Author Topic: FM radio reception - no aerial socket  (Read 475 times)

Wombat

  • Is it supposed to hurt this much?
FM radio reception - no aerial socket
« on: February 20, 2021, 06:25:22 pm »
I've got an ancient Sony clock radio, which is ergonomically far superior to any new ones, so I don't want to replace it.  It has easily identiifable controls, which sleepy people without their glasses on, can operate, unlike any modern ones, which involve touchpads, or tiny buttons.

We have very poor FM radio reception here in Powys, and rubbish DAB reception too.  I get decent FM reception on my tuner in the living room, courtesy of a bloody great directional aerial on a 2.5 metre pole on the roof, because there is a transmitter many miles away, which I can get line of sight to. Much faffing with maps and compass...

The clock radio, which of course has no aerial socket, is at the other end of the rather long bungalow. It "sort of" gets reception, as long as the bit of wire which passes for an aerial is under my pillow close to me (and as long as the cat hasn't decided to sit on the bedside table).  Is there hope for improving reception by doubling the length of that aerial?  Or should I carry out surgery on the clock and graft a coax aeriel socket into it and try an aerial in the loft immediately above it?

Things weren't so bad until the effing BBC decided that no-one wanted to listen to Radio 3, and that I'd much rather listen to Radio mediocre Wales (I don't, I want a bit of culture and "proper" music).  The transmitter I "sort of" get a signal from, is not the same one as I get a decent signal from in the living room with the big aerial... 

Any clues?  I've already complained to the BBC, but they don't listen to anyone over 15 any more (i.e. the people who actually pay for them).  The Senedd member got no change out of them either, cnuts...

Wombat

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: FM radio reception - no aerial socket
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2021, 06:48:41 pm »
Supposedly attaching the end of the wire aerial to the centre of the co-ax is enough to get the big aerial working with it, even better apparently if you can get the shield wire of the coax onto the ground of the radio.

I've been reading this because I wanted a DAB+ for the office to replace my Evoke-1 and Pure had dropped an F-Type co-ax socket in favour of a rod aerial that has a lip that screws in (which should be bodgeable to connect to a co-ax anyway) and I prefer not to have metal rods sticking everywhere

People much more knowledgeable in such things peruse this forum though.

Re: FM radio reception - no aerial socket
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2021, 07:16:02 pm »
Supposedly attaching the end of the wire aerial to the centre of the co-ax is enough to get the big aerial working with it, even better apparently if you can get the shield wire of the coax onto the ground of the radio.

I've been reading this because I wanted a DAB+ for the office to replace my Evoke-1 and Pure had dropped an F-Type co-ax socket in favour of a rod aerial that has a lip that screws in (which should be bodgeable to connect to a co-ax anyway) and I prefer not to have metal rods sticking everywhere

People much more knowledgeable in such things peruse this forum though.
I have little digital radio that in former times of travelling to remote places we could listen to the world service over our gin and tonics. It has a 3 foot telescopic aerial and a 30 foot long roll of wire with a clip to clip it on to the telescopic aerial (possibly only minimally extended).

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: FM radio reception - no aerial socket
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2021, 07:19:32 pm »
I have little digital radio that in former times of travelling to remote places we could listen to the world service over our gin and tonics. It has a 3 foot telescopic aerial and a 30 foot long roll of wire with a clip to clip it on to the telescopic aerial (possibly only minimally extended).

That's for shortwave, which as the name suggests, has quite long wavelengths.  (The optimal length for an aerial being a function of the wavelength being received; it's not simply a case of longer = better.)
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: FM radio reception - no aerial socket
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2021, 07:48:05 pm »
I have little digital radio that in former times of travelling to remote places we could listen to the world service over our gin and tonics. It has a 3 foot telescopic aerial and a 30 foot long roll of wire with a clip to clip it on to the telescopic aerial (possibly only minimally extended).

That's for shortwave, which as the name suggests, has quite long wavelengths.  (The optimal length for an aerial being a function of the wavelength being received; it's not simply a case of longer = better.)
In practice length was to the most convenient object but did seem better when fully extended and then you would tune it by extending the telescopic bit various amounts. I am not sure how an aerial consisting of 15 feet of unrolled cable and 15 feet rolled up behaves.

CommuteTooFar

  • Inadequate Randonneur
Re: FM radio reception - no aerial socket
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2021, 11:24:52 am »
the best simple aerial is a half wave dipole.

The bodge

Take two pieces of wire.  Make a T shape.  The arms of the T should be equal lengths of about 70cm long. The stem of T is just the connection so you should keep this section close together and connect the ends to your radio.
The arms of the T should be mounted horizontally.

The good: Cheap, effective
The bad: Directional, needs space.

CommuteTooFar

  • Inadequate Randonneur
Re: FM radio reception - no aerial socket
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2021, 11:31:26 am »
DAB aerials are vertical and are less than 60cms total.

Re: FM radio reception - no aerial socket
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2021, 11:54:29 am »
DAB aerials are vertical and are less than 60cms total.

Interesting.  I wonder why our ageing dab receiver came with a wire "T" style aerial and instructions to install in a "T" shape?

Will reception improve if I simply dangle the aerial vertically?

Wombat

  • Is it supposed to hurt this much?
Re: FM radio reception - no aerial socket
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2021, 12:52:17 pm »
the best simple aerial is a half wave dipole.

The bodge

Take two pieces of wire.  Make a T shape.  The arms of the T should be equal lengths of about 70cm long. The stem of T is just the connection so you should keep this section close together and connect the ends to your radio.
The arms of the T should be mounted horizontally.

The good: Cheap, effective
The bad: Directional, needs space.

Will try this later! Thanks!
Wombat

CommuteTooFar

  • Inadequate Randonneur
Re: FM radio reception - no aerial socket
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2021, 02:26:18 pm »
DAB aerials are vertical and are less than 60cms total.

Interesting.  I wonder why our ageing dab receiver came with a wire "T" style aerial and instructions to install in a "T" shape?

Will reception improve if I simply dangle the aerial vertically?

Yes DAB transmissions are polarised vertically so the T aerials should be on their side.

And with the better reception you can appreciate how bad DAB broadcasts are.  BBC engineers asked for 4 time the bit rate that Radio 3 gets. They asked for less for the compressed popular music and talk channels. But the politicians wanted to democratise radio. So we have hundreds of channels none of them of good enough quality.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: FM radio reception - no aerial socket
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2021, 05:57:22 pm »
DAB aerials are vertical and are less than 60cms total.

Yeah, it's a loft based one of them I'm hoping to hook up.

I've noticed that a few recent models expect the DAB and FM to come into the same aerial socket, is it possible that the T wire included in some kit is just set up to deal with places with Horizontal rather than Vertical FM transmitters as well as the Vertical DAB ones but really expect anyone buying them to have a signal combiner linking separate DAB and FM aerials on roof/soffits/attic.

Re: FM radio reception - no aerial socket
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2021, 06:10:29 pm »
DAB aerials are vertical and are less than 60cms total.

Interesting.  I wonder why our ageing dab receiver came with a wire "T" style aerial and instructions to install in a "T" shape?

Will reception improve if I simply dangle the aerial vertically?

Yes DAB transmissions are polarised vertically so the T aerials should be on their side.

And with the better reception you can appreciate how bad DAB broadcasts are.  BBC engineers asked for 4 time the bit rate that Radio 3 gets. They asked for less for the compressed popular music and talk channels. But the politicians wanted to democratise radio. So we have hundreds of channels none of them of good enough quality.

I shall reorientation said piece of plastic-coated wire at some point during this week and see how much difference it makes.  I hope for vastly improved because I've been thinking that this unit might need replacing given that it was bought in 2002.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: FM radio reception - no aerial socket
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2021, 09:01:59 pm »
Bit rates?
Max is 192 DAB / 80 DAB+
Followed by 128 / 64 as next best

On DAB
Classic FM here is 128
Radio 3 is 192

Most of the BBC stations are at 128 except 5 Live and Asian which are on the same bitrate as Country Music (which is quite appropriate at 80 Mono afterall it's music played for AM!)

Through at the DAB+ reciever
Scala is at 112, although it's supposedly standard DAB so not sure why I don't get it on my ancient Evoke-1


Kim

  • Timelord
Re: FM radio reception - no aerial socket
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2021, 10:42:19 pm »
I feel compelled to point out that if you want decent radio reception in difficult terrain, there's a perfectly good satellite broadcasting them on DVB-S at reasonable bitrates...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: FM radio reception - no aerial socket
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2021, 11:30:47 pm »
Or use Internet streaming, tho I appreciate a decent connection may not be available. Plus relys on adding boxes to do stuff

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: FM radio reception - no aerial socket
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2021, 10:26:05 am »
Internet streaming is all well and good, but the pips are late.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Wombat

  • Is it supposed to hurt this much?
Re: FM radio reception - no aerial socket
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2021, 11:11:13 am »
Or use Internet streaming, tho I appreciate a decent connection may not be available. Plus relys on adding boxes to do stuff

I do use internet streaming in the workshop and also for other stuff in the living room, having bought a Sonos to stream music from my NAS, but having already invested in things like a clock radio, and a decent stereo receiver, I'm less than keen on replacing those perfectly decent items just because the BBC decides to turn off a transmitter that works perfectly well.  I did ask them to pay for new stuff, considering how much I pay them, but zero response, unsurprisingly!  Also, apparently they have no responsibility for the crap DAB signal, they say they don't transmit it (even for their own stations), so they don't care.
Wombat

Wombat

  • Is it supposed to hurt this much?
Re: FM radio reception - no aerial socket
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2021, 12:12:16 pm »
the best simple aerial is a half wave dipole.

The bodge

Take two pieces of wire.  Make a T shape.  The arms of the T should be equal lengths of about 70cm long. The stem of T is just the connection so you should keep this section close together and connect the ends to your radio.
The arms of the T should be mounted horizontally.

The good: Cheap, effective
The bad: Directional, needs space.

It works!  It's just blu-tacked to the wall for now, but will be formalised, with smaller white covered wire, before too long. 

Thanks!
Wombat