How to improve FM reception

Written by ehow contributor
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FM radio reception can be weak or noisy as a result of distance from the station's antenna, signal blockage, interference from other stations, or the quality of your radio or receiver. You can install a good antenna or try other measures to improve reception.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Radios
  • Antennae

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  1. 1

    If you have a radio with a telescoping antenna, fully extend the antenna and rotate it to different angles.

  2. 2

    If you live in a big city or mountainous area, move the radio to the place in your home that has the fewest large obstacles between you and the radio station's transmitter.

  3. 3

    Switch from stereo to mono.

  4. 4

    With a receiver or tuner, connect a wire-loop or T-shaped dipole FM antenna to the back of your unit. Move the antenna until you get the cleanest signal. Use a signal-strength meter or display to gauge signal strength if your unit has one.

  5. 5

    Alternatively, upgrade to a third-party passive or powered antenna.

  6. 6

    Install a rotatable roof antenna for the best possible reception. Connect your unit to an existing television roof antenna for the next-best alternative.

Tips and warnings

  • If your unit didn't come with an antenna and you don't wish to buy one, run wires from the antenna terminals to the outside of your home.
  • Use a rotator to aim a roof antenna toward the radio station transmitter.
  • Passive (not AC or battery-powered) antennas don't boost signal as much as powered antennas, which boost noise along with signal. If you live near the station, a passive antenna is likely to provide better results. If you live far from the station, a powered antenna is likely to provide better results.

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