FM Antenna Recommendations
October 27, 2004 2:56 PM   Subscribe

Any recommendations for a high quality, possibly amplified, indoor FM antenna? [mi]

Just moved into a new apartment, and am using a new Tivoli Model Two radio. I live in San Jose, which is a pretty saturated radio market, and am having trouble getting 105.3 clearly (for Stern and Loveline - the only two reasons I really listen to radio) because it wants to pick up the stations above and below. I know the signal is adequate into the apartment, because I *can* get clear reception, but it usually goes in and out as I move my hand away, walk across the room, etc. The radio came with a simple wire antenna (with "F" connector - like for coaxial tv cable), which is better than nothing, but would i do better with a high quality passive antenna? Would an amplified antenna help, or are those only for trying to get signals from further away, rather than clarifying what you already get? I looked on amazon, but they pretty much only have one brand (Terk) and the reviews are kind of craptastic. Specific brands, models etc. would be appreciated, but general tips are ok too.
posted by rorycberger to Shopping (7 answers total)
Unfortunately, no, because I've got similar problems, and after getting crappy results with a Radio Shack antenna, traded up to a Terk and got even worse results. (The Terk has all these controls for how wide a frequency band it amplifies, as well as which frequencies--still crap.)

If anyone has suggestions for a good, reasonably priced amplified antenna, I'd also be really interested.
posted by LairBob at 3:36 PM on October 27, 2004

Response by poster: out of curiosity, which model Terk did you get? I'm wondering if maybe the $80 one, which has no reviews on Amazon, might be better than the cheaper models.
posted by rorycberger at 4:08 PM on October 27, 2004

This is the Terk I got...1-1/2 stars. (Wish any of these review had been around when I bought it a cpl of years ago.)

[I wouldn't take "no reviews" as any real indication of its quality--they do apparently have some very highly rated antennas, but a lot of crappy ones, too. (And a lot of the higher ratings seem to be just one or two reviewers.)]
posted by LairBob at 4:28 PM on October 27, 2004

Response by poster: Yeah, I didn't mean that no reviews meant it was high-quality. Just meant that it's quality was unknown (as opposed to those with reviews). I also noticed that the ones with more stars tended to have less reviews, so I didn't trust that either.
posted by rorycberger at 4:34 PM on October 27, 2004

Response by poster: Oh, and the expensive one just looks a lot more substantial. It's almost five feet long, as opposed to the other little desktop sized things, and allows you to adjust the amount of amplification. Haven't been able to find a review of it anywhere though.
posted by rorycberger at 4:36 PM on October 27, 2004

The Magnum Dynalab ST-2 is another option, although it costs almost as much as your radio.
posted by caddis at 7:42 AM on October 28, 2004

I once stumbled across a public radio webpage that gave instructions for making your own dipole and measuring and cutting it for the *exact* frequency you are shooting for.

Sticking that sucker about 30 feet up would also help, I think.

I guess what I'm saying is that a well-tuned homebuilt antenna with really good placement would do more than an amplified one. Radio Shack may have some sort of signal filtering thingy too.
posted by mecran01 at 1:45 PM on October 28, 2004

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