|Flexible DTV Antenna|
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
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.
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.
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.