How To Make a Simple Powerful AM Loop Antenna For Free

AM-loop-3There are few truly magical things in this world that are practically free.
This DIY AM antenna is best used outdoors but you can make it work inside by somehow re-routing the wires. It amplifies all weak AM signals, so a powerful local station might be heard over your entire AM radio dial.

Here is what you need:

• 100′ or more of any type of insulated wire you can easily work with
• Twist or Zip ties or tape to hold the shape of the coil
• (2) alligator clips (available at most electronics stores)
• (1) three or four foot ground stake (any metal stake or 1/2″ diameter or greater pipe)
• (1) adjustable pipe clamp that fits around your metal stake

1. Form a three inch coil with seven turns. Secure into a round shape with ties or tape. The attached alligator clip shown below will be connected to no less than 60′ of your antenna wire. Generally the longer the antenna wire the better so if you have a 100′ antenna wire, that’s good.

2. The other end (not shown) of the coil will go to the ground stake so leave enough wire. The ground stake can be driven into a convenient and safe place nearby.

3. For maximum reception, stretch the antenna wire out perpendicular to the station you want to listen to. That means if you draw a make-believe line toward the station, you want to lay the antenna wire out 90 degrees to that imaginary line. You can mount the wire at any height, but consider eight feet for safety.

4. Bare the end of the antenna wire (I use a knife or diagonal pliers) and clip it to the coil. You really don’t need the alligator clips, but it is much more reliable than twisting wire together.

5. Our antenna did not work on the pipe we used until we sanded the rust away on a small section under the clamp. What you can’t see is that the dirt is damp. This is also important to make the ground work. If you have bone dry soil you may have to dump quite a bit of water on the dirt to make the soil more conductive. Clip the wire to the clamp.

6. Grand Magic Test: Tune your radio to a very weak station. You don’t need a signal meter but it is fun to watch it register the gain. Move the coil near the radio until you hear the station improve. You don’t actually attach this antenna to the radio. The coil intensifies the signal which is inductively picked up by the ferrite antenna inside the radio. A 1400 KHz station in our area went from “no discernible signal” to “full power”. Please let us know of your successes or failures so fellow listeners can benefit from your experiences.

You can experiment with the diameter of the coil, the number of turns and the length of antenna wire you use. If you want to see some other great AM antennas try searching am loop antenna DIY. We would love it if you send a comment and/or picture that we can post.

This antenna works great on the AM band because of the properties of these frequencies. Loop antennas can work on other frequencies also but need some modification because of the frequency property differences. There are probably some discoveries to be made in the future with loop antenna research.

As always, we value your opinion and encourage questions. Please feel free to contact us or leave a comment.





12 Responses to “How To Make a Simple Powerful AM Loop Antenna For Free”

  1. Clayguy Says:

    Thanks for the info. Even though my CCrane radio gets great AM reception, I’m going to see if it gets any better.

  2. Alton Rigby Says:

    A station about 30 miles from me just cut their power way down. I am going to try your tips to see if I can pick them up again. Thanks for the tips and the quality products you guys furnish. There is so much cheap junk out there anymore, I hone in when I find a good vendor. Thanks

  3. Kevin Podpora Says:

    Just unpacked my CC Radio-EP. Too bad it won’t pull in the station I bought it for. I bought this model because it has antenna in-puts. I plan to put a roof top
    anntena up, but am not finding a sutable schematic online. Please advise

  4. Paul Carpenter Says:

    Hi there. Must the insulated wire be single strand and what diameter is recommended?
    Many thanks
    Paul in South Africa
    PS Trying to increase signal strength of LM radio broadcasting on 702 am from Maputo Mozambique to Johannesburg

  5. Richard Says:

    How do i set up a inside loop antenna

  6. james barclay Says:

    I’ve been hearing on Coast To Coast AM what great AM reception C. Crane radios have. (Especially with this new chip). Now I’m a bit worried since if I buy an emergency radio I’ll need great broadcast reception to keep up morale i.e. listening to the sane part of the outside world. (I’ve been out to sea in a bad squall and nothing but NOAA and USCG contact and it gets LONELY out there.)

  7. Christian Says:

    I have tried this at home…but i still have a lot of noise even if i have a good ground stake….so for me it didn’t work!!
    I have about 100′ of wire….

    • C. Crane Says:

      Are you using copper or steel grounding steaks? Copper is the best conductor. Is the soil somewhat moist or completely dry? Slightly moist soil is better. Also is the radio run on AC or batteries? If AC, there could be 60-cycle noise that is being injected.


    11/19/17 – I don’t understand your connections. You have 1)the coil, 2)the long antenna wire, 3)the ground stake & clip. What connects to what? Surely you don’t mean to connect the antenna wire to ground? –reid

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