So I decided to build an antenna to catch free high-definition channels. Who wants to pay the cable companies, right? Right!

I had two goals :- It should be easy enough that building should take less than 30 minutes. While I didn't completely meet the time limit, the product was very easy to put together and, well, the construction was intentionally flimsy.

Second, I wanted it to be cheap. I probably spent < $20 for parts. Not a bad deal. What I built is called the Single-Bay-Gray-Hoverman HDTV UHF Antenna. Mouthful, I know. So lets just call it SBGH. There is a double-bay version that presumably works better. You can use better construction material and be more careful about the instructions and get better reception. The instructions are here: Look at the GH-10 version (scroll down). It will give you the gaps and dimensions to use.

I used a 1x3 to support my antenna (its "spine").

First, I marked a line down the centre and then marked where different reflector rods were going to go. For reflector rods I simply got cheap iron hangers and straightened them (and then cut them to sizes using plyers. You can use a tin nip or some other tool).

The main antenna is in zig-zag shape (again, see this URL for the diagram: For that I bought a 10 guage copper wire from the home depot. This is what it looks like :-

So I took one strand out, straightened it by hand and put it in shape, as described by the URL (

This is the picture of the copper wire, before I took one piece out. You should probably get one with more thickness for better performance, but this worked just fine for me.

So you have several options to attach the reflector rods to the spine (some people used cardboards, others used PVC pipes. I used a 1x3). You can't tape it, because it wont hold well. Staple gun is an option. I used a glue gun. A huge advantage of the glue gun was the strength. I put the antenna in the attic and the opening there is small. The glue held the rods well as they were bent going through the attic opening. The snapped back into shape once in the attic. The disadvantage of the glue-gun is that you have to hold it in place while the glue dries out. Staple gun will likely be fast to use. This picture shows you as I am attaching these rods.

Now that the rods were attached, it was time to put the zig-zag copper wire in. Problem was that the wire had to be 81mm away from the reflector rods. So I used a simple solution and tied some styrophome to support it.
I didn't have a long enough tie to wrap around, so I used to. Attached one to the other to create a bigger one. Worked like a charm.

This is the feed point. Notice the lack of professionalism? I just glued things together.

This is what the finished product looks like. The black thing is the 300 Ohm to 75 Ohm converter that you'll need. You need to connect the RG6 (which is the normal coax cable) to it. That goes into your TV.

I simply put it in the basement ( yes, basement) and got 1 Digital and 7 analog channels. I took it to the corner of the basement to get 5 digital channels. Took it to the attic and suddenly I had 20 digital channels.

The thing to note is that I am not pointing it properly yet. I also do not have any preamp. Worse, the cable run between this and my TV is about a 100' of three different cables with cheap F-connectors in between. And yet I am getting 100% signal strength on Buffalo channels.

Once I point it to between Buffalo and Toronto, I am sure I'll catch 5 more Toronto channels. Buffalo channels will still show up.

Here's what I am getting now, when it's pointing to a wrong direction :-

2-1 (NBC)
2-2 (WGRZ-Buffalo)
4-1 (CBS)
5-1 (CBC)
7-1 (ABC)
7-2 (WNGS)
15-1 (Sun TV)
17-1 (PBS-Kids)
17-2 (kids)
18-1 (E!??)
23-1 (CW)
26-1 seemed like a religious channel
26-2 seemed like a religious channel
29-1 (FOX)
36-1 (CTS)
44-1 (OMNI-1)
49-1 (MYTV)
I am getting dozens of analog channels that I haven't listed here.

Once I point it properly, I am expecting to catch these 6 additional channles :-

11.1 (CHCH)
25.1 (French CBC)
41.1 (Global)
57.1 (CITYTV)
64.1 OMNI 2

That is 26 digital channels, most better quality than cable with digital box. And all for free. Remember, I was not very careful with the setup and have this in the attic with a few ft. of snow on the roof. I also have a 100ft. cable (3 different cables connected together) run with no preamp.

Feel free to leave comments or ask any questions.