Monday, February 15, 2010

My weekend project was a success!!

I read this how-to on making your own HD antenna for broadcast hi-def TV and as I was unhappy with my $40 radio shack 'professional' antenna I figured it wouldn't hurt to give this one a try. I did have to redesign it a bit because the wood screws were getting their heads popped off before I could get them tight enough to hold the two layers of coat hanger wire in place so instead I drilled 1/4" holes and used 1/4" bolts and nuts so I could get everything as tight as I needed. I also discovered that neither Wal-mart, Target OR K-Mart sells plain old bare-metal coat hangers anymore. I had to rely on the few we had in our own closets and replace them with the readily available plastic variety.

The cost was pretty minimal, a few bucks for a 3x24x3/4" piece of pine, a few more bucks for the hardware and then I think about $6 for the transformer that lets me plug the antenna into coax cable. The actual coax cable (50') was a LOT more expensive than the antenna was. So long story short, I got the antenna build, installed (in the attic), ran the coax cable down from the attic inside the wall and out below the TV and it works GREAT! We watched Nascar yesterday in Hi-Def and saw only a handful of pixels here and there (but NO disruption of the broadcast) over the course of 4 hours... AND it was during a moderate snow storm with quite a bit of wind. I expect it will work completely flawlessly in good weather.