One issue that many have had with TV antennas is signal range. The strength of an antenna will make all the difference in what channels can be picked up and how clear they are. There are ways to make a TV antenna amplifier at home. But, do TV antenna amplifiers work, and are they effective at making your signals stronger?
TV amplifiers do work and they are the key to getting a stronger TV signal. By gathering the necessary materials and steps for construction, you can make your amplifier at home. The process of building an antenna amplifier can be simple or more complex, depending on the construction method. It involves basic materials and construction. These homemade amplifiers can work just as well as the expensive ones you can buy. If you want an enhanced TV signal without spending a lot of money, these steps will be right for you. Keep reading to learn how to make a TV antenna amplifier yourself.
Build a Simple TV Antenna Amplifier
It does not take any formal building knowledge to put your own amplifier together. As long as you can follow directions, you are good to go. As mentioned, there are both simple and more dedicated construction methods to making a TV antenna amplifier. Follow the process below to create a simple TV antenna amplifier. First, you must gather the required materials. These can easily be found at home.
Materials for a Simple TV Antenna Amplifier
The basic materials you will need for building a simple TV antenna amplifier can be found in household products. In general, you will need the following materials to make an excellent DIY TV antenna amplifier:
- Aluminum foil
- Utility Knife
As mentioned, most of these are household items. If not, they are pretty inexpensive and easy to find. The critical materials here, however, are cardboard and aluminum. There are also different materials for a more advanced way of creating a TV antenna amplifier:
Constructing a Simple TV Antenna Amplifier
There are specific steps you need to follow to build your own TV antenna amplifier at home.
- Draw a circle on a piece of cardboard. Afterward, draw two semi-circle projections on either side of the original circle. Make sure the semi-circle projections are not too large.
- Cut a separate piece of cardboard into a rectangle. Make sure the rectangle piece is slightly longer than the diameter of the original circle you drew on the first piece of cardboard.
- Cover both pieces of cardboard that you have with aluminum foil. All sides of the cardboard pieces should be evenly covered.
- Fold the rectangular piece of cardboard around the circle piece. Cut slots in the rectangular piece to fit the semi-circle pieces. You want the entire “device” to look like a semi-circle at this point.
- Fold the outside edges of the circle. This will create a “lip” that should run across the entirety of the device. The foil will now be suspended on the other piece.
- Cut a small hole for your basic TV antenna in the center of what used to be the circle (which should now look like a semi-circle). Afterward, attach the amplifier to your antenna, and you are done.
This method is the simplest one for a DIY TV antenna amplifier. By following these steps, in the exact order, construction should not be a huge hassle.
Advanced Method to Construct an Antenna Amplifier
Another method of constructing a DIY TV antenna amplifier is for those interested in a more exciting challenge. This method is slightly more advanced yet can be completed if you follow the directions carefully.
This advanced method of constructing a TV antenna amplifier is effective and provides an extra challenge for those interested.
Materials for an Advanced TV Antenna Amplifier
The materials you need for constructing a more advanced TV antenna amplifier will likely not all be found at home. For this advanced method of amplifier construction, you will need the following materials:
- Wire hanger
- Ferrite magnet
- Electrical tape
- Paper insulation
Some of these materials may already be in your home. The least common material in this group would be a ferrite magnet. These may not always be available in stores yet are readily available online.
Constructing an Advanced TV Antenna Amplifier
The materials for this TV antenna amplifier may be more complex, yet construction can still be reasonably straightforward. As long as you follow the directions step-by-step, you can successfully construct this amplifier.
This method involves more strenuous work and incorporates the listed materials above. As mentioned, some of the construction items are not regularly found around the house. If you want to make a DIY TV antenna amplifier and more of a challenge, this method may be right for you.
- Use pliers to straighten out the wire hanger as best you can. Use gloves when doing this step, as this step can cause minor injury to the hands if not careful.
- Twist the straightened wire hanger around your ferrite magnet into a coil. Make sure that the coil stays around the concave part of the magnet. The coil should be touching the magnet in every part. Try and leave about six inches of wire sticking out at both ends of the magnet.
- Wrap the entire device tightly in electrical tape. Every part of the magnet and coil must be covered. Also, be sure to have a few layers of tape wrapping, so the device is somewhat thick.
- Use pieces of paper insulation to cover at least three inches of the wires sticking out at the ends of the device. Afterward, use bits of electrical tape to secure the paper insulation on the wire tips. Cover the uncovered bits of wire with electrical tape.
- Set the device next to your TV. At this point, you are finished and your TV signal is much stronger.
While this method may seem more daunting at first, it is actually fairly straightforward. The challenge here is that the amplifier’s construction materials may not be readily available at home. This method does offer more of an interesting project.
This method is perhaps best for those with interest in more advanced tinkering. This method does not necessarily have better results than the more straightforward method. This is just another helpful route one can take to make a TV antenna amplifier.
Making an Antenna Amplifier Without Construction
This method does not require any construction of a TV Antenna amplifier at all. Some may want to boost their signal without constructing anything at all. This is a simple method that requires only two items to put together:
- Metal bucket
- Household bath towels
The steps for putting this amplifier together are easy. Following directions are still important here, however. For a simple, non-construction, method to amplify your TV signal, perform the following steps:
- Take a bath towel and place it next to your TV. Place the metal bucket face-down on the towel. Afterward, take your digital TV antenna and place it on top of the bucket.
- Start channel surfing until you reach the channels you want. Be sure to test those hard-to-reach channels that you have been trying to get.
- If channels are still unclear, adjust your antenna around the rims of the metal bucket. Try and focus on one particular side rim where the signal may be clearer.
- Move your bucket along its rim at a clockwise angle while checking your channels. It is necessary to pay attention to the channels here to see which angle the signal is stronger.
Once the channel signals are strong enough, stop moving the antenna or bucket. You should be done at this point, though later adjustments may be needed.
This can still be a tedious process, even though it does not require any technical construction.
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With the how-to knowledge for creating your DIY TV antenna amplifier at home, you can avoid paying the high prices at big box tech stores. If you follow the proper steps and use the correct tools, you can boost your TV signal just as well as one of the store-bough amplifiers.
Even if you choose to tinker more thoroughly and use complex materials from the hardware store, you will save money in the long run.
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