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The signal of FM radios is determined by the distance between the tower and the receiver. There remains a receiver without any antenna. It remains connected to the radio.

Though the receiver gets a good signal, there remain threats of interference issues. Also, the fluctuations with a signal are quite noticeable as well. A regularly availed antenna can establish the signal through powerful stations.

Additionally, it lets the receiver to identify stations with weaker transmitters at huge distances. It is not something obligatory, though.

But, knowing the functionality of the antenna helps in identifying the source of the problem. Naturally, one could take action when any kind of power issue appears.

What is a single wire antenna?

A single wire antenna is an elongated wire that remains suspended above the surface. Here the distinguishing aspect is that the length of it has no association with the wavelength of the radios.

It is indeed among the most convenient of all for its simplicity. Though the wire remains straight, one can stretch forward and backward. Such little adjustment is essential to have enough wire in the air.

How does a single wire antenna work on the radio?

When the user transmits a signal, it is received and delivered back with the specific signal. The size of the single wire antenna often varies as per its ability to receive frequency.

How long is the wire antenna good for better reception/frequency?

It is dependent upon the frequency that it has to deal with or the wavelength of the dipole. In general, the length of the dipole antenna is kept fifty percent of the resonant frequency of the antenna.

On a general note, an antenna of around 15 inches is enough to ensure the highest rate of reception.

How to make an FM antenna from speaker wire?

The following components are needed to make an FM antenna using speaker wire.

  • Speaker wire of at least 1200 inches
  • An FM receiver with a proper clamp fixing arrangement
  • General wire strippers.

Steps of How To Improve FM Signal on Radio with A Single Wire Antenna

01. First, the speaker wire of around three feet is torn. Now take a cutting instrument to distinct the upper sections of the speaker wire, separating those.

It means there should be a spit wire of around three feet, along the intact wire of about eight feet.

02. Give it (speaker wire) the form of the letter ‘T’. One can twist the terminals of the split wire to do this, by keeping it perpendicular to the intact wire.

03. Now strip a couple of inches from below of the speaker wire. Make use of the wire stripper in doing this. It makes a couple of naked wires apparent at the terminal of ‘T’ shaped, as discussed above.

04. Next, look for the connectivity of the receiver antenna. Both these connections are having ‘FM EXT’ on the body. It can be ‘ANT EXT’ as well, though the ‘FM EXT’ is mostly found in proximity to the connection.

One must also find the terms like ‘Balanced’ written in the vicinity of the desired contact. One can see ‘BAL’ written as well.

05. Now it’s time to link the bottom end of the ‘T’ along with the receiver. Use naked wires there available in ‘T’ shape to link with each of connections of FM.

06. In case the only option available is FM, one may go for twisting a couple of bare wires at the terminal of ‘T’.

07. When it comes to positioning the antenna, it is better to keep it as high as possible. Moreover, one can keep it with the utmost proximity to the available station.

On certain occasions, it often means connecting the antenna with the wall top. One can operate with it externally as well. However, the user has to keep adjusting with slight movements for making this possible.

How to connect the 75-ohm antenna to a single wire antenna FM tuner?

First of all, one needs to find the perfect receiver that meets well with the fitting of an F-type. One can use this for the coax.

In a situation when the point of transmission is too far, it requires a separate antenna. In short, one can get through the receivers available with the single wire antennas.

How to improve FM signal on the radio with a single wire antenna?

FM signal can enhance through a single wire antenna. All that it needs is a little customization. Check out the elements one needs for the same and the process of doing the customization.

Items You Will Need

There is a difference between a yet-to-be installed antenna and the one already installed. As the case is about an antenna that is already there, the following products are needed.

  • Wire strippers.
  • Measurement tape.
  • Light gauge double conductor insulated wire.
  • Electrical tape.
  • Setup hardware.
  • Dipole antenna.


All these things mentioned above are not too expensive. However, the overall cost is dependent upon the price of these at the local market.

Upon having the hardware, the only thing that costs a little is the double conductor insulated wire. On the whole, one can achieve the entire thing at the expense of around $40.


It is purely dependent upon the knowledge of the user about a single wire antenna. For an expert, the initial setup should take a maximum of 40 minutes.

Rest, it’s about the adjustments and getting signals. If one does things as per the instruction, the whole task should not take more than one or one-half hours.

DIY: Customizing the Antenna

The initial step is about customizing the antenna to get the signals effectively. Check out the steps below.

Step 1. One can start the process by disconnecting the antenna from the radio. When it remains in connection with radio, one should drag the antenna plug out of the jack. In general, this can be spotted at the rear part of the tuner.

One may relax the screws as well acting as the antenna terminals over the tuner. Loosening the screw one can easily remove the wire. After the screw is made loose, the antenna should be elongated to its best size. It helps in boosting the rate of reception.

Step 2. After one takes the antenna out, the same can be linked back with the tuner. One can now turn on the radio and connect with the desired station. Once the desired station is connected, one can stretch the antenna terminal to its maximum.

However, it is recommended that one should move little by little. The best strategy would be to move from one side to the other for best positioning.

In case the radio is at a favorable state with a strong signal, one should move across holding the antenna. It is essential to address whenever any variation of reception marked. Before that, ensure that the antennal size is considerably long.

It is here to note that the antenna size plays a crucial role in deciding the rate of receiving a signal. The best suggestion is to take it to the top of the roof. It’s commonsense that height gives better radio signals. Keep it on until one doesn’t get the best signal.

Step 3. Post completion of the initial two stapes, the next task is about taping the antenna in a perfect state. However, this should be provisional. One should only go with permanent taping post getting healthy and effective signal.

On most occasions, the signal efficacy comes down when the wire gets loosen. But this is not as big as in issue as often considered. One simply has to make minor adjustments with the antenna position.

Just keep adjusting unless one gets the full signal strength. Make sure that one can’t merely touch the wire. Also, you may move across the room where the radio is there.

At the same time, ensure that there is no interference of the signal. No need to worry even if there is any interference; little tweaking can do the job.

After one gets the signal with perfection, then it may go for establishing the antenna safely. Make sure that one encloses the terminals well across a spike within the wall.

There are advanced FM antennas one may opt for in modern times for enhancing the signal, those who are not so confident.

Boosting The Signals

After the antenna is thoroughly customized, one may simply move for enhancing the signal. Follow the steps below to achieve the same.

  • Enlarge the power cord of the radio, making it straight enough for catching the higher signal. This strategy works for most radios.
  • Now set the stereo sound as ‘Mono’.
  • Elongate the antenna gradually and adjust from various angles. It enhances the reception rate and thus, the signal.
  • Take the radio closer to the window. Positioning the radio closer to the window can help enhance signal reception. It also helps in minimizing the hindrance, and the signals received from the exterior. Keep in mind that the signals appear from the exterior, as per the position of the transmitting tower.
  • Get a dipole antenna and connect it with the FM input section. It comes in a T-shape and is available in electronic stores. It is quite useful for boosting the radio signal.
  • Upon the dipole antenna that’s linked with the FM insertion of radio, carefully take the wire available while scanning.
  • An external antenna must be available too. It is necessary for those who live at a considerable distance from the point of transmission. To be specific, it is essential for those who live in rural areas.
  • Once the successful installation of the antenna completes, connect it with the radio through the wire. But, make sure that the antenna is in place before this over the roof. The best suggestion would be positioning the antennal in parallel with the surface. Moreover, one should not tilt in any way. Signal reception is always good when one keeps the antenna parallel.

FAQ of How To Improve FM Signal on Radio with A Single Wire Antenna

What should be done for maintaining the FM signal?

FM antennas can be equally productive as of TVs. All that it takes is to make use of splitters, to channel the signals well to the device. The good news is that FM antennas are much cost-effective in modern times.

What’s the best height to position the antenna?

The antennas at greater height indeed catch better signals. But, it is also vital to ensure that the height is reachable when needed to rotate or adjust.

What is the advantage of putting aluminum foil on the antenna?

The purpose of wrapping aluminum foil across the antenna is meant to grow the surface area of it. It also boosts the conductivity to enhance the signal. However, this strategy applies to TVs, mostly.

What are the primary factors that affect signal reception?

Though there are various technical and mechanical factors, signal reception gets affected mostly due to height and distance from the point of obstruction.


FM signal can undoubtedly be improved using a single wire antenna, upon knowing its (single wire antenna’s) functionality.

As evident, the efficacy of the reception of the signal is dependent upon various factors, including the length.

Those who are not having enough experience in these things may go with antennas made up of natural boosters. However, one should not disturb the antenna unnecessarily.

No undesired enhancement tools should also be used. Most importantly, safety aspects should be kept in mind. In this context, one must keep a hand dry while dealing with the FM antennas and must wear protective gear.

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1 thought on “How To Improve FM Signal on Radio with A Single Wire Antenna”

  1. Hi,
    I would like to know why my old Sony receiver Model STR-DE515 works well on FM without an exterior antenna ? I live on the 4 th floor of my building..!
    But also my problem is that the tuning buttons/memory/preset/mode/etc…all seem frozen…
    I am stuck on one FM station only and cannot switch to another one..!
    I saw a video of a clean-up done after disassembling the whole unit and washing the inside of the buttons with water and a brush.. ??!!
    Any truth in that ? Thank you


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