Improve Home FM Radio Reception

Challenges of FM Reception at Home

Receiving clear FM signals in the car is easy. Car FM stereos have a great advantage because they are designed for excellent reception and they have a tuned antenna with a counterpoise that allows you to easily pull in FM stations, often from a good distance, with relatively good sound. Often, we can pick up a great signal in the driveway of our home in a vehicle but we have difficulty hearing any of the same signal on our expensive home stereos.

There are some things we can do to improve home FM radio reception and it often can be done with little or no money at all.

FM Antennas Are Key

Your FM reception is only as good as your FM antenna and the one you have may be better than you realize.

If you have one of the simple wire "T" FM antennas, it is possible to improve the way it works. The first thing to do is place it in the best location for FM reception. If you can move the location of your FM stereo you have an even bigger advantage. Height is always best, so near the ceiling in the room with the stereo is great, near the ceiling in the room of an upper floor in your home is even better. You can always buy an inexpensive extension cable (coax) and a coupler to place the FM antenna in a great location in relation to the FM tuner. Any coaxial cable for TV or satellite will work great with FM and these are available at most big box retailers. If the antenna is on an outer wall, it works best. Often in front of a window or along a windowsill is a great spot. We are trying to achieve line of sight with the antenna to the transmitter location as best we can.

There is a free Web site that can let us know the exact direction the FM signal is coming from which can help us plan the location of the antenna for best results:

FM Radio Signal Locator

Just enter your address at the above location and find your FM station and you can see the direction it is coming from which helps greatly in planning the location of your FM antenna and FM stereo system.

If the "T" FM antenna is turned sideways, or vertical, it could greatly improve your reception. Turn it sideways and run the feedline away from it at least 10" perpendicular for best results. By aligning your FM antenna vertically, it makes it completely omnidirectional and more like a car antenna and it usually improves reception. If necessary, it can be hidden behind a curtain or bookshelves.

A tuned FM antenna will work better than the simple FM dipole and there are a couple available from FM DX Antenna Co. They also have attic mount FM antennas and outdoor external FM antennas. Check out their complete lineup for a simple FM antenna solution that will help any FM reception setting:

FM Reception Antenna lineup from FM DX Antenna Co

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