Cheap Antenna build
Outdoor antenna project:
I purchased an ONN 4K 60 mile (ca. 97 km) range outdoor antenna from Walmart. Normally about $20.00 I got it for $8.00 on sale and free shipping as I had ordered some other things.
I had been looking for a cheap, easy to install antenna as more of my ditching cable effort. I did ditch cable, got Hulu and Netflix and dropped the bill by well over a $150.00 even though they still charge me a stupid rate for Wi-Fi, but one thing at a time.
The problem was local channels. Even though I only live about 15 miles (ca. 24 km) from the city, a small external antenna hooked into my ROKU app could only bring in two of the channels and both were marginal.
So, when I saw an antenna for $8.00 I thought what the hell, it can’t be any worse than the small external one.
I also had an old Dish Network dish or two lying around, so I took a dish, mounted the antenna to it after I assembled it (That took literally 5 minutes) and put it up and aimed it.
Since cable had wired the house 82 thousand times (I’m exaggerating, but only a little) and Dish had wired it a few times also, there were mounts still on the house and lots of cable.
Why a dish? The dish acts as a reflector and concentrates or amplifies some signals, especially if you know where they are, and I did (In the city, so I checked Google maps, got the direction from my house to the city and aimed it there.). I found the information about the dish to aim it online.
So, hooking it up was a simple as finding a few bolts in my junk drawer, drilling four holes in the dish to mount the antenna and then clamping the dish to the old mount on the roof and using the cable already there to run it down to the house.
The antenna did come with cable, the mount, screws, the antenna, everything i needed, but I made it easier by using what was left behind from cable and Dish installations.
Once the antenna was installed and hooked to the existing cable, I ran that to a splitter (2 feeds in 1 feed out, all 75 OHM) also already installed on the house for cable splitting to different rooms etc. So I ran in the new antenna on one side, kept the smaller antenna on the other side (Another tip you can find online that can help the signal when you have more than one input).
So I went in, the TV was on, and still only got two channels, but with ROKU, you have to re scan the channels. So I sat down, drank some coffee to warm up, it’s cold here already, and waited for the scan to complete.
When it finished it told me I had eight channels. I flicked back to Antenna setting on my ROKU guide page and looked at them, and sure enough I have eight. There are only two in the city, so I’m not sure where the other six came from, possibly Canada, we’re very close, and in the old days we could pick up a few Canadian channels in analog.
All in all, for a very cheap antenna I would say I got more than my moneys worth. The whole project took less than an hour to do, as I said, I used most of the existing stuff, but the Antenna kit came with a splitter, the antenna and the mount as well as the cable, so I could have easily done it using the supplied parts.
Problem solved, we now have reliable local channels and then some. I ordered a Yagi Wi-Fi antenna and two Repeaters-Acess points from NewEgg that is my next project, and I left a mount on the dish to attach the Wi-Fi Yagi antenna to.