Intro: FM Antenna Over Ethernet
Problem: I ran cat6 and coax throughout my house. But for some reason the notion of installing an extra coax or simple antenna wire never occurred to me. Now I have no way of using my nice FM tuner unless I hang an ugly dipole from the wall.
Solution: I have an extra Ethernet connection available near my audio equipment. I simply used the cat 6 run as an extension - allowing me to hang a dipole antenna in my data closet out of site.
Step 1: Tuner Side
(pictures could be provided if there is adequate interest)
I made the connection at the tuner by putting an rj45 connection on one end of the cable. Then at the other end I simply unjacketed about 1.5 inches of wire. then stripped off one inch of insulation from all 8 wires. Then I twisted 2 pairs into one bundle and the other 2 pairs in the other. Then connecting one of each of the wire bundles to the two FM antenna connectors on the tuner. The pairs you use doesn't matter just as long as you stay consistent. I used the Blue pair and green pair together and the orange and brown pair together.
Step 2: Antenna Side
At the other end in my data closet, I basically repeated the process.
1) Putting a rj45 connector on one end of my cable (using the same wiring order as the connector at the tuner end)
2) then I measured to see how much extra wire is needed to get the antenna dipole up and way from the wiring hub. ***
3) then I added another 50cm of wire
4) then I stripped a full 50cm of jacket off.
5) then stretched approximately 49cm of the Blue/Green pair along one half of a 100+cm dowel , and then stretched the other 49 cms of orange/brown pair along the other half. Then i firmly taped them to the dowel to ensure they don't sag (apparently keeping both legs the same length is essential).
*** in case you dont know better - DONT attach your antenna to your router/hub - you want only dead wire - no network traffic anywhere near your antenna.
Step 3: Where It Might Be Improved
I suspect there is a person out there with some RF knowledge that could fill me in on some balancing issues - but hey it definitely works!
1) I suspect I didnt need all 4 pairs to make the antenna. And if a person didn't have a full ethernet connection avaialble they could just pull a couple pairs off an existing ethernet or availalble phone line to do the same (being very cautious abour any current in the phone or network connections)
2) Sure I could have bought a digital tuner and used that on the ethernet - but that would have been more expensive.
3) I suspect the same could be done for AM tuning - simply eliminating the dipole and using the ethernet as a long wire antenna.