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man peeling the blue wire to reveal the copper wire

How to Make an FM Antenna from a Speaker Wire (Step-by-Step)

Updated On June 3, 2022

Is it possible to construct a functioning FM radio antenna from a dual speaker wire? You are in the right place. In this guide, I will teach you how to do it easily without issues.

Personally, I have made and tested several antennas for different types of FM radios, and the results wowed me.

Follow every step keenly to be able to seamlessly construct an FM radio antenna at home. Also, be advised that you will require a 20-foot length (min) of dual speaker wire in this guide.

radio with red wire rolled over

Quick Summary:

To construct an FM radio antenna from speaker wire, first get a 10-foot dual speaker wire and measure out 3 feet. Next, split the speaker wire at the 3-foot mark and craft a large “T” for each 3-foot length of dual speaker wire. The T-shaped wire should be placed perpendicularly to the rest of the intact wire. Proceed to strip the insulation cover (acquire a 2-inch insulation-free section). Next, connect the speaker wire to the receiver on the FM radio and hook the antenna to a strategic location – where the signal reception is best.

The FM radio signal has a higher frequency value hence they have limited coverage or range. A better antenna should therefore be installed to pull in clear signals. The range of FM radio stations is limited to about 75 miles. Any FM radio beyond 50 miles from the broadcasting station needs an antenna to boost signal reception.

man's hand holding a radio

The antennas work by intercepting the waves broadcast from a radio station. The action enables the radio receivers to pick these electrical signals up and relay them to the radio system. The radio system converts these signals into meaningful/decipherable information that’s being broadcast at the FM radio station. (1)

Let’s get started!

Making the Antenna

As aforementioned, making an FM radio antenna is an easy process and only requires a few tools to accomplish. You will require the following set of tools and materials:

rolled copper wire

  • Measuring tape
  • Pliers
  • 10-foot dual speaker wire
  • An extra set of dual speaker wire
  • Your FM Radio
  • A few nails (for hooking your antenna)
  • A hammer
  • A marker
  • A staple or a tape (2)

Procedure:

After assembling the necessary tools outlined above, follow this procedure (below) to make an FM antenna for your FM radio.

man cutting a wire with clipper

  1. Measure 3 feet of the dual speaker wire from the 10-foot length of the speaker wire. Mark this point.
  2. Now split the dual speaker wire into two at the 3-foot mark. Carve out the wire into a T-shape. Each of the 3-foot speaker wires should rest perpendicularly on the 7-foot length of the speaker wire.
  3. Remove the insulation coating on the leads of the antenna/dual wire. Using pliers (or a pair of wire strippers) strip a 2-inch section of the insulation cover from the tip of the dual speaker wire. Repeat the insulation layers stripping for the other dual speaker wire. Do this at the end of the remaining 7-foot length of the dual speaker wire.

Now you can connect the speaker wire to the FM radio receiver. Proceed to the connection section below to attach the speaker wire to the radio receiver.

Connecting the Speaker Wire to the FM Radio Receiver

Follow the steps below to install your antenna to the radio receiver:

man setting up a radio receiver

  1. Locate the external antenna connection. Check the rear part of your FM radio to identify the external antenna connection. You will see an Ext or Ant label; these are the connection points where you need to attach and fasten your antenna.
  2. Now wrap the two dual speaker wires or cables around the connection points on the rear section of your radio. Some connections require a clamp-and-hold mechanism. In such cases, you will need to clamp-and-hold to connect your dual speaker wire antenna.
  3. Next, wind the two wires into a single wire. Note that this is required only if the external antenna section is a single post or a clamp. Also, do not be afraid of getting a shock because there is no electrical current flowing in this connection.

Extending your Dual Speaker Wire Antenna

After successfully attaching the antenna to the receiver, now continue to extend the antenna. Follow these simple steps:

rolled red wire

  1. Position your FM radio receiver or even the entire stereo system close to a window. There is less obstruction to signal reception near the window hence a strong signal is picked up.
  2. Next, run the rest of the wire antenna under your window across the sill section.
  3. Now grab your hammer and drive a nail to the highest point possible outside the window. Twist the end of the wire antenna into a knot and hook it on the nail. Make sure the attachment is firm to prevent it from sliding off and falling to the ground.
  4. Finally, extend the 3-foot length wire in opposite directions. This action maximizes signal reception.

Adding Length

If you notice that the 3-foot length is too short or it does not reach the height of the window, add more length. To add the antenna length of wire, follow these steps:

  1. Next, split the dual speaker wire into halves, use your hands.
  2. Use the pliers to strip off the insulation layer from the end’s dual speaker wire.
  3. Obtain another set of speaker wires and cut a considerable length of wire. Remove the insulation to about 2-inches in length.
  4. Wind the extension (wire) to both ends of the dual speaker wire.
  5. Next, extend the wire and secure them on a wall with a finishing nail. Continue the FM radio antenna installation.

Checking the Reception

The final step is to establish the effectiveness of your FM radio antenna by verifying the signal reception.

Step1: To check the reception, turn on your radio receiver. And then check the level of signal reception for all target stations.

Step 2: If you are getting a weak signal, relocate the entire stereo system to another window location. Check the reception again for all the stations you want to listen to.

Step 3: If the signal reception is still poor, you may consider adding more wire to the FM antenna you just crafted.

Note:

I prefer using an insulated wire to craft an FM radio antenna. Naked wires offer a lot of challenges, touching a naked wire with bare hands affects the signal reception. Use insulated wires, specifically dual speaker wires, to construct an antenna for your FM stereo system.

To make your FM antenna receive a strong signal, consider using an outdoor antenna setup instead of an indoor setup. An outdoor position enables efficient signal reception hence improving your FM radio experience.

Wrapping Up

Constructing an FM antenna for an FM radio system from a dual speaker wire can be done at home. With this detailed guide, you can craft your FM radio antenna that picks up a clear signal; without a technician’s help. I hope this article helps you to build your FM radio antenna. 

Take a look at some of our related articles below.





References
(1) information – https://www.techtarget.com/searchdatamanagement/
definition/information
(2) tape – https://www.homedepot.com/c/ab/types-of-tape/9ba683603be9fa5395fab90ec832572

About the author 

John Temple