A DIY digital TV antenna can be a fun project for analog TV owners looking to save a little cash by making their own antenna instead of buying one at the store. Since June of 2009, American television stations have stopped broadcasting analog signals and switched to digital. For those without cable or satellite service, this meant analog TV owners would have to purchase a digital receiver to pick up the new signal along with the digital converter box. Luckily, there are a few methods for creating a digital antenna with household objects.
A Coffee Can Antenna
The first method is the simplest, and all it requires is an empty coffee can, a nail, electrical tape and a coaxial cable wire. You'll also need a pair of wire cutters and a hammer. The first step is to cut one end of the coaxial cable wire off using the wire cutter and strip the rubber sheathing back to expose about an inch of wire.
Next, hammer the nail into the coffee can about ¾ of the way in. The nail should be positioned about a quarter of the length of the can away from the bottom. Then wrap the exposed coaxial wire around the nail on the outside of the can. Once this is complete, hammer the nail all the way into the can. Place the electrical tape over the outside of the nail. Now connect the other end of the cable wire to the cable port in the back of your TV or digital converter box, and position the coffee can where you get the best signal.
Other Easy DIY Digital Antennas
Several types of homemade antennas can pick up digital TV information. One way involves making an antenna out of some coat hangers and a piece of wood. What you'll need is a piece of wood about 3 feet in length, 6 metal clothes hangers, some screws and washers and coaxial cable. The idea is to sand down the coat hangers so that the metal is exposed. You'll also need to straighten them out. The idea is to create a criss-crossing pattern on the wood board with two of the coat hangers. Cut the other hangers in half, and bend them into a V shape. Distribute the V hangers evenly on both sides of the structure and screw them down so that they're touching the criss-crossing ones that are already bolted down. Next, you'll need to solder the coaxial cable wire to the center of the board. Once that is complete, you can plug the other end into the television. Just make sure to keep this type of digital antenna well away from kids or pets since the ends of the hangers will be sticking out.
Before you start shopping for a flat screen TV, learn the truth about what's needed and what may be a needless expense.
Can I use a monitor as an HDTV? Yes, but you will need to make a few adjustments.