Can anyone recommend a Good AM HD Radio Antenna? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-17-2009, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a Sony XDR-S3HD radio and I need a better AM antenna to get true HD reception. Indoor or outdoor (attic). I can only get Radio Disney.

I have no problem with the FM reception here in DFW.

I am over 20 miles from Downtown Dallas.
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-19-2009, 07:22 AM
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AM antennas are tricky because the AM frequencies are so low, a tuned dipole or long wire antenna is very long. A compromise is a loop type antenna. A google search will bring up some you can build yourself or buy from a dealer.

although I rarely recommend Terk, this is one of the few low priced commerical loop antennas still around
http://www.amazon.com/Terk-Technolog...2377053&sr=1-2

mid-priced
http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Produc...uctid=MFJ-1022

pricey,
http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/sw_ant/0445.html

another relatively cheap DIY antenna, the AM broomstick antenna
http://www.radiohc.org/Distributions...roomstick.html

an AM receiving dipole for, say 700 khz, would be about 668 FEET long !!! So you can see AM requires a lot of wire to receive.
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post #3 of 13 Old 01-19-2009, 07:32 AM
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I use this with my Sangean http://www.ccrane.com/antennas/am-an...m-antenna.aspx

It is hit and miss depending on time of day and weather, but normally works good. But, I am 68 miles away from the stations tower that I listen to. If I were within 20 miles, there is no doubt in my book that this antenna would just suck the station right in.

Mike
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-19-2009, 10:40 AM
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I've got the same radio with the provided AM loop and in North Garland (pretty close to you) I can get HD on 770 and 1080. It is sensitive to proper orientation. I haven't tried Radio Disney - is that 660?

I've read that the actual connections on the provided loop cause some troubles for some - make sure they are connected correctly, and that you removed the first bit of insulation.
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-19-2009, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Radio Disney would be AM 620 and it's transmitted in HD as well.

I have picked up 570 KLIF and 1700 KKLF (The Ticket) in HD also.

I basically unravelled the AM antenna from my old Sony Receiver and tacked it into a single square foot loop in my shelf. However, I can't pick 1080 in HD anymore. Strange. Orientation I suppose.
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-27-2009, 08:32 AM
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I am a DX'er, one who loves to listen and log distant radio stations (HD radio's legalized jamming notwithstanding ). So, I always like to check out unique antenna designs. Someone has made an AM antenna out of 125' of wire, a variable capacitor (for peaking the signal) and a Sterilite, or similar storage crate. I am going to build one for DX purposes but I think this may be exactly what Dramrock needs. The cost for parts would be about $25. If you want to use the terminals on the back of your HD radio, you need to add one or two turns to the back of the loop and this goes to the radio. This is called a "sense" or "pickup" circuit.

http://www.dxer.ca/component/option,...207/Itemid,77/

Also Terk makes a nice AM loop for about $40 but the "Crate Loop" easily beats that per info that I have read. You have the right idea in dismantling the Sony loop and using just the wires as a longwire antenna but the wires could be much longer. Good Luck.
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-28-2009, 02:46 PM
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>AM antennas are tricky because the AM frequencies are so low, a tuned dipole or long wire antenna is very long. A compromise is a loop type antenna.

Nonsense! I've found that a plain whip works the best for both AM and FM.
I tried lots of different antennas and I can't get anything indoors on the wire loop that is included with most radios so I moved outside on the roof. I can't use a dipole or long wire either because of the power lines nearby. I settled on a whip as the best antenna for AM. It will also get good reception on FM but I can get that OK on my TV antenna. After trying some different size whips like car radio and CB antennas I found the best kind to use was the plain stainless steel whip about 8' long mounted on a plain base with coax running into the radio. You will have to rip out the two terminal plastic terminal strip on the radio and mount a coax connector in it's place in order to keep the integrity of the shield intact but it's worth the trouble for good AM reception. I use RG 6 coax with F connectors on each end since they are cheap and easy to install with an F to PL-259 adapter on the antenna end. Don't use CB antenna wire from Radio Shack since the shield is not good enough for higher frequencies on FM.
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-04-2009, 08:18 AM
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"stevec50"...I think you proved my point. I did not refer to the cheap ferrite loops included with some AM radios and your comment about using a 102" steel vertical whip antenna does show that the more metal you can put in the air, the better your AM reception will be.

How did you ground the coax braid or the mount of the vertical antenna ?
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post #9 of 13 Old 03-04-2009, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_vanmeter View Post

"stevec50"...I think you proved my point. I did not refer to the cheap ferrite loops included with some AM radios and your comment about using a 102" steel vertical whip antenna does show that the more metal you can put in the air, the better your AM reception will be.

How did you ground the coax braid or the mount of the vertical antenna ?

Most of the HD radios I've seen don't even come with a ferrite loop, just a loop of wire but it's just as well since I can't get anything but hum and noise on them indoors anyway. Also, putting more metal in the air doesn't help after a point. I found that a CB whip was as big as I could go before I started to run into diminishing returns. A 20' whip was too big and I got more noise than signal. If you get a whip with a magnetic base just stick it onto some metal part of the roof. Not every CB whip will work though, if it has a loading coil in the base it might not be good for AM and FM. I found one that works OK but most of them are too short or the coils and caps in the base block the signal. I mounted the large whip on an antenna mount for trucks that consists of a thick aluminum angle bracket that clamps to a pipe with 4 bolts. I used an 8' piece of steel conduit for a mast that was mounted on the side of the house with two antenna mounts from Radio Shack that resemble a W with one near the top and one at the bottom of the mast. The antenna mount is fitted onto the top and a ground wire connected to the bottom that goes to an earth ground. I used a PL-259 to F adapter on the antenna to let me use RG-6 coax that runs into the house. F connectors were used because they are cheap and easy to install. If you are only going to use the antenna for AM then a piece of cheap CB coax from R-S will work but the shield isn't good enough for FM.
BTW, there is a company called Dyscern selling the R-S Accurian Tabletop HD Radio on ebay starting at $0.01. They tend to sell for about $30 including shipping which is a great deal for a nice radio that cost $199 when it first came out. I just wanted to mention that in case anyone needs a radio at a cheap price.
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post #10 of 13 Old 03-20-2009, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I installed a powered ferrite antenna by C.Crane. It is very expensive for not too impressive results. I have it in my attic at the end of a 50 foot cable, also from C.Crane. I get decent results with the provided loop for my other Sony HD tuner.
The only thing I could possible do is intall the ferrite antenna outdoors along the eave. I don't yet have a long enough ladder for my two-store home. Oh well. There isn't much info passed along the frequencies on AM anyhow.
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post #11 of 13 Old 03-20-2009, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRAMROCK View Post

I installed a powered ferrite antenna by C.Crane. It is very expensive for not too impressive results. I have it in my attic at the end of a 50 foot cable, also from C.Crane. I get decent results with the provided loop for my other Sony HD tuner.
The only thing I could possible do is intall the ferrite antenna outdoors along the eave. I don't yet have a long enough ladder for my two-store home. Oh well. There isn't much info passed along the frequencies on AM anyhow.

I'm willing to bet an ordinary whip antenna costing about $10 from the swap meet would beat it or at least work just as well for less money. The only advantage a ferrite antenna has is small size and picking up less hum and noise than a long wire (if it's shielded). They might be good for someone living in an apartment but otherwise you are just wasting your money.
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post #12 of 13 Old 03-22-2009, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, no can do. Some of us are limited by mandatory HOA rules on what can be placed on a roof. Satellite dish or omnidirectional antenna is about it.

I think I will get a Terk Loop and see if I notice any improvement. Renting a ladder for the eave placement of the ferrite bar is the next option.

The problem I have internally is, for some unknown reason, i get tremendous interference all along the first floor, west side of the house. No other part of the house does that. The further away I get, the better. The ferrite bar placement is in the middle of the south attic floor, but that is as far as I can place it with 50' of C. Crane cable. I think my neighbor has some wireless device (not broadband) that is assaulting me from the west direction.

Go figure.
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post #13 of 13 Old 04-22-2009, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRAMROCK View Post

Sorry, no can do. Some of us are limited by mandatory HOA rules on what can be placed on a roof. Satellite dish or omnidirectional antenna is about it.

I think I will get a Terk Loop and see if I notice any improvement. Renting a ladder for the eave placement of the ferrite bar is the next option.

The problem I have internally is, for some unknown reason, i get tremendous interference all along the first floor, west side of the house. No other part of the house does that. The further away I get, the better. The ferrite bar placement is in the middle of the south attic floor, but that is as far as I can place it with 50' of C. Crane cable. I think my neighbor has some wireless device (not broadband) that is assaulting me from the west direction.

Go figure.

Ramsey Electronics sells the "Signal Magnet" which is an amplified ferrite antenna but the coil is contained in a "Faraday shield" which allows signals to pass through but supposedly prevents RFI (i.e. power line noise, static crashes) from coming through. They have it in kit and assembled form. http://www.ramseyelectronics.com/cgi...tion&key=SM100

Just for giggles, here is the assembly guide for the kit! http://www.ramseyelectronics.com/dow...uals/sm100.pdf
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