How to Amplify an FM Radio Signal

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The easiest way to amplify an FM radio signal is with a signal booster.

Poor FM signal reception can ruin a radio program. Depending on the station and radio, the signal strength and quality varies. Fortunately there are inexpensive ways of amplifying an FM radio signal. Store-bought power boosters cost between $20 and $60, with a $60 signal booster being extremely powerful. These boosters also require very minimal assembly. However, it's less expensive to build an FM signal amplifier at home.


Step 1

Fully extend the radio's existing antenna and move the radio to a location that is high and free from objects that may obstruct the signal. For example, if the radio is located in the basement, move it to a room on the top floor near a window. Point the antenna toward the location of the FM signal. To find the signal, move the antenna around until the signal is strongest (and the radio program sounds the clearest).


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Step 2

Purchase a wave loop antenna (sometimes called a wire loop antenna) or dipole FM antenna. Both of these can be purchased for relatively cheap (under $20) at most electronics stores like Circuit City. Connect the antenna to the radio. Most of these antennas will have a clip to attach to the existing radio's antenna, thereby boosting its signal. Alternatively, some radios will have a specific port at the back with a connection for an auxiliary antenna.


Step 3

Set up the antenna. The ideal place for it is the roof. Lay it flat on the roof and hold it in place using a staple gun to secure it to the roof shingles. You can also prop the antenna up against a chimney or let it stand on its own. If it is propped up, secure it to the roof by drilling screws through the antenna base and roof. Just remember that if the antenna is on the roof, it may attract lightening, so disconnect it from the radio during thunderstorms.


If you can't put the antenna on the roof, a window will also work. Affix the antenna to the window frame so that it covers as much of the window as possible.

Step 4

After the antenna is set up, you can bring the wire from the antenna to any location. For example, the radio and its speakers could be in the basement, with the wire running to the antenna on the roof. The wire should always be connected to the antenna, as it simply connects the roof antenna to the radio's existing antenna.


Bringing the wire down is easy. Simply bring the wire from the antenna into the house and run it through the house until it reaches the radio, using wire extensions where necessary. The average antenna wire is between five and 10 feet and an extension costs less than $5 from any electronics store. Connect the radio's antenna to the wire by wrapping the wire around the radio's antenna or using the wire's connector, if available.




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