Originally Posted by doogiehowser
What is the best material to use to build an antenna? Copper? Aluminum? Steel?
Is it a good idea to put something behind the antenna to reflect signals towards the antenna? Like a sheet of shinny aluminum foil?
What is the best shape and legnth to get CBS HDTV in Chicago (2.1) from about 25 miles away?
I've gotten sick buying every antenna in the store and nothing works. I'm ready to try and build something myself.
Doogie, those indoor FM antennas that are made with twinlead (FM folded dipole), such as Radio Shack's Model: 42-2385http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...entPage=family
are made for the FM band which falls between TV's high and low VHF bands.
So, they are almost the right dimensions for low VHF TV reception. You can find them for only a couple of bucks, if you'd like to try one out for Channel 2.
You'd need a 75 Ohm - 300 Ohm balun, as well. You may already own both items as stereo receivers used to include an FM antenna.
Do you have a window in the room with your TV that faces Chicago (more or less)? If so, try taking whatever indoor TV antenna you still have and placing it right in front of that window. I mean just inches in front. You may need a longer piece of coax for this experiment, and you may not want like the arrangement, but try it. I've found that (mainly for UHF - not VHF) even wood frame building materials block the signals more than one would hope.
Back to your original question about making an antenna for your situation:
A wire 3 element yagi taped to the ceiling pointed at Chicago, using a homemade twin-lead folded dipole tuned for 56 MHz as the center element
might do the trick. Cost? Less than $10.
Or google "6m moxon rectangle" and go from there. The problem is that antennas optimized for Channel 2 will be larger than those for the higher channels. That makes installation, orientation and appearance more of an issue than for the upper channels.