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How to attach rabbit ear antenna

Old 09-23-17, 09:31 PM
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How to attach rabbit ear antenna

How would I go about attaching a rabbit ear antenna to the back of my vintage receiver in order to improve FM reception? I've heard they really help, but I've no idea how I would attach it.

I assume I'd need some sort of two-pronged T adapter? Which screws would I attach them to, 300 and ground? I'm totally clueless to all things audio/electrical, etc.

Here's the back of my unit:
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Old 09-23-17, 09:44 PM
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Rabbit ear antennas are adjustable dipoles, usually around 50-75 Ohms or low impedance with the flat "Y" lead and no internal impedance transformer or balun. But it depends on the design of the rabbit ears. Some many include a built-in balun or impedance transformer.

This article helps illustrate the details. While it's intended for TV use it applies to FM radio as well.

Or just experiment a little. Hook up one lead to the Ground terminal. For the other lead try both the 75 and 300 Ohm terminals. Tune around and check reception. Indoor antennas are always a compromise anyway and with powerful local stations it doesn't matter much. A potato or paper clip antenna will pick up powerful local stations!
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Old 09-23-17, 09:47 PM
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So, would all I need is one of these?

https://i.stack.imgur.com/ISayv.png

Are they easy to find?
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Old 09-23-17, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Dirt Farmer View Post
So, would all I need is one of these?

https://i.stack.imgur.com/ISayv.png

Are they easy to find?
Any place that sells TVs will have them. But what does the connection at the rabbit ears look like... they used to make them wth that flat cable...

Just go across the connections for FM. You really can do it with just a single wire each at each connection marked FM. Just string it out a few feet away, in two different directions. It doesn't take much to make a little improvement.
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Old 09-24-17, 12:02 AM
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Yup, those barrel shaped impedance transformers/baluns are available everywhere from dollar stores to Walmart. If the rabbit ears came with a standard cable TV connector, that's what you need.

But as genec said, you can string up equal lengths of wire. One from the G (ground) terminal, and try both the 75 and 300 Ohm terminals for the other wire. Compare results, see what you like.

Some receivers aren't very picky about this stuff. Portables in particular rarely need a physical ground connection to operate. They rely on amplified signals and a capacitance effect, which is why some radios detune or even improve in signal strength when touched.

But, again, unless you're chasing distant signals during occasional periods of skip when an ordinary radio can pick up FM and TV signals from hundreds of miles away, pretty much any antenna will do for strong local stations, even without a ground. An antenna ground isn't the same as an electrical ground, and even antenna grounds aren't all the same -- too much to summarize here but there are lots of tutorials online. I'm more of a shortwave DX hobbyist although occasionally I've caught some long range FM stations when conditions were right.
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Old 09-24-17, 09:21 PM
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Tranquilize the rabbit first or they'll squirm too much while you install the antenna.
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Old 09-24-17, 09:30 PM
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Do you happen to have antennae attached to your (admittedly) old TV? Use them, chances are you are using the coax connection for the TV input anyway...


Old TVs were good about having them.


If you are using an outdoor antenna for off air reception, use a line splitter and a BALUN (coax to spade ends). It should say on the balun whether it converts to 75 or 300 ohm and use the first two for 75 and the middle and last for 300.




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