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DIY Flexible Fractal Window HDTV Antenna

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Comments: 71
Flexible DTV Antenna
When I first got an HDTV I still had SD service from my satellite company and couldn't check out the HD quality. After searching the web a bit I came up with a few DIY HDTV antennas. The first one I built was a fractal antenna. It wasn't exactly to spec. I made the antenna out of some paperclips, staples, cardboard and a balun I had.

It didn't get a lot of channels but it got quite a few and the signal strength of the channels I did get where very good.

I've also recently been checking out the flexible HDTV antennas like the Paper Thin Leaf Indoor HDTV Antenna and the Walltenna Clear Indoor HDTV Antenna because I found I get very good reception when I had my RCA ANT1650R HDTV Antenna mounted in a window but it was awkward to keep in place and prevented me from opening the window. Since I went ahead and purchased the ClearStream2 antenna I didn't want to spend money on another one but I wanted to see if I could make a homemade flexible HDTV antenna.

I decided to go with the fractal design and just like my first fractal antenna I made it with things I had laying around. Inspired by this cardboard and aluminum foil antenna I decided to make my DIY Flexible TV antenna out of aluminum foil.

Full list of materials I used are:
  • 2 Sheets of 8.5" x 11" printer paper
  • 1 piece of aluminum foil (about 8" x 11")
  • 1 sheet of clear, flexible plastic (torn from report cover)
  • An Elmer's glue stick (spray adhesive or any other glue can work)
  • 1 Matching Transformer (Balun)
  • 2 small nuts and bolts
Tools were simple. All I used was a printer, pair of scissors and a screwdriver.

I laid out the pattern using Goole Sketchup and printed it out at 1:1 scale 3 times on 2 sheets of paper (one sheet was double sided). Printing out the full size image to the right should print to the right size. It should fill up most of the page, if not use the fit to page option in your printer driver if available or you can try the PDF version.

On the double sided sheet of paper I coated the pattern with glue using a glue stick. There's no need to be precise here as long as all the dark areas are coated it doesn't matter if the glue is on the white areas. Spray glue will also work but the glue stick was the first thing I grabbed.

After applying the glue I placed the sheet of aluminum foil over it (shiny side up not sure if that matters) and pressed it down to smooth it out and make sure there was good contact with the glue. I was curious to see if it would work so I didn't let the glue dry long. I recommend you're a little more patient and put a weight like a book over the paper/foil and let the glue dry a bit.

Since the pattern is printed on both sides, turn over the paper and cut out the dark pattern using a pair of scissors or a sharp hobby knife. You should wind up with 2 pieces of paper/foil that are mirror images of each other.

There might be better ways to affix the paper/foil to the plastic but I was anxious to try it out so continued using the glue stick.  First take the 2nd printout and place it on your work surface, pattern side up. Then place your clear, flexible plastic over the top of the pattern and line it up so that it's where you want it to be. This pattern isn't glued to the plastic. It's just used as a guide to help you place the fractal components you cut out.

Apply glue to the plastic and press the paper/foil pieces in place, foil side up. I tried to clean up the glue a little with a lint free towel and alcohol. If you're not in the "OOH OOH OOH WILL IT WORK!?!?!?!" mentality you can be a little more careful with keeping things neat :)

Let the glue dry a bit and then make 2 holes big enough to fit the shaft of your bolts through, one in each down lead using anything you can. I just poked it with the tip of a sharp pair of scissors.

Slide the bolts through the holes and twist the nuts on. Before you tighten them down all the way slide the connectors of the balun around the bolts, making sure they are in contact with the foil.

That's it!

I tested the antenna out. It performed much better than my first paper clip fractal antenna. There were a couple of weaker signals I couldn't catch and none of the VHF channels came in (Correction, I just checked again and I'm able to catch VHF channel 7). Most of my major channels are within 10 miles of me and I had no problem receiving those.

If you don't need to worry about VHF channels and you find you get the best reception near a window, then try this antenna out. It is easy and cheap to make, will barely restrict your view and operation of your window and gets pretty good reception.

Another option is to use 1/4 Copper Foil Tape w/Conductive Adhesive and Scotch® Laminating Sheets 9 Inches x 12 Inches to protect your antenna.Regular metal tapes have a non-conductive adhesive.

Reader Submitted DIY Antennas

If you made this tv antenna I'd love to see and hear how it came out. You can email pictures to 

71 comments:

  1. Isn't this from http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/

    You should cite where necessary.

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    1. I'm the one that posted it to digitalhome.ca :)

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    2. THANK YOU SO MUCH! You just saved me $40. I was gonna buy the Walltenna. but, when I saw the construction I thought "Hey, I could do that." so I googled DIY HDTV antennas and found your design. I can't believe how well this thing works. And I used saran wrap because I didn't have a sheet of plastic for the first one I made. Next one I used the bottom of an aluminum turkey pan for the cut out (instead of aluminum foil) and put it on a plastic sheet. Just great.

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    3. and P.S. Your design not only pulls in UHF but VHF also. I'm getting all my local channels now. (I'm in the NYC area.)

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    4. You might want to point out that this is a modification of my antenna from January of 2009. Although, a nice modification.

      http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-fractal-antenna-for-HDTV-DTV-plus-/

      -William Ruckman

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  2. How does this compare to the ClearStream2 antenna you purchased?

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    1. The ClearStream 2 with VHF is mounted in the attic and I'm also using an amplifier with it. It has a longer range and can pick up more channels.

      This antenna doesn't pickup VHF except for one channel, ABC which is close and broadcasts a strong signal. Most of my stations' transmitters are within 15 miles of me. I'm in the NYC area. I get all the UHF channels in the green zone that are over 50 NM(db) according to my tvfool.com report. Depending on the position I can sometimes get this one channel that's over 40 miles away.

      Signal to Noise ratio is very good. For CBS I get around 22dB SNR with this antenna mounted in a second story window, up to 25SNR if I try and get the best reception for that channel. That's as good as I have gotten from all the antennas I have.

      This isn't going to replace an antenna that goes for $100 but it gets most of the same channels.

      I have the CS2 attached to my MythTV server but I use the flexible DIY antenna for another TV until I get around to running network cables to it and building a small frontend for it.

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  3. If you added a couple of elements (longer) to that antenna, it would pick up the rest of the VHF channels. Unfortunately, most of the areas I have been in have at least one of the major networks on the VHF band. I don't know the exact length, but it could be easily calculated. What most people don't realize is that any old antenna from the last century will usually pick up HDTV signals just fine.

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    1. Thanks George, I've been playing around with 4nec2 to try and improve the VHF gain but I haven't come up with a good solution yet.

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    2. Could you then use a circuit board blank and a transparency to etch a more complicated antenna design from 4nec2 to create a really powerful antenna? Perhaps this is a more techie hack than you intended for a DIY blog, but it reminded me of high school electronics class when we made our own circuit boards.

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    3. You could do that. You'd need an 8" x 10" Copper PCB which runs around $6 and change. Plus the etching chemicals. You'd also need toner transfer paper to transfer the design to the PCB. At this point you've spent close to what it would cost to buy a retail flexible antenna.

      The copper is on an opaque board so you won't get the transparency and it won't be flexible. There are flexible PCB's that somewhat translucent but not completely transparent but they're not cheap either. Flexibility isn't that important but it makes it easier to attach to the window. Transparency is a plus because it helps disguise it a bit and doesn't block light.

      What would be really great if those metallic foil transfer sheets that are used on certificates would work, but they don't because they're actually plastic not metal.

      I did find the CircuitWriterTM Precision Penthat uses conductive ink to draw traces. That could be used for more complicated designs but i haven't tested it out.

      This is the cheapest method I could come up with to prototype different designs. Now that I know the construction method works I'm going to try and make a more complicated design.

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  4. Why wouldn't you just make this with copper foil tape to start with? Print or photocopy the pattern on to a transparent sheet (like for old-school overhead projectors) and use the tape to follow the pattern. :)

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    1. I didn't have any copper foil tape and I was eager to see if it worked. I also didn't want to spend any money on it. Everything I used to build the antenna were things I already had and I wanted people to try and make it themselves without spending much money. All the gluing and cutting reminded me of being back in kindergarten. After I was done I had a major craving for a juice box and a nap. :)

      I had built a 4 bay antenna out of thin gauge wire because I ran out of copper and it worked well. I'm not sure what the metal is but it looks like galvanized steel or aluminum. Since that worked and I saw the other aluminum foil antennas I wanted to try it out. It's a cheap way to try different antenna designs.

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  5. I printed out the PDF template and copied it to a heavy duty box side. I then placed aluminum foil around each of the areas that I could. I was able to pick up all the stations in my area (85710) better than with an old antenna that I was using. The comparison isn't close. The hardest channel (13) came in crystal clear.

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  6. Wow! The signal for 13 in your zip is 37.4dB according to TVFool.com. I'm surprised you can catch it. Glad it's working out for you.

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  7. I'm stunned how well this worked. I built this tonight to replace a $12 "digital" antenna from the local bullseye store and it blows it out of the water. I think I got maybe 5 or 6 channels with the old antenna and with this cheap solution (only spent $4 on the matching transformer) I get basically all the OTA digital channels in my area (97124).

    Thanks for this, I'm going to make another!

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    1. Jason,

      Thanks for coming back to let me know how that it worked out well for you. Crazy isn't it? My jaw dropped when I first plugged it in. Happy to hear it works well for others.

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  8. I am a geek wannabe and really know very little about technology. I am so confused. If aluminum foil works for HDTV, then that means that the old antennas that we used on analog (I think that's right) TV would work, too...right? So, why did they sell us expensive HDTV antennas? Was this a major scam?
    I personally think the whole switch over was a scam to make somebody rich; but, like I said, I know very little about technology.

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    1. Terri,

      The radio waves that are used to transmit television signals are still the same radio waves that were used in the past. The data in those signals is different.

      The DTV channels pretty much occupy the same frequencies that the old channels did. For example, a station broadcasting on channel 13 was and still is broadcasting in the 210-216MHz frequency range. Most channels were moved to the UHF space (14-51), some channels that were in the VHF space (2-13) kept their transmissions on those channels, mostly if they were in the high VHF range (7-13).

      If you had a good antenna that was capable of receiving both VHF and UHF channels you could still use that antenna to pick up DTV signals provided your tv supported those signals or you had a digital converter box.

      I wouldn't call it a scam. There was a lot of government funded buzz regarding the DTV transition and the marketing teams at companies that built tv accessories (including tv antennas) took advantage of the free press by labeling their products as HDTV.

      Antenna technology evolves and people find ways to make things better. The DTV switch also resulted in a narrower band allocated to TV channels which means that antenna manufacturers could tune their antennas differently.

      If your existing antenna works fine then stick with it.

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  9. Fairly basic question: will connecting this to the TV directly from the transformer using a coaxial cable provide an HD picture, or is there another piece of equipment needed that allows for an HDMI/component connection?

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    1. Connect it directly to the antenna input of your TV or digital converter box with coax. I had mine connected with 25' of cable without needing an amplifier. 50' or greater I think you might need a preamp to make up for the loss in the cable.

      If this is the first time connecting an antenna to your TV you will need to scan for channels before you see anything. If you're already using an antenna rescan to see if you get any new channels once you find the best position for the antenna.

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  10. Worked out great for me. Made it during some down time at work. Paid $1 CAD for the matching transformer and everything else was just stuff sitting around. Got a bunch of requests from co-workers to build them one now too.

    Thanks,
    M.

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    1. Awesome! :)

      Can you guys that are building your own email me a picture? I'd like to see how they're turning out. Send pics to antenna at this domain.

      And please send a link to this page to them. I'm 5 likes away from breaking 100 facebook likes and it's driving me crazy being so close. :)

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    2. Just gave you your 100th "Like" on Facebook.
      I'm gonna try to print the sheets, paste the foil, cut them out and laminate them at work tonight. I'm wondering if the foil will get to hot during the lamination and melt the plastic, but I think it should be ok.
      I'll post what I find in a few days.

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    3. Thanks Adam :)

      Send me a pic when you're done. Would love to see some of the ones you guys are making.

      I don't think the foil will get hotter than the laminating rollers so I think you'll be good.

      I haven't made a laminated one but I was thinking you might want to cut holes, on the top sheet at least, to leave some exposed foil for the connection to the transformer. Unless there's a way to laminate the transformer wires too.

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    4. It's a good thing I stopped to look up something on my phone, I had sent the URL to it for reference when constructing this at work. I didn't thing about cutting holes out on the top lamination sheet.
      Good call.
      Works great. 3 channels that would barely come at 10% now come in at 65-80% now. And the ones that came in good before come in great now. Still don't get 1 or 2 channels, but not a big deal as they are local stations and didn't come in before the digital conversion.
      I wasn't sure how you hung it up so I just poked 2 holes at the top and strung it up with some old wire and some thumb tacks I had laying around.
      HERE is a quick shot of it hanging and HERE is a shot of the connections. 2 wing nuts on a bolt.
      Thanks for the idea and plans!!

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    5. Adam,
      Yours came out looking very nice. Laminating it is a much better way of doing it. No messy glue smears like on mine.

      I've never mounted it permanently anywhere. Just slide it onto the window or stick it up somewhere with thumbtacks.

      What antenna were you using before?

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    6. Artec. It did ok, but needed constant adjustment. I think it was just to small.

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  11. If I wanted to expand this beyond the two set of two fractals, could I go out just one way, or do I need to extend it both north and south (looking at your design)?

    Also, could I increase the fractal, so instead of a star, it was a three star at each corner?

    Finally, how does size factor into this? Can these lines be wider/thinner with the foil? Can the scale be scaled up and/or down and not lose too much?

    Would the aluminum flashing tape made for Drying Machine Ducts works as well?

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    1. Joshua,

      More elements should improve the gain. Unfortunately I don't have all the answers to all your questions yet. I've been running simulations with different designs and at some point will post my findings. If you want you can subscribe to my feed to be notified when I do post updates.

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  12. Would using a solid piece of aluminum sheet metal increase the gain at all?

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    1. I really don't know. I've read a lot about the use of different materials but I still don't have a definitive answer.

      The general consensus seems to be the more mass the better but I also read that antenna signals travel through the cable mostly along the outer surface. I don't know if the skin effect applies to the antenna itself. In simulations I've done going from a 1mm wire to a 3mm wire increased gain by 50% but I don't know if that's because of the increased mass or the increased surface area.

      I don't have the tools or materials to try it out. If you do and you'd like to compare the two I'd be interested to know how it turns out.

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  13. OMG - this works so well and it only cost me a few bucks to make. I now get over 40 channels for free. thanks for the great tip!

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  14. Thank you so much for this! I live in Toronto and I bought an HD Antenna a year ago and only got one channel, which I also got without the antenna so it was probably defective. I made this antenna in a few hours and now I get 16 channels...will email you the pic but I had the same urge to see if it would work so it's not the prettiest. So, the fractal design actually just LOOKS good too...if I got some conductive paint and then enlarged/expanded that design and then painted it on the interior of an exterior wall....is there any reason you can think of why that wouldn't make a giant antenna?

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    1. I'm so glad to hear it's working out for others. I almost thought it was a fluke that it worked for me :)

      The length of the elements controls the tuning of the antenna. I think a little larger would improve the reception of the UHF band. Maybe 7-9" at most. I did some modeling but I forget the figures. Size was a factor since I wanted the printout to fit a sheet of paper.

      Most materials can block the tv signals and degrade reception. Shingles, plywood, studs, etc. Aluminum siding is the worst. That's why I made one that would be minimally obtrusive in a window since signal loss would be less there compared to an exterior wall. If you put the antenna up against the wall and it works fine for you I don't see why using conductive paint wouldn't work. I haven't tried it though.

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  15. Just built this after returning my Terk Antenna that was pretty much garbage... It was so easy! I used 3M spray glue to adhere the printed sheet to the aluminum foil and then I cut it out and again used spray glue to adhere the cut pieces to suitable sheet of chloroplast (green house covering). It is stuck on the wall above my TV and tunes in all of the channels we have available here in Calgary, Alberta..., which is only 7 :(

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    1. Oh... BTW, Thanks for posting this fantastic project!

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  16. I couldn't get it to work :/

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  17. I just bought a flat Leaf style antenna for my grandparents. I also tried it out where I live and it worked pretty well. So well, that I thought I'd get myself one. But after studying the leaf antenna, I decided there's no reason a guy couldn't just construct one himself. And sure enough I found this post. I'm going to begin construction on Sunday, and laminate it at work on Monday. Already got a couple of balun ordered from amazon, the price was good so I had to get two. I am going to build this design, and try to tinker with it a bit and build a bigger one. Thanks for the awesome post. I'll be back to let ya know how it turns out.

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  18. Hi, this looks great but it would be really, really helpful if there was some way of ensuring the print output is the correct size - maybe you could put a dimension on the drawing, or indicated the DPI you intend this to be printed at?

    Thanks!

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  19. I was surprised how well this antenna worked. I was able to pick up 23 crystal clear channels. If you need an antenna for your TV I would highly suggest following this tutorial.

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  20. this really boosted my fm reception!

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  21. I am just curious. How did you make the holes for the screws? I was thinking about using the self adhesives sheets, as I have some at work, but didn't want to cover the entire aluminum foil. Will covering all the foil mess up my signal. And did you just stick the screws right threw the foil? I am just curious. Thanks for the help.

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    1. I made the holes by just poke something sharp through the foil/plastic and then cut it a little with scissors. I don't think the plastic covering the foil will do much to inhibit the signal but you need to make sure that the balun has contact with the foil.

      You can do that by either putting the leads of the balun in between the plastic before pressing the top sheet on or you can cut a hole on the top sheet so that some foil is exposed around where you'll put the screws before you apply it to the rest of the antenna.

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  22. Great tutorial. I am going to try this out very soon and will report back how it works.

    Would it be beneficial (or harmful) to use aluminum foil on both sides of the paper? Do you know if it would make any difference?

    For example glueing another sheet of aluminum on the opposite side, or, by making two double sided sheets of paper, glueing aluminum to one side as you described and then glueing the two paper/aluminum antennas together so there is aluminum on each side with 2 sheets of paper in the middle?

    Thanks.

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  23. I had to give this a try when I saw it. Hdtv antenna for the price of a happy meal? I only had to buy Rg-6 coaxial cable for $2.99, matching transformer for $1.19, and a pair of nuts & bolts for 40 cents. Everything else was at home.

    My hat off to you, the antenna works great. I live in Los Angeles and the antenna picks up just over 100 channels. Of course this depends on where you live and where's the signal coming in around your location. Use http://www.antennaweb.org/Address.aspx to find where your signals are coming at and point your antenna into their direction.

    Thanks & Happy New Years!!

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  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  25. Thanks for this! My other antenna (Eagle Aspen Dtv2Buhf) has been sitting on the fence wall outside with a long cable running to it. Reception is spotty and I've had to adjust it multiple times. I was considering just buying a couple of pvc clamps and either a length of piping or use leftover wood rods from the closet to clamp it to the wall and get it up in the air.

    Then I came across your article yesterday, and figured why not. So I made it in about half an hour last night - for some reason I thought it would be bigger even though all the materials are 8.5x11" :) I tested it out indoors and it didn't work very well at all. But then I hooked it up where the other antenna is outside, and draped the cable/balun/antenna over the side of the wall (ick). I'm now getting the channels I was having problems with before without any adjustments or issues! Amazing! My major concern is the durability of this thing outdoors (I'm guessing it wasn't designed to be used outside).

    If I were to grab a bunch of coat hangers and try bending them into the same shape as this design (albeit bigger), then mount them against a piece of particleboard or something (maybe an aluminum sheet even), would I essentially get the same results? I'm just trying to think of a way to build something relatively simple for outside.

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  26. thank you sir. took 20 min to try this and it works!!

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  27. Hey there HTPG-DIY! I am hoping that you can post the actual specs of the antenna, such as its gain, bandwidth, gain, impedance, thanks! I can't seem to wrap my head around if a flat or bow-tie antenna is good in my scenario so I was hoping to have numbers to work with, while TvFool gives me a good understanding of broadcasts in my area.

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  28. Wow! So cool! A cheap way to experiment and see if I'd be okay with ditching cable! If it works, I think I may also make at least one additional for a rabbit-ear owning friend of mine (if anyone is in the kitchen, her signal gets all messed up!). For the plastic, the first thing I thought of was a nice sturdy piece of template plastic (found in the quilting section of a craft store).

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  29. oh man, your desing save my superbolw weekend, thanks

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  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  31. Would using copper wire instead of aluminum foil reduce sensitivity -
    Also, is the max. width of the antenna 8 inches?

    Also, another thought - how about making two, folding each lengthwise 90°
    and making a 3D pattern (an X viewed from the top) paralleling the signal feeds?

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  32. Just curious...when making this antenna (or any antenna) from the copper tape you linked to...what do you do when you get to the angles? Cut the tape? Fold it over?

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  33. All I can say is you antenna people sure are SENSITIVE about getting proper attribution if you feel your antenna that has a similar design and was made earlier hasn't been referenced or cited in this article. Yeesh, chill out it's just a friggin' antenna.

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  34. Made this this evening according to the directions with the clear plastic. Barely worked...so I grabbed some cardboard from an old pizza box. The difference is so much different with picking up several more channels with this antenna than old cardboard "V" shaped one. It's not clear...but does work like crazy...plus...I can tighten down the bolts to keep the balun in place.

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  35. Since the one I made worked so well...decided to create one on another pizza box...but twice as long by making two of them from card stock I bought. Haven't noticed any difference...but as soon as I move in a week and a half...will have a 7 db amp hooked to this. At that time...will repost how many of the channels I can pick up in Colorado.

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    1. Sorry about the delay...but can pick up around 30 channels in the Colorado Springs area...with 14-15 channels I will actually watch. With two dual TV Tuner cards in the PC and hooked up to a TV...works perfect for my uses.

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  36. I made a slightly more complex model, due to the fact that I like to tinker and experiment. I made 4 panels connected through 4 transformers and a 4 way splitter. A boster was used, although im not sure if it was needed. I had it in a junk drawer, as I said, I like to tinker so I figured it couldnt hurt. The panels are hanging from a curtain rod, about 2 feet apart edge to edge. All said and done, it was probably 25.00 in parts, but most of which I already had. To cut it short, I can pick up over the air channels from 2 counties away. Man, there is some interestng $#!+ on public tv at 3 am. I will send some pics this weekend when I get my phone repaired, I am sure you will be proud!

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  37. AWESOME!!!
    easy to set up and unexpectedly work VERY VERY well. change the location to put the antenna like 3 times, then it works just perfectly.. best part, i dont even need to use the matching transformer, coz i cant find it anywhere near my place. just peel the antenna cable and connect them separately to the pattern then use stapler to attach, done!!
    thanks again for the idea! cheers

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  38. Is it possible to recalculate it for another frequency like 762 MHz that is used in Vilnius, Lithuania? Also, I'd like to know to what frequency the antenna is calculated?

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  39. Just moved into south Omaha (68108) and was not able to pick up any usable signals with a $20 powered antenna I'd had for a few years, but I made this last night and I believe I get every available channel in my area. Thanks for saving me money and adding to my freedom to do what I want with my electronics! I'll try to send a pic later. It looks great since attached it to a decorative wood carving in the window.

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  40. Worked so good. It revealed all the channels in my area (Northeast WI). Thanks.

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  41. I just made this style of antenna over the weekend and it turned out to be a success. I get nearly 10 channels with a second level Westerly exposure towards the CN Tower. Great design it was a really fun project to do.

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  42. Made mine tonight. The glue dried rather quickly. I added the additional component of two copper washers over the terminals, under the screwheads, just to increase and generally cover the contacts better.

    The number to beat was 13 channels.
    First run, unmounted, 27.
    Mounted it a touch higher in the window, 90 degree orientation, 35. I lost a couple, gained a lot more, so now I just need to do some tweaking and get those other channels in.

    It's facing south, and I seem to be getting more southern channels than northern. Signals that TVFool says I should be getting strong are coming in weaker than stations farther away.
    Eh. Still, better to spend $10 and get more stations than the $25 antenna I picked up. :)

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    1. Just an update. The original design is still working wonderfully.. not getting everything I'd like, but it's still better than pay antennas. I'm attempting an scaled up version soon, I used Plexiglass for the backing, and I picked up a much larger sheet, and will be scaling up the design, or adding on more of the current design. Haven't decided yet.

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  43. Could you try including this modification into the tinplate it seems to improve performance.

    link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBXzNz8bA2Q

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  44. This antenna was not a success I have an RCA antenna, bunny ears style that still gets more channels than this antenna.

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  45. Hi. I'm going to try this but I wanted to know what I am attaching from the TV to the balun? Thanks

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  46. This thing is AWESOME!!! I must admit, at first I had my doubts, so I bought an HD antenna from Home Depot. The antenna from Home Depot was so-so. I knew it should be much better. I am only 2 miles from the antennas I want, wtf? I decided then to go ahead and try this. It probably took me about an hour. Cutting the thing out is a PITA, especially with 48 year old eyes, but hey, it's free. Ok, so I got it all put together and tried it out, placing it in an upstairs bedroom. Wow! Pretty good. Better then the one from HDepot. I took the one from HDepot back and got my money returned. That was about a week ago. Today, I went ahead and ran coax from the upstairs bedroom down INTO the basement. Hooked up this nifty antenna in a room that is in the basement. Well guess what??? I'm getting more channels with this thing down there than I was with it upstairs and they are all 75% to 100% strength. FANTASTIC!!!

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