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Good Antennas for AM/FM reception  RSS feed

 
Posts: 8
Location: Crescent City, Florida
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We live in a remote area of Central Florida and are considering installing a radio antenna to compensate for our spotty satellite internet.
Any suggestions?
 
Posts: 528
Location: Chicago/San Francisco
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AM, a long wire run high works Ok; it's somewhat directional if you stretch it out in a straight line - picks up signal from the "side". If you want signal from all sides, run the wire straight up... FM, the "fish bones" from the 50's and 60's work OK. Garage sales, maybe; don't know if they're still sold. Not _that_ hard to make. Online there will lots of how-to's and also tips on what works best. There may be some dish antennas for FM, also; they might get a little more distance. Thing is, both the fish bones and the dish are very directional, so you need to be able to rotate the antenna if you expect to gather signal from all directions.

Rufus
 
Posts: 134
Location: Jacksonville, FL
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I might have to look in to this sometime soon. My property is maybe 10 miles outside of Crescent City. I'd imagine a car or truck antenna from the junkyard would work halfway decent if you got it off the ground far enough. I know with the shape of the land at my property that my cellphone doesn't get any signal if I'm down between the hills. I'm hoping to spend a lot more time there when the weather cools off and one goal is to build some sort of antenna tower out of salvaged stuff.

You could always test how strong the signal is with a vehicle radio. That would give you a baseline, and from there try getting an antenna off the ground a fair distance. Having too long of a cable going to the antenna can also be detrimental to the signal. Perhaps finding a spot that naturally has less radio wave obstruction would be easy enough to do with a portable radio. As mentioned above, some antenna designs are directional. They tend to perform better once aimed, but will perform more poorly on signals it isn't aimed at vs an omnidirectional antenna. I don't know about new cars, but older ones tended to have an AM antenna built in to the windshield. If you want a really good signal for both then it might require separate ones for each band.
 
Dennis Hamilton
Posts: 8
Location: Crescent City, Florida
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Good stuff. Thanks all.
 
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