CEP 810: Networked Learning Project Update

As mentioned in a previous post I have been asked to learn how to do something I have always wanted to do. For my project I have decided to build my own high definition antenna to allow me to receive my local over-the-air broadcast channels without paying the steep prices offered to me by the cable and satellite companies.

The reason that I have wanted to do this is that I have tried several store bought antennas and none of them seem to be capable of doing a satisfactory job, and the ones that have worked have been inconsistent at best.

RCA Paper Thin Antenna that is currently in my apartment

RCA Paper Thin Antenna that is currently in my apartment

Above is a picture of the antenna that I currently have. We are limited to small indoor antennas because we just moved back to Michigan from Salt Lake City, Utah. As such, we are renting an apartment this year that does not afford me the ability to attach a high powered outdoor antenna to the building. This has proven to be one of the biggest issues that I have encountered so far. There are several resources available out there if you wish to build your own outdoor antenna, or if you have a high up attic that you can place your antenna in as shown in this how-to video on YouTube. There is not much out there that talks about homemade indoor antennas. The most valuable resource out there so far has been Lifehacker as they feature several different antenna options, both indoor and outdoor.

The biggest problem that I have encountered so far is finding a matching balun transformer at any of our local stores. Radio Shack would have been a great option had they not gone out of business. So far what I have learned from this project is to always trust my instincts and just go to Amazon first.

As seen in the quick vine above, aside from having to improvise some parts my first attempt and current setup is a failure. I will need to find a way to strengthen my reception ability. I will retry this week once I have all of the correct parts, hopefully that helps. If not, another possible solution would be to pick up a signal amplifier, which costs around $16 at your local Walmart.

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