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Thread: FM Aerial choice

  1. #1
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Sheffield/Peak District. UK

    Posts: 495
    I'm Richard.

    Default FM Aerial choice

    Hi, so FM is a bit 'old school' but I've just picked-up a Denon TU-580RD (TU-650RD) and am beginning to love FM again after all these years.

    Yes I know BBC3 is of a higher quality on the internet but there's something nice and easy about FM.

    MY 3-pole rooftop aerial is wrongly polarised for my favoured transmitter (Chesterfield- to the SE of us. Tapton/Ranmoor is much more powerful and only a few miles away but we live in its dip!)

    So I've made a vertically polarised dipole from thick copper wire (each arm is 740mm) but wonder how this could be improved. Web sites now seem to sell circular 'omni-directional' aerials. Are these better than a 'standard aerial' one can buy from, say, CPC?

    Yes, the obvious choice is to ask for the 3-pole array rooftop aerial to be correctly polarised. This will happen later in the year...but in the interim...what should I do?

    Thanks,

    Richard.

  2. #2
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Moved to frozen north, beyond Inverness

    Posts: 1,733
    I'm Dave.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonky View Post
    Yes I know BBC3 is of a higher quality on the internet but there's something nice and easy about FM.
    AFAIK you won't get tracked if you listen to broadcast radio. Maybe not a great advantage as perceived by most people. With a good tuner, and a good aerial it can be pretty good - it is possible to get the hiss level down to almost imperceptible IIRC, though without a good aerial it's probably not great.

    Also hopefully it should still work if the internet gets stuffed - which via our BT system seems to happen from time to time. Having mentioned that though, even broadcast delivery fails sometimes. One issue might be the degree of signal compression which is applied to FM and/or DAB, though I suspect that even internet delivery might have some compression applied.
    Dave

  3. #3
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Seaford UK

    Posts: 1,363
    I'm Dennis.

    Default

    You've chosen a quarter wave dipole, you might find a half wave one better, and also slant polarisation might help.

  4. #4
    Join Date: May 2013

    Location: Milton Keynes

    Posts: 324
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    I've been using a 6 element yagi direction aeriel which works very well. Shame you are a distance away otherwise you could try it.
    GyroDec 2M Black, Amplification: Luxman 505ux.
    Loudspeakers: Harbeth HL-K6

    Project Carbon 2M Blue, Receiver: Teac CR H500, Loudspeakers: B&W CDM 1NT

  5. #5
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Sheffield/Peak District. UK

    Posts: 495
    I'm Richard.

    Default

    Thanks everyone...I'll experiment!

    I think I've read somewhere that the aerial must be at least half a wavelength above the ground...not a problem but I wonder what the justification is (?). Generally the higher the better anyway. I have found (a)
    I get better reception if the dipole is a few inches away from the stone walls of the house and, (b) not attached to a plastic drainpipe!

    R

  6. #6
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

    Posts: 5,419
    I'm Alan.

    Default

    If it's attached or close to anything it affects the impedance.

    RF characteristics can take a bit of getting your head around.
    The higher up the better with VHF and UHF antenna installations, particularly with ham radio when you are chasing the smallest sniff of signal.

    A colleague once said 'if you are not worried about your antennas when it is windy, they are not high enough'

  7. #7
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Sheffield/Peak District. UK

    Posts: 495
    I'm Richard.

    Default

    "If it's attached or close to anything it affects the impedance."

    Does the material matter - ie is mounting the dipole on wood better than say, stone work?

    Thanks,
    My Gear:
    Source component/s:
    Cambridge CXC Cd player; Inspire Apollo deck + Roksan Nima arm + AT-33PTG; Denon TU-580RD tuner; Logitech Squeezebox Touch. Rpi + also Digione, (with Mo0de). RPi + Allo Boss+ Isolator (with Volumio)
    Amplification: WD KEL84+ valve amp; Rega Brio, Quad 306 (DADA modded, with Schiit Saga 1 Preamp)). Trichord Dino2 & Dino+ PS; .

    Loudspeakers:
    Living Voice auditorium IBX-R2.
    Q Acoustics 2010 in the 'study'.

    Cables/stands: Chords; Van Dammes 4mm

    Any other hi-fi bits:
    Beresford SEG DAC; Apple's airport express; Apple iMac i5; Senn HD598, 467, Beresford Bushmaster.
    Linear PSs for Rpi and DAC. Pure mains conditioning.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Norwich

    Posts: 1,050
    I'm Mike.

    Default

    FM is still great, and I doubt that R3 is any better via internet. Don't know your tuner, which could be fairly sensitive; however, three elements doesn't sound much. I've never had less than 6, which I have at the mo' on a 12' steel mast on a chimney with the transmitter 9 miles away as the crow flies.

    My Nat 01 possibly needed more than this (but sounded great) but it certainly suits the cheap NAD which replaced it. Rom Smith's Galaxies are the ultimate, of course (I used to have a G23 60' above street level) but as said, proximity to walls or whatever can have a deleterious effect (and even ghosting). If you are serious, I'd be tempted to get a 6 element as high as poss. in free space. If you're uncertain about which transmitter to go for, a rotator will solve your problem (he says, with 2 h/d ones in his loft with miles of cabling!)

  9. #9
    Join Date: Nov 2011

    Location: Seaton, Devon, UK

    Posts: 5,201
    I'm Adrian.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Reed View Post
    FM is still great, and I doubt that R3 is any better via internet.
    I had also been considering getting a relatively cheap early 80's FM tuner and trying it out again as I have always liked FM broadcast, but one thing that is nagging in the back my mind is if it actually be any better then 320Kbps on the internet which is available from the BBC. The thing is even it really depends on what format they are playing and if they a digitising the whole signal worst and then transmitting it both a digital and then converting to analogue to FM broadcast for transmission, in which case it would be pointless to have FM. Does anyone happen to know the answer to this?
    [FONT="Arial"]
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  10. #10
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Sheffield/Peak District. UK

    Posts: 495
    I'm Richard.

    Default

    Googling FM vs Internet reveals:

    Is Internet radio better than FM?

    Internet radio
    But it can offer better sound quality, for two reasons. ... Second, even if internet stations have the same bit-rate, they use much more efficient codecs. The 320kbps Radio 3 stream is encoded using AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) rather than MP2. Technically, it's better than FM

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