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Old 06-20-2017, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
19,295 posts, read 8,741,488 times
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Been reading about antennas, and am thoroughly confused. So I hope someone here can just tell me - go buy this, it will work, and I don't have to understand it!

Here are the relevant facts -

1) I rent, so an outdoor antenna is not possible.

2) I don't have cable.

3) I have a high gable window above my stereo/TV, and from what I have read, mounting an antenna in that window would be a good thing.

4) I have also read that a plain rabbit ear antenna placed near the stereo tuner would improve radio reception, and I don't need a physical connection to the tuner.

5) Could a single rabbit ear antenna improve reception for both the tuner and the TV? How would the rabbit ear connect to the TV?
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Old 06-20-2017, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Sarasota FL
6,865 posts, read 9,544,082 times
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Go to antennaweb.org or TVfool.com to see how far and where the transmission tower is located. Does your window face the tower.
Rabbit ears aren't very good to receive signals, especially if tower is over 10 miles. If the rabbit ears are old and has only a 300 ohm wire, you will need a 300 to 75 converter to plug into the TV.
A TV antenna is also a FM radio antenna.
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Old 06-20-2017, 11:32 PM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
19,295 posts, read 8,741,488 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d4g4m View Post
Go to antennaweb.org or TVfool.com to see how far and where the transmission tower is located. Does your window face the tower.
Rabbit ears aren't very good to receive signals, especially if tower is over 10 miles. If the rabbit ears are old and has only a 300 ohm wire, you will need a 300 to 75 converter to plug into the TV.
I'd be getting a new rabbit ears. (Probably the $10 RCA rabbit ears.) I am interested in picking up two towers, one to the north, one to the south, both around 10 miles away - lots of trees in the way, but no really tall hills. The high window faces the east, fairly open to the sky, and its sill is about 10 feet above floor level. I do have windows facing both north and south, but they are a good six feet lower, and blocked by more trees. And both are also a good 8 feet from the receiver.


Quote:
Originally Posted by d4g4m View Post
A TV antenna is also a FM radio antenna.
So can I connect a single antenna to both the TV and the FM antenna connections on the receiver?

Same question about the leaf-style antenna if the rabbit ears don't work.

So to clarify, I need one antenna for both the TV and FM, and a second antenna for AM?

Also, I am using the plastic AM antenna that came with the receiver, and I am picking up stations, but the sound quality could be better. It's hung on the wall about 3 feet above the receiver. Is the small-gauge wire that connects to the TV easy to find, so I could get that antenna up in the high window? Or would that be worth doing?

Thanks for your help!!!
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Old 06-21-2017, 04:41 AM
 
40,212 posts, read 41,808,108 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacqueg View Post

So can I connect a single antenna to both the TV and the FM antenna connections on the receiver?


A quick search says you would need switch like this, you'd have to research it but a basic splitter may not work right. Plus with the switch it's probably not splitting the signal strength.

https://www.google.com/search?q=FM+t...witch&tbm=shop

I'm not that familiar with radio antennas but the TV antenna is going to connect to the cable outlet on the TV. I'd assume you'd need some kind of adapter for the antenna port.

Digital reception for TV is going to be full reception or unwatchable, there is no in between like you had with analog where it might be a bit snowy. If you are getting good reception with a $10 antenna that is the best it's going to get, don't fall into the "HD" antenna trap.

If you are getting no reception with the cheap antenna a better antenna may help.
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Old 06-21-2017, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,825 posts, read 13,961,605 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacqueg View Post
4) I have also read that a plain rabbit ear antenna placed near the stereo tuner would improve radio reception, and I don't need a physical connection to the tuner.
No one commented on this, Answer: you heard wrong. An antenna will not help a radio tuner just sitting next to it.
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Old 06-21-2017, 09:04 AM
 
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A shorter answer is that an antenna that works for VHF TV will also work for FM radio since the bands overlap. You do need to connect the antenna to the radio.

A UHF antenna will do nothing for radio.

AM radio needs a long wire for best reception, but no one bothers.
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Old 06-21-2017, 09:18 AM
 
10,167 posts, read 10,486,953 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d4g4m View Post
A TV antenna is also a FM radio antenna.
Very high frequency (VHF) is the ITU designation for the range of radio frequency electromagnetic waves (radio waves) from 30 MHz to 300 MHz, with corresponding wavelengths of ten to one meters.

Television channels are 6 Mhz wide while radio channels are 0.2 Mhz wide.

54–72 MHz TV channels 2 through 4 (VHF-Lo)
76–88 MHz TV channels 5 through 6 (VHF-Lo)
87.5–108 MHz: FM radio broadcasting
174–216 MHz television channels 7 through 13 (VHF-Hi)

FM radio commercial broadcasting began just before WWII and television broadcasting began just after WWII using VHF frequencies. These frequencies are very noisy for digital television, but these channels are still used in the USA. In particular VHF-Lo has largely been abandoned in Europe for broadcast television. UHF frequencies are used exclusively in many countries.

You may have problems picking up stations. In Philadelphia, ABC broadcasts on channel 6, and when the signal went digital many people couldn't pick up the station anymore.

Last edited by PacoMartin; 06-21-2017 at 09:54 AM..
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Old 06-21-2017, 10:31 AM
 
2,896 posts, read 1,701,905 times
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Paco, did you read the OP's question? I thought not. Your explanation, while technically correct, goes way beyond what the OP needs to know. For instance, how relevant is channel width to antenna performance?

The important fact for the OP is that a VHF antenna (unless it's one of the highly directional tuned yagis?) will work. You gave the "why" without really explaining "why" which is because the FM band sits between the two VHF TV bands, so any antenna that covers both lower and upper VHF TV bands should cover FM too.
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Old 06-21-2017, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,540 posts, read 55,461,975 times
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A receiver likely has a 300 ohm radio input and a co-ax input for tv.

Using one antenna is possible with a co-ax splitter and a co-ax to 300 ohm converter. Both are cheap. A switch would be a pain, and the signal from 10 miles should be strong enough that a splitter works fine.

As to placing rabbit ears near a receiver to improve reception - it can work, but it is iffy. Yagi antennas use elements that are not connected to the feed element, and because of the way they are designed there can be spectacular improvement in signal strength. As anyone who has used rabbit ears knows, just a human body being near them will change reception strength, leading to the various cartoons of a kid or man in a horribly contorted position holding the rabbit ears, while the person watching the tv goes "Perfect! Now just hold that position!"
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Old 06-21-2017, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
19,295 posts, read 8,741,488 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
No one commented on this, Answer: you heard wrong. An antenna will not help a radio tuner just sitting next to it.
Thanks! That's kinda what I thought, maybe I misunderstood...


Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbear99 View Post
A shorter answer is that an antenna that works for VHF TV will also work for FM radio since the bands overlap. You do need to connect the antenna to the radio.

A UHF antenna will do nothing for radio.

AM radio needs a long wire for best reception, but no one bothers.
Would that wire have to go vertically up the wall? (Yes, I'm a bit worried about appearances.) Or would a horizontal run of 6 feet or so work as well? Or is this a question of futzing with it until it works, with no rule of thumb? In a previous house I used one of those 'T' antennas, it worked fine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
A receiver likely has a 300 ohm radio input and a co-ax input for tv.

Using one antenna is possible with a co-ax splitter and a co-ax to 300 ohm converter. Both are cheap. A switch would be a pain, and the signal from 10 miles should be strong enough that a splitter works fine.

As to placing rabbit ears near a receiver to improve reception - it can work, but it is iffy. Yagi antennas use elements that are not connected to the feed element, and because of the way they are designed there can be spectacular improvement in signal strength. As anyone who has used rabbit ears knows, just a human body being near them will change reception strength, leading to the various cartoons of a kid or man in a horribly contorted position holding the rabbit ears, while the person watching the tv goes "Perfect! Now just hold that position!"
Yeah, those rabbit ears...Upon looking at what's available at the local hardware store, the rabbit ears they carry are VHF only. The VHF/UHF antennas the store carries are leaf antennas, and I can get a splitter too, so I'll probably try that.

I'd love an outdoor antenna, but the LL would not love a hole in the wall or roof, so there you go.

But at least I'm down to 2 antennas, I was worried I'd need 3.
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