Antenna Recommendation

 

Silver Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 992
Registered: Oct-07
I have a Tivoli #1 table radio.
I live in kind of a marginal signal area, sort of between 2 markets. L.A. is 60 or 70 miles north and SanDiego is 40 or 50 South. I can get some stations from either market but there is drift and interference.
Is there any GOOD 'rabbit ears' type antenna which will feed 75ohms? Are the Terk antennas any good for my signal area?
I'd like to be able to tuck the whole thing under an arm to take outside or to the garage or in the kitchen.
Any suggestions?
 

Gold Member
Username: Jrbay

Livonia [Detroit area], Michigan USA

Post Number: 1256
Registered: Feb-08
Hey Leo,

With antennas you never know, they are a lot like speakers in that there is a magic brand, configuration and placement but you need to experiment. What are you using now?
 

Silver Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 995
Registered: Oct-07
The 'line cord' which came with the radio is IT.

There is a backpanel switch and a 75ohm coax input with an 'internal / external' switch.

The terrain is slightly hilly. I live in kind of a low spot, up against a hill.
When we moved here......a LONG time ago, TV was way IFFY. Channel 5 from LA and 6 from San Diego was about it. We've had cable or small dish from as soon as we became aware of it. The tuner part of my NAD tuner / preamp was unused as a result. Even AM was awful, on that tuner. A wall mounted FM 'T' didn't help...

If there are no suggestions, I may be Forced to try the Terk, which gets only SOSO reviews and doesn't seem to be aimed at the far suburban user.

That Tivoli is a great radio and perfect for my usage.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jrbay

Livonia [Detroit area], Michigan USA

Post Number: 1257
Registered: Feb-08
The famous T is obviously the cheapest way to go and works pretty well for the most part. You could play with the direction and height a bit to see if you couldn't lock in a station or two. The Terk might make an improvement (keep the receipt) but if you are really serious about this then going up on your roof with a rotor is the only true solution.
 

Silver Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 998
Registered: Oct-07
So much for FM, than.
The Dipole I made years ago doesn't work well in this location. Besides, than I'm in to a balun and how to hold the darn thing up. Where my stereo is located the natural wall was simply facing the wrong way.

I may go to RS and get a cheapo set of rabbit ears. I think I have a balun in stores somewhere.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 14735
Registered: May-04
.

Powered antennas don't help much in your location. The amplifier in the antenna just passes along the additional noise of the now amplified lousy reception.


Your location problems are typically resolved with directionality and sensitivity. Rabbit ears do just the opposite, they are essentially omni-directional with very low rejection to the sides and not very sensitive. Your best bet with them is to run them up into the attic (if one is available) and try various locations - take the radio up there with you. If an antenna doesn't work at one end of the attic, it might work at the other end, or in the middle or to one side. Three feet of location change can make a big difference in FM antennas and hilly locales.


If you're having problems picking up stations on a mono Tivoli, you really need a rooftop antenna (on a mast) with high sensitivity, narrow directionality and a rotor, Leo. Call a few local TV shops and ask about antennas. With the switch to "digital" TV more shops are installing antennas again. The local guys are familiar with what you need and can at least give a few free recommendations.


.
 

Silver Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 999
Registered: Oct-07
Jan,
finally, some antenna sense. Yes, I live in the signal area from XXXX.
Can't get anything over the air. Cars do OK, and I have about 3 good stations on my ultra-cheap clock radio.....

I may end up doing something wacky (you knew I would!) and build some kind of more directional antenna....Log Periodic comes to mind.
I sure wanted something easy to tote around with me, but that doesn't look like it's in the cards.

I will call some local shops and see what works out here. Too bad, though, since my area's CCRs forbid outside antennas. Something in the attic? Possible, but than more holes and I have to decide on where to aim it. If there is something with 2 lobes @90 degrees, that might work. aim it north/south and maybe get both LA and SanDiego.

....................
 

Gold Member
Username: Mike3

Wylie, Tx USA

Post Number: 2369
Registered: May-06
Leo, Radio Shack offers decent inside Attic antennas. Good enough for me to use my McIntosh MR-71 in Dallas. Maybe you can try splitting you cable feed to the Co-ax input of your tuner / receiver. You may be pleasantly surprised.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1015
Registered: Oct-07
Thanks, Mike.
Nope, no more tuner inside the stereo cabinet. That went away a couple years ago. For in-house FM I now use the XM or whatever comes with the small dish. There are a couple Jazz feeds, a GrateFul Dead channel, 'Simply Sinatra', and rock by-the-decade. Once I caught my wife listening to the Mexican channel that sounds like Polka.

My original intent was a small antenna to drag around with the Tivoli to either the backyard or garage.
BUT since I'm so far from anyplace with stations.....'bout mid-way between LA and SanDiego, I will need a REAL antenna.

Fortunately, Winegard sells the HD6055p which is a multi element design with good gain. It is either a log/periodic or a Yagi.
It is available online for 75$, which while not budgeted is still within reach. But that leaves the problem of feeding the radio. The only thing I can think of is to do an attic mount and from a splitter run a cable to the garage and another thru the eve. Coil it up and use as needed. I have an unbelievable amount of cable from helping neighbors with installs and wiring up stereo and other stuff. I usually start with some dramatic move like ripping out a double handful of cable, tossing it over my should and saying......'Why all this extra cable?'. Always gets a nervous laugh. Than I get down to business.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1016
Registered: Oct-07
I found out something interesting in all my reading / research.

It is apparently ILLEGAL for the CCRs to ban outside antennas. I am not sure of the fine print or any special conditions, but a radio shop I called, who put me on to the Winegard, informed me of that. I did a quick search and some Google titles said as much.
Details to follow if anyone is interested.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 14749
Registered: May-04
.

Good luck with that, Leo. "Illegality" does not interfere with people being convinced they are right and you need to bend to their will as a "majority". Particularly once you've signed on to their side of the story to begin with.


Why! just last night I heard O'Reilly demand a reason from the judge in the military burial case despite a ("liberal" by Fox News standards) legal scholar instructing him none was required by law or Constitution.




I certainly wouldn't just install an antenna on the side of the house and then fight the battle. YMMV


Winegard and ChannelMaster are generally the best in the group and you realize, of course, you pay for "the best".


Contact "CC Radio"; http://www.ccrane.com/antennas/ They are radio specialists at a time when few exist. They don't know your specific area but they are, I would think, worth your time for a conversation. They deal with clients across the nation so they are not totally unfamiliar with your radio or your locale.


(Mention Art Bell's name; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coast_to_Coast_AM)


Also, read this thread; http://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/348260.html


I have to tell you you could be fighting a loosing battle. How much do you want to pump into getting a signal to a (semi)portable radio? How long do you want that coax lead to be in the backyard?


I thoroughly enjoy my radios (despite the lack of quality broadcasting in the DFW region - I mean aren't eight stations broadcasting conservative talk radio 24/7 sufficient for one area? and with several decades of "classic rock" to choose from, wouldn't you think they could have a larger playlist than forty songs? that they don't compress the he!! out of!) and I have a Tivoli that I listen to almost every night ("Coast to Coast AM", though Noory is getting too political and too conspiratorial for my tastes, Alex Jones be d@mned!).


The move is to web radio. Any station you care to listen to is likely to be web broadcasting. A laptop and a wireless connection - at most - and you are there. A basic internet radio and you're in business without any reception problem areas. http://www.ccrane.com/radios/wifi-radios/


XM/Sirius are also still contenders and have no commercial breaks. I love my Tivoli (and have on occasion thought I need to downsize my system to nothing more and forget all this hifi BS) but despite the claims for its highly sensitive/highly selective tuner I can't pick up a single Chicago station through it let alone anything from Turin.



Commercial radio is slowly going the way of the VHS player. Truckers will keep it alive for awhile but there is no solid future in the format other than for even more conservative talk stations - and are you really that interested in what G. Gordon Liddy has to say?


.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1026
Registered: Oct-07
I have a Sony ICF-2010, a legendary semi-portable all band radio.
AM from 150khz to 30mhz, FM airband= 116->136mhz and standard FM including Japanese band is 76->108mhz.
The AM section is dual bandwidth, selectable sideband and synchronous detector. It will tune in 1khz or 100hz increments, so if I can hear it at all, chances are i can listen to it. I used to DX a lot and have a log of stations from everywhere. I even logged Vietnam in English.....I could get them about dawn at just over 15mhz. Maybe 10 minutes worth until the sun came up. Japan? China? France? Germany? BBC? all YES with a countless number of Religious broadcasters and smaller countries tossed in for good measure. RSA South Africa was a favorite. Some weird SSB station from CostaRica broadcasting communist propaganda. It's all there. Or WAS. Even VOA is toned down and I had to give up my Hindi language lessons.
Listening to Hams is worse than watching paint dry, but you can, with patients, get some new pins in the map.

If I had the money I'd find a good Drake R-8, perhaps the best bang-4-buck out there. ICOM and others are way out of line.

Had my fill of both Rush and Liddy. and that Failed Comic.


If the antenna were in the attic, I'd need no more that 2 lengths of 25feet to reach a spot outside and in the garage. This is vaguely doable, but before the heat hits. My attic will hit 110+ on a hot day and will leave you drained in just a few minutes. Less tempting the more I think about it.

And, Contrary to popular opinion, I have at least the minimal good sense to maintain good relations with my neighbors. I am, with 3 or 4 others, long term residents so don't want to PO anyone. They'd tell me, without prejudice, if I was out of line.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1056
Registered: Oct-07
Went to nearest radio shackup. Helper was a goofball and when I asked about antennas, 'yes, they are in back'. Good for them.
No answer to 'what works best around here?'
Other customer walked out when I did and agreed with me that the guy had clearly peaked in his chosen career.

OTOH, I hooked up a couple foot stub of coax and a balun to the coax input. That helped a LOT even with the switch not flipped to the 'external' position. I think I'll score a couple feet of twin-lead and give it a whack.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1058
Registered: Oct-07
connected a 2nd length of coax and left the balun on the end. The 300ohm end wires aren't even touching. Flipped switch to 'external'.
Now getting several stations just fine and NO drift / multipathing.
I'm starting to believe in tweaks.
Next, I'm going to measure about 60" of coax and try that. This is close to 1/2 wave for 98mhz.

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