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post #1 of 6 Old 02-25-2013, 04:46 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a situation where I could just bring another radio perhaps. But want to know whether it possible, to just use the right antenna connection to boost the signal on the current small radio. I've tried googling and googling and haven't come up with anything. It's also possible that I could just go to a resale/garage sale an pick up another radio that will do the job better.

Here's the scoop: There is a weak FM signal that I need to receive inside a building to hear translated audio. I currently have the kind of radio where the headphones are the antenna, and if I move my head and the wire in just the right configuration, I'll get the sound, but it doesn't work most of the time. (Yes I realize the broadcaster needs to switch to another frequency, or use a larger local transmitter, but that's another thread in itself..Many are having trouble with it.)

Solutions:

1) I'm interested how expensive it would be to hook up an antenna booster to the headphone jack. - but of course I still need to hear the sound from that same output. (Does this exist?)
edit: a) I was meditating on this one. Is it possible to Make one by attaching a much longer unsheilded wire? I've read that's how the headphone antennas actually work by the unsheilded wires in the headphones.
2) Of course I could just get another radio.
3) I have a crankradio (with an amazing antenna) - but this is not stereo - and there are some parts of the program that are stereo.

2nd Edit:
I believe I could possibly make this product smalltao Telescopic 3.5mm antenna link myself (because I have enough raw materials sitting in my scrap A/V box) I do not want to purchase it. $11.74 after shipping cost would defeat the purpose of my question. - 1st) I have a Stereo 3.5 splitter, this would make for 1 headphone jack to turn into 2-head phone jacks. But ---- I wouldn't know how to wire-up something that would imitate the linked item, that would not distort the audio. What would I do with the 4wires L (+ & -) R (+ & -) that would come out of the head phone jack and the telescopic item or antenna device I believe only would take two? - and mixing them would have bad results on the audio.
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-01-2013, 12:06 AM
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Howdy Robert,
Well, that's a very interesting question. There are many possibilities for improving your sound, but most that I can think of would involve some expenditure of money, which sounds like you're trying to avoid. However, I kind of like your idea of using the 3.5 mm stereo splitter and using one side for your headphones and the other for some type of external antenna hookup.

Hey, I'm no expert, but it seems to me that you're not going to get into any trouble by trying your idea. First try your splitter into the radio, then plug your headphones into one side and see how that sounds. If it sounds ok, then try this, take a spare 3.5 mm stereo plug that's not attached to anything, just the plug with bare terminals, and stick that in the other side of the splitter and see how that sounds. If it still sounds ok, then try attaching your antenna (which could just be a long wire) to the bare terminals of the 3.5mm plug and see what happens. If it degrades the audio, then you can work on another idea.

Be sure and try various configurations when attaching the external antenna, such as touching only one wire to either of the terminals, touching both wires to the same terminal, etc.

Hopefully, somebody that actually knows something about his stuff will chime in with better advice, but to be honest, I think you've got a good chance of succeeding with your idea.

Good luck, and let us know how it works out.
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-03-2013, 05:07 AM - Thread Starter
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I didn't know whether it would work when I mentioned it... I gave this a shot after you posted: I did plug two items together just to test with a pair of head phones with the splitter. The other wire I had test connected was a straight 3.5mm (male to male wire)... But when I moved that wire around I would get a station that was significant weak to come in to my ears. - The issue is though, as I mentioned in the original thread - This is a stereo wire that I would be plugging in - I suppose I need to test which one I would need to wire to an antenna (or both?, but it couldn't be both - Wiring both would definitely cause crosstalk...)
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-08-2013, 03:42 PM
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Have you looked into pringles can anntenae?

I like shiny stuff.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-08-2013, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I did look up a youtube about the pringles can and wifi. However the last concept is about this question: An Antenna is generally just two wires -- Yet what comes out of the headphone jack is 4 - How do you wire it to the Antenna without distorting the sound? Or do you just wire two of the four wires? --- I haven't spent the time to investigate those concepts yet, but I'm guessing that you would just wire two of the 4 wires. I believe in my A/V junk box I have an antenna to play with.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-19-2013, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Just an update on this one:

Last night I tested a working solution. I should have taken a picture. Here it goes attempting to describe the hookup. Battery Radio --> 3.5mm splitter --> 1) headphones 2) stereo 3.5mm to RCA adapter (so it has 2 wires) -- left and right... --->

Both ends of this wire was cut... and I found it didn't matter which pair of wires I attached to my FM antenna. After attaching the antenna it would become a antenna for the radio. I could move it around and receive weaker channels that I was testing.

Note: As suspected in an earilier post... I could not attach all 4 wires --- that is L (+ and -) and R (+ and -) - that resulted in a muffled sound in my ear phones. It was shorting.
2nd Note: I also thought that one of the pair might have been better than the other.... But couldn't come to a conclusion. It could have been the FM channel I was listening to, and the direction I had the antenna. You see before connecting the antenna, it would use the wire itself as the antenna. But after connecting the antenna, the signal, sometimes actually become lower, because the antenna was facing the wrong direction, or something. It was obviously using it as the antenna. It was finnicky. Then I would move it ever so slightly and the sound would come in really good again.
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