Need Help With AM Radio Antenna Design

My system is in the basement in a room with four conrete walls and a concrete floor. I have tried various indoor AM antennas purchased through radio shack and other internet specialty stores. I have also tried a few home brew designs off of the internet. None have worked well at all. I am tired of googling. I strongly feel that it is time to string something outside. I have read about various simple "long wire" designs of different lengths and guages. Some actually specify wrapping various lengths around the base of my home. Grounding also seems to be an issue for lightning control. Any thoughts out there with some real life experiences? I'd like to keep it simple and einexpensive if possible but definitely out doors. Specifically need help on height of installation, wire length, guage and grouding. Thanks!


I am 40 miles northwest of Chicago where most of the AM signals will come grom.
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A couple of other questions on this. I have 100 feet of coxial cable left from installing my Magnum Dyanalab ST-2 FM antenna. Can I use this cable as the basis for my "long wire" AM antenna implementation or is it the wrong guage and design? Is it insulated in some way that it will not pick up the signals as well as other wire and guages? It sure is easy to install on the outside of my home so it would be nice to use. Finally, I have heard that you can split the coax cable from my ST-2 so that a pair of leeds goes to the FM terminals on my tuner and a second pair goes to my AM terminals on my tuner. Supposedly it works very well and would save me a run of wire for AM. Causes no degrading of the FM signal either. Again, anyone have experience or comments on this?
Here is a great site, describing how AM antenna's work and how to build your own.

AM Antenna

As long as this resides outside of your basement, you should get great reception. Good news is, you don't have to spend much money to get excellent results.

I should have responded to your question about using left over coax.

Since coax is shielded, it will not pick up AM signal, unless you used the shied as the pick up wire. Too complicated to use and a waste of material. Just use ordinary wire and follow the instruction at the link I provided.

Save the coax for another run to your TV or something that benefits.