How to Get Free HDTV with a Coat Hanger Antenna

Cheaply, easily and quickly build an HDTV antenna that outperforms amplified store-bought antennas! This DIY antenna has amazingly good reception for your television. Quit paying your cable company when you can get HDTV for free!

48 Comments

I made my antenna this past weekend for my new LCD TV and returned my $30 antenna from walmart because the picture was so much better with the one I made for a fraction of the price :)

oh!

this is bad ass, it works and i love it. thanks!

This is fantastic! I'll be making one of these very soon!

mansie

I'll be definately trying one of these

Maybe if you live in a metropolitan area, but I live an hour North of Detroit. I'd have to put it on a 50' tower....at least.

man this works perfectly, i live by the airport and the planes would mess up the signal on my antenna but i made one of these and i havent had a problem yet. every channel works perfect

You do know that regular rabbit ears can receive HDTV right? You just made the ghetto rabbit ears from the 70s.

This kicks *ss ! Thanks to all you guys that put time into stuff like this. Just Love it!

I made this with high hopes, but unfortunately, it doesn't work for me. My $10 set of rabbit ears works better with my new Sony HDTV. I was hoping the coat-hanger antenna would allow us to get Fox back, which we lost with the digital transition. We live within 10 miles of the transmitters. If anybody has any ideas that might help,l I'd appreciate your comments.

Drill a small hole in one end of the makeshift antenna. Take it along with a piece of string up to your attic. Hang the antenna from the highest point in your attic. Run RG6 coax cable from the antenna's connection down (thru wall preferably) to TV and connect to the TV's F-pin input. Rescan local channels on your TV. Tune TV to FOX channel and adjust antenna for best reception (should be a signal strength meter on your TV screen to help). This WILL work.
NOTE:
1. When making the antenna use unpainted coat hangers.
2. Make certain that the long horizontal metal pieces do not touch each other where they crossover each other.

Thank you, rickster55.

will this work with steel siding on the house and roof?

Read my posts on finding television transmitters.

Is this a good solution to feed the HD Converter Box for an analog TV too?

does it work here in the philippines???

Yes this UHF antenna will work in the Philippines. This is a UHF antenna , it will be Ok for the VHF High channels of 13,12,11 but starting at VHF high channel 10,9,8,7 and then on down to the VHF low channels of 6,5,4,3,2 will not work so good. The reason for this is that the lower the channel number the longer the metal receiving elements need to be. I found this on Wikipedia. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/list_of_philippine_television _networks

Found this and more on internet search. kbp.org.ph/ . On a internet search , It is Ok to type in word combinations like , find television transmitters and etc.,

The interest in building Tv Antennas is very good. . Here is more information. Find Television Transmitters and Tv Antenna supplies. dtv.gov , fcc.gov/mb/engineering/maps , titantv.com , antennaweb.org , fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html , tvfool.com , channelmaster.com , winegard.com , antennacraft.net , Wade/Taco/Delhi/Jerrold at wadeantenna.com and wiltronicssupply.com , deepsurplus.com , starkelectronic.com , solidsignal.com , ramelectronics.net , tigerdirect.com , predicta.com

Find Television and Radio Transmitters. At these FCC web sites. fcc.gov/mb/video/tvq.html , fcc.gov/mb/audio/fmq.html , fcc.gov/mb/audio/amq.html . In the green box , select a state , and then in the red bar , click on 'submit data' .

This a build it your self , UHF channels 14 thru 51 antenna. This antenna will work Ok for VHF channels 13,12,11, but starting at 10,09,08,07, and then on down to VHF low 06,05,04,03,02. This type of antenna will not work so good. The reason is the lower the channel number , the longer the metal antenna elements need to be. My postings above give the web sites to find the television transmitters and channels.

When making this type of home made antenna and using coat hanger wires , be sure and scrape off the paint or any kind of coating at the connection points , down to bare metal. At the cross over points of the wires , do not allow the wires to touch , hold the wires apart with a 1/4 to 1/2 inch wood or plastic. Add a little length to the top cross over wire. If one were to look at a store bought antenna like this , one will see that the cross over wires do not touch.

i live in a basement apartment, will this work even if i dont bring it out? my zip is 10469

i live in a basement apartment, will this work for me even if I do not bring it outside? my zip is 10469.
Thanks

At tvfool.com I see that some of the tv transmitters are in a group in down town New York , just south of central park. And other tv transmitters are scattered all around. As you know , a basement is not good for antennas. Many of the tv channels are on UHF , so get simple rod and loop ( rabbit ears type ) tv antenna and try different basement windows. Put the antenna in the windows and see what happens. A simple rod and loop antenna at Walmart --> RCA model 111. However the tv antenna will likely need to go out and up. Yes you can make this home made tv antenna and try it.

Thanks for the advice and you're right, basements are not good place for an indoor antenna. I tried the GE FUTURA indoor/outdoor antenna. Mounted in the backyard about 8 feet and with a straight RG6 cable, it got good reception maybe because there are alot of transmitters in the New york area as you said.

It's not what I say , It's what the web sites say. For the facts and the truth , go to the web sites. It's much better to have the facts and the truth then just what someone says.

An easy way to find Digital Television Transmitters. The web site address sounds imposing , however is very easy to use. fcc.gov/mb/engineering/maps

I haven't yet taken the advice of Rickster55 and hung my homemade antenna in the attic. It's too hot to go up there right now. However, now that the digital transition is complete, I stopped running my homemade antenna through the VCR. Instead I routed it directly into the TV and voila! My lost FOX station reappeared, crystal clear. I also picked up another station that I didn't know was available. However, our PBS signal is weak. The homemade antenna improves it, but it's not sharp like the other channels. I've still got some experimenting to do, but I'm glad I made the antenna. I didn't think it worked at first, but it does!

Brilliant!! Just Brilliant. :)
What the federal government failed to tell us is that in addition to a digital converter box you'll need a high end antenna, not one of those cheap rabbit ears.
I just hooked up me new home made antenna and not once did my signal get choppy. Im in heaven.
Thank You so much. God Bless :)

The federal government has not failed. You can start with dtv.gov and read my other posts. There is nothing 'Magic' about this UHF channels 14 thru 51 antenna. As a matter of fact , it is a copy of a common production UHF tv antenna.

i live on the border town of niagara and i have a hard time getting cbc on chan 5-1 but when i do i lose some of the american stations. anyone know of a booster that will work? i havent come across anyone that has one that shows improvements.

Attn: sin322 . The federal government has not failed. You can start with dtv.gov and read my other posts. There is nothing 'Magic' about this UHF Tv antenna , as a matter of fact , it is a copy of a common production UHF Tv antenna.

Attn: niaboc. Most Tv antennas are directional. Read my other posts on finding television transmitters and go to the web sites. You can find out the directional nature of a tv antenna with simple rabbit ears , rotate the rabbit ears around in a circle. When the metal receiving elements are broad side to the television transmitter , maximum signal will be received , when metal receiving elements are length ways to the television transmitter , minimum signal will be received.

The Digital Broadcast Television Channels are. UHF ( ultra high frequency) channels 14 thru 51. VHF ( very high frequency , high ) channels 7 thru 13. VHF ( very high frequency , low ) channels 6 thru 2. And as a matter of fact , UHF television antennas work well for channels for channels 51 down to about channel 11 and then the UHF television antenna will not work so well on channels 10 thru 2. The reason is the lower the channel number the longer the metal antenna receiving elements need to be.

The information I provide is cold hard facts. I am the Urban Legends Buster.

The Digital Television change has been in the works since 1986 , thats right it has been in the news since 1986. Pretending that you just found out about it yesterday , won't fly. Pretending that some how the government sneaked it in on us , won't fly. I have been telling people for many years , and what do they do? Stick their fingers in their ears.

would it improve even further to add an antenna preamp boost or signal boost to the line? I have an amplified rabbit ears antenna now and a converter box but cannot get 2 of our local channels. I plan on building one of the home made antenna's this weekend and wanted to know if anyone else had tried adding an amplifier? thanks.

The best to do is go to the web sites I listed above and direct the antenna at the transmitters. And read my posts above about what this antenna really is and what channels it will receive. The answer is yes an amplifier can be added , and it also true that if the local channels are very strong , then adding an amplifier will cause an over load and cause a bad picture or no picture.

where the heck can i find WIRE HANGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERS!!!!!!!!!!

any dry cleaner place

surely you still got to buy the dtv converter box right?

Only if your TV does not have built-in support for it.

The weird thing that I found out was that I can pick up over-the-air HDTV signal with just a wire about 6-8ft long. At first I had a wire hanger at the end, but found out that it picks up the signal just as well without it. Go figure

So does this thing still work for today's standards?

It does. I have been receiving over-the-air HD signal with a wire (with and without a hanger) for about 3 years now

i did the antenna but it does not work for me what should i do my TV is not HDTV is that why.

Built this thing (antenna) per specs. I live in a large city (Montreal) only getting 4 HD channels when "auto-scan"ning (and NOT channels 2 thru 59). What to do?

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