AM FM TV Reception Guide and Directory

12 Jun

Improve FM (or ANY Radio) Reception by Thinking Outside the Box

Generally, the formula for solid home FM reception is to purchase a quality FM tuner, install a large FM antenna as high as possible, and run heavy, thick coax from the FM reception antenna to the FM tuner. While this almost always results in fantastic FM reception, there are settings where this isn’t possible or isn’t going to work or, these days, our budget doesn’t allow. Approaching FM reception in the home a bit different can provide improvements, often dramatic, when conventional wisdom doesn’t apply.

FM radio stations usually have a studio and then a transmitter located a long way from the studio and a short run of coax to the transmitter. Most of us listen to one station generally. If we are among those that listen to just one station, then we have an opportunity to place our stereo in an optimum location for FM reception. If we have a separate FM tuner from our amplifier, we can place the FM tuner much closer to the antenna installation. This will allow a shorter run of coax and less loss there plus it can mean we get our tuner away from potential electrical interference from nearby televisions, computers, microwaves or the myriad of sources of interference we have in our homes these days. So for instance, if you live in a two-story home you can put your FM tuner on the second floor near an outer wall and then install your FM antenna as high as possible on the outer wall for best reception, particularly if you can get it higher on the wall, that generally is the best spot for reception though it isn’t always the case as you may want to try a couple of different places along the wall before securing the antenna. If you are using one of the wire “T” dipole FM antennas that often come with FM stereos, try it vertical (sideways) over the way we normally install it and run the feedline at least 10″ perpendicular from the FM antenna before you run it down to the FM tuner. When vertical, the FM dipole antenna becomes fully omnidirectional and is much more like your car FM antenna and often provides excellent results. For a small investment, you could get one of the simple tunable indoor dipole FM antennas from FM DX Antenna Co and tune the FM antenna exactly to the station you are attempting to receive and greatly increase your chance of a solid signal.

Now to get the signal from your FM tuner to the amplifier. You can run a long audio cable as they have zero loss, unlike the FM coax cable, and are not expensive. You would want to be sure to get a good shielded audio cable to prevent interference from being introduce. There are also wireless ways to feed your audio to the amp. You can use a small FM transmitter on a different frequency but there are devices made to feed audio signals wirelessly as well.

If you needed to make changes away from the FM tuner, and it has remote control, there are remote control extenders as well.

You can apply the above to place either the FM antenna and/or the FM tuner in the attic, or in a room away from interference, or however you can apply it to your unique FM reception challenge.

For a complete line of FM reception antennas, check out FM DX Antenna Co.

The FM Reception Guide has more tips on receiving FM signals.

FM DX Antenna Co Logo

30 Mar

An FM Booster Amplifier that Increases Signals on FM Antenna Systems

FM pre-amplifiers have not normally been something we recommended because not many have been available that function as they should on the FM Broadcast Band. In fact, most of these boosters have a switch that completely block the FM band. Now there is a product available that will boost signals from an FM antenna in a way that others will not.

We like the way it boosts the signal at the remote antenna before it goes into the coax but it is powered at the receiver making installation quite simple. These amplifiers will often bring in HD signals and clean up stereo signals, particularly when a cable run over 10 feet is used.

You can read more about the amplifier at the product Web page:

FM DX Antenna FM Booster Pre-amplifier

FM DX Antenna Co FM Booster Pre-Amplifier

FM DX Antenna Co FM Booster Pre-Amplifier

 

23 Feb

Weather Radio Antenna Connector Guide Online

New Weather/EAS radio antenna connector guide published.

20 Feb

Awesome Indoor FM Antenna for LESS than $20!

FM DX Antenna Co has added another winner to its lineup. A tunable indoor FM reception antenna that comes with 9 feet of coax and your choice of connector to match your stereo or tuner all for less than $20! The design seems simple but their implementation allows you to get the most value when you are limited to an indoor antenna because you tune it to the station you want and you can orient it easily and put where you have the best chance of catching the signal inside.

How does it compare to a standard wire dipole antenna that comes with most receivers? It will out-perform it easily because it allows you to tune to the station you are trying to receive, it comes with 75 ohm low-loss coaxial cable, and it can be easily placed in different configurations  depending on your needs unlike the simpler dipole antenna plus with 9 feet of coax you can get it higher and better position for the best signal in relation to your tuner.

Check out the newest offering from FM DX Antenna Co at the following URL:

http://www.fmdxantenna.com/proddetail.php?prod=simdip

As always, ANY outdoor antenna mounted above the roof is going to outperform ANY indoor antenna, but if you are like many of us, you are limited to using an indoor antenna and this is a good one.

A good quality indoor FM antenna that can be mounted just about anywhere, 9 feet of quality coax, and the connector of your choice for less than $20 USD makes this one a top pick!

Indoor Dipole in Rabbit Ears Configuration

14 Feb

FM Antenna Connector Guide Published

It has been a challenge in the past to identify what antenna receptacle we have on our stereo or FM tuner. We have published a guide to help you identify your tuner’s antenna input:

FM Antenna Connector Guide

PAL Female to F Female adapter

18 Apr

Exciting New FM Reception Antenna Offering

We have been testing the new omnidirectional FM antenna from FM DX Antenna Co and the results have been quite exciting.

FM Omnidirectional Antenna from FM DX Antenna Co

This circular-style antenna has been available in Europe for quite a while and I’ve always wanted to test one. The turn-style antennas have always been a compromise of direction because they weren’t true omni-directional (all directional) like this antenna.

The antenna is only 21″ wide and 3″ high but pulls in signals almost as well as the highly popular 1/2 wave dipole. The 1/2 wave dipole is pretty much considered the standard for omni-directional antennas but the new folded dipole is certainly a contender. We were most impressed by the professional construction of this antenna. We tested it mostly inside and on a balcony but would not hesitate to mount it outside in any environment; it is appears to be built to a very high standard and we were actually quite impressed after removing it from the package.

Because of the simple, elegant appearance of the antenna we would mount it in places we would not necessarily mount other outdoor reception antennas. Like any FM antenna the higher it is mounted, the better it will work and because of the design, it may allow mounting higher than other antennas thus allowing better reception.

The antenna retails for less than $45 USD and ships to all 50 states for less than $9 additional. International shipping ranges from $20 to $35 depending upon location and is available here.

15 Jan

HD Portable Radio With a HUGE Sound

The Insignia HD Radio Portable Player available from Best Buy is an amazing radio for around $50. The sound is incredible on HD stations and the reception is very, very good.

It has a standard USB jack for charge which means you can plug it into your PC to charge it but if you have a lot of cell phone chargers (like most of us) then you can find power for it almost anywhere. It has a rechargeable battery which lasts around 8 hours.

This radio is a keeper and  highly recommended for the features particularly if you have HD stations in the area.

Reception and sound was improved with a favorite set of earbuds: the Sennheiser CX 300 earbuds.

Insignia HD Radio Portable Player

07 Jan

Secrets of FM Reception

When trying to receive FM signals at home there are a few often overlooked considerations. The one thing to remember is with the FM Broadcast Band that line of sight to the transmitter is important. The fewer obstacles between the reception antenna and the transmitter antenna the better.

1/ Height is the number one consideration in getting quality FM reception. If mounting outside try to get it above the roofline of the closest structure. If inside, put it in the attic or at the top of a closet or up in a crawl space. Reception in the attic is going to be FAR better than reception in the basement and reception in the peak of the house is going to be better than the attic floor.

2/ Keep your cable run as short as possible and use the best coax for your setup. Generally, 10 feet or less you can pretty much use any coax. 10 to 150 feet calls for RG6 and over 150 you should consider RG11 or better such as a flexible hardline depending on the total cable run. The cable is the one loss point in the reception system and it is important not to lose your signal in the cable run.

3/ Location of the antenna can also make a difference. Often moving the antenna from a few inches to a few feet one way or another can make a dramatic difference. There are a variety of reason this happens, but it is one thing that is often overlooked. Try your antenna in different spots before making a final decision and it can work better in place for one station and better in a different place for another station.

4/ Don’t use an amplifier unless it is to overcome a long cable run and then use it on the antenna end to boost the signal before it enters the coax.

5/ All tuners and receivers are not the same. Read reviews and research your tuner or receiver before choosing and determine what is important. Whether it is good quality reception or a balance with better audio presentation is something  you’ll have to determine.

6/ Choose the right antenna.

All of these tips are discussed in additional detail in the FM Reception Guide.

30 Apr

A New Indoor Antenna Offering and an Upgrade to an Old Favorite

FM DX Antenna Co is releasing a directional indoor antenna and upgrading the outstanding indoor half wave FM Dipole. Both these reception antennas are considered best values by far for their unsurpassed performance and reasonable cost.

Read more with a click.

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29 Oct

The Best Home FM Tuner?

Easily, the best value in a home FM tuner is the Sony XDRF1HD HD Radio Tuner. It is available almost everywhere for under $100 the FM reception characteristics are equivalent to the best sub-$1000 tuners available. The reviews have been amazing. The reviews of the Sony XDRF1HD HD Radio Tuner have shown consistent results.

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