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I have this idea for a new antenna....HELP!

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posted on May, 11 2005 @ 04:14 AM
In a nutshell, I want to make an antenna for my television using plenty of wire, and a Mylar balloon...a BIG Mylar balloon! After seeing a Pringles-can antenna capable of picking up cellular calls (Yes, I saw this on Good Day Sacramento, on UPN-31 KMAX in Sacramento.) I figure MY idea isn't so farfetched.

HOWEVER, I'd like a lot of imput on doing it right! I don't need 357 channels...I just want to get the channels in my area CLEARLY and, I confess, on the cheap. Can any of you help??

posted on May, 11 2005 @ 08:37 AM
This sounds like you are building an antenna to assist in capturing and obtaining channels which you are not paying for? Sounds like an illegal activity, something of which is not endorsed here on ATS. But in all honesty I never knew antennas sold on the open market to middle America could capture 357 channels, maybe you mean to say satellite?

posted on May, 11 2005 @ 08:45 AM
I don't think the poster suggested anything illegal. There are a few open channels in my area, but the reception isn't very good, so I see where they are coming from. If I had a clear reception of 10 channels I might have canceled my cable.

Besides, there is even a HDTV transmission that I would like to play with!

posted on May, 11 2005 @ 08:52 AM
Yep, it's free off the airwaves transmissions they're trying to pick up. Cool idea...but, you would be at great risk of cooking your TV the first storm front that moves thru without some real good grounding. And you'd have to replace the mylar ballon ever so often. Due to the helium losing lift. And you'd also lose some height at night due to cooling of the helium.

posted on May, 11 2005 @ 08:52 AM
Get about a $15 antenna that also has a UHF loop.
Get a signal booster (around $20 or less). (Wal-mart, Radio Shack, etc.)

For one $35 outlay, you should get your local channels in pretty well, without resorting to cable.

posted on May, 11 2005 @ 11:35 AM
In all honesty, I never quite understood WHAT my problem was. Channel 3 (KCRA Sacramento) comes in LOUSY! The UHF channels come okay, if I play with my rabbit ears. The the last two channels are "snowy". Come to think of it, a lot of my problem may be due to living in an apartment. There's a lot of interference in the area (not to mention, I'm on the bottom floor.)

I figure a Mylar balloon will be A: Not terribly noticeable. And B: If the management complains, I simply reel it in!

I can see where a stormfront can be a problem, but certainly not more than with a roof top mounted antenna, ya think? But yes, I would ground it well.

posted on May, 11 2005 @ 11:54 AM
The key is in the signal booster....should be right near the antennas in the store... Get it at Wal-Mart (so if it doesn't work for you, you can return it easily)....

posted on May, 11 2005 @ 03:22 PM
How are you intending to keep the antenna pointed at the transmitting antenna?

When the balloon moves around you'll have worse reception than you have now.

The key is actually get the best picture you can initally, so get a big antenna with good front to back ratio's and a fair bit of gain, and stick it in the best spot for reception. Once you have a reasonable picture, then you can think about a 'signal booster'.

If you feed an inline RF amp with a shonky, low-quality signal,
all you'll get out of it is the same shonky, low quality signal, but at a higher signal voltage. Amping a rubbish picture is only going to give you a amped up rubbish picture.

The exception to that is if the problem is to do with a lack of gain in the signal, in which case my opening remarks are the only real way to go.

UHF TV signals can follow some complex propogation patterns, bouncing off buildings, hills, shipping, and all kinds of other stuff - all, and any of which will contribute to your picture quality (or lack thereof).

The balloon idea is ok in principle, but not for a directional high-frequency signal like UHF TV ...

Good luck tho '

posted on May, 11 2005 @ 04:04 PM
You are looking for the Worldwide TV and FM DX Association.

Years ago I used to pick up DX TV audio with a Bearcat- using signal mixing and a raingutter- from 200 miles away.

BTW the balloon sounds fun, short-lived and dangerous (zzzzt). If you manage to get it up over 500 feet, better check with the FAA first.

[edit on 11-5-2005 by Chakotay]

posted on May, 13 2005 @ 12:53 AM

well you wanna do this on the cheap , eh ?

ya REALLY need a ROOF antenna....perhaps you can nudge the landlord into installing one for the bldg ? or if you are daring , put one up there and drop the wire to your side of the bldg. [ you could get landlord problems by doing that without his permission]...but you may want a dry run,[ just set it up without bolting it down to see how the reception is.] if it's good , beg the landlord to make it permanent for you !

or you can ask your neighbors, who is interested in pitching in for an antenna and go from there.

ideally , a roof antenna with a rotor [ but the rotor thing won't work with other people watching off the same antenna ]

posted on May, 13 2005 @ 03:33 AM
LOL Toasted, you're right of course, and I HAVE seen roof antennas in the complex. In all honesty, I don't know WHY I haven't talked to managment about this problem. I'll bring it up with them first thing tomorrow and post what they say.

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