots. All you need to do is to turn the brackets sideways in order to fit it into the hole of the main piece. Then simply make it straight. You can cut the slits to make them a bit bigger so that the brackets fit well. To make the entire setup well secured, use a little glue to the sides and also onto the area where the box has been folded outwards.
Set aside and let the entire piece dry.
Step 7: Last but not least – wiring:
For this, you need to attach the mounting brackets to the pieces having wings. Again, feel free to enlarge the slits so that the pieces fit well. Here too, I would insist you use some glue to make the setup robust and secured. Next, use the pattern to mark a spot on the winged pieces of cardboard. You can make two holes using a drill. Put screws through these holes. Next, you have to place washers at the back of the screws. Then carefully attach a wire from the transformer and use a bolt to tighten it. Repeat the same step on the other side.
You are almost done! Simply take the hanging transformer and plug in the coaxial cable to the transformer. Next, plug in the other end of the cable into the TV antenna spot. Voila!
Instead of wasting your money, take some time out, and make this amazing DIY antenna. Trust me, the result is extremely satisfying.
He has 15 years of experience as sports, electronics, and home improvement writer and editor. He also writes state news & daily news.