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FM antennas, placement is key

Discussion in 'Tuners' started by stereofisher, Oct 23, 2018.

  1. stereofisher

    stereofisher For the Love of the Music Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,207
    Location:
    Southeast NY
    This has likely been posted before. As a classical music fan, I enjoy listening on FM. Unfortunately, the number of stations with classical programming has declined. I live in Hurley NY. In an effort to get WQXR I purchased a 5 element antenna. Not very easy these days. Found one on Amazon. Tried in the basement pulled many stations no QXR. Moved to the attic. Got everything including WMHT off their repeater. Sadly, they share with the SUNY College at New Paltz, nights when school is in session. All was well, then I got cold and no signal. Weak at best.

    Yesterday I went into the attic. Raised the antenna off the floor. Raised it three feet and tied to two cross beams. Fixed the low signal strength on WMHT. Four out of five signal strength in stereo with no noise. Pulls WNYC out of NYC. Too bad they are a NPR talk station most of the time. Get WFAN at 101.9. The only source for Yankee baseball here in Ulster. Hopefully they will get rid os Sunsan Walkman, who make the broadcasts unlistenable. Still no QXR, found their repeater is a whooping 10 watts!

    Placement is key. Too bad FM programming has gotten bad. Loads of channels. Too much religion and Ifart radio channels. Glad to get MHT clearly. Also get the Vassar station in Poughkeepsie. Have a friend who plays jazz records on 78s. Pretty cool.

    Yes I know I can get stations off the net. Sound quality is better of the air. Using a rebuilt Marantz 2270 a 4270 and Scott tuner. Happy that I can get what I get.

    Eric
     

     

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  2. DC

    DC "Manhattan Boy" Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,165
    Location:
    Seminole Hills, Michigan
    I hate to ask the "obvious" question (sorry), but is it pointed in the right direction? A "5-element antenna" I'm assuming is a Yagi? If it's not pointed in the right direction, you'll actually decrease the gain of the station(s) you want.

    I've got a 4-element Yagi on the roof with a rotator. I can null out mid-distance stations down to nothing and find another station lurking under them on the same frequency.

    Any antenna "inside" is more susceptible to RFI (radio interference) from local electronics (mostly switch-mode power supplies) and other household hazards. Even a simple "piece of wire" antenna outside will almost always outperform the most elaborate or expensive antenna inside.

    Yes, placement is key.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. stereofisher

    stereofisher For the Love of the Music Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,207
    Location:
    Southeast NY
    That’s a nice setup you have^^^^. We have an outside antenna tower with a TV/ rotor. It’s forty years old. Will most likely be coming down. In our area the stations I want are clear. We face into the Hill that blocks WHMTs main signal. Run a lot of records too.
     
  4. stoutblock

    stoutblock If it sounds good, it is good... Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,706
    Location:
    Northwest USA
    I moved my Omni to several locations and was amazed at how much the signal would change. Just a few feet in any direction would change things quite a bit. I ended up having it about 20’ front the house and 23’ up in the air.
     
    I LIKE MUSIC likes this.
  5. Bob@FM

    Bob@FM Active Member

    Messages:
    355
    Location:
    NE NY
    Here is the WMHT coverage map - looks like you are right between the distant and fringe coverage lines. I have found that with a rooftop 9 element FM antenna and rotor I can get stations slightly beyond the fringe line. The tuner plays role also, it must be well aligned and have narrow IF filters when you get beyond fringe coverage.
    But as you said, the type and location of the antenna is by far the most important factor.
    I also listen to WMHT from the North of where you are. You should also get WAMC, which is talk weekdays but has music programs on the weekend, and live classical concerts in the summer.

    https://radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/pat?call=WMHT&service=FM
     
  6. bimasta

    bimasta Super Member

    Messages:
    2,566
    It seems I'm a minority here, as a city/apartment dweller. No outside or rooftop antenna, only rabbit-ears indoors. But reception still quite good, maybe because the transmitters are close. And I'm not a DXer, so I don't try to pull poor distant stations.

    As Bob points out above, the radio-locator site is invaluable even with rabbit-ears. When I "aim" the ears at the source, I get 2 more bars, and it's a very audible improvement.
     

     

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  7. Binkman

    Binkman AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,512
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    When I had a rotor ant. I could get chicago or stations west and far east as montreal from my loc when in raleigh NC. (I used to live in your neck of the woods) you might try rotating your ant. as noted. Another thing you (or any one) might try is a fixed loop antenna and experiment with that in positioning or you could look at adding a vertical dipole T to your attic. there are more efficient dipoles available for outdoor mounting. I did try one thing that surprised me, I ran an extra wire from a dipole to completely dead 6v utility battery then fed to 75ohm cable to amp. On the vertical mount I picked up approx 14 more fm signals on auto searches, again in raleigh NC in a cul de sac with steep hills.
     
  8. stereofisher

    stereofisher For the Love of the Music Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,207
    Location:
    Southeast NY
    Too bad we are facing into a hill north of the house. It blocks out WMHT’s main signal. The Poughkeepsie repeater is booming in, 4 out of 5 on the signal strength meter. Sadly, they give up the channel to SUNY New Paltz at night, starting a 7. makes you ask if my taste as a kid was ever that bad? FM has gotten rear bad. Over twenty stations and nothing to listen to at night. Many of the Ifart channels has a short play list. WPDH is an example leave for a year, come back and its the same short playlist!
    Way to much religion with loads of repeaters. The FCC needs to go back to limiting multi stations. But I’m good.
     
  9. stereofisher

    stereofisher For the Love of the Music Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,207
    Location:
    Southeast NY
    Too bad we are facing into a hill north of the house. It blocks out WMHT’s main signal. The Poughkeepsie repeater is booming in, 4 out of 5 on the signal strength meter. Sadly, they give up the channel to SUNY New Paltz at night, starting a 7. makes you ask if my taste as a kid was ever that bad? FM has gotten rear bad. Over twenty stations and nothing to listen to at night. Many of the Ifart channels has a short play list. WPDH is an example leave for a year, come back and its the same short playlist!
    Way to much religion with loads of repeaters. The FCC needs to go back to limiting multi stations. But I’m good.
     
  10. Binkman

    Binkman AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,512
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Try this loop antenna and test direction in your yard.. Then mount on top of that hill w/o any wiring,, loop nail to a tree. Antenna's attract signals. point your attic antenna toward same direction. You might get a skip from the great lakes winter cloud skip on a cold night. perhaps other stations, too.
    https://fmdxing.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/simple-diy-fm-antennas-build-an-fm-loop-for-about-20/

    I've read on other antenna threads where a focused Yagi was used on top of a high hill and improved this guys cell signal. he used two and point one at the other or his phone picked it up.. don't remember but worked.
     
    RWood likes this.

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