This antenna design grew out of my attempts to build an indoor HDTV antenna using fractal patterns after I had watched a TV show and had read a magazine article on the use of fractal patterns in cell phone antennas, My goal was to design an antenna that not only worked well, but one that was easy to build and could be built from easiliy obtainable materials.
The result is an antenna that is somewhat omnidirectional, and performs well receiving digital TV signals at my home from the low end of the VHF high-band (i.e Channel 7 at 174 MHZ) to the high end of the 600 MHz UHF band. (There are no channels in the 700 MHz band in my area, but Channel 51 at 692 MHz is one of the strongest signals here.)
This antenna can be used at a maximum line-of-site distance from the broadcast tower of about 50 miles for high power stations, and somewhat less for low power stations. I'm sorry that I can't be more definite about these distances, but a lot depends upon the type of construction used in the building and the location of the antenna within the building (e.g. downstairs living room vs. second story bedroom or attic).
So, with all that in mind, let's get started.
Step 1: Gather Needed Materials
The materials you will need are:
The Pattern.pdf1 MB
Step 2: Print Pattern and Prepare Antenna Form
The PDF file consists of two standard Letter Size (81/2 X 11) pages that should be printed at 100%. The dimensions on the pattern are in millimeters and can be checked with a ruler to insure that your printer is set to print at 100%.
When you have a printed copy of both pages:
Step 3: "Lace" The Wire Onto Antenna Form
Use a 1.6 meter length of wire for each side of the antenna form, and starting at the hole marked "Start" lace the wire back and forth from one side of the poster board to the other following the pattern. Keep the wire as straight as possible between the holes and be careful to not kink the wire when pulling it through the holes. Leave about 1/2 inch of wire on the back side of the poster board at the end of each wire to be used for connecting the lead-in wire.
The best way to connect the lead-in wire or in-line matching transformer to the antenna is to twist together the stripped wires of the lead-in/matching transformer with the end wires of the antenna and solder both connections. If you don't have a soldering iron and solder, the next best connection is made using crimp connectors and a crimping tool or pliers.
After the lead-in/matching transformer is connected to the antenna, it's a good idea to punch a hole through the poster board on both sides of the lead-in wire or in-line matching transformer and tie the wire to the poster board using a small cable tie or tristy from a loaf of bread.
Step 4: Finishing Up
After the lead-in has been connected to the antenna, all that is left to do is to form the antenna into a cyclindical shape and insert Tabs A & B into Slots A & B. (A little cellophane tape along the seam works wonders in maintaining the shape of the antenna.)
The antenna is now ready to be connected to the "Antenna In" connector on your TV or converter box. The antenna works best if set on a window sill or taped to a window pane, but you should experiment with the placement and orientation of the antenna to find what works best for you.
Step 5: Adding A Decorative Touch
The antenna will fit into various empty clear plastic containers and can be used to display family photos or sports pictures.