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Extending the Wire Length of a
Typical Wind Up Reel Type
Shortwave Antenna to Improve Shortwave
This simple modification
will help increase your shortwave reception!
A bonus is that it
only cost pennies!
The optional shortwave antenna reel thay many people buy
to increase the reception of their portable shortwave radio will help
reception some, but due to the shorter length of the extention
antenna inside the reel, it may still not provide you with an adequate
signal for those weaker shortwave radio stations.
By using this
modification to the length of the wire in the reel, it will certainly help
Typical Shortwave Reel type external
Pictured above is a typical
wind up reel type shortwave antenna extension.
It is used to attach to the telescoping
antenna that comes with most portable shortwave radio receivers to help
increase the reception of shortwave stations an make better reception
possible than using just the short telescoping portable radio
Most reel type antenna extensions are a typical
length of about 20 feet or more extended, but sometimes leave much to
be desired when the shortwave signals are weak.
article describes how to add an additional length of antenna wire to
the existing wire that comes rolled up inside the reel that should enhance
your shortwave radio listening pleasure.
First you must determine that the wire stored inside the reel is
NOT spring loaded to help with winding back the extended antenna
wire when storing the antenna wire when not in use. If it is,
then you must take care when using this modification to NOT let the wire
be pulled completely inside the real after the end is cut! If it does,
then you may not be able to get it back out where you can add the
extension to it!
You must assure that the wire WILL NOT BE PULLED BACK INSIDE
modification, you will be cutting the end of the antenna wire coming from
the reel a few inches from the end clip that would
normally attach to the telescoping antenna on the radio in this
You should not need anything but an
additional length of wire to extend the original length coming from the
reel except some electrical tape. The wire you chose should be insulated
and not bare. The choice of the length and diameter of the extra wire
to be added is yours. Remember that the larger the diameter of wire, the
more weight it has. Standard speaker type wire works well. Split the 2
conductors in half length wise and use one single length of it.
can in most cases add wire from a few feet to as many as your room area
will allow. A good length to experiment with is about 40 to 50 feet long
including the wire that is extended from the reel. So if
the original wire inside the reel extends to say 20 feet, then by
adding an additional 20 to 30 feet for your antenna, it should work
fine and help increase your reception of stronger signals.
are, as an example, using the radio in a room that is say, 15 by 15 feet,
then the maximum wire to be added should not be more than about 15 times 4
or 60 feet if you spread the wire around the outer edges of the room near
the ceiling. You will have to determine how to support the wire with
whatever method you choose. Thumb tacks can be used as an example or those
stick on picture hangers that remove from paint easily. You will
have to decide if the wire will be temporary or permanent. Regardless of
whatever method you use to support the wire, it is best to keep it away
from house wiring that may be in the walls. High near the ceiling is
usually the best location.
The choice of the "direction" or layout
placement of the extra wire is yours since room dimensions vary from
home to home. You can experiment with "straight" wire or placement around
the edges of the room as needed for best reception. Even a zig zag pattern
could work fine for you. Experiment for best
Now to the actual
modification and addition of the extra length of wire. Refer
to picture below.
Location of main cut in original reel antenna
Measure about 4 to 5 inches from the end
connector toward the reel wire and cut the wire.
Do not let the wire going to the reel go inside the
Lay the end connector aside and save.
remove about 1 inch of the insulation from the wire coming out of the
reel. Do not cut the inner wire if possible or you will have to start
over. Remove any oxidation from the wire end. It should be bright colored
after the oxidation is removed.
Now do the same procedure above
with the wire you intend to add to the wire reel wire. You only need
to do one end of it.
bare end of the additional wire you intend to add by twisting
several turns around the wire end coming from the reel. Twist
tightly and cover with electrical tape. There is no need to solder the
connection unless you have the skills. Just make sure the "splice" is good
Now you should see your wire reel with the added length
of antenna wire leading to the connector.
Extend the full length from
the reel, stretch out the completed longer wire, connect to your
telescoping antenna on the radio and hang around your room as needed
for the space you have...connect the antenna end clip to the
radio antenna in whatever method works best for you. If by some chance the
clip will not fit the telescoping rod, which is rare, then just cut of the
end clip, bare the wire like in the above instructions and twist it around
the telescoping rod several time to make it
may solder the wire splice connection if you have the skills. You will get
a better connection than twisting the wires together.
You may wish
to store the "long wire" antenna by winding it back inside the reel....if
there is room for the extra length of wire.
An option for this
modification is to simply eliminate the reel and the wire it contains
and simply just splice the original telescoping antenna connector to a
longer wire that will extend the total length of the "new" antenna wire as
long as you have room for it. This is the simplest
It is highly recommended that you DO NOT put the
antenna wire outside due to lightning hazards.
If you want to
experiment with it outside, then get it up as high as possible to prevent
trip hazards and to aid the reception of shortwave signals. Don't place it
on or very near any large metal surfaces.
You may notice that after
you use the longer wire that you have more noise, this is normal and shows
that the antenna is improving the receiver!
See this link for how to build an
effective out door shortwave multiband antenna!
DO NOT PLACE
IT OVER, UNDER OR NEAR ANY POWER LINE. MURPHEY'S LAW STATES THAT.....THE
POWER LINE WILL FALL AND CREATE MUCH DANGER FOR