Outdoor long range FM antenna

Discussion in 'Tuners' started by z-adamson, Jun 5, 2018.

  1. z-adamson

    z-adamson AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Anyone here use one?

    Which one?

    Results?
     

     

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  2. Ballylongford

    Ballylongford Bailey he's a Golden Retriever: & a great guy Subscriber

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    There have been a number of threads on this matter here on the forums.
    I am on my phone, so hard to provide links, but a quick search will provide lots of options.

    Winegard, Channel Master, even some of the vintage Radio Shack units all have their fans
     
  3. z-adamson

    z-adamson AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I saw a few threads, but they seemed dated and many of the good fm antennas are discontinued it seems.
     
  4. RxDx

    RxDx Speaker collector Subscriber

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    Bill Ferris, beat_truck and musichal like this.
  5. RxDx

    RxDx Speaker collector Subscriber

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    To answer the original question, yes, I use a long range antenna.
    Two of them, actually. On a rotor. Results are excellent, though I'm
    not using the system as much lately.

    Here's the one I built

    [​IMG]

    The other is a Magnavox/Philips MANT901 from about 10 years ago, now discontinued of course.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Ballylongford

    Ballylongford Bailey he's a Golden Retriever: & a great guy Subscriber

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  7. WobblySam

    WobblySam Well-Known Member

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    If you're really interested in a high performance FM antenna, building one is the way to go. As you noted most of the big vhf antennas have been discontinued. With parts available from DX Engineering, it's not that hard to cobble a yagi together. If you want gain and bandwidth, plan on a looooong boom. Log periodics will give you the bandwidth, but not a lot of gain. There's no free lunch with antennas, despite many of the claims made.
     
  8. rcs16

    rcs16 Super Member

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    I am using the deep fringe LPA that came with the house. It must be near 40 years old. As long as the elements are still intact you are usually good to go. There is a amp on top of the tower in my setup. It works fine. I had to replace the rotor. A rotor is mandatory with this setup, unless all the signals come from the same direction.
    There is nothing wrong with using a old antenna from one of your neighbors, problem is the R/R aspect.
     
  9. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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  10. I LIKE MUSIC

    I LIKE MUSIC Super Member

    Some general information. It is not possible to violate the basic physics of antenna design.

    I guess it depends on ones definition of long range per the OP's request. The second antenna in the list is what is know as a turnstile antenna. In general they are less than an unity gain antenna and have a less than omnidirectional reception pattern.

    If the numbers in the information for the third antenna in the list are correct, the longest element (the longest element sets the lowest frequency of operation) is 34 inches (a half wave length for 175 MHz, or TV channel 7). This is a strong indication that this a VHF high band/UHF antenna. Its bandwidth will start at about 175 MHz (considerably above the needed frequencies for the FM broadcast band, likely resulting less than stellar performance over the FM broadcast band).

    The 4th antenna in the list is a basic full size vertical dipole antenna and while it is not a gain type, deep fringe, long range antenna, it is likely a good omni-directional antenna. It is difficult to beat full size antennas, even if it is a unity gain vertical dipole.

    The last antenna in the list is an antenna that is known to work well for a medium gain, directional antenna.

    To the OP, what is your definition of long range? Where are you located and what are your stations of interest? Because in the end, it is all about the quality and amount of signal that is available to the antenna.

    Not all TV antennas are created equal when it come to performance over the FM broadcast band. It is not unusual for the performance to drop off considerably above around 93 MHz or so, possibly by as much as 30 dB.

    I am not making a blanket statement saying that there are no TV antennas that will work for the FM broadcast band (depending on the amount and quality of signal available to the antenna). But by the same token a blanket statement that a TV antenna will work well (any old antenna from the neighbors) for the FM broadcast band it not accurate, especially when the question is about long range antennas, depending one's definition of long range.
     
  11. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    Glad I posted some outdoor antennas currently available from Amazon now that you characterized them. For me, any of those listed would almost certainly outperform the indoor dipoles I use now. Others may also find your response useful. Good post, I LIKE MUSIC..
     
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  12. the skipper

    the skipper Amateur Curmudgeon Subscriber

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    There ain't no easy, one size fits all answer to your question. It all depends on several variables such as distance from the stations, in what direction they lie from you, what obstacles are between you and them, weather and the phase of the moon (j/k).

    This site might help you narrow down what you need. Then, you can search the market for something that meets your needs.

    http://www.fmfool.com/

    Plug in your address and see what happens.
     
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  13. I LIKE MUSIC

    I LIKE MUSIC Super Member

    As the skipper says, there are a lot of variables involved.

    Radio-Locator
    will allow one to look at the predicted RF signal strength contours for the station(s) of choice in terms of direction and distance (RF signal strength) from the listener. What may be considered long range for one station may be local coverage for another station.

    Random example below.

    upload_2018-6-6_16-21-56.png



    upload_2018-6-6_16-12-14.png
     
  14. pfcs49

    pfcs49 Phil Subscriber

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    I sold my shop. It had an APS-13 (NLA & the biggest FM only antenna ever sold) antenna on the roof with a rotator.
    See it in the photo of the new owner
    Now laying sideways on the roof after the big storm flipped the tripod over.
    If somebody wants it, I expect it's available but you'll have to take it down.
    I'd get it myself but there's another one over my house!


    https://www.google.com/maps/uv?hl=e...d=0ahUKEwiGu-CX8MbbAhWvslkKHeHcDf0Qpx8IpQEwCg
     
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  15. z-adamson

    z-adamson AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    In my mind, long range means that stations that are not local will be picked up cleanly.
     
  16. z-adamson

    z-adamson AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    If I could get 100miles, that would be awesome.
     

     

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  17. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    No more dated than trying to get good/ some what better results from a old tuner.

    One is far better off using a computer and the internet for radio.
    I can't even get this station at all unles I'm in San Francisco and it's only 20 miles away.
    Have a listen it's a all black music station
    Kpoo http://www.kpoo.com/stream
     
  18. z-adamson

    z-adamson AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Now I am curious.....

    What is the approximate cost and time to diy an antenna like yours?

    Best source for parts? Any welding involved?

    Are there any tried and true diy antenna plans and instructions out there?
     
  19. RxDx

    RxDx Speaker collector Subscriber

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    I can often get that with my setup. Or, to be more accurate, I can always get a few stations
    that distance. When conditions are better, I can get more. My gauge is DC radio; I'm about
    100 miles south, and over 2 ridges (FMFool data, which definitely affects reception).

    I bought a huge Channel Master TV antenna off Craigslist for $100. It sucked for FM,
    because it was designed for the upper VHF band (and UHF), which is way above the
    FM band. So I broke it down and built mine. No welding, just bolted together. I don't
    remember the time involved, though there was considerable head-scratching and
    considering different plans before assembly.

    Here's construction
    http://www.aphenos.net/electronics/antennas/design1.htm
    There are plenty of plans out there, I even have a couple on my site.
    http://www.aphenos.net/electronics/suppliers/build.htm
    Supplier links are outdated and probably don't work.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  20. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    I bought a RatShak universal Yagi when I set up here ca 25 years ago and moved it up to the new place mebbe 12 years ago. Primarily for TV, an amp and splitter gets us reasonably consistent NPR FM from Birmingham ca 75 miles. The one commercial TV station we get with some consistency makes a similar hop from the same direction. Propagation interference occasionally with the FM station, weather always affects the HDTV reception with storms about.
     

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