How to Increase Radio Reception With an Antenna

Written by gail delaney
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How to Increase Radio Reception With an Antenna
Some radio antennas come built in. (radio image by Carlos Restrepo from

If you live in an area with limited radio stations, or your favourite station doesn't come in clearly, then you may want to increase your radio reception with an antenna. Most radios have a metal antenna that you pull out, a wire antenna that you move around, or a place where you can hook an external antenna.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Aluminium foil
  • 6 feet or more of wire
  • TV antenna

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  1. 1

    Fully extend the radio antenna that your radio came with. Don't pull it out so far that it breaks off. Rotate the antenna in different directions.

  2. 2

    Examine the stereo-mono switch, and have the indicator set to mono. Mono waves seem to travel better then stereo.

  3. 3

    Wrap the radio antenna in aluminium foil to bring the signal in better and move the radio in different areas of the room. Some areas may pick up the radio signal better. Move closer to the window, or a place where fewer obstructions will interfere with the signal.

  4. 4

    Attach a 6-foot or longer length of wire to the antenna with an alligator clip. Experiment with the length of wire, moving it around to find the best position that will bring in the radio station. Run it up the wall or around the window for best results.

  5. 5

    Move the radio cord in different directions. Sometimes if you straighten the cord out, and then reposition it in different directions, you can bring the station in clearer.

  6. 6

    Install a TV antenna in the highest place possible. You can put one on the roof top, attic or a high pole. Put it in a place with the least number of obstructions.

Tips and warnings

  • If installing an outdoor antenna, do not install close to any power lines. If installing the TV antenna on the roof, you will need lightning rods to protect your house, antenna and everything connected to the antenna.

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