Please help me find an antenna that will work... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 12-19-2006, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi there,

My parents recently purchased an Accurian HD Radio for me. Unfortunately, the included antenna does not pick up the desired radio stations (from Albuquerque, New Mexico) in HD, although most can be heard with a moderate to thick layer of static. I live 100+ miles away from the transmitters and I am trying to find one that will a) Fit on top of an entertainment center and, of course, b) bring in Albuquerque's Class C stations from 100+ miles away.

After a lot of searching, I have found what I think might be a good compromise between performance and size (hopefully). I am looking at the RCA ANT3022 (can't post the URL-please look it up on eBay if you want to see it). Before I buy one, though, I need to know whether the antenna is passive or amplified. The seller lists it as passive in the title, but in the product description, it's listed as passive. I have read that most passive antennae do something to mess up the HD signal...so if that antenna does turn out to be amplified, could I just not plug it in and use it as a passive antenna?

Quick question: it wouldn't hurt anything to just set the antenna on top of an entertainment center with no mounting, would it? I'd imagine that it'd be okay, but I just wanted to check with the experts first. Also, would a cable with F-connectors at both ends be sufficient to make a connection to my radio? Or would additional things need to be purchased?

If anybody has any suggestions for a compact, efficient antenna, please let me know! Thanks a million for the help!

-JM
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post #2 of 10 Old 12-20-2006, 07:55 AM
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NPR recommends two indoor antennas. One a ten dollar set of rabbit ears from Radio Shack, the other the FM Reflect from C Crane. I've tried the FM Reflect. While it did pretty well (70+ miles from intended stations at my locale), it is "floppy" and won't hold position as they suggest with their illustrations.

I've ordered the Magnum Dynalab SR100 (30 bucks from Audio Advisor). It should arrive in the next day or so. Till then, I'll keep using "wabbit ears". Hey, don't dismiss really cheap antennas. FM HD is a funny thing. Cheap, passive dipoles do better than expensive amplified antennas from companies like Terk.

You might want to try dropping ten bucks on "wabbit ears". If they don't do the job, what have you lost? If your room's on the second floor, and there are no mountains or other obstructions between you and the station you want to listen to, you might just get it. 100+ miles is a good shot even for analog, however! Good luck!
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post #3 of 10 Old 12-20-2006, 11:21 AM
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Yea, I second the motion for rabbit ears. If that doesn't work.... the only other real option is to get an outdoor antenna.
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-21-2006, 02:11 AM
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I ordered the FM Reflect a few days ago. It is scheduled for delivery today, and I should have it hooked up to my Accurian by Saturday. I'll report back on it after I've had a chance to try it.

The FM Reflect should work well for me in terms of concealment. I'm going to run it up the side and on top of some cabinets using 3M Command cord clips. I considered trying inexpensive rabbit ears, but they would be more conspicuous in this space, and I've heard good things about the FM Reflect.
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post #5 of 10 Old 12-21-2006, 12:57 PM
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JMpstar,
Just out of curiosity, where do you live? I'm just wondering because receiving FM stations from 100 miles with an indoor antenna is pretty rare.
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post #6 of 10 Old 12-21-2006, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I would greatly appreciate any reviews of the previously mentioned antennae and how they effect your HD radio's performance!

Mattdp, I live in Taos, New Mexico...north of Albuquerque.
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post #7 of 10 Old 12-29-2006, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMpstar View Post

I would greatly appreciate any reviews of the previously mentioned antennae and how they effect your HD radio's performance!

I had good analog reception with the Fanfare, but couldn't lock in a certain HD signal from about 5 miles away in an urban setting. The $11 Radio Shack rabbit ears, also cited by NPR-Labs, is giving me solid digital reception on all HD stations in my area. Nothing else I tried had results worth noting.
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-29-2006, 05:06 PM
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Well, the FM Reflect has worked out ok for me, but it hasn't performed any miracles. Unfortunately, I still can't receive 101.3 HD. I guess I must be further from the tower than I thought.
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post #9 of 10 Old 12-30-2006, 11:53 AM
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JMpstar,
I've actually been in Taos before, and I know the terrain. I also did a little looking on Radio-Locater, and I've concluded that reception with rabbit ears is probably impossible. I'd recommend you get a real [outdoor] FM antenna, like a Winegard HD-6065P, or an Antenna Performance Specialties APS-13.

Are you the experimental DIY type? If so, I'll get the plans together for my 200'' antenna (very much like the APS-13) and post it on Instructibles.
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post #10 of 10 Old 01-01-2007, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Mattdp,

Being the fickle teenager that I am, I kind of returned the Accurian and got my cell phone upgrade instead (it's really nice, by the way-the LG VX9900/enV). I feel kind of bad about it and I do miss the Accurian, but my parents will not let me install an outdoor antenna anywhere near the house, so, feeling hopeless about the possibility of getting HD reception with an indoor antenna, I decided to do the aforementioned exchange.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still very excited about HD's promise and I plan on waiting a few years to see how HD radio technology matures. Hopefully, within a few years, the technology will be able to cater to more rural areas like mine. I will probably buy an HD radio when I'm attending college in a bigger city (probably Provo, Utah...I don't know if I'll have the money to do so when the time actually comes, but it doesn't hurt to dream, right? ).

I sincerely appreciate your offer though, mattdp, as well as the insight of everybody else who tried to help.

-JM
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