How to make a simple FM antenna

Written by nichole liandi
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The quality of FM reception is dependent upon the design of the antenna. The dipole antenna design is both easy to make and is an excellent choice for the FM listener who wants to improve reception and receive radio stations more clearly and with better signal strength. The materials for this antenna are easily obtained and it can be built in a minimum amount of time.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Stiff wire or coat hangers
  • Wire cutters
  • Plywood
  • Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • 1/4-inch sheet metal screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Matching transformer
  • Coaxial cable (75-ohm)

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  1. 1

    Cut two pieces of stiff wire to 28 inches in length with wire cutters. You can actually use coat hangers for this step if you want--just be sure to straighten them out well and sand off any paint or coating on the ends of the wire where you'll make connections.

  2. 2

    Cut a small piece of wood (plywood works well for this step) into a 1-inch square. Sand the edges with medium-grit sandpaper if desired.

  3. 3

    Screw two round-headed 1/4-inch sheet metal screws into the wood about half way into the wood, separated from each other by about 1/2 inch.

  4. 4

    Make a small open loop, like a "U" on each end of the stiff wires. Needle nose pliers work well for this step. The loops should be small enough to fit snugly around the threads of the sheet metal screws.

  5. 5

    Slide the loops around the sheet metal screws and position the two wires so that they're in a straight line with each other.

  6. 6

    Slide the u-shaped terminal ends of a 300 to 75-ohm matching transformer under the screws, one under each screw. Tighten the screws so they're securely holding the wires and the terminals.

  7. 7

    Connect your antenna to your receiver by plugging the transformer into a coaxial cable with F-type connectors on both ends. Then plug the other end of the cable into the receiver.

  8. 8

    Experiment with antenna placement to get the best signal. Generally the higher the antenna, the better the reception.

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