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DIY Coat Hanger UHF HDTV OTA Antenna FTW!!!

Mike_Hawk 5,541 1,665 November 26, 2009 at 11:11 PM in Best (5) More Vimeo Deals

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Last Edited by Mike_Hawk February 27, 2014 at 11:01 AM
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: 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:

-edit McClapp design:
Revision 2: Here's a direct link to Mr. McClapp's design:

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:

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.


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Joined Jul 2005
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Original Poster

I've made 3 variations of this Antenna so far:

1) The coat hanger version as pictured in the first post
2) The Mcclap larger design on a 2x6 piece of wood (made because I was told the design was better)
3) The Mcclap larger design on a 0.25x1.5 piece of wood (made because I was told the 2x6 was too bulky and blocking stations)

End results: They ALL pull the same strength for my particular location. So IMO build what you can and don't get hung up on the details.
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very interesting
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Do you really need 16 of the whiskers ? Wouldn't 2 work just the same ?

All of the HD antennas I have seen, have this same layout but they never explain why you need so many hangers - I thought maybe because they are used in rural areas. Is there a science as to why they are in Vs and criss-crossed ?
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I built this one (fractal aluminum foil antenna) a few days ago and its working great. Only thing I had to buy was the RCA matching transformer (found it for under $3 on ebay):
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