Radio users can make their own homemade AM radio antennae by winding a coil out of single-strand wire, grounding the wire and putting a portable radio near the coil. Important supplies include single-strand wire, cardboard, tape and a wire stripper.
A homemade radio antenna can help improve reception. Radio users can make homemade antennae by following a few basic steps.
- Cut the wire.
- Wind the wire into a coil.
- Secure the coil to a base.
- Ground the wire
- Position the radio and antenna.
Use wire cutters to cut some single-strand wire anywhere between 60 and 120 feet long.
Wind the wire around a flat object that has a diameter of around 6 to 8 inches. Form a flat coil and avoid crossing the wire.
Carefully slide the wire off of the winding mould, keeping the coil intact. Use tape to secure it to a non-conductive base. Paper plates or pieces of cardboard work well. Pull out a couple of feet of the wire so that it sticks out of the coil. Tape another piece of cardboard or plate on top of the coil.
Using wire strippers, strip a little bit of the end of the wire. Find a good place to ground the wire, such as a light switch. To ground the antenna to a light switch, unscrew one of the screws that holds the plate on, wrap the bare end of the wire around the screw and then place it back into the plate.
Put a portable radio near the antenna and turn it on. Switch the tuner onto an available AM station and move the plate around until the reception becomes clear. Keep the antenna vertical, as it cannot work properly lying down.