External Antenna for Emergency Weather Radio




Introduction: External Antenna for Emergency Weather Radio

I picked up a fairly new weather radio from Oregon Scientific (Model WR102) at a consignment outfitter recently. Unfortunately, due to my location, I couldn't get any signal using just the onboard antenna. I decided to rectify this situation, and make a detachable antenna for when I needed better signal. Sorry for the picture quality my camera kinda sucks and I can't afford to get a new one at the moment.

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Step 1: Materials and Tools

For this project, you won't really need very much.
Small phillips head screwdriver
Wire stripper
Soldering iron and solder (if desired, I did not use mine)
Small magnet

several feet of very narrow-gauge wire(I used about 24 gauge)
Crimp-on releasable connectors
External antenna (I salvaged mine from a clock radio)

Step 2: Crack Open the Casing

To open up the case, you need to remove four screws. Two are just outside the battery compartment, and two are on the inside. While you're doing this, make sure not to lose the thin gasket that waterproofs the batteries. Set these screws aside, and try not to lose them. Then gently pry the case open. It may catch a bit, but just keep at it

Step 3: Unscrew the Existing Antenna

For this step, you will need to get access to the small built-in antenna. To do so, you need to unscrew three small screws in the upper pcb of the radio, and then unscrew the antenna from the case. Hold on to the very small screw that held the two together. This is where a magnetized screwdriver comes in handy.

Step 4: Drill the Hole for the Antenna

I forgot to take photos for this step while I was doing it, but you need to drill a very narrow hole through the casing between the existing antenna and the headphone jack. This will be sealed with superglue later. Go very gently, as you don't want to go through too fast and damage the internals.

Step 5: Attach the New Antenna Wire

Now, you're going to thread the wiring you will be using for the antenna through the hole in the casing made in the previous step. Then, strip about 3/4" off the end, and wrap it around the screw that was holding the antenna in place. Now replace the screw in the same manner that it was in previously. You could also simply solder the wire onto the main board, but i'm not very skilled at soldering and didn't want to try it.

Step 6: Reassemble Everything!

You're almost done! Just reassemble the whole thing, losing about half the screws in the process. Then put a small dab of superglue on the outside of the case where the wire comes out, so as to waterproof it.

Step 7: You're Done!

Now that you've got the wire coming out, you can just leave it like that, or put some detachable crimped connectors on it to extend your range even further. I forgot to document that portion. Either way, enjoy your crystal-clear connection!

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    8 Discussions


    7 years ago on Step 3

    If you did this to a walkie talkie do you think it would interfere with the quality of transmissions over the predetermined frequencies?


    Reply 3 years ago

    FCC Rules make it illegal to modify the antenna of any GMRS radio. They are only legal if you use the provided antenna.

    SO you can NOT do this modification on a radio with a transmitter in it.


    7 years ago on Step 7

    What did you use the magnet for? I didn't see it used.

    The Insomniac
    The Insomniac

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I used it to magnetize my screwdriver so I wouldn't lose all the tiny screws. As it is I never recovered three of them.

    camping crazy

    Your pics rock compared to mine!! I just use my ipod look at my instructables and youll see how crappy mine are lol


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I have the same weather radio. I had to really play with the radio to find the channel button. Once I did locate the channel that was closest to my home, the sound is crystal clear.

    Put the batteries in the radio. Press the NOAA button on the top right hand side of the radio. Then press the channel button until the letter at the top of the screen located on the left hand side starts to flash. Use the volume buttons on the left side of the radio to change the channel. The channels are listed from A through G.

    I included the directions above for anyone else who has this radio, but does not know how to set the channel closest to their home.