How to convert an electrical outlet to an antenna

Written by jonra springs
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How to convert an electrical outlet to an antenna
Receptacles become antennas with plug-in antenna connectors. (outlet and cord image by jimcox40 from

An electrical socket will work as an antenna for television and FM radio reception with the aid of a plug-in antenna. The wall plug antenna device connects the antenna terminals to a three prong plug that blocks the electrical current when it's plugged in. The radio or television can then use the electrical socket as an antenna, along with all the wires in that circuit. Some antenna plugs have an amplifier built in to increase the antenna signal, and some have an outlet socket for plugging in the TV or radio that's using the outlet antenna.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Coaxial cable with RF connectors
  • RF to spade connector adaptor
  • Slotted screwdriver
  • Clean dry cloth
  • Plug-in antenna
  • Grounded outlet

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  1. 1

    Connect a coaxial cable to the antenna connector on a television by twisting it onto the connector clockwise, or twist the RF connector onto an adaptor with spade terminal connectors. Loosen the antenna terminal screws of an FM radio receiver with a slotted screwdriver, slip the spade connectors under the terminals and tighten the screws.

  2. 2

    Clean the outside of the plug-in antenna with a clean dry cloth. Make certain the unit is completely dry. Connect the other end of the coaxial cable to the RF connector on the wall plug antenna.

  3. 3

    Plug the outlet antenna into a grounded electrical receptacle. Plug in the television or radio and attempt to tune in your favourite local station.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid the use of blenders, mixers and vacuum cleaners while watching TV or listening to the radio. The outlet antenna will deliver any electrical static or noise from motorised devices through the circuit and into the radio or television.
  • A wall plug antenna will not be able to block a strong electrical surge in the circuit from the radio or TV using it. Unplug the antenna connector anytime there is lightning or thunder in the area.
  • Do not attempt to use a wall plug antenna with an ungrounded 2-prong outlet. Never use a 3-prong to 2-prong plug adaptor to plug an outlet antenna into an ungrounded receptacle.

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