Culture Magazine

Digital TV Antenna Hack – Cheap, Easy, And..Free?

By Shadowoflight

So, I found myself in a situation where I had friends coming over to watch Singapore's National Day Parade 2015.

To watch the high definition broadcast on channel HD5, I'll need to acquire the DVB-T2 digital signal. I already have a digital ready TV, but for some reason, my apartment's TV/Cable point didn't have digital signals yet.

I've not watched Singapore TV for at least 4 years (who the hell does?), so I'm not going to spend money on a digital TV antenna that I was only going to use occasionally, no matter how cheap they were.

What was I to do then?

I had already bought the cable that connected the TV to the building's antenna outlet. In most cases, having that cable near a window should be enough to receive a signal. Alas, I was only able to receive the digital TV signal when I was touching or standing near the cable (yes, human bodies are great electrical conductors remember).

Naturally, I needed a different plan. I needed something extremely conductive, yet extremely cheap, or even free. So I asked myself - what did I have around the house that was not needed, yet contained lots of metal and wires? After all, that's what antennas are isn't it?

Then it hit me - power adapters might work.

Why power adapters? If you think about it, power adapters are step-down transformers that converts high voltage from power outlets (220-240V here in Singapore) into lower voltages suitable for your various devices, and transformers are made of magnets, metals, and lots of copper coils (secondary school physics eh?). And I had a few stashed away, remnants of old, unused electronics, so I decided to give it a try.

Would using power adapters as a digital TV antenna work? Well, check out the video and find out!

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