How to Construct an FM Antenna

Written by jonra springs
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How to Construct an FM Antenna
A homemade FM antenna can replace the typical metal aerial on most radios. (radio image by Claudio Calcagno from

A radio may come with a single strip of wire that acts as an antenna insomuch as it can. A metal aerial radio antenna does not always bring in stations clearly and is vulnerable to breaking. On many radios, the same extension is used as an AM and FM antenna. Twin lead ribbon cable works well with receivers and can be shaped to make a good FM radio antenna.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 300 ohm twin lead ribbon cable
  • Wire cutters
  • Electrical tape
  • 75 ohm to 300 ohm adaptor (optional)
  • Drawing pins

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  1. 1

    Cut a length of 300 ohm twin lead ribbon cable to 15 feet 9 inches for an FM antenna that will serve all stations on the FM radio dial. Strip 1/4 inch of plastic insulation off both wires at each end with wire cutters.

  2. 2

    Mark the length at 7 feet 10 1/2 inches, which is the centre. Cut one of the wires on the ribbon at the mark. Cut away 1/4 inch of the ribbon from either side of the severed wire. Strip 1/4 inch away from both ends of the cut wire.

  3. 3

    Pull the two ends of the ribbon cable together to form a cable circle and twist the top wires together, then twist the bottom wires together. Wrap electrical tape around the connections for insulation.

  4. 4

    Tack the ribbon cable circle to the roof overhang outside the window or a nearby tree with drawing pins. Keep the circle horizontal, not vertical.

  5. 5

    Measure a length of ribbon cable to fit from the radio to the cut wire ends in the middle of the cable circle. Strip both wires at each end of this antenna extension. Wrap the wires on one end around the radio antenna connector terminals and tighten the terminal screws. Run the extension through a window and twist one wire from the other end around one stripped wire on the FM antenna cable circle. Twist the other extension wire around the remaining cable circle wire and cover both connections with electrical tape.

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