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Which tuner to get and getting the most from it. Thank God, for the radio!

Just have the best antenna you can for the stations you WANT to listen to!

Tuner specs are way less useful than knowing where your 'desired stations' are - on what compass bearing - how far away - and how strong each transmitter is.

This information will tell you how good an antenna you need, to receive the least strong station, at the residence where your FM tuner/receiver is.

Selectivity of your tuner is way less important than how selective your antenna is, for a given station you want to listen to.

Given the almost completely utterly dire FM radio is in the USA, there will be a mere handful, or two, of stations worth bothering with.

Receiving those is a function for 'the receiving system' as a whole, the most important part of which is the antenna.

A 'good antenna' drives your FM receiving system into full-limiting (least noise) on all desired stations, and with minimal multipath effects on what reaches the FM front-end (least distortion).

FM stereo is a directional system. It depends for its quite striking possible quality, on all of the above.

Viz. Do you know in what directions from you are each of 'your desired stations', what distance, over and past what obstacles, and what transmitter power?

So that you might know what relative field strength each will have at your location, and how much multi-path distortion you may need to deal with.

Antennas can be a big help with multi-path distortion.

Because, a tuner's specifications are pretty much useless unless you do understand these issues.

Almost pointless, in fact.

I'm very lucky that I'm only willing to bother with two stations down here in Canberra, Australia. My antenna is aimed at the most powerful one. Which is the one we mostly listen to. They do a loot of live classical broadcasts each week, nationwide. Pretty much = to BBC standards, and worth hearing.

The top one is for FM.

The other, low-power station, for whom I used to record classical concerts, has a repeater <1mile to the right rear of the antenna's axis, yet gets fully limited on all the FM stages in the house, without any sign of multi-path effects.


Tim Bailey

Skeptical Measurer & Audio Scrounger

Edits: 12/01/19 12/01/19

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  • Just have the best antenna you can for the stations you WANT to listen to! - Timbo in Oz 00:34:36 12/01/19 (0)


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