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OT: better radio signal?

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  • OT: better radio signal?

    Okay guys I got a silly question, I have a little portable radio at work with a telescoping style antenna. The one radio station that I really like is a small independent station and has a weak signal. I was wondering if you guys had any tricks to help pick up the signal better. The antenna already looks like a bad Christmas tree because I have hung various springs and wires off of it to try and improve the signal. I know radio shack sells antenna's but I dont know how to attach them to this type of radio. Thanks for the help.

  • #2
    All you may actually need is a longer wire attached to that.

    DEpends if it is AM or FM. Most AM have a "loop" antenna wound on a ferrite stick. You can turn those radios for best reception.

    If FM, with telescoping antenna, there may be a best orientation, but failing that, I would just add 6 foot or so of wire on it, and move it around until you get decent reception.

    There is only so much you can do with that kind of radio, they generally don't have a place to connect a better antenna.

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan


    • #3
      Make a wire dipole antenna. Have ground one wire strung, and signal rx the other wire, so it looks like a T.


      • #4
        Are you inside a building that's metal, or has mesh in the walls? You can always hang a vertical wire outside the building, spaced away from the wall by 2-3 feet, on a side facing the direction of the station. Clip the inside end to the collapsed antenna.
        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


        • #5
          Even if your inside a metal building, the 2 wire dipole will help a lot. At my old work place, was in such a situation.


          • #6
            I bought at 6' telescoping antenna at Radio Shack to replace the 3' my radio came with. Made a huge difference.

            Paul G.
            Paul G.


            • #7
              This problem has a "hunt and peck" soultion a lot of times. WIre dipole is a good start. Powered am in line can help. Depends on building access... If they are small outlet, then the may - "might" - be on the internet. I listen to KCRW and some Netherlands stations that way.

              As far as antennas.... long ago I had a 11 element FM antenna - rear 4 elements were reflectors - could point it and pick up ANTHING in 100-150 miles. This was in "mountain" country as well.

              Try some things. Try lots of things.



              • #8
                I heard that if you fasten a wire from the antenae to a receptacle box screw (one that attaches the plate to the box) that your whole building will become an antenae. Now, not having ever done this, I can't say if it works or not, but this should get some replies from others that may have. Jim


                • #9
                  I work in the basement of a eight story casino hotel 70 miles from the "cities". We were fortunate enough to be able to run a coax cable through a ventilator shaft up to the roof to an old vhf TV antenna. The entire FM band is tucked in between TV channels 4 and 5 IIRC and if you use a booster be sure you leave the "FM trap" off.
                  If you are talking about an AM station I think you are psol, way to much interference in a machine shop. You will want to invest in some form of lightning arrestor if your antenna is "way up there".

                  [This message has been edited by Boomer (edited 10-06-2004).]

                  [This message has been edited by Boomer (edited 10-06-2004).]


                  • #10
                    So if I bought a better antenna from radiop shack could i just clip it to the telescoping antenna ?

                    BillH could you explain what you meant in a litte simpler terms Im not sure i understood what you were describing. Thx

                    Thanks for the replies guys.


                    • #11
                      Some FM radio antennas are in the power cable as well as the telescoping antenna. If your cord is wound up tight, unwind it and move it around a bit. All of my newer radios have this thing in them.
                      CCBW, MAH


                      • #12
                        If your radio does not have an external
                        antenna connection on the back (usually
                        a terminal board with two screws) then you will have to pop the back of the case off and delve around for the terminals the antenna is connected to, probably by soldering. You can solder in a couple of wires to these or a short length of 300 ohm
                        ribbon. Ribbon is the stuff TV antennas used to be connected with, flat plastic about
                        1/2" wide with a wire imbedded on each side.
                        Simplist dipole is made out of 300 0hm ribbon and Radioshack probably has one for
                        say $5. They are throwaways with any audio receiver. For a few bucks more Radioshack will have slightly fancier antennas, just be
                        sure they are for FM and not TV, as a poster
                        noted TV tend to have a band trap that excludes the FM. FM stations are vertically
                        polarized so car antennas work better (all are nearly vertical). If the dipole is oriented vertically it may work better, but
                        try both horizontal and vertical. They are also somewhat directional and if the horizontal plane of the antenna is the same as the plane of line of sight to the station antenna you will get only bounced signals. Best reception is with the plane of the antenna at right angles to the line of sight to the antenna. This is probably unknown so tack the antenna to a stick and rotate for best signal with the antenna horizontal if the vertical orientation doesn't work first.


                        • #13
                          I have the same problem in my shop. Shop is metal studs and metal rafters and chickenwire wrapped around the walls for the stucco. I am 130 miles from a good radio station. I think I would like to try an outside antenna on the roof. Anybody know if a cb antenna would work? I have several of those. FM is all I care about.


                          • #14
                            wire in a good GROUND. easiest way to do this is to slip a wire into the battery compartment and solder it onto the NEGATIVE battery tab.

                            do it this way even if its a line-powered radio.

                            this will get you more bang for the buck on AM stations, but helps with FM, too.

                            don't know how much trouble you're willing to go to to get that station (i have a shop radio too, but we throw rocks at it till the stations come in)...

                            AM: add a ground and more wire to the antenna. just wrap it around and drape it somewhere (near a window is better)

                            FM: put a TV antenna up on the roof and add an "FM SPLITTER" (radio shack). run the FM to your antenna. add a ground wire.

                            happy listening,


                            • #15
                              I soldered 2 feet of speaker wire to the antenna of a cordless phone. Then I put a small plastic tube through the wall and through the steel siding of my shop.

                              With the wire hanging outside about a foot and a half the phone works. It crackles a little until I open the door which is right next to the phone and inline with the reciever in the house. Without the wire through the wall it will not work at all.
                              Super Dave