How to Build a Copper Wire Antenna

By Nichole Liandi

Simple copper wire antennas can be effectively designed to improve radio reception over a variety of frequency ranges. One of the most common designs is the dipole antenna, a copper wire antenna consisting of two equal legs. The average do-it-yourselfer can easily build a dipole antenna with basic tools and materials.

Things You'll Need

  • Calculator
  • Tape measure
  • 14-gauge copper wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Small block of wood
  • Two wood screws
  • 300-ohm to 75-ohm transformer
  • Rope
  • RG-6 coaxial cable with F-type connectors

Step 1

Calculate the length of your antenna, by dividing 143 by the frequency you wish the antenna to be tuned to in megahertz. For example for an antenna tuned 88 mHz, divide 143 by 88. Take the resulting number and divide by two—this will give you length of each leg of the antenna, in meters.

Step 2

Cut two lengths of copper wire to the dimensions you determined in the first step.

Step 3

Screw two woodscrews, one inch apart, into a small block of wood.

Step 4

Wrap one end of each piece of wire around a wood screw.

Step 5

Slide the spade connectors of the transformer under the woodscrews, one connector to each screw. Tighten the screws down so that the wires and space connectors of the transformer are securely fastened against the block of wood.

Step 6

Connect one end of your RG-6 cable to the transformer, and the other end to the antenna terminal of your receiver.

Step 7

Twist a small loop onto the end of each piece of wire. Tie a piece of rope onto each loop and use the ropes to suspend the antenna.