Folded Dipole Antenna

folded dipole HDTV antenna

This is the third antenna that I built but it is also the simplest, both in terms of design and construction. It is also the design that impressed me the most.

A folded dipole is a very basic antenna design. Often, it is combined with other elements such as reflectors to produce more powerful antennas. But I wanted to see how it would perform in its most basic form since that would be easy for anyone to build. This antenna took me less than 10 minutes to build and I was surprised to find that after placing this in my attic, I was able to bring in 13 digital channels. This included the four major network channels (ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX), some independents and a few news and weather channels. The nearest tower is 8.8 miles from my house and the furthest is 51.6 miles away! (See the broadcast tower information for my area at TV Fool.) While this did not perform as well as my Gray-Hoverman Antenna, I would recommend it as a first build. If it gets all of the channels that you want, you won't need to take the time to build something more complex unless you want to.

Parts List:

  • 1 Metal Coat Hanger
  • 2 Screws
  • 1 Balun - This transformer is needed to adapt the antenna's signal to your T.V.'s coax input. It is available from many sources. I got mine at my local Walmart for less than $5. See pictures below.
  • 1 Wood Board - For this build I used a pine 1x2 that I had laying around my garage.
  • 1 Bracket - This is used to mount and pivot the antenna. Again, I used one that I had laying around.

Assembly Photos


NOTE: All of the antenna designs on this site are intended for INDOOR use. I prefer to mount mine in the attic. Please research carefully if you want to mount an antenna outdoors. There are many design and safety considerations that you will need to keep in mind.


Also available for free: Growing Lettuce in the Home - a low-tech, low-cost hydroponic system