FM Transmitter Telescoping Antenna




Sick and tired of interference with your FM transmitter? Sure, you can ignore it most of the time, but we all know that country music seeping in and out of you enjoying your podcast is slowly driving you insane. The answer: add one big vintage telescoping antenna. Will it improve performance? MAYBE. But in your mind, all will be crystal clear.

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Step 1: Choose Your Transmitter!

The first thing you need will of course be the FM transmitter. They are sold at essentially every store that sells DAPs, as well as most truck stops and many grocery stores. I prefer the analog variety as opposed to the type that actually displays the broadcast frequency, although they do have a limited range. Just try to avoid the low cost models that have a toggle switch that allows you to choose one of four pre-selected frequencies. Unless you live in the middle of nowhere. I chose the (discontinued) SI-Link FM transmitter (http://www.si5.com, mainly because it was on clearance at my local Target store. They sell a similar one now, which I imagine is exactly the same as the discontinued model, but physically more iPod like.

Step 2: Disassembly Begins

Open the transmitter, and remove the batteries. This will prevent short-circuits and give you access to the screws that hold the case together.

Step 3: Case Modification

Time to add an access point for your antenna. I used a Dremel tool with a #199 high speed cutting bit, but a heated screwdriver will do in a pinch.

Step 4: Adding the Antenna.

Now we add our antenna. I used a low-wattage soldering iron and a piece of scrap wire to attach it to our transmitter.

Step 5: Mount the Antenna in the Case.

Here, we press the antenna into the case. Dremel or melt accordingly. Add some super glue or epoxy when antenna is in desired location.

Step 6: Reassemly

Reassemble the case by replacing the screws. Then, see if it works!

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    10 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Cracked my transmitter open but there's no wire antenna. Here are pictures (actually they're scans) of both sides of the board, can someone tell me where the antenna is, so I can replace it? I was thinking it was one of the copper coils, but im not sure.

    1 reply

    10 years ago on Step 4

    "Now we add our antenna"? A tad more detail, please. I'm assuming you are simply desoldering the internal antenna and attaching it to an external rod antenna?

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 4

    Hey thanks a lot for posting that pic. I had a suspicion that that was the antenna, but I wasn't sure, so again, thanks. How much did adding the antenna help?


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I was doing the same thing with a WiFi Antenna a while back... that was until I shorted the transmitter. I feel sad now.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    i want to make mine connect to mcdonalds and order like 1000 big macs LOL :D cool instructable. :D


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Nice simple easy to follow instructions. Looks better then the 24G wire I have coming out of my FM transmitter . Have you tested the range ?

    1 reply

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I've noticed an improvement in range and the transmitter now works through walls: I broadcast to my shower radio while keeping my humongous and ugly DAP safely away from moisture.