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Very simple DIY FM antenna works great!

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  • Very simple DIY FM antenna works great!

    Some of you might remember the small system I put together for my parents with the $95 Sherwood receiver and a pair of repurposed Overnight Sensations. They love to listen to a lot of radio programs and gospel music stations, but they live in a retirement condo community so no mounting of an outdoor antenna. After searching the net I found a very simple DIY design and was able to build it for under $6. It works great! Sorry no pictures, but here is all that it is:

    A 6 foot long coax cable from the back of the receiver, through the wall, into the ajoining closet. The coax cable connects to a 75 ohm to 300 ohm balun (impedance matching transformer). The two flying leads on the 300 ohm side of the balun are soldered to a 120" long piece of 22 gauge wire that forms a loop that is a 30" high by 30" wide rectangular loop. That loop is tacked to the inside of the closet wall as high as possible.

    I know it's not too exciting but I thought I'd share a small DIY project that exceeded our expectations.
    Expensive caps need time to break in. More expensive caps take a long time. Cheap caps sound great right out of the box.

    Why I don't spray in first gear: http://s1138.photobucket.com/albums/...t=100_2585.mp4

  • #2
    Re: Very simple DIY FM antenna works great!

    This reminds me of the homemade antenna projects I used to do when I was a teenager. Back in those days, the only radio station that played what I wanted to hear (classic rock) was too far away to pick up easily. So I would take my mom's large aluminum mixing bowls and rig up various makeshift parabolic reflector antennas inspired by the big 10' satellite dishes people had in their yards in those days. Some of them actually helped pull in that station!

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    • #3
      Re: Very simple DIY FM antenna works great!

      I remember those 10' satellite dishes!!!! The neighbors directly behind us installed one and I remember my Dad planting 6 tall evergreen bushes so we wouldn't have to look out at that thing everytime we sat down for a meal :o Suburbia living has it's downsides:(
      Expensive caps need time to break in. More expensive caps take a long time. Cheap caps sound great right out of the box.

      Why I don't spray in first gear: http://s1138.photobucket.com/albums/...t=100_2585.mp4

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Very simple DIY FM antenna works great!

        That's a cool solution, and even nicer that it's hidden in a closet. I bet your mom loves that aspect of it!

        Your story reminds me of the antenna my dad built for his radio back when I was a little kid. He made this octagon shaped wheel looking thing wrapped with 30-40 turns of magnet wire. He got the plans for it from an old Short-Wave radio operator.

        He really did a beautiful job on it. He was so mad when he discovered that it wouldn't fit through the Bilco door.

        Measure twice... at least!

        TomZ
        *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
        *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF *Cello's Speaker Project Page

        *Building the "Micro-B 2.1 Plate Amplifier -- Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * * Part 5 'Review' * -- Assembly Instructions PDF

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        • #5
          Re: Very simple DIY FM antenna works great!

          Originally posted by PWR RYD View Post
          I remember those 10' satellite dishes!!!! The neighbors directly behind us installed one and I remember my Dad planting 6 tall evergreen bushes so we wouldn't have to look out at that thing everytime we sat down for a meal :o Suburbia living has it's downsides:(
          I've got one of those stupid things in my back yard. Maybe this will be the year that I actually find time to take it down and plant a bush to hide the cement footer.

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          • #6
            Re: Very simple DIY FM antenna works great!

            The good old days.
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              Re: Very simple DIY FM antenna works great!

              You are a good son! :p

              I'm not sure what a balun is, is it this?



              http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=180-010

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              • #8
                Re: Very simple DIY FM antenna works great!

                a Balun is a transformer for converting balanced signal to unbalanced and vice versa.
                Don't waste your money on a new set of speakers, You get more mileage from a cheap pair of sneakers. Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways it's still rock and roll to me!

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                • #9
                  Re: Very simple DIY FM antenna works great!

                  Originally posted by jclin4 View Post
                  You are a good son! :p

                  I'm not sure what a balun is, is it this?



                  http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=180-010
                  Yes, that is it.
                  Expensive caps need time to break in. More expensive caps take a long time. Cheap caps sound great right out of the box.

                  Why I don't spray in first gear: http://s1138.photobucket.com/albums/...t=100_2585.mp4

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Very simple DIY FM antenna works great!

                    http://imageevent.com/holl_ands/loops/folded

                    I made the FM dipole described just below the Ch6 dipoles. This guy knows the NEC4 model and EM radiation in general.

                    I'll note that the square design retains the dipole lobes; no reception in the plane of the wall. You can get omni results by using the vertical orientation he shows for the FM model (at the bottom). The 24ga wire design for Ch 9/10is roughly half the size of a similarly optimized FM antenna. Rearrange the square to a vertical dipole pattern of this size and you may find reception improves, especially for stations along the wall.

                    HAve fun,
                    Frank

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