Homemade OTA antenna

NorthernOhioGuy

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May 19, 2017
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I am curious how many of you folks have used homemade antennas to receive your OTA channels? Also, how does performance of your homemade one compare to any commercially produced ones that you may use or have used?

I made my own and set it up in my attic. I was surprised at how many channels I can pick up. I am directly in line between several stations about 10-11 miles to the southeast of me and several more about 48-50 miles to the northwest. I have my antenna pointed to the northwest and I get all the stations in both ways as well as one to the north-northwest about 30 miles and one to the north east about 30 miles. Then, at night I can usually pick up several stations to the south about 75 miles. Normally when I do a scan we pick up 50 something channels. It has been up in the 80s before when the weather was just right at night. I've considered buying a commercially made unit and a rotor, but have never pulled the trigger and spent the money. Anyhow I'm thinking I just happen to be in a good spot and everything somehow is cobbled together just right.
 
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NYDutch

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I made a multi-element OTA antenna years ago from scrap 1/2" PVC pipe supporting bare copper wire. I cut it for the VHF high and low channels, and easily pulled in stations from 35-40 miles away. I also made a UHF double bow tie from small copper tubing mounted on PVC standoffs attached to an oven rack reflector that worked well with about the same range.
 

Larry1

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I made a VHF CH 10 antenna a few years ago. I cut and rolled aluminum flashing for the 10 elements. It was based on an old antenna that they posted the measurements on the digital home Canada forums. Works very well and still in use. It sits on top of my tower along with an antennas direct 91XG for the UHF band. The two antenna feed my channel master cm7777 pre-amplifier (the original, separate VHF and UHF input version).
 

Cham

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I built a Grey Hoverman antenna with no reflector. Located between two markets I would wear out the rotor going back and forth and this works well. Cheap RCA pre-amp at the antenna helps with the weaker stations.
Can't seem to get the store-bought antennas to work very well anyway. Have a nice Winegard HD combo log-periodic up about 50' and it doesn't work nearly as well as the GH.
Have two HDHomeRuns, one connected to the GH and the other to the Winegard. The GH picks up about 20 channels in both markets. The big Wingard picked up nothing this am on a scan pointed south to the farther market. I guess there is something seriously wrong with it considering there is a high power station only 15 miles away. I hope to take it down before winter and check it out.
 

NYDutch

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The center frequency for TV RF channel 13 is 213 MHz (210-216 MHz). By "loop antenna" are you referring to a common folded dipole? If that's the case, the total length of a full wave element would be 55.4 inches, so the folded length would be about half of that, depending on the length of the bends.
 

Trip

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Have any members ever made a loop antenna for VHF and if so, what would be the dimensions of the loop for rf 13?
I tried it and found that it did not outperform my VHF bowtie. (Which I still use for certain things.) I don't have the dimensions handy.

- Trip
 

Wireless Engineer

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Mar 18, 2019
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Commercial made antennas are designed for maximum profit and minimum size and weight which makes them a poor choice compared to a properly designed DIY antenna.
One can easily make a 4 bay bowtie that will out perform the best UHF antennas on the market for under $10
And by using quad elements, you can easily make a vhf yagi that will perform better than the commercial versions being sold.
 
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navychop

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Do you favor yagi over 8 bay?


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NorthernOhioGuy

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May 19, 2017
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Commercial made antennas are designed for maximum profit and minimum size and weight which makes them a poor choice compared to a properly designed DIY antenna.
One can easily make a 4 bay bowtie that will out perform the best UHF antennas on the market for under $10
And by using quad elements, you can easily make a vhf yagi that will perform better than the commercial versions being sold.
This is what I have suspected. I suppose it's the same as for any number of other mass produced items.
 

harshness

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May 5, 2007
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Commercial made antennas are designed for maximum profit and minimum size and weight which makes them a poor choice compared to a properly designed DIY antenna.
That's a very loaded statement. "Properly designed" visits many different disciplines from antenna and structural design all the way to what happens when you mix dissimilar metals.

Any antenna that doesn't address most of the disciplines may be doomed to failure.
 

Cham

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Very generally, a yagi is better for single channel weak signal reception, but a bow-tie is usually much more broadband and not as directional. There are variants like the log-periodic and grey-hoverman (the latter might be more of a fractal design?) It depends on your situation as to which one would work best for you. The bow-tie might be the easiest to build I suppose so it would make a good starting point for a do-it-yourself antenna. :)


Do you favor yagi over 8 bay?
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Cham

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Lots of 90 deg angles made me think "fractal" I guess... :) Suppose if you combined enough of them.....
 
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stogie5150

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I make my own 8-Bay antennas from galvanized hurricane fence tie wire and 1/2 inch plastic conduit, a couple baluns, and a spliiter to combine the two bays. I have one made for each TV in my house, 5 total. They work about as well as my CM-4228 I bought in 2005ish. I've built multiple units for neighbors and they all are happy...where I am we are 50-70 miles from the transmitters...
 
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arlo

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Dec 4, 2016
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A little off topic. Installed a DVR security system for a friends greenhouse. Linked wifi to his house some several hundred yards away with fantastic signal strength and maybe 3" v/h beam width. Used Yagi Calculator (free) to design it. Does Pluto TV count?

went to a friends for the Bills game some years ago. the game was ota. there was a gutted box spring hanging from a tree. i asked ????
"so the tv comes in"...was about time to change my pants!
 

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