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Occasionally I am asked, "What type of antenna should I use?"  An antenna can be as simple as 10 feet of wire stretched out on the floor, behind the furniture.   If you want superior reception a high and long out door antenna may be for you.  Below is an exert from a National communications receiver manual.  The length L of figure 2-3 Doublet (dipole) is calculated by 468/frequency in Megahertz. You can use the 300 ohm twin lead wire sometimes available from Radioshack, Lowe's or Home Depot.


A commercially available Doublet example is the EAVES TWIN "Eavesdropper".  It is a complete outdoor antenna with Twin Lead wire, Traps for multiple bands & frequencies and insulators.  It is currently selling for about $100 from AES .  AES and other places provide additional antennas including indoor loops, and outdoor vertical whip with an indoor control box.  This is not an endorsement for any particular produce or vendor.  


For my shop antenna I have a "Single Wire Type".  A simple random length (about 70-90 feet) of wire vertically shot up into the tree tops with a sling shot and a fishing reel.  It works great.

I pulled a length of green weed whacker line up in to the trees with the fishing line from a reel.  Then attached  a spool of surplus wire from a Hamfest.  Then used the green trimmer line to pull the wire up into the tree top.  In the shop I have an old time science fair SPDT knife switch.  The knife is connected to the antenna, one connector contact side to the lead wire attached to the radio and the other connection with a wire to ground.  I ground the antenna when not in use.  The surplus wire cost me about 5 bucks, the knife switch I had laying around,  Walmart sling shot $9 and the reel about $6.  



FM Antenna


Some radios incorporate a twin lead dipole antenna stapled inside the wooden cabinets.  Some bakelite and plastic radios also have a dipole antenna.  But an external antenna that can be rotated and moved for better reception is sometimes desirable or needed.  

These antenna are easy to make if you are handy with a soldering iron.  Sometimes purchasing these antenna pre made is much less complicated and sometimes just as economical.  Finding twin lead wire in short lengths can be nearly impossible.  Below are examples of where to buy a simple Twin lead Dipole FM antenna.  Position it for best reception of your desired radio station.

FM Dipole Antenna from MCM Eletronics



These banana jacks have a nut.  Place the spade end of the Dipole under the nut and tighten.  These are just about perfect for this application.  But they come in packs of 20.  

  Home Depot

Recycle an old pair of TV Rabbit Ears for your FM radio needs. Simple ones are best.  

Dipole FM Antenna 

FM Dipole Antenna from RadioShack.

Banana Plug 4.0mm Diameter (2-Pack)

Solderless Banana plugs

Replace the spade connectors (used under screw terminals) with Banana jacks for European style radios.

Crimp on Jacks from Home Depot.

Banana Jacks fit nicely into the European style radio antenna terminals.  


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