How to Make Your Own Coaxial FM Antenna

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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How to Make Your Own Coaxial FM Antenna
(Zedcor Wholly Owned/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Ham radio, also know as "amateur radio," is a hobby that lets a person communicate with others throughout the world. To make your own coaxial FM antenna to use with the ham radio receiver, purchase some coaxial cable from a cable supply or electronics shop. A few household tools will also be needed--most households will have these on hand--and which can be bought as needed from a hardware store. Adult supervision is suggested if the person making the antenna is underage since a soldering iron will be used.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Newspaper
  • Five 12 gauge solid-core copper wire, 22 inches long
  • Rough sandpaper
  • Ham radio antenna adaptor plate
  • Tape measure
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Pliers

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place newspaper on a work surface. Sand both ends of all of the copper wires with rough sandpaper. Keep sanding until each is smooth and shiny.

  2. 2

    Place the ham radio antenna adaptor plate on the newspaper with the wire on the front end facing up.

  3. 3

    Heat up the soldering iron for five minutes. Apply a drop of solder around the base of the wire that is pointing up. Let the solder cool for a minute. Place an end of one of the copper wires against the base of the wire. Place the tip of the soldering iron against the wire. Remove the soldering iron's tip when the solder has become liquid. Hold the end of the wire for two minutes before letting go.

  4. 4

    Apply solder around the rim at the top of the plate. Let the solder cool for two minutes.

  5. 5

    Measure a half inch in from an end on each of the copper wires. Bend a "U" shape in all of the copper wires at the half inch mark with your fingers.

  6. 6

    Insert the bent end of each of the copper wires into the plate at the top, bottom, left and right sides, one at a time. Apply the tip of the soldering iron to each copper wire to loosen the solder. Remove the soldering iron's tip and hold the copper wire until the solder hardens. Unplug the soldering iron.

  7. 7

    Measure down 10 inches from the top of each of the copper wires. Bend each copper wire down at a 45 degree angle at the 10 inch mark using the jaws of a pliers.

  8. 8

    Screw an end of the coaxial cable into the bottom coax connection on the plate. Screw the other end into the coax input of the ham radio receiver.

Tips and warnings

  • Work gloves can protect your hands when sanding the copper wires.

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