DIY TV Antennas
2, 4 and 8 bay Bowtie Antenna Info Kits and Parts
In my quest to get better Over The Air TV reception I started researching different antenna types that I could build. I looked at many different types before I settled on this design for my Do It Yourself (DIY) TV antenna. It is based on a very popular design that is used by many commercial antenna builders including Channel Master, Antennas Direct, Antenna Craft, and others
Through my analysis using computer modeling and field testing I have learned a lot about how this type of antenna responds to the different dimensions of the various elements that make up these antennas.
The aim of this web site is to assist DIY builders interested in building this style antenna for their special situation
Why build this antenna? Why not just go buy a Channel Master?
Building these antennas is not for everyone but a custom antenna when built correctly will outperform a commercial antenna of the same type and can be tailored for your unique situation if needed. With the information here and/or the kits I offer it's now much easier to build an antenna that will give excellent performance.
With the digital transition (revolution) came a down sizing of the amount of channels used by US digital TV broadcasters. Channels 53-69 are now gone and channels 2-6 have been eliminated in many markets. Most commercial antennas are still built to operate on channels no longer used for digital TV in the USA, this is robbing antenna performance from the channels we are currently using and in some cases forcing people to buy larger antennas than they need to get the coverage they want.
The antennas on this web site are designed to work best on channels 7 - 52. Commercial antennas of this style are not noted for getting good reception on channels 7-13 and although the antennas presented here are not great performers on ch 7 - 13 either they are much improved over the similar commercial designs available.
Many people have built this style antenna in various forms from U-Tube videos to Channel Master copies. With the information on this web site someone can build a very good performing antenna that will rival most any antenna commercially built. One U-Tube Video that is very informative and based on these designs is the one produced by jwwm2 which can bee seen HERE.
What's the deal with different sizes?
Through the analysis and field testing by myself and others we have found many combinations of antenna elements and reflectors that can work well for many different reception situations. I have found that this style antenna works best in these 3 sizes for the current US TV channels 7 - 52.
In a 4 or 8 bay antenna the 9 1/2" whisker bowtie with 9" bay spacing works better in the mid VHF-HI channels and UHF channels and is a good overall general purpose choice.
In a 4 or 8 bay antenna the larger 10" whisker bowtie with 9 1/2" bay spacing works better in the lower VHF-HI channels and lower-mid UHF channels.
In a 4 or 8 bay antenna the smaller 9" whisker bowtie with 8 1/2" bay spacing works best in the upper VHF-HI channels and mid to upper UHF channels.
All 3 sizes work well from channels 7 - 52 but if your hard to get channel(s) or channel grouping fall at the upper or lower end of VHF-HI or UHF why not build the one that will be tailored to your situation. Other sizes can be built to further enhance certain channels at the upper or lower end but it will come at the expense of reception at the other end. The different sizes really show up on VHF-HI where the band width for these antennas is narrow and usable gain drops off quickly.
What about a reflector?
The reflector can be a very important part of the antenna and can be tailored to get different results for certain situations. I have found some different shapes and sizes that enhance the gain and reception pattern for this style antenna.
The page dedicated to reflectors will give further information on what to use and when or if you even need one at all for your situation. I have developed a mounting kit that makes it easy to mount a reflector to your antenna