Now that the Antennacraft FM6 is discontinued, what's my best bet for an antenna?

Discussion in 'Tuners' started by ChopperChas, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. AlTinkster92

    AlTinkster92 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Hi Charles. I live close to Charlotte and get stations way up in Monroe, see if you can get WDAV 88.9 :)
     
  2. DC

    DC "Manhattan Boy" Subscriber

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    I've posted this before, but I do recommend the inexpensive Stellar Labs 4-ele Yagi. It works quite well. The size means it's beamwidth is pretty wide but the side nulls are also very deep so you can do some pretty fancy DXing via nulling out the unwanted signal and the one you want is still easily captured.

    Without knowing your geography, I'd wager that just getting a simple directional antenna (such as this) out in the clear would capture signals in your system at least as well as or (probably much) better than your car.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8641 Subscriber

    Even if TV isn't a concern ... you can see a Magnum omni sticking out over my FM6 ... both are coupled into a single downfeed to the stereo.

    [​IMG]

    That can drag the world in right nice, except it had trouble with a low watt college station about 25 miles out with a big metro full of interference between us. The FM6 is pointed right at their tower and gives me excellent reception.

    Option B might be a rotor if you're in a fringe area.

    * Probably helps that I've got an old school FM Magnum amplifier in line.

    [​IMG]

    Ain't nuttin' kin hide from that bad boy! ;-}
     
  4. eickmewg

    eickmewg AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I had no luck with the Stellar labs circular omni-directional antenna. It was a waste of money for me. The four-element yagi from Stellar labs, on the other hand, works great.
     
  5. b-lilja

    b-lilja New Member

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    For those of you with the Stellar 4 element, do you have it on a rotator or just positioned to optimize station pick up? If stationary, how does it work for station antennas it isn't pointed at?
     
  6. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

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    Thanks to this thread, I'm now about 34 bucks lighter. Just ordered that linked Stellar Labs antenna.
     
  7. Lesterbest

    Lesterbest Super Member

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    These antennas are designed to reject FM signals in the direction THEY ARE NOT AIMED AT. If you don't want to use a rotor, you can erect 2 antennas pointing in opposite directions using a switch near your gear.
     
  8. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8641 Subscriber

    The antenna actually sucks, but everyone who has one didn't want to be the only suckers. <G>

    I got my FM6 a couple years back, so I'm good for now, but be interesting to get your review once you get it mounted up. And ya, you will need a rotor if you're trying to pick up stations in disparate locations as any yagi type antenna is directional - the better they are, the tighter the reception footprint. Mine is fixed position, but ganged with an omni whip. The vertical omni gave me good stereo out to 100 miles on a good night, but still couldn't pick up that low watt college station I like from 20 miles away. Pointing the yagi right at their antenna gives me very nice stereo more times than not, including the HD Radio sub-carriers. Still get some bad nights, but that's the nature of the beast.

    Anyway, make sure to post back with your results ... we're waiting! (tap tap tap) ;-}
     
  9. loopstick

    loopstick AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Are you JBL GUY? Say "location, location, location".
     
  10. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

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    Will certainly do, Skizo. Thanks for the tips.
     
  11. b-lilja

    b-lilja New Member

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    Skizo, how did you route the two antennas into one feed? What components? Might be a good plan for me too. I do have a MD ST-2 on a different system and it works well, but I'd like to have a big gun also.
     
  12. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8641 Subscriber

    Nothing fancy ... a standard coax coupler works fine, and also provides a handy point to ground both the coax and mast assembly.

    [​IMG]
    No untoward effects, and as mentioned earlier, I see no significant degradation in reception on the omni. The yagi does exactly what it's supposed to as well.

    Just to make things interesting, I also split the signal inside to two different receivers. That WILL drop the gain some, but that loss is more than compensated for by the Magnum FM amp. If you decide to go that route, a standard powered splitter may be just what you need. The Antennas Direct AM4262C will give you 22db gain which is adjustable to prevent overload. Available at a WallyWorld near you ...
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Sam Cogley

    Sam Cogley Last of the Time Lords Subscriber

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    If one had the space and the parts, it would be interesting to construct an omnidirectional antenna using four of them.
     
  14. I LIKE MUSIC

    I LIKE MUSIC Well-Known Member

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    This would yield a pattern closer to a 4 lobed cloverleaf pattern than an omnidirectional pattern. The shape of the lobes would depend on the particular antennas used.

    Capture 500.JPG Capture 501.JPG

    Each of the lobes could be aimed to favor particular stations. But if the antennas were fed with a common feed line with a 4 way combiner at the antennas, the real world loss in the combiner would be around 7 dB and would negate the gain of the antennas.

    One can design and build a coaxial cable matching/phasing cable assembly to combine the signals from the 4 antennas with a much lower resultant insertion loss. Commercial two way radio antenna companies (DB Products, Andrews and others) do this for their multiple element omnidirectional antennas. One could run 4 separate feed lines to a 4 way switch to keep insertion losses low.

    Capture 502.JPG

    Commercial professional antennas, while rather large and expensive (mostly way over the top for the average user), can give real world omnidirectional gains of 6 dB or more. It is likely that most would prefer using a directional antenna and a rotor, if needed.
     
  15. backmd

    backmd Active Member

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    413
    I have a 20 year old Antennacraft FM6 that gets
    54 stations after sinking ground rod deeply and aiming perfectly; the ground rod should stabilize the aim at Sears (Willis)
    Tower. WFMT is 5 plus bars now and WDCB is 4.5 bars and very very deep stereo depth. However it was missing half the reflector and half the director. Using four wooden splints, a steel hanger, and multiple cable ties, we have restored the geometry at 20 feet above the ground!
     
  16. loudnoises

    loudnoises Escalates Quickly Subscriber

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    I've had quite good luck with a single reflector quad. I'm in the middle of multiple broadcast areas, this beats my dipole handily, but gets weak on the low end of the band.

    I can get the antenna about 12-15 off the ground, but roof is out till summer.

    What happens if I combine multiple quads tuned to different freq? Say one at 91, one at 98. Can I use the same frame and reflectors or do they need to be misaligned?
     
  17. Bunty2

    Bunty2 Active Member

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    Location:
    Stillwater, OK
    The Channelmaster Probe 9 was even better.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. pfcs49

    pfcs49 Phil Subscriber

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    Is the Antennacraft the same as a Finco FM-6.
    I still have one and it is great.
     
  19. rcs16

    rcs16 Super Member

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    Location:
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    That looks like a really nice FM antenna. Looks like 3 dipoles to cover the whole range.
    Okay now I see where you got this information. It is 4 di-poles
    http://ham-radio.com/k6sti/probe9.htm
     
  20. Scifi

    Scifi Super Member

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