Best indoor FM antenna, your experience.


I am not able to do an outdoor antenna where I live.  Looking for the best I can do with an indoor antenna.  Stations I want to listen to are 50 to 80 air miles away."
Thanks
whatjd
I wish I had a good solution. They pretty much all failed me.

The best indoors was the cheap antennas IF and only IF I could turn them around correctly.  You have to keep them parallel to the ground, but turning them around was what would make a huge difference. If you were an antenna, stretch your arms out and turn around in a circle. So, sometimes taping to the ceiling was my only option.

I always wanted to try the really BIG indoor TERK antenna’s though.

I tried a couple of their small antenna’s. They were garbage. The few years I had with a turnable outdoor arial was heaven.

Alternative: Almost ALL FM stations are on the internet. Try it! :)

Best,


E
Years ago, I installed a big Radio Shack outdoor antenna in my attic with an attached electric motor and used a Radio Shack wired hand-held rotator control to remotely rotate the antenna from my listening room to best tune in each station. Worked pretty well.

Dave
Magnum Dynalab makes a one piece whip antenna that can be used indoors or outdoors.  I use one in each of my systems and they work very well.  I think they go around 130-150.00.
ST-2   - it is a 1/2 wave whip

I just use an old RadioShack black 'wafer' (folded or coiled antenna) with a Grateful Dead sticker on it

depending on your problems, you may need a directional Yagi or other design
The big Terk beats my Magnum Dynalab whip by far.

Maybe if I put a Led Zeppelin sticker on the MD it’d work better.
Timely thread for me. Just got a restored MX 110z to use as the preamp in my vintage system; I have the small Magnum Dynalab antenna, which is an odd set of rabbit ears that converts to what looks like an omni. I don’t know enough about my new location to evaluate and I am dealing with a tuner just a little younger than me.
@erik_squires - what is this big Terk of which you speak? Amplified? (I thought those were a no-no).
I made a couple calls to A/V type guys here in Austin who laughed at me when I asked them about outdoor antennas.
I have a few additional constraints b/c our new house is an historic register house, and I really don’t want to have a roof aerial. The attic concept is a good one, though. Most people on another forum suggested an outdoor antenna. The one upside is that I could probably find a working bakelite rotor control box to keep it all ’in period.’
I also have to find out if what’s involved if I mount to an outdoor free standing mast or pole. I emailed the ham radio guys here, but I didn’t get hear back; perhaps I needed some operator cred to garner a response. Morse code?
Funny post whart.

Dave
There is no indoor FM antenna that will have a range up to 50-80 miles away. My outdoor mounted directional yagi does not have a range like that! Read this!
https://www.gcaudio.com/tips-tricks/fm-antennas/
Good thread!  I just installed a small Terk antenna. It's good with closer stations but I wish I could pick up the farther Chicago stations. 
I use a Magnum Dynalab ST-2 Indoor Antenna along with my Magnum Dynalab Signal Sleuth. Contact me for further details if you wish.
jaybe
with that sticker you will not need a antenna
Hi Whart,

Terk used to make tiny, like 1' long black plastic models.

Then at some point they made like a 2', rather large wall mountable version.

Best,

E
Whatjd- I have a 2.5 story colonial w a slate roof, so there was no way I was going out on the roof.  What I did was mount a conventional outdoor antenna upside down in my attic so that the elements of the antenna are closer to the floor where it is wider, and the rotor and mast are secured to a tie that extends between the rafters where the attic is narrower. Then I ran the antenna wire out through the attic gable end window and back inside where my tuner is.  You can also try the ST-2 in either Omni (vertical) mode or if the stations are all in the same direction in directional (horizontal) mode.  
+1 yogiboy 
There is no FM antenna that has a range of 50 to 80 miles. You'll be wasting your time till the cows come home!
Yes, wish I could do an outdoor antenna with a rotor...
Unless you are in an urban area w lots of high-rise buildings, the main issues are height and directionality. So get your antenna as high as possible and have some means of orienting/re-orienting it to get the best reception for different stations. If you in a city w lots of tall buildings, multi-path can make getting good reception hit or miss at best, impossible at worst.
donvito101
There is no FM antenna that has a range of 50 to 80 miles.
To be clear, that's certainly the case with an indoor antenna, which is what I think you might be referring to here.  But with a good outdoor antenna system, it's definitely possible to receive high quality FM at 60+ miles.

*L* Well, none...but 'what works' seems to be 'site specific', based on the above responses.
Try anything, but keep the receipt. ;)
@swampwalker
That may be the direction i go in- attic mount-- our location is a mixed bag, we are right in town in Austin, but on the south city of the river, so it is fewer skyscrapers but there is a lot of density here; a few large old apartment buildings near my house, and depending on direction, I may have issues with downtown skyscrapers- I’m literally just across the river from them. Thankfully (I guess) we are up on a hill. I still need to do some research. I assume the ST-2 is the Magnum Dynalab whip. That would be easy to mount in an attic that is immediately above the room where the tuner is located.
One might ask why worry with a source as limited as FM....? 

Well, where I live there is a college Jazz station that is superb....,actually play an lp or two on occasion!

Simple FM Dipole, wire antenna, change orientation for best reception. Tape it to a window if you can.

I've used amplified antennas in the past with no better reception.
Easy solution although not bargain priced. I use a Magnum Dynalab ST-2 half wave (whip) mast designed for outdoor use in my listening room.. in the corner mounted so the tip reaches a nine foot ceiling. From there the signal goes to a Magnum Dynalab Signal Sleuth before going to a very vintage Sansui TU-9900 sonically modded by Radio X. 50-80 air miles is easy, very easy, just not inexpen$ive.
I live in a bit of a low spot in the topography (creek in side yard) & so placed a big directional antennae in the attic (so big I had to build it up there). This worked quite well until the corner of the house was hit by lightning (even with taller trees around)! I learned to disconnect the antennae from the tuner when not in use as I'd created a grounded lightning rod! Be careful out there.
Yes, you're supposed to "properly ground" the antennae with a separate grounding wire....but, I always figured  1/2 of a lightning bolt would still fry your equipment, plus you've still got a lightning rod.
Yet, I still contend that with a good tube tuner there is more "aire" & "there" in your NPR Avery Fisher Hall Live Concert Performances vs. internet.
[Nonetheless, here is a great internet radio tip you may not have heard about: Jazz Swiss Radio for commercial free, choice, mainly American (not too surprisingly) Historic, Great Jazz. Search Geneva Switzerland/Jazz.]
The best long distance FM antenna ever made was the APS-13 made by Antenna Products Company.  It went out of production in the early part of this century.  You conceivably could find a used one with want ads in Craig's List, Audiomart, etc.  Combine that with a decent rotor (still widely available) and you should be clearly able to pull in your 90 mile station from the attic (unless you have a high mountain inbetween) or unless your attic is less than 20' above the surrounding ground.
My MX-110Z with Moderferi mods handily outperforms my much new MR-85
sadly neither perform well here in Seattle with the small whip transformer loaded Magnum nor the figure 8 ribbon....the 1' Terk is better.... ugh
anybody want a MR-85 ????
I live in Boulder Colorado ans am using a FM-1A by Godar Electronics.  I got mine with a used FM tuner and have kept it.  It sells new over the internet and works very good for me.  As my audio setup is right next to my chair I keep the FM=1A next to me also so that I can change it's direction for best reception.  I used to use a pole ype antenna, but would have to get up to change its direction whenever I would change the radio station.  The Godar FM-1A antenna should be a good choice when an indoor antenna is required.
Hi whatjd,

I searched for this for a number of years, trying all the options I could find (including MD, Terk, Godar, Radio Shack, etc).  The Audioprism 8500 is the by far the best indoor antenna I am aware of, hands down.  Please note it is not at all unobtrusive - about 5' tall, 12" in diameter - it looks like an ASC full round tube trap.

Best of luck.
I use the largest indoor Terk makes and have it in the attic pointed toward most of the stations in my area. It is used with a splitter for two systems works great and is the only one I find that works.
Good Luck
It is not clear if you have an attic space available. If you do, using an outdoor directional FM antenna mounted in the attic is a great idea!

Best,

E
Thanks to all.  It will be in what they call a condo (a glorified apt).
I reached Audioprism, which referred me to C. Crane Company. They sell what looks like a cheapo folding dipole but in reality is a pretty substantial antenna- it sells for under 20 dollars. It seems to work very well- got stronger signal than ever on the local classical station as well as other from other stations. I haven’t experimented with placement and positioning- the thing is semi-stiff, almost like a pipe cleaner-(but larger in diameter) - in other words, you can bend it into various positions. Well worth the money in my estimation. Squarely outperformed the indoor Magnum Dynalab Silver Ribbon. I have no axe to grind or interest in either brand, other than that I bought and used both; i am in the middle of town in Austin, just south of the river, a relatively dense semi- urban setting.
I simply suspended the antenna ends by hooking them under the gap between the cabinet and equipment platforms, in short, I did almost no fiddling to get good results.
Of course, if not already suggested, internet radio allows me to get stations from anywhere in the world. :)

Erik
I agree with Erik.  I was in a quandary about getting an FM tuner for my stereo setup, but then I realized I can get all local and far away FM stations on my internet radio.  Recently I bought a Vault 2 and connected it to my stereo.  It gets everything a tuner would get and more.
I doubt that they exist, but I did hide an outdoor FM ANTENNA UNDER A FALSE CEILING I created in a tall room.

I just received a Terk FM 50 (the big one) that I ordered and have it lying across my curtain rods. Sounds pretty good and doesn't look bad in its position.