OT improving radio reception

I've seen people reference a news group for radios and am wondering which one (found many radio related newsgroups). My questions relate to improving
AM/FM reception in a valley area. I can get the stations on the car radio but almost nothing in the house(wood frame). I have the standard antennas hooked up and want to do some research before I find myself at the mercy of the radio shack sales guy.
Thanks
Andrew V
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Andrew V wrote:

Take a look at what C.C. Crane may have to help you.
http://www.ccrane.com/news/am-reception.08.25.03.aspx
HTH,
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
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which
improving
radio
antennas
of
I second the motion. I like to listen to distant AM at night and got one of the Twin Coil Ferrite Antennas. It worked wonders on my Nakamichi bedside clock radio which was already way ahead of the typical $20 Wal-mart special.
see http://www.ccrane.com/am-antenna.aspx
It is a well made, high-quality device that does for me everything the testimonials say about it. YMMV.
Randy
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

I have their CC radio - and enjoy the improved range. Don't use it much, but it is within arms reach right now. In a storm, it can watch out for storm alerts and switch over to that signal when one is done.
I think it was a birthday one year... :-) IIRC.
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Martin Eastburn, Barbara Eastburn
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Andrew V wrote:

A standard TV antenna with an FM splitter on the downline will get you decent FM reception. I think AM will be a little tougher.
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Andrew V wrote:

AM radios work well with a long wire antenna. Get a long wire, copper 1/8" cable is good, and string it as straight as you can as long as you can as high as you can, and run one end of it to your AM antenna screw. I've done this and it really works. And remember this well -- you will NEVER get good antenna advice from some minimum wage pimple-faced flunk at Rat Shack! They know NOTHING about electronics! Stay entirely away from Radio Shack and you will be better off for it. I learned this a long time ago when I was going through electrical engineering school and they have gone downhill (waaaay downhill) since then. For advice, go to the Internet. For purchasing, look at reputable suppliers like Mouser, Parts Express, Digikey, or many others. - GWE
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1/8 inch diameter is a bit on the large size. R/S used to sell SW antenna kits iwth the insulators and a feed through. I think they've been discontinued.
Number 14 or 12 stranded wire works pretty well.
One end goes to a tree with an insulator (think cermamic, or piece of plexiglass) and the other end ties off to the house with a similar insulator.
Near the house there's a T-tap on the antenna which leads in to the radio.
I like to put the far end of the longwire through a pulley, and then down to a weight. That way ice storms don't rip them down.
Jim
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You can also go to your local farmers co-op and get aluminum electric fence and insulators cheap; the aluminum holds up to ice better than steel or copper and is cheaper to repair/replace.
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eight. That way ice storms don't rip them down.

If aluminum is used, connections have to be bolted up rather than soldered for the lead-in, for obvious reasons. Aluminum is a lot stronger than soft-drawn copper.
Jim
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wrote:

IIRC there used to be a special antenna wire - 12-14 gage steel with a heavy copper coating. I seem to recall that it was close to square in cross section. It is close to 60 years since the tree supporting the outboard end this antenna fell, so I won't guarantee the veracity of this memory. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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Yep, that's called "copperweld." Steel core, copper over the outside.
The next best thing is hard-drawn copper telegraph wire, from the abandoned lines by the train tracks.
Er, or so they say....
Jim
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Telephone wires are copper clad steel and used wires are easily gotten from the repair trucks, it has no salvage value. At one time I considered running aeriel phone cables with the far end shorted so I could put a 12 volt car battery on the 2 wires to melt snow/ice.
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wrote:

I've heard that too. I've also heard that those green glass insulators were fun to plink with a .22, plinking from fewer than 5 poles distant didn't count.
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Don sez:

Errr, lessee. "Standard" pole spacing used on some RR's was 30 poles per mile. 5/30 mile = 880 feet. That's a some fancy plinking alright!
Bob Swinney

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On Fri, 25 Feb 2005 09:08:59 -0600, "Robert Swinney"

Musta been a non-standard spur line. It sure wasn't 880 feet.
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On Fri, 25 Feb 2005 09:08:59 -0600, "Robert Swinney"

'specially with .22 shorts. I used to save the lead while squirrel hunting with .22 shorts by running down range and catching the slugs in an old horsehide glove. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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On Fri, 25 Feb 2005 19:00:04 -0500, Gerald Miller

Scoff thee on; .22 LR from a Mossberg bolt-action rifle is good training. There is definitely a lot of drop in a .22 LR at range. That's true of any round at range, just a matter of what range. Wind and optical refraction from temperature gradients (same effect as mirages on a hot highway) also contribute to the challenge.
One might go plinking with a 30.06 or 7.62 mm in Montana, but probably not in Southern Michigan even in the '50's.
Practice makes a rifleman, not caliber or powder charge. A kid could buy a lot of .22 LR ammo with paper route earnings back then.
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Hmm. 880 feet, that's about 300 yards.
22LR, with iron sights? One of those insulators probably gives a four inch cross section, roughly.
This is outside my ability, at 46 years old. Maybe we could get somebody else's opinion here....
Jim
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wrote:

It was nowhere near 880 feet. Those are Swinney's poles!
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Come to think of it, the antenna in question was an 80 meter dipole. It would have required two streches of wire (three poles) and I think the formula is 246/f(mhz) to give something like 82 feet. So the poles were a *lot* closer together!
Five sounds better in that light.
Jim
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