Indoor FM antenna needed - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 1Likes
  • 1 Post By Jim McC
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 30 Old 06-07-2019, 12:04 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Jim McC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Oconomowoc, WI.
Posts: 6,231
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 285 Post(s)
Liked: 98
Indoor FM antenna needed

Can anyone recommend an indoor FM antenna? I do not want an amplified one. Is a rabbit ear antenna a good choice? Thanks.
Jim McC is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 30 Old 06-07-2019, 12:59 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
kucharsk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Louisville, CO
Posts: 6,415
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1745 Post(s)
Liked: 1024
Rabbit ears and the standard FM dipole work well for many, but when it comes to performance I've tried many and have yet to find one that can beat the Magnum Dynalab SR100.



Amazon: Magnum Dynalab SR-100 Indoor FM Antenna

But as usual, performance often varies wildly by RF conditions in your area.
kucharsk is offline  
post #3 of 30 Old 06-07-2019, 04:58 PM
 
m. zillch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 11,749
Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4671 Post(s)
Liked: 3470
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McC View Post
Can anyone recommend an indoor FM antenna? I do not want an amplified one. Is a rabbit ear antenna a good choice? Thanks.
I'd first try cutting a piece of wire, say a scrap of speaker wire stripped in half for example (that is one side, not both + and -), to about 32 inches and use that. For omnidirectional use it may be all you need and it's essentially free.

Last edited by m. zillch; 06-07-2019 at 05:02 PM.
m. zillch is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 30 Old 06-07-2019, 11:57 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Jim McC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Oconomowoc, WI.
Posts: 6,231
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 285 Post(s)
Liked: 98
Thanks guys.

m. zillch, what do I do with the wire? Tape it to the wall? It would be an outside wall, without a window.
Jim McC is offline  
post #5 of 30 Old 06-08-2019, 12:30 AM
 
m. zillch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 11,749
Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4671 Post(s)
Liked: 3470
Tape would work or put a loop at the end and hang it on a nail/screw.

This most basic FM antenna is a straight metal stick or straight piece of wire sticking (ideally) straight up. These are common on older cars, also transistor (pocket) radios, and boomboxes but in recent times they sometimes conceal them within the rear window glass or use the device's attached headphones as an antenna instead.

One step up, and offering a little bit of directional aiming capability, is a T-shaped wire antenna called a dipole antenna. Both of these simple but often effective antennas are often provided for free with the FM tuner or receiver, but are also easy to make yourself out of any old wire, even thin telephone cords from a landline phone extension cord or speaker wire.

A disadvantage to antennas made out of wires is you need some way of supporting them in a fairly straight shape so they don't crumple down into a messy ball, whereas an antenna made of stiff metal stays straight all by itself.

Large "rabbit ears" and other TV style antennas for VHF reception will also work for FM [but not UHF TV antennas] unless they happen to have an internal "FM trap" specifically to block the FM waves. This "FM trap" is not common though.

Last edited by m. zillch; 06-08-2019 at 01:07 AM.
m. zillch is offline  
post #6 of 30 Old 06-08-2019, 02:44 AM
Senior Member
 
MRAYB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Miami County, Ohio
Posts: 427
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 213 Post(s)
Liked: 423
Although this is an "outside" antenna, it works great. Have one in my garage set up. Any way you could hide it inside? Worth every bit of $20.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...ustomerReviews
MRAYB is online now  
post #7 of 30 Old 06-08-2019, 08:10 AM
Senior Member
 
MTVhike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: North Shore of central Long Island, NY (Stony Brook)
Posts: 311
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 194 Post(s)
Liked: 42
The main thing, as m.zilch says, is to find something that works. Get a dipole antenna like the one he references at Radio Shack (oh, nevermind!). Make one out of some 300 ohm twin lead wire, probably getable at Home Depot. I assume you'r tuner/receiver has a coxial F-connector input, so you might need a balun (BALanced-UNbalanced) adapter, but try it first by just poking one of the wires into the center hole of the F-connector. Once you confirm that you can get a reasonable signal, then you can upgrade it and worry about how it looks. How far are you from the FM station you want to receive? And what is the direction of that station's antenna?
MTVhike is offline  
post #8 of 30 Old 06-08-2019, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Jim McC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Oconomowoc, WI.
Posts: 6,231
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 285 Post(s)
Liked: 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTVhike View Post
How far are you from the FM station you want to receive? And what is the direction of that station's antenna?
I don't know. Is there a website similar to Antennaweb.org for FM radio ? I'm able to receive the stations I want from Milwaukee, but sometimes there's a little static, so I have to switch to mono to get rid of it.
Jim McC is offline  
post #9 of 30 Old 06-09-2019, 12:21 AM
 
m. zillch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 11,749
Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4671 Post(s)
Liked: 3470
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McC View Post
I don't know. Is there a website similar to Antennaweb.org for FM radio ?.
https://radio-locator.com/cgi-bin/lo...req=&sort=freq
m. zillch is offline  
post #10 of 30 Old 06-09-2019, 04:11 AM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Ratman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Collingswood, N.J.
Posts: 18,901
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2153 Post(s)
Liked: 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McC View Post
Is there a website similar to Antennaweb.org for FM radio ? .
http://www.fmfool.com/



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
Ratman is offline  
post #11 of 30 Old 06-09-2019, 12:19 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
CharlesJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 4,696
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 785 Post(s)
Liked: 533
Do you have an attic? Could you mount an antenna up there and drop the wire down in wall or otherwise?
CharlesJ is offline  
post #12 of 30 Old 06-09-2019, 12:37 PM
 
m. zillch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 11,749
Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4671 Post(s)
Liked: 3470
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRAYB View Post
Although this is an "outside" antenna,
"Outside" usually means big and ugly but if this is not a concern outside antennas almost always outperfom indoors antennas, even when used indoors.
m. zillch is offline  
post #13 of 30 Old 06-09-2019, 01:12 PM
Senior Member
 
MTVhike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: North Shore of central Long Island, NY (Stony Brook)
Posts: 311
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 194 Post(s)
Liked: 42
Where are you? If you're in southern WI, then you might be able to get Chicago stations with a good enough antenna. The important thing is that the side of your building facing Milwaukee is where you're antenna is located (if you're more than ~50 miles away). Can you get the stations you want on your car radio?
MTVhike is offline  
post #14 of 30 Old 06-09-2019, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Jim McC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Oconomowoc, WI.
Posts: 6,231
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 285 Post(s)
Liked: 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post
Do you have an attic? Could you mount an antenna up there and drop the wire down in wall or otherwise?
Yes. No.
Jim McC is offline  
post #15 of 30 Old 06-09-2019, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Jim McC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Oconomowoc, WI.
Posts: 6,231
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 285 Post(s)
Liked: 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTVhike View Post
Where are you? If you're in southern WI, then you might be able to get Chicago stations with a good enough antenna. The important thing is that the side of your building facing Milwaukee is where you're antenna is located (if you're more than ~50 miles away). Can you get the stations you want on your car radio?
Yes. I get them in the car.

Tonite I unplugged the Terk antenna from my receiver's push-on 75 ohm input to try another antenna. That one was terrible, so I connected the Terk again. Now it's much worse, with a lot more static. I'm wondering if I might have messed up the 75 ohm input on the receiver. It's the push-on type with the small round hole in the middle for the pin of the antenna cable.

The antenna I want to try next uses a screw on antenna cable. Is there an adapter out there that has a push-on for one end, and a screw on for the other end?

Thanks.

Last edited by Jim McC; 06-09-2019 at 08:04 PM.
Jim McC is offline  
post #16 of 30 Old 06-09-2019, 08:21 PM
 
m. zillch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 11,749
Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4671 Post(s)
Liked: 3470
m. zillch is offline  
post #17 of 30 Old 06-09-2019, 10:37 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Jim McC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Oconomowoc, WI.
Posts: 6,231
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 285 Post(s)
Liked: 98
Thanks
Jim McC is offline  
post #18 of 30 Old 06-10-2019, 07:41 AM
Senior Member
 
MTVhike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: North Shore of central Long Island, NY (Stony Brook)
Posts: 311
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 194 Post(s)
Liked: 42
You never answered my question about where are you. How far from the stations you are interested in? The fact that you can get them on your car radio gives some hope - where I live (65 miles east of NYC), my car radio reception is marginal and I do get reception (also marginal) on a table radio. What do you mean by "screw on"? Either it's a flat, 2-conductor wire with spade connectors on the end (which would go to two screws), or it ends in an F-connector, which screws on or pushes on to the standard 75 ohm connector on your receiver. If it's the first, then you need to get a balun like the one illustrated here.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	41iiTmq5jTL._AC_UL160_SR160,160_.jpg
Views:	3
Size:	4.1 KB
ID:	2578288   Click image for larger version

Name:	balun.jpg
Views:	2
Size:	27.1 KB
ID:	2578290  
MTVhike is offline  
post #19 of 30 Old 06-10-2019, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Jim McC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Oconomowoc, WI.
Posts: 6,231
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 285 Post(s)
Liked: 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTVhike View Post
You never answered my question about where are you. How far from the stations you are interested in? The fact that you can get them on your car radio gives some hope - where I live (65 miles east of NYC), my car radio reception is marginal and I do get reception (also marginal) on a table radio. What do you mean by "screw on"? Either it's a flat, 2-conductor wire with spade connectors on the end (which would go to two screws), or it ends in an F-connector, which screws on or pushes on to the standard 75 ohm connector on your receiver. If it's the first, then you need to get a balun like the one illustrated here.
The 2 I listen to the most are 29 miles away. The towers are very close to each other according to fmfool.com.

My receiver has a 75 ohm port that requires a push-on F connector.

I think the 75 ohm port may be messed up, or the tuner is bad. I've tried 3 antennas. I'm able to pick them up in my garage on a different receiver with the cheap dipole antenna that comes with receivers.

Thanks all for the help.
Jim McC is offline  
post #20 of 30 Old 06-10-2019, 12:57 PM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Ratman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Collingswood, N.J.
Posts: 18,901
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2153 Post(s)
Liked: 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McC View Post
My receiver has a 75 ohm port that requires a push-on F connector. .
That seems odd to me. I've never seen a 75 ohm antenna input that "requires" a push-on connection.
What is the make/model of the receiver?



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
Ratman is offline  
post #21 of 30 Old 06-10-2019, 01:05 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
holl_ands's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 6,143
Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 929 Post(s)
Liked: 502
Below are FMFool Results for your Zipcode (location of Post Office???)...you can rerun with your exact address. "Green" Zone Stations "should" be receivable using an Indoor FM Antenna, such as a Twin-Lead Folded Dipole, Rabbit-Ears [SWR/GAIN NOT Optimized] or even better the Magnum Dynalab SR100 cited above. "Yellow" Zone Stations are unlikely indoors and even using an Outdoor Antenna MAY need a Higher Gain Directional Antenna, esp. for the Weaker Stations. And pretty much fergitabout the "Red" Zone Stations.

Since MANY [but NOT ALL] FM Stations have Antennas that Broadcast BOTH Horizontally and Vertically Polarized Signals, the "VEE" configuration of the Magnum (or Rabbit-Ears) will receive BOTH Polarizations, with an improvement in signal strength and also reliability when one fades away and the other likely does NOT.

Note that most of your FM Stations are to the EAST and S-E Direction....which also means that all of the above Dipole type Antennas will have NULLS at 90-deg to those Directions....i.e. North/NW....so you may need to ROTATE the Antenna to receive some Stations, which is easiest with the Magnum or Rabbit-Ears. The Cited Stellar Labs Double Hoop FM Antenna provides a TRUE-OMNI Azimuthal Pattern, with NO NULLS to worry about...and just a bit less Gain as a Dipole (but responds to ONLY Horizontally Polarized Signals). Also note that if you orient a Twin-Lead Dipole so that it is aligned VERTICALLY, it becomes a TRUE-OMNI Antenna, but only responds to Vertically Polarized Signals.

BTW: I have analyzed several (and designed a few more) OMNI (and Quasi-Omni) FM Antennas, found here....a few provide a LOT more Gain....but are Quite TALL for an Indoor Antenna:
https://imageevent.com/holl_ands/omni



Last edited by holl_ands; 06-10-2019 at 01:22 PM.
holl_ands is offline  
post #22 of 30 Old 06-10-2019, 01:53 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
CharlesJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 4,696
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 785 Post(s)
Liked: 533
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McC View Post
...
My receiver has a 75 ohm port that requires a push-on F connector.

I think the 75 ohm port may be messed up, or the tuner is bad. I've tried 3 antennas. I'm able to pick them up in my garage on a different receiver with the cheap dipole antenna that comes with receivers.

Thanks all for the help.
If you are using the 75 Ohm input, can I assume you are also using a 75 Ohm coax cable from the antenna?
If so, do you have a balun at the antenna to match the 300 Ohm antenna to that 75 Ohm cable and input?
CharlesJ is offline  
post #23 of 30 Old 06-10-2019, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Jim McC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Oconomowoc, WI.
Posts: 6,231
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 285 Post(s)
Liked: 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by ratman View Post
that seems odd to me. I've never seen a 75 ohm antenna input that "requires" a push-on connection.
What is the make/model of the receiver?
jvc rx-7030
Jim McC is offline  
post #24 of 30 Old 06-10-2019, 09:10 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Jim McC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Oconomowoc, WI.
Posts: 6,231
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 285 Post(s)
Liked: 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post
If you are using the 75 Ohm input, can I assume you are also using a 75 Ohm coax cable from the antenna?
If so, do you have a balun at the antenna to match the 300 Ohm antenna to that 75 Ohm cable and input?
1) Yes, assuming the antennas I tried came with a 75 ohm coax cable attached

2) You lost me here

I think I'm giving up. I'm going to buy a new receiver after I replace the TV this year sometime.
Jim McC is offline  
post #25 of 30 Old 06-10-2019, 09:30 PM
 
m. zillch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 11,749
Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4671 Post(s)
Liked: 3470
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McC View Post
jvc rx-7030
http://resources.jvc.com/Resources/0...7/22058ien.pdf
Hard to tell for sure but some units with a "push on only" F-pin antenna use an odd ["euro/Japanese"?] connection with a really fat center pin. If that's the case it would explain why your reception is poor. Could you post a close up photo of it from your cellphone, perhaps?
m. zillch is offline  
post #26 of 30 Old 06-10-2019, 09:34 PM
 
m. zillch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 11,749
Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4671 Post(s)
Liked: 3470
See the difference?


adapters from one to the other are available.

The fat pin variety is called "Belling Lee Plug". It seems to be a fat pin and then a fat outer part which envelopes the fat pin:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped..._connector.JPG

Last edited by m. zillch; 06-10-2019 at 09:40 PM.
m. zillch is offline  
post #27 of 30 Old 06-11-2019, 12:14 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Jim McC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Oconomowoc, WI.
Posts: 6,231
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 285 Post(s)
Liked: 98
I don't know how to post a pic. The antenna input on my receiver looks just like the one on the right(of the top pic).

Thanks.
Jim McC is offline  
post #28 of 30 Old 06-11-2019, 05:31 AM
Senior Member
 
MTVhike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: North Shore of central Long Island, NY (Stony Brook)
Posts: 311
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 194 Post(s)
Liked: 42
I think pushing the connector you say you have onto the conventional F-connector could very well damage it. Do you feel comfortable opening up your receiver? If you physically damaged the connector, it should be obvious.
MTVhike is offline  
post #29 of 30 Old 06-11-2019, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Jim McC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Oconomowoc, WI.
Posts: 6,231
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 285 Post(s)
Liked: 98
Thanks, but I'm not going to open it up.
Ratman likes this.
Jim McC is offline  
post #30 of 30 Old 06-12-2019, 03:09 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
CharlesJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 4,696
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 785 Post(s)
Liked: 533
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McC View Post
I don't know how to post a pic. ...

Thanks.
Take a good resolution close up. load it to a folder.
Then proceed as posting a response. Below the "submit reply" in blue look for "manage attachments" in blue, click on it.
You will see a new window open with "attache files" then just proceed from there.
Use full picture option not thumbnail
CharlesJ is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Audio Theory, Setup, and Chat

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off