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DIY Coat Hanger UHF HDTV OTA Antenna FTW!!!

Mike_Hawk 1,606 November 26, 2009 at 10:11 PM in Best (5)
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Decided to build a DIY Coat Hanger UHF HDTV Antenna.

Took ~1 hour to build. I'm impressed so far.





You can see my previous antenna on top of the TV. It's a Radioshack 15-1868, $23: http://www.radioshack.com/product...Id=2062081 I live ~4 miles away from the local station array and even though I'm that close, the RS antenna still had dropped signals Frown

For $4 in a Transformer (Lowe's RCA: VH54N) + stuff I already had, I'm now getting:
3 more channels, plus they were all bumped up 30-40% or more in signal strength! I'm still pulling in all my VHF channels (this antenna is really meant just for UHF). No more dropped signals! woot

Can't wait to get this sucker up in my attic and see what kinds of crazy stuff it'll pull.

Build plans and a DIY video for the coat hanger antenna:
http://vimeo.com/2931902

-edit McClapp design:
Revision 2: Here's a direct link to Mr. McClapp's design:
http://www.frontiernet.net/~mclap...20line.pdf

To make the 'whiskers' you need 8 qty 19inch long pieces of metal. The whisker's "V" should 5.5 inches apart, click here for a pic of what it looks like:
http://www.frontiernet.net/~mclap...layout.pdf

You can goto Lowe's and they have all kinds of 'finishing' type wood that's a much better spec than just a regular ole 2x4. I'm talking stuff that is like 2 inches wide by 36 inches long, by like 1/4 inch thick.

If you want to be ultra anal you could get some kind of hard plastic tubing or what not and cut off several pieces to build 'nubs' to raise the metal off the wood by 1/4 of an inch. Personally I think it's over kill.

I suggest using Romex instead of coat hangers. MUCH easier to work with.
If you get standard 2 wire romex (3 wires total), you'll need 7 feet.
If you get 3 wire romex (4 wires total), you'll need 5 feet.

In the attached pics, the Mclapp version is on the left, the bigger antenna. The coat hanger version is on the right, smaller.

33 Comments

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My # is bigger than yours
6,153 Reputation
#16
Quote from Mike_Hawk View Post :
Maybe if you live in China Roll Eyes (Sarcastic)
Nope, but there's an all you can eat chinese resturant not too far away.
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#17
Quote from Ray Nagin View Post :
Can I pick up Chinese channels with that?
What part of Guangzhou are you located in?
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My # is bigger than yours
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#18
Quote from Dingaling View Post :
What part of Guangzhou are you located in?
the part that has electricity I suppose?
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#19
Anyone built one of these in the Seattle area?
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#20
Can we plug in digital cable to it and watch the tv on the Laptop?

Can it be used with windows vista?
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Peace be with you
1,606 Reputation
Original Poster
#21
Quote from taggupalya View Post :
Can we plug in digital cable to it and watch the tv on the Laptop?

Can it be used with windows vista?
Shameless Bump as well as answering questions.

Digital Cable is most likely encrypted, well most channels. There are come cQAM channels meaning "Clear" as in not encrypted.

Check here to see what you can pick up OTA (over the air) http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/Address.aspx

You could plug this + your cable outlet coax (via a splitter of course) into a USB tuner and see whatcha pick up. I'm sure it can be used in Vista depending on the USB tuner's drivers.

I've had great success w/ the Hpapgapgpapapap (misspelled on purpose Big Grin ) 950q which can be had for $50 or $20 on a SD: http://www.amazon.com/Hauppauge-1...324&sr=1-2
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#22
I built this and got one channel. I went out and bought an antenna and got 9.
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Peace be with you
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Original Poster
#23
Were the channels VHF? Was the DIY antenna placed and directed correctly? Same as the store bought antenna?
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Peace be with you
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Original Poster
#24
Edited the OP with updated design links and build thoughts.
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#25
I made mine last summer. I'm about 30 miles from the towers and pick up every local station with excellent reception, except one is a little flakey. Overall I am happy.

http://img600.imageshack.us/i/291...14156.jpg/
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#26
Quote from Mike_Hawk View Post :
Edited the OP with updated design links and build thoughts.
Built the McClapp a year ago or more and get many channels despite living right on the edge of the digital cliff at 70 miles. With a Chanel Master 7777 pre-amp and 35 ft of antenna ... it's actually an old sailboat mast we are not hurting for programs. Include internet and what else does anyone need?

here is link to a great site with all available OTA channels.... just plug in your zip code and check "air" for broadcast type.
http://titantv.com/default.aspx
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#27
thnx man,works like a champ
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Never gonna give you up
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#28
Quote from shipfaced View Post :
Built the McClapp a year ago or more and get many channels despite living right on the edge of the digital cliff at 70 miles. With a Chanel Master 7777 pre-amp and 35 ft of antenna ... it's actually an old sailboat mast we are not hurting for programs. Include internet and what else does anyone need?

here is link to all available OTA channels here.
http://tvlistings.aol.com/listing...code=32958
Kudos. I'm about 60 miles from my stations, but we live in a heavily wooded neighborhood, and I've never been able to get a lock on all the basics at the same time.
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#29
Quote from burninator View Post :
Kudos. I'm about 60 miles from my stations, but we live in a heavily wooded neighborhood, and I've never been able to get a lock on all the basics at the same time.
you too will need the signal booster if you don't have it already. Leaves absorb signal, can you get an antenna on the roof using a mast of some sort to reach up as high as possible?
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Never gonna give you up
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#30
Quote from shipfaced View Post :
you too will need the signal booster if you don't have it already. Leaves absorb signal, can you get an antenna on the roof using a mast of some sort to reach up as high as possible?
The sweet spot's near the bottom of my roof, actually. I get a much better signal there than at the top...go figure. I have a pre-amp, but I haven't had much time to get up there and make the needed adjustments to see if I'll ever get it to work.
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