How to Make an AM Radio Antenna

By Techwalla Contributor

Modern radios typically contain two antennas. The FM antenna is the metal rod that extends and swivels. The AM antenna is normally inside the radio. An AM antenna is made up of wire wrapped into a loop. Over time, these antennas can lose their power and are difficult to repair. An external antenna can be made to improve the reception of any radio.

Things You'll Need

  • 22 gauge insulated wire
  • Wire Strippers
  • Small nails
  • Hammer
  • Wood glue
  • 24-inch long 2x4
  • Two 17-inch wood slats (1-inch wide, 1/2-inch thick)

Step 1

Nail the two slats of wood together so that they form a cross. Two small nails should be enough to hold them.

Step 2

Drive one small nail into the ends of the all the slats. Put them as close to the end as possible without cracking the wood.

Step 3

Lay the 2x4 flat on a surface. Put a 1-inch line of wood glue directly in the center of the 2x4. Take the slats and stick one end in the glue so that it is standing straight up like a cross. Hold it together until it dries.

Step 4

Wrap the wire tightly around the nail at the bottom of the cross three times so it stays in place. Take the wire and bring it around the nail on the left, then around the top nail, then around the right nail and back to the bottom. Wrap it around all four nails three more times.

Step 5

Wrap the wire around the bottom nail three times. Unravel the wire until it sticks out about 2 feet from the antenna and cut it.

Step 6

Strip the ends of the wire and attach it to your radio. The antenna input should be located on the back of the radio.