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Improving FM Signal

cristphoto

Member
Apr 14, 2020
10
0
20
Hello - new guy here. Just found this site.

My issue is when listening to FM on my receiver all the stations are "listenable" but have a slight hiss in the background. I only get one and sometimes two stations fading in and out of stereo mode - otherwise all mono reception. I have a rooftop omni antenna and coax that is over 25 years old. Would a new antenna and cable clean up the signal strength? What's the life expectancy of an outdoor antenna system? I've tried hooking up the T ribbon antenna that came with the receiver but since my setup is in the basement the signal got worse. I'm looking at another rooftop omni antenna but would put it in my attic. Getting too old to be climbing on rooftops anymore. Thanks for any helpful tips.
 

Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
884
511
5,770
Hi cristphoto.
I'd say my roof aerial is at least as old as yours and seems OK (but then I expect everything to last forever).
It's likely yours may need rewiring at least from what you've said.
Others may be along soon to ask why you still bother with FM, but I can see where you're coming from.
I've got a Quad FM4 and a Denon TU-460L but must admit first going more to satellite radio and now to streaming it to the hi-fi via Raspberry Pi and a DAC.
Depends what stations you want and your proximity to the transmitter(s), but I reckon something like the 'all rounder' omni could be OK in the loft.
(I've always done my own TV /radio / sat....but only because I've got a flat roof to fall on....did slip once and broke a tile.....maybe stick to your loft idea (y)).
 

cristphoto

Member
Apr 14, 2020
10
0
20
Thanks for the response. During all this virus issue and now being home much more I started listing to FM a bit. Hadn't done that for a few years. Hopefully the problem is simply corrosion or squirrels chewing on the cable and not my tuner. I'm in the Washington DC area so the rooftop sees all four seasons of weather. I figured changing out the antenna and cable would be step one as its a low cost repair. If that doesn't work I may opt for one of the Bluetooth adapters. One thing I did notice was the variety of material on FM isn't what it was many years ago.

If I get one of those Bluetooth adapters to listen to internet radio any words of wisdom? Are they all pretty much the same or are there features to look for? Again thanks for any helpful suggestions.
 
Last edited:

Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
884
511
5,770
Thanks for the response. During all this virus issue and now being home much more I started listing to FM a bit. Hadn't done that for a few years. Hopefully the problem is simply corrosion or squirrels chewing on the cable and not my tuner. I'm in the Washington DC area so the rooftop sees all four seasons of weather. I figured changing out the antenna and cable would be step one as its a low cost repair. If that doesn't work I may opt for one of the Bluetooth adapters. One thing I did notice was the variety of material on FM isn't what it was many years ago.

If I get one of those Bluetooth adapters to listen to internet radio any words of wisdom? Are they all pretty much the same or are there features to look for? Again thanks for any helpful suggestions.
You're in the capital of America! I just assumed you were in the UK.
If it's a Bluetooth receiver you're after, I reckon you could do a lot worse than this one. It's new and this is the second good review I've read so far:
It doesn't go online to get radio streams itself of course and Bluetooth (even the top quality version the Zen uses) is not optimum quality.
For that you need a PC or standalone streamer (which are often quite expensive.....and the reason I use the, famously cheap little RPi, to do the job).
You could play any of the world's thousands of internet radio streams from a PC, via a DAC into a hi-fi. There are even stations (notably Radio Paradise) that give out FLAC streams.
Most of my favourite (Philly, Motown) music comes from your land and I would have thought there'd be some good stuff on FM for you over there. I hear what you say about diminishing choice though - UK Government has been talking about switching off FM ever since DAB started over here. Digital Audio Broadcasting.....very few fans in the hi-fi community, but that's another story......
Let us know what you do, or if you want any specific product advice. There's usually someone here who will gladly help.
Stay safe over there.
 

cristphoto

Member
Apr 14, 2020
10
0
20
Update: My antenna arrived today and I wired it up and sat it on my living room floor. Problem solved. Good to see the "Stereo" light come light up. Tomorrow I'll mount it in the attic.
 

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