The distance between the receiver and the transmitting tower will normally determine the FM radio reception.
Usually, there will be a receiver that doesn’t have an antenna, which will be attached inside the radio. This receiver will receive the strongest signals, but these can be prone to interference. Plus, the signal can drift time and again.
A simple antenna will stabilize the signals from the strong stations. Furthermore, it also allows the receiver to recognize stations that have less powerful transmitters at great distances.
Even though it isn’t mandatory, it is always wise to know how antennas work. When you know how the antenna works, you might figure out where the problem might be whenever there is a signal outage.
Single-wire FM antennas tend to be poor performance or receptors when receiving radio signals. The height and distance from obstructions will affect the reception of the signals.
How To Improve the Radio Signals
If you have a single-wire antenna and you wanted to boost the FM signals, you will need to do some customizations.
Items You Will Need
Any customization will require a set of tools and supplies. Since you will be customizing an already-installed antenna, here are some of the items you will need:
- Wire strippers
- Tape measure
- 10-ft light gauge two-conductor insulated wire
- Electrical tape
- Mounting hardware
- Dipole antenna
Customizing the Antenna
First off, you will need to customize the antenna and set it to receive signals perfectly. Here is how to go about it;
Step One: Loosen the Antenna
Start by disconnecting the antenna to the radio. If it is connected to the radio, pull the antenna plug from the jack. This will mostly be located at the back of the tuner.
Alternatively, loosen the screws that serve as the terminals of the antenna on the tuner. Unscrewing them will release the wire and make it easy to remove.
Once the screws are loosened, you will need to stretch out the antenna to its full length. This will help to maximize the reception surface area.
Step Two: Reconnect the Antenna
After you have untangled the antenna, you can now reconnect it to the tuner. Here, you can turn the radio back on and tune in your favorite station.
After it is set at the station that you want, you’ll need to raise the end of the antenna as high as possible. Ideally, move it in small increments from side to side to find the perfect placement.
If the radio is in a conducive environment with strong signals, try moving around with the antenna in hand as you take note of the reception changes.
As you do this, ensure that the antenna is long enough. Don’t forget that the length of the antenna will affect the signal reception. If possible, try to access an attic or rooftop. Radio signals are easily captured when you increase the height. Do this continually until you get the perfect reception.
Step 3: Tape the Antenna Temporarily
After the first two steps, you will now have to tape the antenna in position, but only temporarily. You should not tape it permanently until you are confident of the radio signals and that they are strong enough.
Most likely, you will notice a drop in the signal strength, especially when you let go of the wire. This is perfectly normal. Here, you might be needed to readjust the placement of the antenna until you get signal strength without touching the wire.
After that, you can walk around the room where the radio is and notice if there is any signal interference. If there is any interference in the signals, you might have to make slight adjustments.
Once you find the best signal reception with your configuration, you can proceed to mount the antenna securely. You will have to wrap the end around a screw or nail in the wall.
If you are not into the customization and all that, you can opt for an FM antenna that is designed to boost the radio signals.
Boosting the Signals
Once the antenna is customized accordingly, you can now proceed to boost the signals. Here is how you can achieve that:
- Stretch the radio power cord as straight as possible to try finding better radio signals. In most cases, this tip can help to boost the radio signals.
- Switch the stereo sound to ‘Mono’.
- Stretch out the antenna slowly and move it in different directions. Doing this will help you find the best reception and generally improve the signals.
- Move the radio near a window. Placing the radio near a window helps to boost the signal receptions and reduce the obstacles between it and the signals from outside. Don’t forget that the radio signals will come from outside where the transmitting tower is located.
- Get a dipole antenna from an electronics store or hardware and attach it to the FM input on your radio. A dipole antenna is a T-shaped antenna that helps to boost the radio signals.
- Once you attach the dipole antenna to the FM input on your radio, slowly move the wire around as you scan through the stations.
- Install an outdoor antenna outside the house. This option is only applicable to those that live in a rural area that is far from the transmitting tower.
- After you have installed the antenna outside, plug the wire from it into the radio’s input jack. Ensure that the antenna is firmly mounted on the roof with screws. Ideally, place the antenna parallel to the ground and not tilted.
When the antenna is parallel to the ground, it will facilitate better radio signal reception. There are some factors that will affect FM radio signals.
It is important to know them so that you can try avoiding or fixing some of them if possible. Above all, the type of antenna that you purchase will determine the radio reception. Some FM antennas are designed with internal boosters.
This way, you won’t have to customize the antenna or add anything to boost the signals. Always ensure that your hands are dry when trying to adjust and customize the FM antenna.