Height and surface area are two keys for any type of antenna. Fortunately for do-it-yourselfers looking to build FM antennas, the latter is more important. DIY FM antennas are built using unshielded wires, so primary wire is a natural choice. Although a small amount of woodworking skill is needed, the antenna can be built to nearly any size required, enabling reception from stations from all over the FM dial.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 4 two-by-two wood planks
- 1/16-inch drill bit
- 1-inch wood screws
- Phillips bit attachment
- 16-gauge primary wire
- Small manual Phillips screwdriver
- Small wire strippers
- Electrical tape
- RF adaptor
- Tape measure
Cut four sections of the two-by-two planks to the desired size, so that they form a square when attached together.
Drill two small 1/16-inch holes at each junction point. Screw in two 1-inch wood screws, forming a square from the wood planks.
Strip 1 inch of insulation from one end of the primary wire. Screw the end to one screw on the RF adaptor, using the small Phillips screwdriver. Leave 6 to 8 inches of wire, leading to the square frame (these can be extended later by connecting more wire if needed). Attach the wire pigtail to the frame with a few turns of electrical tape.
Wrap the primary wire around the frame 12 to 15 times, or until no wood is visible. Make sure the wire lays flat against itself, minimising overlap. Use the electrical tape to secure the wire against the frame.
Bring the other end of the primary wire next to the pigtail attached to the RF adaptor. Strip 1 inch from this wire as well, and screw it to the adaptor. Secure the wire to the frame using two to three turns of electrical tape.
Connect the RF adaptor to the antenna input on the rear of the FM tuner. Move and rotate the antenna until a satisfactory amount of stations are received.
Tips and warnings
- Remember the "height and surface area" axiom. Attempt to build the antenna as large as possible, and install it as high as possible.
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