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Picking up a station 350 miles away

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Posted on September 7, 2016 at 09:20:08
aarocks
Audiophile

Posts: 791
Joined: January 26, 2008
I love the KUSC classical station which is broadcast out of LA. My folks love it too when they come to visit but they live in the far north of the state. KUSC is rebroadcast out of Sunnyvale, CA at 6000 watts but they still live about 350 miles north of there. I'd love to be able to set them up with a system that will pull it in over the air. KUSC is broadcast over the internet too but it wouldn't be the same.

Definitely looking for both the ability to pull in the distant station and for audiophile sound. They do live on a hill but they don't want an outdoor antenna. Can we pull this off? Any suggestions for either a tuner or receiver? They'd be starting from zero and would need an amp anyway.

 

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Absent an outdoor antenna..., posted on September 7, 2016 at 11:00:03
Jim Treanor
Audiophile

Posts: 1751
Location: Pacific Northwest
Joined: June 1, 2003
Contributor
  Since:
April 28, 2015
all bets are off. Even with one, given the 350-mile distance, your parents would be hard pressed to get even close unless they were blessed with favorable skip-distance propagation, whether their location is Crescent City, Yreka, or Hilt. And they have not-insignificant intervening hills and mountains to deal with.

When I lived atop a hill in Pacifica, CA, decades ago, I managed to get a listenable, fully-separated stereo signal from Fresno, about 160 air miles away. The tuner was a McIntosh MR-67 fed by a Finco FM-5 yagi antenna mated to an absolutely essential rotor and mounted about 10 feet above the roof line. I considered myself lucky.

I know tuner technology has progressed since then, but you still need an outdoor antenna (preferably one you can position with a rotor) to even approach what you're suggesting.

Good luck.


Jim
http://jimtranr.com

 

If they don't want to use an...., posted on September 7, 2016 at 11:22:42
kootenay
Audiophile

Posts: 5799
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Joined: October 16, 2007
Contributor
  Since:
April 6, 2008
Outdoor antennae, tell your folk to move to Mount Whitney with an elevation of 14,000 ASL they should be able to pull any FM stations at more than 1000 miles away.

If a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing well
(Proverb)

 

RE: Absent an outdoor antenna..., posted on September 7, 2016 at 11:56:35
aarocks
Audiophile

Posts: 791
Joined: January 26, 2008
Good info, thanks guys. I'll start them on their local classical station with ads and if they're hungry for more we'll experiment with outdoor antennas.

 

A rhombic wire antenna made using 300 ohm twin ribbon in a loft or an outdoor rhombic can do a very good job., posted on September 7, 2016 at 20:45:34
Timbo in Oz
Audiophile

Posts: 18572
Location: Canberra - in the ACT - SE Australia
Joined: January 30, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
June 25, 2014
At that range outdoors is best, as the sides can be even longer.

UV stable 300 OHM ribbon would double the gain for s given size.

Click below.


Warmest

Tim Bailey

Skeptical Measurer & Audio Scrounger


 

RE: Picking up a station 350 miles away, posted on September 7, 2016 at 22:22:14
6bq5
Audiophile

Posts: 2116
Location: SF Bay
Joined: August 16, 2001
Contributor
  Since:
September 14, 2012
I would echo Timbo-
and add another option/suggestion

1: make a full size Rhombic - per Tim's link.
then AIM it torwards the transmitting tower- use FM FOOL.com for the polars

2: select a great tuner-
everyone has their favorites -
Tube front end/ tube unit
Solid State-

I have used a few and have some preferences -
I would spend some time on the Tuner Info site -

If they are in Nor Cal- There is a Kenwood Trio that has been for sale out of Berkeley for a while now-on CL. The guy wants $1100 - which could be the right price - but I can't swing it - NO Affiliation...
McIntosh made some great tuners - including the MR-74 / 73 / 77 for Solid state and 67 / 71 for tube
Accuphase


Tube Tuners are becoming more like mid 70s Jaguars with the maintenance and parts issues ...
It can be done - but the antenna is KEY!
Happy Listening

 

No Chance, posted on September 8, 2016 at 19:19:01
Awe-d-o-file
Manufacturer

Posts: 16496
Location: 100 miles west of DC
Joined: January 10, 2004
Contributor
  Since:
October 31, 2005
You cannot.No how no way. Besides the distance and geography/topography there are other stations on 91.5 much closer to them. You didn't say where they are but 350 miles north of LA there are other stations on 91.5 like in Fresno that would block it even if you did have a high outdoor antenna, rotor, great gear, totally flat land and no other station on that frequency. You have none of those things. The Internet is your only option.

ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

RE: Absent an outdoor antenna..., posted on September 8, 2016 at 19:22:14
Awe-d-o-file
Manufacturer

Posts: 16496
Location: 100 miles west of DC
Joined: January 10, 2004
Contributor
  Since:
October 31, 2005
Don't bother with outdoor antennas for KUSC never gonna happen. Outdoor antennas will be great though and perhaps there is something closer to them with classical that is good.


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

RE: Picking up a station 350 miles away, posted on September 8, 2016 at 20:34:10
hahax@verizon.net
Audiophile

Posts: 3003
Location: New Jersey
Joined: March 22, 2006
Probably just a wild guess but is the station available on the internet?

 

Yes, posted on September 9, 2016 at 08:33:39
Awe-d-o-file
Manufacturer

Posts: 16496
Location: 100 miles west of DC
Joined: January 10, 2004
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Link below. I listened, its an above average stereo stream.

ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

seems to me that some folks need to get their heads around , posted on September 14, 2016 at 15:58:27
Timbo in Oz
Audiophile

Posts: 18572
Location: Canberra - in the ACT - SE Australia
Joined: January 30, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
June 25, 2014
FM radio reception as a dependent system, depending most on the antenna, and accepting that as FM wave-lengths are 12 ft on average that the antenna thus CAN'T be small.

Gain is the issue and gain is orthogonal with size.

Especially when DX-ing which is the case here.

The internet has lots of FM Dxing sites, to boot.

That they live on a mountain won't hurt, but the facts are what they are.

------------------------------------------------

This attitude which focusses on the tuner / receiver seems rife here, and is implicit in your originating post.

It is simply not possible to get an FM station > 200 miles away without a seriously large antenna aimed at the transmitter.

A large exterior Rhombic -see FAQs here - on poles would be cheaper that two big and long and stacked log-periodic boom antennas.




Warmest

Tim Bailey

Skeptical Measurer & Audio Scrounger


 

Still no chance, posted on September 14, 2016 at 16:44:10
Awe-d-o-file
Manufacturer

Posts: 16496
Location: 100 miles west of DC
Joined: January 10, 2004
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Much closer stations on same frequency and probably in the same direction. I didn't see where he said where they were or that they were on a mountain.

The station has a good Internet feed and interestingly a nice three page PDF download on FM reception on their site.


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

RE: If they don't want to use an...., posted on September 14, 2016 at 16:54:15
Awe-d-o-file
Manufacturer

Posts: 16496
Location: 100 miles west of DC
Joined: January 10, 2004
Contributor
  Since:
October 31, 2005
Height is important but still no chance with a closer station on the same frequency as in this case.

I did talk from Mt Mitchell, NC to Arizona on FM with 100 watts but that's because I was on 29 MhZ. My all time FM was on the same band from WV to the Czech Republic.


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

Yes, you have a point about this case., posted on September 14, 2016 at 17:18:25
Timbo in Oz
Audiophile

Posts: 18572
Location: Canberra - in the ACT - SE Australia
Joined: January 30, 2002
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  Since:
June 25, 2014
But, my case rests about people who seem unaware of the importance of antennas for FM, while obsessing about the tuner.

It's like buying a Koetsu cartridge and putting it on a Garrard Sp25.




Warmest

Tim Bailey

Skeptical Measurer & Audio Scrounger


 

LOL, posted on September 14, 2016 at 18:25:54
Awe-d-o-file
Manufacturer

Posts: 16496
Location: 100 miles west of DC
Joined: January 10, 2004
Contributor
  Since:
October 31, 2005
Yes we see that all the time. Very few people seem willing to put up any outdoor antenna anymore much less a good one.

I did think it was cool they had a well written PDF on FM reception on their website.


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

RE: Picking up a station 350 miles away, posted on September 24, 2016 at 16:50:07
kingjim1954
Audiophile

Posts: 31
Location: usa
Joined: March 29, 2009
Listen to Timbo. He is our resident voice of RF sanity. I've been an RF engineer for my 32 year Career, have designed antenae as well. I hate the term "pull in", antennae are passive devices, like a lens. Lens don't image things they are not pointed at. They do best when the subject is "on-axis", that is they are 'directive', as are antenna designed for DXing. That 'whip' on your car (if old enough) is cylindrical and so responds as well in all directions in a circle around it's axis. It's omnidirectional. A directional antenna is like a ;figure' bra, it takes what you have and squeezes it it in the desired direction.
I used to listen to KUSC as well, while at UCLA. Depending on where your folks are relative to the Coastal Range you may be able to get some signal from Sunnyvale as the Bay and corridor point north are relatively flat. 350 miles is a challenge, though. I'd set them up with internet streaming, if available.
Jim

 

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