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  Reply # 2068360 5-Aug-2018 22:17
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For best FM reception in rural areas, an outdoor antenna is a must - preferably a directional one but you can still get good results with just a regular dipole if it's tuned correctly. 300/freq will give you the wave length in meters. Divide the result by 2 and multiply by .935 - that will be the length of the dipole tip to tip also taking into account the velocity factor/propagation delay. This formula is primarily used for broadcast but will work for receive also. FM broadcasts from the SkyTower are also circular, except for a select few which vertical as they're on a different combiner/antenna system. So for your receive antenna it needs to be on a 45deg angle facing in the right direction for best results. A tv antenna which was used in Auckland will work, but it will work much better if you cut about 500mm off each end of the longer dipole arms which were used for TV1 around 55MHz, then flip it up on a 45deg angle and aim it at the SkyTower.

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  Reply # 2068414 5-Aug-2018 23:40
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Heaps of my rural customers all seem to have Tivoli Model One radios

 

Also, a bunch of UHF-VHF tv amplifiers will cover the FM band as well so if you use a reciever with an external antenna RF input, you could loop it through an amplifier first to get a boost. I have never tried it with fm though. 





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  Reply # 2068419 6-Aug-2018 05:07
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raytaylor:

Heaps of my rural customers all seem to have Tivoli Model One radios


Also, a bunch of UHF-VHF tv amplifiers will cover the FM band as well so if you use a reciever with an external antenna RF input, you could loop it through an amplifier first to get a boost. I have never tried it with fm though. 



I was thinking of the Tivoli Model One right from the outset of this thread.

I had always wanted one so a few years ago I bought one on TM. It drove me insane because the combination of analogue tuning and a poorly calibrated rotary dial tuning indicator plus extreme sensitivity which pulled in AM and FM stations from far, far away - made it nearly impossible to use right in the centre of suburban Auckland - i.e. to find specific local stations I was wanting to hear. It was infuriating to use - so I sold it.

However for people who actually want to receive distant or weak stations, it could be ideal. One person’s trash may be another someone else’s treasure.



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  Reply # 2068459 6-Aug-2018 09:33
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Some good ideas here. She can get (FM) reception without an outside aerial, but I'm looking for something that would boost the weak signals she has now. Thanks for all the suggestions :)


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  Reply # 2068500 6-Aug-2018 10:27
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I've always found that external aerials are key to getting weak radio signals.

I used to live about 70 miles from London and wanted to listen to Jazz FM. At that time, it was broadcast only in London and could not be received in any useful sense of that expression where I lived.

Internet streaming didn't exist back in the olden days of 20 years ago, so I had a company erect a very serious FM antenna on a large mast attached to my house.

After that, my tuner picked up the signal as if it was broadcast from next door!





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  Reply # 2068532 6-Aug-2018 11:31
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I have a AV receiver used mainly for home theatre. It requires an external antenna for FM. We live in the countryside and reception isn't great so I made my own outdoor dipole antenna. It is very simple. Basically all you need is the right length of wire or metal tubing, fed by some coax. I just tacked a wire under the eve along the veranda. 

 

The formula for calculating the length of the element is 300/frequency. This isn't critical. Just pick a frequency in the middle of the FM band. I think 98 megahertz is the usual one used. This gives a length of just over three meters, so cut a piece of wire (or tubing, if you need support) to three meters, then cut that in half and mount the two halves end to end in a straight line. Connect the coax in the middle and you are done. Here is an illustration. 





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  Reply # 2068600 6-Aug-2018 12:58
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A long time ago I set up an AM radio in a fringe area.

 

My recollection is that connecting the radio to earth improved the reception.

 

It was separate to the electrical wiring earth so check before you use the electrical wiring ground.





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  Reply # 2068655 6-Aug-2018 13:42
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ObidiahSlope:

 

A long time ago I set up an AM radio in a fringe area.

 

My recollection is that connecting the radio to earth improved the reception.

 

It was separate to the electrical wiring earth so check before you use the electrical wiring ground.

 

 

Generally, if you use your electrical system's earth for radio reception you will make your reception worse not better !

 

That's true for AM anyway and because of currents leaking from your equipment to earth.

 

 

 

You will want an earth for FM if you are using a quarter wave aerial but not if you use a dipole.


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