FM Antenna to improve crappy radio

99% of radios don’t have antenna input jacks. I live in an area that necessitates an external antenna for decent FM reception. What can I do?

I have a 30 foot tower that can be utilized, but impedance matching is a mystery to me, so please be kind.

Is your radio one of the 99% or one of the 1%?

More to the point, what is it? That makes all the difference.

You can build a passive repeater antenna, they require very little to do, but knowing what you have, and what the constraints are would help.

Francis: I’m referring to the 99%, garden variety $50 tabletop radio with a telescoping antenna. At various times over the years, I’ve attached an external antenna to such radios by simply twisting the leads onto the rabbit ear, but that never seems to work. It either has little/no effect, or one relatively strong signal will bleed across multiple areas of the FM band.

No, twisting leads onto the antenna won’t work.

What I would do is make a passive repeater. If you already have an outside antenna, and have the coaxial cable fed into the room - connect a small FM antenna to the feed. If your tabletop radio is within a metre or so of this antenna it will get a good signal radiated from the second antenna.

The inside antenna can be as simple as a dipole - indeed it is probably a good idea that it is. FM band is 88-108MHz. This is a fairly wide band, so something that has a bit of bandwidth might help. A simple folded dipole should work pretty well. You can make one easily from little more than some folded aluminium strip and a cheap balun.

OTOH, this is a lot of effort to improve a $50 radio. In the modern age you probably might do better to explore the other options to get the audio you want. Is there a specific station you want to listen to? Does it stream on the internet? A whole range of cost effective options open up if you can do this.

A clever solution, thank you very much!
Odd as it sounds, I enjoy listening to local/regional radio. Also, the nearest PBR has a preferable schedule for me… I just can’t pick up a good signal.

Again, thanks.