Introduction to the Gray-Hoverman TV Antenna - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

View Poll Results: I built/will build a Gray Hoverman antenna and I am:
a tinkerer who wants the best OTA TV reception 146 64.89%
an experienced TV antenna hobbyist 13 5.78%
an electronics technician/engineer/designer/repair person 39 17.33%
an RF technician/engineer/designer 3 1.33%
a Broadcast technician/engineer/designer 3 1.33%
a HAM radio enthusiast 20 8.89%
a Home Theatre enthusiast 35 15.56%
a high technology enthusiast 39 17.33%
a computer hardware/software enthusiast 63 28.00%
a technology student 3 1.33%
new to OTA TV 44 19.56%
broke, you insensitive clod... I needed a free antenna! 46 20.44%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 225. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 69 (permalink) Old 2007-12-18, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Question Introduction to the Gray-Hoverman TV Antenna

The Gray-Hoverman Single and Double Bay UHF Antennas
This is the original Gray-Hoverman antenna, as refined from the original Hoverman designs by member Autofils. Generally most people will want to build one of these models. They provide exceptional performance across the entire post-transitional UHF band (Channels 14 through 51). The version with the mesh reflector is probably the easiest of all the GH antenna versions to build, but if someone is interested in building the colinear rod version of the SBGH or DBGH they should probably skip right to the newer Gold Standard version below.
  • SBGH - Single Bay Gray-Hoverman UHF TV antenna, suitable for most suburban to fringe reception areas
  • DBGH - Double Bay Gray-Hoverman UHF TV antenna, suitable for fringe to deepest fringe reception areas
UPDATE: November 23, 2008: New "Gold Standard" SBGH Is Announced
A major refinement to the Gray-Hoverman antenna design has been announced, and the already great performance is now more adaptable to specific channel requirements of the builder. People who need the best performance, whether over the entire UHF band or maybe for only certain groups of UHF channels, will want to examine the various versions of this antenna to suit their needs. Generally these Gold Standard colinear rod models require more attention to accuracy and detail during construction than the original GH versions above. Special acknowledgement to j3d for making this happen!
Gold Standard SBGH:

XGH (Extended Gray-Hoverman): Design Has No Phasing Line
UPDATE: January 14, 2009: New Variant Adds VHF-HI Performance To GH
The Gray Hoverman antenna has been improved yet again, this time with the option of adding tuned resonators known as NARODs to provide a huge jump in VHF-HI performance. This refinement makes the GH an excellent post-transition broadband OTA antenna for channels 7 to 51. Special acknowledgement to member 300ohm for making this happen!
GH with NARODs can be built in SBGH and DBGH sizes
UPDATE: May 9, 2010: Major Refinement Improves VHF-HI Gain
The following GH improvement by member nikiml is a modification of j3d's GH10 (rev2), using bent NARODs and 3 NAROD reflectors to achieve not only excellent UHF band performance but also quite stellar VHF-HI gain too! Details of this version are posted in the following discussion thread:
GH10 with NARODs for VHF-HI: Major GH Improvement

Last edited by stampeder; 2010-05-24 at 02:19 PM.
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post #2 of 69 (permalink) Old 2007-12-18, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Question What is a Gray-Hoverman TV Antenna?

The Gray-Hoverman is the world's finest build-it-yourself UHF TV antenna, created and developed here at Digital Home. Retired and hobbyist antenna engineers such as old sparks, DogT, oneolddude, DjiPi, Kro, 99gecko, myself (as moderator), Keo, and others, working together under the leadership and effort of Autofils, have taken an obscure 1950s UHF TV antenna called the Hoverman and subjected the design to modern software-based computer modeling in hopes of optimizing its middling performance.

The result: the new Gray-Hoverman antenna is more powerful than similar commercially manufactured consumer antennas in every category, sometimes by whopping amounts. We've released the design, diagrams, and schematics, Copyright 2008, under the GPLv3 license so that anyone can roll their own.
The Gray-Hoverman antenna designs, schematics, and diagrams on this site are Copyright ©2008 and are free: you can redistribute them and/or modify them under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at our option) any later version.

These designs, schematics, and diagrams are distributed in the hope that they will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

For your complete copy of the GNU General Public License to go along with the designs, schematics, and diagrams, see
Here is an introduction to the Gray-Hoverman antenna if you haven't seen it already:
Due to the overwhelming popularity of the Gray-Hoverman Superantenna for OTA, and in recognition of the excellent range of technical discussion on TV antenna design that has arisen as we've welcomed new members, Digital Home now has a dedicated place within the OTA Forum called the "Antenna Research & Development" sub-forum.

Last edited by stampeder; 2009-04-03 at 12:29 PM.
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post #3 of 69 (permalink) Old 2008-11-29, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Some tips for newcomers

This forum is for ongoing research and development of TV antennas. Feel free to ask any questions you may have about how to build a Gray-Hoverman or other TV antenna. It may seem like the Antenna Research & Development forum is an intimidating place full of experts with no time or patience for newcomers, but that is absolutely not true. We enjoy helping everyone out with their TV antenna build questions, issues, and problems.

If you are Canadian and wondering how you will do with reception in your area of Canada, we welcome you but you need to read the threads in the Reception Results sub-form, which covers all parts of Canada:

If you decide to build a Gray-Hoverman or other type of antenna then absolutely come to this Antenna Research & Development forum for the very best information.

Be sure to read these links to the lower right:

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post #4 of 69 (permalink) Old 2009-01-19, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Question Who Builds A Gray Hoverman Antenna?

This is an anonymous, multiple choice poll that will help to give an idea of who has built or is building a Gray Hoverman antenna.

Out of curiosity tell us a bit about yourself, and select as many of the options that apply to you. The question is:
I built/will build a Gray Hoverman antenna and I am:

Last edited by stampeder; 2009-01-19 at 07:02 PM.
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post #5 of 69 (permalink) Old 2009-01-19, 11:06 PM
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Location: S. Surrey, BC
Posts: 540
I will be building the DBGH mainly to see if it'll do a better job to suck up those Sea-Tac signals than my present setup of ganged CM4228s.

Last edited by Jaygeetee; 2009-01-19 at 11:13 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #6 of 69 (permalink) Old 2009-01-19, 11:49 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 12
Thumbs up I built/will build a Gray Hoverman antenna and I am:

Best thing to happen to my tv next to my viewsat ultra. I've built one very sloppily, and the results are fantastic. I've been bragging at the workplace about my OTA HDTV with the GH. I now have 2 hiding in my attic.
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post #7 of 69 (permalink) Old 2009-01-20, 08:03 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: East Berlin, PA
Posts: 21
I've built both a SBGH and DBGH. I'm currently using the DBGH on the roof and get anything -96dBm or better from Baltimore through a 35 ft Atlis fir tree (stations are 50-65 mi away). After our US transition (when?), I want to modify the SBGH to pick up post-transition station 11, 12, 13 which will again be at 50-65 mi away, and move the DBGH away from the fir tree...

BTW - thank you all for the information you provide at this site!
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post #8 of 69 (permalink) Old 2009-01-20, 10:31 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,543
Hi all,

When I was younger, I built numerous antennas for 27MHz CB, learned about electronics with vaccuum tubes, and ended up in computers. I've never paid a dime for "subscription TV".

Over the past year, the workshop here has produced three SBGHs, one DBGH, and two SBGH10s which were originally ganged horizontally. Those two have since been split up and now have new homes, as do all of the original SBGHs.

There have also been a ton of dipoles and yagis built, and a ganged up pair of PR-8800s (which has yet to be beat!).

Before all of that, I tried various other commercial antennas, and salvaged a 40'+ free-standing tower from a rural resident, along with a couple of Archer rotors and other stuff.

We've got a self-built MythTV PVR (which we love!) that records stuff from five tuners using six antennas, with the 3:2 Frankenswitch matrix (see other threads) auto-selecting the best antenna for each channel.

All of this has cost less than what a few short years worth of cable TV might have cost, and provided a lot more fun in the meanwhile!

When not climbing the antenna tower, I can oft be found on cliff faces around the globe, or simply sitting at my computer hacking Linux for a living.

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post #9 of 69 (permalink) Old 2009-01-22, 12:24 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 4
Smile I built/will build a Gray Hoverman antenna and I am:

I'm an consumer electronics tech and an avid DXer. I built my SBGH for better DTV reception/better DX as well. I have gotten DTV stations from 200mi away from Louisville KY 2nd floor apt antenna at 25 ft agl. I recently raised it another 5 ft to clear the roof. This antenna works better than anything I've used commercially or home made. It is constructed with 2 1in square tubing for the boom, #8 alum wire, and scrap antenna elements for reflectors w/ 1/2in chicken wire reflector screen.
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post #10 of 69 (permalink) Old 2009-01-22, 02:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Northern California
Posts: 39
I knocked together a *very* rough antenna, just to see if it was worth investing more time in a real one. I just bent some 6ga wire on a piece of 30"x40"x1/2" plywood, tacked it down, added 2x4 spacers to the back & stretched some 3/4" hardware cloth over that.

At about 8' off the ground it works at least as well as my middle-grade broadband antenna up on the roof. I'm 80+ miles from the Sacramento, Ca towers & 140+ from the San Francisco bay area towers & get some reception (with dropouts) from stations in both areas. I'm a bit over a mile high in the mountains so I still have LOS to both areas.

I'm thinking it's worth doing a quality build, just trying to decide between curved grid & rods.

Davepet is offline  
post #11 of 69 (permalink) Old 2009-01-24, 03:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 21
I'm currently building a SBGH G6. I'm hoping to get this done pre-transition!
If it's a clear night (don't currently get ANY DTV during daytime hours!)
I can get 12 channels... somewhat. Bad pixelation and drop-outs.

I'm located approx. 70 miles from Memphis, TN. Deep fringe location.
The property is covered in mature Pecan trees and one huge Magnolia...
which is directly in LOS to Memphis broadcasting! Typical!

An added aggravation is I have a bluff line running between my house and the transmitters
that's about 50 meters higher than me (ref. Google Earth).
Being on a fixed income, I can't afford a tower (which is what I need!) and
my research shows me that the GH antennas would be my best option.
If (and when) I can afford and install a tower, the G6 will be transferred to it.

This is my first antenna build but I believe I've found the right place!
300ohm, for one, has done an excellent job of detailing construction techniques,
parts lists, estimated costs and approx. gains etc.

Many thanks to all who have provided input, suggestions and trial and error results!
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post #12 of 69 (permalink) Old 2009-01-28, 10:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Thomasville, Alabama, USA
Posts: 34
I build Hovermans

I am an auto mechanic and was curious about OTA digital television. A few months ago I began to read this forum, and starting making antennas. First, I made a couple of 4 bays with screen reflectors, and they worked quite well, even though most stations would be considered deepest fringe. Then I ventured into making CM4228 clones. With considerable trial and error, I finally got them to work! I used coax, as short as possible, (horizontal) for the feedlines. Though they worked good, they were not particularly better than the 4 bay antennas. I've made a couple of SBGH antennas and now I'm "hooked". I'm trying to decide between my next adventure being a DBGH, or sticking with single bay and trying some generation II versions.
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post #13 of 69 (permalink) Old 2009-01-29, 12:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 21
Congratulations on your success!
They've come up with a new "Gold Standard" for the Gray-Hoverman antennas.
Try here... or...

The last link is for 300ohm's new narod style extended GH with a fairly flat response curve and good gain for VHF 7 - 13 and all the UHF!

It's a bit too complicated for a first timer like me but with your experience, you may great results with it!

Good luck and welcome!
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post #14 of 69 (permalink) Old 2009-01-30, 01:37 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 178
I love the GH because it's cheap and it works. I want to build John Davies's Wideband variation, I just need to make the time and figure out how to meet the required build quality.
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post #15 of 69 (permalink) Old 2009-02-04, 09:09 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Montreal
Posts: 7
I built a SBGH

Last July, I bought a HDTV with a built-in ATSC tuner. Haven't had cable for over 15 years, and was getting only snowy analog PBS (33) and ABC (22) with the previous TV. I was wondering whether to order cable for the new TV and bought a silver sensor off ebay cheap. While waiting for the silver sensor, I decided to give the SBGH a try. Built a rough prototype with scraps from the basement. The measurements are not even exact. Tested the antenna with the old TV in a 2nd floor bedroom, and the analog reception was much better. Ran a 50 feet RG-59 cable down the stairs to the new TV and was surprised to pick up NBC. I still remember the first pictures from NBC, which was showing a golf tournament, and I was amazed by the quality of the picture at 1080i. The crude SBGH consistently outperforms the silver sensor. Watched the Olympics on both CBC/SRC and NBC. After the Olympics, wife said that the SBGH does not belong to the bedroom and I move it to the next room. Since the signal has to go through another interior wall, I bought a cheap distribution amp. I also got tired of turning the SBGH between Mt. Mansfield and the CBC building. Now, I have the silver sensor pointing towards Mt. Mansfield, and the SBGH to CBC, which is more difficult to get. I have an A-B switch to toggle between the two antennae.

BTW, I mention my story to several of my colleagues, and three of them have build versions of the GH antenna. Two of them report success. The third one built the anteanna, but don't have a digital TV to test it with.
cwhlam is offline  

antenna , atsc , dbgh , diy hdtv antenna (gh-1) , gray-hoverman , ota , poll , sbgh

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