Build a DIY HDTV Antenna

Build a DIY HDTV antenna

Grab $2 worth of aluminum foil  and cardboard from a box. Trace a template, cut out the pieces, and build your own antenna.

If your within 30 miles of your TV stations, you can save a few $$$ with a $0 DIY HDTV antenna.  Simple, cheap, and effective store bought antennas can be found for $10-$50.


STEP 1: Use online reception map tools.

Green/strong <30 miles are $0 DIY favorites.

  • <30 mi.  A $0 DIY HDTV will work. Even a paperclip, 6″ of bare coax.
  • 30-50 mi.  Possible if your using a proven DIY HDTV pattern.
  • 50+ mi. Good luck with a $0 DIY. Attic/outdoor antenna likely needed.

STEP 2: Use a known DIY HDTV pattern

TipUnless you understand antenna signal/wave theory to research the frequencies, gain, and to calculate the resonant lengths, your wasting your time.

  • Hundreds of simple DIY plans are available using basic materials found in any home.
  • Paperclip to elaborate designs.
    • Paperclip or even 6″ of bare coax cable will work for close stations.
    • Bowtie – simple aluminum foil designs
    • Wire types – Coat hanger, Stealth Hawk, Yagi

STEP 3:  Balun/Matching Transformer

TipLooking for a matching transformer?  You can buy one for a $1-2.  Check around the house.  Years ago, these things were included in every TV, gaming system box.

The  Balun/Matching Transformer is used to convert the 300 ohm antenna output to 75 ohms so that low loss coaxial cable can be used to transport the TV signals from the antenna to the TV set.