How to boost an FM radio in a steel building

Written by jonra springs
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FM radio signals travel somewhat directly to your radio from the radio station transmitting tower. Anything that comes between the two will interrupt reception. Going through a tunnel in a car illustrates a temporary example of this type of interference. Many of the radio stations that come in clearly on a car radio are not able to be picked up inside a steel building. The process of improving indoor reception is one of trial and error, but it can be done cost-effectively.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Indoor or outdoor upgraded antenna

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  1. 1

    Relocate the radio. Try several different locations to find a spot within the steel building that offers the best reception. Placement near a window generally offers the best chances for picking up FM stations.

  2. 2

    Identify the antenna and move it into the best path for clear signals. Home clock radios without a telescopic antenna often have a thin wire attached that operates as the antenna. Some simply use the power cord. Change the position of the antenna to find the best possible placement for a clear signal.

  3. 3

    Attach an upgraded indoor antenna to the radio. Connect a dipole antenna, or an old pair of TV rabbit ears to the antenna terminals. Attach the u-hooks to the antenna screw terminals. Find the best location in the building for that antenna to pull in FM radio signals.

  4. 4

    Turn the "Stereo" selector switch to "Mono." Although FM radio stations broadcast in stereo it is more difficult for a receiver to pick up a clear signal in stereo. The mono setting will eliminate two-channel sound, but it will reduce static and fuzz from the incoming signal and deliver more powerful sound output.

  5. 5

    Use an outdoor antenna if nothing else improves the radio station reception in a steel building. Electronic suppliers sell aerials that resemble old rooftop television antennas. Mount the antenna outside as high as possible and connect a coaxial from it to the antenna terminals on the radio receiver.

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