Reuse wire coat hangers to make a television antenna.
Commercial antennas can be costly, but you may build your own indoor antenna in just a few hours for less. Wire coat hangers work great as signal receptors for an over-the-air antenna. With a coat hanger antenna you can enjoy free digital and, if available, high-definition television programming.
1. Make a mast. With the piece of wood in a vertical position, measure, mark and number spots “1” and “2” about 1/2 inch toward the center and 2 inches from the top on each side. From each of these marks, measure 5 3/4 inches towards the bottom and mark “3” and “4.” Repeat this two more times marking “7” through “10” until you have four linear pairs of marks each 5 3/4 inches apart when measured vertically. Mark two additional spots 1/2 inch toward the center on each side and 10 inches from the top “5” and “6.” Drill small pilot holes at each mark.
2. Prepare the signal receptors and conductors. Create eight V-shaped pieces of wire using four coat hangers. Remove the twisted tops from the four hangers and make an additional cut at the center of each hanger, resulting in two V-shaped segments. Sand the bottom point of each “V.” These are your receptors. Create two 22-inch pieces of conductor wire by removing the tops and straightening the two remaining hangers. Sand these two pieces of wire entirely.
3. Attach the receptor and conductor wires to the mast. At point 1 through 4 and 7 through 10, attach a V-shaped receptor using a washer and screw. Set a washer and screw in holes 5 and 6. Starting at the top left corner of the mast, use a conductor wire to make contact with screws 1, 4, 6, 8 and 9. With the second length of conductor wire make contact with screws 2, 3, 5, 7 and 10.
4. Add a transformer. Reuse a transformer from an old rabbit-ear style antenna or purchase a new one from an electronics specialty store. Secure the spade clips to positions 5 and 6, making contact with the conductor wire. Use the screwdriver to tighten all screws and hold wires in place.
5. Mount the antenna. Use the “U” bolts and nuts to secure the piece of pipe to the back of the mast. The pipe needs to be flush or slightly lower than the top of the mast. Secure the remaining length of pipe at the bottom of the mast into the Christmas tree stand.
6. Connect to your high-definition television. Connect the female to female F-connector on the transformer directly to the “Antenna In” port of your high-definition television. Scan for channels.