EV's Best Top Rated FM and HD Radio Antenna Guide & Reviews

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#41
One thing about that article that kind of surprised me is what a few on the forum here have been mentioning all along. Powered (active) indoor antennas do not receive signals any better than (passive) non powered antennas. Funny also that the DIY 300 OHM antenna outperformed the factory built indoor antennas.
I noticed the Terk Pi did pretty well.

But the classic Twinlead 300ohm Dipole and the Outdoor Yagi were the best.
 

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#43
I noticed the Terk Pi did pretty well.

But the classic Twinlead 300ohm Dipole and the Outdoor Yagi were the best.
Yeah, nothing seems to really beat outdoor antennas. They have the obvious advantage of not having to receive signals that penetrate through stucco, brick, and or other wall materials.

The Terk Pi is non powered right?
 

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#44
Amps, overload and noise floors have been known for almost a century since the first tube receivers were built. So it's very old knowledge.

It's all about "wireless" being rediscovered. Typical for everything in life and history of something being "rediscovered". There are always those during the rediscovery process that ignore old data simply calling it old and saying this is today and past knowledge is irrelevant since it's now the future.

I simply call it not knowing or learning from history.

I can tell from things posted here from time to time, regardless of how many times I say that an amp DOES NOT boost the signal making the antenna perform better, someone eludes back to the fact amp increases gain. Hog wash!

It's a mindset of being bombarded by incorrect information, and misunderstanding. Granted the difference between antenna gain and preamp gain and what it accomplishes seems elusive. Then add noise figure into that and it seems to loose even more.

I hear it all the time that an amp has to help because the reception is better. Sure, since most modern amps have a lower noise figure than the receiver itself.

I guess I need to get off my pork loins and write the article I keep putting off.

A 300 ohm twin lead antenna for VHF put up high on a wall behind the TV can out perform rabbit ears and easily hidden behind a picture if needed. I submit also it's better to put the balun as close as possible to the twin lead folded dipole as possible
Well, I think the main problem is that so many antenna manufactures hang their hat on their (what I perceive as) false advertising. "Provided with amp for better performance" and etc. It's all hogwash (no offense Piggie!).
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#45
It's all hogwash (no offense Piggie!).
No offense taken! I know Hogwash and you have it right, it's Hogwash....

Actually stir fried, with lots of garlic hogwash is good served over Jasmin rice.

If you want a vinaigrette mix olive oil, wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, fresh basil and oregano, with fresh squeezed garlic. Mix all ingredients then wisk in the oil.

It's also good any turnips you root out of the ground also.
 
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EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#46
Yeah, nothing seems to really beat outdoor antennas. They have the obvious advantage of not having to receive signals that penetrate through stucco, brick, and or other wall materials.

The Terk Pi is non powered right?
No the Terk Pi is amplified with adjustable gain on FM, passive on the fold out AM loop. It really looks like a good antenna, from reviews, comments, and information that Ive been gathering on it. Its got an antenna designed by Larry Schotz for compactness, yet still rendering solid performance. The AM Loop is great too.....you can buy straight up AM loops that really work well....like the Select-a-tenna, Terk AM Advantage, Kaito/Grundig AN 200/AN 100....its a proven AM design.

Im enthusiastic about it now, and the Terk and Parsec Obelisks (also designed by Schotz).

The Terk FM Plus (FM+) uses the same antenna design without an amplifier....and no AM loop attached. Its FM only. For the anti amplifier crowd.

The Terk Q has signal strength meter and adjustable amp and memory for some number of stations......Im looking into it, it may be something I have to physically try out to understand it fully, but it doesnt seem to be user friendly....another thing you have to mess with for little benefit...when a set and forget antenna would work just as well, and with less fussing about with it.
 
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EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#48
The Magnum Dynalab ST-2 looks suspiciously like the Metz Communications FM Whip. Don't you think?

Metz Communications has several length whips tuned to different bands with the same base. VHF marine antennas.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#49
Reviews of the Fanfare FM-2G FM whip antenna can be found here.


.
Ok it's time to start having tests around here! Describe how the FM-2G works on the name of that type of antenna.

For extra credit take a guess at it's gain.

Better yet, name the type of antenna and the name of it by feed point (that's a hint too).
 
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EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#53
One thing about that article that kind of surprised me is what a few on the forum here have been mentioning all along. Powered (active) indoor antennas do not receive signals any better than (passive) non powered antennas. Funny also that the DIY 300 OHM antenna outperformed the factory built indoor antennas.
One thing about the classic BIC Beamboxes (which are not amplified) is that in strong signal areas they give you some directionality and Front/Back ratio which can help with multipath, which is hard on analog FM signals.
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#54
A funny item on ebay long ago.....bidding apparently went up past $4 million!

The Mpingo Antenna

Item description...

ABOUT THIS EXTRAORDINARILY RARE FM ANTENNA: • Balances your personal chi as well as the FM spectrum’s bio-energy for better sound. • Optimizes your brain's alpha wave activity and your FM tuner’s performance for better sound. • Will bring your inner self into balance when listening to your FM tuner. • You will realize an overall greater sense of well being listening to your FM tuner through a Mpingo wood antenna. • Mpingo wood provides an all-natural barrier to IBOC and all digital radio broadcasts – Mpingo actually filters out the bad-sounding digits and bad-sounding electrons and only allows good-sounding analog electrons to be sent to your FM tuner. SPECIFICATIONS: • Frequency Range: 88.1 - 107.9 MHz • Impedance: 300 Ohms (matching Mpingo wood balun transformer included) • Average Gain: 150 dBd • Avg. F/B Ratio: 300 dB • Boom Length: 127" • Turning Radius: 57.5" • Elements: Many - All Natural • Shipping (CONUS): $999.95 • No returns/exchanges on outdoor antennas. WHAT IS MPINGO? Now, you are most likely asking yourself what exactly is Mpingo wood? The small, unassuming Mpingo tree (see picture below) conceals one of the most sought-after and valuable heartwoods in the world. Stripping away the yellowish grey sapwood reveals the deep purple to brownish black core, this wood is extremely resistant and durable and is known variously as African blackwood, African ebony, 'poyi' and (in Swahili) as 'Mpingo.' This tree is small and heavily branched, the trunk is seldom straight and many stems may be present; the rough bark is grey with many fissures, and the branches have small spines. Leaves are up to 22 centimetres long and carry small, oval-shaped leaflets. In season, the branches of the Mpingo tree are adorned with tiny, white, sweetly-smelling flowers born as clusters on inflorescences, which may reach 12 centimetres in length. The seedpods of this tree are flattened oblong cases that are roughly pointed, and contain one or two seeds. Mpingo is the Swahili name for Dalbergia melanoxylon, the East African Blackwood. The trees have a scruffy appearance and are frequently multi-stemmed and extensively branched. They grow very slowly and often in very gnarled and twisted shapes. Harvestable size is not reached until an estimated 70 to 100 years. Mature trees are typically between 4.5m and 7.5m high, with an average girth of 1.2m. The yellowish-brown bark on the main stem flakes off in long strips, while smaller branches bear sharp spines 2-3cm in length. The Mpingo tree is semi-deciduous of course, losing many of its leaves over the dry season in common with most trees of its habitat. The flowers are small, white, sweetly scented and grow in tight clusters. They develop into greyish, papery pods each containing one or two seeds which are wind dispersed. Mpingo is known by many different names in Tanzania: African Blackwood (English) • Mpingo (Swahili) • Pau preto (Portuguese) • Grenadilla (trade name) • Zebrawood (trade name) • Mugembe (from its use as a hoe). Other names the Mpingo tree is known by include Poyi, Endisika, Kidamo, Kinti, Masojanda, Mgembya, Mhembote, Mhingo, Minday, Mupako, Mwajinde, Ngembi, Nyamfunga, Oitlaska, Q'oya, Tamumo mhembete. HOW IS MPINGO PROCESSED? The processing of Mpingo is an extremely dangerous undertaking. The few live Mpingo trees in existence grow about 100 miles in the middle of nowhere near the village of Mchinga in the Lindi region of Southeast Tanzania. An exceedingly fierce tribe of Bantu Pygmy (see a picture of them below) live in the area where these few trees grow and the tribe protects them with their lives because they worship these trees as their Supreme Deity. Every year some Korean and other audiophile manufacturers from the Far East make an annual pilgrimage to this area in search of Mpingo wood. The Koreans generally prevail in the ensuing firefight with the Bantu Pygmys because their elite Shun Moon Schlock Troops are heavily armed with Russian Groza OC-14 assault rifles with grenade launchers. The Shun Moon Schlock Troops always manage to terminate (using solid silver slugs, of course) enough of the Bantu Pygmy’s to snatch a branch or two from one of the Mpingo trees. But the Shun Moon Schlock Troops do sustain heavy losses themselves: Payments to the grieving families back home require that very high prices be charged for the Shun Moon Schlock Mpingo products they are able to manufacture from the few precious pieces of Mpingo wood they are able to steal. We procure the wood we need for our Mpingo analog antennae in a different manner: We negotiate directly with the witchdoctor of the Pygmy Bantu tribe. Mpingo trees grow best when fertilized with human blood, and because the Mpingo tree produces audiophile wood, it really prefers to be fertilized with the blood from an audiophile. We have learned from long experience Mpingo trees really thrive when fed the blood from a fat white male audiophile who prefers SET’s and horns. The witchdoctor tells us that sacrifices from lovers of SET’s and horns results in Mpingo trees with smoother, less harsh and less angular foliage. And we know that the fat white guy that fertilizes the trees each year feels no pain: When you get an SET and horn lover this close to such an immense quantity of Mpingo wood, they fall unconscious because they are in such a blissful state of harmonic ecstasy and besides, the circular polarization of the Mpingo wood’s electrons suppresses all thoughts of fear and negativity in fat white audiophiles. We’ve even observed in the last few years that the Mpingo tree even renders iPods and MP3 players useless as the wood's electrons don’t like digital media and Mpingo wood actually neuters digital electrons by turning them into neutrons. And we have no shortage of volunteers demanding to accompany us on our annual trip for Mpingo wood: We tell the lucky stiff we pick they will have access to a virtually unlimited supply of Mpingo wood for the rest of their life and they will pay nothing out of their wallet. Since these audiophiles are always looking for the best deal on the Internet and eBay, they leap at this opportunity. And we don’t misrepresent our promise to them: We make certain a body part is planted next to the roots of every Mpingo tree after the Pygmy Bantu have drained them of their blood. Anyway, after we have delivered our “payment” to the witchdoctor, we have our pick of the best part of the Mpingo tree from which to cut an analog FM antenna to bring back for our annual auction. HOW IS THE ANTENNA MANUFACTURED? When I begin the manufacture of each year's Mpingo analog FM antenna I first treat it with a proprietary process that gives the antenna a unique property to regulate the resonance of any sonic component and its transmission, and to reject all IBOC and other digital signals. This works down to the cellular level of the wood and yes, it even works down to the sub-atomic level so the electrons that are stimulated by analog FM signals remain in blissful harmony. Another unique feature of the Mpingo FM antenna involves what happens to it when wind hits it: Whenever the Mpingo FM antenna is excited by any external physical or acoustic energy, it will resonate throughout the entire audible spectrum, thus overriding unwanted harmonic distortions and at the same enriching the musical reproduction of your FM tuner. When you purchase this Mpingo Antenna, it will be gently taken from our special environmentally-controlled biohazard-proof pyramidal-shaped positive karma-concentration storage room. I can assure you when packing it I will wear a full biohazard suit guaranteed to be sterilized both on the inside as well as on the outside. The Mpingo antenna will be shipped in a contamination-free airtight aluminum coffin and soothingly placed onto the coffin’s satin pillows. We have found that shipping it in a coffin guarantees a safe arrival and you have the added bonus of being able to use the shipping container for your own personal departure! I also want you to know the tribe of over 500 fierce Bantu warriors in Tanzania as well as a team of 50 stateside employees inspected your antenna, picked the wood larvae and ticks and leeches and other little critters off it and polished it with additional coats of the exceedingly rare Mpingo wood oil (20W-50W to be exact) to make sure it was in the best possible condition before shipping. We also place individually hand-carved “Shakra Zulu” crystals around your Mpingo antenna inside the aluminum-shipping container so as to maintain its positive karmic charge and to keep any electrons from digital radio broadcasts from contaminating your antenna during shipment. ARE WE CAREFUL WHEN WE SHIP? On the momentous day your antenna will be shipped to you, our chief Shaolin Monk packing specialist from Beijing will light a candle and a hush will fall over the crowd of slack-jawed truckers at the Overnight terminal when he places the coffin containing your Mpingo antenna into the finest gold-lined Overnight trailer that money can buy. And if any of the truckers at the freight terminal exhibit even the slightest bit of disrespect during the shipping ceremony, the Monk has been instructed to immediately dispatch the offender to the great shipping terminal in the sky. Afterwards, we will have a wonderful celebration and the entire party will march down the driveway to the entrance of the freight terminal where the entire town of West Jefferson, North Carolina will wave 'Bon Voyage!' to your shipment, on its way to you, in its private shipping container. I hope you will have had a wonderful time shopping from the “Cisco-Wizard.” We sure enjoy making one of these antenna available each year for auction. And, if you are the lucky bidder, as soon as you email us a photo, your picture will go up on our wall as 'Customer of the Year'. We're all exhausted but we cannot wait for you to come back to us 365 days from now for the next exquisite item we will put up for auction!! Thank you once again, Cisco-Wizard
 
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Piggie

Super Moderator
#55
Id have to check my reference books, but Im going to say end fed half wave vertical monopole with an omnidirectional gain pattern and 0db gain.
0db compared to?

It is an end feed 1/2 vertical! yes.....

Besides gain, what advantage do you get from a halfwave vertical over a 1/4 wave vertical? (hint. relates the direction in which gain is obtained.) This gain will often make it appear the 1/2 is way better than the 1/4 in some cases.

Now that case is the question. It is also where the antenna exhibits it's gain.

That should give it away....
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#58
The 33" square loop for FM broadcasts on 88 to 108 MHz...

Simple FM Loop Antenna @ Skywaves

Written by Will Rittman

Introduction
Not everybody can afford elaborate aerial systems. Nor does everyone has the space for large aerial arrays. So how about an aerial which is small, inexpensive and, more importantly, actually performs well? It also makes an ideal simple portable antenna.

For years I have been singing the praises of a simple aerial called an "FM Loop". I often recommend this little antenna to newcomers to the hobby since they are very simple to construct, cost next to nothing and, more importantly, actually perform very well considering their simplicity. But exactly how well? A single 33 inch square (84cm) turn of coax has around 5.5dB gain over a single half wave dipole, which compares quite favourably to some 5 element yagis! 33 inches (84cm) is a quarter wave for the FM broadcast band but you could easily adapt the sizes to suit other bands. The loop is quite 'wideband' and therefore suitable for the whole of the FM broadcast spectrum. You can use it horizontally (coax feed point at the bottom) or vertically (coax feed point at the side).

I used to use an FM loop in my bedroom years ago for the purpose of obtaining RDS from meteor scatter signals on the FM broadcast band. It performed well enough to produce PS names and PI codes on my receiver's display, yet the loop was just fixed to the wall! So why aren't more of us using these aerials? Those who have used this antenna may ask this question. Of course, they are not going to produce the same results as a 5 element yagi antenna, but they really aren't that far behind.
I decided to put one to the test while out hilltopping one night. The resulting log was impressive despite conditions being quite "flat" and the loop itself was only mounted 8 feet above the ground, resting on a tree branch!

I decided to publish this article after the aforementioned log attracted a lot of interest. Members wanted to know how to construct the FM loop to try out for themselves.

continued....
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#59
There are a lot of 30ish inch whips. These are 1/4 wave whips for FM.

What secret are you not telling? Im stumped.
Ah, you were there, and I may have asked the question bad.

The maximum radiation of any vertical is at some angle between 90 degrees (orthogonal to the whip) and all verticals have zero (well it approaches an asymptote) off the end of the vertical (provided it's a pure vertical radiation, ie no capacitance hat). So if you look at the vertical from space the radiation looks like a doughnut.

Now just like stacking antennas in phase the radiation from each if spaced correctly will add to create at some angle to the antenna there is more radiation (hence less somewhere else) and we call that gain. Adding two antennas is like the 2 slit experiment some of you may have done in physics class, where there is a bright spot on the wall between the slits (where there is no slit) cause by the summing of the waves passing through the two slits.

Now since a 1/4 wave maximum current is at the base of the antenna near the feed point it's maximum radiation above a good ground plane is about 25 degrees above the horizon.

Now think of an end feed 1/2 wave as two stacked 1/4 waves. Since the antenna is feed at a high impedance point where the current is very low, all the energy is "pushed" into the antenna by an electric field. As the signal approaches the center of the antenna the current builds to a maximum at the center. Now the strongest magnetic field is created where the current is maximum as shown by Maxwell.

Hence thinking of a 1/2 vertical as two 1/4 waves stacked, the current is maximum at the top part of the bottom half and the bottom part of the top half. Hence why I say it's very close spaced stacked verticals. Still there is some gain. There is a about .85 db increase from the "stacking". This lowers the radiation maximum to about 20 degrees.

So with lower radiation maximum, more signal is receive or transmitted closer to the horizon where the signal from distance stations is also maximum.

Though only .85 db gain (over a 1/4 wave vertical) it will appear one is doing better than that. This is because the antenna is then aligning with the maximum signal coming from the horizon.

After that much typing I hope I kept to the point and answered my own question. :mad:)
 

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