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DIY FM Radio Antenna

Updated February 21, 2017

If you are looking for the best FM signal for your stereo radio, you will need a good antenna. A good FM antenna does not have to be expensive and can be made with simple tools that any do-it-yourself person can accomplish.

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A basic dipole wire antenna

A good place to start when making an FM antenna is with a 100-foot roll of 300-ohm dipole wire. This can be found at most any audio store and most department stores that carry audio electronics and supplies.

You will be constructing a T-shaped antenna that will attach to your wall as high as possible. The top section should be at least 3 feet long, but an ideal length would be about 15 feet.

Cut the ends of the top section and bare the wires on each side. Twist them together and attach this length to your wall.

In the centre of your top section, make a cut in the lower wire of the dipole and strip the coating from each side. You will have two bare wires pointing down.

Cut another piece of dipole wire, bare the ends on both sides, and attach one end to the wires pointing down from the top section. Attach the other bared wires onto the antenna ports from your stereo. You basic dipole antenna is complete.

A better dipole antenna

You will need to construct a simple X frame out of wood, binding the centres together, with each piece measuring 42.4 inches as an ideal length.

The dipole wire needs to be split in the centre, then attached to the frame going in opposite directions. This process makes what is called a closed-loop antenna, as there are no breaks in the wire and both leads are attached to the antenna ports on the back of the stereo.

The advantage of this design is that the antenna with supporting frame can be moved around a room to gain best reception.

Using what's available

FM stereo and regular television signals run very close to the same frequency. Any TV rabbit ear antenna also can be used as a basic FM antenna.

To that end, any roof mounted TV antenna also can be used as an FM antenna. You may have to cut and strip the wire, but you also will gain superior FM signal performance.

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About the Author

Dale Yalanovsky has been writing professionally since 1978. He has been published in "Woman's Day," "New Home Journal" and on many do-it-yourself websites. He specializes in do-it-yourself projects, household and auto maintenance and property management. Yalanovsky also writes a bimonthly column that provides home improvement advice.

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