Ferrocerium (firestarter) rods as antenna cores?

Thread Starter


Joined Oct 15, 2018
I am a real newbie (~1 year) to electronics and just have the basics, but having recently enjoyed building a few cheap Chinese radio kits and also enjoying survival/camping stuff, i also have several ferrocerium rods of various diameters and lengths. Then (uh-oh!) i started wondering if they would work..?? Anyone know, please? Just plain curiosity, but i am also looking at building my own breadboard radio based on the TA7642 chip. Thanks!


Joined Nov 29, 2011
Core antennas are very inefficient in operation, so I doubt that your FC rod would make it any worse. Why don't you give it a try and report your findings back to us?


Joined Sep 22, 2013
I don't believe I would use those rods around any current. But I am not an expert. But am leery.


Joined Oct 2, 2009
Here is some basic information about radio waves.

The wave is called an electromagnetic wave. That is because the wave has two components, an electrical wave and a magnetic wave.
There are two types of RF antennas in common usage, a long wire or loop antenna, and a ferrite rod antenna.

As you can guess, a long wire antenna receives the electrical wave.
A ferrite rod antenna receives the magnetic wave.

A ferrite rod antenna occupies less space in a pocket radio and is useful for low and medium radio frequencies and when the transmission station is powerful and/or nearby.

Long wire or loop antennas are more efficient and will work for low, medium and high frequencies.
In terms of camping/survival gear, a long wire antenna is preferred since it fits in a backpack easily and is easy to set up in the outdoors.