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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Nov 2003
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    John Deere 855

    Default AM/FM Antenna

    So, I sprang for an Onkyo home theater system for my newly finished basement and it includes an AM/FM receiver. It also includes an FM antenna that is just a piece of insulated wire about 4 feet long and an AM antenna that is an open plastic rectangle about 2" X 4" with a stand so it can sit on a shelf. The radio reception is mediocre at best.

    There are two AM stations that I like to listen to and I can receive them on the car radio OK, but not the home receiver. Any suggestions for a better antenna or booster?

    I am looking at something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Terk-Indoor-AM-Antenna-ADVANTAGE/dp/B000069EUW/ref=pd_rhf_shvl_1

    Looking on the internet, it appears some wire wrapped repeatly around a piece of 4 or 6 inch PVC and placed next to the receiver might be sufficient for the AM antenna, and a wire stretched between to points for the FM.

    Any thoughts?
    Dennis
    JD-855 MFWD
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    Woods 6' Rear Blade
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    Cub Cadet 2166

  2. #2
    Super Star Member
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    Apr 2009
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    nowhere, md
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    Hanomag

    Default Re: AM/FM Antenna

    FM antennas used to be two wires that were split, maybe 18" to 24" long on each side of the split. They had plastic grommets on the end so you could thumbtack them to something and hold them up and apart. Might try that with some light speaker wire or similar.

    I think many products are made assuming they will be used in strong signal areas these days.
    Dave.

  3. #3
    Bronze Member
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    Yuma, Arizona
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    Kubota L1801DT

    Default Re: AM/FM Antenna

    I think part of the problem may be your location. The basement is below ground I would guess, and I don't know what the house supporting structure is but I would guess it is some substantial structure above the basement, thick flooring and support, and that is probably interfering with the signal reaching the antennas located in the basement. I would think you would be better off if you can an antenna outside. Transmitted signals travel though the air, that is why your car antenna is located out side of the car so it can get the signal off the airwaves.

    Or a signal booster that would amplify the signal that is getting through, but the quality of the signal would probably be better if brought in from out side rather than amplifying the weak signal.
    Wil

  4. #4
    Super Member Highbeam's Avatar
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    Default Re: AM/FM Antenna

    These days.... Just get on the net and find a home made build it yourself antenna. I built one for television with jaw dropping excellent results. It looks like a science project compared to a commercial job but the price was right (3$) and the performance is superb.

    Ideally, you would mount the antenna outside or on the roof to get the reception you are lacking in the basement.
    Kioti CK30HST, FEL w/toothbar, 60" RC, 60" BB, PJ 10k trailer. Weekend warrior hauling 50 miles each way.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member K7LN's Avatar
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    Default Re: AM/FM Antenna

    Quote Originally Posted by Wil View Post
    I think part of the problem may be your location. The basement is below ground I would guess, and I don't know what the house supporting structure is but I would guess it is some substantial structure above the basement, thick flooring and support, and that is probably interfering with the signal reaching the antennas located in the basement.
    This shouldn't have too much to do with your AM reception. AM will penetrate wood structures fairly well. What will kill AM is: high iron content in the ground, steel structures, and metal siding.

    I don't think that Terk antenna will help much. I'm not familiar with the current crop of home entertainment systems, so I don't know what they use for antenna connections. Typically, a single random length of wire is all you need for AM (maybe 3' to 10'). Mount it vertically if possible, or it will be somewhat directional. Also, connect it to only one antenna terminal on your receiver. I suspect that your 2"x4" antenna is directional.


    As to the FM, it needs to be as high as is practical. Again, wood won't bother it much, but metals will. FM antennas are usually directional if mounted horizontally. What Dave mentions below is an old cheap system to use that works in many cases, except the measurement is 28" to 30" per side (not critical). Try to keep the split distance from 1/2" to about 4". If you can somehow tap into your TV antenna, assuming you have one, they work quite well also.

    If you can mount either or both antennas outside, do it. Outside is better than a basement.

    Quote Originally Posted by dave1949 View Post
    FM antennas used to be two wires that were split, maybe 18" to 24" long on each side of the split. They had plastic grommets on the end so you could thumbtack them to something and hold them up and apart.
    JD 790 w/70 FEL & 7 BH on turf tires
    JD 455 w/60" MMM & 54" front blade

  6. #6
    Super Member Scooby074's Avatar
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    Default Re: AM/FM Antenna

    Quote Originally Posted by Highbeam View Post
    These days.... Just get on the net
    Most decent stations have internet streaming. Even a laptop with phone outputs can be fed directly into the receiver for crystal clear sound. If your local station doesnt stream, you can do a search for "internet radio". there are many stations for varied tastes

  7. #7
    Super Member Highbeam's Avatar
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    Default Re: AM/FM Antenna

    Acutally, I meant to get on the net to find a "how-to" to build yourself a proper am/fm antenna. Good point though on the streaming radio if you have the resources.
    Kioti CK30HST, FEL w/toothbar, 60" RC, 60" BB, PJ 10k trailer. Weekend warrior hauling 50 miles each way.

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