Saturday, December 27, 2008

My First Home Made UHF Antenna

As the Digital Transition draws near...

My Anten
na Obsession has been evoked from dormancy.

OK, I have not developed anything new, plenty of examples are out there. I was looking for an easy UHF antenna design, and I found one that I liked, but I wanted it made out of PVC instead of wood and I wanted a mesh reflector instead of the solid reflector.

So, I went to the basement, looked around for wire, washers, screws, PVC pipe, had to go to the hardware store for fence material, but I had pretty much everything I needed to build the antenna based on the same measurements and design at:

I put two - 1 inch PVC pipes together and drilled them and strapped them together, measured out the same patters as our other antenna enthusiast, drilled the holes, and began bending the wires for the array,

I attached the fence as a reflector, attached all the wires, pretty much followed these measurements:

  • 1- 30 inch by 16 inch fence
  • 8- 14 inch wires, bent as a V's
  • Drilled holes at 7 inch intervals, the first one at 3.5 inches from the top, the next at 7 inches times 4, with one spot in the middle to connect the transformer for the cable.


It went pretty good...

I ended up getting some 1-1/4 inch PVC pipe to extend the mast on my wifi antenna installed on the peak of the house. I pointed it towards the the North West Sweet Spot and ran inside and found that I was getting over 90% quality on all the available HD Channels in our area.

My Biggest Concern at this Time Is...

The wind, it had been calm and I think this antenna will sway with the wind. We get pretty strong winds in this part of the country (Moorhead, MN), I will have to watch and see.

I have my quest set on making a Gray-Hoverman Antenna next, and that design may be better in the wind at that height.

So, as I am waiting for a wind storm, I checked on a few other home made antennas. Found one called a Shoe Box antenna.

I thought, I can make that with my left over parts.

Mine is called a Flat Rate Box Antenna though.

I used a file box cover, put some tin foil on it, used two six inch pcs. of wire and connected them to the coax cable using part of a barrier strip. This I had to purchase at a local electronics store.

I Plugged this one into my television and I worked pretty good.

I had to aim it different directions to get reception though, but I was able to get all of the available digital channels.

It was hard to set this on our television set, it was bulky and ugly though, but it worked, it was easy to make and cost almost nothing!

MMMmmmmmmm, I thought about the how to make a modification that would make it easier to use.

I got rid of the box,

made a stand out of wire and made a simple

stand-alone antenna.

This was a basic, rabbit ears type UHF antenna and Hey,

It worked GREAT!

What was I thinking!

I was climbing high on the ladder, in the middle of winter, tuning the antenna on a tall mast, risking my health and well being and I could have just stayed inside, twisted a couple of wires and I would have had an antenna that could get every station in the area. WOW!

Oh Well, its the experience and the thrill of making a working piece of electronics with limited knowledge, and a few tools and scrap and an imagination.

Next I will explore this Gray-Hoverman Antenna Design and see where that takes me.

Most Likely, up the ladder again--;)