DIY Bare Wire | Coax | Dipole Antenna

RG 59DIY Bare Wire Indoor Antenna
DIY Coax Antenna
DIY Dipole Antenna

Will this work? YES.  If your really close (<10 miles) to the broadcast towers, you can make a surprisingly good digital TV antenna out of coax cable.


In my opinion no need to go to this extreme with terminal block.  Just strip off 6″ of junk coax wire and bend in the shape. Do go over $5 on materials.  Amazon sells pretty made-in-china simple dipoles for ~$8.

diy ota digital antenna

Source: Free your TV and get off cable by making a digital antenna for under $10 [Straight]

Materials used:

  • Any junk coax as you will be cutting/stripping one end as an antenna.

Directions for DIY Coax Cable

  1. Strip back 6″ of insulation and shielding on a length of coax leaving bare copper wire.
  2. Connect the other end of the coax to TV
  3. Mount somewhere up high
  4. Scan for channels



Scan results: ~9 watchable channels with occasional freezes/pixelation.   Typically, I get 20-23 channels with other DIY builds and store bought antennas.

I would not use this build as a DIY Antenna.  More of a baseline test to compare against other DIY builds.  At least spend 5 minutes and bend a stealthhawk antenna out of a coathanger.

HOW?  Distance/Signal Strength

For people who are 30+ miles away from the towers, unless the TV is facing an exterior wall that has a clear shot of the towers, they’ll need an actual antenna, if they’re even further away like 50+ miles they likely need an outdoor or attic antenna.

…  less than 10 miles away from most  stations, a paper clip could work where you are. If anything the attic antenna was overkill because of how strong the signals are there. Even with a classic VHF rabbit ears/UHF combo you could pick up the Baltimore stations, which are less than 30 miles away.

6″ bare wire was better than most TV antennas. 6″ did about as well as a fancy antenna, but longer lengths did much better.


  1. Bare wire antennas work well! [DBSTalk]
  2. Free your TV and get off cable by making a digital antenna for under $10 [Straight]

Anyone have any luck with a bare wire antenna?
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