You probably need a directional antenna because you are likely dealing with multipath. I suggest that you go to Radio Shack and buy their FM only outdoor antenna for $20. Their computer designed yagi is an exellent unit, and don't let the snobs tell you differently. Nothing else you can buy for under $100 even comes close. Bring it home, and hold it in your hand and see if you can get a good clean signal. Compare it to your rabbit ears and/or any little powered unit (Terk et al). If you problem is not solved, take the darn thing back to Radio Shack and they will refund your money. If it turns out that you do need the outdoor antenna, you can put it in your attic or use it as a decoration in your son's bedroom.
I had the ST-2 & sold it in favor of a $14.99 radio shack # 15-2164.
I used both antenna's for my garage system which is a vintage receiver & there was no difference in range.
Agree with the above. I've compared my ST-2 to the generic twin-lead that comes with every tuner, and in many cases the twin-lead is better due to having some directionality. Like Sam says, go buy a cheap yagi from ratshack and try it.
If mounted indoors, a well oriented wire dipole ( the "T" antenna that comes with tuners and receivers ) is hard to beat. If mounted outdoors, there are a multitude of antennas that will easily outperform the ST-2 or Fanfare equivalent for measurably less money. Sean
I was kinda in the market for one too. But for an indoor...
Sam ..Sean... you use that Radio Shack Unit indoors? (I may be wrong) How do you mount it? Is there any downfall in using an amplified antenna like the indoor models Radio Shack sells?
I know everyone says to use the supplied "T" antenna, but I am positive (in my office system at least) that the FM Reflect (I think that is the name) from CC Crane Company .com (Art Bell Fans Anyone???) which cost $20.00 works MUCH better, by a huge margin, than the stock supplied antenna's.
I actually have the FM reflect and I too think it beats the dipole that I had previously. I think my issues can be stated in one word - ELEVATION. I am on the far side of a hill that is between me and most of the stations I'd like to get. So I think what I'm going to do is buy the cheap Radio Shack and stick it in the attic and give it a whirl...
Squiddy: i am using an omnidirectional antenna of my own design mounted appr 40' in the air. I did side by side comparisons with a half dozen commercially available omni's and it stomped them all into the ground by a very noticeable margin. If one of the others had worked better, i would be running it now.
Phil & Bill : ) I remember looking at the FM Reflect and it simply looked like a larger wire dipole aka "T" antenna ? Am i missing something here ? Sean
If you would like more information on antennas, I suggest the ARRL Handbook, or better yet the ARRL Antenna Book. Remember, FM is at 100MZ (1 meter). You might also try the WWV web site. A one time, they had an extensive review of FM antennas, including a review of the Radio Shack unit, complete with modification instructions. Because I read that review, I replaced my large and expensive Channel Master with the cheap, but better Radio Shack. Actually, I stacked two of them, but that?s another story.
Remember, fashion may change, but physics does not. Most "new" products are only marketing ploys. Radio is really very old technology.
Sam, i agree and disagree. I was privileged to meet a very unique individual a few years ago that designs antennas. When i firt looked at his designs, i flat out laughed and told him that i thought that they were all nothing more than "contraptions". 7 years later, i've still yet to find an antenna that works better than one of his designs does for HF use.
To further reinforce my findings, i know that this gentleman just "won" an antenna shoot-out that the Government conducted on one of their test ranges. Out of 60 entrants, his designs came in the top three positions. The officials performing the tests asked if they could keep two of the designs as they stated that, according to theory, it was impossible for these antennas to work as well as they did. Obviously, they must have read the same ARRL books that i did : ) Needless to say, they wanted to tear them apart piece by piece to disect them and see why / how they were able to do what they did.
It just goes to show that nobody knows it all when it comes to antennas. Me, you, Bill Orr, Joseph Carr and Gordon West included : ) Sean
I listen on a McIntosh MR-71, which has a meter showing multipath and I live on the South face of a mountain and the local broadcast stations are in the city a few miles to the North. If Phil has a multipath problem like mine, which I suspect he does, then a powered omnidirectional will not be of much help. For short wave listening I use an MFJ powered antenna. Using battery power and low noise amplifiers, it works about as well as a long wire, but is much less hassle. For FM, I have used the Radio Shack powered FM antenna and the TERK. Both were little better than an old 8 ball TV antenna. I suspect this was because the amplifier noise was too high.
I suggested the ARRL books to give Phil access to a little information concerning the priorities and trade offs of various strategies. I don't have to live with his wife or neighbors, but the preferred approach is a yagi mounted on a mast at least 35 feet above the ground plane. I do not now, or have I ever, suggested that I, or anyone, knows it all, but the ARRL knows quite a lot.