How to Make a Homemade AM Radio Antenna

Dan Ketchum

These days, with portable media players and wireless internet, you would think that the age of radio would be over. Nevertheless, radio is as popular as ever, perhaps because it creates more of a communal feeling. But to get that feeling, you need a good antenna.

You can take certain steps to build your own AM antenna.

Using two 1 inch x 1/2 inch x 17 inch pieces of wood, nail together a cross-shaped support frame that measures 17 x 17 inches. Also hammer in a small nail at the end of each piece.

Nail the frame to the centre of a piece wood 24 inches x 2 inches x 4 inches (as shown in the image.)

Use a length of #22 insulated wire to wrap the frame from corner to corner four times all the way around, using the nails at the ends to hold the wire in place. Leave a length of wire that can be attached to your radio.

Coil the ends of the wire around each other. You want one turn for every half inch of wire.

Use a wire stripper to remove the insulation at the ends and attach them to the AM inputs on your radio. You may be surprised by the improved reception you will get.