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Old 07-06-2016, 10:48 AM   #1
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Radio AM Reception for Western Boondocking

I saw a post by FCStreamer on 'Rooftop Antenna', post #4. A cable was attached to the factory Airstream radio antenna roof connection and a larger Radio Antenna attached to the Television hand cranked antenna system on the Airstream's roof.

My interest is in a basic AM and/or AM-FM antenna that is capable of picking up stations in remote locations of the western USA. The 12" Airstream original equipment is fine for near a city... but when at remote locations picking up a remote AM Radio Station is problematic.

Even evening AM stations can be difficult for reception.

FCStreamer connected an antenna onto the crank up television antenna. Their conversations were concerning something that I have no idea what they were interested in improving.

I had removed the short factory antenna on another Airstream to discover that the threads were different from it and an automotive metal 'whip' antenna. It worked fine, but was tall enough to make contact with our garage access and other low hanging obstacles. The thought of mounting a longer antenna attached to the crank up TV Antenna and connected to the trailer's threaded connection with a shielded cable seems to be a great option... but is it possible?

My electronic understanding is just above replacing a light bulb and smelling for a burnt capacitor to find a problem to repair.

Any ideas? I enjoy listening to the radio when in the trailer for news and talk shows, but need better reception for stations 100 or more miles away. Is there some Auto Supply store where something can be found that will work?
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Old 07-06-2016, 05:38 PM   #2
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Loop antenna

From what I've been able to find on the Interweb, it looks like a loop antenna is what you want. The loop antenna is directional so you can point it in the general direction of the station and your radio will pick up the station. It will have to be placed on the roof and the wire run inside to the radio, assuming you have an external AM antenna connection on the radio. You would probably have to clip the loop to the TV antenna so you could rotate it to find the station.

http://www.ccrane.com/How-To-Make-a-...tenna-For-Free

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Old 07-06-2016, 07:32 PM   #3
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A preamp may help

Ray,

Something like this might be worth a try. The only issue is if you have local electric noise, like the fantastic fans running, that may be stronger than the signal you are trying to get, but that will be a problem with a longer antenna as well. You could build a loop and place it away from the trailer, but this is simpler. For the price, it's worth a shot. To install it, get to the back of the radio, unplug the antenna, plug in the preamp, plug the antenna into the preamp and connect the power wire to the antenna or amplifier power output from the radio.

http://www.discountcarstereo.com/ANT-B34.html

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Old 07-06-2016, 09:09 PM   #4
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Ray,

I've pondered the same thing many times, and I think I may have found a solution. However, I haven't gone after it yet because it's a bit pricey. It's a twin coil ferrite antenna. I got a good C Crane radio, but not the extra antenna. Why don't you get one and tell me how it works before I buy one.
http://www.ccrane.com/Radio-Accessor...Ft-Install-Kit
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:30 PM   #5
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C Crane always has some cool stuff. I have a GE long range radio am/fm radio I use at work and it seems to work well on am due to the larger than normal internal antenna.
A friend of mine has a C Crane long range similar to the GE and works well.
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Old 07-07-2016, 05:48 AM   #6
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Shakespeare marine antennas. AM dedicated.

An AM antenna is "best" by longer length. FM at about 31".

A Hustler 102" whip on 6" potbelly spring on ballmount is an old reliable combo.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:42 AM   #7
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Ray the loop antenna is a good choice and pretty inexpensive. Would need to be put up and down but would work fine. That said just remember that with weak signals and distance you usually start to get noise. Remember back to the age of fully tunable tube radios in your 57 Chevy, sitting there at night playing with it trying to pull in the far away stations like WLW in Cincinnati, OH or the NY 50,000 watt stations. But don't let a thunderstorm get in the way and getting all of the pop, crackle, hiss from the electrical interference. Simpler times in many ways...
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Old 07-07-2016, 01:05 PM   #8
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If good radio music, talk, and sports are important entertainment, invest in Sirius XM and enjoy where ever one travels within the continental USA. The only location where we lacked reception was in the redwoods and the concrete jungle of LA.

You need a subscription to Sirius, a Sirius radio vehicle kit, and a second dock and antenna. We have the radio receiver docked in our tow vehicle during the day, and when evening comes we transfer the receiver to the docking station installed in our AS trailer. We have the Starmate 8 radio receiver from Best Buy. Best Buy can install it in your vehicle and trailer. I installed the antenna by running the wire into the trailer through the refrigerator vent on the roof.

We tried numerous AM-FM antennas to no avail for reception at remote boondock, forest service, BLM, etc. sites.
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Old 07-07-2016, 02:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thalweg View Post
Ray,

I've pondered the same thing many times, and I think I may have found a solution. However, I haven't gone after it yet because it's a bit pricey. It's a twin coil ferrite antenna. I got a good C Crane radio, but not the extra antenna. Why don't you get one and tell me how it works before I buy one.
http://www.ccrane.com/Radio-Accessor...Ft-Install-Kit
From C Crane's description of the product:

"The antenna element is capable of pulling in a clean signal some distance from your radio."

Gee, that's true of any antenna. They'll all work at "some distance" it may be only 10 feet, but that's some distance!
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Old 07-07-2016, 02:43 PM   #10
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I probably need to put some important requirements for better AM reception in the High Country:

1- Cost effective. Other words, inexpensive.
2- Durable. Wire, coiled wire, metal... no plastic.
3- Convenient. Can attach onto the current AM/FM antenna threaded male whatcha ma jigger.
4- Mounting. Can attach onto the TV pop up antenna when being used with a short metal braided shielded cable.
5- Good Taste. Barb Wire, coat hangers, bailing wire, golf club handles... are OUT.
6- Not to double as a 'lightning rod', low branch whacker, tornado weather chaser.
7- Western Music, 1960's-80's Rock, Blues, Blue Grass, News, Weather, English stations.
8- No short wave, long wave, boat tide reports, CB nor Walkie Talkie reception needed.
9- WHY can I not use the Aluminum Skin of an Airstream for an antenna?

Can anyone, other than Thalweg who has Rapid City, Billings, Casper and Buffalo Gap stations to listen to when bored, think of other requirements for a simple, inexpensive (cheap), effective, and capable of receiving KHog AM when traveling through central Nevada?
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:23 PM   #11
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I would recommend a combination of 2 improvements. The first would be a better portable radio like those from Crane and a dedicated directional AM antenna. Does your Airstream have the Satellite antenna coax cable run from the overhead cabinet where the DVD Player is, out to the side of the Airstream? If it does you could use a collapsible antenna mast with the stand that goes under the tire to mount and steer the new AM antenna.
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Old 07-07-2016, 10:15 PM   #12
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Keep It Simple... have a portable battery operated radio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoscoMN View Post
I would recommend a combination of 2 improvements. The first would be a better portable radio like those from Crane and a dedicated directional AM antenna. Does your Airstream have the Satellite antenna coax cable run from the overhead cabinet where the DVD Player is, out to the side of the Airstream? If it does you could use a collapsible antenna mast with the stand that goes under the tire to mount and steer the new AM antenna.
********

This violates #1, #3, #4 and #5.

Although I can probably use a second hand battery operated radio that will preform better than the Pioneer Stereo AM/FM that comes with the trailer.

I also tend to follow the Keep It Simple mentality. The more complicated the solution, the more problems and upkeep. My Airstream provides this part already.
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Old 07-08-2016, 05:13 AM   #13
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Dad had something similar to the new Shakespeare 4355. A couple of decades of use. A LEAR stereo with one helluva tuner. Mounted near the port bow close to radio and just as trailer side panels affixed to ends.
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Old 07-08-2016, 10:09 AM   #14
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The... Selectantenna for a battery operated radio in No Where

When helping a fellow geologist work his fossil fish quarry in Southwestern Wyoming, back in the 20th Century... he used an interesting device with his battery operated radio:

A Selectantenna.

I had to ask him what is was called. Today I received an email that said he picked up an extra at a Wyoming garage sale and would give it to me when we meet up again.

What about hanging a wire between several trees and attaching one end to the roof antenna? I am game for about anything, simple and not likely to draw some lightening into the trailer for... visual effects at night.

I already have two HDTV's in the trailer I cannot use and the radio is barely useful when Off the Grid.

Now I see 'Similar Threads' at the end of this Thread.
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