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Discussion Starter #1
Hello

I am looking to setup an FM antenna system for a basic home stereo and have some questions

What is the difference/better choice between dipole and loop antennas.
Is it worth buying an antenna or might I get comparable results fabricating one myself. I have researched making one from coaxial cable and realize there are design factors to consider like cable type and specific segment lengths but can't find clearly laid out design instructions in a simple format.

Any opinions would be great
Thanks
 

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Most of receivers come with FM antenna which is just a single wire and about 3 to 4 ft length and a loop antenna for AM. So I think it is really easy to make one for FM or buy one for really cheap. Just search FM antenna, you will see tons of results.
 

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The really important piece is good placement. If you are serious about "good" FM then ideally, you want an outdoor mounted antenna mounted high. I use the Magnum Dynalab ST-2 (think that is the name) omni directional "whip" antennae. Your circumstances / environment will defiintely dictate what you can and can't do eg live in condo vs house etc
 

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Getting good FM reception can be a challenge, today's FM tuners tend to be less sensitive than previous designs. The key questions are:
1. Is there a specific FM station U are interested in? If yes, how far away is it and its location.
2. Regarding FM antennas this is crucial to understand the differences.
a. An indoor dipole may be acceptable if the signals are strong from nearby broadcasting towers.
b. If an indoor dipole is not acceptable, an antenna in the attic should improve reception. However note the type of antenna is important the directional yagi type as posted above from Amazon is excellent if all the stations are in the same direction. If not then a turnstile 360 degree may work better.

A strong signal is required for stereo, if too weak the tuner will switch down to mono reception.

I hope that helps.

Just my $0.02... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Getting good FM reception can be a challenge, today's FM tuners tend to be less sensitive than previous designs. The key questions are:
1. Is there a specific FM station U are interested in? If yes, how far away is it and its location.
2. Regarding FM antennas this is crucial to understand the differences.
a. An indoor dipole may be acceptable if the signals are strong from nearby broadcasting towers.
b. If an indoor dipole is not acceptable, an antenna in the attic should improve reception. However note the type of antenna is important the directional yagi type as posted above from Amazon is excellent if all the stations are in the same direction. If not then a turnstile 360 degree may work better.

A strong signal is required for stereo, if too weak the tuner will switch down to mono reception.

I hope that helps.

Just my $0.02... ;)
Thanks

My location is a suburb about 20 miles north of New York City where most stations broadcast from.
I do have access for attic mounting. Being it's indoors in the attic I am assuming grounding is not necessary correct?
If I were to go with the one listed in the post by dswierenga could more than one receiver in the home utilize the same antenna without compromise?
 

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Thanks

My location is a suburb about 20 miles north of New York City where most stations broadcast from.
I do have access for attic mounting. Being it's indoors in the attic I am assuming grounding is not necessary correct?
If I were to go with the one listed in the post by dswierenga could more than one receiver in the home utilize the same antenna without compromise?
As I mentioned the antenna posted by dswierenga is fine if all the FM station transmitting antennas are in the same basic location. I think I read in NYC most of the FM antennas are located on the tower @ WTC.
Regarding running (2) tuners from 1 antenna, U need a 2-way splitter. Note that the splitter actually splits the signal 50/50 and should work fine as long as U have enough signal strength. Note that for the cable run, U should use RG6 coax. Grounding is not a problem for an attic antenna.

Just my $0.02... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
As I mentioned the antenna posted by dswierenga is fine if all the FM station transmitting antennas are in the same basic location. I think I read in NYC most of the FM antennas are located on the tower @ WTC.
Regarding running (2) tuners from 1 antenna, U need a 2-way splitter. Note that the splitter actually splits the signal 50/50 and should work fine as long as U have enough signal strength. Note that for the cable run, U should use RG6 coax. Grounding is not a problem for an attic antenna.

Just my $0.02... ;)
thank you

i have a basic inexpensive dipole which i will try first, will it be acceptable to extend the length of the dipole in order to get it up as high as possible, or will adding to the length compromise the mechanics of the antenna.

on the rear of the receiver there is one post marked 75ohm unbalanced and two posts marked 300 ohm balanced.
does this somehow relate to the type of cable i will be using?
 

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thank you

i have a basic inexpensive dipole which i will try first, will it be acceptable to extend the length of the dipole in order to get it up as high as possible, or will adding to the length compromise the mechanics of the antenna.

on the rear of the receiver there is one post marked 75ohm unbalanced and two posts marked 300 ohm balanced.
does this somehow relate to the type of cable i will be using?
The 75 ohm connection is for 75 ohm coax feedline. The 300 ohm connection is for fm/tv flat line feedlines. You can extend the feedline with no problems however running the flat line feedline close to metal objects will degrade the signal.
 

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You mentioned having access to an attic. While outdoor antennas are the best solution, an attic installation can work fairly well as a compromise. I have an antenna in my garage attic that is used for over-the-air broadcast TV and FM radio. The hardest part was positioning the antenna for best reception and then running coax into the house to locations requiring a connection. Getting signals through a roof may mean some stations won't be available, and for the ones you can receive, some kind of signal amplifier might improve reliability.

antennaweb.org can be a good resource, too. While the focus is the over-the-air TV cord-cutting crowd, there's quite a bit of useful info there that also applies to FM.
 
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