AM FM TV Reception Guide and Directory

FM Reception Guide


FM Reception Guide for FM Tuners, FM Antennas, Coax, and More

This guide is brought to by FM DX Antenna Co, providing the best FM reception since 2004.

FM antennas at FM DX Antenna Co

You are reading this because you are interested in FM broadcast radio and it is generally for one of 3 reasons: you are an FM DXer that enjoys listening and identifying distant FM stations often that arrive to your location via skip (signals that go up from the transmitter antenna and bounce back down to the receiving antenna), you are a program listener that loves your music such as jazz, classical, or rock, or you are a combination that is trying to pick up particular programming from an FM station or stations at a distance, usually line-of-sight rather than skip.

As with any hobby there are tons of myths surrounding FM radio reception and some very knowledgable FM experts even buy into to a few myths. This guide will cut through much of that and point you in the direction you will need for great FM listening without spending a ton of money.

There are essentially 3 areas to consider when planning and purchasing your FM reception system:

  1. The FM tuner or receiver is offered in many varieties by several electronics manufacturers.

  2. The FM antenna is critical because it is often the least understood part of the equation. The two basic types to be considered are directional and non-directional.

  3. Coaxial cable that runs between the FM tuner and the FM antenna is usally an after-thought but it is just as important as the other 2 areas and should be considered carefully.

Please remember, and I’m talking to you and me right now, that you get more out of your investment if you research carefully and determine your needs before making any purchases rather than just rushing out and buying the most expensive items available.

FM Tuners

FM tuners are stand-alone units that require amplification of some sort while receivers are a combination of at least an amplifier and the tuner. Some tuners include both AM and FM and some are FM only. My preference is FM-only tuners, but there are many AM-FM combo units that are excellent and home theater receivers are very popular items today. You can see an excellent selection of new and used tuners of any variation at the following link:

eBay FM Tuners

I spent less than $100 on my current FM tuner (Onkyo T-4087) and it is excellent.

Onkyo TU-9090MkII FM TunerTwo of the most notorious FM tuners are the McIntosh MR-78 and the Onkyo TU-9090MkII. These two FM tuners are known to be excellent tuners both sonically and with distant signals. However, there are better units available for less money that can be purchased easily. In fact, those 2 units are of such a reputation now that they fetch a premium price.

Specifications are always very important when considering FM Tuners. The following offers a very good explanation of the specifications to be considered when purchasing an FM tuner:

A site that is dedicated to vintage FM tuners but invariably discusses current tuners as well is the fantastic Tuner Information Center. Spend as much time there as you can to learn all you can about the tools of FM reception for both the program listener and the DXer.

A very popular and highly recommended current FM tuner has fantastic reception specifications, picks up HD FM and is usually less than $100 is the amazing Sony XDRF1HD HD Radio Tuner

The following is a great community for discussing FM tuners/receivers and other reception issues:

Audiokarma FM Tuner Forum

FM Antennas

Many FM enthusiasts spend thousands of dollars on an FM tuner and completely overlook the FM stereo antenna system (coax and FM antenna). The FM antenna system will make the difference in whether you get full-quieting on an FM signal or can get an FM stereo signal vs. only a FM mono signal. The greatest, most expensive FM tuner available works no better than the FM antenna that is plugged into it.

There are many factors that have to be considered when trying to determine potential distance including FM antenna height above ground, surrounding terrain, local height above sea level, nearby noise sources and other potential forms of interference including high-power FM transmitters or ones located close-by that can de-sensitize even very good FM tuners or FM receivers. Of course, the FM broadcast station at the other end has the same sort of variations including FM transmitter antenna height, FM broadcast station power, and even FM frequency can play a factor with FM stations at 88 MHz having an advantage for distance over FM stations at 108.

THE FM RECEPTION ANTENNA you choose is very important. The best outdoor FM antennas available are large directional FM yagi antennas; any outdoor directional antenna will out-perform any non-directional antenna. The directional FM antennas require a rotator (unless your FM targets are all in one direction) and professional installation; check with a local TV shop that handles TV antennas for FM antenna installation resources.  A great value in an FM yagi is the Antennacraft FM6. It has an excellent reputation and can easily be stacked for additional gain and a more narrow beamwidth which is also an advantage.

The best choice in omni-directional (all directions) FM stereo reception radio antennas is the FM reception half-wave dipole antenna available from FM DX Antenna Company. The FM half-wave dipole antenna can be mounted in an attic or closet but for best results mount it outside in the clear. The FM DX Company FM half-wave dipole actually gives the performance originally promised, but disappointedly lacking, from the end-fed FM half-wave antennas available from different manufacturers. Even if you use one of the large FM antenna arrays, you should also have an omni-directional FM antenna along with the large FM array for flexibility.

MOUNTING HEIGHT is generally the key to quality FM reception.  Mount your FM antenna as high as possible and clear of obstructions such as trees, buildings, and power lines.  Mounting the FM antenna as high as possible will both clear the FM antenna of nearby obstructions and it will overcome the curvature of the earth that blocks distant FM stations.  In spite of the fact that longer runs of coax have higher loss, we get better signals from higher FM antennas that more than compensates for cable loss. Oddly enough, though height is usually best, certain types of FM DX (distant signals that bounce, usually off the earth’s atmosphere, but not exclusively) are picked up better with big FM antennas mounted 20-25 feet. When FM DXing, rather than trying to pick up distant stations direct, height approaches the point of diminishing returns somewhat quicker.

For an FM reception antenna inside near your FM stereo setup, your best choice is plain rabbit ears that can be tuned to the FM broadcast band; these will give the best performance in the room with your FM tuner or FM receiver. Without question, the best indoor FM antenna available is here.

An exciting offering for an attic mounted antenna has shown to work fantastic in the attic or a crawl space and is available here. It is a rhombic FM antenna that is horizontally polarized and is somewhat directional but picks up nicely in all directions but has gain over a wide beamwidth in the direction it is pointed. It is important to understand that a metal roof or metal siding on your home will block FM signals to any antenna so this must be considered when determining whether to mount your antenna inside or outside.

A fantastic amount of information on FM antennas is available at the following Web sites:

FM Antenna Coax

QUALITY COAX is very important to solid FM reception; it is a critical part of the antenna system.  Coax is a source of loss of signal from the FM antenna to the FM receiver and can also be a noise introduction point.  We lessen the amount of loss by running the coaxial cable as directly as possible to the FM antenna to keep the run short and buying the lowest-loss cable needed for your setting.  Fortunately, with satellite TV being so common, RG6 satellite-grade cable is commonly available.  This will work great for our needs in most cases.  RG11 is a larger coax that has even lower loss.  Do not scrimp on your coax; buy the best coax for your FM antenna setup.  You have to make the decisions for your setup but my choice would be RG6 for up to 50 feet and RG11 for any runs longer than that and I absolutely get the best coax I can find; not necessarily the most expensive, but the best. Look for the coax you need at this link to quad-shield coax.

FM Antenna Connectors

FM antenna input connectors on FM tuners or receivers can be confusing so we have created a guide for these with pictures to help you to easily identify the connector on your tuner.  FM Antenna Connector and Adapter Guide

FM PREAMPLIFIERS are usually not something recommended but for two exceptions: On a long coax run where cable loss can be a factor or when using a splitter and running to several different FM stereos an FM preamplifier can overcome cable loss. In the case where it is determined that an FM preamplifier is necessary, mount the FM preamp as close to the FM antenna as possible, preferably mounted just beneath the FM reception antenna. An example of an FM pre-amplifier that will work perfectly for this is this FM Preamp Booster.  After using a Magnum Dynalab 205 tuned FM preamplifier for several years and, though really wanting it to work, never saw that it helped the FM tuner (Onkyo T-9090 MkII) at all. Some people have claimed that it provides a better FM signal for them and it certainly may in some conditions, particularly where the FM tuner or FM receiver are not the best, but no one really viewed as an FM DXing guru or serious FM enthusiast recommends it to my knowledge. If you have a very large investment in your FM reception system, it couldn’t hurt to give the Magnum Dynalab 205 a try, but understand the limitations ahead of time.

Each FM antenna setup is different and what works great in one setting may not work at all in another. The best investment is to get those components that have been shown to work in most settings. Your enjoyment of the FM listening hobby does not have to cost a tremendous amount. It is very easy to get excellent range and quality FM signals without too much investment though it does take research and knowledge.

An outstanding site that allows you to determine the potential for receiving an AM or FM station at any given location by Zip Code.

AM FM Zip Code Signal Strengths

Another excellent resource is the Radio Locator, the wonderful database of radio stations that includes their coverage maps:

Radio Locator

Additionally, you can search for FM signals at the following Web site:

www.fmfool.com

74 Responses to “FM Reception Guide”

  1. 1
    Mike Gerrity Says:

    Very informative website. I am trying to improve my FM radio reception along the Jersey shore and have found the information I need. Thank-you.

  2. 2
    david johnstone Says:

    can i use the local cable co. (cable tv) cable to recieve am & or fm signal. i work in a bomb shelter and get no reception am/fm. is it possible to use the tv cable as an antenna. thanks for your advice dave j

    Dave,

    Cable doesn’t cover AM but many provide FM reception. You’ll need to check with your provider to see if you can get FM on cable.

    However, to answer your specific question, no, you can’t use your cable as an antenna as it won’t do anything.

  3. 3
    Toni Boren Says:

    I work 30 miles from my favorite FM radio station and the building is completely metal on the inside and outside. I get a terrible signal from my am/fm radio on the fm side. I only have a small wire fm antenna inside and need an antenna outside to pick up the signal better. If I put the small wire to the glass it clears up, but that is not a good fix for my problem.
    What kind should I use? I would like it to mount onto a metal roof, or the utility pole a few feet away that is about 12 ft tall with electric wires on it attached at about 11 ft high and 2 Dish Network dishes at about 8 ft.
    so it is pretty full right now.
    Toni Boren

    Hi Toni,

    Ok, I would prefer to stay away from the utility pole.

    If you can get an out door antenna outside the building and mounted on the side of the building towards your goal station it should work fine.

    Honestly, you probably could mount your wire antenna outside on the side of the building and pick up a station 30 miles away easily.

    The key for you is to get outside away from the metal; height is important but not as important to a station 30 miles away.

    Regards,
    Lake

  4. 4
    Wayne Says:

    Hello-
    Can I use the Antennacraft FM6 in my attic w/RG6 to my tuner in my bedroom below?
    I now have a wire dipole at the ceiling.
    Will a directional Yagi improve reception greatly?
    How about an VHF/UHF/FM from Radio shack?
    My target stations are in two different directions, I live about 20-30 miles between B-more & DC.
    What do you think?
    Thanks- Well done website!

    Hi,

    The FM6 would work in that setting but at that range many users are going with an omnidirectional antenna and having fantastic results with an attic mount.

    With the stations being in different directions and at that range the FM6 may not be the way to go.

    Regards,
    Lake

  5. 5
    joe Says:

    HI,
    great site,I have the 1/2 Wave Dipole Outdoor Antenna and I would like to get FM signal to all of my radios in my house. I currently have cable TV, can I put the signal into the cable TV coax and then at each receiver split it off without affecting the cable companys signal?

    Hi Joe,

    Awesome question!

    First, I don’t know the answer to your question, but you aren’t the first to ask it. I think it is possible actually, but there is a message board thread to check out.

    http://www.highdefforum.com/showthread.php?t=27854

    You may have to copy and paste the above link into your browser. It is talking about TV signals but the truth is that you are less likely to get interference in the FM band. They talk about products that would do this. Almost any product that works on VHF television will work on FM unless it specifically states that it blocks the FM band, which a few do. The FM band is generally located between TV channels 6 and 7 just as a note to let you know why TV equipment can, and does, work for FM.

    If you search Google or your favorite search engine for combine antenna and cable signal or something along those lines you may find more information.

    Please share your results with me if you do have success.

    Best of luck with your project!

    Regards,
    Lake

  6. 6
    Charles Lotka Says:

    How do I make sure that the antenna is not going to attract lightning.

    Hi,

    This is a very important issue for many, many people.

    The basic answer to your question is that you can’t. If you have an antenna mounted outside it can take a lightning strike.

    There are other Web sites that can instruct on how to pick a good place to mount the antenna and the proper grounding techniques for such an installation but that is all you can do.

    Best of luck with your project.

    Regards,
    Lake

  7. 7
    Brian Says:

    All your information on FM antennas that I have been reading has been great.
    My question now is, will the FM indoor dipole stero antenna from FM DX Company improve my FM reception from my basement? I have a new Onkyo
    AV receiver TX=SR504 with the coax cable connector. I’ve tried the FM
    antenna supplied with the unit and also bought a Trex amplified antenna (Edge)
    that I’m returning, and can only receive 1 clear station. It surely sounds like the dipole from FM DX company may just be a great improvment.

    Brian,

    There is only so much any antenna can overcome; it can’t overcome the laws of physics.

    The key with FM antennas is height and height is not available in a basement so I would set your expectations low for any antenna that is in the basement.

    Regards,
    Lake

  8. 8
    Bobby Lightfoot Says:

    I need a little help. I have a Boze AM/FM/CD. It has a coax input on the rear of the unit. I live in the mountains of Colorado in a valley, elev. 8,200 ft., but surrounded by mountains. I contacted Boze and they sent me a wire dipole ant. Helped a little, but can only rec. 2 FM stations. A friend suggested a power ant that plugs into the house recepticle. Trying to fine one that will do the trick.

    HELP!

    Hi,

    He must mean an amplified antenna which might help.

    Honestly, your question can be answered by reading the reception guide above. You need a good antenna and I can’t add anything to that.

    The only thing I can add to the reception guide is that if he is talking about one of those things that plugs into the receptacle and supposedly turns your house wiring into an antenna don’t get one of those as they are voodoo; they don’t work at all.

    Regards,
    Lake

  9. 9
    John Allen Says:

    Dear Sir,
    I reciently had a metal roof installed on my house. Before that I was using the dinky little “t” wire antenna supplied with my FM radio.Reception was weak but at least there was some. Now I get zip. Any suggestions?
    Thanks!
    John Allen

    Hi John,

    As you have experienced metal roofing and siding block FM radio signals.

    You could try to get the T antenna on an outer wall that is to the side of any station you are trying to pick up.

    Best thing you can do is to mount an antenna above the roof.

    Regards,
    Lake

  10. 10
    Pete Says:

    Hi Lake,

    I live in apartment near NYC pre-wired for audio/surround, which I don’t use for my system (Bose recommends using only their cables). My question is, can I use the wiring as an FM antenna? If so, how would I do that?

    Thanks,
    Pete

    Hi Pete,

    Generally, trying to use wiring won’t work but if you can hook it up to the antenna terminal on your stereo then give it a try. It might work enough to pick up the stations you are trying to get.

    I can’t specifically tell you how to do it but it should not be hard.

    R,
    Lake

  11. 11
    Gregg Says:

    I am trying to get the “best” sound from my fm tuner and am not a dx’er. Most stations I listen to sound “flat or lifeless” compared to cd or vinyl. Can the sound of the fm be brought up to near this level or am I expecting too much? I recently purchased a dedicated fm antenna with rotor. The antenna is located about 30′ above ground. My cable run is about 60′. Would I hear a difference using quad RG6 instead of standard RG6? Would it be better to use RG11 or Quad RG6? Cost is not an issue.
    Thanks for any help!
    Gregg

    Hi Gregg,

    There is an FM tuners group and you are going to have to ask your question there. I know some tuners do sound better than others somewhat but the basic sound of the tuner is not really my area and I honestly can’t comment with any reasonable knowledge of that area though there are those that can.

    You can get some excellent answers to your question at http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/FMtuners

    I really don’t believe the coax would affect the sound of your audio though some people have said different antennas have affected the “warmness” or some other aspect of their reception other than signal, I don’t hold a lot of stock in that. I believe the FM sound quality would strictly be a function of the tuner when compared to other parts of the stereo system.

    Regards,
    Lake

  12. 12
    Will Says:

    Hey Lake, I’ve just installed a fairly hi-grade surround sound system. A professional company put it in for me. The FM reception is terrible. He says it is because the AM/FM receiver is right below the 42″ flatscreen HDTV and the hi EMR thrown off by the TV interferes and he knows no solution other than placing the TV away from the receiver. Is this right ?

    Hi Will,

    The ultimate way to test the veracity of what the installer said is to unplug the power to the TV and see how the reception is.

    I suspect the TV has no affect on the FM reception at your location.

    I would suspect it to change the AM reception but I don’t know about the FM. Perhaps you could get an indoor antenna mounted a bit away from your TV and that would help if it is hurting reception.

    I happen to have a 42″ LCD with an FM radio about 2 feet from it and I can pick up any station I care to on my FM radio so my LCD doesn’t appear to hurt the FM reception.

    Regards,
    Lake

  13. 13
    john kochiss Says:

    aloha, we recieve almost zero reception in a valley in northwest ct. i do remember some reception before our t.v. antenna blew down.would you recommend an omnidirectional antenna as a place to start?

    Hi John,

    It depends on the stations you are trying to receive.

    If they are all in one direction, I suggest an inexpensive directional such as the FM6.

    If the stations are in all different directions, get the omnidirectional and put it as high as possible.

    As always, with FM, height is a critical factor so being in a valley you must get whatever antenna you choose as high as possible. Even if you choose a directional get it as high as is possible.

    My experience is that most people generally listen to one station for program listening.

    Also, a directional will pick up in all directions, but will pick up best in the direction it is pointed and next best to the rear. It picks up the least off the side, but it does pick up some of the side.

    Anytime someone has a strong local station, they are more than likely going to pick it up regardless of the direction the antenna is pointed.

    I know that is more than you asked, but I just got to thinking about using directional antennas.

    Regards,
    Lake

  14. 14
    Robert Says:

    I am trying to improve the reception of my car head unit. I have an aftermarket Sony receiver and a new antenna. I lose all of my favorites stations within a 30 mile drive. My other vehile does not lose the same stations on the same route. I am looking for a booster. I returned the unit to Sony twice for reception with no results. I am considering running a new coax for it. Do you have any sugestions. Robert, Greenville SC

    Hi Robert,

    Sony makes excellent FM receivers generally so I’m surprised you are having trouble.

    Automotive reception is generally easy; the receivers usually work nicely. I don’t recommend a booster. The antenna should be between 29 and 31 inches long and it is ok if it is a motorized antenna that goes up and down. Antennas built into windshields and stunted type antennas are a compromise and could create issues.

    If the antennas are generally the same type on your two vehicles then I would suspect there is a problem with your coax, but that is fairly rare though not unheard of.

    Sorry you are having problems with your new stereo and good luck getting it worked out.

    R,
    Lake

  15. 15
    Kiernan Reilly Says:

    I get terrible reception on any Sony Walkman I own. Other receivers work fine, the problem seems to be related to Sony tuners. This seems to be the case regardless of proximity to the transmitter. Is there any way to boost the reception of the headphone cable/antenna?

    Hi Kiernan,

    Sony tuners can vary but generally I find them to be quite nice though anything with Sony on it seems to come at a premium.

    Yes, it is actually a way to improve your walkman reception and I wrote a post on this earlier this year.

    http://www.amfmreception.com/fm-radio/2007/05/sony-srf-m97-vs-sony-srf-s84

    The easiest thing is to get the headphones I mention in that article or to get a better radio which I mention in the reception guide.

    There are complicated ways which take away the portability of the radio such as getting an antenna splitter and plugging an antenna into the other headphone jack as the cable on the headphones usually serves as the FM antenna. This is just too much sugar for a dime for me.

    You could ask Santa Claus to bring you one of the awesome personal radios I mention in the reception guide!

    Regards,
    Lake

  16. 16
    Bob Zale Says:

    Have a aluminum roof and get a lot of static. Tried radio outside and it worked great. Can I replace the fm antenna suppied by sony with some sort of long wire to get oit outside? When I hold on the antenna wire, the static goes away.

    Bob,

    Generally a long wire is for use below 30 MHz so I don’t believe it will work for FM reception because FM is from 88-108 MHz.

    If you don’t want to mount an antenna above the roof, best thing you can do is to get your radio to the side of the house where the station is to try to offset the affect of the metal roof which will block signal.

    Regards,
    Lake

  17. 17
    Margaret G. Says:

    I work in an office away from the window. I have an am/fm radio with a telescopic antenna. I have tried turning the antenna all possible directions. I am getting a poor reception on a certain station that I like to listen to. Would a fm radio with an external antenna get me better reception? If so, what would you recommend?

    Hi Margaret,

    I don’t know, if your radio generally picks up solid when it is by a window then your building may have concrete and steel which will block FM signals.

    Does anyone in the building get good reception? If yes, then you need a better radio and I have written some articles elsewhere on this site about the top radios for reception.

    If no one is getting good reception then it may be time to break out the MP3 or CD Player.

    Regards,
    Lake

  18. 18
    JERRY Says:

    what about HD (high digital) radio for improved reception?

    Hi Jerry,

    I haven’t purchased and HD radio yet though I am keeping my eyes open so I’m afraid I’m going to have to punt on your question though I do have a recommendation.

    The following link will take you to HD radios on Amazon, go there and check out what other buyers have experienced with their HD radios. This will give you a good indication of what to expect. Read a LOT of reviews to get a real idea. One person who sounds like they know what they are talking about can often be mis-leading because they have different expectations than others:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?ie=UTF8&keywords=HD%20Radio&tag=fdac-20&index=electronics&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325

    Regards,
    Lake

  19. 19
    Bruce Mac Says:

    I recently installed electronic ballasts in my office lighting fixtures. FM radio reception is now very poor. I cannot install a roof antenna, but I have approx 4 feet of space in the “attic”, the space between the ceiling tiles and the roof. An suggestions?

    Hi Bruce Mac,

    You are onto your solution.

    Many people have successfully mounted outdoor antennas in an attic or crawl space. This will be the only solution that will work for you as long as your roof is not made of metal.

    Generally, mounting in the attic is considered to reduce signal by 50% but this is not scientific and it could be less but regardless it is your only shot at good FM reception.

    Regards,
    Lake

  20. 20
    Judy Says:

    Hi Lake,

    If I’m looking for an indoor antenna for my HD Radio receiver, would you recommend your indoor FM antenna? (FM Indoor Dipole Stereo Antenna with Fine Tuning) Or does HD radio need a special antenna?

    Thanks!

    Hi Judy,

    That is a great question!

    Your HD receiver does not require a special antenna. Any antenna that works for standard broadcast will work great for HD signals on both radios and televisions. There is absolutely no difference in the functionality of antennas it is all in the reception unit.

    Enjoy your HD receiver!

    Regards,
    Lake

  21. 21
    Judy Says:

    Hi Lake,
    The HD signal keeps cutting out on the Sony HD table top radio I have. Am I correct in assuming from your response that the FM antenna would help? It seems worse at night, just like an FM station. The quality of the sound is fabulous except when it totally cuts out or when it fades and comes back as I walk around the room.
    Thanks.

    Judy,

    Yes, that is correct, reception on an HD radio is just like a standard radio so EVERYTHING in the FM reception guide applies including the use of an antenna.

    R,
    Lake

  22. 22
    steve Says:

    on february 17/ 2009 the analog signal for the t.v. signal will be no longer available, digital will be the only available signal.
    how will this affect our older analog tuners and the dxing capabilities?
    regards, steve

    Hi Steve,

    Great question!

    This applies to TV signals only as I don’t believe there is a sunset on analog (or “standard”) FM broadcast signals.

    Older analog receivers will require a converter box to receive the new digital and hdtv broadcasts. I would guess they are like the set top box I have now from Comcast.

    Older televisions will not become obsolete fortunately though I do highly recommend HDTV to everyone as soon as they can swing it as the quality of the signal is amazing. I had almost completely quit watching TV except for sports and now I watch more TV than I really should and I rarely leave the HD channels.

    DXing will be hurt I’m afraid but we’ll see. Hobbies adapt and change is not a bad thing. I just don’t completely know how digital signals propagate yet but we’ll find out soon enough. I know that digital and HD broadcasting should allow for more channels with higher quality and that is a good thing.

    Quite honestly I “DX” on the Internet almost as much as I do on my tuners these days simply because I can hear stations in CD quality stereo from around the world and hear them live.

    I have a friend in New Zealand that runs a wonderful small FM station I can hear in the US in MS over the Internet as well.

    TV broadcasts are becoming more and more common online and as bandwidth increases so will the availability of online videocasts such as we are seeing with youtube, etc.

    Steve, you made me think this morning! Thanks!

    Lake

  23. 23
    Pram Says:

    Dear Sir,
    Your information above is great and very useful for me.
    As we know that FM radio is working on VHF, I’m wondering to try to use multiple VHF (ham ) yagi antenna for my FM receiver. Ham antenna has a multiple element and longer boom than TV antenna. I assume it will work as famous FM antenna such as APS-13/14.

    Do you think it will work?
    Do I need to do some modification on it?

    regards,
    Pram

    Hi Pram,

    I like your thinking because it is great fun to experiment with alternative antennas and other means of reception.

    If by VHF you mean 6 meter or 2 meter band antennas, you would need to use 6 meter and shorten the elements. However, the distance between radials on a yagi is important as well.

    You certainly could adapt a 6 meter band antenna to FM broadcast band use but the reality is that an antenna that is made for FM such as the APS antennas you mention or the Antennacraft FM6 is going to outperform it almost everytime.

    The 2 APS antennas you mention are not TV antennas, they are FM antennas that would work with TV, particular the lower end of the TV band but they are cut strictly for FM without consideration to the TV channels. If you are comparing your HAM antenna experiment to TV antennas then you would be able to cut a 6 meter yagi that would outperform a wideband TV antenna.

    You would be better off financially getting a bunch of old scrap tv antennas and constructing your own “super” FM antenna with your own boom. There are a few Web sites floating around where that sort of thing has been mentioned. If you did that, you could do it darn near for free and make any sort of antenna you want.

    Have fun with your experiment!

    Regards,
    Lake

  24. 24
    Jason Says:

    I run a 45,000 sq. ft. facility in which we just changed out our shop lighting to Fluorescent fixtures. Since installing, all internal FM radio reception has disappeared. Our building is steel, however, we did get internal FM signals prior to the new lighting.

    Is there any way to install a roof antenna which allows the 15 internal radios to receive FM reception without attaching all 15 radios to the antenna?

    Hi Jason,

    I am not familiar with a way to do that without using a switch to attach the radios to the antenna. I know that cell phones have repeaters that can be set up at sites such as yours but I’m not aware of a solution for FM radio in the same way.

    Sorry I wasn’t any more help.

    R,
    Lake

  25. 25
    Good info. Still need help Says:

    The 3 Ft. long wire antenna attached to myu FM radio is very inadequate. My radio has no standard TV type hookups that would enable an external antenna such as rabbit ears. My problem is not metal roof or height. I just need to hook up a longer antenna. What do I need to do?

    Ed Brister

    Hi Ed,

    I have tried to connect antennas to radios without antenna connectors and have not had any luck and have never seen anyone on the ‘Net that has accomplished it either.

    Unfortunately, you’ll need to get a radio that has an antenna connection.

    Regards,
    Lake

  26. 26
    Lance Says:

    Hi Lake,

    Cool website you have here. I live in a metropolitan area and so have fairly good reception on my new Rotel tuner. However, it could be better. Currently, the Rotel supplied T-shaped antenna is laying behind the stereo cabinet, but I plan to relocate it to a wall in the attic. I already have some RG-6 Quad and would like to use it. The run would be about 80 feet.

    Do you think this antenna is up for the task or should I upgrade to something better? If so, what would you recommend?

    Do you think I’ll need an amplifier?

    I’m not looking to get far off distant stations, just make the local ones sound their best for this new beautiful tuner. Thanx.

    Hi Lance,

    Give the antenna you have a shot first without an amplifier as it should work fine for what you want to do. The beauty of your setup is that you can add an amp if needed or change the antenna with little problem as well.

    IF you needed an antenna in the attic I would go with an outdoor model but only if the t-shaped wire antenna didn’t pick up the stations you want. My opinions of the outdoor antennas are in the reception guide above.

    Regards,
    Lake

  27. 27
    Hello Says:

    I live in Dover, DE and have trouble picking up FM stations. I can only get two or three stations really well. I live in a housing development where no one has an outdoor antenna so I’m not sure I want to go that route. There are many stations out of Philadelphia that I barely receive through my receiver. What antenna do you recommend I buy to pick up these stations. I have a large attic where I could place an antenna if I have to.

    Emilio

    Hi Emilio,

    The Antennacraft FM6 should work great for what you need. Just point it at Philly and that should solve your problems. Many people use FM antennas in the attic with great result.

    The outdoor dipole from http://www.fmdxantenna.com is your best solution for an omni-directional in the attic. It works best mounted vertical and many people use this in the attic with great success.

    Again if an antenna is mounted in the attic, the roof must NOT be made of any sort of metal because it will completely blank the signal.

    Regards,
    Lake

  28. 28
    Paul Says:

    Great website, I work in the police HQ building, in the center of the building, no windows to the outside. Can’t get reception for my favorite FM radio station. I can’t run any wires to the roof or anywhere else, is there a small antenna that I can use that I can place beside my radio that would work or do you have any other suggestions?

    Hi Paul,

    If you aren’t getting any reception at all then there really isn’t anything you can do. If your radio has an FM input I recommend you first try the inexpensive wire antennas commonly available and try different orientations. Try it vertical as that makes it fully omni-directional. It is somewhat directional horizontal so make sure the flat side is facing the radio station transmitter.

    The best indoor antenna available is the indoor dipole from http://www.fmdxantenna.com but please don’t throw money at the problem unless you almost get a quality signal with a wire antenna. Like I always say, there are no miracles with FM radio reception.

    Beyond that you may be stuck with your favorite MP3 player.

    Regards,
    Lake

  29. 29
    John Shultz Says:

    Hi Lake,
    I live in SF Bay Area and have your dipole on roof with about 50′ of RG6 to my tuner. I get great DX out to about 40 miles of big and little stations. I notice thru headphones noise below the signal on all but the powerhouse NPR. This phono jack on the amp is quiet with CD player so is it the coax or the tuner? Or just some atmospherics that may come and go. It kind of ruins the music.

    The sound is like a slight buzz noticeable especially during dead air periods.

    Tuner: Denon T1500

    Hi John,

    The NPR station not having the noise indicates something in the antenna system; noise is getting in the antenna system (antenna and coax and connectors). We can test if that is the case.

    Unplug the coax at the tuner and get it away from it (as much as you can). If the noise goes away it is in the antenna system, if it stays it is likely either in the tuner or something near the tuner.

    If the noise goes completely away then the noise is in the antenna system. Plug the coax back in and unplug the coax at the antenna end (if possible) and if the noise level is the same it is leaking into the coax. If the noise goes away then the noise is getting in the antenna and you may want to attempt to re-locate the antenna.

    If it is still there with the coax unplugged from the tuner it is likely in the tuner. You can run your hand around the coax input on the tuner to determine if the source is internal or external to the tuner. If the noise changes with your hand running around the input then it is external; if it stays the same it is probably internal.

    FM is fairly easy to clean up as it is not terribly succeptible to interference of this sort.

    Regards,
    Lake

    Hi Lake,

    Followed your advice and the noise is from the antenna system. I check the resistance between the central conductor and the ground collar at the wall plate I put in and get no resistance. That’s no good. I will now go upstream. I’ll start by pulling off the wall plate, cutting the coax back and see if I can get infinity ohms there. If not then I may need to pull the mast down and rewire. Oh well.

    Thanks for advice. Guess I should have tested resistance early on.

    John

  30. 30
    Albert Says:

    Dear sir,

    I work in my basement, with my work station about 10 yards from where two little windows open next to the ceiling. I have an old 11 band Transoceanic radio and love classical music. Also in my office I have three computers, one of them a large IBM server. Indeed, a hopeless set up. What could I do to improve my FM reception?

    May thanks

    Albert

    Albert,

    I believe you can follow the basic tenets of the reception guide above and mount an FM antenna as high as possible and run the cable down into the basement to your FM receiver. Beyond that, I don’t know what to suggest. I don’t get interference on FM from several PCs running in the same room so that does not appear to be an issue for your setup.

    Regards,
    Lake

  31. 31
    carol mlynarski Says:

    I have a Sony receiver, and cannot hear the fm stations unless I crank the volume all the way up. It has a short attena that connects to a terminal at the back. Will a longer in-door antenna correct this problem. Also at certain times when I move the wire, I get a lot of static.

    Hi Carol,

    It appears that there is a problem with the your Sony receiver as this is not the way FM radio should behave; it sounds as if it is malfunctioning so another antenna would not correct the issue, I suspect.

    Regards,
    Lake

  32. 32
    Ellie Says:

    Hello Lake,

    My Mother is in a nursing home & can NOT get her favorite FM radio station …any suggestions ?

    Hi Ellie,

    I suggest you get her one of the Sangean PR-D5 AM FM Radios. They are available at amazon.com and other online retailers. It is a great little radio with fantastic sound. Even in the nursing home you can put the radio near a window or outer wall for best reception and as high as you can where she or someone can still access it to turn it on and off. It sounds great but has the best reception of a radio of its size and price range but most important is stereo so will sound a bit better if it can pull in the station.

    I don’t suggest a more elaborate setup because of space limitations and what-have-you involved at a nursing home.

    Regards,
    Lake

  33. 33
    David Says:

    Hi Luke, I recently purchased one of those nostalgic all in one phono,cd,tape, and tuner(digital) and I really do get weak reception from NYC(I live in Monmouth County NJ) I realize it is a cheaply made system and only has a 3 foot small black wire out the back of the system, but the signal is there and if I touch it with my hand it really clears many of the stations. I live in a vintage 74 mobile home in a mobile community and know that could be part of the problem. Please let me know what if anything at all can be done. Thank you in advance.

    Hi David,

    There are 2 issues with your current setup. One is that unless your radio has an antenna input there is little that can be done. Second, mobile homes tend to be signal blockers.

    In your case mounting the radio in front of a window and taping the antenna so it runs vertically on the window will be all you can do but could help a good deal. If you are like most of us and have a favorite station you listen to the vast majority of the time then it will help to determine the direction of the transmitter (you can do this by going to a Web site listed in the reception guide above) and using a window on the side of your home towards the transmitter.

    Regards,
    Lake

  34. 34
    Jeff Says:

    I just purchased a sangean wr-2 digital am/fm radio and I want to hook up a external antenna. It has a F type antenna jack. What is this? What do you recommend and where can I purchase one. Thanks Jeff

    Hi Jeff,

    The F connector is the same one that TV cable uses on the back of your TV set so it is easily the most common connector in the US and available anywhere including Radio Shack and Wal-Mart.

    If you are looking for an antenna for your radio (which is a good radio indeed) just read the reception guide above as it covers antennas.

    Regards,
    Lake

  35. 35
    tony Says:

    i have an older receiver with am/fm antenea connections it has 3 holes for fm and 2 holes for am the antenea i have is the coax type my receiver looks like it takes wires or something what kind of adapter do i need or what do i need to do?

    Hi Tony,

    You simply need a balun or transformer that will go from an F connector to the 2 spade connectors. They are available practically anywhere you can get cable accessories.

    Regards,
    Lake

  36. 36
    Ricardo Pardo Says:

    Hi, I have a Sansui 4000 receiver. We usually listen to Public Radio but my favorite FM station here in Minneapolis comes in very weak. I am undecided between the magnum dynalab or the fanfare antenna. Do you think that any of these will take care of my problem? Thank you. Ricardo

    Hi Ricardo,

    The two antennas you mention are manufactured as 2 way marine radio antennas and should have NEVER been marketed as FM reception antennas. They are what is known as end-fed dipoles which I discuss in the article above so to answer your questions I don’t think those two antennas will do anything but make you poorer.

    Regards,
    Lake

  37. 37
    Pete Says:

    Lake,

    I have a Yamaha home theatre receiver that has an FM antenna connection for a single wire antenna, not a dipole. How can I connect an indoor dipole antenna? Just use one of the spades? Use both of them? Use the center conductor in the coax and connect the shield to a chassis screw? Thanks!

    Hi Pete,

    If the FM connector is the same as your TV cable input on your TV then there are adapters but if you get an antenna or cable that already have an F connector as most modern ones do then you are set.

    Regards,
    Lake

  38. 38
    Sean Stone Says:

    Hi Lake,
    Great website! I have a 40′ tower antenna that I presently use for TV reception. If I split off of that, running one line to my receiver (the coax is the same as the “FM 75 ohm COAXIAL” terminal that is for the supplied FM antenna wire, yes?), and the other to the TV, will hat do the trick? And how much can I expect my TV signal to degrade because of the split?

    Cheers!
    Sean

    Hi Sean,

    You sure can do that and you will have great success with it. In planning the split, use the least amount of coax possible so if the stereo is close to the TV then split it right behind the TV and run it to the stereo or whatever route uses the least amount of coaxial cable (or coax for short). The signal level will drop some but my suggestion is to try it and see if it actually changes your TV reception; if it doesn’t then you are set but if it drops too low then add a small low-noise amplifier to increase the signal from the antenna. This is one instance when I do recommend an amplifier (to overcome the loss of a cable split or long cable run). Try to amplify the signal as close to the antenna as possible and only get enough amplification to compensate for the signal loss which should be less than 10db (actually the loss will be far less but a 10db or less amp should be sufficient).

    The reason your setup will be successful is because height is the most important factor in successful FM reception.

    You didn’t mention what type of TV antenna you have, but it SHOULD include VHF. A UHF antenna at 40′ would be better than a wire antenna next to the stereo but it is a compromise because basically the FM band is “TV Channel 6.5″ as it lies between TV channels 6 and 7 which are clearly in the VHF segment of the TV band.

    Regards,
    Lake

  39. 39
    william cameron Says:

    I live on the south shore of western Suffolk County NY, zip 11757. I have an omni-directional on my roof and can pick up Manhattan stations. I am trying to pick up a Connecticut National Public radio station, WSHU, which I can get on my car radio, but not my home FM receiver. If I install a directional antenna to receive this station, can I hook it into the same feed as my omni antenna? Thank you for your help.

    Hi William,

    I would give it a try though quite frankly I don’t know. It is not ideal because there will be interaction between the two that cannot be predicted easily but you just need a splitter/combiner to test and it is just a small investment to try that I believe I would.

    You could get an antenna switch if you didn’t mine running 2 cables, or if you have deep pockets a remote switch would do it as well. Then you can switch between the antennas as needed.

    One more note, directional antennas still pick up from other directions some though they pick up better to the front, with next best being on the back side and the signal reducing all the way down as you get off the front end to the side. It might be that the yagi would still pick up your other stations while pointed at your goal station, particularly if the NY stations are not all 90 degrees off your CT goal station.

    Also, I don’t understand why your car radio is picking up better than your home antenna. There is an issue with your reception system somewhere.

    Lake

  40. 40
    Harold Says:

    I have a clock radio that I love. It gets great reception on most stations except for the the 100K watt station located 7 miles away. The clock radio has one of those thin single wire antennas and I see no way to hook the radio up to any other antenna. In fall and spring, the reception is terrible. I constantly have to move the single wire antenna around to get reception. And frequently, nearby stations bleed over. At other times of the year, I get very good reception. The radio is on the ground floor of a wood frame house. Any suggestion on how to get better reception or how to hook this to an external antenna?

    Hi Harold,

    Actually I have a couple of suggestions.

    First, move the radio to the best reception location which will probably be as far from the transmitter location as possible with it being so powerful and close. Second, I would adjust the antenna for the best reception on that station. You can change the length (if it is cut correctly) or you could add enough wire to make it 1/4 wavelength at the frequency of your goal station. Do a Google search for “1/4 wave antenna calculator” to find the length your antenna should be. After setting the length adjust your antenna for best orientation which is almost always straight up and down (vertical). Tape it in the best configuration and then walk away because your body can interact with the antenna when you are right on it to test your work.

    Lake

  41. 41
    Kelley Griffith Says:

    I have a question rather than a “reply.” In an addition to our house, we installed lots of T-8 flourescent fixtures on the ceiling. These interfere big time (much static) with FM signals from remote stations (public stations that play classical music). Strong stations come in just fine. So far, I’m using an indoor antenna–the double wire thing that came with the radio. Will an outdoor antenna solve my problem? I’m thinking of the omni-directional antenna you recommend from FM DX Antenna Co. If you can help me with this problem, I’d be most grateful. Your web site, by the way, is enormously helpful.
    –Kelley

    Hi Kelley,

    An outdoor antenna from FM DX Antenna along with good, quality RG6 Quad-shield coax will solve your problem without questions.

    Regards,
    Lake

  42. 42
    Dennis Says:

    My wife bought a Bose wave radio which comes with an FM antenna jack but all the antennas seem to have coaxial connectors. This radio has an earphone-style jack. The Bose site seems to ignore antennas so I am looking for advice.

    TIA,
    Dennis

    Hi Dennis,

    If you have a set of headphones for a “Walkman” or MP3 player or anything that has a 1/8″ input, then plug it in your radio and see if has any effect on the reception. The wire in “Walkman type” headphones are used as the FM antenna so it should work for you. If you want to use an upgraded antenna there are adapters that will allow you to go from F (the common) to 1/8″ (small headphone connector).

    Regards,
    Lake

  43. 43
    Mike H. Says:

    Whenever I go hunting or fishing I take along a small transistor radio. Why is the signal received on the AM and not the FM when the antennae is down?
    Thank you.
    Mike

    Hi Mike,

    The rod antenna is only for FM (and TV and weather for radios that also have those) while the AM antenna is inside the radio. The AM antenna is also somewhat directional on a small radio and gets more directional as the radio gets bigger (up to the Superadio) so it does help to get the radio to the transmitter side (between you and the transmitter location) and turn it for best reception. The FM antenna will generally work best when extended vertically.

    All the “rules” of FM reception apply to those radios as well. They will work best when higher and with the best line of sight to the transmitter and signals are blocked by metal and to a much lesser extent other objects including human bodies.

    Thanks for the question!

    Regards,
    Lake

  44. 44
    terry Gess Says:

    Hi — Thanks for all the insight and info. I don’t think you’ve had this question: How about running two separate receivers off of one nondirectional roof mounted antenna? Could they be tuned to two different stations at the same time? I assume they would use two cables, or one cble that spit away from the antenna? Any ideas? Thanks!

    Hi Terry,

    Good question. You can run as many receivers from one antenna as you like and tune each receiver to a different station/frequency as needed. The lone consideration is the total amount of cable needed and if an amplifier is needed ONLY to overcome excessive loss in the cable system. I would consider a total of 200 feet in the cable/coax system to be the point where an amplified splitter or “switch” could be used.

    If the antenna is directional then the only consideration is the direction the antenna is turned could make a difference if the goal is two distant stations but this seems like a rare goal for most listeners.

    You would run one cable as close to the two receivers as possible and then use a splitter at that point.

    You can then tune either one to any frequency.

    Regards,
    Lake

  45. 45
    terry Gess Says:

    Hi Lake — Got it, thanks. Now on to RG6 Coax — how does a person determine good coax from less quality coax? I’m estimating that my run for FM antenna will be considerably less than 75 feet, or at least in that ball park.

    Terry,

    Great question! Thanks for that, so many people don’t get how important the coax part of the reception system is and I appreciate you asking that. Some of this is touched on in the FM Reception Guide.

    Generally, if it is manufactured to be used with satellites such as Dish Network or DirecTV it is good. Another indicator is if it is marked quad-shield RG6 then it is usually good stuff and I’m not familiar with “bad” or “imitation” quad-shield mainly because it would EASILY be discovered by anyone that attaches a connector because you can see the shielding on it; point being that if it says quad-shield, it is the best. Name brands are also very good and I’m sure there are plenty of good ones but Belden and Andrew come to mind but there are tons of others and if you looked online or did search for a brand name then I feel you would be fine. Also, if you purchase from a reputable dealer you won’t go wrong. Also, if you are only going 20 feet then any RG6 will do and easily up to 40 or 50 feet probably but I can be an excessive person and as I find quad-shield to not be much of a hit financially I just go with it from the jump. The coax is the opposite of the antenna in a way as the antenna is a signal gain point and the cable is a loss point in the simplest description so as you want as much “gain” or signal entry as possible you want as little loss with the coax (or cable) as possible. With coax a smaller number is better; 2db coax is better than 5db because that is the loss rating. I don’t recommend RG11 or RG11 quad-shield but for very, very long runs (200 feet total) as it is probably overkill but I have used it in the past and it is strong as well. Finally, try to keep the coax run as short as possible. If you could mount your tuner on the pole next to your antenna you would be set!

    Again, along those same lines height is the key, so you accept the cable loss and do what you can to lessen it by using larger cable but the higher the FM antenna is mounted, the better it will work with few exceptions (though there are some rare ones).

    Best,
    Lake

  46. 46
    Dick M. Says:

    Many thanks for your very helpful and useful site! I have 2 questions: First, my office is in a very tall building (Sears Tower in Chicago) that has oodles of antennae on its top. Not unexpectedly, FM reception in my office is not easy. But I notice that cheap FM radios, with no antennas at all, seem to do better than my vintage HK FM receiver, for which I have tried a variety of indoor antennas, with dubious success (reception comes and goes). Why is that — and what can I do about it (other than buying a simple FM radio).

    My second question. At home I am using a very high quality FM receiver (Naim) connected to a Fanfare antenna in the attic. Reception on one of the stations I listen to most (Classical) is loud and strong — but badly garbled or “fuzzy.” Another receiver elsewhere in the house (a Nakamichi mini) does much better using the same antenna (via a splitter) even tho the coax run is considerably longer. (Note that I had the same problem when there was a TV roof antenna — removed and destroyed by the contractor that redid our roof.)

    Your help would be most appreciated!

    Hi Dick,

    Thanks for the questions, they are thought-provoking.

    First, with the HK receiver, if it works ok at other locations, which I question at this point, then you may try it with no antenna or with a small piece of wire, like speaker wire, just pushed into the hole for the antenna to see if you get any signal and the results are the same. If there are transmitters on top of the Sears Tower they could be blanking out your reception. Basically, you are saying that “lesser” receivers pick up what your “better” receiver will not so either the HK is defective or it is very succeptible to the near-field RF on the building. I’m sure there are tuners that work in your setting. If you can open the cabinet of your tuner perhaps you could line the inside with foil (make CERTAIN NOT TO GET THE FOIL NEAR ANY OF THE ELECTRONICS so as not to short anything or to start the Great Chicago Fire of 2009 because you would not want to be a 21st century Mrs O’Leary’s cow) to prevent RF leakage. You could determine if RF was leaking into the case by wrapping it in aluminum or tin foil, thicker the better) and if that helps try to just block certain parts and if that helps you could then tape it inside with the unit unplugged and keeping the foil clear of the components. Just some thoughts. There are radios that work in high rf areas so you may have to make a change and do some additional research on radios for that need and the FM Tuner Group, of which I lurk but rarely participate, is a fantastic resource for such a thing but as with any board, be sure to measure the responses you get to any questions posted.

    With the second question, here is what I would do. I would swap the receivers long enough to see if the results are consistent at both locations. If the Naim sounds the same in both locations, then the problem (whatever it is) is with the Naim. If the problem switches to the Nakamichi then you have a problem with your coax or the splitter because we know it isn’t the antenna as it happened on two different ones. You can unplug and switch the two outputs on the splitter to determine if it is the splitter. This way you can determine where the issue lies and either replace the coax run from the switch to the Naim or replace the switch if it is the problem.

    With both questions, if you determine the problem lies within the tuner, you either need to replace it, use it somewhere where it works correctly, or ask a tuner/receiver repair person what needs to be done. You may also pose your question on the FM Tuner message board on Yahoo to see if anyone else had the same problem with their tuner(s) like that.

    Regards,
    Lake

  47. 47
    Bill Says:

    I live in the 19711 zipcode. I have an Onkyo Cr-305TX tuner/CD player and get most excellent FM reception using the rabbit ear antennae I had sitting in my parts box. Way better than running twin lead up the wall.

  48. 48
    George Hackett Says:

    Live in 94590-3714 area code. Many AM and FM stations, both local and distant. Want to order the outdoor 1/2 Wave Dipole FM antenna and was wondering if I could use it for AM reception as well, have an older NAD7240 tuner. Anything special needed to accomplish this? Thanks for the help!

    No, the half-wave dipole is FM only. There is an AM Reception Guide located elsewhere on this site that discusses AM reception. Reception on AM is a completely different creature from FM so I’m not going to cover it here to avoid confusion other than to say it is rarely necessary to mount an AM antenna outside.

    R,
    Lake

  49. 49
    Mike Stahl Says:

    I have a problem which I don’t believe there is a solution to. Is there any way to block a 91.3 FM signal which is coming 45 miles from the South and pick up a 91.3 FM signal coming 120 miles from the North?

    I have about 150′ of RG6 cable coming from a Radio Shack FM antenna on the North side of a hill 30′ in the air. I have a Radio Shack DC block at the antenna with an 110v Radio Shack booster at our Bose radio. The 150′ RG6 comes into the attic which is connected via adapter to a heavy duty 300 ohm 30′ flat cable running to the radio. I have not tried replacing the 30′ of 300 ohm cable in the attic with RG6 yet.

    For the past couple of years this has been acceptable even thought the 91.3 from the South would drown out the 91.3 from the North every so often. About three weeks ago the North signal went away after some bad weather and all we could pick up was the South signal. I thought possibly I had a bad connection due to weather, but all connections were in excellent condition. Every so often the North signal comes in, but is always over powered by the South signal. I did contact the radio station to the North and inquire as to if any changes in their signal strength had happened. The engineer I spoke with was very surprised that I could pick up his signal 120 miles from the station. He also said that normally his signal was good for 60 miles max, but there were a few instances of listeners receiving a signal at 80 miles. If there was some way I could block the South signal I probably could pick up the North signal. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    Thank You
    Mike Stahl

  50. 50
    Mike Stahl Says:

    Sorry George
    I finally figured out where your reply was. Please disregard the last message. Thanks so much for the info.

    MIke

  51. 51
    Gary Couvillion Says:

    I have a sony xdrf1hd hd radio tuner, half-wave omnidirectional dipole antenna and a 19-foot antenna mast. I want to build an fm dx system. Is there an inexpensive amp out there for the tuner? Do I need a preamp? What is a preamp? The antenna mast is about 75 feet from the tuner. Should I get rg6 cable or rg11? Do I need a line amp? I am not technically knowledgable and would appreciate any advice you can give. I also don’t want to spend a lot of money. I would like to have a workable system. Sound quality need only be adequate and understandable.

    Gary couvillion

    Hi,

    Nice tuner!

    I would use RG6 and I don’t believe there is a reason to use an amplifier or preamp (same thing) on your system. I’m sure you are pleased with your system as you have an awesome setup for FM reception!

    Regards,
    Lake

  52. 52
    Brett Says:

    I am installing a Nuvo XM/AM/FM/Weather into a clients house. However, the receiver will be placed in the basement so the application of a antenna of any kind will be difficult. Is there any way to hook into the electrical wiring running through the house and utilize the electrical system as an antenna? Any suggestions are extremely appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Brett

    Hi Brett,

    No, it is not possible, unfortunately, to use a home electrical system as an antenna. There were some devices marketed in the 1970s that were supposed to do that for TV but they were bogus.

    Regards,
    Lake

  53. 53
    Mark Sime Says:

    Hello,
    I recently purchased a vintage Accuphase T-100 in marvelous condition wood case and all.
    It was up for sale in a local buy and sell for a what I thought was a very reasonable price.
    I wasn’t looking for a tuner it simply was a impulse buy more so then anything else.

    After listening to it for extended periods I’m now hooked on FM broad cast’s.

    My question concerning this vintage tuner is getting a proper antenna for it including coax cable.
    My tuner has a 75ohm antenna connection on the back, would the RG6 coax cable be compatible with this 75 ohm connection?
    Perhaps the RG6 is 75ohm also?

    Thank you.

    Mark Sime

    Hi Mark,

    You are exactly right, RG6 is 75 ohm and will work perfectly for your new radio.

    It is a good one that you’ll enjoy!

    Best,
    Lake

  54. 54
    Vinod Says:

    Trying to receive FM HD radio Channels on JVC HD Radio that has 2.5mm (3 Conductor) connector (like cell phone earphones).

    Trying to make a dipole antenna, how the wiring needs to be?

    Is HD Radio reception needs more caution than regular FM, thanks

    Hi,

    Not Just attach one side of the dipole to the ground side and one side to the middle. Quite simple…

    HD FM and analog FM have identical requirements in the antenna system. An FM antenna from 1950 will work just as good as a new identical antenna that is marketed for HD or digital.

    Regards,
    Lake

  55. 55
    George Says:

    in regards to Hashem Noyes on FM reception with the new fluorescent lights it is due to the electronic switching ballast transformers I recommend when installing new fluorescent lights that you seek out the the type of forest lights that have the transformer style ballast transformers rather than the switching type ballasts sincerely George

  56. 56
    danap Says:

    I have a question. I bought a new Samsung home theater system with 5-disc changer. found out it only has FM tuner. Is there a way to get the AM local stations on it? it is hooked up to the whole house surround sound speaker system too.

    Hi,

    The only way I can think of is to get a simple external tuner that has AM on it and attach it to the AUX input. I would shop carefully as the AM section on tuners are often an afterthought and are poor performers. I’m embarrassed to admit that I do NOT have a recommendation as to a tuner at this time but I’ll look around and see what comes up.

    Regards,
    Lake

  57. 57
    Jeff Hamilton Says:

    I live in a fringe area in the middle of Arizona. I could not receive FM on my Harmon Kardon which is the center of my house audio system. I was able to pull in FM on my 30 year old Sansui 2000 though.

    I bought the FM dipole recomended, installed in the attic (1 1/2 story) and use the Sony XHD-FM tuner. I now can receive several stations previously unattainable.

    A cheap solution. thanks for the great website.

    Jeff

  58. 58
    RJ Says:

    Hello, I have a tv antenna in the attic of my shop. TV reception is fine. I would like to receive FM Radio frequency in the shop. Can I use my exhisting TV anttena some how? I beleive my radio calls for 75 ohm adapter to plug into the sysytem?

    Thank you.

    RJ

    Hi RJ,

    Yes, you certainly can use your TV antenna for FM. The FM broadcast band is located just above channel 6 and well below channel 7. I’ve always liked using product you have on hand before spending money and what you have in mind does just that.

    Best,
    Lake

  59. 59
    Kiera Says:

    Hello, I want to record a 5 Watt FM station that’s set up at a festival on the east coast this next August. I can only get within about 1/4 mile of the transmitter and can mount an FM antenna on a tree, but I will necessarily have trees between my antenna and the transmitter. Is there anything I can do about this to mitigate the interference (a better antenna, amplification) or will I still end up with ‘scratchiness’ in my recordings? Thanks!

    Hi,

    Trees don’t normally block FM broadcast reception. The FM Reception Guide applies: use the best tuner you can and mount your antenna of choice as high in your tree as possible and you should not have a problem.

  60. 60
    david huaman Says:

    is their an fm antenna that will be able to receive the signal from about 80.0 miles?

    Yes, but it is not that simple. You can take any antenna and take it to the top of the highest mountain and it will pick up hundreds of miles away.

    Get a directional antenna such as the Antennacraft FM6, mount it as high as you can, point it at the transmitter antenna you are trying to receive and you have your best chance.

    There are tons of factors that impact range of reception such as terrain, transmitter antenna height, reception antenna height, transmitter power output, and many others.

  61. 61
    Fran Mach Says:

    Because of snow falling from my roof, I have considered running my cable underground for a distance of app. 20 feet. Is this feasible? Any suggestions?

    Hi,

    Yes, it is feasible and done fairly often. There is coax cable available that is qualified to be buried. Simply check the specifications of the cable, it will not add much to the cost.

  62. 62
    Justin Says:

    Hey:) im been intrested in buying a radio cuz i despise online streaming and i hate lag time, like theyll be having these awesome give aways and it turns out the streaming is 5 MIN BEHIND!! >:/. But i live in the high desert in California. and i wanna get radio stations in the Los Angeles Area which is about 80 miles away. Do you know any good simple radios that can reach that far. cuz my car radio wont get any of them. So basically looking for some sort of way to reach LA station for less than $100.

    Hi Justin,

    The radio I feel that sounds great and has fantastic reception is one I use every single day and I’d be surprised can be beat:

    Sangean PR-D5

  63. 63
    Paul B Says:

    Hello. I have an FM radio in a car that I am having some trouble with reception. When I plug an antenna into the radio all I get is static. I noticed that when I wrap my hand around the connector that goes into the radio I get reception. I put foil tape on the coax and that fixed the problem to some extent. Should I consider a better quality coax for this antenna? Do you think that would help?

    Hi Paul,

    In my opinion, there is a problem in the coax somewhere. I would replace the coax and connector going into the radio. You might consider taking it to a car stereo installer who should be able to take are of it for you.

    Best of luck,
    Lake

  64. 64
    Jude Says:

    Hello. I work on the bottom floor of a 6-story building (and one story below the massive MRI magnet). As our IS people prohibit online streaming because of the bandwith hogging on the inter net, I am interested in your opinion on the best way to get FM reception at my desk. Do you think my best bet would be a Bose, a Tivoli, or the Sangean in regards to pulling in FM reception. (the station in 100 k watts with a tower only about 10 miles away, but steel, concrete, and the magnet are beasts)

    Hi,

    You have quite a reception challenge indeed!

    It’s a pick ‘em on the 3 radios you mention. They are all fantastic (though the Bose is quite an investment) and give great results under normal conditions. However, you don’t have normal conditions. I would get the cheapest of the radios you mentioned, make sure the company you purchase it from has a return policy, and give it a try. If it doesn’t work either return the radio or use it elsewhere. Meanwhile, at the office, if you are without signal from any of those, then you are not going to get signal and you’ll need to go another route. I have a couple of suggestions if FM doesn’t work and you have to go another route.

    First suggestion is an MP3 player. Load up thousands of songs and enjoy or record radio or Internet radio overnight and listen the next day at work.

    Second suggestion is streaming over your cell phone. I had to do this in the last office I worked in and it worked out beautifully. I streamed my favorite Internet radio programs over my cell phone and it worked out great. Of course, in your reception setting cell reception may be a challenge, but it may beat FM reception.

    Best of luck, you’re in a tough reception spot, but think outside the box and you may get entertainment from another source.

  65. 65
    andy Says:

    Hi
    I have a mini hifi stereo for office use and want to connect to local cable tv feed for fm. However the unit (compact ) only has one wire out for fm (part of a thre pin connector that has two leads for am loop antenna). How would I deal with coax leads ?
    Thanks

    Sorry, but you can’t. The shelf unit you have is not intended to be used with an external antenna or cable input. The connector on it is proprietary and there are no adapters available at this time.

    If getting cable FM is important to you, you’ll need to find a receiver with an external antenna input.

  66. 66
    K.W.Tang Says:

    Hi;
    I’ve got a small Sony AM/FM and CD combo which I used in bedroom. The problem is that FM reception quality is not good enough with it’s own telescopic antenna. But it lacks antenna input jack,so is there any ways connecting to an external FM antenna in order to strengthen the reception quality.
    Best regards

    Tang

    Hi,

    Unfortunately, no, there is no way to add an external antenna without an antenna input.

    The only thing you can do is to move the unit around (if your setting allows that) and find the best spot for reception. Generally, a window on an outer wall, or at least an outer wall will work better. Also, the higher the unit is, the better. Sometimes just moving the unit a few inches to a few feet can make a difference, often a considerable difference. Be sure to extend the antenna all the way out. Usually the antenna should be vertical, but you can experiment with different angles with the antenna for your goal station.

    Regards,
    Lake

  67. 67
    Grethel Says:

    where can i seethe antenna height of each radio stations?

    Thank you!

    Hi,

    Thanks for the question!

    In the US and Canada it is very easy as you can find that info at the following Web site:

    Radio Locator

    A quick search on Google let me to the following the following Web site that could help outside the US and Canada:

    FMList

    Hope that helps!

    Regards,
    Lake

  68. 68
    Bruno Geuth Says:

    Hi,
    I have a B&O Stereo FM tuner with a coax connestion for the antenna. I have conected this coax cable only with the centre pin to a cheap in-house antenna (JVC)

    Now, the signal is excellent but I am doubting about the stereo output…

    Can a central cable only connection produce a decent stereo signal?
    Thanks!
    Bruno

  69. 69
    Emby Says:

    Will a VHF TV antenna work for FM radio reception?

    Hi,

    Yes, it will, it will work beautifully if it is made for the VHF Low portion of the TV Band (Channels 2-6). The domestic FM broadcast band is located just above TV Channel 6.

    Please note that a limited few antennas have some sort of “block” for FM but it can be defeated by snapping off a couple of short elements. You may want to check the manufacturer Web site to make sure the VHF antenna you want to use does not have this block. If it is rated for FM anyway you don’t have to worry about it.

    Note that no VHF directional TV antenna is going to outperform an FM only directional antenna and the same for omnidirectional antennas but the TV antenna on the roof will outperform an antenna in the room with the stereo.

    Regards,
    Lake

  70. 70
    eResumes4Vips Says:

    Lake,
    Was looking for a way to get FM reception within my office bldg Without an outside antenna. Didn’t find the exact info while searching the forum; however, found your site as one of high quality, informative, and extremely helpful.

    Keep up the GR8 work… ~ Andre Milteer, Publisher of eResumes4Vips.com

  71. 71
    Steve Says:

    Hi, I have an NPR FM station which keeps getting trodden on by a powerful FM station close to the frequency. I have been told that I can use a splitter (not a multiswitch) on my Directv input and run this directly into the input of my receiver. Does this sound feasible? I have tried all manner of antennas etc to get a cleaner signal but to no avail. I have found that Yamaha have better FM sections when it comes to receiving noisy signals better but it is still not perfect. I live in the mountains of NC. Any ideas?

    Cheers

    Steve

    Hi Steve,

    First, you aren’t going to get any help from the DirecTV dish at all. You can try it, but be careful of the power that is inserted on the coax to power the dish, you want to make sure to not get any of that into your stereo.

    You didn’t mention which specific antennas you have tried, but you may want to try an Antennacraft FM6 and turning it for best reception of your station and rejection of the interfering station. It is directional so will pick up best in the direction it is pointing.

    As far as stereo or FM tuner specifications, you want one that has great separation which helps prevent interference from adjacent and alternate frequency stations.

    The combination of a directional antenna and an FM tuner with strong separation are about all you can do. An alternative may be to find a stream of Online of the station you want or to find another NPR station Online that streams the programming you would like to hear.

    Best of luck to you!
    Lake

  72. 72
    Chris Says:

    Hello,

    My wife an I currently have a Under Cabint Radio/TV/DVD player in our kitchen. The pivot for the TV has brokern so we are forced to keep it down all the time which cluters up the counter. I was wondering if you know if it is possible to revceive FM stations via the TV tuner? I would like to replace what we have with a straight up LED tv. The TV we are considering has TV system: ATSC, NTSC and Tuner bands: UHF, VHF.

    I would run HDMI into the TV for the video/audio portion of the TV which would leave the RF tuner port available.

    Thank you,
    Chris

    The only way to get radio on a TV is if it has a built-in FM tuner. I’m not aware of any converter or anything. The only way to get radio on your TV if it doesn’t have an FM tuner is to get a TV with built-in Web apps and connect the TV to your local network wirelessly or wired and use one of the apps that gets radio online.

  73. 73
    Ben Noll Says:

    Hello,

    I live exactly 55.1 NW (Montgomery, NY) of the Empire State Building (and the multitude of NYC-FM-Broadcasts). So, its a fringe location as it is. To further complicate things, I live in a relatively low lying area AND elevated areas exist along the path that which FM waves travel to my receiver from the Empire State Building.

    To put it differently: I am in-range of these stations (WQHT, specifically), but the signal quality is greatly compromised by elevated areas between me and the signal, hence significant static.

    I recently purchased CCRadioSW with the hopes of making magic with WQHT. The whip antenna, when positioned precisely, can pick up WQHT but significant static is present (fairly close to un-listenable).

    Will your FM Indoor Dipole Antenna work to enhance my signal in this situation, or at least do a better job than the whip antenna on my unit?

    By the way, I can’t have an outdoor antenna as per community rules.

    Thanks!

    Good question. The only way the indoor antenna would help your situation is if you can mount it in your attic, if you have one. You will need height to overcome your reception issues. The indoor antennas are fantastic in an attic as long as the roof or siding on the house is NOT made of metal; metal blocks signals to any antenna.

    I understand FCC rules supersede housing covenants regarding antennas to receive broadcast radio and TV but I’m not exactly certain. You may want to Google it if you are willing to pursue the issue.

    Sometimes either satellite radio or Internet radio are the best solution to reception problems.

    Best of luck with your reception!

    Regards,
    Lake

  74. 74
    michael schmidt Says:

    I would like to improve the reception of a specific, distant FM station on a table radio with a typical built in pole antenna. Would it work if I used a horizontal wire of 31 5/16″ for 89.7 MHz and connect it to the built in antenna with a length of coax cable and an aligator clip from the coax center wire to the radio’s antenna? If so, should I add the length of the built in antenna to the length of the wire or just forget it?
    If this doesn’t work I’d like to place a DIY Yagi antenna in the attic using a radio with a 75 ohm antenna jack. I’d like to use inexpensive “rabbit ear” atennaes for the elements. I believe I’d use the main (driving) element as it is and running it to the radio with coax. What about the front (directing) and back (reflecting) elements? I plan to remove the wire leads coming off of these. Would I just leave the individual sides (each “ear”) of each of these elements unconnected or would I solder a short wire between the 2 sides (ears) to make each side of the elements electrically connected? I hope this is clear. Thanks!

    Hi,

    The wire attached to an antenna will work if you attach one side of the wire to the base of the rod which should be folded down and the other side to a ground on the radio such as the ground side of battery terminals or a ground screw on the back or bottom.

    As for the Yagi, you don’t need to attach the elements with wires, you just get them to the correct length for your frequency and also the correct distance between each element. There are antenna calculators on the net for Yagis that can help you do that.

    Best of luck with your project, sounds like a lot of fun!

    Lake

Leave a Reply

© 2014 AM FM TV Reception Guide and Directory | Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS)

GPS Reviews and news from GPS Gazettewordpress logo