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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I mentioned this antenna recently in another post but thought it needed it's own post. dtv antenna2 001.JPG
Sorry about the bad picture but you can get the idea. This is the digital tv antenna that I built from 8 pairs of hotdog tongs from the Dollar Tree and a 4 dollar stiff piece of lawn edging from Walmart. I live halfway between Cincinnati and Dayton and I pick up more than 40 local channels. I had dish network until recently but I would turn it off when I couldn't find anything good and watch local tv. A few weeks ago I was watching direct tv and it went out for a few minutes and when it came back on it displayed that a solar flare had knocked it off air. It's just a good antenna for backup or if you want to do away with the cable or dish bill. I'll try to post the link to the Popular Mechanics site where I got the plan from but if it doesn't work you could cut and paste it.

Watch Television For Free - DIY Digital TV Antenna - Popular Mechanics

Cool the link works. The blue area in the PM photo is shrink tubing or electrical tape so the two elements don't touch each other there.
 

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GREAT idea.

I recently got cable, and had them run new wires, BUT I left the huge antenna on my roof "just incase" :D

Been thinking of taking it down and storing it, but I get to thinking, with it being up there hopefully everybody thinks I am on regular antenna, and can't afford cable?

I'm going to build an antenna like you built, but for my shed. I'm out there sometimes for HOURS, and it would be nice to watch TV out there, for when the missus is too much of a pain haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You can build it out of just about anything and it works much better than the ones you get at the store. I built one a week ago for a prepper friend of mine down the block out of some stainless wire he had. I think his works better than mine. He just had it sitting on his couch at first and he was getting 39 channels and picked up the last few channels after he mounted it on his house.
 

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Great. We live out beyond the end of cable, and have used satellite for years. First was Primestar, that got bought out by Direct who kept raing the rates so we went to Dish and they did the same thing. Now we were up to over $70 a month for middle package, and dropped down to basic (crap) plus "local" and it's still $40.
So it's going to be antenna, and I need one that will pick up for 65-70 miles. I was looking at a Channel Master "Deep Fringe" HD antenna at our local hardware store for $99.
think that home made one will reach 70 miles?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Rice paddy daddy, I'm not sure about 70 miles. I just checked and I'm 22 miles from Cincinnati and 41 miles from Dayton. I do know that the higher the antenna the better it works. I just did a search for local listings for my zip code and noticed a few channels I'm not getting so I might have to raise my antenna some more. I was paying 50 bucks for dtv and couldn't hardly find anything to watch. 600 more dollars a year for prep supplies. You can use the dish they left behind to recieve FTA free through air satillite tv. There are hundreds of channels for free but most are foreign language. At 99 degrees is a sat with over 200 channels but I edit it down to a few english newscast channels and River broadcasting that shows mainly old black and white shows. The news channels are CNC, Press tv, Al Jazeera and my favorite, Russia Today. They report American news without the slant that our news channels here do. You'll see stories on there you will never see on American tv. The boxes are cheap for this also. Just go on ebay and do a search for FTA receiver. Saw one yesterday for 20 plus 10 for shipping. Another for 24 plus 12 for shipping. I have a motor on my dish and they were 69 dollars but not nessisary. I would reccomend a satillite finding meter. They are only about 10 bucks. I know channel master has been around a long time but I've never used them so can't report on that.
 

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There are a lot of tall pine trees in the area, i've got some out back that are 60-80 feet. I know they do suck up CB transmissions, I'm hoping the TV wavelength will be better.
Oh, well, I'm going to have to try something, I'll be on a fixed income in about a year and sattelite TV just isn't worth it.
How high do you have yours? The antenna mast comes in 10 foot sections, I was thinking 30 feet worth with 3 feet or so in the ground.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would still recommend FTA then. Not much money to get into it and it's fun to search for new content. I would use it just for the 5 channels I mentioned earlier. There are many more english stations at 99 degrees but they are mainly religeous channels. The channels I watch for free are from 99 degrees to 72 degrees. At 87d is the patient channel, health care and like that. At 83d is three pretty good channels. Tuff tv is mostly outdoor stuff, hunting and fishing and monster trucks. PBJ? is sometimes cartoons and reruns and RTV or retro I think it is might have lassie or little house on the prarie. Then at 72d is NBC. Content changes daily but usually NBC and maybe msnbc or cnbc or the weather channel. Alot of times you will find the out in the field reporter standing in front of a burned out house with her microphone waiting for her live on the scene report on the evening news. They say the funniest things when they think no one is watching. "As soon as were done hear I need to find a gas station, I need to go real bad and I need a pack of smokes".You never know what you'll find when you scan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
As far as how high, my house is a story and a half and the antenna is mounted on the chimney so to the top might only be 20 to 25 feet. As soon as the weather breaks I plan to raise the antenna at least another 5 feet or so. Got a couple 100 watt solar panels to put up there while I have the ladder out. Here is a link that might be interesting if you want to see what channels are available for digital tv in your area. On the left hand side is a change location link where you can enter your zip code.

http://tvlistings.aol.com/listings/oh/indian-spgs/over-the-air/45013

Just tested the link and punched in 90210 for kicks. I think it was Beverly hills or something like that. Man they got lots and lots of local channels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was looking thru my subscribed threads for an alcohol stove thread from a couple years ago, couldn't find it but I did find this do it yourself digital tv antenna that Survival mentioned recently. Might be useful for some of our newer members who want to cut the cable tv bill.
 

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Good topic OP. Like rice paddy daddy we got fed up with the ridiculous rates for satellite tv. We found out that two of the channels we watched the most (because most of the channels on the basic satellite package are just crap and repetitive stations) are available on digital tv via antenna. Up here there are not a lot of stations to pick up and our closest is around 90 miles, but we are picking them up with just a chunk of coax cable with the end stripped.

Our internet is via broadband, so we do a lot of streaming........... so that combined with the channels via digital tv stations is what we do now and we sure don't miss the satellite company. They are just a bunch of bandits.
 

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Great reference!!! It comes in handy as a friend has been wanting to get broadcast TV and he needs an antenna.

I found one of the huge old roof mount Channelmaster antenna and refurbished it and replaced the signal booster. I'm quite far from any broadcast locations but get many stations.

I would recommend a Channelmaster booster for one of the homemade setups, it makes a huge difference for marginal stations. The power for the booster goes through the coax cable and power supply is inside with an in and out coax connections.
 

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The article states 12 gauge wire, is stranded OK, or does it require solid wire? Looking for something like this. Cable bill is $80 a month and we watch netflix most of the time. Thanks.
 

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One of the guys I work with made one... he got 8 channels

this will tell you what you should be able to receive The Digital TV Transition: Reception Maps

I did it at the house and got 4 channels... just by sticking a home made antenna outside the door.

We sell towers to gas and oil companies..and have recently sold a couple to home owners... mostly 50 footers

you can get a tower that has a hinge and will fold over
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The article states 12 gauge wire, is stranded OK, or does it require solid wire? Looking for something like this. Cable bill is $80 a month and we watch netflix most of the time. Thanks.
I don't think stranded wire would work. Probably too flexible to hold it's shape. Some of the ones I've seen are made from metal wire coat hangers. Some of them have a rectangular grid behind them to act as a reflector making them somewhat directional. As I mentioned in the OP I'm in the middle of Dayton and Cincinnati so no reflector on mine.
 
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