EV's Best Top Rated FM and HD Radio Antenna Guide & Reviews
Subscribe via RSS Feed

EV's Best Top Rated FM and HD Radio Antenna Guide & Reviews


This is a discussion on EV's Best Top Rated FM and HD Radio Antenna Guide & Reviews within the DTV | HDTV Reception and Antenna Discussion forums, part of the Over-the-Air (Antenna TV) category.

Page 1 of 12 12311 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 234
Like Tree20Likes

  1. #1
    Moderator

    Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,373
    Blog Entries
    1

    EV's Best Top Rated FM & HD Radio Antenna Guide & Reviews

    .

    Welcome to EV's FM & HD Radio Antenna Guide!




    Just getting started folks so please be patient. I am not the world's authority on FM Technology/Broadcasting, Antennas or Antenna Theory & Design, nor HD Radio. There are many others more knowledgable and experienced than I regarding these topics. I am just an enthusiast that decided to write a helpful guide with the help of many others that have gone before me. The guide is and always will be imperfect...and I am still working on it daily....however, I think the effort will prove useful. If you have recommendations for additions to the list, they are most welcome, especially vintage or discontinued antennas. Seeking photos of vintage, discontinued, and current antennas as well.

    Goals

    Exhaustive overview of commercially available antennas
    Reporting hands on testing and comparisons of antennas on FM analog and HD Radio broadcasts
    Helping the Average Consumer make better antenna purchase decisions
    Discussing antenna and reception issues for better antenna/system performance
    Springboard of links and sources for further research for those so inclined
    Historical record of vintage and discontinued FM antennas
    Learn about FM Radio and HD Radio

    Please join the forum and the discussion. Look forward to seeing you here. Please let me know if you liked the guide and found it helpful and how I can improve it.


    Intro


    Work in Progress....




    Topics for further discussion and expansion....

    Proper Lengths for telescoping or otherwise dipoles for FM Reception
    AM/FM Combo Antennas and their Compromises
    Philips SDV2750
    Winegard Mystery Antenna from the 70s



    FM Band - Where is it? What's it all about?

    FM Broadcast Band Wikipedia In most of the world, the FM broadcast band, used for broadcasting FM radio stations, goes from 87.5 to 108.0 MHz. The name "FM band" is misleading, since one can transmit FM on any frequency. All of these bands mentioned are in the VHF band which extends from 30 MHz to 300 MHz. In some countries FM broadcast radio is referred to as VHF.

    In the United States, the twenty channels with center frequencies of 88.1–91.9 MHz (channels 201–220) constitute the reserved band, exclusively for non-commercial and educational (NCE) stations. All the other channels, with center frequencies 92.1–107.9 MHz (and 87.9 MHz, where used) may be used by both commercial and non-commercial stations. (Neither Canada nor Mexico observe this reservation.)
    Very High Frequency VHF Wikipedia: VHF (Very high frequency) is the radio frequency range from 30 MHz to 300 MHz. Frequencies immediately below VHF are denoted High frequency (HF), and the next higher frequencies are known as Ultra high frequency (UHF).

    The frequency allocation is done by ITU. Common uses for VHF are FM radio broadcast, television broadcast, land mobile stations (emergency, business, and military), Amateur Radio, marine communications, air traffic control communications and air navigation systems (e.g. VOR, DME & ILS).

    United States and Canada

    Frequency assignments between US and Canadian users are closely coordinated since much of the Canadian population is within VHF radio range of the US border. Certain discrete frequencies are reserved for radio astronomy. The general services in the VHF band are:
    30–46 MHz: Licensed 2-way land mobile communication. [2]
    30–88 MHz: Military VHF-FM, including SINCGARS
    43–50 MHz: Cordless telephones, 49 MHz FM walkie-talkies and radio controlled toys, and mixed 2-way mobile communication. The FM broadcast band originally operated here (42-50 MHz) before moving to 88-108 MHz.
    50–54 MHz: Amateur radio 6 meter band; 50 MHz is an amateur radio band used for a variety of uses including DXing, FM repeaters and radio control, which usually takes place on a "set-aside" band between 50.8 and 51 MHz.
    55-72 and 77-88 MHz TV channels 2 through 6, known as "Band I" internationally; a tiny number of DTV stations will appear here. See North American broadcast television frequencies
    72–76 MHz: Radio controlled models, industrial remote control, and other devices. Model aircraft operate on 72 MHz while surface models operate on 75 MHz in the USA and Canada, air navigation beacons 74.8-75.2 MHz.
    88–108 MHz: FM radio broadcasting (88–92 non-commercial, 92–108 commercial in the United States) (Known as "Band II" internationally)
    108–118 MHz: Air navigation beacons VOR
    118–137 MHz: Airband for air traffic control, AM, 121.5 MHz is emergency frequency
    137-138 Space research, space operations, meteorological satellite [3]
    138–144 MHz: Land mobile, auxiliary civil services, satellite, space research, and other miscellaneous services
    144–148 MHz: Amateur radio band 2 Meters
    148-150 Land mobile, fixed, satellite
    150–156 MHz: "VHF Business band," the unlicensed Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS), and other 2-way land mobile, FM
    156–158 MHz VHF Marine Radio; narrow band FM, 156.8 MHz (Channel 16) is the maritime emergency and contact frequency.
    160-161 MHz Railways [4]
    162.40–162.55: NOAA Weather Stations, narrowband FM
    175-216 MHz television channels 7 - 13, known as "Band III" internationally. A minority of DTV channels may appear here.
    174–216 MHz: professional wireless microphones (low power, certain exact frequencies only)
    216–222 MHz: land mobile, fixed, maritime mobile, [5]
    222–225 MHz: 1.25 meters (US) (Canada 219-220, 222-225 MHz) Amateur radio
    225 MHz and above: Military aircraft radio (225–400 MHz) AM, including HAVE QUICK, dGPS RTCM-104

    The large technically and commercially valuable slice of the VHF spectrum taken up by television broadcasting has attracted the attention of many companies and governments recently, with the development of more efficient digital television broadcasting standards. In some countries much of this spectrum will likely become available (probably for sale) in the next decade or so (June 12, 2009, in the United States).

    FM Stands for Frequency Modulation. How does that work? How do you get FM Stereo sound?

    FM Broadcasting Wikipedia: FM broadcasting is a broadcast technology invented by Edwin Howard Armstrong that uses frequency modulation (FM) to provide high-fidelity sound over broadcast radio. continued.....

    HD Radio: HD Radio the marketing name of iBiquity's IBOC technology - In Band on Channel....an offset carrier standard used to broadcast digital audio and data. HD Radio is a bit misleading because it isnt High Definition Audio, but rather its quality is variable between lower quality to mid quality MP3. However the advantages of digital are nearly absent backround hiss and distortion. I dont want to get into the technical aspects of HD Radio, nor the arguments over its advantages and disadvantages between it and analog FM as well as other digital broadcast standards here. The main point I want to get across here, is that HD Radio does NOT require a different or special antenna....standard, regular FM analog antennas work for HD Radio. Discussion HD Radio is encouraged in the thread.

    One note about HD Radio, I would like to make is that because of its digital nature, it exhibits what is known as a digital cliff. What does that mean? It means that point of decoding or not decoding an HD Radio broadcast is a cliff, you either have enough to get clear audio or you dont. Its not a slow fade like analog. If you are familiar with OTA digital television, you may be familar with the digital cliff...its similar with HD Radio. This (along with its current low 1% broadcast power which may be changing soon) may have people scrambling for better antenna solutions. If you are on the digital cliff with HD Radio, what usually happens is that it reverts to the primary analog signal if its the HD1 signal. It can switch back and forth between these like FM Mono and FM Stereo of yor, which is very annoying. One solution is a Forced Analog switch, like the forced FM Mono switch of the past.

    Youtube Video of Chicago ABC News 7 report on HD Radio, Autumn 2008.

    HD Radio: Are you listening?

    [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6b-B3Xq1KM[/YOUTUBE]

    Important Characteristics of Antennas

    There are several characteristics that are important to know in order to choose the appropriate antenna for your situation.

    Gain: This number reflects the antennas ability to capture and transform radio wave energy into electrical energy that can be used by your tuner which then decodes the signal that your amplifier can use to drive your speakers to make sound waves that travel to your ears which convert sound wave energy into electrical pulses that your brain then decodes. Yeah! The most common figures used are dBi and the much more historically common dBd. Both represent a gain figure that relates the antennas ability to the ability of a reference antenna. In the case of dBd, that reference antenna is a 1/2 wave dipole cut to the length of the frequency/channel....dBi relates to an isotropic radiator, which is a theoretical point source of waves which exhibits the same magnitude or properties when measured in all directions. It has no preferred direction of radiation. It radiates uniformly in all directions over a sphere centred on the source. It is a reference radiator with which other sources are compared. These 2 figures relate to each other as dBd + 2.2 = dBi. 0 (zero) dBd means that the antenna is equal to a 1/2 dipole....indeed many of these antennas are 0 dBd and many are indeed 1/2 wave dipoles! It should be noted that a 1/2 wave dipole is a pretty good antenna, that is why it is used as a reference for judging other antennas....in other words 0 dBd aint too shabby! One more note, 3 dBd equals a doubling of capture ability over 0 dBd, 6 dBd...a doubling again or 4 times the capture ability of 0 dBd, and 9 dBd yet another doubling for 8 times the capture ability.

    Front to Back Ratio, Directivity, Beamwidth, (and Multipath): As antenna theory generally works out, to increase gain, you usually have to direct the ability of the antenna to capture radio wave energy more effeciently in one direction at the expense of others. This is where the Front to Back Ratio number comes from...its the relationship of Forward Gain to Rear Gain. (Not getting into lobe discussion here.) This also can be thought of as Rear Signal Rejection. The higher the number the greater the rear rejection (and usually this corresponds to greater forward gain). As stated, dBd is the preferred historically used term, that is grounded in antenna theory....often dBi is used for psychological reasons to inflate the numbers for the unwary...but it is a valid modern standard often used in computer antenna modeling software.

    Why would this be of interest to us? Well, if you have FM transmissions in mulitiple directions...then you may want to go with an Omni-Directional antenna with extremely low F/B ratios. It may be desireable to have a lot of rear rejection to help with multipath interference problems. Beamwidth is also related to F/B Ratio, in that high F/B ratios (which generally indicate high Forward Gain) also indicate tight Beamwidths. Beamwidth as a numerical value is generally described as the off axis point where gain is down 3 dBd compared to maximum forward gain. As you off angle from the direction the antenna is pointing, gain drops off as well, when you reach 3 dBd down, that angle is the measured Beamwidth. This is also important for multipath rejection and reducing or eliminating possible co-channel or adjacent channel interference.

    What is this multipath and why should I be concerned about it? Multipath happens when objects in the environment reflect radio waves in different directions. Large geographical objects like hills and mountains and also smaller objects like buildings and trees can be sources of deflected/reflected signals. These reflected signals can be picked up with your antenna along with the direct transmitted signal and be passed along to your tuner which may be confused by these out of phase signals and thus reduce its ability to decode them cleanly...resulting in poor quality music reproduction. The tuner can jump back and forth from the primary and reflected signals. Tuners are designed to deal with this to varying degrees of success, but you can help the tuner by understanding mulitpath...identifying it as a source of trouble...and selecting a proper antenna to reduce it. Co channel and Adjacent Channel interference is similar except that the source of the objectionable or interfering signal is another FM broadcast, either right next to the frequency that you are attempting to listen to, or on the same frequency/channel at another distant location/direction.

    Bi-Directional, Figure 8...........Directional...........Omnidirectional



    Horizontal Dipole, Helical.......Yagi, Rhombic.......Whip, Vertical Dipole, Turnstile

    Here you can visualize the directional nature of differing antenna designs.

    Lets look at a 3D visualization of a Vertical Dipole...this may help you visualze what is going on, better.



    The antenna is in the center standing up or in a vertical orientation. As you can see the round donut shape if cut in a horizontal cross section corresponds to the circular pattern of the Omni-Directional above. Now if you take your Vertical Dipole and turn it sideways to a horizontal position, then the donut rotates with it, now half of the donut is below ground with the rest arcing over the top fo the dipole. If you look at the Horizontal Dipole plot above, you will see that the Figure 8 pattern is a horizontal crossection of this 3D donut rotated on its side. In the horizontal position the dipoles nulls point off of the antenna ends, instead of up and down now side to side, thus it doesnt have a circular pattern.

    Polarization: Circular, Vertical, and Horizontal: What you need to know!

    FM radio

    The term "circular polarization" is often used erroneously to describe mixed polarity signals used mostly in FM radio (87.5 to 108.0 MHz), where a vertical and a horizontal component are propagated simultaneously by a single or a combined array. This has the effect of producing greater penetration into buildings and difficult reception areas than a signal with just one plane of polarization.
    Without getting to deeply into the physics aspect of polarization, what you really need to know is that FM is broadcast in both vertical and horizontal orientation, simultaneously most often. Some stations only broadcast on horizontal only, so you may need to look into a specific station you want or are having trouble with. In the past when vertical whips were the most common vehicle antennas, some broadcasters boost the power to their vertical broadcast antenna, at the expense of the horizontal broadcast antenna during rush hours....then later brought them back into equal or favoring the horizontal component of the broadcast antenna. Im not sure most FM users should concern themselves with all of that. What the average consumer may concern themselves with is atmospheric propagation issues. Horizontally oriented antennas may perform better than verticals at longer distances depending on the atmospheric propagation conditions. A good discussion of this can be found on Wikipedia, TV and FM DX. For this reason, you may favor a horizontally oriented antenna, depending on your needs and wants.


    Amplification: Is it useful? Generally speaking the answer is a qualified NO. Amplification is useful for overcoming signal loses in long cable runs of over 100 ft or so at FM frequencies....or splitter loses. It can be useful in systems that use an undersized antenna, which starts off with a much lower signal and then boosts it to useable levels. However amplifying the signal introduces its own noise into the system and can degrade analog reproduction quality. Generally speaking amplification is much more useful (while still not being a panacea) for television reception....one reason being the noise of television tuners themselves is higher than a low noise amplifier....thus increasing the Signal to Noise ratio. FM tuners are generally less noisey and thus do not give this benefit. You will see that many antennas that offer amplification also offer selectable power gain or the ability to turn it off completely, which is a good feature for reasons stated....these selectable gain amplifiers do offer some flexibility in the system....but are not as good a solution as going with a larger higher gain properly placed antenna.



    Types of Antennas and How They Compare to One Another Performance Wise

    Here we will discuss the various types of antennas what characteristics they exhibit and how they relate to one another.


    Location & Building Materials: Where to place the antenna?

    What's the most optimal place to put your indoor antenna?


    FM Interference Sources:

    The FCC Interference Handbook (courtesy of AARL) gives advice on how to isolate the sources of electrical interference.




    .

  2. #2
    Moderator

    Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,373
    Thread Starter
    Blog Entries
    1

    A Word about Tuners: You must remember that the antenna is part of a complete receiving system. The tuner itself is just as important. Conversely so is the antenna. This guide is focused more on the antenna side of things...this is a reminder that the tuner performance is important as well. I realize that many will have a tuner already, either purchased or given as a gift, and are looking to upgrade an antenna from better performance, but if you can, research for a good tuner. Tuners will be lightly covered at the bottom of the guide, but are generally beyond the scope and goals of this guide. fmtunerinfo.com is a great site for tuner information. Other great reviews have been linked within the thread. Discussion of tuners is encouraged in the thread.

    Speaking of the total system lets not forget cables...

    Transmission Cables:

    NAIM Audio poster bazz offers great concise but thorough advice here.

    Mounting Solutions:

    Here is a handy Antenna Installation Guide from Channel Master, that goes over several mounting options and other considerations in detail.


    Ratings & Recommendations System:





    Antenna Maxims to Remember HatTip/KenH

    Generally Speaking

    Outdoors is better than Indoors
    Higher is better than Lower
    Bigger is better than Smaller
    Directional is better than Omnidirectional



    Cheat Sheet

    HD Radio does not require a special antenna, regular FM antennas work fine.
    You may require a better FM antenna for HD Radio because of the digital cliff effect.
    0 dBd (1/2 wave dipole) is a pretty good antenna.
    dBd +2.2 = dBi
    Every +3 dB = Doubling of Capture Ability or Signal Strength
    Every -3 dB = Halving of Capture Ability or Signal Strength
    F/B Ratio is a measure of directionality and rear rejection.
    Beamwidth is a measuremnt of directionality.
    Multipath is especially common in big cities.
    Directional antennas with tighter beamwidths and higher F/B ratios can help defeat multipath.
    Amplifiers are of limited use, not really recommended.
    Horizontally oriented antennas may be better for longer distances.
    Dont forget the rest of the system, tuners, cables, filters, splitters, baluns, and mounts.







    Contents




    Introduction

    Contents

    Indoor FM Antennas

    Rabbit Ears - Telescoping VHF Dipole
    FM DX Co. FM Rabbit Ears
    Twinlead FM Dipole
    FM Reflect Coax Dipole
    Terk FM-50
    Godar FM1a
    Godar FM2a
    AudioPrism 7500
    AudioPrism 8500
    Magnum Dynalab SR-100 Silver Ribbon
    The Super Antenna, MkIII
    Terk HDR-O
    FM DX Co. Rhombic
    Barberpole FM & Shortwave Antenna
    APS Attic Intenna
    Terk FM-2000 FM+
    Terk FM-4000 Edge
    PowerQ FM-02


    AM/FM Combo Indoor Antennas

    Godar DXR-500
    Terk AF-1 "Q"
    Terk Pi
    Terk Tower
    Radio Shack 15-1859
    Terk HDR-I


    Whip Antennas

    Metz Co. AM/FM
    Magnum Dynalab ST-2
    Godar DX-1000
    Fanfare FM-2G
    Pixel Tech AFHD-4


    Outdoor Dipole & Turnstile Antennas

    Blake FM Omni
    Triax FM Omni
    FM DX Co. Vertical Dipole
    Rescue Electronics Surplus FM-FD1
    SE Engineering 879
    AntennaCraft FMSS
    Winegard HD6010
    Blonder Tongue BTY-2-FM


    Yagi-Uda Antennas

    Antennas Direct 3 Element
    Antiference 1083
    Blake FM 3
    Triax FM 3
    Blake FM 4
    Triax FM 4
    Winegard HD6000
    Antiference 1085
    Triax FM 5
    VHFTeknik FM5.1
    Blonder Tongue BTY-5-FM
    Blake FM 6
    AntennaCraft FM6
    Magnum Dynalab MD-6
    Blake FM 8
    Winegard HD6055p
    FM DX Co. 8 Element FM Yagi Antenna
    Triax FM 8
    Rescue Electronics Surplus FM-LP8
    APS 9B
    Magnum Dynalab MD-10
    APS 13
    VHFTeknik Korner FM15.11
    Ron Smith Aerials


    DIY FM Antennas

    Zip Cord or Speaker Wire Antenna
    Loops
    Moxon
    Hentenna
    Yagi
    Rhombic



    VHF/UHF Combo Television Antennas

    Philips MANT510
    Channel Master CM3016
    Winegard 7082p
    Channel Master 3671


    Amplifiers, Bandpass Filters, Diplexers, and Signal Analyzers, etc

    Winegard CA8800
    Tin Lee Filters
    Magnum Dynalab 205 Signal Sleuth
    Channel Master 3075 Balun
    Belden 1505A & 1694A Cables
    Rotors
    Mounts

    HD Radio Tuners & Radios

    Sony XDR-F1HD
    Microsoft ZuneHD

    Gems from Yesteryear - Discontinued and Vintage Antennas


    Rhembrandt Stereo King FM Antenna
    Day Sequerra FM Urban
    Jerrold Magic Carpet
    Akai Carbon FA-78
    Winegard SteroTron FM4400
    AudioPrism HQ6500
    Parsec ARC
    Parsec LS4
    Parsec WaveCatcher
    Parsec 2416 Loop
    Radio Shack 15-1833
    Radio Shack 15-1821
    Technics SH-F101
    Sony AN-10
    Sony AN-300
    BIC Beambox FM6
    BIC Beambox FM8
    BIC Beambox FM10
    Channel Master CM3026
    Delhi CFM-2
    Finco FMTA
    Finco FM3
    Finco FM4G
    Channel Master Stereo Probe 9
    Jerrold/Wade/Delhi QFM-9
    Radio Shack 1638
    AntennaCraft FM10
    Winegard HD6065p
    Finco FM5
    AntennaCraft FM13
    APS 14

    Links to Useful Information and Websites


    Bibliography - Resources for Further Research


    Review

    .

  3. #3
    Moderator

    Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,373
    Thread Starter
    Blog Entries
    1

    Good Places to purchase antennas and accessories online.

    Solid Signal
    Stark Electronics
    Summit Source
    Warren Electronics
    Radio Shack
    Amazon.com
    eBay
    Blue Jeans Cable
    Monoprice Cables
    FM DX Company
    Antenna Performance Systems


    Holding this space for rearranging the intro...

  4. #4
    Moderator

    Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,373
    Thread Starter
    Blog Entries
    1

    Indoor Antennas




    Rabbit Ears aka Telescoping Adjustable VHF Dipoles



    Classic FM Antenna. This is the Rabbit Ear, with adjustable telescoping elements for tuning the antenna to specific frequencies. Works very well, a very good table top indoor FM antenna. You can find them with "Fine Tuning" knobs which have impedence matching circuitry which are beneficial for tweaking the best possible signal for your FM tuner. Its OK if yours has a UHF loop or UHF panel. You can also use amplified units like the Philips MANT510....but be sure that they dont include an FM trap...otherwise youll be killing your reception.

    Comparison tests of Rabbit Ears vs Godar FM 1a vs BIC Beambox can be found here.


    FM DX Co. Indoor Dipole Antenna with Fine Tuning


    This is a Rabbit Ear FM Dipole that is has sturdy telescoping chrome plated brass elements and an impedence matching fine tuning knob. Inspired by a similar offering from Radio Shack in years past. This may be the best indoor table top antenna on the market.

    AM FM Reception Guide & Directory says this about the FM DX Antenna Co. FM Indoor Dipole Antenna.....as well as this....

    Meanwhile, a couple of changes have been made to the amazing Indoor Half-Wave Dipole that FM DX sells. First, the rods are much sturdier. Secondly, it is now available with several connector options without additional cost: standard screw-on F, push-on F, PAL, Twin lug, and PL259 (UHF). The main discovery that has been made with this antenna is that using it in true dipole fashion as a totally vertical antenna unleashes the complete potential rather than configuring it in the traditional rabbit ear configuration. The antenna will pick up inside just as well as an outdoor half-wave dipole mounted indoors but you have the advantage of tuning it exactly to the frequency you want plus the fine-tuning control allows each station to be perfectly tuned.

    Twinlead Folded FM Dipole



    Classic FM Antenna. This is 300ohm Twinlead wire in a folded dipole configuration cut to the middle of the FM band. A very good indoor antenna solution, that is why this cheapie is still around. You can possition and twist it in all kinds of configurations to bring in that favorite FM station of yours. This fellow FM listener has tips on positioning the Classic Twinlead FM Dipole.



    C.Crane FM Reflect Dipole Antenna



    This is like the one above except it uses 75 ohm coax.....an improved FM Dipole?

    NPR Labs says this...

    We couldn't really keep selling all of these great radios without addressing the antenna issues which many of our customers have told us about. We think the FM Reflect is a very affordable FM antenna and is one of the best indoor antennas made. Not only is it affordable, but it is one of the quickest and easiest ways to improve the FM reception of your portable radio or stereo receiver. It's also the only FM antenna that you can bend and shape to take full advantage of the circular polarization now used by many FM stations. Because of its flat response it's also one of the few FM antennas that tested well with the new, High Definition (HD) FM radios.

    Compared to other indoor FM antennas, the FM Reflect achieves a higher signal-to-noise ratio and is less susceptible to interference from surrounding objects and people. The advanced dipole design is up to 213% more powerful than a standard dipole antenna, and delivers maximum gain across the entire FM broadcast band. Unlike ordinary dipoles, there is no fall off near the end of the band with the FM Reflect antenna.

    Size: 54" element with an 8-foot feed line. Weight: 8.5 oz. Comes with "F" connector, balun spade connector, and alligator clip.

    Terk FM-50



    The Terk FM-50 is a 1/2 wave dipole with remotely controlled bypassable 10db amplifier. Can be used indoors or outdoors.

    Review of the Terk FM-50 can be found starting on page 55 (pdf page 52) of AudioCritic Magazine Issue #25.



    Godar FM1a (aka FM-1a)



    Made in USA!

    Here is Godar's well regarded log periodic FM1a on a lazy susan mount, atop of the legendary cult classic Proton 440 tuner with Schotz noise reduction circuitry. Godar has several other FM capable antennas as well.

    fmtunerinfo.com comparison tests of Rabbit Ears vs Godar FM 1a vs BIC Beambox can be found here.



    Godar FM 2A



    This antenna like the FM 1A, has some directionality, which is beneficial for multipath problems, and perhaps co channel and adjacent channel interference, but because of its size, is a bit awkward to aim if you have stations in different directions.


    AudioPrism 7500 Antenna



    Review of the 7500 can be found starting on page 65 (pdf page 57) of AudioCritic Magazine Issue #23.

    Audioprism's Model 7500 is a pole four inches thick and seven feet tall set on a wood base. It has no amplifier, but its size gives it enough pulling power for suburban use. It is not directional.....omni-directional, passive design. Shiped with 15' of 75 ohm coaxial cable. Antenna element is black with a painted 13" wood base.
    AudioPrism 8500 Antenna



    Review of the 8500 can be found starting on page 65 (pdf page 57) of AudioCritic Magazine Issue #23.

    High performance indoor FM antenna includes hard wired 20' long remote control and 20' of 75 ohm coaxial cable. The 8500 is passive, phased array design with 4 possible antenna directions and 3 different gain settings selected via remote control; omni, 0, 120, or 240 degrees. Gain settings 0 Db, -12 and -18 Db. A 12 VDC output wall adapter included. 5 feet tall x 12 in. diameter. Black with matching painted wood end pieces.


    Magnum Dynalab SR-100 Silver Ribbon Antenna



    Basically a fancier Rabbit Ear antenna, with folded dipoles and perhaps a bit more elegant aethetics.

    Review of the MD SR-100 can be found starting on page 65 (pdf page 57) of AudioCritic Magazine Issue #23.


    The Super Antenna, MkIII

    You'd think it shouldn't be that hard to build a desktop antenna for FM. But the people who make "rabbit ears" work to make the outside look fine, and then pinch pennies on the inside, where they figure you won't see it. Besides, they don't know what they're doing. The rotary phase switch found on most antennas actually generates FM multipath distortion...and TV ghosts.

    So we decided to design our own. It has only enough metal parts to make it work, and no dumb "phase" switch...those actually manufacture multipath. We then add a quality transformer, put in a plump shielded cable with a 24K gold plated F connector (an instant-connect plug that fits all modern TV sets). The result is the FM-S Super Antenna, now in its third incarnartion.

    We tried it first on a TV set, and we were stunned. Without the phase switch, without a twin lead to act as a second antenna, and with minimum loss and interference thanks to the special cable, off-air broadcasts looked better than ever (yes, much better than on cable). The result on FM is dynamite. The Super Antenna covers all broadcast TV stations, channels 2 to 69, plus the FM band. We even have customers who tell us they're using a Super Antenna to pull in off-the-air high-definition signals.

    The antenna is available with 21-day refund, less only our shipping cost
    ORDER FM-S Super Antenna, $55 Canadien.




    Terk HDR-O (aka HDRO)



    For use indoors or outdoors.

    • Digital reception on both AM and FM
    • Ultra Low Noise amplifier design
    • High Gain on both bands for greater sensitivity
    • High Compression / high harmonic attentuation
    • Pure band seperation for optimal performance
    • Easy to install - mast and wall-mount options included


    FM DX Antenna Co. Indoor Rhombic FM Antenna




    Made in USA!

    This is more like a modified rhombic with reflector.

    AM FM Recption Guide & Directory says this about the new FM DX Antenna Co. Rhombic FM Antenna...

    FM DX Antenna Co is releasing a rhombic FM reception antenna that is intended for attic or crawl space mounting. This mostly directional antenna is a smaller directional antenna but offers 3.5 db gain across the FM band. It will work best when horizontal orientation is best due to space limitations or other concerns.

    Barberpole FM & Shortwave Antenna



    Search eBay for listings.

    Introducing the Barberpole 6 foot tall FM and shortwave antenna! We invite you to watch our video of the Barber's effectiveness and then continue reading on about this fantastic design guaranteed to bring incredible performance to your FM needs while serving as a great shortwave (or HF as it is also known) solution as well.

    The Barberpole is proudly made in the USA out of high quality materials which are also produced in the USA. Comes complete with instruction manual, antenna, and mounting hardware. Works great by attaching via an alligator clip to your radio's collapsable rod antenna, or the alligator clip can be removed so that the oxygen free copper element can be plugged directly into the Hi-Z connection on your high end radio. The element is precision wrapped to gain maximum length from the supporting pole without too many turns that would result in choking out the signal. We've achieved this efficiency only through countless hours of testing and design utilizing different environments, radios, and terrain. In our tests, we've found that transporting a large antenna can be cumbersome. This is precisely why we've designed the antenna with a coupling so that it can be disassmbled for easy transport in your car or even strapped to the back of your motorcycle for those out of the way camping trips.

    We've sold countless Barber's in local markets and venues to various amateur radio afficionado groups, and to countless others that need big FM receiving performance without a big price, and are now taking our tried and true product online! As a matter of fact, we're so sure that you'll be satisfied with our product that we will stand by it...

    FOR LIFE!

    You get an unconditional 30 day warranty. If for any reason this antenna is not for you, we give a full refund including shipping; just ship the product back, no questions asked. After that, we will warrant the Barber against defects in workmanship or material for the life of the product by offering repair or replacement (see instruction manual enclosed with product for a full warranty description).

    The all weather Barber is a great outdoor antenna standing up to sun and moisture, but will also work extremely well indoors with exceptional performance for those without exterior mounting options. Bring an old radio to life with an antenna that can hang with the big boys, all for a low cost and a lifetime guarantee. Gain extra performance on the shortwave bands as well; far more than an internal antenna alone can do. Does your antenna do all of this? If not, get the Barberpole today!
    [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tC9_jSTkDQ&feature=player_embedded[/YOUTUBE]



    APS Attic Intenna



    Made in USA!

    Frequency Range: 88 - 108 MHz
    Impedance: 75 Ohms
    Dimensions: 48" tall x 8" round.
    Average SWR: 1.5:1
    Gain: 0 dBd across the entire band
    F/B Ratio: Not Applicable

    The InTenna outperforms other indoor antennas due to its wider bandwidth. Whips, j-poles, etc. have minimal surface areas, meaning they can’t possibly cover the entire FM band and maintain a proper impedance match or 0 dBd gain. We tested one of those indoor/outdoor whip antennas, and found it had a bandwidth of only 5.6 MHz - the FM band is 19.8 MHz wide!

    An SWR (standing wave ratio) of 2.1:1 or less is considered acceptable in a receive antenna. Yet, this whip was as high as 5.1:1 at 88.1 MHz! The actual bandwidth of this antenna is from 99.9 MHz to 105.5 MHz!
    The superior bandwidth characteristics of the InTenna are evident in the above graphs, and are due to the In-Tenna’s massive surface area - 861 square inches! No whip or j-pole comes close. Line loss is exacerbated as the impedance mismatch grows. In the case of the whip tested above, there will be close to a 3 dB loss(1) due to the impedance mismatch of the antenna alone.

    Unfortunately, the indoor FM antenna market is rife with ludicrous claims: "our super duper skinny-whip has 2.5 dB of gain!" Since gain is measured over a half-wave dipole, to claim a dipole has gain over itself is silly. Whips, j-poles and the InTenna are all half-wave zero-dBd gain dipoles (at best). The more important question to be asked is: what is the impedance match (SWR) across the FM band?


    Terk FM-2000 FM+



    This has the same antenna elements, the "gamma loop" as the Terk Pi, but minus the adjustable power low noise GaAsFet amplifier.

    Terk's is inconspicuous. It's a thin plate about five inches square made to stand up or lie flat. Flat, it picks up signals from all directions
    New York Times review/discussion of the Terk FM+ can be found here and here.



    Terk FM-4000 Edge






    PowerQ FM-02







    .
    Last edited by EscapeVelocity; 02-07-2010 at 10:09 AM.
    Jason Fritz likes this.

  5. #5
    Moderator

    Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,373
    Thread Starter
    Blog Entries
    1

    AM/FM Combo Antennas


    Godar DXR-500 AM FM Antenna



    Cool retro looks on this new antenna from Godar!


    Terk AF-1 "Q"



    The Terk AM/FM "Q" is TERK's premium amplified indoor AM/FM antenna. The AM/FM Q features a host of advanced technologies for exceptional antenna performance, such as Terk's unique Pin-Dot Pre-Tuning that zeroes in on even hard-to-get stations by tuning the antenna to the station's frequency.

    The AM/FM Q is easy to install and use and its compact, stylish high-tech design complements any home entertainment installation. The "Q's" Pin-Dot Pre-Tuning uses calibrated LEDs to adjust the antenna to a specific frequency for best reception of individual stations. The continuously adjustable high-power (-20 to +44dB) amplifier can be precisely adjusted via LED display for optimum signal strength for each station. The patented Non-Coinduction circuitry isolates AM and FM antenna elements from each other for improved reception.

    Terk AF-9925 Pi AM/FM Indoor Amplified Loop Antenna



    The Terk Pi combines the ubiquitous too small amplified FM Loop with a good simple passive AM Loop antenna....thus adding to its functionality and versatility. It has a good low noise GAsFet adjustable gain amplifier as well. Designed by the legendary Larry Schotz, the Terk Pi's FM section is about as good as these can get....add in the useful AM Loop and you have a winner. However it may be better to go with seperate AM and FM antennas.

    New York Times review/discussion of the Terk Pi can be found here and here.

    PC World review of the Terk Pi can be found here.

    Looking to get better sound from your favorite AM and FM radio stations? Terk's Pi powered antenna reels in distant signals and clears up stronger ones for dramatically improved radio reception. Standing just 6-1/4" high and 2-11/16" deep, the compact Pi sports separate FM (amplified) and AM (passive) antennas. The AM loop is movable, so it swings away from the unit for optimum AM reception. And Terk's patented Non-Coinduction™ technology isolates the antennas from each other, eliminating potential interference.

    The Pi's FM antenna features an adjustable amplifier that can really boost your FM signals. Set it to maximum strength for pulling in weaker stations, or tone down the amplification to avoid "over-boosting" closer signals. Terk's Gamma-Loop™ technology cleans up radio broadcasts, significantly reducing background static and hiss for increased signal-to-noise ratio and clearer sound. Available in white or black.
    • Patented Non-Coinduction circuitry isolates AM and FM antenna elements from each other for improved reception
    • Built-in high-gain, low-noise amplifier can be adjusted from -20dB to +42dB to strengthen reception of weaker or distant stations, without over-boosting stronger or closer stations
    • Exclusive Gamma-Loop technology reduces noise before amplifying FM signals, for clearest, quietest FM reception
    • LED amplifier gain indicators
    • AM antenna moves away from FM antenna for best FM performance
    • Omnidirectional or directional FM operation-omnidirectional when placed vertically or directional when placed horizontally to zero in on hard-to-get stations
    • Non-skid base keeps antenna in place during adjustment
    • Included accessories: (1) TERK AF9925 AM/FM pi Radio Antenna (1) 75 Ohm-to-75 Ohm transformer, (1) 75 Ohm-to-300 Ohm adapter, (1) AC/DC power adapter

    Terk AF-9330 AM/FM Indoor Amplified Tower Antenna



    Here are the specs and features of the Terk Tower.

    New York Times review/discussion of the Terk Tower can be found here and here.

    Terk's FM 9300, a slim, tapering tower 17 inches tall, picks up signals from all directions when standing and, when on its side, focuses on stations it is pointed to. Its built-in amplifier can be adjusted to strengthen signals but not to weaken them. On its side, and pointed at the clearest signal, this antenna screens out unwanted signals much better than the other Terks.

    Radio Shack 1859




    Terk HDR-I



    Comment on the web...

    I just wanted to unofficially comment on the low noise FM preamplifier built into the Terk HDR-I indoor antenna. I previously stated that the over-all performance of the stand-alone device I removed the AM/FM antenna element from the Terk after removing the base enclosure screws which revealed the active electronics portion of the device.
    I don't have any Spectrum analyzer equipment, but I suspect that the dual gate mosfet design allows for a very linear gain characteristic over its full gain control range which extends BELOW unity gain to as much as +20dB. This can allow for usable gain without compromising HD recovery with an existing dipole. It MIGHT even help to minimize some digital signal fluctuations but no where near all of them. Since I can't measure ANYTHING objectively, I'd leave it to the curious, bold and adventurous, to run a similar test ( which WILL VOID ANY WARRANTY on the device) to attach the supplied FM Balun to the former FM antenna input connections on the circuit board and do your own A-B tests by switching the Terk preamp in and out of circuit with your FM antenna input to your receiver ( in my case the Accurian TTR); or better yet, perhaps someone with the necessary RF Spectrum analyzer equipment, could make some comparison charts with HD capable reception comparisons of this device, versus the unamplified signals. I'd love to see if this is one redeemable quality associated with the overall design of the Terk HDR-I device for FM receiving purposes.



    Whip Antennas

    The classic whip antenna, youve probably seen these on cars and trucks. The circular polarization of FM signals allows antennas in both vertical and horizontal and everywhere inbetween positions to recieve them well. FM whips are cut to the appropriate size for the 1/2 wave somewhere near the center of the FM band. These below are some of the higher priced whips with generally superior build quality....each makes their own claims. But many of those car and truck whips are essentially as good, but note that many car whips are a bit short on the 30ish inch 1/4 wave length side instead of the 1/2 wave length in the 50-60ish inch range. While the longer 1/2 wave whip is more desireable (wider vertical beamwidth)....the 1/4 wave whips work very well too. Note that Pixel Technologies comes with a low noise amplifier, which may or may not be beneficial. Most FM enthusiasts stay away from amplification and let their sensitive tuners do the work. Note the Godar has a telescoping whip for fine tuning the length to the frequency on the dial, this also makes it less practical for outdoor use due to water infiltration concerns, but if you are limited to indoor use this gives you an advantage.


    Metz Communication Co. AM/FM Antenna



    Key Features

    Stainless Steel 17-7ph Whip (Replacement Whip #254)
    Stainless Steel Housing
    Gold plated Whip Post
    Stainless Steel Mounting Bracket

    UV resistant Cap
    All connections soldered
    Compression Whip retainer
    8 oz total weight
    Coax Connector

    Lifetime Warranty on antenna coil

    Technical Specifications

    Frequency Range - Standard AM/FM reception
    Whip length 54 inches
    Here is an antenna designed for marine use, where a longer whip has been added to maybe a tad short of the center of the FM frequency band. On Metz website, you can see their other very similar products with various length whips for targeted use on other frequencies.



    Magnum Dynalab ST-2



    AudioReviews of the ST-2 can be found here.



    Godar DXR 1000



    The Godar DXR 1000 allows for adjusting the length of the antenna via its teslescoping element, to tune for specific frequencies, giving it an edge over the others here, especially for indoor use where you can easily access the whip. Telescoping elements may not be suited for outdoor use.


    Fanfare FM2-G



    Made in USA!

    Fanfare FM2-G Reviewed by Stereophile Magazine in '97

    This antenna is also offered in a special configuration cut to be optimized toward the lower frequencies in the FM band for NPR and College Radio....the appropriately named FM2-GC....which I really like....as often the best quality and most interesting/entertaining FM broadcasts can be found on the non commercial end of the dial 88-92 MHz.

    Stainless steel whip, coil loaded.

    AudioReviews of the FM-2G can be found here.


    Pixel Technologies AM/FM/HD Radio AFHD-4



    • Digital reception on both AM and FM
    • Ultra Low Noise amplifier design
    • High Gain on both bands for greater sensitivity
    • Pure band seperation for optimal performance
    • Easy to install - mast and wall-mount options included
    Specifications:

    Antenna length: 48 inches

    Frequency of operation:

    AM Band 500 KHz to 1750 KHz
    FM Band 88MHz -108 MHz

    Ground plane required: None

    AM capture length: 300 inches

    AM / FM Band Separator Performance:

    FM rejection in AM band: > 50 dB
    AM rejection in FM band: > 60 dB
    AM/FM Pass-band loss: < 1dB
    AM load impedance: 300 ohms
    FM load impedance: 75 ohms

    Antenna Beam width: Omni-directional

    Reception Capability:
    Receiver Mode
    Reliable Good Quality Daytime Reception

    FM Stereo
    80 miles

    FM HD
    50 miles

    AM (Mono)
    90 miles

    AM HD
    50 miles
    .

  6. #6
    Moderator

    Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,373
    Thread Starter
    Blog Entries
    1

    Outdoor Dipoles & Turnstile Antennas


    These are good outdoor solutions (and can be used in attics and indoors) for people with FM stations in all directions. I really like the single dipoles, the SE Engineering is fantastic high quality build, but pricey, but has flexible mounting options and hardware. Im not too sure about how the circular folded dipoles from Britain work, but they are not as effective as a straight 1/2 wave dipole as you can see, they are about -3 dBd, but do offer 360 degree coverage. The double crossed dipoles, also known as turnstile, work OK and are easy to find. They are at 90 degrees to one another so that each covers the others null off the ends of the other dipole respectively, thus giving full 360 degree coverage....however these antennas do affect one another and their signal joining results in a few dB of loss over a basic 1/2 wave dipole, about -3 dBd. The Blonder Tongue is a higher build quality than these others, and the price reflects that, not worth it in my opinion....but if you want the best...

    These are great for outdoor mounting, roof mounts, and attic installs.



    Triax FM Omni Note this is a UK product...shipping can be cost prohibitive.



    Gain: -2 dBd
    F/B Ratio: 0 dBd
    Beamwidth: +/- 180
    Width: 505 mm
    Windload: 16N
    Weight: 0.6 kg

    Blake FM Omni Note this is a UK product...shipping could be cost prohibitive.





    FM DX Antenna Co. FM 1/2 Wave Dipole



    Made in USA!

    This is a 1/2 wave vertical dipole is simple and effective.

    Gain: 0 dBd
    360 degrees

    Rescue Electronics Surplus FM-FD1 Folded Dipole





    SE Engineering SE-879



    The SE Engineering 879 is a 1/2 wave horizontal or vertical mount dipole. Copper nikel alloy elements, coated with polyurethane on top of epoxy. Stainless steel hardware and gold plated connector. Feedpoint is set for a perfect 75 Ohms. Recieves in 2 directions. Horizontal mount is best for flat land.
    I really like this antenna, albeit its a bit pricey, so didnt make the Best Buy list.



    AntennaCraft FM-SS (also sold as Archer/Radio Shack #15-2164)



    Made in USA!

    DTVUSA Forum antenna guru Piggie says this....

    ...if you live in town and just want a solid signal indoors the AntennaCraft FMSS is a great deal. None of the more expensive omnis out perform it. It only has unity gain but the second element gets rid of the nulls off the end of a single folded dipole.

    Winegard HD 6010



    Made in USA!

    300 ohm output / 75 ohm transformer included
    Boom Length: 10"
    Turning Radius: 41
    Maximun Width: 67
    Height: 10.25




    Blonder Tongue BTY-2-FM



    Made in USA!

    Blonder Tongue is a professional, commercial, industrial oriented company, but offers some very high quality consumer products that may be of interest to enthusiasts....but youll pay extra for it. Never the less...good stuff.

  7. #7
    Moderator

    Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,373
    Thread Starter
    Blog Entries
    1

    Yagi-Uda Antennas

    Yagi antennas are where the real increases in gain start coming into play. They also bring directionality into play too.

    I have included some UK products here as well, for comparison purposes, or you might like to try one.



    Antennas Direct 3-Element FM Radio Antenna



    Other yagis here offer better performance for FM, and in smaller form factors.

    Range: Up to 60 miles
    4.5 dBi Gain
    Length: 47"
    Width: 109"
    Weight:5.5 lbs.

    Antiference 1083 Note this is a UK product...shipping could be cost prohibitive.



    Forward Gain 7.2dBi
    Front/Back Ratio 15dBi
    Acceptance Angle deg ± 32°
    Windage N (at 130km/h) 67N
    Length 860mm

    Blake FM 3 Element Note this is a UK product...shipping could be cost prohibitive.



    Forward Gain: 5 dBd, 7.2 dBi
    Beamwidth: 35 degrees
    F/B Ratio: 15 dB
    Triax FM-3 Note this is a UK product...shipping could be cost prohibitive.



    Frequency Range 88 - 108MHz
    Forward Gain 6 dBi
    Front To Back Ratio 16 dB
    Beamwidth +/-35 Degrees

    Blake FM 4 Note this is a UK product....shipping could be prohibitive.



    Forward Gain: 6 dBd
    Beamwidth: +/- 33 degrees



    Triax FM 4 Note this is a UK product....shipping could be cost prohibitive.



    Gain: 7 dBi, 4.8 dBd
    Beamwidth: +/- 32 degrees
    F/B Ratio: 15 dB
    Length: 1572 mm
    Width: 1577 mm
    Weight: 1.5 kg


    Winegard HD 6000



    Made in USA!

    This is an interesting antenna, with a log-yagi design, using 2 driven elements, plus a reflector and a director. Im very high on this antenna. Its the only smaller FM yagi available in the US, and offers good performance. I prefer it over the AntennaCraft FM6. This has a boomlength of only half a wave, whereas the FM6 is a full wave long, yet doesnt offer much improvement in the way of gain (although K6STI offers some homebrew improvements for the AC FM6). Its smaller form factor helps with attic installations as well.

    Gain: 5 dBd
    Beamwidth: 70 degrees
    F/B Ratio: 12 dB average
    Boom Length: 33
    Height: 3
    Turning Radius: 39
    Maximum Width: 65.5
    Output Impedance: 300 ohm / 75 ohm with included transformer



    Antiference 1085 Note this is a UK product...shipping could be prohibitive.



    Forward Gain 9.1dBi
    Front/Back Ratio 16dBi
    Acceptance Angle deg 28°
    Windage N (at 130km/h) 128N
    Length 2052mm

    Triax FM-5 Note this is a UK product....shipping could be prohibitive.



    This is one of the most popular FM antennas in the UK.

    K6STI's analysis of the Triax FM 5 can be found here.

    Gain: 8.0 dBi, 5.8 dBd
    Band: 87-108MHz
    Front/Back: >20dB
    Windload (N): 80
    Beamwidth: +/- 27 degrees
    Balun: 75ohm
    Length: 1932 mm
    Width: 1577 mm


    VHFTeknik FM5.1 FM DX Yagi Note this is a product of Sweden.



    New product built and sold by VHFTeknik in Sweden. Brian Beazley (K6STI) design. Unique swept driven element.

    K6STI's analysis of the FM5.1 can be found here.



    Blonder Tongue BTY-5-LB Single Channel FM Antenna 5 Elements 88-108 MHz



    Made in USA!


    Blake FM 6 Element Note this is a UK product...shipping could be cost prohibitive.

    Gain: 8 dBd
    Length: 2100 mm
    Weight: 1.7 kg
    Width: 1700 mm


    AntennaCraft FM-6 (also sold as Radio Shack/Archer #15-2163)



    Made in USA!

    This is a very common antenna, as it was sold at Radio Shacks across the land up until recently. It offers one of the best price to performance ratios around.

    K6STI's analysis of the AntennaCraft FM6 can be found here.



    Magnum Dynalab MD-6




    Blake FM 8 Element Note this is a UK product...shipping could be cost prohibitive.

    Gain: 9 dBd
    Length: 2400 mm
    Weight: 5.1 kg
    Width: 1700 mm


    Winegard HD 6055P



    Made in USA!

    8 elements
    82" Boom length
    76" Turning Radius
    69" Maximum Width

    FM DX Co. 8 Element FM Yagi Antenna



    Last of the remaining stock, only a few left.

    Specifications
    Frequency Range: 87-108 MHz
    Maximum Gain: 9db
    Front to Back Ratio: 17db
    Polarization: Horizontal
    Horizontal Beamwidth: 59 degrees
    Impedence: 75 ohms
    Boom Length: 9' 4"
    Widest point: 74"
    Weight: 2.4 pounds

    Triax FM-8S Note: This is a UK product...shipping could be prohibitive.



    K6STI's analysis of the Triax FM-8 can be found here.

    9.5dB Gain
    24dB Front/Back
    ±21° Beamwidth
    75 Balun
    128 Windload (N)
    Weight 3.2 kg

    Rescue Electronics Surplus FM-LP8



    8 Element Log Periodic FM Antenna from a new antenna player in the market. Bit pricey, so didnt make the Best Buy list, but I really like this antenna. Well built, the dual booms make for an especially sturdy antenna. Really like the log periodic design.



    APS 9



    Made in USA!

    K6STI's analysis of the APS 9B can be found here.




    Magnum Dynalab MD-10





    APS 13



    Made in USA!

    The Antenna Performance APS-13 is probably the highest gain antenna currently available for FM reception. The forward gain is 10dBd average. F/B Ratio is up to 30 dB!

    AudioReviews of the APS 13 can be found here.

    K6STI's analyis of the APS 13 can be found here.



    VHFTeknik KÖRNER 15.11 FM DX Yagi Note this is a product of Sweden.



    New product built and sold by VHFTeknik in Sweden. Peter Korner design. 15 element plane reflector yagi with folded dipole driven element.

    K6STI's analysis of the Korner 15.11 can be found here.



    Ron Smith Aerials Note this is a UK product...shipping could be cost prohibitve.



    Ron Smith Aerials in the UK offers a line of modular antenna kits...you can expand to higher gain and more directivity down the road! Be sure to check out the FM Aerials and Specifications pages...Galaxy and Orion lines.

    The driven element is an FM Loop, surrounded by directors and reflectors, including corner reflectors. Kind of like a Quagi but a bit more busy.

  8. #8
    Moderator

    Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,373
    Thread Starter
    Blog Entries
    1

    Do It Yourself DIY Antennas

    Quick note about the DIY designs here. The Rhombic is by far the best, offering high gain and high F/B Ratio directionality. The Yagi and Loops next @ about 5 to 6 dBd gain, and then the Twinlead Folded Dipole and J-Poles at about 0 to 1 dBd gain. The Rhombic is very large and a bit tricky to make, however. The Loop offers the best ease of make to performance ratio, IMO, though the Yagi offers better Rear Rejection F/B Ratio. The Half Arsed Zip Cord Antenna (properly sized) is a pretty good temporary antenna until you can upgrade to something better...it has impedence mismatch losses and standing & reflected waves which reduce its effectiveness, but still offers something in the range of -3 to -6 dBd gain.



    Half-Arsed Zip Cord Antenna (aka Lamp Cord & Speaker Wire)

    This is the classic manuveur, take a piece of extra speaker wire or lamp cord and hook it up to the 300ohm inputs of your tuner. Savvy folks have enough length to mount it high about 60" vertical (1/2 wave at FM frequencies), and also pull the L&R wires apart about 32" at the end and make a T for an improved antenna (30" a side = 60" total for the top part of the T, which equals a 1/2 wave at the center of the FM band more or less)....an improvised zip cord dipole cut to length for the FM band! Impedence mismatch is way off, but it'll work in a pinch.



    VHF/UHF/FM Combo Antennas

    You can use your television antennas as an FM antenna as well. A lot of VHF antennas or UHF/VHF combo antennas can be used as FM antennas.....as FM is smack dab in between VHF Lo and VHF Hi bands (closer to VHF Lo). So there are literally thousands of VHF television antennas available for use as FM antennas. Not every VHF antenna is for FM though, some have FM traps integrated into their circuitry to tone down FM interference in the VHF High and VHF Low Ch. 6 television frequencies. Generally speaking, television antennas that cover VHF Low peform better on FM than VHF High only or VHF High/UHF antennas...though all of them will work for FM. UHF only antennas, not so much.

    Many of these TV antennas are already installed on peoples roofs. If you have such an antenna, then all you need is an FM Band Seperator and youre in business. See the Winegard CA 8800 FM Band Separator below.

    Here are some examples...


    Philips MANT510



    Yes, even indoor UHF/VHF antennas will work. Some of them incorporate FM Traps though. This one does not, it also is amplified. Make sure you adjust the Rabbit Ear VHF Dipoles to the appropriate length for best functioning....about 50" to 60" total or 25" to 30" a side.




    Channel Master CM 3016



    This one is particularly good on FM....with its quad-V Vhf section.


    Winegard 7082P



    A fine example of the all band VHF Low/FM/VHF High/UHF antenna.


    Channel Master Crossfire 3671



    Excellent FM Antenna! Well built too.


    .

  9. #9
    Moderator

    Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,373
    Thread Starter
    Blog Entries
    1

    Amplifiers, Bandpass Filters, Diplexers, Matching Transformers, Rotors, Mounts, Cables etc.


    Winegard CA 8800 FM Band Separator/Coupler



    Input and Ouput connections are 75 ohm F-type
    • AC Passive on TV set side.
    • Indoor type mounts anywhere with wood screws.
    • Three F-Connectors
    • Insertion loss -0.4 dB
    The primary purpose of this unit, is to seperate the FM band out of a cable from VHF Low, VHF High, and UHF Television and split them to seperate outputs so that you can use your combination VHF/FM/UHF antenna for both the television and FM tuners. It can also be used to join an FM antenna into the same line as your Television antenna so you only have one coax cable run from the mast.....then you split the FM signal back out using another CA 8800 on the other end....however it must be housed in a protective water resistant box at the mast or roof(unless your antennas are in the attic). One more use for it is as an FM trap for your televison, or a VHF Low trap for your FM tuner.....the filters on either of the 2 inputs act in this manner....thus allowing you to attenuate strong interfering signals from either band into the other.



    Tin Lee Filters & Stuff



    Tin Lee Electronics in Canada, pruduces high quality products. The link is to the page of his standard FM repetoire. Tin Lee also produces a wide range of satelitte, cable, and OTA television products. Can design and build custom products to specification. Great stuff! Check it out.


    Magnum Dynalab MD-205 Signal Sleuth FM Signal Amplifier



    Amplifies weak FM signals cleanly
    Attenuates strong, harsh signals without coloration
    Stabilizes FM antenna (and FM cable) signals
    Separates interfering adjacent-station signals
    Reduces multipath problems
    A Classic-Audio.com review of the Signal Sleuth can be found here.


    300 ohm to 75 ohm Matching Transformer Baluns

    These are useful for matching antenna impedence to cable run impedence, or tuner inputs. There are many different brands and styles. Below is the Channel Master 3075, a high quality balun that can be used indoors or outdoors with relatively low insertion loss. The second pic is of a generic push on balun, useful at the back of tuners if you only have 75 ohm F antenna inputs. These can be used in reverse, or in either direction.






    Transmission Cables



    Quad Shield RG6 is the way to go...especially for longer runs....for low loss and good shielding from interference souces. Remember that not all RG6 Quad Shield cables are equal, generally, you get what you pay for. The cheap stuff at Walmart or Home Depot is not the equal of Belden Quad Shield RG6.

    I recommend Belden 7915A Duobond Plus, that are Tri-Shield with solid copper cores, and a special shorting resistant jacket. When you want the best...this is for you. Available at Broadbandutopia at many lengths with Thomas & Betts Snap & Seal F connectors.



    Duobond®
    Duobond is essentially the same construction as Duofoil (a laminated shielding tape consisting of aluminum foil/plastic film/aluminum foil), but with an extra layer of heat-sensitive adhesive bonding the foil shield to the dielectric core. This foil shield provides 100% coverage and ensures maximum shield protection.

    Duobond II (Foil/Braid)
    Combines all the features of Duobond with an outer braid applied for greater protection against interference and to increase the overall tensile strength.

    Duobond Plus®
    This shield features the same foil/braid/foil construction as Duobond II but with the additional of a shorting fold in the outermost foil. This fold prevents a slot opening from being created in the shield, thereby preventing signal egress or ingress. This unique feature creates the effect of a solid metal conduit, which improves the high-frequency performance of the cable.

    These 2 are superior quality cables from Belden as well, with solid coppoer cores. RG59 for short runs is fine, especially at FM frequencies, it is also a bit more pliable for tight corners of wall runs.

    Blue Jeans Cable is a great company to purchase cables from. Stick it Monster Cable!

    Belden 1694A RG6

    Belden 1505A RG59


    Rotors

    If you are in a rural area or like DXing for distance stations, you can mount your antenna using a rotor, which allows you to rotate the high gain yagi antenna and point it in different directions for different stations. I have no advice on which models are best...the picture below is just an example.




    Mounting Solutions

    Here is a handy Antenna Installation Guide from Channel Master, that goes over several mounting options in detail.

    Stark Electronics has a handy page full of mounting brackets, tripods, and gear here.



    HD Radio Tuners & Radios


    Sony XDR-F1HD Tuner



    This tuner has been lauded far and wide, as being an excellent HD Radio tuner, and on top of that having one of the best FM analog tuners, sensitivity and selectivity, of all time! Beating out lots of oldies but goldies from yesteryear!

    K6STI has an in depth analysis and review here.

    Nice review from David's DXing Website here.

    CNET says this...

    The good:
    Budget-priced AM/FM HD Radio component delivers extraordinary sound quality and low-noise reception; small size; remote control; bright backlit LCD screen.

    The bad:
    No digital output; weak HD signals cause the XDR-F1HD to switch back and forth between analog and HD; the memory doesn't retain station presets if the radio is unplugged from AC power.

    The bottom line:
    Hailed by audiophiles as one of the greatest tuners ever, the Sony XDR-F1HD is arguably the best--and most affordable--way to add HD radio to any stereo system.


    Microsoft ZuneHD



    Zune HD is the first Zune model to feature a touch-screen interface similar to that found on Apple's iPhone....a 3.3" OLED screen. It also offers a built-in HD Radio receiver, 720p HD video output capabilities, a Wi-Fi antenna, and a touch screen optimized Explorer Team developed browser. Zune HD uses Nvidia's Tegra chip, an ultralow-power HD processor, to achieve high-definition output. All for $100 less than its target, Apple's iTouch. Available September 15th. Biggest complaints are limited storage, 16GB & 32GB versions.

    I wonder what kind of antenna this ships with for HD Radio/FM?

    Here is the CNet video review of Zune HD.

    Zune.net ZuneHD page

    Youtube Video: 5 Minute Zune HD Review

    .

  10. #10
    Moderator

    Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,373
    Thread Starter
    Blog Entries
    1

    Gems from Yesteryear - Compendium of Discontinued and Vintage Antennas


    Rhembrandt Stereo King FM Antenna




    Day Sequerra FM Urban


    Jerrold Magic Carpet VHF TV & FM Antenna




    Akai Carbon FA-7

    This unit includes.....6 inches tall, 14 inches wide tip to tip, battery powered by 2 D or C cells, rotatable, tuning dial by frequency, on/off switch with light, battery test switch.

    More close-up pictures here.





    Winegard StereoTron FM 4400


    AudioPrism HQ 6500



    75 ohm F connector.

    Review of the 6500 can be found starting on page 65 (pdf page 57) of AudioCritic Magazine Issue #23.

    Audioprism's Hi-Q 6500 is a flat box 9 by 9 by 2 1/4 inches. It is designed for FM listeners in large-city downtowns where there are many high buildings; there the problems include too many strong signals rather than weak ones. Its frequency selector knob helps it filter out interfering signals, while another knob tames signals that are strong enough to overload the tuner.

    Parsec ARC



    You can see the specsheet for the Parsec ARC here. AM/FM combo antenna, with frequency tuning.

    The Parsec Arc is about the size of many FM tuners. It has a frequency selector knob, but it can strengthen signals, which makes it better for surburban than for city use. Its frequency selection and amplification can also be used to improve AM reception, as can a knob that aims the antenna's AM section and a switch that filters out some AM interference.


    Parsec LS-4



    Made in USA!

    Here are the specs and features of the LS4.

    New York Times review/discussion of the Parsec LS-4 can be found here.



    Parsec WaveCatcher






    Parsec 2416 FM Antenna



    Little information on this one. Ill see if I can pick one up and change that. It has F connectors.



    Radio Shack 1833





    Radio Shack 1821C (also A and B)



    This is the silver version, also comes in black.



    Technics SH-F101



    Specs on the link...



    Sony AN-10





    Sony AN-300



    Amplified Helical Antenna with Manual or Auto tuning.


    BIC Beam Box FM6



    Not as desireable as the either the FM8 or FM10, lacks Narrow/Wide band switch, and frequency tuning. However sometimes simplicity my better suit the user.

    BIC Beam Box FM 8



    The highly regarded Beambox allows you to select elements situated within the box for changing direction and nulls....helps with multipath and perhaps co channel interference. The FM-8 has 300ohm output connections only. Note the whips, dipoles and rabbit ears all have higher gain than this.

    Here is the BIC Beam Box FM8 manual pdf.

    Most of these specs besides dimensions and weight apply to the BeamBox FM10 as well.

    Frequency range: 88 MHz to 108 MHz.
    Antenna Gain: - 7 dB typ. (narrowband), - 14 dB typ. (broadband).
    Directivity: Four selectable electronically oriented "figure-8" patterns.
    Receiving Elements: Four 8th-wavelength aluminium elements.
    Circuitry: Two orthogonal, capacitively loaded, foreshortened dipoles with tuned connecting circuit.
    Broadband mode: directly coupled with antenna arms.
    Narrowband mode: decoupled by impedance matching capacitors through 4- gang variable capacitor.
    Controls: Electronic orientation (4-position), bandwith (broad/narrow), tuning (continiously variable, 88 MHz to 108 MHz)
    Output impedance: 300 ohm balanced - for 75 Ohm operation external balun transformer with coaxial connector and cable required.
    Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR): Less than 1.7 to 1 (narrowband)
    Bandwith: in Narrow-Bandwith position 3 MHz typ. @ - 3 dB points.

    Mechanical specifications:
    Dimensions: 12-7/8" wide, 14" deep, 3-1/2" high.
    Net Weight: 7 lbs (3.2 kg)

    BIC Beam Box FM 10



    Basically the same as the Beambox FM-8, but with better aesthetics, and a 75ohm F Connector output as well as a 300ohm.

    Here is the BIC Beam Box FM10 manual pdf.

    fmtunerinfo.com comparison tests of Rabbit Ears vs Godar FM 1a vs BIC Beambox can be found here. Results should apply to the BIC Beambox FM-8 as well.

    Top of BeamBox FM 10 shown below. You can see the configuration of the antenna elements in a X pattern.




    Channel Master CM 3026





    Delhi CFM-2



    Made in Canada!

    Wade has discontinued its Delhi consumer line of antennas, so this may be dissappearing soon. Added for comprehensiveness sake.


    Finco FMT-A

    Turnstile antenna similar to the 2 above.


    Finco FM-3


    Finco FM-4G

    Finco FM 4G manual pdf.

    K6STI's analyis of the Finco FM-4G can be found here.



    Channel Master Stereo Probe-9 (Model 3025 previously Model 4408)



    K6STI's analysis of the Channel Master StereoProbe 9 can be found here.

    Mike's TV & FM DX Page has analysis of the CM 4408 here.


    Jerrold/Wade/Delhi QFM-9




    Radio Shack 15-1638 10 Element FM



    AntennaCraft FM10 (also sold as Radio Shack/Archer)

    K6STI analysis of the AntennaCraft FM10 can be found here.



    Winegard HD 6065P



    Made in USA!

    K6STI's analysis of the Winegard 6065P can be found here.

    10 Elements
    Boom Length 127"
    Turning Radius 76"
    Maximum Width 69"
    Vertical Height 6"
    Element Diameter 3/8"
    Shipping Weight 10.1 lbs.

    Electrical Specifications:

    Frequency 88MHz 98MHz 108MHz
    dB Gain Over
    Reference Dipole 9.4 10.6 10.6
    Beamwidth at Half Power Points 59° 53° 48°
    Front-To-Back Ratio 18dB 19dB 20dB




    Finco FM-5

    K6STI's analysis of the Finco FM-5 can be found here.

    Mike's TV & FM DX Page has analysis of the Finco FM 5 here.


    AntennaCraft FM13

    K6STI analysis of the AntennaCraft FM13 can be found here.


    Antenna Performance Systems APS 14



    A Classic-Audio.com review of the APS 14 can be found here.




    Links to Useful Information & Websites


    Comprehensive list of HD Radio products, including portable, home, A/V, now car add ins...plus new cars that ship with HD Radios installed.

    Also check out the Station Guide on the same site. Plus other information.

    HDRadio.com Buyer's Guide

    Type in your address or lat & long and FMFool gives you organized charts and graphs of FM stations in your area, their directions from your position, and estimated signal strengths at your position. Great tool to help plan your antenna strategy.

    FMFool.com
    Developed by MIT as an information source of and for Radio Broadcasters. Similar to FMfool but different. It also allows you to search for gaps of usage in the FM dial as well. Another fine resource.

    Radio-Locator.com
    One of the best resources for FM and FM Antennas on the net. Check out his Antenna Performance Curves, which is computer modeling of Gain and F/B Ratio of many larger yagi FM commercial offerings past and present, many of which are discussed individually in great detail. Also several in depth reviews of HD Radio/FM tuners. Plus much more!

    K6STI's site ... 88-108 MHz
    Great general overview of antennas, antenna theory, and antenna issues, especially for Television, but also FM. One of the best on the Net.

    KYES Antenna Site: Common TV and FM antenna Types
    Comprehensive site on tuners specifically, also information on modding, antennas, reception issues, etc. Great site.

    fmtunerinfo.com
    Great general information on FM & AM Reception issues.

    AM FM TV Reception Guide and Directory
    Fantastic guide, discussing issues and solutions, for FM reception.

    FM Reception Tips from WFLN/Philadelphia
    A great overview of FM and reception issues, especially multipath.

    A Guide to FM Reception by Dave Downing WLNZ
    List of good large DXing antennas, FM Only and Combo Television antennas with specs in table form.

    VHF/UHF/FM DXing Antennas
    Data and analysis of tests of HD Radio broadcast coverage areas at differing power levels 1% & 10%, and also interference issues....tests of indoor FM antennas, and recommended HD Radio devices. Great resource.

    NPR Labs
    KALX FM fanatic's hands on side by side comparison tests of FM Dipole, BIC BeamBox FM10 & FM8, Sony AN300, Terk Pi, Winegard StereoTron, Parsec LS3, Random Metal Object, and outdoor antenna Channel Master 4408 outdoor FM yagi...on local and distant channels.

    Of Jesus and Sewers: The informal antenna survey
    Evan Berger, Editor of Audio Magazine at the time of this article in the New York Times, December 16, 1989, does a quick round up review of Indoor FM Antennas with an eye toward Big City performance...including the Basic Rabbit Ears, Magnum Dynalab SR-100 Silver Ribbon, Parsec Stealth, Terk FM+, Terk Pi, Terk FM 9300 Tower, Audioprism Hi-Q 6500, Parsec Arc, AudioPrism 7500, and the AudioPrism APPA-8500.

    CONSUMER'S WORLD: Coping With Imperfect FM Reception
    Indoor Antennas and Boosters for FM, by David A. Rich, PhD. talks general antenna theory and reviews the Magnum Dynalab Silver Ribbon, AudioPrism 6500, 7500, 8500 on page 65-68 (pdf page 57-60).

    AudioCritic Issue #23 PDF
    DXing enthusiast site. Explore the rest of the site from the linked page for more info.

    Premium FM DX Recieving Equipment
    From Galen Carol Audio...

    FM Antennas: The Basics
    DIY'er FM fan, shares his thoughts and creations.

    Outlaw Radio - DIY Broadcasting!
    List of radio related links, a bit out of date as many are broken.

    The Electronics Hobby Page
    PDF of antenna installation guide that can help with mounting options.

    Channel Master Antenna Installation Guide
    Not necessarily Antenna or FM related....but a great site and resource none the less.

    AudioTools.com
    Rag for engineers and industry news ...keep up on the latest happenings.

    Radio Magazine Online



    YouTube Video of HD Radio @ CES 2008.

    HD Radio Technology at CES

    [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbcWcxrkrmU&feature=related[/YOUTUBE]




    Magazine Articles for Further Research HatTip/JPerry

    Brinton, James: "Supertuners Are They Worth It?", High Fidelity, December 1975, pp. 59-65

    Clifford, Martin: "Language of High Fidelity Part XI (Tuners)," Audio, May 1974, pp. 28-34

    Feldman, Leonard: "An Empirical Study of FM Antennas," Audio, October 1969, pp. 26-32

    Feldman, Leonard: "FM Specifications Revisited," Audio, April 1978, pp. 58-66

    Feldman, Leonard: "New Tests and Standards for Tuners and Receivers," Audio, Jan.86, pp. 38-44

    Feldman, Leonard: "11 Outdoor Antennas Analyzed," Audio, January 1983, pp. 41-47

    Foster, Ed: "Interpreting FM Tuner Specs," High Fidelity, November 1977, pp. 72-75

    Giovanelli, Joseph: "Remedying RF Interference," Audio, January 1977, pp. 29-32

    Hirsch, Julian: "Audio/Video Antennas," Stereo Review, May 1985, pp. 44-48

    Hirsch, Julian: "FM Tuner Specifications," Stereo Review, November 1990, pp. 43-44

    Hirsch, Julian: "FM Tuning," Stereo Review, February 1980, pp. 35-36

    Hirsch, Julian: "FM Tuners in Town and Country," Stereo Review, February 1984, pp. 44-50

    Hirsch, Julian: "FM Tuner Sensitivity," Stereo Review, Sept. 1981, pp. 35-36

    Klein, Larry: "FM Multipath," Stereo Review, November 1986, pp. 98-99

    Long, Robert: "How to Read Our Tuner Curves," High Fidelity, August 1988, pp. 46-48

    Masters, Ian: "How to Get Better FM Reception," Stereo Review, April 1991, pp. 70-72

    Mitchell, Peter W.: "How to Buy a Tuner," Stereo Review, November 1987, pp. 93-97

    Modafferi, Richard: "Kill FM Interference with Two Antennas," Audio, January 1980, pp. 68-72

    Riggs, Michael: "Basically Speaking: Radio the Inside Story," High Fidelity April 1986, p. 21

    Riggs, Michael: "Front Lines: Progress in FM Tuners?", High Fidelity May 1989, p. 5

    Riggs, Michael: "How to Buy a Tuner," High Fidelity, December 1980, pp. 50

    Rosenberg, Fred: "FM Antennas Parts 1 and 2," Sounds LIke issues #5 and #7

    Salvati, Michael J.: "FM Antennas" five-part series , Audio, January, February, March, April 1978, and January 1979

    Sell, Gordon: "Tuner Design Forum," Stereo Review, April 1982, pp. 49-53

    Von Recklinghausen, Daniel R.: "How to Evaluate FM Stereo Tuner Performance," Audio [month unknown] 1973 reprinted in 1974 Annual Issue

    Warriner, William: "RX for RF Interference," High Fidelity, March 1976, pp. 56-59

    Recommended Books for further Research and Study

    AARL Antenna Book

    Practical Antenna Handbook, Joseph J. Carr

    Television and FM Antenna Guide -- Noll & Mandl, 1951

    TV Installation Techniques -- Samuel L. Marshall, 1950

    TV Antennas and Signal Distribution Systems -- M. J. Salvati, 1979

    How to Install TV Antennas -- Samuel L. Marshall, 1955

    Improving TV Signal Reception -- Dick Glass, 1988

    Television Antenna Handbook -- Jack Darr, 1959

    Home TV-FM Antenna -- Paul Lawrence & Hansen Elroy, 1974

    Basic Antennas -- Understanding Practical Antennas and Designs, Joel R. Hallas

    Antenna Toolkit, Joe Carr

    Antenna Topics, Pat Hawker

    The Antenna Experimenter's Guide, Peter Dodd

    ARRL's VHF/UHF Antenna Classics

    Lew McCoy on Antennas





    .

  11. #11
    Moderator

    Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,373
    Thread Starter
    Blog Entries
    1

    Piggie said:

    FM6 is the best buy for the money for someone that wants a station up to 100 miles away. Back in the 70's I had one up and listened to Tally radio from Gainesville about 125 miles. It even came in during the day. It was only 15 feet high and about 50 ft of coax. You could turn it to Orlando and hear all their stations (about 90 miles).
    Thanks piggie, it does look like a price performance value leader from specs. I may get one.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Orange Springs, FL
    Posts
    2,253

    It's not the best, but for price to performance it kicks the llama's ass. I have had one in three different houses. They have been making that antenna for 30 years plus. It's pretty broad across the front because of the long director spacing but it has a lot of gain in that length of boom. I point it at Gainesville with a 50 degree spread in their towers and gets them all.

    But if you live in town and just want a solid signal indoors the AntennaCraft FMSS is a great deal. None of the more expensive omnis out perform it. It only has unity gain but the second element gets rid of the nulls off the end of a single folded dipole.
    The more I understand, the less I know.

    PORK... The Other White Meat....

  13. #13
    Moderator

    Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,373
    Thread Starter
    Blog Entries
    1

    Yeah, a lot of the antennas are just 0db gain.

    The only difference among the turnstyle dipoles is price and quality of build. Although, I wonder how the folded dipoles are vs the Winegard 6010?

    Rabbit Ears, FM Tack Up Dipole, APS Attic Intenna, all about 0db gain. The Whips are also 0db gain (without amplifiers). How about the loops? The yagis are where the real gains and directivity start to be made.

    In regards to the amplifiers, it seems to me that they are less desireable for analog FM, than digital FM (HD Radio), because of their adding their own noises to the signal down the transmission line. However with digital, you have the cliff effect and 0s and 1s BER type deal where you get good clean audio or you dont.

    What say you?

    Dont know about the pyramids from Terk and Parsec, but Im not overly enthusiastic about them.

    I have a BIC Beambox FM10, and the 2 Radio Shacks listed in the Discontinued antenna section, plus Rabbit Ears and FM Dipole.

    The Antennacraft FM6 and FMSS are pretty common as they were sold under the Archer and Radio Shack brand names in RS for decades.

  14. #14
    Moderator

    Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,373
    Thread Starter
    Blog Entries
    1

    There are also benefits to be had with a tunable antenna, where you tune it to particular frequencies on the dial. Many of these are tunable, the Beamboxes, Radio Shack antennas, and the Godar telescoping whip, Rabbit Ears, all tunable.

    You can also derive benefits from a VHF Rabbit Ears Adjustable Dipole antenna with a "fine tuning" adjustment or knob.....which is impedence matching circuitry.

  15. #15
    Contributor
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    2,658
    Blog Entries
    54

    Newby question here. Why would one need an FM antenna or is this more or less for rural FM listeners? Sorry if it's a dumb question. haha Here in LA, all I use is some copper wire connected on the back of my Harmon Kardon receiver and no antenna.

  16. #16
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Orange Springs, FL
    Posts
    2,253

    Even in a town like Gainesville, FL which isn't that small, to get any variety on FM, you need to be able to beam Jacksonville and Orlando. Where it's difficult on a good day to pick up their TV anymore, the FM comes pouring in with a beam. If you get a something simple like a FMSS up 30 ft or so, you don't need the beam.

    The nice thing about FM is you don't need an amp most of the time. Most feed lines are about 50 ft and that is only 1 lonely db at 100 MHz in RG6.

    Will an amp lower the noise floor? I don't really know, in theory yes. Most of the time to bother with an external antenna you have a decent receiver. I have never needed one to hear the stations I was trying to receive.

    There is so much clutter on the band when trying to listen out of town (not DXing but actually listening), you normally only try for the 100KW stations anyway.

    Another good use is low power stations LOS and not too far away (less than 30 to 40 miles). There is a 5KW Jazz station in Gainesville about 23 miles from me. I barely get it full quieting on the car (fades some). Indoors it doesn't exist. On the FM6 it's rock solid.
    The more I understand, the less I know.

    PORK... The Other White Meat....

  17. #17
    Moderator

    Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,373
    Thread Starter
    Blog Entries
    1

    Wire makes great antennas. Serious analog FM folks have all sorts of reasons for wanting an antenna, multipath, co channel interfernce, DXing, signal quality. HD Radio apparently is more difficult and requires better antennas than your average uncritical FM analog listener.

    I know that people used to record the King Biscuit Flower Hour and The Grateful Dead Hour and wanted as good of sound quality as they could get to do so. Back in the cassette tape days.

  18. #18
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Orange Springs, FL
    Posts
    2,253

    In the 70's FM was fairly new. We had one low power rock FM in Gainesville. It was ok, better than nothing. Tampa had a kick butt station from U of S Florida. We would beam it late at night when they switched from classical to rock after midnight. Right after that Florida State University put up a 24/7 rock station so we swung the beam there and left it.

    Even now Gainesville has a soft rock, decent rock, and a classic. But Jacksonville has much better rock, playing more new stuff.

    FM travels much better than TV. If you have a decent boom box, you can hear the 100KW Jacksonville stations in Gainesville at 60 miles on a single whip by finding a sweet spot. Then there are apts and houses or worse trailers that don't have an indoor sweet spot. A simple FMSS will pull them in. If someone wants to do a tiny big of work just putting rabbit ears on the balcony, or a twin lead folded dipole outside will do the trick. A friend of mine can't pull in anything in his metal building in his yard that is is work shop. He put a FMSS on a short pole, just 10 ft and gets everything in 60 plus miles.
    The more I understand, the less I know.

    PORK... The Other White Meat....

  19. #19
    Moderator

    Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,373
    Thread Starter
    Blog Entries
    1

    Great post about FM, AM, Shortwave antennas here by Piggie.

  20. #20
    Moderator

    Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,373
    Thread Starter
    Blog Entries
    1

    I found out who makes that ebay special that I listed in the Outdoor Dipole section. Its this outfit.

    FM DX Antenna Co.

    FM Stereo 1/2 Wave Dipole Outdoor Antenna 88-108 MHz



    And he also has a very interesting offering, a Rabbit Ear Dipole with Impedence Matching Fine Tuning Knob.

    FM Indoor Dipole Stereo/HD Antenna with Fine Tuning



    Which looks very promising as well. Id like to pick one up, but they are OOS. This comment is interesting as well reproduced in full here....

    There was a thread recently on the Audiokarma.org FM Tuner Message Board (which I love) on indoor FM antennas. Normally I stay out of those discussions but will follow them closely but I decided to wade in this one. The post looked like a nice entry for here:


    As no one has mentioned one, Radio Shack sold a pair of FM-only rabbit ears considered the best available indoor antenna by many FM enthusiasts that have been around a while. I bought mine about 15 years ago and it is very good; the best I’ve owned and I’ve tried them all through the years as some years I find myself living where I can’t have an outdoor solution. Radio Shack stopped selling it about 5 or 6 years ago.

    For transparency, the antenna I’m about to mention is one that I had manufactured based on the RS rabbit ears. I purposely haven’t jumped into the conversation because I have always gone out of my way to not appear as a shill or spammer for my products but two of the products I sell are the best available or equal to the best available. They are the outdoor dipole I sell and the indoor dipole I sell; they are the best omni-directional solution for FM radio available.

    The indoor dipole I sell has the same fine tuning knob the Radio Shack rabbit ears has and both are telescopic. I have done a head-to-head test and FM signals are stronger on the new antenna I sell and I suspect it is because I’m using coax with an F connector rather than the 300 ohm flat with spades that the Radio Shack one has.

    One other difference between this new one and the original RS set is that I had these built so that it could be mounted completely vertical with both rods on a vertical plane (straight up and down). This makes a HUGE difference in the locations I tried it in. I set the rods to the 1/4 wave length for the goal station and then adjust the knob to best reception and seriously can pull in stations noticably stronger than with the other highly-regarded set. This turned out to be the best orientation in two locations which surprised me because I have always believed the slight directionality of the rabbit ears at 90 degrees was one of the strong advantages; even in that orientation the new set out-performed the RS rabbit ears.

    For additional transparency, let me add that any outdoor antenna will work better than the indoor antenna I have (except maybe those crappy MD and Fanfare end-fed half-waves that are actually marine two-way radio antennas as they are the equivalent of having a wet string for an FM aerial) and in addition any directional antenna, even the smallest, will work better (with a rotor) than any omni-directional antenna.

    The rods on the antenna I sell are fairly flimsy and break easily so they need to be handled with care. I always mention this because my other antennas are darn near impossible to break, but this one is easy to break and you don’t want to break it because it really is a fantastic performer.

    In addition, with indoor FM antennas, all the rules still apply, height is great, no obstructions is even more important so putting the antenna in front of a window to the side of the house where the FM transmitter is located is best. If you live in a metal trailer you probably aren’t going to get good reception indoors from any antenna as there is no way I’m aware to overcome the laws of physics.

    And an FM Rhombic Antenna! Cool!

    FM DX Antenna Co. Indoor Rhombic FM HD/Stereo Antenna with 3.5 db Gain for Attic Mounting



 

 

Quick Reply Quick Reply


Click here to log in

George ___________ was the first president of the United States (Answer this question correctly, it is used to stop spammers)


LinkBacks (?)

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 2 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 2 guests)

Related Topics and Posts

  1. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 03-10-2014, 05:02 PM
  2. Philips SDV9011K HDTV / TV / Radio Outdoor Antenna Reviews
    By Jason Fritz in forum DTV | HDTV Reception and Antenna Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-07-2009, 09:12 AM

Tags for this Thread

DTVUSAForum Related Articles and Blog Posts

Join DTVUSAForum

The leading television and technology community discussion site, join today!

DTV USA Forum is the best source of television
and technology troubleshooting advice from a community of experts and members.

Back to top