How to build a homemade FM stereo antenna

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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How to build a homemade FM stereo antenna
(Ryan McVay/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

FM radio signals require an antenna in order to be received. To build an FM antenna that can pick up stereo signals, use a few household tools and wire acquired from a hardware store or even a hobby shop. No special experience in wiring is required, nor is any power supply for the antenna required. Your homemade antenna will provide a more stable signal and a clearer sound when listening to FM.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Spool of 16-gauge insulated wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Ruler
  • Audio amplifier/FM radio

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  1. 1

    Measure and cut two 10-foot lengths of insulated wire with the wire cutters.

  2. 2

    Strip an inch of insulation off an end of each of the two wires with the wire strippers. Twist the exposed ends of the wires between your fingers to form them into rod-like shapes.

  3. 3

    Turn the FM radio or audio amplifier off. Loosen the lug surrounding the antenna terminals on the back of the amplifier or radio, usually labelled "FM" or "ant".

  4. 4

    Wind the exposed ends from each of the two wires around one of the threaded connectors beneath each lug.

  5. 5

    Screw the lug back down to secure the exposed wires. If there is a hole instead of a lug, press the latch below the hole, insert the exposed wire into the hole and release the latch to secure the wire.

  6. 6

    Turn the audio amplifier or the FM radio on. Select an FM station using the tuning control. Adjust the position of the two wires to improve the audio quality of the FM reception.

Tips and warnings

  • A single length of television "twin-lead" cable can also be effective as an FM antenna. You will still need to strip insulation off the ends to expose the wires.
  • Make sure the radio or amplifier is turned off while you attach the antenna.

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