Low power FM reception

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by Davenlr, Mar 3, 2020.

  1. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    There is a 250 watt station about 40 miles from me, but its antenna is on top of a mountain. I can receive it from my car, with a stubby antenna they use these days, when driving into my garage, and a spot in front of my house.
    It is on a frequency of 92.5. Direction is 320 degrees. There is a much more powerful station about the same distance on 92.3 at 170 degrees.
    I ordered a 4 element FM yagi with a folded driven element, integrated 300 to 75 ohm balun. Lists Front to Back as 15DB. I was hoping that would null out the station on 92.3 but no such luck.
    Testing on the ground I can not tell the 92.5 station is there, but get interference from 92.3.
    Next step is to carry it up to the top of my 60' tower, and hope to catch a sweet spot. Just cannot figure out how my car radio can get it with a crap antenna, but a Marantz A/V receiver with a 4 element antenna cant.
    Any suggestions before I start climbing when it warms up?
  2. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    Don't remember where you live but it sounds interesting.

  3. Brad_73

    Brad_73 Member

    Jul 16, 2019
    Southeast, GA
    To answer your car question: The FM tuner section in automotive radios is very good. They were continually developed & tweaked up until the turn of the century. Tuner circuits like Pioneer's 'Super Tuner III' were legendary. And many copied that design.
    By contrast, the FM tuners in home A/V equipment suck! They have been using the same cheap tuner chips from the 80's forever. It doesn't matter if it's a cheap Teac $99 receiver or a $1K+ Marantz receiver. You have to get into higher-end components or dedicated AM/FM tuners to get good performance on the FM band, like in the car.

    Do you have a link to this FM antenna you bought? Usually when I see the term "4 folded element" in reference to an FM antenna, that means omni-directional. But then the word Yagi is used, indicating directional. 15dB is a lot of rejection for the back signal on FM. I suspect that is a lie. Again, a link would help a lot for me to see what antenna you are working with.
    Hobo81 likes this.
  4. Eva

    Eva Active Member

    Nov 8, 2013
    I have a rack mount AM/FM tuner in my home studio and that thing out performs my receiver. I do also have a classic Pioneer SX-1250 and it's tuner can pull in stuff that more modern stuff can't.
  5. billsharpe

    billsharpe Hall Of Fame

    Jan 25, 2007
    I have my Sony stereo receiver wired to my 50-year-old rooftop TV antenna and get excellent FM reception. The FM band is just above Channel 6. It's a directional antenna aimed east at Mount Wilson where most TV towers are located, but I still get a decent signal from KJZZ located in Long Beach to the south.
  6. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006

    It is actually a very well built antenna. The elements are not snap out type, but fold out and thumb screw tighten.
    The elements are not seamed, and are capped at the ends.

    I have a second tuner, a dedicated Insignia (dont judge) HD-RADIO tuner. It provides about the same results.
    From reading the comments, I am almost tempted to buy a car tuner with audio out and 12V power supply, if the tuners are that much more sensitive.

    I don't know how this relates to reception, but my Marantz has a 1.2 microvolt sensitivity, and the Pioneer super tuner has a 0.7 microvolt sensitivity. I have a stock Kia radio in my car, and cannot find the specs for it.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2020

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