DIY: FM Antenna Booster

By Marshal M. Rosenthal

Low powered FM transmissions are difficult to pick up by conventional FM antennas. To increase the reception capabilities of the antenna, add a do-it-yourself booster to the antenna. You can make the booster to add to the antenna from a few supplies purchased at a hardware store or from an electronics supplier--no specialized electronic equipment required. A few common household tools will be needed as well.

Things You'll Need

  • 12-gaugae electric cord spool
  • Utility knife
  • Tape measure
  • Electrical tape
  • Wire strippers
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Duct tape

Step 1

Strip 1/2 inch of insulation from the two wires at one end of the electric cord on the spool--use the wire strippers to remove the insulation.

Step 2

Measure 5 feet from the end of the cord. Wrap a strip of electrical tape around the cord at the five foot mark. Measure 31 1/2 inches from the electrical tape. Cut the cord from the spool at the 31 1/2 -inch mark with the wire cutters.

Step 3

Slit through the insulation between the two wires at the end of the cut cord with the utility knife. Continuing slitting through the insulation between the two wires until you reach electrical tape.

Step 4

Loosen the two screws on the back of the FM radio with the Phillips screwdriver. Remove the two wires wound around each of the screws that are attached to the FM antenna.

Step 5

Wrap the end of one of the two wires from the FM antenna around one of the exposed ends from the electric cord--twirl the two ends of the wire around each other using your fingers. Repeat this with the other exposed end of the electric cord and the other wire from the FM antenna.

Step 6

Wrap one of the two sets of wires around one of the two screws on the back of the FM radio. Screw the screw in with the Phillips screwdriver. Wrap the other set of wires around the other screw on the back of the FM radio. Screw the screw in with the Phillips screwdriver as well.

Step 7

Hold each of the two ends of the electric cord. Stretch the ends from each other and place them against a nearby wall so that they form a "T" shape. Tape each end to the wall with a strip of duct tape.