Coat hanger radio

Originally published at: Coat hanger radio | Boing Boing


Coat hanger is old hat. Tin foil ball is where it’s at.


We used to level up the coat hanger by popping the foil ball onto the end.


Now a word from the Coat Hanger spokesperson!





When I was a teenager there was a stray cable tv extension in my bedroom. (I didn’t have a tv in my bedroom.) So I hooked that up to my little boombox’s radio antenna and my radio reception improved quite a bit! I also was able to get VH1 on my radio, which was odd.


When I was a kid, I had a crystal radio that I hooked up to a coat hangar to improve reception. It worked great but I got tired of standing in the hall closet to listen to it.
On another note: I have an android tablet that has a radio app and requires earphones to be plugged in for use as an antenna. I use wireless earpods. Is the earphone wire a standard thing for tablets?


ooo my turn! we had an crotchety ol’ Ham (radio enthusiast) next door who’s signal was strong enough that it was picked up by some metal to metal contact in my crappy bed-springs. Oh the long nights when i had to hear one half of a conversation about how to de-worm the dog that he was having with someone in Port Townsend, (<insert call letters here> “QSL! QSL!”)


I think it is. I have a flip phone that offers FM radio, but only if you have the earphones plugged in. It makes sense… I wish I could get an FM app for my Pixel 3, but they disable that functionality for some reason that only makes sense to the lawyers and finance guys who ruin everything.

1 Like

They also served as makeshift antennae

Fun fact: antennae is the plural if you’re talking about the ones on insects, but antennas is the plural if you mean the one on a radio. Seems arbitrary, but there you go.


In Australia in the 70’s in the hoon and petrol heads culture it was customary to replace a broken car antenna with a coat hanger shaped into a map of Aus. Tasmania was always missing for obvious reasons.

Perhaps the shape of Australia has some form of ‘magical’ radio reception properties that could outperform the tinfoil ball.

NB. “hoon” is an onomatopoeic self description of young muscle care enthusiasts that describes the sound of a car passing by at high speed


I like it.

No…soap radio!

:wink: <— heh, the winkyface has a hyperlink to the joke, but it doesn’t show

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.