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How to Make an Indoor FM Antenna

by Daniel Dick

FM radio listeners may find that the antenna that comes with their radios is not sufficient to clearly hear their favorite songs and programs. Commercially available antennas can be very expensive compared to the cost of building one yourself. You can build your own FM radio antenna using a few materials from the hardware store at very low cost. Credit for the design of this antenna goes to Ethan Funk.

Step 1

Cross the two dowels so that they form an X shape. Measure the distance between each point of the X and the one next to it. The distance should be 30 inches. Keep moving the dowels until you get an X with 30 inches on each side, measuring point to point.

Step 2

Tape the dowels together with electrical tape around the cross point of the X. Make sure that the sides of the X stay 30 inches long. This is important for good reception.

Step 3

Take the first 30 inches of wire from one of the ends and string this as taunt as possible between two points of the X. Tape the insulated part of the wire with electrical tape to the point on the X, leaving the end dangling.

Step 4

Pull the wire taut over the next point of the X, moving to the right, and tape it down with electrical tape.

Step 5

Repeat the above step two more times to get a square of wire around the X-shaped frame with two dangling ends that are long enough to stretch across two points of the X.

Step 6

Fold both dangling ends in half and tape them together with the excess wire pointing towards the middle of the X.

Step 7

Strip the ends of the wires with your wire strippers. Also strip the end of the 300-ohm ribbon cable. Connect the two ends of the wires to either end of the ribbon cable. Do not connect the wires together; connect them to different sides of the ribbon cable. Tape these connections to keep them together.

Connect the ribbon cable to the 300-ohm-to-75-ohm converter and plug the 75-ohm converter into the antenna jack in your radio.

Items you will need

  • Two wooden dowels cut to 42.4 inches in length 13.5 feet of insulated wire Tape measure Electrical tape Wire cutters Wire strippers 300-ohm ribbon cable 300-ohm-to-75-ohm converter (also called a balun)

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