• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Mike Haasl
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
  • James Freyr
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • jordan barton
gardeners:
  • Jay Angler
  • Greg Martin
  • Leigh Tate

poor man's radio antenna

 
steward
Posts: 33187
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Anybody have a suggestion on how one improves FM radio reception without spending a bunch of money?  The radio in question has a wee little whip-type antenna. 
 
Posts: 131
Location: Bellevue, WA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well, there's two kinds of answers to this kind of question. You can either troubleshoot your existing antenna, or you can try building one from scratch.

It's obviously cheaper to try to fix what you got first. Try this:
1.  Rotate the angles of the antenna. Some cheap-o ones are not omni-directional.
2.  Remove obstacles between the receiver and the signal.
3.  Switch your radio from stereo to mono. Sometimes that can help.
4.  Check if your antenna is powered or passive. Passive antennae work better in conditions near the station. Powered antennae might be required for signals farther away from the station.
5. Try boosting the signal with a dipole fm antenna (only 4.99 at radioshack)
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062691


 
paul wheaton
steward
Posts: 33187
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How do you get something like that dipole antenna to connect to the whip sticking out of the radio?  If you just connect both of the metal bits, will that make a difference?

 
MJ Solaro
Posts: 131
Location: Bellevue, WA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm not sure. Does your radio have an antenna input? An FM input looks like an "F" connector jack. A little metal screw probably sticking out of the back. If you have this input, you can stick any external antenna, like the dipole one, into your radio easily...
 
paul wheaton
steward
Posts: 33187
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nope.  This is just a plain little boom box. 

I guess I was thinking that someone might say to attach a bunch of foil or something.
 
Posts: 2603
51
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
At my house an antenna adjustment utilizes silly putty, metal hangers,tinfoil and misc wire. I can see two channels in my bedroom now (nice during tornado season around here)
 
Posts: 12
Location: Pacific Northwest
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

paul wheaton wrote:
Anybody have a suggestion on how one improves FM radio reception without spending a bunch of money?  The radio in question has a wee little whip-type antenna. 



Hey Paul,
I found this...might be of some help.
FM Radio Antenna PDF

I'm actually really interested in building a radio(AM or FM receiver) from semi-scratch. Like maybe a glorified crystal radio. Do you know anything about making either FM or AM transmitters? Perhaps short wave radios? I'm curious as to which would be easier to build, but more importantly which would be a more valuable communication device.
 
paul wheaton
steward
Posts: 33187
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here is a fascinating tidbit. 

A fella that is almost done getting a degree in electrical engineering came by the other day and we got to visiting about this. 

We then took a ten foot long wire and attached it to the antenna and while keeping it as level as we could, we rotated it a bit throughout the room.  We had massive improvement. 

In the end, the fella told me that I could improve it further if I were to attach this wire in a straight line to a piece of wood near the ceiling, adjust it to the point that I got the best reception, and then ran the inner wire of a coax cable from the existing whip antenna, to the new antenna.

Today we're gonna experiment further with a roof mounted antenna.  More news as events warrant!

gift
 
Solar Station Construction Plans by Ben Peterson -- ebook
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic