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  • Radio doesn't work in metal pole barn

    I took my portable am-fm receiver into my metal pole barn but I can't receive any stations. The radio receives stations outside the barn but not within it. Any one have an idea to overcome this situation? I've also tried ac powered radios with the same result. Thanks Paul

  • #2
    String up an antenna wire outside and bring the end inside. You can either place it near the radio, attach it to the radio antenna, or wrap a loop of it around the radio and ground the end.

    Are you trying to receive AM or FM?
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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    • #3
      If you have a window facing the station you want to receive, just tape a loop of wire around the edge, bring one end down to your radio and wrap a loop or two around it. That usually works quite well.

      Just as a comment, make sure you use single strand wire, not a junk piece of electrical cord. If you do have an old extension cord, you can strip one of the wires out to use, or two of the wires and splice them end to end, or three of the wires and splice them end to end.

      There are more complex antenna procedures, but I'd try that one first.

      Pops

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      • #4
        Trying to receive fm stations. Paul

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        • #5
          Originally posted by spinrow
          Trying to receive fm stations. Paul
          Best to put your radio where it can 'see' the transmitter. For example if the transmitter is north of you put the radio in line with a north facing window.

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          • #6
            Being that you said portable, this might not work unless you have an antenna jack, but I have helped friends set up ugly old tv antennas on their shops to receive radio signals. Usually said tv antennas can be had free if you ask at a house that has one as well as a satellite dish, provided you bring your own ladder and friends to help move it.
            "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."

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            • #7
              Me thinks you're working in what's known as a Faraday shield ! An outside antenna is about your only choice. Good Luck.
              - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
              Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

              It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

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              • #8
                Run some cable to your shop and then use a computer, iPhone, iPad, or dedicated Internet radio in the shop and get lots of channels from all over the world. I live in a radio starved area that seems to play the seem 5 top hits and local yocal news. I love these new free Internet radios.

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                • #9
                  Put in some windows facing the transmitters.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 914Wilhelm
                    Run some cable to your shop and then use a computer, iPhone, iPad, or dedicated Internet radio in the shop and get lots of channels from all over the world. I live in a radio starved area that seems to play the seem 5 top hits and local yocal news. I love these new free Internet radios.
                    Ditto!
                    I could not agree more. I got tired of the two local corn dog stations playing either gangster rap or Barry Manilow type diarrhea all day long and went the internet radio route as well.

                    I had a cheap computer out in the shop anyway with a wi-fi internet connection so that was an easy choice. You may still have to run a cable if the wi-fi won't penetrate, but you will end up with a virtually unlimited number of stations in any genre you can think of.
                    Thousands of stations and crystal clear reception, what's not to like?
                    Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                    Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                    Location: British Columbia

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                    • #11
                      If you still want to bring in transmitted signals, consider using a coaxial co-linear antenna for FM. I built one years ago and it worked quite well. It's basically a long wire like an AM antenna would be, but you fabricate it using cable wire.

                      First you cut a length of feeder cable, then you add shorter lengths of cable to it, reversing the inner and shield connections at each junction. At each connection, the inner conductor is attached to the shield of the following cable piece, and the shield is attached to the inner conductor of the following piece. The length of the added pieces is calculated to be a certain fraction of the wavelength of the signal desired, and that length is reduced by the velocity factor of the particular cable you use. I built mine using 98 mhz as the frequency, since that's about in the middle of the FM band. I don't recall what the length of the pieces was, but I remember using .66 for the velocity factor of the cable.

                      In order to make a good connection at each junction, the cable you use should have a copper braid shield. Most newer cable is not of this type- in other words it's difficult if not impossible to make a soldered connection to the braid.

                      My antenna was about 30 ft long in total. The first part was about 12 ft or so, then the rest was added. I don't recall how many sections I added, but the more you add, the more gain the antenna has. I'm sure someone here will be able to give better information on constructing one of these.

                      Because it basically ends up being one long wire, you can string it up like a clothesline, or you can stand it vertically if you put it inside some pvc pipe. The pipe would save you a lot of trouble waterproofing all the connections. I guess I should add that I'm not responsible if lightning hits it and burns down your shop or kills you.

                      I should also add that you can use a metal mast to hang the antenna vertically from. You would put an arm from the top of the mast to space the antenna away from the mast by a half wavelength or so, and by doing so it becomes directional. The mast acts as a reflector, so by turning it so the mast is behind the antenna, inline with the direction the signal is coming from, you also gain some signal.

                      If you have a decent level of signal in the air, the antenna can be made fairly short as well.

                      It's been a long time since I made my antenna and used it. If someone else is up on this type, feel free to put in your 02 worth.

                      http://electronics-diy.com/electroni...ic.php?id=1093 If this link works, there's some info on building these here.
                      Last edited by darryl; 01-07-2012, 04:26 AM.
                      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My advice is FORGET the radio and use a CD / DVD player and eliminate
                        the blather that accompanies any over the air music / information.
                        The ratio of "desired" to "blather" is fast approaching ZERO. :-(
                        ...lew...

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                        • #13
                          install antenna on roof as noted
                          run cable to radio
                          extend antenna on radio
                          strip outer insulator and copper overbraid off coax
                          tape the insulated inner conductor to he extended antenna

                          it's called an inductive loop, even though there is no loopage.

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                          • #14
                            I have the same trouble in my metal shop but with a bigger home style receiver. I have tried all kinds of wires, antennas, even trying to use the garage itself as the antenna with no avail.

                            I have heard before that most home style radios don't have enough "antenna power" to run real long wires to roof antennas and whatnot. That true? I get a few stations but the one I really want doesn't come in at all.
                            Andy

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Willy
                              Ditto!
                              I could not agree more. I got tired of the two local corn dog stations playing either gangster rap or Barry Manilow type diarrhea all day long and went the internet radio route as well.

                              I had a cheap computer out in the shop anyway with a wi-fi internet connection so that was an easy choice. You may still have to run a cable if the wi-fi won't penetrate, but you will end up with a virtually unlimited number of stations in any genre you can think of.
                              Thousands of stations and crystal clear reception, what's not to like?
                              So tell me, is this basically "streaming" audio from a website?

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