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How to improve FM reception

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

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

  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. Switch from stereo to mono.

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

  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.

  7. Tip

    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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Things You'll Need

  • Radios
  • Antennae

About the Author

eHow Contributor

This article was created by a professional writer and edited by experienced copy editors, both qualified members of the Demand Media Studios community. All articles go through an editorial process that includes subject matter guidelines, plagiarism review, fact-checking, and other steps in an effort to provide reliable information.

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