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Old 12-18-2011, 10:34 AM   #1
scott37300
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Default FM radio reception in metal building-HELP please

I work in a machine shop that is a metal building with CNC lathes and mills running. It is very hard to pull in radio stations. I know I could hook my phone or MP3 player up to it but I would rather use the FM radio. So is there a good antenna I can get to be able to pull in the radio stations better? In the summer when we have the doors open we get a little better reception but still not great. Now that it's winter and the doors are all shut the reception is horrible. Just wondering if anyone else works in a metal building and has some suggestions on how to get better radio reception?
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:40 AM   #2
Shadowdog500
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Default Re: FM radio reception in metal building-HELP please

I have the same problem in my shop. Wound up running cat5 to the shop to get Internet so i can stream local fm stations through the web.

I know it isnt exactly what you were looking for but it was the best solution I found.

Chris
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:42 AM   #3
kyles974
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Default Re: FM radio reception in metal building-HELP please

I used to use one of these years ago. Mounted it on a 5ft pole outside on the side of building and got every station I ever wanted. $25 and no more problems! (lived in the woods too)

http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=3740648
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:23 AM   #4
P.Allan
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Default Re: FM radio reception in metal building-HELP please

I have the same problem but here I want the AM news stations -- I personally find music a very big distraction when I am working. My shop is also a metal building and there is an electrical overhead high line about 100 feet from the front door. The thing I don't exactly understand is that my motorcycle and my truck both get very good reception even under the power lined but both hand held and extension cord radios just get a loud roar on all stations whether indoors or outdoors. Is there some kind of filter that will block the 60 hz noise?
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:50 PM   #5
scott37300
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Default Re: FM radio reception in metal building-HELP please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowdog500 View Post
I have the same problem in my shop. Wound up running cat5 to the shop to get Internet so i can stream local fm stations through the web.

I know it isnt exactly what you were looking for but it was the best solution I found.

Chris
This is one idea I have thought of is using my phone to stream the radio station but was kid of trying to stay away from having to use my phone all day just to get a radio station. Would like to be able to just go to my machine and hit the power button on the radio and use it instead of having to plug my phone in and set it up to stream the station, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyles974 View Post
I used to use one of these years ago. Mounted it on a 5ft pole outside on the side of building and got every station I ever wanted. $25 and no more problems! (lived in the woods too)

http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=3740648
This might be a very good option. One of the guys at work ran an antenna wire outside and he seems to get so so reception and that is just a wire without an antenna. So maybe with an antenna we can get some good reception.
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Old 12-18-2011, 01:33 PM   #6
5lima30
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Default Re: FM radio reception in metal building-HELP please

I had the same type problem in my last garage which was also a metal building. What I did was use a car radio antenna and mounted it on the exterior of the building. It wasn't perfect but it worked.
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Old 12-18-2011, 01:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: FM radio reception in metal building-HELP please

^^^ This worked great for my Dad when I was a kid.
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:13 PM   #8
TN_GARAGE
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Default Re: FM radio reception in metal building-HELP please

You get all fancy with some di-pole antennae stuff, but through the years, I've had pretty good luck with simply hooking up some old speaker wire.

If you radio doesn't have an external antennae or an antennae jack, you can simply wrap your radio a few times with the old speaker wire and then take the loose end and hang it up on the wall (they say taking it outside and attaching to your gutters also helps).
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: FM radio reception in metal building-HELP please

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Originally Posted by TN_GARAGE View Post
You get all fancy with some di-pole antennae stuff, but through the years, I've had pretty good luck with simply hooking up some old speaker wire.

If you radio doesn't have an external antennae or an antennae jack, you can simply wrap your radio a few times with the old speaker wire and then take the loose end and hang it up on the wall (they say taking it outside and attaching to your gutters also helps).
Inductively coupled passive antenna FTW!

Search for passive antenna. There are some you simply place next to the radio.
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:18 PM   #10
Dragster Racer
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Default Re: FM radio reception in metal building-HELP please

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyles974 View Post
I used to use one of these years ago. Mounted it on a 5ft pole outside on the side of building and got every station I ever wanted. $25 and no more problems! (lived in the woods too)

http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=3740648
That is what I do. Clear reception now.
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:48 PM   #11
scott37300
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Default Re: FM radio reception in metal building-HELP please

Quote:
Originally Posted by TN_GARAGE View Post
You get all fancy with some di-pole antennae stuff, but through the years, I've had pretty good luck with simply hooking up some old speaker wire.

If you radio doesn't have an external antennae or an antennae jack, you can simply wrap your radio a few times with the old speaker wire and then take the loose end and hang it up on the wall (they say taking it outside and attaching to your gutters also helps).
We have tried all sorts of wire configurations to try and pull in a station with no success. We have a wire running outside which helps a little but maybe with an antenna hooked up to it outside that may help.
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:56 PM   #12
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Default Re: FM radio reception in metal building-HELP please

Outdoor FM antenna (mounted on the side, sits slightly above the roof line.) Works wonderfully.
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Old 12-18-2011, 04:05 PM   #13
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Default Re: FM radio reception in metal building-HELP please

I mounted one these omni directional antennas on the roof. I went from 3 stations to 29 stations. Best $25 I ever spent.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...00_i00_details

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Old 12-18-2011, 04:18 PM   #14
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Default Re: FM radio reception in metal building-HELP please

2 x Alligator clips and some wire

Clip one end to the radio antenna, the other to one of the metal supports for the building.

Now you have a whole building antenna. Give it a shot, cheap and works most of the time.
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:03 PM   #15
kyles974
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Default Re: FM radio reception in metal building-HELP please

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Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
I mounted one these omni directional antennas on the roof. I went from 3 stations to 29 stations. Best $25 I ever spent.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...00_i00_details

when I put up my $25 dollar antenna I do remember it gave me many more stations. I put it up because of one station I loved. After doing so, it was one of those times ya say to yourself, "why didn't I do this years ago dummy"
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:49 AM   #16
TN_GARAGE
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Default Re: FM radio reception in metal building-HELP please

http://weru.org/listen/improving-your-reception
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:58 AM   #17
willy3486
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Default Re: FM radio reception in metal building-HELP please

I work on electronics in my shop. My shop has tin roofing on the sides and has tin roofing for the ceiling. So it is like a metal cage to keep out signals. I wanted it that way to be able to work on radios without interference. To get in a antenna signal I have the round coax going outside to a old TV antenna about 15 feet in the air. I can pick up any station I want. As long as you have a line in from the outside you should be able to pick up better.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:09 AM   #18
ranger302
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Default Re: FM radio reception in metal building-HELP please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keep View Post
2 x Alligator clips and some wire

Clip one end to the radio antenna, the other to one of the metal supports for the building.

Now you have a whole building antenna. Give it a shot, cheap and works most of the time.
^^^^^^ this

Or clip the other end to the plug for the radio neer the outlet. Realy works!!
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:44 AM   #19
DavidB
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Default Re: FM radio reception in metal building-HELP please

You can construct a simple dipole (rabbit ears) antenna cheapy. Take two ~29.25" wires and hook them up to a feed line. Mount the antenna us to look like a "T". Depending on what kind, or even if, your radio has a way to hook up an external antenna will dictate what the feed line is. If your radio will take co-axial you can use that and solder one wire to the shield and the other to core. If it has the two screws instead you can use twin lead. If it doesn't have either, then just make your feed line out of two regular wires and twist them together along the length. To connect the feed line just wrap it around the extendable stick antenna (in closed position) or around the radio itself. Your biggest gains will come from getting the antenna up and away from the metal building. The dipole is a directional antenna so you can rotate it to see if you can increase the reception.
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