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DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) Area
WFAA Channel 8
OTA TV Antenna


My quest on this matter started with my upgrade to HDTV - upgraded my DirecTV equipment to the new AT9 dish and H20 receiver, opted for local channels in HD - all this in time to get the 2006 SuperBowl in HD - cool!

But wait a sec - Belo & WFAA are dragging their feet in jumping on the HD bandwagon with DirecTV. Several local channels are provided in HD via the DirecTV satellites, but ABC from WFAA Channel 8 in Dallas is NOT one of them.

We don't watch a lot of TV - and when we do, we only watch a few shows from the local networks (24, Bones, Lost, to name most of them), and of course the news on FOX 4 which is not broadcast in HD. 24 & Bones are on FOX, so I'll get those in HD. Then there's sports - Cowboys - football - playoffs - SuperBowl - most Cowboys games are on either FOX or CBS 11 - both available in HD on DirecTV from the satellite. 

Some playoff games this year (2006), and the SuperBowl are on ABC - Channel 8, WFAA. Add to that Lost and Boston Legal - all on WFAA - obviously a problem.


What I need is a way to construct an antenna to pick up WFAA OTA (off the air, over the air) on channel 9 (SD TV is on Channel 8, HD on channel 9) - purely for the purposes of watching the SuperBowl in HD (and the other shows). My expectations for this are short-term, and I don't anticipate using this antenna after WFAA and the rest of the locals come up on the satellite signal.

So, not wanting to invest a lot in an off air antenna and pre-amp, got me here - and here is how I made this and what it does for me.

antenna-dia1.jpg (68109 bytes)

I used a simple folded dipole antenna design that I got from an old Radio Shack book that I own titled "Antennas, Selection and Installation" - Radio Shack part number for the book is 62-1083A - this copy is dated 1989. 

To use this technique, you need to know the frequency of the channel you want to receive. Here is a chart of those values in MHz - I added the total length of wire needed based on the average of the frequency range. The actual antenna, since it's folded, will be half as wide as these values. For the lower channel numbers which have much longer antennas, a good quality 300 ohm twin-lead might be order.

Low Band VHF High Band VHF
Channel Freq. (MHz) Wire Length (inches) Channel Freq. (MHz) Wire Length (inches)
2 54 - 60
7 176 - 180
3 60 - 66
8 180 - 186
4 66 - 72
9 186 - 192
5 76 - 82
10 192 - 198
6 82 - 88
11 198 - 204
      12 204 - 210
FM Radio 88 - 108
13 210 - 216

Page 2 - Calculations & Construction