Boombox with External Antenna Jack

Boombox with External Antenna Jack: A Wider Reception

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In its inception, boomboxes were the solution that its inventors proposed to meet a growing interest in recording live radio broadcast unto magnetic cassette tapes. Several modern features like the player deck, CD players, and Bluetooth connectivity are later additions to the now infamous invention but making a comeback, and proving that the radio is not dead, is the boombox with external antenna jack.

While not necessarily a new feature for boomboxes, external antenna jacks add variety to the multiple of features that boxes already have. Given that most boxes would have antennas built-in already, external antenna jacks allow it to be more than just a radio receiver—yes, definitely something more!

Principles Behind the Antenna

Antennas serve a big purpose when it comes to telecommunications as it is the main player in almost every aspect of its delivery system. In essence, antennas act as an interface between the electric current traveling through conductors and the radio waves passing and propagating through space.

Once these waves hit a transmitter, electric currents are supplied to the terminals of the antenna which converts the radio waves into electromagnetic waves that the antennas on the receiving end then intercept and produce an electric current that is applied to the receivers and amplified to produce the same sound that it transmitted initially.

Antennas and FM Radios

Radios and antennas are two things that are almost inseparable, especially when it comes to how they work well together. Antennas have initially been used to act as a communication device in the military, but enterprising individuals have found uses for it outside soldiering and tactical maneuvers.

Commercial radio stations started to rise in the 1920s after a broadcasting station earned the license to use radio waves to broadcast the presidential election results. There are contentions as to which station actually earned the very first license to broadcast, but it was in this period that radio waves were opened for commercialization.

Paid advertisements were not a thing yet during this era so everything is shouldered by the broadcasting company, while federal and local broadcast regulations have not been passed yet so there was no censorship, which generally meant that companies had full control of what they would broadcast.

A decade later, frequency modulation was patented by Edwin Armstrong and what this modulation does is that it reduces the static, as well as interference from nearby electrical equipment and the surrounding atmosphere. This decade also saw regular television broadcasts, at least in some parts of the United States of America and Northen Europe.

This further led to the development of pocket transistors, VCR systems, boomboxes and other equipment related to modern broadcasting as we know today. You know, more commercials than the actual show with varying quality when it comes to content.

Factors That Affect Antenna Performance

Radio and electromagnetic waves travel through space, and this means that almost anything can affect how it is delivered to the receiving transmitters. Well, not everything can affect it and those that can include the following:

  • Physical Structures

Physical structures include trees, buildings, statues, monuments, and other structures that are of varying height and sizes. What affects the electromagnetic waves is the density of the materials used for the structure. Radio waves find it hard to penetrate through concrete and steel structures which effectively weakens the radio signal.

  • Electric Interference

This is the interference that comes from electrical equipment like computers, television, fans and even lighting fixtures. Since radio waves initially pass through an electric current to be transmitted by antennas, adding more electrical signals produces feedback which distorts the sound that you hear.

  • Weather Conditions

Since radio signals travel through space, it is quite logical that the interference can come from the surrounding environment. This is especially true for lightning storms and hurricanes as it distorts the signal to the point of signal corruption. This is also the reason why cell phone and Wi-Fi signals seem to be weak and inconsistent when it rains.

  • Other Radio Signals

Radio waves are often broadcasted into different channels to make the delivery more seamless. However, multiple sources traveling through the same channel can cause a lot of interferences which can go from weak to absolute radio distortion.

External Antenna Jack

An external antenna, by obvious definition, is a separate attachment that is often connected to a car, television set or radio that allows the receiving device to get a better reception, especially if it is installed inside where the signal may be weak or inside a moving car where motion has a definite impact on the signal it receives.

External antenna jacks are then a connector that lets you connect the external antenna to the receiving device to serve its purpose. Most jacks are hidden from view and are more commonly designed with a rubber plug to prevent water from penetrating.

Boombox with External Antenna Jacks

Boomboxes are, in essence, a radio although its features give it more capabilities than traditional radio sets. A boombox with external antenna jack amplifies the power that it delivers while it improves the electromagnetic signal that it receives from the broadcasting station.

Additional Tips to Strengthen Radio Reception

Aside from connecting the boombox to an external antenna, you can try the following tips to improve and strengthen radio reception.

  • Add a Wire

A copper wire, about six feet long, can be clipped on the boxes’ antenna. Experiment on its position to find out which position gets the best reception. This is similar to using an external antenna, but it’s technically a DIY solution.

  • Go Monoaural

If your box has a monoaural mode, then try switching to this mode to improve the weak signal. This lessens the interferences from other channels and creates a dedicated channel for radio waves going into your device.

Development in modern radio technology has allowed for new ways to minimize interference without having to do anything, especially dampers that minimize electrical interference. Newer boomboxes have incorporated this feature and taken full advantage of it to improve your overall listening experience.


Hey there, my name is Scott and I am the creator of this site. Being a kid from the 80s, I have a soft spot for boomboxes and want to let everyone know how cool they still are today.

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Phil - August 4, 2020

Can you name a brand and model that has an external antenna jack? I haven’t found a single one!

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