Tuning tips

wire dipole antenna

All radio stations transmit a "vertically polarised" signal, this means that their antenna is standing straight up instead of horizontally. The instuctions to mount a dipole in a T configuration are outdated (see Horiz.) and actually not suitable anymore to properly receive vertically-polarised stations. Luckily this antenna is easily ajustable, just rotate it 90 degrees (see Vert.). Doing this, the reception should somewhat improve. The radio signals don't travel through wood, stucco, concrete or metal very well so if you can mount it near a window this will greatly improve your reception.

Vert in window

A simple wire

Most stereos come with a simple wire. The problem is people hook it up then pile it behind the stereo with the tangle of other wires. This will work great for recieving the big megawatt stations but if you want to hear the others you'll have to upgrade and because this is a mono-antenna and your stereo reception will suffer until you do. If you switch to the wire dipole your stereo and station reception will improve. Don't spend more than $5 as these antennas are very inexpensive.

The out-door antenna

With a directional antenna on the roof you'll surely get the strongest signal and the reception will become a lot more selective (less interferance from other signals). The best method for tuning to our signal is to look at the map and aim the small end towards the center of the blue region. Here too the antenna should be fitted vertically. The mount is usually made for both positions.

A very good antenna is the "Yagi" (see Yagi), available with 3, 5 or 7 elements of which the smallest one costing about $20. You will find them in electronic stores like Radio Shack.


A 5 element Yagi (vertically)

Before you run to the store to buy an antenna you first should check your tuner to see what type of plug or antenna connection there is, so you can buy the right plug to go with it while you are there. The cables come in multiple lenghts and are fitted with F type connectors. They'll have the proper adapters to get you fitted correctly.

If you are the do it yourself type, the conecting is very basic, you'll see how the cable should be fitted. First step: It should have the proper instructions in the box find them and throw them away.

If you can't go onto the roof, hang your antenna in your attic or on your balcony or something like that. Remember the radio signals don't travel through wood, stucco, concrete or metal very well, so your first choice should be outdoors. If you can go onto your roof you can use various kinds of mounting hardware. There are ones that bolt to the wall and there are those with span-belts, you can put these around a chimney and span it tight. You will need mounts and a mast. Consult, if necessary, a friend / specialist who owes you a favor. Again radio shack sells all of the needed stuff. Be careful around electricl wires. Don't mount an antenna where if it fell over it could come in contact with the power lines as this would not be a good thing.

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