Y'all are gonna ROFLYAO @ me for this but...

Dee_Ann

Thread Starter
Angry consumer!
May 23, 2009
3,420
287
Texas
It helped..

Previously I had a piece of cable wire on the roof that I stripped the plastic off and made into a little loop like the antennas you used to see on the backs of little portable TV sets. The loop was about as big around as a peanut butter jar

It sort of worked. I get most of the digital channels here. I use a TV card in my home theater pc and I also have it go to my HDTV. On the TV I can select to watch TV straight from the antenna or from the PC. That's handy because it also has a satellite card in it too so I can use the pc to watch pretty much anything I want.

So anyway, I like to watch Street Court and Judge Joe Brown in the afternoons but the reception on those, KBTV-DT 40.1 was terrible. It would freeze up a lot and really mess up so much it was miserable. And I was missing some good stuff.

So I finally got off my backside this weekend and threw together this horror of horrors of a TV antenna. I saw lots of pictures of stuff you guys made so I found some junk and got to work. I used an old coat hanger, a strip of moulding, some chicken wire and a piece of old satellite wire and stapled it to the wood thing with a staple gun.

Then I jammed the stick in the end of an old satellite pole on the roof of the house and connected it up.

Yes, it's a joke, it looks horrible, laugh all you want but I can watch KBTV now without all the freezing, jerking, squeaking and other annoyances.

It's only temporary though, I suspect it will fall apart soon anyway. I guess I need to shop around for a REAL antenna. So far all I'm able to get is the digital channels, there are some of the other kind that I can not get. My folks get KPLC from Lake Charles (about 65 miles I think) but they have a BIG antenna up about 25 feet on a motor that can turn it around just right.

I really want to get KPLC because since Equity went under I lost Patty Duke & Mr. Ed. :river I think KPLC carries some of the shows that "this tv" aired on satellite last year. I really miss that channel.

So yeah, a new antenna is going to happen this year for sure.
But for now, I can watch Judge Joe Brown and Judge Mazz without all the freezing. :)

I know you'll LYAO at this but hey, it's the best I could do. And it sorta works. :cool:
 

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raoul5788

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HERE TO HELP YOU!
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Dec 28, 2004
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Laugh? Absolutely not! I admire you for taking the initiative and making your own antenna when what you had wasn't working. Most people would come here and complain about their reception. You did the opposite and made it work. Good for you!:up
 

CowboyDren

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 18, 2005
990
2
64133
I'm not laughing. Excellent first stab. If you feel like doing better...

Use a 24" length of coat hanger wire or uninsulated 10ga single-strand wire. Use needle-nosed pliers to bend the ends in miniature loops for hooking onto a standard "300-ohm to 75-ohm transformer" like the one in the pictures below. If you're screwing it into a piece of wood, you may prefer to use the thumb-sized transformer/balun that doesn't require a butt splice to connect to your coax.

For even better signal, use two 24" sections, linked top to bottom (not in the figure-8 shown below, but one loop above and one loop below). You should also stand the driven elements off of that reflector by at least 3" to improve your beam width.
 

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Dee_Ann

Thread Starter
Angry consumer!
May 23, 2009
3,420
287
Texas
I'm not laughing. Excellent first stab. If you feel like doing better...

Use a 24" length of coat hanger wire or uninsulated 10ga single-strand wire. Use needle-nosed pliers to bend the ends in miniature loops for hooking onto a standard "300-ohm to 75-ohm transformer" like the one in the pictures below. If you're screwing it into a piece of wood, you may prefer to use the thumb-sized transformer/balun that doesn't require a butt splice to connect to your coax.

For even better signal, use two 24" sections, linked top to bottom (not in the figure-8 shown below, but one loop above and one loop below). You should also stand the driven elements off of that reflector by at least 3" to improve your beam width.


That looks more interesting than the one I made. I saw so many strange setups, I read and read and read for weeks on end trying to figure out what to do to get better TV. I finally just threw my hands up and stapled some junk together that remotely resembled some of the antennas I saw you guys making. I'm sure it's far from being optimal but I can say, smugly, that I was able to watch Judge Mazz and Judge Joe Brown today without the usual grief. I still want to get a *nice* setup like my folks, way up and on a motor so I can get KUMY and KPLC, they are the old kind of tv, not the new digital but my little antenna doesn't see them. :(

I went to that TV fool website and looked up where the antennas are for the local channels I am interested in watching. There are other channels of course but I don't care for them so I left them out.

I used the map numbers from tv fool on google maps to locate the antennas, making it easy to know where to aim to get the best luck with a good signal.

I even used google street view to actually view photos of the antenna towers! So I know for a fact that they are really there. Darn, I with I had a motor and a BIG, TALL antenna like my folks.

Oh well, another step forward in my education about all this stuff.. Maybe one day I'll get it right.

:)
 

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CowboyDren

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 18, 2005
990
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64133
You have the same kind of problem that I have; you're too close to all of the towers for any kind of easy solution. The good news is that you're so close that a rotator shouldn't be necessary with the right antenna, either. Those 7.5" hoop antennas I showed you actually have a very oblong sensitivity plot with no reflector. If you shrink your loop and remove the reflector, you'd be in good shape for next to no money.

In your case, I'd get a $13 DTV2B-UHF, remove the reflector from it, and just fling it up there. Some "aiming" will do you good, but with no reflector, you should be able to get lots of radiation from all directions if you just point the antenna due North.

Looking at your pictures harder, electrically, it's not doing much. It's kind of a wonder that you're picking up anything at all, except that you are so close. Get a transformer ($4 at a hardware store, $6 at Radio Shack), make a proper hoop that doesn't touch itself out of that coat hanger, remove the reflector, and try again.
 

Splicer

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 18, 2007
228
0
:bowNecessity is the mother of all inventions. I commend you on your inventiveness. LUV your 'balun'.
 

Dee_Ann

Thread Starter
Angry consumer!
May 23, 2009
3,420
287
Texas
Well, my neighbor took a look at my Frankentenna and laughed at me.
"That is so red neck. Does it even work?" followed by lots of laughing.

I really have no idea what I'm doing. I was just trying to mimic some of the pictures I saw here of other home made antennas.

I really will do anything to avoid Ripoff Shack. Everything they sell there is junk and like 4,000% over priced. The kids that run the stores are rude and ignorant and they harass me to buy junk I do not want, IE toys for my grandkids, stereos for my car, satellite tv, cell phones and other junk I have no use for.

They always talk down to me as if I'm brain dead and act like I'm wasting their time.
I checked at Home Depot for TV antenna stuff but all they sell are those dinky little things you set on top of the TV set, looks like a little flying saucer.

I suppose I'm going to have to go to Houston to find something. Maybe there are some stores there that sell TV antenna stuff.

I haven't been in a Radio Shack in like 15 years and I hope I never go in one ever again. :mad:
 

Mr Tony

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
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Mankato, MN
lets not contradict ourselves there ;)

I really will do anything to avoid Ripoff Shack. Everything they sell there is junk and like 4,000% over priced. The kids that run the stores are rude and ignorant and they harass me to buy junk I do not want, IE toys for my grandkids, stereos for my car, satellite tv, cell phones and other junk I have no use for.
later in the post
I haven't been in a Radio Shack in like 15 years and I hope I never go in one ever again. :mad:

I worked for Radio Shack 15 years ago and it was much better then that it is now. 15 years ago they catered to the parts person/geek. Now they don't
 

Dee_Ann

Thread Starter
Angry consumer!
May 23, 2009
3,420
287
Texas

Ok, thank you, that looks like a decent price. It says it's good for 45+ miles.
I am pretty sure that will cover what I need, all the local digital stations are well within that range.

But now I have another question. There are two non digital stations I want to get, KUMY which is pretty close and KPLC which is about 65 miles from me.

I *assume* that that requires a different type of antenna to get the non digital stations.

My dad gave me a rather large FM antenna, it's about 6 feet long and has a bunch of long "whiskers" that fold out. The whole thing opened up is like 6' x 10'. I think.
It's pretty big.

(click for bigger picture)

My dad said that it will work fine to pick up the non digital tv stations. I don't know, I'm assuming he knows what he's talking about as he used to be a TV repairman when I was little.

So the question is, how do I get the two different antennas connected together on the one wire?

Or should I just shop for an antenna that gets both digital and non digital in one single antenna?

I apologize for being a bit dense on this stuff but all this new digital stuff is just new and confusing to me and I just never really messed with this sort of thing before. :confused:

Thank you! :)
 

Dee_Ann

Thread Starter
Angry consumer!
May 23, 2009
3,420
287
Texas
lets not contradict ourselves there ;)


later in the post


I worked for Radio Shack 15 years ago and it was much better then that it is now. 15 years ago they catered to the parts person/geek. Now they don't


Well, I don't don't really know how long it's been since I went in one, but it's been a number of years. I think the last time I went in one was with a friend who was looking for some nintinedo thing or something. I don't remember what it was for sure. But I still stand by what I said, they are a rip off and the kids that work there are rude, at the very least. :mad:


I hate radio shack. Period. Nothing anyone can say or do will ever sway me on my opinion of them. I would rather do without than do business with them. :mad:
 

Splicer

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 18, 2007
228
0
Well, get the word "digital" out of your vocabulary for now. Everything is the same today as it was when we were kids, UHF & VHF. The antenna I linked to is UHF, that is what the majority of stations transmit on today. The antenna you have is a VHF antenna. If your dad says it will work, what have you got to lose by trying it? Anyway, to join the UHF & VHF antennas together, order this when you order the U4000:

Pico Macom UVSJ UHF VHF Band Separator/Combiner for Antenna (UVSJ) - Pico Macom - UVSJ - UVSJ - UVSJ

Look at my signature. I use the same antenna. ;)
 

Dee_Ann

Thread Starter
Angry consumer!
May 23, 2009
3,420
287
Texas
Well, get the word "digital" out of your vocabulary for now. Everything is the same today as it was when we were kids, UHF & VHF. The antenna I linked to is UHF, that is what the majority of stations transmit on today. The antenna you have is a VHF antenna. If your dad says it will work, what have you got to lose by trying it? Anyway, to join the UHF & VHF antennas together, order this when you order the U4000:

Pico Macom UVSJ UHF VHF Band Separator/Combiner for Antenna (UVSJ) - Pico Macom - UVSJ - UVSJ - UVSJ

Look at my signature. I use the same antenna. ;)


Cool! Ok.. I *will* order one of those too. It's super cheap. :D

So anyway, all this digital stuff is just another new buzzword to confuse people with?

And I'm sorry to be a pest but what does "bay" mean? I keep seeing that mentioned in all these antennas. Is that like how many whiskers they have?
All the terminology on this stuff is alien to me. "Antenna" is the extent of my vocabulary when it comes to this stuff.

Thank you! :)
 

Dee_Ann

Thread Starter
Angry consumer!
May 23, 2009
3,420
287
Texas
Oh, and something else I just thought of when I was about to order,

I saw that little combiner thing "mixes" the signals into a single wire.
Does it have to have another one or something else on the other end, in the house, to unmix the signals?

What I have inside is a tuner card in the pc and there's a splitter thing that also sends the signal to the HDTV in my bedroom. It looks a lot like the pico combiner thing, I bought it special to split the antenna signal, it says on it that it's for HDTV. I had another one I found here but it didn't work.

I'm afraid of putting stuff together that won't work with each other or not buying all the right stuff at once.

Thanks! :)
 

Splicer

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 18, 2007
228
0
No. Just order the antenna and the USVJ and you'll be good to go. Oh yeah, You'll need a balun or 'matching transformer' also. But you can pick that up at any hardware store.
 

Dee_Ann

Thread Starter
Angry consumer!
May 23, 2009
3,420
287
Texas
No. Just order the antenna and the USVJ and you'll be good to go. Oh yeah, You'll need a balun or 'matching transformer' also. But you can pick that up at any hardware store.


Awesome! Thank you!

Well, I was going to order the things tonight but I had to run to the grocery store for dog food and I happened to stumble upon a display at the entrance of wee-itty-bitty minature roses!

I couldn't resist! They were half off so I picked up two. :p I went to get the dog food (and some Dibs mint ice cream) and on the way to the register I thought about it and went back and got the rest of them.

The price was right and I just can't resist roses. I had to have them and I caved in.
So I blew my budget for this month. :rolleyes:

Oh well, next month will be here in two weeks, I can wait a little longer. Sigh...
In the meantime I can do some more studying up on how to do this so it comes out right. I filled out their little survey online and of course they recommended that I purchase their super-dooper double platinum whiz-bang antenna kit for the low low price of $XXX plus shipping. Um. Sure. I would like to have that. And one gold bar too. Just one. I'm not greedy. I would like to have one gold bar and their super-dooper double platinum whiz-bang antenna kit.

Anyway..... :rolleyes:

At least I have lots of roses now! Wheeeeee!! :D
 

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jbmiller

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 25, 2005
251
0
eau claire,wisconsin
hi, i built this antenna and it works very well i made it into a indoor antenna with legs still works good. but works alot better outdoors :)
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWQhlmJTMzw"]YouTube- Coat Hanger HDTV Antenna![/ame]
john
 

Dee_Ann

Thread Starter
Angry consumer!
May 23, 2009
3,420
287
Texas
Well, my ghettotenna v2.0 sucks.

IF the weather is PERFECT, it works ok.
But if it's cloudy, forget about it. :(

I have to wait a few more weeks before I can buy a real antenna.

By the way, I have a weird question.

My pc can make a satellite dish move to another satellite when I change channels.
Can my pc make a tv antenna move towards the tv tower in the same way when I change tv channels?

My folks have this little box with a knob on it they can turn to make their tv antenna turn but it's like 30+ years old, Dad put it in back about 1972 I think. He put a new motor up top after hurricane Rita destroyed the old one but he's still using the original control box in the house. It's not very sophisticated at all, just a big, clunky box with a big knob you turn. And there's a motor in the box that churns and grinds as the motor outside turns the antenna.

Both the satellite and the tv cards are the same brand and in the same pc and use the same remote control. They are hauppage brand. Each one has a separate wire though, a tv antenna wire from the roof (ghettotenna) goes into the tv card and a wire from the satellite dishes goes into the satellite card. Obviously.

I think it would be really cool if the pc could move a tv antenna the same way it can move a satellite dish. :confused:

Thanks! :)
 

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