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My Coat Hanger Antenna review..... AWESOME!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Decided to build a DIY Coat Hanger UHF HDTV Antenna.

Took ~1 hour to build. I'm impressed so far.





You can see my previous antenna on top of the TV. It's a Radioshack 15-1868, $23: http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2062081 I live ~4 miles away from the local station array and even though I'm that close, the RS antenna still had dropped signals

For $4 in a Transformer (Lowe's RCA: VH54N) + stuff I already had, I'm now getting:
3 more channels, plus they were all bumped up 30-40% or more in signal strength! I'm still pulling in all my VHF channels (this antenna is really meant just for UHF). No more dropped signals! :woot:

Can't wait to get this sucker up in my attic and see what kinds of crazy stuff it'll pull.

Build plans and a DIY video:
http://vimeo.com/2931902
post #2 of 22
At only 4 miles away, it may be a testament to how bad the RS antenna is, or that the RS may have been providing too much signal. It's easy to overload at that close range.

Also, did you try your antenna in the exact spot the RS is sitting? Just moving an antenna a foot or so, left/right, up/down (or away from interference producing devices like the TV), can make a huge difference in indoor reception.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
I moved the RS to the floor (where the DIY was). Rescanned and the channel listing/strength was JUST the same as the RS on the TV.

I bet if I put the DIY on top of the TV I might pick up a couple more channels, who knows... it's a moot point because the DIY antenna is only going 1 of to 2 places: behind the TV on the floor, up in the attic
post #4 of 22
your antenna is the same one as the bablin youtube antenna. And it's common knowledge( well to at least those here ) that that antenna is built to the wrong specs. You being only 4 miles from the towers pretty much anything is going to get your stations in. There's better design for that type of antenna.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Can you link me to the 'better' design, as well as the 'close to the station(s)' design?

Thanks!
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike 01hawk View Post

Can you link me to the 'better' design, as well as the 'close to the station(s)' design?

Thanks!

Well I never mentioned a "close to the towers" design. Not sure where you got that from. I said you're so close that ANY antenna would work.

Anywas as far as the better design it's mclapp's design all you need to do is to make the bow ties 9.5 inches instead of 7 and make sure they are 9 inches apart instead of 5 3/4 adn make sure the feedlines are 1 3/4 inches apart instead of the 2 inches in your design. Bowtie sepration should be about 5 inches but that's not too critical. Try that and tell us if you see any improvement.
post #7 of 22
Mclapp's specs for a 9.5 by 9 antenna are here: http://www.frontiernet.net/~mclapp/A.../diagrams.html

I agree with BCF68, you should see a nice response to an antenna built to mclapp's specs.
post #8 of 22
Agreed.

Many many DIY antennas have been made following mclapp's diagrams, with very good results.

Since you have at least two major networks in the VHF band, it may be better to build yours optimized for VHF, since this antenna is primarily for the UHF band.
post #9 of 22
At 4 miles a paper clip stuck into the coaxial jack would probably get you everything. You can get alot of overload from being so close. I'm betting you can see the towers out your window?
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicoge21 View Post

At 4 miles a paper clip stuck into the coaxial jack would probably get you everything.

Except for maybe the anemically powered VHFs.
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
My "Youtube Coat Hanger" whiskers are 8 inches btw (I used the design in my 1st post).

Well I went ahead and built a Mclapp using 12 gauge Romex.



Results.... drumroll.......the same! lol

Actually, I lost a bar or two here and there.

But yes, since I'm so close to the broadcast stations it doesn't really matter. In fact it was quite comical. As I dismounted the balun to move it over to the new design, just the balun itself w/ it's 2 spade connectors were picking up all kinds of channels!!!

Now off to mount this sucker in the attic!
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike 01hawk View Post

My "Youtube Coat Hanger" whiskers are 8 inches btw (I used the design in my 1st post).

Well I went ahead and built a Mclapp using 12 gauge Romex.



Results.... drumroll.......the same! lol

Actually, I lost a bar or two here and there.

But yes, since I'm so close to the broadcast stations it doesn't really matter. In fact it was quite comical. As I dismounted the balun to move it over to the new design, just the balun itself w/ it's 2 spade connectors were picking up all kinds of channels!!!

Now off to mount this sucker in the attic!

Not sure why you are using such a wide piece of wood. That may be right part of the reason why your results were a bit worse. I also see you still have the wire right on the wood.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Lol, you sound harder to please than me... and I know I'm an anal bastard.

There's too much clutter to search thru, hence why I didn't know the width or placement of the wire was so critical.
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Anyhoo, final results after this sucker was placed in the top of my attic (~25-30 feet up I'd say): getting all stations @ 8-10 bars. Plus I picked up a few that I'll really like, such as RSU 35.1 and 35.2: http://www.rsupublictv.org/ which is 28 miles out.

I have no need to build anything more sensitive because I'd just be picking up duplicates from OKC or maybe a couple random independents way out (which are probably just more religious stations... friggen 50% of OTA is religious to begin with this bible belt )
post #15 of 22
twice that on Sundays.
post #16 of 22
Hi,
How far away can you pick up with it? What kind of parts do you need to get and how much does each cost? What measurement for the coat hanger and how far a part do they need to be to pick up uhf channels 65 miles and 100 mile ? What do the measurement have to be to pick up the higher vhf channels and what do the measurement need to be to pick up the lower vhf channels 65 miles and 100 mile? Email me back with photos.


Thanks,
Varian
post #17 of 22
When all the local digital channels were on UHF I installed my Son's HDTV with a FM dipole antenna. At 25 miles from Mt Wilson on the floor it got all but one channel. When taped to the wall it got all channels.

Rick R
post #18 of 22
I probably wouldn't be able to pick up anything with that.
post #19 of 22

I thought there is no difference between a digital antenna and an analog. My question is .. is this coat hanger antenna decoding digital signals or it is just receiving the FTA digital signals? Thank you 

post #20 of 22
All RF signals are analog, the digital video is encoded in the RF analog wave using QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation). The coat hanger antenna is doing nothing more than receiving and RF signal.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by bac522 View Post

All RF signals are analog, the digital video is encoded in the RF analog wave using QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation). The coat hanger antenna is doing nothing more than receiving and RF signal.

Digital OTA is ATSC, not QAM. QAM is used in digital CATV systems.
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProjectSHO89 View Post

Digital OTA is ATSC, not QAM. QAM is used in digital CATV systems.

Doh...I knew that...too much egg nog today wink.gif!
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