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  1. #1
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Is an outdoor antenna the only option?

    It's almost impossible to get any radio reception at my parent's house; with the antennae provided with the stereo receiver, we're able to pick up one AM station and just three FM stations clearly. Is there any way I can modify these antennae (at least the FM one) to improve performance? Or is the only option to upgrade to an outdoor antenna?
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  2. #2
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    You can get a better indoor antenna and run it through a signal booster to improve reception. Depending on how bad your signal is, this may or may not be adequate. There is a huge difference between a roof mast and an indoor antenna.

  3. #3
    Senior Member tizeye's Avatar
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    I assume you are talking about that "T" wire antenna (or a different style wrapped around a plastic gizmo) that comes with the stereo receiver. Could be positioning. May want to try mounting it around/near a window to limit interferance. Don't know if the interior (or exterior) TV antenna are tuned to the radio frequencies. Make sure before you buy, unless you also wanted Over The Air TV reception.

  4. #4
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    Most cheap amplified antennas don't help much. They just make a marginal signal louder.

  5. #5
    on by skijor's Avatar
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    ^this is what I found with the last digital I purchased. I'm in a slight hollow. My house antenna got blown out of whack during the last storm (40+mph winds). Figured I'd try an in-house antenna rather than climb a snowy roof. Turns out the house antenna, even aimed ~120 degrees off, got as good or better reception.


    phantomcow2, is your house lower than the surrounding area. If so then the house antenna would probably be the best option.

  6. #6
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    some cable companies provide fm signals with their analog service (fm is between the old channel 6 & 7, if memory serves correctly).
    sigless at the moment....

  7. #7
    Chepooka StupidlyBrave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by root11 View Post
    some cable companies provide fm signals with their analog service (fm is between the old channel 6 & 7, if memory serves correctly).
    Actually, the entire FM band (and Marine VHF) is between VHF 6 and 7. Analog cable channels (TV) A-F are there.

  8. #8
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by root11 View Post
    some cable companies provide fm signals with their analog service (fm is between the old channel 6 & 7, if memory serves correctly).
    I'm not sure what you're trying to say here, how can I get FM radio from my cable? Can I somehow plug in the coaxial into the receiver's connector?
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  9. #9
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Aww, well it looks like Comcast doesn't provide FM signals with their connection.

    I've been looking at these dipole antennae, but the antenna on the receiver in question here isn't anything special; it's literally a single 18awg wire coming out of a push-on connector. I coiled the wire loosely around a 1/2" wooden dowel and mounted it on the back of a bookcase, getting to as close to the ceiling as possible, and it has improved reception somewhat. I still can't get my local university's connection, a whopping 8 miles away
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    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  11. #11
    Senior Member tizeye's Avatar
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    Everyone has probably thrown them out, but the old fashion outdoor antenna. Due to HOA/deed restrictions, I had mine in the attic. Came into dis-use with cable but a PITA to remove so stayed there. Did reconnect following a hurricane as cable is the last to be repaired as dependent on electrical poles.

    Recently had an interesting discovery. Had an old CRT that was backfeeding interferance into the cable system affecting the signal to all other TV's. Disconnected that one line and on a lark, hooked it up to the old antenna. With the now required digital converter box at the TV was amazed at the number of stations brought in from up to 60 miles away. These were the digital decimal stations, like 2.1, 2.2 etc. Since have replaced that CRT with a new LCD for the bedroom - but the antenna is still up there.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    The cheapest thing to try would be a length of wire and an alligator clip attached to the existing antenna.

  13. #13
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    I'm not sure what you're trying to say here, how can I get FM radio from my cable? Can I somehow plug in the coaxial into the receiver's connector?
    You can buy an adapter at Radio Shack, but it's pointless to just connect to coax with no FM signal since the whole point of coax is to make sure no signal gets in.

    The reason you'd use the adapter is so you could connect to an external antenna, not your regular cable.

  14. #14
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tizeye View Post
    Everyone has probably thrown them out, but the old fashion outdoor antenna. Due to HOA/deed restrictions, I had mine in the attic.
    We have the same HOA restrictions, but I put a huge antenna on a mast and rotator all the same. The neighbors immediately noticed and came to talk to me. I figured I'd have to take it down, but what they wanted to know was whether my setup worked and how they could do the same thing.

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    The dipole antenna that came with the unit should get sufficient signal. It is the mathematically correct length for the broadcast FM wavelength. Positioning is key. You may need to reposition the antenna. BTW, if the AM antenna is the wound wire type, keep it away from any TV with a picture tube or a degaussing is in your TV's future.
    Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're probably right

  16. #16
    Hi, folks sdold's Avatar
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    HOA restrictions and CC&Rs against antennas may not be enforceable in most cases if you want an outside TV, radio of wireless internet antenna. See this link for more info:

    http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html
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  17. #17
    location:northern Ohio
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    Try using any ground(only) in the house elec. system.
    or
    Put a spool of wire on the dog and have him run to the highest point in New"Hamster".
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  18. #18
    location:northern Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
    We have the same HOA restrictions, but I put a huge antenna on a mast and rotator all the same. The neighbors immediately noticed and came to talk to me. I figured I'd have to take it down, but what they wanted to know was whether my setup worked and how they could do the same thing.
    Assoc. rules on a house antenna?
    What a whiney neighborhood.Could you hide the antenna lead under lawn gnomes?Everyone likes gnomes.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  19. #19
    Hi, folks sdold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spry View Post
    Assoc. rules on a house antenna?
    What a whiney neighborhood.Could you hide the antenna lead under lawn gnomes?Everyone likes gnomes.
    It's pretty much the same as a community complaining about cell towers. Now there's whiny.

    Our neighborhood has CC&Rs that restrict ANY outside antennas, but it isn't backed by an HOA, it was put in place by the builder as he was trying to sell homes and wanted the place to look perfect while he was trying to sell the last of the houses. A lot of CC&Rs are like that. Other housing tracts and many condos, like my sister's house a few blocks away, have iron-fisted HOAs that don't even let people paint their houses until the color is approved by the HOA.

    But I think the OTARD antenna regulations trump all of these, except in a few cases like when a common off-the-air antenna is provided for anyone to use.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    I'm not sure what you're trying to say here, how can I get FM radio from my cable? Can I somehow plug in the coaxial into the receiver's connector?
    some receivers have a 75 ohm antenna hookup, others need the converter dohicky to get it to 300 ohm. But it sounds like your cable company doesn't send out the fm signals so it won't work anyway.
    sigless at the moment....

  21. #21
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    1. open up radio
    2. find notch-filter that's receiving antennae signal
    3. turn up Q on filter

    Outside of the radio, you can hook two J-pole antennaes together. A high-gain one on the roof connected to a high-gain one inside. Basically you're capturing the signal with the one outside and re-broadcasting it inside. This passive-repeater technique is actually used a lot for extending WiFi distance around buildings.

    You can also tune the antennaes for the particular frequency you're after. At about 5/8th wavelength is strongest signal for the length of antennae.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 12-27-10 at 02:46 PM.

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