DYI OTA (over the air) HDTV antenna


In Vancouver Canada, you can receive free OTA digital and HDTV signals from CBC, CTV, Global, CityTV and OMNI. You need a direct line-of-sight (some trees in between are usually OK) between the antenna and the TV station broadcast transmitters. Your TV should (must) have an ATSC tuner in order to receive digital broadcasts.

Aim this antenna towards Mount Seymour. CBC's transmitter tower base is located at GPS co-ordinates 49.35361, -122.9567 at an elevation of 850 meters. The other TV station (CTV, Global, CityTV, Omni) transmitter towers are in the same vicinity. This antenna can be used indoor or outdoor.

Here is CBC's transmitter tower location on Google Map (49°21'13"N  122°57'24"W) or (49.35361, -122.9567) or (MGRS 10UEV03146676) serving several metro municipalities except for those line of sight is blocked by buildings or mountains.

The copper wire can be made from 14 AWG electrical wire (length of the whisker [or bow tie] is not critical, about 7 inches). The pipe and coupling can be 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch PVC pipe (e.g. sprinkler pipe). There is no need to use adhesive between the pipe and the coupling if it is a snug fit. The black transformer is a 300 ohm to 75 ohm "Outdoor TV matching  transformer", available from Radio Shack or store that sells TV accessories. You also need a length of 75 ohm TV coax cable to connect from the matching transformer to your TV's antenna connector. Program your TV to perform an automatic channel search.

If the signal is weak, you can improve it significantly by placing a metal plate (or metal screen found in kitchen) about 3 inches behind the antenna. The plate is a "reflector" in antenna terminology. The reflector size is not critical, a 14 inch X 6 inch plate will work. The reflector's length should be longer than the bow tie.

Commercially made antenna based on the bow tie design with higher gain is available, Google search keywords are "DB2 antenna" or "DB4 antenna". The DB4 antenna can be used for line of sight up to 100 km away, provided the transmitting TV station has sufficient output power and antenna gain.


g

© 2016 Nicholas Fong

nicholas.fong@gmail.com

Last updated: 2016-10-21

Disclaimer