How to Make a Homemade AM Antenna

By Johnathan Cronk

AM radio broadcasting uses amplitude modulation. Because of AM radio's low frequency and clarity, it mainly broadcasts news, talk radio and sports shows. AM radio signals are disrupted by tall, metal buildings and electrical noise, such as electrical motors or lightning. To increase the radio's AM frequency, try building your own AM antenna at home.

Things You'll Need

  • Two 1-inch x ½- inch x 17-inch pieces of wood
  • One 2-inch x 4-inch x 24-inch piece of wood
  • #22 insulated wiring
  • Wire cutters
  • Nails

Step 1

Nail together a cross-shaped support frame that measures 17 inches by 17 inches, using two 1x½-inch pieces of wood. Be sure to hammer a small nail at the end of each piece, which will later be used for wire.

Step 2

Using the 2x4-inch piece of wood as the base, nail cross frame into the center of the wood base.

Step 3

With the #22 insulated wire, wrap the cross frame from corner to corner. Do this four times around the entire cross. The nails at the end of each piece will hold the wire in place. Be sure to leave extra wiring at the end that can be attached to the radio.

Step 4

Coil the ends of the wire around each other. Coil one turn for every half-inch of wire used. Remove the insulation of the wire, using wire strippers, and secure the bare ends to the AM inputs on the radio. Tune the radio to your favorite AM station and enjoy clear reception.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure the radio is unplugged when connecting the antenna to the radio.