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I have an APS-9 FM antenna but I cannot mount it on a pole as it is too big and my neighbours won't be too happy about it. It's sitting 6" off the ground on the side of my deck.

I am getting lots of static noise especially at nights listening to my local favourite jazz station. Strangely enough the signal strength meter on my tuner shows very strong signal and the multipath meter shows very minimal multipath - yet I get lots of static at certain nights.

Is there a less conspicuous directional antenna that I can use on a rotor mounted outside for good reception?
 

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I am getting lots of static noise especially at nights
I would try to identify the source of the noise. If possible, eliminate it. Street lights may be the source. If so, the city is responsible to correct the problem.

my neighbours won't be too happy about it.
Is attic mounting an option?
 

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What is the frequency and call sign of your favourite station, cypo? What kind of static is it: garble, buzzing, dropouts, etc.?
 

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I'm afraid attic mounting is not possible. I don't believe it's the street lights. Last night the static was almost gone. It would come intermittently. Two nights ago it was constant. It sounds like white noise. On my tuner stereo light also goes out occasionally.

This is for Planète Jazz 91,9 FM.

Thanks for your help.
 

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It sounds like either a weak signal or co-channel interference from another station. For signal strength, more height is usually the best solution, though a better antenna might help. For co-channel interference, a more directional (longer) antenna might help. More height might help or it could make it worse. The trick there is to find the optimal height. That doesn't help with the neighbor problem though. An omnidirectional antenna is worse for co-channel interference. A yagi is best.

There isn't much choice in FM antennas these days. It's basically just omnidirectional (circle or cross) or multi-element element yagis. TV antennas that do FM are much larger and less appealing in appearance. There are a few compact units but they are just a low performance antenna with a built in amp and will not perform well.

From the looks of it, you won't find much, if anything that will perform better than the APS-9, unless it's an APS-13. OTOH, I see that APS antennas are not very durable and are unsuited for harsh climates. You might want to consider a better make when upgrading.
 

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Simple idea for a test:

Try a simple dipole, proper length for FM (could be folded dipole, or straight dipole) with one reflector.

Place one parallel reflector rod behind the dipole at the proper distance.
(Reflector rod has to be a bit longer than the FM dipole - long enough to reflect the lowest FM frequency)

Attach a long enough cable to the receiver so you can move it around the room manually to experiment.

Mount it on a stick and experiment, manually, with direction and orientation. Try horizontal and vertical and different directions. Try different locations in the room.

I've gotten some noisy FM stations much better - with inside antenna - by experimenting like that.

Even by taking a tall rectangular, framed, wall mount mirror - and using it as the reflector. The silver coating on the back of the mirror glass acted as a good enough conductor to serve as both a sheild for noise from one direction ... and a reflector from the other ... to help boost signal a bit and to clean up some noise.

Other idea - find if the source of noise is something nearby in your place.
Sometimes some motors or fluorescent lights are the cause. But FM usually rejects that sort of noise better. So your FM noise issue is probably a combination of low received signal strength or another nearby station interfering with your Jazz station.

To improve that you've got to try and both reject the unwanted signal, and boost the wanted signal a bit.

Just ideas ... you should be able to try these without spending much money or without much effort.
 

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Try a simple rabbit ears indoors antenna placed inside or outside on the deck. Here in Vaudreuil I just tuned to FM 91.9 on my Sansa Clip+ Walkman siting in front of computer with clear signal. Outside antenna close to the ground will pickup static from everywhere including your neighbors lights. Some times simple antenna is much better solution. If using outside antenna use good coaxial cable shielded RG6, you can try to add cheap amplifier, but I think all this is overkill. From Pointe-Claire indoor antenna should be sufficient if you use good brand receiver.
 

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Yes, TV Rabbit ears, this is a good idea for a dipole.

The TV Rabbit Ears antenna will work as a straight dipole.
Try and extend them both out as far as they go, straight out in a line pointing directly away from each other.

If you wanna try a reflector:
The reflector rod I suggested before should be about 1.7 metres long.
Place it parrallel and about 70 cm behind the rabbit ears.

Hook it up/mount them on a piece of wood with enough cable so you can move it around and try to aim this contraption towards the transmitter.


( I did a quick YAGI design, for 88 MHZ, lowest FM frequency using Martin E. Meserve's on line YAGI designer. It gives a FOLDED dipole of about 1.654 m length as driven element, and 1.669 m length for the reflector. And places the reflector 0.681 m behind the Folded dipole - for now we're not using any directors - just dipole and reflector )

Like this:



FM radio Station, Planete Jazz 91.9 FM's transmitter
is over here. X




----------] [-----------rabbit ears -or- folded dipole
.............| | <--cable to receiver


------------------------------- reflector rod (approx 1.7 m long, 70 cm back from rabbit ears -or- 70 cm back from "folded dipole")

............. {YOU}
-stand behind the reflector to aim the thing so your body is not interfering with the incoming signal.

The other question is what sort of input do you have on your receiver.
300 ohm - 2 screws ? - need a length of 300 ohm flat cable.
75 ohm coax, cable tv, screw in F-connector? - need length of coax, correct connectors on each end, and maybe matching transformer / balun - 300/75ohm depending what the rabbit ears output is like.

You've got to match the output of the antenna with the input of the reciever for proper operation ... and use the right type of cable in between too.

(if you wanna try and make the folded dipole - that's different than the straight out rabbit ears. It's like a flat loop, open at one spot where you connect your cable, at 300 ohm impeadance)

Folded dipole:
_____________________
(_________ ___________)
..................| | <-- 300 ohm cable to receiver.

(those pink or clear, T-shaped, flat cable antennas that come with some FM radios, that you are supposed to pin up on the wall ... those are folded dipoles made of 300 ohm cable - if you have that ... you could fool around with that too ... use it as your folded dipole, nailed out straight onto a piece of thin long wood stick - like trim or a hockey stick ... )
 

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cypo said:
Is there a less conspicuous directional antenna that I can use on a rotor mounted outside for good reception?
Hmmm. Maybe I could try and answer this another way.

The APS-9 is a large FM YAGI style antenna? Correct? Large and very conspicuous. Many elements. The APS-9 is directional by nature (its a YAGI ?). Lots of gain in one direction. So you'd have to get it up in the air and point it in the right direction. You mention a rotor.


A single horizontal dipole, with no reflectors or directors is directional too. Receives best from two directions. In front and behind the dipole. And has a pretty wide beamwidth. Little gain. (figure 8 pattern / figure 8 plot).

-Simple. Not too conspicuous. One horizontal element.
(but it's best to get that up in the air, on a pole)


Horizontal Dipole and one Reflector. When you add one horizontal reflector, you make it directional in ONE direction, and add some gain from that direction, and some rejection from the back.

- More conspicuous. Two horizontal elements and a beam.
(still, it's best to try and get it up in the air, on a pole)


There are also other less conspicuous antennas:
Vertical Dipole. Omni-directional - receives from all directions - no need to point it. I've seen some designs of these - they just look like a vertical pole, or vertical wires with insulators and support structure.

If a vertical pole, or whip antenna works well enough, its not very conspicuous ... if designed / built / installed properly...and if you can get it up high ... that might work too. Depends.

examples. Car antenna. VHF whip. 1/4 wave vertical ground plane antenna. Mounted outside, high for good reception. But has to be designed for FM. Correct length for FM and properly matched to the transmission line and receiver.

- ALSO -

The Straight Dipole (half wave dipole) mounted vertically.
Two pieces of tube or rod, correct lengths for FM.
( I've heard they work pretty good for FM ... if mounted outside, high up. And not very conspicuous. Omnidirectional. No need for rotor. Might even be able to mount that off the side of a tower, pole or building - the side that faces the FM transmitter(s) of interest.)


Google Search: FM Dipole Antenna

They show lots of images and ideas for the FM Dipole antenna.

Maybe something like this? FM Vertical Dipole?:
http://fmdxantenna.com/proddetail.php?prod=FMDipUS
 

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Hi there,

I'm a neighbor of yours in Pierrefonds... west of St. Charles north of the level drop... so my reception is very challenging no direct line of sight to the mountain. I had to invest in a 9 element FM only yagi (but a different one) as well and put on the roof of my two storey cottage, on a tripod mount with an extra few feet of tube..with a rotator as well. The neighbors don't complain, some of have asked about but otherwise they let me be.

The results are the strongest signals show as 8.5 on 10 in the signal strength scale of my main tuner. The weakest stereo signal come in at 5.5... most are 6.5 and 7.5 and can tell you that 91.9 is a challenging one. Comes in weaker then 89.3, 90.3, 91.3 even Vermont Public Radio (107.9) over 160 Km away comes in better if I point the antenna south towards the USA when it is transmitting in Stereo.

I think 91.9 is just low power and the antenna pattern they have chosen might be limiting the range. I have close to 10 tuners (from the 60s to the 90s) digital, analog, tube and they all struggle with that one.

Another one that comes in stronger but seems to sound weird is 99.5.

Thanks
Paba
 

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Cypo, I won't stray you from a yagi antenna as I believe in nothng else myself. I live up a 29 story tower and use an AntennaCraft FM-8 whereas years ago I was using stacked 10-element yagis from Radio Shack which have long gone because of all the beating they took in the wind. But those were the good old days of heavy-duty DX.

Again, I would suggest you look up the AntennaCraft FM-8, it's relatively compact, yet has enough forward gain for the most demanding. I'm not too familiar with the APS-9 but I recall that its bigger sibling (the APS-13) has quite a drag.
 

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I have been looking myself for a better fm stereo antenna, your yagi may be the answer, though I saw this on fleebay "FM 1/2 Wave Dipole Outdoor Antenna w 50' RG6 & 300 ohm" cant link to it directly due to board rules but if you search you will find it. Verticle mount antenna. instead of the traditional horizontal. It may get you a bit more hight than the yagi. I was thinking of building this style. and see how well it does.
 

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Winegard

Has anyone looked at the Winegard HD6000, or the HD6010 or the HD6055P? I'm looking for an FM antenna for extreme DX use...
 

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The HD6010 is a turnstile type so it is not really suitable for DXing. For that you'd want the 6055 on a rotor. ;) Check out the FMFool site to see what might be available to you: www.fmfool.com and if you want to try hotrodding/modding a 6055 you could check with our antenna gurus in the OTA Antenna R&D Forum.
 
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