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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just received the CCrane twin ferrite coil am antenna, and the results have been quite good. It is not a passive system, as position the ferrite around the radio in my case, does take some tweaking to find the right reception along with a coarse and fine tuning. But the efforts are rewarded with better AM reception.

It also comes with RCA plug inputs to radios, receivors, and also the twin leaves adaptors.

So far a good buy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is not a passive unit, to get best reception tweaking of the coarse then fine tuning dials gets the best reception.

I would say the faint signals become listenable, and the ones just out of local area come in better, like the Buffalo stations into the Toronto area.

I did get St-Paul, MN last night, but I also did get it sometimes without it and Montreal stations as well.

Best AM antenna on the market, but I don't think it really lives up to the hype and is it worth $99.99, maybe not.
 

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Improving Radio Reception on Home Stereos

Hi, I have a theatre in a box package, its Philips brand one, maybe 4 or 5 years old now... its radio reception has always been very poor, I was wondering how I could improve it? I am thinking extending the antenna may help but I am not sure... its about 4 feet long right now, the stations I listen to are 104.5, 103.5, 98.5, 93.5... I am in Toronto...

I also have 10 year old sony stereo system which has poor reception on some stations...

Is there a way to generally improve radio signals?
 

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I don't have any methods, but I have noticed that it really does vary greatly on the make / quality of the tuner.

I have an XM Radio unit broadcasting on an FM channel here. A cheap RCA stereo in the same room has trouble picking it up at times, a kitchen radio just a floor beneath has much trouble with it, however a Sony home theatre receiver in the basement picks it up crystal clear.. as does a HK receiver, and a very old Rotel receiver way out in the backyard in a shed. Some radios can't pick it up when they are close to the source, and some can get it from far away with no problem. Cars can receive it way down the street, but a radio a floor below cannot?

I think some are just built more cheaply than others. You might look for an amplified FM antenna or something, hopefully people will have experiences with this sort of thing and be more of a help than I am!
 

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What kind of antenna are you using? I have found one of those twinlead T shaped Diple antannae works well. If you are into FM DXing, you may want more.
 

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I have my home receiver (Pioneer VSX-1015TX) hooked up to my TV antenna (12' above the peak of my roof), through a UHF/VHF splitter. (UHF goes to the DTV tuner)
I get great FM reception here in Ajax. All Toronto stations, Hamilton, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls and Buffalo stations. It even works with adjacent channels; e.g. I get 103.1, 103.3 and 103.5 just fine. I split the signal to my old Pioneer Elite downstairs for the kids. It still works great, bought in Feb ’96.
Just tried AM, (took me a while to find the Band button). AM reception sucks on the little loop antenna that came with the receiver.
 

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Any recommendations for a non-dipole solution for better reception?

Putting a dipole in the living room will not go over well.
 

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Any recommendations for a non-dipole solution for better reception?

Putting a dipole in the living room will not go over well.
Just put a big wall rug over it to conceal it. :D

Seriously though, have you tried using your 75 ohm cable TV line as an FM antenna? It always worked great with any of my home tuners, but I haven't had it hooked up for a long time now. The best part is not only are the local FM's strong and clear but you may also receive other out of market FM stations and, if they still happen to do it, even local AM stations that are rebroadcast on FM by your cable company.
 

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Rogers killed off cable FM, so I disconnected the cable from my receiver last year. I have to use the STB to get out of market stations now, but the ones I used to listen to are no longer carried.
 

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I live in Pickering, not far from that guy in Ajax... I have a very good separate FM tuner, and a not that great indoor antenna on it, and I get an FM station on EVERY single frequency and, believe it or not, on some "in-between" frequencies (apparently legally too, from the U.S, they even announce the even-decimal frequency, how do they do that??...I don't think most PLL receivers can even tune them). But then, I live on a hill and aim the antenna over Lake Ontario...anybody in the TO area can do that.

A dipole for a couple bucks works very well, especially if you can aim/rotate it. In my bedroom I have some crappy RCA UHF/VHF TV antenna I got for ~$10 from Wal-Mart I think. It also works very well with both aerials spread, and you can aim them. I went to it strictly because it looked better than the wire dipole (it is still a dipole). Connects via 75 ohm cable into the AVR receiver, IIRC it came with the matching XFMR if you just have two dipole terminals.

You MUST spread out the "arms" of the wire dipole. Otherwise it's just a long piece of wire, and that's useless for FM.

Edit: it seems that RCA antenna was closer to $20...if it doesn't work for you take it back. To reiterate, it's no better than the cheapie dipole for FM except in the looks department, and even that's debateable (it wasn't MY idea...).
 

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Hi cfraser.

can you tell me who/where or what frequency the even decimal channels are?

I didn't know it was possible, but i'd be interested in finding some of those. I could probably receive them on my old analog marantz tuner.

Thanx,

Tom
 

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Hi Tom,

Sorry, I didn't record them. But I'll look for them again since somebody's interested. They were "talk" stations, and mostly VERY political...I suppose all talk stations are pretty political in the U.S., but these seemed very different even for that genre. Going to try some FM DXing eh? Quite a tricky genre. I suspect these are low power FM from NY state. I am not sure why my tuner tunes in 100kHz steps, it's not analog (edit: it *is* analog...doh...I forgot, says right on it, and I even knew it used a varactor to tune...). I wonder if in some other countries they have stations on the even decimals, this tuner is sold world-wide (though its tuning range would be no good for Japan)...should check that out.

Edit: just checked the FCC page, and as far as I can see no stations, even LPFM, are allowed on the even decimals. So maybe they aren't so legal after all. They sure are bold announcing their frequency etc., the FCC doesn't put up with any nonsense, I've read of some of the things they do if they catch you... And they seemed quite professional from what I can remember, much more so than most of the AM pirates. I'm going to see what google says re known FM pirates I might have picked up...
 

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Is there a way to generally improve radio signals?
In general order, best to worst, for FM:
1. Directional outdoor FM antenna on tower or roof with rotor. Higher from the ground is better.
2. Multi-directional outdoor FM antenna on tower or roof.
3. Multi-directional outdoor FM antenna in attic.
4. Indoor FM antenna such as "rabbit ears."
5. "T" antenna.
6. Built in antenna. (Usually very poor reception, even on local stations.)

Location can sometimes play a role, especially for indoor antennas. If you must use a T antenna, a ceiling, outside wall or window is often best. Devices such as computers will interfere with reception so placing the antenna as far away as possible will help. In high rises, reception will usually be poor for many stations due to metal in the building.

For FM spacing, various countries use 50MHz, 100MHz and 150MHz. The US and Canada use 200MHz. There was some talk of going to 100MHz in North America. That is probably why many FM radios have 100MHz spacing. That appears to have been abandoned, in favour of using digital broadcasting to increase capacity to 3 or 4 audio streams on each FM frequency.

OTOH, it's probably better to go with XM or Sirius these days. The big drawback is the high subscription fee. Internet radio is another good option. Some stereo and A/V receivers are now internet radio capable. The selection on these formats is far better than OTA FM. Most local stations now have internet streams and the audio quality is often better, especially for AM.
 

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AM loop antennas that come with stereo receivers

I hope this isn't too dumb of a question... :confused:

I'm using the AM loop antenna that came with my stereo receiver. It works great when I put it in window. The thing is that I want to move my receiver somewhere where the wire won't be long enough to get to any window.

So is extending this wire as simple as getting more of the same gauge wire and soldering it the existing wire? How do I tell what gauge it is? Or should I just take it to the wiring guy and my local hardware store and he'll figure it out for me?

I'm thinking this should be an easy thing to do - is it? Or are there any things to watch out for?

Thanks for your assistance!
 

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Adding wire will change the impedance of the antenna, which will negatively affect reception.

You shouldn't need to have it by the window due to AM's ability to penetrate almost any kind of structure. Whether you'll get buzz-free signal is an entirely different question, so try to move it around a bit with its standard wiring to see if there's a sweet spot.

As an option there used to be an home receiver accessory monopole AM antenna for sale a few years ago that had great reviews but I'll have to search to see if its still on the market.
 

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Perhaps I should have mentioned the receiver is in the basement. The window is my existing sweet spot.

I may need to re-assess my plan. :eek:
 
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