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Homemade FM Stereo Antenna

Updated April 17, 2017

Fine-tuning the reception of an FM radio station is, thankfully, much easier than doing the same for an AM radio signal. Making a homemade FM antenna is a process that's both easy and cheap.

Get the Stuff Together

The material to build a reasonably good FM antenna may already be in your home. The items you need from inside your home include a wire coat hanger, a strand of wire from an old set of headphones, and a roll of electrical tape or duct tape, for example. This wire should be about two feet long. You'll need a thumbtack and a little patience. If you don't have these items, then purchasing a roll of speaker wire, a package of thumbtacks or brads, and a roll of electrical tape or duct tape, will suffice for this process.

Scenario 1 Construction

In scenario one, using the household items, grab the wire hanger by the hook in one hand and line two fingers from your other hand in the centre of the long bar of the hanger. Pull both hands away from each other until you have created a good size diamond shape, and then set it to the side. Next you take the strand of wire and cut off any jacks or other objects from each end so that you just have the wire. Now, strip the first three inches of shielding off of the wire. This is done by roughly measuring out three inches and cutting around the wire, but not all the way through it. Then you will cut/pull/cut again/pull again until the shielding slides off, leaving the wire exposed. In most instances there will be more than one wire there, so twist the copper wires together to make a single piece. Do this for each end. Wrap one bare end around the new angle you just made across from the hook of the hanger and secure it there with the tape. Before you tape it down, make sure that a majority of the bare wire is touching the metal of the hanger. Next, wrap the other and of the wire around any built-in antenna it may have and tape it down. Finally, place the thumbtack as high as you can on a wall or other surface and hang the hook of the hanger on it.

Scenario 2 Construction

In the second scenario, your job is much easier since having the speaker wire gives a much more direct connection. Extend a strand of the speaker wire four to six feet long and cut it from the roll. Strip the coating off of one end of the wire, removing about three inches of it. On the other end of the wire, use a paring knife or pocket knife to cut between the two strands of wire down into the coating about an inch. You will use this in just a moment. Take the bare wire and twist the two wires into a single wire, then wrap it around the built-in antenna on the radio. Run the wire up a wall or other flat surface and stick a thumbtack into the centre of the wire through the coating between the two strands of wire, making sure they don't touch. Once the wire is secure against the wall, take the two halves you created at the other end and pull them apart until the split is just above the thumbtack.

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