Thursday, June 11, 2009

Shoebox Antenna: Do-It-Yourself Digital Television Antenna

"Digital TV Transition"
Main Street Project

"1. What is the digital TV (DTV) transition?

"By June 12, 2009 all full-power TV stations will cease broadcasting on their current analog channels and broadcast using a digital signal only. According to the FCC, an important benefit of the switch to all-digital broadcasting is that it will free up parts of the valuable broadcast spectrum for public safety communications (such as police, fire departments, and rescue squads). Also, some of the spectrum will be auctioned to companies that will be able to provide consumers with more advanced wireless services (such as wireless broadband)...."

The rest of the page discusses what options people have, converter box coupons, and resources for information and training.

And, a video that shows how to make a shoe box antenna that should pick up digital signals.

"ShoeBox Antenna"

Duke1517, YouTube (February 7, 2009)
video 2:00

Making this sort of antenna takes a length of coaxial cable, aluminum foil, about 6½ inches of copper wire, a terminal block, a shoebox, a piece of cardboard a little larger than the shoebox, and some basic tools.

The video refers to the HomeMadeAntennas blog, where you'll find an eight-minute 'how to make a shoebox antenna' video.

What's the Big Deal About a Do-It-Yourself Antenna?

Tomorrow, American television stations stop broadcasting analog signals, and start broadcasting digital signals. Naturally, there are some people who need a converter box to watch the World Series and Days of Our Lives, but haven't.

Some of those, we're told, can't afford the converter box - even with the government coupons that are available.

Although I understand that important information occasionally gets transmitted on television, I don't quite see how having a working television set is a right: any more than every American citizen should be entitled to a car. Never mind: that's a different topic.

What impressed me about the video was that, instead of complaining about having to pay between $10 and $30 (after coupon) for a converter box, it shows an alternative.

Coaxial cable, aluminum foil, copper wire, and the shoes that come in shoe boxes cost money, so there's still opportunity for complaints.

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1 comment:

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